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Title: Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, June 16, 1974. Interview G-0047-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Pollitzer, Mabel, interviewee
Interview conducted by Myers, Constance
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 164 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-12-19, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, June 16, 1974. Interview G-0047-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0047-2)
Author: Constance Myers
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, June 16, 1974. Interview G-0047-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0047-2)
Author: Mabel Pollitzer
Description: 196 Mb
Description: 48 p.
Note: Interview conducted on June 16, 1974, by Constance Myers; recorded in Charleston, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Linda Killen.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series G. Southern Women, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, June 16, 1974.
Interview G-0047-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pollitzer, Mabel, interviewee


Interview Participants

    MABEL POLLITZER, interviewee
    CONSTANCE MYERS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Pollitzer, I would like for you, if you can remember, to tell a little bit about the background of Susan Pringle Frost. The kind of thing, perhaps, that wouldn't appear in brief newspaper accounts. Simply tell about significant accomplishments and this sort of thing.
MABEL POLLITZER:
To me Miss Susan Pringle Frost was one of the most remarkable women who ever lived in Charleston. She came from a very aristocratic family. I remember so well, Miss Sue and her two sisters, Miss Mary and also [unknown] or Rebecca Motto Frost. Miss Sue and Miss Mary lived together. When I first met them they lived at 4 Logan Street, then later they moved to the Miles Brewton home, and that, I understand, was occupied by the revolutionary soldiers. And that home, to Miss Frost, was as dear as any precious possession or more so. In the very early years she studied stenography and became court stenographer. Her sister Mary, to support herself, had a private school mostly of the elementary grades. Miss Rebe moved north to be with the DuPonts in New Jersey. Miss Frost, as I say, after studying for the business world, was court stenographer. And as I recollect was told she was the first woman who was brave enough, you might say, to enter what was called a man's field. She remained court stenographer for years. Loving Charleston as she did, she tried to preserve the heritage and the

Page 2
architecture and other things of Charleston. And even though buildings were most dilapidated and run down, she, with her far seeing mind, could see the potentiality of working [unknown] to save them for [unknown] white residents.1 So much of the restoration of Tradd Street is due to Miss Frost. She was one of the founders, and perhaps the founder—I cannot be sure—of the Preservation Society. They met in what is now one of the museum houses on Church Street, the Heyward-Washington House.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
As a person, what was she like, according to your recollection? Her personality.
MABEL POLLITZER:
She was outgoing. She spoke, I would say, quite frankly and freely always. We were really very very friendly. I just loved her. I felt she was a woman to be admired. Deeply religious. I remember on one occasion I was at her house when she had a servant who brought a glass of water to her. And the servant thoughtlessly put the glass of water on the Bible. Miss Frost said to her, calling her by her name—I'll say Charlotte—"Charlotte, you know you should never desecrate a Bible by putting a glass of water on it." She was very serious about that. That Bible was never to have anything that would hurt or harm it in appearance in any way. Then I remember another incident. It was a midday meal. I was a guest. I don't know whether it was lunch or dinner. At her house, the Pringle house.2 We were seated at the table. Everything was very simple, but very, very nice. Miss Frost, at that time, had opened the house to paying guests, as she called them. The money was always needed, all through her life. We were seated at the table and the servant brought her some mail. And as she scanned the envelopes

Page 3
she saw bills. And she said, to her sister Mary, "Why must I always have to look at bills when we're enjoying a nice little repast?" Then she looked at one more and opened it. It wasn't a bill. It was a check for $1,000 from a relative named Frost—I don't remember his name. And with that she said "Oh, Mary, a gift. I was too quick in saying what I did." With that she fell down on her knees and offered a prayer of thanks. It was a very beautiful, spiritual experience for me. Of course I went through the house many times. It was all very lovely; with antique And she came around to our house many times. Her sister Mary was also generous and just darling. Once Mother admired a lovely scarf she wore. And she said "Oh, Mrs. Pollitzer, I am so glad you like it, that you expressed your pleasure in seeing it." And with that she took it off and said "It is yours." Mama said "Oh no. You aren't a Mexican or a Spaniard. If you admire a thing there they always give it to you, but this is Charleston." And she said "Even so, it's yours. I'm glad you love it." They were just kind people. I just thought they were lovely.
Now Miss Frost—oh, I cannot tell you exactly the year, but it was around the 1913s. It may have been before. But it was in 1913 when Alice Paul severed her connection with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. I do not know how this information came to Miss Sue, but she was an ardent suffragist and she felt surely that the Susan B. Anthony amendment should be passed and that it should be federal and not according to the ideas of state by state as was thought by Carrie Chapman Catt. She called a meeting at No. 4 Logan Street.
This may

