Send St. Valentine to Plead for Votes
Suffragists Bombard President and Congress with Dripping Hearts and Vines
The New York Times reported that on February 14, 1916 the Congressional Union, headed by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns sent Valentines to the President and all members of Congress with poems and sticky sweet greetings, urging them to give women the vote for Valentine’s Day.
According to the Times, The idea of the Valentine’s Day campaign originated with Mrs. Jesse D. Hampton whose hope was that “while logic has failed” she hoped Valentines would prevail. “We have tried reasoning, eloquence of the soap box…back of an-automobile variety, and we hope that rhymes may influence the politicians where the other forces did not.”
One such sticky poem went to Edward William Pou, Democratic Representative from North Carolina and an “arch enemy” of the women:
The rose is red, the violet blue,
But votes are better, Mr. Pou.
Of course, we know that, despite these gallant attempts the Valentine’s Day campaign failed that year, but it stands as an excellent example of the ingenious ways suffragists tried to influence Congress and win the vote. For more information about the Valentine’s Day campaign go to the site of the League of Women Voters: Valentines for Votes.