Alice Paul Quotes

Quotes from Women's Suffrage Heroine

Alice Paul on balcony, fellow suffragists celebrating suffrage victory, 1920
August 13, 1920: Alice Paul on balcony, women's suffrage activists celebrating Tennessee ratification. Stock Montage/Getty Images

Alice Paul is credited as one of the leading figures responsible for the passage of the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage) to the U.S. Constitution. In her honor, the Equal Rights Amendment was sometimes called the Alice Paul Amendment.

Selected Alice Paul Quotations

• When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.

• I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction.

Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me, there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.

• It is better, as far as getting the vote is concerned I believe, to have a small, united group than an immense debating society.

• I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.

• We women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million women are denied the right to vote.

• The Woman's Party is made up of women of all races, creeds, and nationalities who are united on the one program of working to raise the status of women.

• There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.

• My first Paul ancestor was imprisoned in England as a Quaker and came to this country for that reason, I mean not to escape prison but because he was such a strong opponent of the government in every possible way.

• All the girls planned to start in and support themselves -- and you know it wasn't so general then for girls to support themselves. (about her Swarthmore fellow students)

• ​While I was at the School of Economics, I met one girl especially, her name was Rachel Barrett, I remember, who was a very ardent worker in the Women's SSocial and Political Union, as they called it, of Mrs. Pankhurst's.

I remember the first thing that I ever really did [for suffrage] while I was still at the School of Economics. This particular person, I think it was this Rachel Barrett, asked me if I would go out and help her in selling their paper, Votes for Women, in the street. So I did. I remember how very bold and good she was and how very timid and [laughing] unsuccessful I was, standing beside her trying to ask people to buy Votes for Women. So contrary to my nature really. I didn't seem to be very brave by nature. I remember very well doing this day after day after day, going down to the School of Economics, where she was a student and I was a student and other people were students, and we would just stand out in the street wherever we were supposed to stand, on some corner, with these Votes for Women  . It is what they did all over London. A great many of the girls in all parts of London were doing it. (​​about her first contribution to the woman suffrage movement, source)

Crystal Eastman about Alice Paul: History has known dedicated souls from the beginning, men and women whose every waking moment is devoted to an impersonal end, leaders of a "cause" who are ready at any moment quite simply to die for it.

But is it rare to find in one human being this passion for service and sacrifice combined first with the shrewd calculating mind of a born political leader, and second with the ruthless driving force, sure judgment and phenomenal grasp of detail that characterize a great entrepreneur.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. Regretfully, if the original source is not listed with the quote, it was unavailable.

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Alice Paul Quotes." ThoughtCo, Jun. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/alice-paul-quotes-3525367. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, June 12). Alice Paul Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/alice-paul-quotes-3525367 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Alice Paul Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/alice-paul-quotes-3525367 (accessed November 23, 2017).