Biographical Database of NWP Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Sara Grogan, 1859-?
By Sophie van den Elzen, PhD Candidate at Utrecht University
Sara (Sallie) P. Grogan was born in Georgia about 1859, the second of eight children of John H. Grogan and Fanny E. McLaughlin. In 1870 and 1880 the family lived in Elbert County, Georgia and John was recorded as a minister and farmer. Sara completed high school and sometime before 1900, possibly in 1897, she moved to Washington, where she lived with her sister Emma in 1900 and with her sister Bessie in 1930. The census also notes her presence in DC in 1940, when she lived with a niece and two lodgers. She earned a Bachelor of Law degree from the Washington College of Law in 1904, and remained active in alumni circles, such as the Columbian Women and the College Women's Club.
In June 1912 she took part in a march for suffrage in Baltimore, marching in the division of city women lawyers, and in 1915 she contributed to the Susan B. Anthony fund of the Congressional Union for Woman's Suffrage. A short film she wrote, "A Suffrage Movie," was shown at the College Women's annual banquet in March 1919. In October-December of 1918, she took part in the picketing of the Capitol. On December 16, she burnt a speech in a watchfire demonstration. In December 1920 she was involved in setting up a Washington branch of the Women's Peace Society.
In 1922, Sara Grogan was the chairman of the District of Columbia branch of the National Woman's Party, and she made efforts to win more support for the movement through some public speaking engagements. The Evening Star named Sara among the founders of the National Woman's Party.
Sara admired the political significance of flappers, suggesting at a dinner in 1922 that where others "were sweeping up the microbes from the streets with the hems of their dresses [. . .] Flappers break away from tradition and are free women, mentally, legally, and physically. We must indeed thank God for flappers." After 1922, she remained active in society and charity events of her clubs, which included the American Association of University Women; in her Story of the Woman's Party, Inez Hayes described her as a "devoted adherent" of volunteer work. No death record has been found for Sara Grogan.
Federal Manuscript Censuses, Georgia, 1870 and 1880; Washington, D.C., 1900-1940. Accessed online via Ancestry Library Edition.
"Transfers of Real Estate." Evening Star, January 4, 1897; "Lauds Flappers at Dinner in Honor of Miss Gillett." Washington Herald, July 30, 1922; "To Discuss State Laws in Regard to Women's Rights." Atlanta Constitution June 19, 1922; "Abracadabra Club." Washington Post, January 9, 1921; "Observing Birth Anniversary." Evening Star, Washington, February 15, 1915; "Sixth Commencement." Evening Star, 23 May, 1904; "G.W.U. Women Banquet." Evening Star, 26 April, 1919; "Woman's Party Hold Dedication Service of New Home Today" Washington Times, 21 May, 1922; "Women Form Peace Society." Washington Herald, 4 December, 1920; "Capital Women March in the Rain." Washington Times, June 28, 1912; "Help Found Party: Twelve Washington Women in National Organization." Evening Star, March 20, 1922; "Among the Clubs." Evening Star, March 23, 1919; "Woman's Party Leaders Address Civic Club." Washington Herald, October 04, 1922; "City Suffragists will have part in Baltimore Parade." Washington Times, June 25, 1912; "Dr. Moore to Speak at A.A.U.W. Tea." Evening Star, March 29, 1936; Inez Hayes, The Story of the Woman's Party, Harcourt, Brace and Comfant, 1921.
(Washington, D.C.) Evening Star, 18 May 1922, p. 13