GRAFTON — An historic marker, saluting contributions Lucy Joslyn Cutler Daniels of Grafton made to the Women's Suffrage Movement in the early 1900s, will be dedicated on Saturday, July 16 at 1 p.m. in front of her former residence at 3 Main Street in Grafton.
The marker is part of the National Votes for Women Trail, in cooperation with the National Collaborative for Women's History Sites.
The program for the event is still being finalized; but women's historians, the Grafton Historical Society, residents who remember Lou - as she was known here - and the Grafton Cornet Band will be in attendance. In the event of rain, the bulk of the program will be held at the Grafton Community Church Chapel across the street from the marker's site.
The Cornet Band's participation is of special historical significance. When Lou Daniels organized a Grafton parade for suffrage in May of 1914, patterned on the one she took part in at Washington, D.C. in 1913, the Grafton band refused to take part, according to historical accounts. Lou Daniels reportedly hired musicians from Massachusetts to play in 1914, but this time members of the Cornet Band will take part in honoring her.
Lou Daniels' contributions to the suffrage movement included her refusal to pay taxes in 1911 without a vote in Grafton's governance. As a member of the “Silent Sentinel” pickets at the White House in Washington, she was arrested in 1917, 1918, and 1919, protesting for a woman's right to vote.
She endured jail each time, including the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse on Nov. 14, 1917. She was also arrested and jailed for protesting at Boston in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson returned from Europe through that city.
Lou Daniels is also noted for pressing the National American Woman Suffrage Association and its leader Alice Paul to include more black women in suffrage events, especially the 1913 parade in Washington in which she also participated.
She offered to contribute money if the participation of black women was increased. The request was turned down, but at least 50 African American women did march, overcoming attempts by some to bar black women from the events entirely.
The marker honoring Lou Daniels is one of four sites in Vermont on the National Votes for Women Trail. There are more than 2,350 sites nationwide. The date of the dedication is set to coincide closely with the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848.