Lusitania a Suffragette

On Friday October 30, 1908 the RMS Lusitania arrived in New York on her regular trip from England. On this occasion however she was decorated with the colors of English Suffragettes with the words “Votes for Women” along her side. This is how the story was reported in the following days New York Times.

The Lusitania came up to her pier yesterday a full-fledged English Suffragette wearing her colors and the words “Votes for Women” along her side. Mrs. Nora S. Blatch de Forest, daughter of Harriet Stanton Blatch, granddaughter of Elizabeth Caddy Stanton, and wife of Lee De Forest, the wireless telegraph and telephone man, was returning with her husband from England and had hung out the English Suffragette colors from the promenade deck. The letters were white on a purple ground, and caused much interest in the crowd awaiting incoming passengers.


Mr. and Mrs. De Forest went abroad immediately after their marriage last February on a combined honeymoon and business trip.  Mrs. De Forest was one of the women who succeeded in getting past the police platoon in one of the big demonstrations directed against the House of Parliament this month. She also surprised guests of the hotel where she was stopping in London by appearing in a short shirt, a sweater, and a big sash across her breast in the English Suffragette colors, purple, white and green, and the familiar words “Votes for Women” across it.

It was with the aid of a steward that Mrs. De Forest decorated the Lusitania, the Suffragette document remaining in place until she was obliged to leave the ship. The steward confided to her that he was entirely in sympathy with the Suffragettes.

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