Page 4
have been sometime after 1913 I don't know who has the picture of the group. I wish it were possible to find it among Anita's possessions. But Anita, Carrie3 and I were on the steps. It was a year in which Anita was in Charleston [unknown] Anyway, Miss Frost led this meeting. Later we decided we would have meetings at the Young Woman's Christian Association. [Interruption.] Dr. Myers, would you please interrupt me at any time you wish, because I have been just talking scatteredly?
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I'd like to ask another question or two about Miss Sue. What did she do after ratification? Was she active for the women's movement at all after ratification?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh indeed yes. I'm glad you asked that. She was one who kept on indefatigably. After ratification, the last state by Tennessee and then, of course, Connecticut ratified, she never stopped for one minute. And she was then chairman of the South Carolina branch of the National Women's Party. I cannot remember that she called meetings because at that stage, it must be understood, meetings were not imperative. The whole idea then, was to center the attention on the federal government, on Representatives and Senators. And letter after letter she wrote. And I know she went to headquarters several times.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But after ratification did she continue to do this?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes! Because then, they were working right away, in '23—for the Equal Rights Ammendment. [unknown] Alice Paul knew, with her wisdom, that only part of what Susan B. Anthony wanted had been accomplished. Only voting rights. But still, not all the other rights. So that was the purpose then of the Women's Party to have the Equal

Page 5
Rights Amendment passed.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And Miss Frost was active for the passage of an equal rights amendment?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, definitely. For all those years until I took over. In Miss Frost's later years I was active chairman. We were constantly, almost, getting together, you might say, to do what we could to urge our own Senator & later two Senators, and Representatives to work for and to pass the amendment. And I must say that it was Sen. Pollock,4 in the very early days, with whom Anita also worked, and I also worked. I'm speaking now of after ratification of the 19th Amendment . . . but it may have been Sen. Pollock for ratification. I think you are right. Pollock was for ratification of suffrage. But then it was with the members of the Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. I do not know exactly the year when US Sen. Strom Thurmond was elected. Sen. Thurmond was one of the early, early sponsors of ERA When I say Anita, you know that I'm talking of my sister.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Frost remained active in the National Women's Party working for the Lucretia Mott amendment rather than entering the League of Women Voters and sponsoring what came to be knon around the state as citizenship schools?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I do not know if Miss Frost became a member of the League of Women Voters. As I told you, I did not. I didn't want to because at that time they were not in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment. And I also was not a member of the University Women's Club who were with the National American University Women's Clubs . . . I was not a member of the American

Page 6
Association of University Women. I spoke to the then president and she opposed the Federal Amendment bitterly. And I thought now there's no use to become a member of that one, and so forth. Now both groups are working for Ratification of ERA
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And you associated the League of Women Voters, in your mind, with the AAUW . . .
MABEL POLLITZER:
I cannot say I associated it. They were separate organizations. But they had one common purpose. They at that time did not want women to have equal rights through federal action Well, of course, I just didn't like that. So as I say, when you asked about Miss Frost in keeping up her interest, it was one of her lifelong interests. just as mine has been and is . . . and also, of course, the preservation of the buildings of Charleston. As she became older, I took over and did everything until the autumn of 1972 - (which is rather recent) after the Amendment was passed. I still work for Ratification.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I wonder what you think might have been, in her background, that led her to her pattern of functioning in Charleston society. There must have been a little streak of opposition to the status quo, or she would not have gone into a business career in the first place. And then in the second place, into women's rights activity. What do you think lay behind this?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I would not know. I feel that Miss Frost was a very independent soul. She did what she wanted to do when she thought it was right. And that's the thing I feel was an outstanding character or quality. When the Prison Special5 came to Charleston, Miss Frost was right along with them, which was very wonderful, [unknown]
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was she riding on the train or did she just lead the delegation

Page 7
to meet them?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No, she met the train most probably. There were wonderful women on that Prison Special. Those were the ones, you see, who had been in jail because they carried the banners and they picketed the White House. Miss Frost and Mrs. Abby Scott Baker presided at the meeting held in the large Academy of Music.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Now Miss Frost did some picketing in Washington.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I did not know that Miss Frost picketed.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The newspaper accounts suggest that she did.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I did not know that. I was so busy with my 44 years of teaching, and all else, that I am sure there are many things that I just do not know that happened.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I was just wondering what Miss Frost's home life was like as a child. Were both her parents living all through her childhood?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I would not know that. I never heard her speak of her parents or ancestry.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I would like to know which of her parents inspired her to reading and her interest in political affairs.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I have no idea of that. I think there is a Frost, maybe a close relative, who held some office in the city of Charleston, another relative was a Cotton Factor.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I think it was her grandfather, a judge.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't be sure, but it seemed to me there was somebody in my mind. But please remember I cannot be sure. I think it was a health officer.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Well, her father was a physician.
MABEL POLLITZER:
It may have been her father who was health officer,

