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January 5, 1914

Representing the Women’s Political Union and bearing the union’s colors in a bouquet of white lilies of the valley with green leaves and a purple orchid, a group of suffragists, including Inez Milholland ’09 and Harriot Stanton Blatch ’78, visited the newly appointed commissioner of correction, Katherine Bement Davis ’94, in her office on East 20th Street in New York City. Accepting the women’s congratulations, the commissioner admitted, “I haven’t quite got my finger on all the strings yet. There are fifteen or sixteen institutions, 5,000 prisoners, and everything is all over creation.” She said that she hoped over time and wherever possible to move penal institutions out of the city and to remove women prisoners from the workhouse and penitentiary, but, she added, “that would require money, and the budget for the year is made up.”

“‘Did you know,’ she said to Mrs. Blatch, as the party rose to leave, ‘that my grandmother lived for many years next door to your mother at Seneca Falls? She was Rhoda Dennison Bement. She was a strong suffragist, and I never knew what it was to be anything but a suffragist.’”

The New York Times

The Years