Pankhurst, Emmeline, 1858-1929

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Emmeline Pankhurst (b. July 15, 1858, Manchester, England – d. June 14, 1928, Hampstead, England) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. Born in Moss Side, Manchester to politically active parents, Pankhurst was introduced at the age of 14 to the women's suffrage movement. On 18 December 1879, she married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister known for supporting women's right to vote; they had five children over the next ten years. Pankhurst founded the Women's Franchise League; when that organisation broke apart, she tried to join the left-leaning Independent Labour Party but was initially refused membership by the local branch on account of her gender. While working as a Poor Law Guardian, she was shocked at the harsh conditions she encountered in Manchester's workhouses. In 1903 Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to "deeds, not words". The group identified as independent from – and often in opposition to – political parties. It became known for physical confrontations: its members smashed windows and assaulted police officers. Pankhurst, her daughters, and other WSPU activists received repeated prison sentences, where they staged hunger strikes to secure better conditions. As Pankhurst's eldest daughter Christabel took leadership of the WSPU, antagonism between the group and the government grew. Eventually the group adopted arson as a tactic, and more moderate organisations spoke out against the Pankhurst family. In 1913 several prominent individuals left the WSPU, among them Pankhurst's daughters Adela and Sylvia. With the advent of the First World War, Emmeline and Christabel called an immediate halt to militant suffrage activism in support of the British government's stand against the "German Peril". They urged women to aid industrial production and encouraged young men to fight, becoming prominent figures in the white feather movement. Pankhurst transformed the WSPU machinery into the Women's Party, which was dedicated to promoting women's equality in public life. She died on 14 June 1928, only weeks before the Conservative government's Representation of the People Act (1928) extended the vote to all women over 21 years of age on 2 July 1928. She was commemorated two years later with a statue in London's Victoria Tower Gardens.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Battle, Jane Hyde Hall Liddell, 1866-1952,. Jane Hyde Hall Liddell Battle papers, 1693-1930. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-. Papers, 1856-1987 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. Diaries, 1873-1952. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Wright, Alice Morgan, 1881-1975. Alice Morgan Wright Papers, 1873-1994. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Papers, 1869-1945 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Johnson, Adelaide, 1859-1955. Papers of Adelaide Johnson, 1873-1947. Library of Congress
referencedIn Williams, John Alonzo, 1869-1951. John Alonzo Williams letters to Abbie Farwell Brown [manuscript], 1908-1911. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Autograph Letter Collection: Militant Suffragettes, 1890-1956 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Papers of Rosa May Billinghurst, 1854-1917 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950. Women in politics : typescript signed with holograph emendations : [Ayot St. Lawrence, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England], [1944]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Women's Social and Political Union (Great Britain). Records, 1911-1913 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Women's Social and Political Union (Great Britain). Women's Social and Political Union broadside honoring Caroline Townsend, 1909. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Alice Morgan Wright Papers MS 176., 1873-1994 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Suffrage Collection MS 447., 1851-2009, 1880s-1920s Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 1787 - 2004. Subject and Policy Files. 1893 - 1957. Appeal of Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst for admittance for visit, English Suffragette. 1907 - 1913. Pankhurst, Emmeline (English Suffragette)
referencedIn Adelaide Johnson Papers, 1873-1947 Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
creatorOf Pankhurst, Emmeline, 1858-1928. Suffragette autograph book, 1906-1914. Texas Woman's University Library, Mary Evelyn Blagg-Huey Library
referencedIn Records of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, 1896-1919 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Stephen Haweis Papers, 1860-1969 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers, 1814-1946, (bulk 1840-1902) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Woman's Rights Collection (WRC) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Smyth, Ethel, 1858-1944. Ethel Smyth collection, 1910-1962. University of Michigan
referencedIn Lutz, Alma,. Collection of documents by and about abolitionists and women's rights activists, Part 2 (Liv-W), 1775-1943 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Haweis, Stephen. Stephen Haweis papers, 1860-1969. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 1787 - 2004. Subject and Policy Files. 1893 - 1957. Appeal of Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst for admittance for visit, English Suffragette, Protests
creatorOf Smyth, Ethel, 1858-1944. Ethel Mary Smyth Letters [microform], 1894-1937. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. Photographic materials, 1852-1943. New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women. Records, 1895-1920. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Anonymous. Scrapbook, 1910-1919 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers of Jessie Kenney, 1917-c.1960 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Papers of Annie Lacon, 1905-1968 The Women' s Library
referencedIn Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers, 1814-1946 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Pankhurst, Emmeline, 1858-1928. Letters : London, to Laurence Housman, 1912 Nov. 1 and Nov. 4. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Papers, 1911-1913 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Solomons, Selina. Selina Solomons papers, [ca. 1867-1921] UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, b. 1862. Series VI of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869-1945 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers of Jessie Kenney, 1917-[196-?] The Women' s Library
referencedIn Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers, 1814-1946 (bulk 1840-1902). Library of Congress
referencedIn Elizabeth Robins Papers, 1803-1963 Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Cullen, Louise. Illuminated address presented to Louise Cullen. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Autograph Letter Collection: Letters to and from Harriet McIlquham, 1881-1909 The Women' s Library
referencedIn David Mitchell Collection, 1918-1978 Museum of London
referencedIn The Kenney Papers, 1874-[ongoing] University of East Anglia
referencedIn Papers, 1856-1987 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 1787 - 2004. Subject and Policy Files. 1893 - 1957. Appeal of Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst for admittance for visit, English Suffragette
creatorOf Smyth, Ethel, 1858-1944. Ethel Mary Smyth Letters, 1894-1937. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries, UNCG University Libraries
referencedIn Garrison family. Garrison Family Papers, 1694-2003 (bulk 1830-1950). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Sophia Smith Collection. Suffrage Collection, 1851-1982 (bulk 1880-1920). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Smith, E. H.,. Collection, 1888-1934 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Suffragette Fellowship Collection, 1839-1970 Museum of London
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Anonymous. person
associatedWith Battle, Jane Hyde Hall Liddell, 1866-1952, person
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCullouch, 1862-1945 person
associatedWith Cullen, Louise. person
associatedWith David Mitchell, 1924- person
associatedWith Florence Hope Luscomb, 1887-1985 person
correspondedWith Garrison family. family
associatedWith Haweis, Stephen. person
associatedWith Haweis, Stephen. person
associatedWith Housman, Laurence, 1865-1959. person
associatedWith Johnson, Adelaide, 1859-1955. person
associatedWith Kenney Family family
associatedWith Kenney, Jessie person
associatedWith Luscomb, Florence, 1887- person
associatedWith Lutz, Alma, person
associatedWith Mary Hutcheson Page, 1860-1940 person
associatedWith Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women. corporateBody
associatedWith McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, b. 1862. person
associatedWith Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. person
associatedWith Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950. person
associatedWith Smith, E. H., person
correspondedWith Smyth, Ethel, 1858-1944. person
associatedWith Solomons, Selina. person
correspondedWith Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. person
associatedWith Suffragette Fellowship; 1926-1971 person
associatedWith Williams, John Alonzo, 1869-1951. person
associatedWith WOMEN'S SOCIAL AND POLITICAL UNION corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Social and Political Union (Great Britain) corporateBody
associatedWith Wright, Alice Morgan person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
Greater Manchester ENG GB
Subject
Women--Suffrage
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1858-07-15

Death 1928-06-14

Britons

English

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