Page 8
but I can't be sure.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Why were they not in very comfortable circumstances? Why was it that she had to work hard to make ends meet?
MABEL POLLITZER:
In those days it was amazing.6 If a gentleman was salaried or had his own business with an income of around $2,000 we never considered him poor, at all. Today you're poor if you don't get $5,000. I don't know that they looked upon themselves as ever being poor, but it was never being wasteful. It was always, we might say, being thoughtful of saving for the next . . . expenses I do not know that. [Interruption.] When we were interrupted I was saying that you must remember that in the South it took a very long time to get over Reconstruction. So those who today would be considered really very poor, in those days were of moderate means. And their children were able to have lessons in art, music, dancing and all of that. Although the salaries or income of the parents might not have been more than $2,000. The war left the South in a just depleted condition. Because all the money they had put into slaves, of course, that was lost. So I do not know that I would consider Miss Frost's [unknown] family, absolutely very poor. Yet everybody, almost, in every family had to work. I've known many families just such as that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Despite the aristocratic lineage.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, a good many of the aristocrats.
I know one in particular, were taking in sewing even for the colored folks.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I wonder about Miss Frost's other community involvements. Beside her preservation functions and beside her women's rights commitments,

Page 9
was she socially conscious in other matters that you can recall?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I am unable to name whatever else she was interested in. But knowing Miss Frost, I feel that she was deeply interested in anything for the good of Charleston. She adored Charleston. That's all I can say. I could not name different organizations. Now I was a member of the Civic Club shortly after I graduated from Columbia University in 1906 But I can't remember Miss Frost ever attending a meeting. But as she was a stenographer she could not get off in the afternoon, the time of the meetings. And so it is with a great many other organizations. I know she was deeply interested in getting the College of Charleston open to women. But I don't know that she took any active part. It was my sister Carrie who was the prime mover and spearheaded, you might say the work & petitions and Chamber of Commerce talk that resulted in the admission of women . . . I don't know about Miss Frost's other activities. Of course she was so busy in showing the house to guests of Charleston, to visitors, to tourists. And that was a very big interest in her life. Because, that did bring in money to repair her house. And a big house such as that . . . that Pringle house costs a fortune to keep it in repair. Miss Frost loved her garden.
I know one thing, she loved her servants dearly.
There was a man who lived on the place. I don't know what he did, but he lived there. And then I know she had woman help. And she did have paying guests and of course she had to have help. Miss Mary died, some many years, as I remember it, before Miss Frost.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I was going to ask what her sisters did with respect to

Page 10
the 19th Amendment and the equal rights amendment. Were her sisters apolitical, pretty much so?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes-As far as I know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And you don't know whether or not they supported her morally, I might say.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Not As far as I know. I never heard Miss Sue mention any support given to the movement or given to her. They may have been, but if so, I can't remember Miss Sue ever talking of it.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Were any Charlestonians, and certainly those among her distinguished family, aghast at her radical activities?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I never heard of that. Never.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did many of these women in Charleston, who came over into the woman's party at that exciting meeting in 1917, stay with the movement after ratification? Or did a decided number drift away?
MABEL POLLITZER:
It is my feeling that a number did drift. But I feel, when called, to send telegrams when needed, to Congress, then they would respond. You see, in my recollection, there were very few meetings called for the women's rights movement. So after suffrage was passed, it seemed as that was, as they would say, a fait accompli. That was done. And then nearly everything else—because I helped Miss Frost a great deal—was done by telephone. For instance, I would get in touch with the head of the Business and Professional Women's Club. I would get in touch with whatever league it might be. And get their support. But that could be done by phone, without having them all together to say yes we will do it and we'll send telegrams. You see.

Page 11
Now Ruth McInnis, the widow of Dr. Fleming McInnis, who was really almost my right hand in helping me to get other names, or names of post members, to send telegrams. Ruth was extremely interested. She was a wonderful worker and you could depend upon her. If she said she was going to phone, we'll say, to Marianne Paul or to Anne Mott or to somebody else of the business group, to Miss Schroeder, you could depend upon Ruth's doing it. And those telegrams would be sent.7 I can't remember calling meetings. It was largely over the telephone. But this Miss Schroeder worked very hard. I met her one day on the bus.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What was her first name?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I'm trying to think of it. The other names of the members of her family come to me and her name was Cordelia. I remember meeting her on the bus. And she said to me "Miss Mabel, the need for it is evident at the Navy Yard. For years I've been promoted and promoted until I am now teaching the men how to be managers of their various departments. I, a woman, will never be a manager."
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You see, I believe that working at the Navy Yard and sharing those experiences helped lead Rachel Whaley Hanckel8 into the movement.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Quite likely. You're right. I wish I could tell you the name of Miss Schroeder. [unknown] she was an ardent worker in a quiet way. I don't know whether I can use the word ardent. But the point is, she always did what I asked her to do. It was that kind of thing. We need your help to phone to so and so or to write to so and so or wire to so and so. And it was done.

