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Annie L. Arniel,

The Iron-Jawed Suffragette

Annie Arniel

Anne L. Melvin was born 1873 in Harrington, Delaware. She married George Arniel, a brother of William Arniel -both having emmigrated from Canada. William Arniel was married to Anne Matilda Clarke of Howe Island, Ontario, Canada. Both of these couples resided in Wilmington, Delaware. The Historical Society of Delaware has a file of newspaper clippings which cite key historic events surrounding the suffragism battle for women's rights. The three clippings below are about Annie Arniel:




Annie Arniel played such an historic key role in securing the vote for women in the USA, that her contributions are documented in many history books about women's suffragism. From the book, "Jailed for Freedom", by Doris Stevens, there are many interesting stories about her contributing exploits, as well as a picture, and a summary in the appendix of "Suffrage Prisoners", which says:"Mrs Annie Arniel, Wilmington, Delaware, did picket duty from beginning in 1917. One of first six suffrage prisoners. Served eight jail sentences, 3 days, June, 1917, 60 days in Occoquan, Aug-Sept., 1917, picketing; 15 days, Aug., 1918, Layfayette Sq. meeting, and five sentences of 5 days each in Jan., and Feb., 1919, watchfire demonstrations." Two other notable books that reference Annie Arniel are: "Iron-Jawed Angels: the suffrage militancy of the National Women's Party 1912-1920", by Linda G. Ford, and "The Story of the Woman's Party", by Inez Haynes Irwin. An original article which captures the context of the historic times appeared in THE WASHINGTON POST; MONDAY, AUGUST 12. 1918.:

"SUFFS" MARCH TODAY:Speeches and Banner Carrying in Lafayette Square.
'Neither Weather Nor Police Considered'
Martyrs Come From Nearby
States to Take Places in Line.
Miss Paul Says No Law Broken."


The following picture shows Annie Arniel holding a banner. The photograph is part of a larger picture which shows a group of suffragists about to board a train to demonstrate in Washington. More pictures and information about Wilmington Delaware Suffragism  history can be found at the website:  Historical Society of Delaware - Women's Suffrage in Delaware. Some wonderful detail about the historic first arrests at the White House in Washington can be found in a transcribed interview with Mabel Vernon. Mabel and Annie were two of the first group of six arrested.


Annie Arniel died in Wilmington, Delaware in 1924. She is a true hero to women in the USA. The following Newspaper Clipping describes her death:

The following is her death certificate:
HU024507| RM| Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

Suffragette Pickets Demanding Hearing for Imprisoned Leader
These ten women had just been released from a sixty day sentence in a Washington workhouse following a picket at the White House, Washington D.C.. The demonstration here photographed was to demand that the remaining eight women in prison should be treated as political prisoners rather than criminals. Their leader, Alice Paul, had received a seven month sentence in solitary confinement for disobeying prison rules. From left to right: Mrs W.J. Bartlett, Putnam, Conn., Miss Lucy Burns, Brooklyn, NY, Miss Lucy Branham, Baltimore, Md, Miss Edith Ainge, Youngstown, Ohio; Miss Eleanor Clanan, Methuen, Mass., Mrs Pauline Adams, Norfolk, Va., Mrs Annie Arniel, Wilmington, Dol. Miss Maud Malone, Jamaica, NY, Miss Margaret Fetheringham, Buffalo, NY, and Miss Mary Winsor, Haverford, Pa..

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS





Iron Jawed Angels

Woman Suffragist Battle in DE
The Islands Annie Arniel biography
Kingston Roots

Copyright Ken Menard 2007