Alexandria Honors Suffragists Tortured at Occoquan Workhouse
Landmark Suffragist Court Case was Decided in Alexandria
Corner of South Saint Asaph and Prince Streets
The Office of Historic Alexandria and Alexandria Celebrates Women dedicated a historic marker, on August 26, to recognize the women who bravely endured imprisonment and brutality in their efforts to gain the vote for all American women.
The tabletop marker -- designated as part of the Alexandria Heritage Trail -- was recently installed near the intersection of Prince and South Saint Asaph Streets in Old Town Alexandria. The site housed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the early 20th century. The third-floor courtroom was located in the old Customs House, which stood on the corner of South Saint Asaph and Prince Streets. The formal dedication will be held outdoors with a reception and the inaugural guided tour of the new Alexandria Women’s History Walk to immediately follow.
In the News
Alexandria Celebrates Women: Suffragists struggle against brutality in fight for voting rights. Upcoming local event aims to honor tortured American suffragists. By Gayle Converse and Pat Miller, Alexandria Times, August 19, 2021.
New marker dedicated to Suffragists. Out of the Attic, Alexandria Times, August 26, 2021.
Signage Dedicated to Suffragists. By Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet, September 2, 2021.
The marker reads:
Suffragist Prisoners at Occoquan: In November 1917, 32 suffragists were arrested in Washington, D.C. for allegedly “blocking traffic” on a Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk. They were sent to the District of Columbia workhouse at nearby Occoquan, Virginia. The women were subjected to undue hardships and torture, resulting in the infamous November 14, 1917 “Night of Terror.” A number of women prisoners were threatened, beaten and hurled against walls and floors. A few days later, force feedings began. The suffragist prisoners were eventually freed from Occoquan following a hearing in Alexandria’s federal courthouse.
Alexandria Women's History Walking Tour
The Alexandria Celebrates Women 2021 Women’s History Tour is a walking route through historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The route will allow you to explore many of the sites associated with a wide array of diverse and courageous women who have been an integral part of Alexandria’s history. The tour is extensive – as is our City’s history – however the route is designed to be explored at your own pace: please feel free to stop/resume your tour at any time. We suggest allowing at least two hours for the complete three-mile Walk. This is an outdoor walking tour created to encourage you to enjoy the beauty and ambiance of Old Town at your own pace. Should you wish to enter any of the public sites, please check museum, library, City Hall and Torpedo Factory admission hours.
Gayle Converse and Pat Miller, Alexandria Celebrates
Women, unveil the marker.
Mayor Wilson addresses the audience at the Suffragist marker unveiling.
Councilwoman Amy Jackson, Lynn Garvey Hodge portraying Mrs. Robert Walker, Office of Historic Alexandria Director Gretchen Bulova.