Page 12
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The reason I asked the question about the suffragists going into business and tending to drift away from direct involvement in the movement is that this seemed to be a pattern with the South Carolina Equal Suffrage League after ratification. So many women, after ratification, entered into the business sphere, went into the insurance business and things of that sort. I wondered if you recollected any individuals that responded this way to what they believed were enlarged opportunities for women resulting from the ballot.
MABEL POLLITZER:
If I had been in the business world I might answer that question. But I do know that there became a large number of women secretaries, stenographers, filing clerks. But I could not call them by name in any way. But that is true.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I meant actually going into business. Launching out with a real estate or an insurance firm.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes. I remember. There was a Mrs. Hartnett I don't know that she was into suffrage, but she had her own real estate years later. And then there is Betty Lucas Manahan who entered Real Estate years later.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
She was a suffragist?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No, not that I know of. The women I mentioned, Hartnett and Hanahan, [unknown] probably were not born early enough to be in the suffrage group.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was there much interest in the Lucretia Mott amendment in Charleston after ratification?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I do not know of it. I know on one occasion I approached

Page 13
members of our faculty at Memminger School. I felt we should send in some money to headquarters, working so hard. The idea there was for every dollar membership one half of it, or fifty cents, should stay with the local group. And the remaining fifty cents should go to headquarters. Well, as we did not have meetings and had no need for money—we might say except for the telegrams and so forth and we usually spent that out of our own pockets—I said would they just give me either fifty cents or a dollar or something and I sent it all to NWP headquarters. And we had a good many of our teachers who became, I might say, most temporary members by paying a dollar.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
This was not dues, was it?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I may have called it dues for one year.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
These were contributions.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't be sure. But I raised some money from many teachers. But then they never said anything to me about it again and they knew of my interest. So I thought "oh all right, just let it go."
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you approach the teachers on a one to one basis or did you give any public addresses?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, no, no, no. Approached them as individuals in the faculty room.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you circulate any leaflets?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I may have done that, but it was mostly by word of mouth, how necessary it was. Because at that time I did something of which I was really very glad. And this, I think, inspired me to do it among our faculty. There was a ruling that when a woman teacher married she automatically lost her position on the faculty. It's coming back to me

Page 14
now perfectly. I wrote a petition to the school board and had the teachers sign it. And I haven't thought of that since. Oh, it's many decades ago. And the teachers were in favor of that. Abandoning the ruling that automatically when a teacher married she lost her position on the faculty. She was no longer a member of the faculty of the Memminger High School or another public school. And I knew that petition had results because we changed the ruling. And later, through the decades—you must remember I taught for 44 years—later, we had many married teachers on our faculty.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Do you think that your petition had a definite impact itself?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes indeed. I haven't thought of that until this day.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you go from school to school to get support?
MABEL POLLITZER:
It wasn't necessary, because if the ruling applied to Memminger, it would have to apply to all the schools.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I understand, but in circulating this petition did you go beyond your school confines? Was there a representative of this movement to do away with this regulation on the other school campuses?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No the Petition was signed only by our own faculty. No opposition. They simply took my word for it that it was unfair. When a man married, he was kept on the faculty. When a woman married, out she went.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But were there other women, at the other school campuses, who felt similarly, who circulated petitions to the teachers at their schools?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I never heard of it. It wasn't necessary.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you initiate this yourself? Was this of your own

Page 15
devising?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Of course I initiated it. I thought of it, and carried it out.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
This was not necessarily a Woman's Party suggestion that teachers in our party do this.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, nothing, nothing, like that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you feel any reprisals for doing this?
MABEL POLLITZER:
None.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You didn't get called in on the carpet?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No. It was satisfactory to the School Trustees. They saw the justice of it. I will tell you one thing that I did that had nothing to do with the woman's party. A dear girl in my class, in the senior class—because I was then class teacher, it wasn't my biology class—was crying. And she said "I have a notice that because I was married a few days ago I have to leave the school. I am discharged as a student." I said to her "Oh, that must not be. Don't weep. Good may come from this." I ran to the superintendent, after asking her a few questions— who she married and so forth. She had married a musician—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
MABEL POLLITZER:
—he was of one of the finest families. When we speak of what constitutes a fine family. I suppose I'd say aristocratic. Very high toned, and cultured. I went to the superintendent and I said "Mr. Rhett, is there anything wrong when a young lady knows a gentleman well, a gentleman who can support her, an aristocrat. Is there anything wrong when they decide to get married?" He looked at me with surprise at such a

Page 16
question. And I said I want to the School Board to abolish a certain rule, that when a student marries she automatically is dropped from the school rolls." He looked at me and said "Miss Mabel, what will that lead to?" I said "Good. It's not going to happen so often. This girl in a few weeks will receive her diploma at graduation. Should she be denied that, after having been a good student for all of these years, a conscientious student?" He said "Just what is it that you want?" "I want that rule abolished. If it's an exception, then it will be an exception, but you think about it. I want to go back to her and tell her she should return to school tomorrow and not miss any other classes." He said "you may tell her that."
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did he have reason to fear? He said "What will come of this?" as though there would be a tremendous number of students getting married. Was there?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't recall that anybody else in my teaching career got married just before graduation. I can't remember that. But she graduated. I saw her recently at a Symphony concert. She put her arms around me and turned to the friend with whom she was and said "my teacher, who helped me." And all through the years, whenever I see her, she is joyous and so appreciative and grateful.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was that the end of her education or did she later return to school?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No, as far as formal education that may have been the end. But she's a wonderful mother. One son is an Episcopal minister in Atlanta. Another one, I think, is a physician. Her children went

