|Born||September 12, 1876|
Elisabeth Freeman (September 12, 1876 – February 1942) was a suffragist and civil rights activist, who is most well known for her report on the Waco Horror for the NAACP and for her participation in the 1913 Suffrage Hike from New York City to Washington, D.C.
Elisabeth Freeman was born in 1876 to Mary Hall Freeman in England, who was estranged from her husband. Her mother, Elisabeth and her two siblings emigrated to the United States and lived on Long Island in New York. Mary worked for an orphanage, and the children lived there for a while. Growing up poor, Elisabeth Freeman did not get a College education and found only her activities for the Salvation Army "uplifting". After moving back to London, Elisabeth helped a woman that was beaten by a police man and both got arrested. The woman brought her into the suffrage movement. In the movement, she learned to fight for the cause, speak publicly and bring new members to the movement. The skills she learned in London, she brought back to the US, where she got employed as organizer by the suffrage movement. Besides her organizing skills and her hands-on approach to recruiting, her abilities talking to the media were especially recognized.
One prominent example happened in 1913, when she took part in the national Suffrage Hike to the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson in Washington, D.C. As a publicity stunt in New York City she wore a gypsy costume and drove a wagon piled with women's suffrage literature and stenciled with 'Votes for Women' slogans.
While working in Texas for the suffrage movement, on May 16, 1916, one day after the lynching of Jesse Washington she was brought in to investigate by the NAACP. For a week, she talked to people in Waco, and her documentation of the lynching to W. E. B. Du Bois was the base for garnering national attention.
In the years between 1917 and 1919, she was active for the peace movement, where she lobbied Congress, and continued her work organizing, speaking and fighting for the cause of civil rights, although speaking up against US policies concerning the war garnered strong reactions by the media and the public.
- List of suffragists and suffragettes
- List of women's rights activists
- Timeline of women's suffrage
- Suffrage Hikes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth Freeman.|
- "Elisabeth Freeman". Retrieved 2008-12-15. "Elisabeth Freeman came to this country as a small child with her brother John and sister (Clara) Jane, and their mother, Mary Hall Freeman, who came estranged from her husband. Mary worked for St. Johnland, an orphanage on Long Island for a time, and the children lived at the orphanage for some time. ..."
- Bernstein, Patricia (2006). The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-58544-544-8.
- "An Interactive Scrapbook of Elisabeth Freeman: Suffragette, Civil Rights Worker, and Militant Pacifist.".
- "Marching for the Vote". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2008-12-15. "One of the New York group, Elisabeth Freeman, dressed as a gypsy and drove a yellow, horse-drawn wagon decorated with Votes for Women symbols and filled with pro-suffrage literature, a sure way to attract publicity."
- Wade Goodwyn (May 13, 2006). "Waco Recalls a 90-Year-Old 'Horror'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-09-08. "On May 16, 1916, one day after the lynching of Jesse Washington, Royal Freeman Nash, the white social worker who was then secretary of the NAACP, wired Elisabeth Freeman in Fort Worth, where she remained following the statewide suffrage convention in Dallas."
- Faithfully Yours, Elisabeth Freeman: An Interactive Scrapbook of Elisabeth Freeman: Suffragette, Civil Rights Worker, and Militant Pacifist