Edith Ainge

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Edith M. Ainge
Miss Edith Ainge 147004v.jpg
Mary E. Ainge

Other namesAingy
Known forSuffragist

Edith M. Ainge (1873–1948)[1][2] was an American suffragist[3] and a Silent Sentinel. Ainge joined the National Woman's Party NWP led by Alice Paul, aiming to get the 19th amendment ratified (ratified in 1920). Ainge was arrested approximately five times from September 1917 to January 1919 for "unlawful assembly" at NWP protests, and she eventually went on to serve as treasurer of the NWP.[4]

Suffrage in New York[edit]

Ainge worked for the movement to gain suffrage in New York state in 1915.[5] She spearheaded participation in The Torch of Liberty event where suffragists from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—organizing events to gather more participation and awareness about the cause, and to raise funding for the suffragist movement and for the political rallies.[6]

Night of Terror[edit]

Following her work on New York State Suffrage, Ainge moved to New York to rally for National voting rights for women. On November 10, 1917 suffragists Edith Ainge and Eleanor Calnan were two of thirty three arrested after stationing themselves in protest in front of the White House in Washington D.C.[7] The protest was peaceful, and 68 suffragists demonstrated for the passage of the 19th Amendment. Ainge and Calnan carried a sign that read, “How Long Must Woman Be Denied a Voice in a Government Which is Conscripting Their Sons.” Ainge, and other suffragists were sentenced to 60 days in jail at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Virginia for "Unlawful Assembly.” Ainge was given solitary confinement, many of those arrested were tortured, and the event has been named the "Night of Terror."[8][9]

1918 arrest[edit]

Ainge was again arrested for demonstrating in Lafayette Square on August 15, 1918.

Watch Fire Demonstration, 1919[edit]

At the Watch Fire Demonstrations, in Lafayette Square, members of the NWP burned copies of President Woodrow Wilson's speeches in urns.[10] Ainge was the first to light her urn.[11] The women, including Ainge were again arrested.

Personal life[edit]

Ainge was born in England and emigrated to the U.S. as a child in 1884. Her parents William and Susan Ainge had a total of ten children.[12]


  1. ^ "Bicentennial Biographies No. 51 – 55 | Chautauqua County Historical Society". mcclurgmuseum.org. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  2. ^ "Women's History" (PDF). Mcclurg Museum.
  3. ^ "Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown, New York, the first delegate to the convention of the National Woman's Party to arrive at Woman's Party headquarters in Washington, Miss Ainge is holding the New York state banner which will be carried by New York's delegation of 68 women at the conven". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  4. ^ "Timeline – Making Women's History". sunyjcc.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  5. ^ "A Lesson In History" (PDF). Washington State Business & Professional Women.
  6. ^ "Publicity for Woman Suffrage". njwomenshistory.org. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  7. ^ "'Night of terror': The suffragists who were beaten and tortured for seeking the vote". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  8. ^ "7: Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown, New York". Our Compass. 2010-10-23. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  9. ^ "Edith Ainge | Turning Point Suffragist Memorial". suffragistmemorial.org. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  10. ^ admin (2015-06-07). "Suffragists Stage First "Watch Fire" Demonstration in Front of..." Today in Civil Liberties History. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  12. ^ Delap, Lucy; DiCenzo, Maria; Ryan, Leila (2006). Feminism and the Periodical Press, 1900-1918. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415320283.