Page 17
to College all of them have become fine citizens. I mean she gave to the world the best she had and the best has come back to our country.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I notice that Anita's interest in the 1930s in the equal rights amendment was extended to a specific concern with New Deal legislation. She sought to get a fair deal for women from the New Deal, where she perceived an unfair deal. Did you see anything of this sort in Charleston as a whole? Any objection to the unfairness in the codes, the industrial codes in the National Recovery Act?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't say I did.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Anita was terribly active.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Anita was very active throughout the years and gave of her time. I remember her speaking and writing of the Secretary of Labor, Miss Frances Perkins. And Anita felt that the party would not attain certain things without Miss Perkins' change of attitude. I can remember some of that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I suppose she wasn't effective in getting Miss Perkins to change her attitude.
MABEL POLLITZER:
She was effective in nearly everything she did, but I do not know about that. I know one thing, that Mrs. Roosevelt could have done so much to help. And as brilliant a woman as she was, she did not come forth and say this amendment must be passed. I heard Anita speak of that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I'd like to hear, too, about that dramatic meeting in December 1917 when the Charleston group split in two. You were there.
MABEL POLLITZER:
You want me to tell you my recollection of that meeting?

Page 18
CONSTANCE MYERS:
In as great detail as you can possibly summon up.
MABEL POLLITZER:
1917 is many decades back from 1974, isn't it? I remember distinctly the room in which we met at the old Young Women's Christian Association. I remember, strange to say, just about where Carrie and I —Carrie my sister, you know—where we sat. I believe Anita was not there. I think she was working in Washington. She graduated from Columbia University in 1916. I know Miss Frost was the Chairman, probably self-appointed, because she was so interested. Chairman of the group. And I remember Miss Frost presenting the fact that there may be two ways in order to get the result of voting rights. One would be state by state, as was wanted by Carrie Chapman Catt and her group. The other way would be the method suggested and being carried out, if possible, by the great Dr. Alice Paul, who broke away from Carrie Chapman Catt's group in 1913. Then, after explaining the difference and the advantages of the National Women's Party course of action that would work directly through federal action, and requiring only the ratification of the different states, than working state by state and then having a future legislature make null and void the improvements of justice made by the previous legislature.9
I remember distinctly. Those who were in favor of a National Woman's Party stood. Carrie and I stood. We acclaimed our leader for presenting it so successfully. Who were the others who broke away, I don't know. But on a telegram, which I have shown to you, are the names of those who wanted —

Page 19
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I have the list of those who broke away and shortly I would like to ask you something about these women.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Then you may continue your next thought. But it was a very, very important meeting.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did it go on into the wee hours of the evening?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh no. It was an afternoon meeting as I remember.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was it an amicable split?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes. I think there might have been a little bit of excitement on the part of some.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
No denuncitaory speeches?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't remember if the others said anything that was not amicable. It was a question of do you think this or do you think that?
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But a split resulted. A breach in the movement! This would suggest some acrimony.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't remember that. Maybe so. It didn't affect me in any way, except that Carrie and I and the others who joined The National Woman's Party were doing the right thing.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was the press there?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know. Press articles would be shown in Anita's scrapbook.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The paper reported this. I didn't know whether your party members recorded it themselves and gave the report to the paper or whether the press sent its own representatives there. When you formed

Page 20
the Equal Suffrage League in Charleston in 1913, when Sue Frost did it, did she form it separately from the Equal Suffrage League in the state as a whole, form it as a separate entity from the state Equal Suffrage League?
MABEL POLLITZER:
You know the amazing part? I never heard about the state league. I felt it was a local affair. I never knew about these people, these very wonderful women I suppose, who were dedicated to that movement. I just didn't know about them. I just felt it was here in Charleston. We were helping and wanted to help, you see. We might say to give our approval of having suffrage for women.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You didn't know about Mrs. Harriet Powe Lynch up in Cheraw. She formed the South Carolina Equal Suffrage League. You don't know whether Sue Frost formed the Charleston branch, or the Charleston league, as a separate entity or in conjunction with Mrs. Lynch's state-wide league?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know about the rest of South Carolina's Suffrage work You see, in my mind, I guess there just was no publicity. I mean I always read the papers. Had there been any publicity, I would have known. Anita's clippings may show some publicity.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
So you don't know whether the years that the Charleston group spent as a suffrage league were part of the entire state suffrage league. You just simply don't have that information?
MABEL POLLITZER:
My mind is blank about that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I also had this question. Whether or not anyone in the Charleston league, before it became the Women's Party, went to Columbia,

