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Mary A. Nolan

Mary A. Nolan

Mary Nolan

Mrs. Mary A. Nolan of Jacksonville, Florida, was often described as one of the oldest suffragists active on NWP picket lines. Of Irish descent, Nolan was born in Virginia and educated at the convent of Mont de Chantal in West Virginia. As a young woman she worked as a teacher and leader in the Southern library movement. She was also prominent in Confederate organizations and a suffrage pioneer. In 1917 she joined the NWP and came to Washington, D.C., to picket. She was arrested on November 10, 1917, and sentenced to six days in District Jail, but was actually sent to Occoquan Workhouse. She was there for the so-called “Night of Terror” November 15, 1917, during which guards turned violent toward imprisoned protesters. In January 1919, she was arrested many times during the Watchfire demonstrations outside theWhite House, and was sentenced to 24 hours in jail. She was the oldest suffrage prisoner. She participated in the nationwide “Prison Special” tour in which NWP activists traveled from city to city speaking of their experiences in jail.