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Who was Alice Paul?


Alice Stokes Paul was the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century.

Born on January 11, 1885 of Quaker parents in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Alice Paul dedicated her life to securing equal rights for all women. In 1922, The New York Times called Alice Paul one of the twelve most famous women in the United States, but history has largely ignored the inspiring example of her persistence and tenacity.

Few individuals have had as much impact on American history as has Alice Paul. Her life symbolizes the long struggle for justice in the United States and around the world. Her vision was the ordinary notion that women and men should be equal partners in society.

Alice Paul died on July 9, 1977 in Moorestown, New Jersey. Her legacy lives on to inspire others who struggle for social justice.

Alice Paul’s Victories for Equality:
  • Earned a Ph.D. in Economics and L.L.B., LL.M. and D.C.L. at a time when few women could pursue higher education.
  • Introduced to the United States non-violent civil disobedience as a nationwide political strategy. 
  • Organized massive demonstrations and picketed the White House in support of women’s suffrage and was jailed for her actions. 
  • Founded the National Women’s Party in 1917, which included 50,000 members who worked for suffrage. 
  • Organized the World Woman’s Party to campaign for gender equality on an international basis. 
  • Authored the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 and worked 54 years for its passage.
Alice Paul’s Educational Achievements
  • B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College, 1905
  • M.A. in Sociology from University of Pennsylvania, 1907
  • Ph.D. in Economics from University of Pennsylvania, 1912
  • LL.B. from Washington College of Law, 1922
  • LL.M. from American University, 1927
  • D.C.L. from American University, 1928
Alice Paul’s life demonstrates that one person can make a difference. Her legacy lives on, bearing witness to the significance of her life and inspiring others who struggle for social justice. The Alice Paul Institute was founded in 1985 and is dedicated to creating a heritage and leadership development center at Paulsdale. The Institute works to educate and encourage women and girls to take leader-ship roles in their communities and to continue the long struggle for women’s equality. In her name, the API works to fulfill its mission to promote full gender equality through education, development and empowerment of leaders.  The legacy of Alice Paul provides the foundation and the beacon to develop critical leadership skills and inspire others to become agents of positive change.

Paulsdale
Alice Paul was born and raised at Paulsdale. Her parents purchased the farm in 1883, when it encompassed more than 150 acres of orchards, farm crops, and a small dairy herd. The Paul family farmed the land until selling Paulsdale in the 1950s. It remained a private residence until the Alice Paul Institute purchased the property in 1990. The c. 1800 farmhouse stands on 6.5 acres of the original property. Paulsdale is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places, and in 1991 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The exterior and interior of the house have been restored to their appearance during Alice Paul’s residence, with modern accommodations that meet visitor’s needs. Historic Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooton Road (Hooten Road for GPS) in Mount Laurel.

To learn more about feminist, suffragist and political strategist, Alice Paul, visit www.alicepaul.org. The Researching Alice page includes a biography, primary sources, articles and other helpful information. For Paulsdale tours, programs and events, call the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885 or email info@alicepaul.org.

As seen in: Burlington County Woman (Spring 2012)

 

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