Page 21
to the state convention? And whether Sue Frost went to Columbia, to the state convention.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I wouldn't know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And whether she went to hear Mrs. Catt and Dr. Howard Anna Shaw, who came to Columbia.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, I do know, of course, of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. A marvelous woman, and we have a volume, the biography of Anna Howard Shaw. But that's all I know about that. I think Dr. Shaw lectured on Charleston.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And Maud Wood Park was also important in the NAWSA group. An organizer came to Columbia, about 1916, before your split, to hold organizing meetings to teach the women how to organize for suffrage. Her name was Lola Trax. She was from the west. She came to teach the women how to organize. Was there much publicity before that meeting when the Charleston group voted to split? I realize that they had met earlier, in November. At the November meeting it was suggested that a change be made in the constitution which would include a change in the name of the organization.
[Interruption.]
Was there much publicity given to that impending split? Was there publicity given to the fact that a constitutional change would be voted on the following month?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't remember any of those things. It's pretty far back.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But there was a meeting in November. I do see this in the paper.

Page 22
MABEL POLLITZER:
If it were in the paper . . . the press should show it.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The report simply says that the following month a constitutional change will be presented and voted on. I wondered, in the interim, in the time between the two meetings, if each side presented its position in position papers, in speeches, in letters.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I probably was correcting notebooks and hundreds of test papers then, I really do not know about that. If it were there I just don't know. And I do not know who in Charleston would have been the active ones to have furthered the cause so that more would have joined the National Women's Party. As I think of it, the National Women's Party in Charleston was never a large organization. It was a dedicated small group. For those who wanted to work for it it was really, I might say, intensely dedicated. Just a few. And I think, as I say, always with reverence, of some of those who were ardent, in the Business and Professional Women's Club. That was the active club in Charleston for Suffrage. And I can't remember—I mean the one club in Charleston that I know that worked for it. Miss Frost and I kept the President informed. And I cannot remember even that the Charleston federation did anything to further the cause. I knew, in '72, when the ERA was passed, I got in touch with the president of the Charleston federation of Women's Club. And I don't know if before that they had done things in the past. I know the general federation was for it. And a great many national organizations.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
So you don't know about any publicity campaigns, pro or against a constitutional change. When you described the crowd at that

Page 23
meeting . . .
MABEL POLLITZER:
The crowd? I wouldn't call it a crowd.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
About how many?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Let's see. I'm thinking of the rows, as I recollect them. There may have been thirty-five or forty. I'm just thinking of the seats that were occupied. [unknown] They did give publicity. I don't know how I knew that I wanted to attend. Maybe Miss Sue phoned. A great deal was done by phone in those days. Anita's clipping book tells more.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you not customarily attend the monthly meetings?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I never missed any meetings as far as I know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Then you would probably have been there anyway.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Most likely.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Carrie too?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes, unless any school meeting interferred.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
So there was a "crowd" of about 34 or 40 people—
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes. The room, as I think of it, was not large. Of course, larger than this, in which you are seated. I wouldn't want to venture to say the size, but I would say that maybe 35 people were there. The entrance was on Society Street then. It was the old Young Women's Christian Association.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Who spoke for the constitutional change at the meeting?
MABEL POLLITZER:
As I remember Miss Frost was the only one who was really very active and spoke. She was always a great leader. She was to me just a very marvelous courageous woman. And presided. I do remember a few others.

Page 24
especially—I can't call her by name—but someone saying that she felt there should be this other side in which Carrie Chapman Catt was interested.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You don't recall who spoke against the change then. Whether or not each side presented a little slate of speakers.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I know definitely there was opposition, but I could not name the opponents. It was sort of interesting, because all meetings just go sort of smoothly along. And I remember distinctly that I felt that that was the rupture, you see, the break.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
No one left in a huff.
MABEL POLLITZER:
No, I can't remember anything like that. There was nothing to be angry about. It was a question of what your mind thought.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But it was a splitting of the movement. As it was, both wings of the movement were small enough when together. But to split and, in a sense, to go separate ways focusing on different aspects of the problem. It would seem that it would occur to you that it would weaken the local movement.
MABEL POLLITZER:
It was a gentle splitting. I'm afraid I'm not very much help in remembering the details.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You're probably right. It probably wasn't a cold split.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't tell you the details and I can't tell you anybody living right now who was there. I'm the only surviver. I'm glad I remember as much as I do. It was an afternoon meeting as I recall. Because Miss Frost was busy, it may have been around five o'clock when she got off from work, or something like that. But it was not a night

Page 25
meeting.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did it go on longer than the usual meeting?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I wouldn't have an idea of what a usual meeting of that kind would be. I don't know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was there any community reaction to this split?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Can't remember any reaction.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Did you hear any comments in town?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The women's movement is going to be considerably weaker now.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I just don't remember that the opponents ever did anything. It was Miss Frost who carried on, without the others. I don't know that the others ever did anything.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
On which side would you say majority expression lay?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I think the majority went with Miss Frost. I believe the others just died out. That's my recollection.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I'd like to ask you a little bit about these women. I have lists here of women who stayed in the party. And women who departed. I wondered if you remembered any of these women and if you would make a comment. Because it is of considerable interest. The general background of these individuals.
MABEL POLLITZER:
— what one individual thinks. Another might be thinking very much otherwise. But I can tell you what I would think.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Of course, I understand. It would be your impression. But no one else is here to give these questions . . .

