EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPolishChinese (Simplified)SpanishUrdu

Elisabeth Freeman (1876 - 1942)

Elisabeth Freeman (1876 - 1942)

Elisabeth Freeman (1876 - 1942)


Elisabeth Freeman

Elisabeth Freeman was born in Chesterfield in 1876 but her family soon emigrated to America.

Elisabeth didn’t receive a college education but found her work with the Salvation Army ‘uplifting’.

In 1905 she moved back to the UK and lived for a time in London, where she helped a woman who was being beaten by a policeman. Both women were arrested after the confrontation. This woman brought Elisabeth into the suffrage movement, within which she learned the arts of campaigning, including public speaking, media work and recruitment. Having developed such skills in London, she used them after returning to the US, where she was employed by the suffrage movement.

She attended a suffrage convention in Dallas, Texas in May 1916. A crowd of 10,000 witnessed the brutal lynching of Jesse Washington, a young African-American farmhand convicted of murder in Waco, Texas. Royal Freeman Nash, the secretary of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), contacted Freeman, hiring her to investigate and report on the murder and events.

When the United States was involved in World War I, Freeman was active for the peace movement. She lobbied Congress and continued her work fighting for the cause of civil rights. Speaking up against US policies concerning the war generated strong reactions in opposition.

Little is known of Elisabeth’s life after 1920. She died of pleurisy in February 1942.

Last updated on 30 March 2023