Janet Livingstone Fotheringham

(1895–1935) A teacher of physical culture from Buffalo, NY, Janet was 26 years old when she traveled to Washington to participate in the 1917 suffrage protests at the White House. Her courageous participation in these historic protests earned her a place in suffrage history.

Janet was among the second of three groups of protestors who marched from NWP headquarters across the street to the White House. A crowd formed at the scene, and police made no attempt to disperse them. The first group took their places at the upper gate without incident. However, as soon as the second group took their positions at the lower gate, the police immediately arrested both groups of suffrage protestors. When the third group emerged from NWP headquarters, the crowd applauded as the suffragists took their places. The police waited four minutes before arresting them on a charge of “violating an ordinance.” At the police station, all 16 were charged with “unlawful assembly.”

In court on July 17 all 16 were found guilty of “obstructing traffic” and sentenced to 60 days at the Occoquan Workhouse, the federal prison in Lorton, Virginia. Family members visited the suffragists in prison and, shocked by their condition, appealed to President Woodrow Wilson. After serving three torturous days at the Occoquan Workhouse, the 16 suffragists—including Janet—were pardoned by the president and released.

Forest Lawn Cemetery

Section: 27, Lot: 394, Lot: E 1/2, Space: 5

1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209

Erie County

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This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

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The Sea Stone Foundation

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