Page 26
MABEL POLLITZER:
We cannot have a debate. Somebody to say "Well, I think you're wrong."
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And I'd like to know something about these women as I name them off. What kind of background did they spring from and what other organizations did they belong to. Trying to develop a pattern of a prototypical suffragist.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Please be prepared. I'm not going to be able to answer a great deal. Don't let any hearer of this think that I am totally ignorant. with a lot of these people I knew the individual but not the background.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I understand. You might know something about what the individual does for a livelihood.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Let's go ahead even if I have to answer in the negative.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
In the women's party remained Estelle McBee
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't remember that she was active. I do know that the two Mcbee sisters, intellectually, were very civic minded, very fine. Her sister, Mary Vardine McBee, as you know, was the founder of Ashley Hall a girl's school Mary Vardine McBee was chosen by the school board and she became a woman representative on the school board. I admire her intensely for what she did for Ashley Hall.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
She was also instrumental, with you, in working for the free library.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes. When I came to her. When I told her we had to have a library and so forth. But that's another story, which I think I told you. But also Dr. McBee was president of the Civic Club for

Page 27
some years. She became the second president of our county Free Library now the Charleston County Library. They wanted me to hold office but at that time I was trustee & secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Charleston museum and trustee of our reform synogogue and trustee of our library and our precious mother was living, and I felt I could not also hold office in the library. But I know I was asked before a lot of others.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about Mrs. Edward McIver.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, she was a very live, active woman. She remained with Miss Frost's group. Of course I knew her personally. I do not know who she was before she was McIver, so I don't know her background.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. R. DeWar Bacot
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes. She was a Canadian who came to Charleston because she was a very good friend of Miss Nina Ottolengui of whom we have spoken. They roomed together. I think it was when the Ottolenguis had a boarding house. Nina invited her. Saddie Bacot as I knew her, before she married . . . No, I've got it backwards. Sadie Cunningham before she became Mrs. Bacot was a visitor at this house quite often and I liked her. She was very forward looking. Very alive in everything she did. I don't know what she did after she married Dewar Bacot.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about Sophie Brown?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, I haven't thought of her in years. She was deeply interested in the kindergarten association, deeply. I cannot tell you much about her. This is digressing quite a bit but one of the members of the family was in charge of one of Charleston's light houses. I know she had a very interesting niece whom I taught. The name, as it

Page 28
comes to me now, was Whiteley. But as far as suffrage goes, I don't know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. G. Jurs.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Grey, whitehaired lady. active Kind face. It's interesting how I can see them all. She was deeply interested in the Civic Club. You see, I was chairman of the city betterment committee of the Civic Club. For years. And she helped in all, or many, of my undertakings. She was a lovely woman. As far as suffrage goes, I cannot tell you that. Her husband, I think, was a tailor. She passed away so long ago. You know, this really is very interesting. It's like opening a book and seeing these photographs of people. Fortunately I do remember what they look like. She was a lovely woman and I think she was very civic minded. Of course, belonging to the civic club one would imagine that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Charles Simmons.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I cannot picture her.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Marie Baker.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, very well. She was music teacher at Ashley Hall. In the very early days.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
A Charlestonian?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know. But her mother lived in Charleston. Whether she came here before [unknown] of her daughter, I don't know. But Marie was just a born violinist. She just looked every minute, you know, as if her love was in music. I do not know one thing about her interest in suffrage. But I do know about her interest in music. And

Page 29
she played with the symphony. The symphony orchestra was started by Maud Gibbon, who was a devoted friend of Miss Marie Baker. I know Marie Baker had a very fine, distinguished looking mother.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. A. Johnston Buist.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I knew her very, very well. She was the second wife of the distinguished Dr. Buist. Dr. A. Johnston Buist. He was very civic minded. Very. For years he was president of our Charleston museum when I was secretary and trustee.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
His distinction was in civic affairs rather than prominence in medicine?
MABEL POLLITZER:
No. Very prominent. He was one of the outstanding surgeons. Very. And I remember during World War One, he was chosen among leading men of Charleston to give talks on, I think, why people should subscribe to what I think was then called Liberty Bonds. There were something like four minute speakers, or two minute speakers. I saw a good deal of Dr. Johnston Buist because he always used to bring me home, from the evening museum meetings.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about her activities, besides the suffrage group?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know to what extent she was interested in suffrage. She adored Anita. And Anita, so much, much younger, was around her house very, very often. Mrs. Buist felt her position very, very much. Homekeeper and wife. I cannot think of anything else particularly in the line of social work.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Lockwood. No first name. It simply said Miss Lockwood.
MABEL POLLITZER:
That's Eliza [unknown] Barnwell Lockwood, known to

