By Kate Greene, Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi
Minnie Abbott was born in New York around 1885. However, her father was born in New Hampshire and her mother was born in Vermont. At the age of 25 in 1910, Minnie lived in Atlantic County, New Jersey. She served as a district secretary for the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage in Atlantic City and later as a state officer for the National Woman's Party.
While an active member of the National Woman's Party in New Jersey, Minnie participated in the NWP's annual convention held on March 1, 1917 in Washington D.C. There she picketed around the White House alongside a thousand other suffragists. She was also among those suffragists who picketed the White House on July 14--the French national holiday, Bastille Day. She and the other banner-bearers were arrested. Because they refused to pay a $25 fine, the suffragists were sentenced by Judge Mullowngy to serve 60 days at the Occoquan Workhouse. However, she was released by President Woodrow Wilson 3 days later. In addition to working for the National Woman's Party, she wrote Alice Paul about working "a man's job" at the railroad during World War 1. She married William Thawley in 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1910 United States Federal Census. Official Enumeration Date: April 15, 1910. Enumeration District: 9. Place: Atlantic City Ward 2, Atlantic, New Jersey, United States. Household ID: 183. Publication Number: M1283. Page: 9B. Microfilm Number: 1374880. Image number: 00564. Minnie D. Abbott - 1910 Census Record Atlantic City Ward 2, Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States.
Linda G. Ford, Iron-Jawed Angels: The Suffrage Militancy of the NWP, 1912-1920 (New York: NYU Press, 1991), p. 101.
Ancestry.com. Minnie D Abbott, mentioned in the marriage record of William E Thawley and Minnie D Abbott
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JV4Z-JWY: accessed 13 October 2015), Thawley and Minnie D Abbott, 1926; citing license number 528494, Clerk of the Orphan's Court. City Hall.
“Sixteen Militants Begin 60-Day Term.” Washington Post. July 18, 1917.
“Suffragists take 60-Day Jail Sentence; Won’t Pay Fines,” New York Times, July 18, 1917.