Page 30
us as Lila She was one, I think, of the fifth, sixth or seventh generation in Charleston. Her folks, the Joshua Lockwoods, came over in the very earliest days. Her father was a druggist. Her mother was a marvelous character. When I say character, she was such an independent person in thought & deed. If people were then wearing narrow skirts, she didn't mind if she wore a skirt gathered, ruffled or three yards around. I adored her and she adored me. She was intelligent and outspoken.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
MABEL POLLITZER:
—Mrs. Lockwood of whom I was speaking, this wonderful woman. She loved me. The last word she said to me at night when I visited her—it was after dusk—and she came to the steps, because they lived on the second floor of the drug store. And I'll never forget. She smiled and she said "Good-bye angel Mabel." The next morning Lila came over to say she had passed away during the night. But that has nothing to do with suffrage. Lila was a devoted friend of ours. Mrs. Lockwood had this one daughter and one son. Because Carrie was so interested in kindergarten, and Lila loved children, Lila studied kindergarten. She was almost Carrie's age, a little younger.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Where would she study kindergarten.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, there was a kindergarten training school in Charleston of which my sister Carrie was Vice principal and teacher. So Carrie and Lila had a kindergarten together for many, many years. They were years of joy. They loved each other. Each of them was offered a position in the public schools where the salary might have been triple or quadrupled or much more. But they loved the work. They weren't working for money.10 They worked for the love of the children and they did a

Page 31
great deal of good. Each of them would visit in the home. Long before there was any social welfare or medical inspection or lunches. They provided lunches, and had medical inspection.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
And Miss Lila Lockwood did this along side your sister.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Lila with Carrie Then Lila also taught at another kindergarten on St. Phillip Street. I think those were the years when Carrie was in New York.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Marianne Paul.
MABEL POLLITZER:
A lovely woman. She probably was an officer and maybe president for a while of the Business and Professional Women's Club. Lovely, lovely woman, and intelligent.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Her occupation?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Business. I don't know in what particular field. Secretary or filing clerk. I don't know what field. In those days you were always called secretary and did all else. Marianne Paul was phoned to by me on every occasion I wanted a telegram or a letter sent. I could depend upon her to reach others, in the Business & Professional group.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Was there a Paul family then in Charleston?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes. Her brother did extremely well and was chosen to go to Oxford and study abroad. His folks, this generation today, I know one is a doctor and another had the Paul Motor Company. They have been very prominent people. But Marianne Paul was so lovely. She died years ago; oh, my guess may be bad, it may have been ten or fifteen years ago. Ruth McInnis was a devoted friend of Marianne And there was another one. Ann Mott. Are you going to ask me about Ann Mott?

Page 32
CONSTANCE MYERS:
No. Her name isn't on the list.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Ann Mott, also a business woman. I could always depend on her. When I took over from Miss Frost, I had those names listed. I would phone to each and all, no matter how many names, asking them to phone to others and get new names, so that we would be represented as urging equal rights. Now this may be equal rights that I'm talking about instead of suffrage.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
That's all right. I just want a characterization of these women.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Ann Mott was not married. Marianne Paul was not married.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about Wilhelmina Behlmer?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Wilhelmina Behlmer, once a pupil of mine. I remember her very well. She is living. I never knew of her interest in suffrage until I saw her name on a telegram. So she must have been there at the meeting. Her name is on the telegram. I think you looked at it. She is one of four sisters, one deceased. I taught all of them. They were all very serious girls in school. I believe none was ever married. Whatever they set out to do, they did.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What did Wilhelmina decide to do?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Teacher. All of them. All of them joined the teaching profession.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about Mrs. Meyer Frank?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Mrs. Meyer Frank was the mother of May Frank and another daughter. I remember her. She was quite outspoken. Very nice lady. But I knew the daughters ever so much better. I do not know if they

Page 33
were interested. They were born long after the suffrage amendment was passed.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But you see Mrs. Meyer Frank's name is here, enrolled in the Women's Party after the split.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I do not know what she did. You see, a lot of those people at the meeting were willing to lend their names and help the cause but a lot of them didn't do anything . . . She was a wife of a printer. I remember that.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Ansley D. Cohen.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Mrs. Ansley D. Cohen at that time was elderly. What I then called elderly. She might have been in her sixties. She came from a very famous, distinguished family of Moise of Sumter. Her eldest daughter would now be about 92 or 93. Mrs. Ansley Cohen was deliciously or delightfully vivacious. She just spilled over everything. I knew her very well. She was devoted to mother and she would come to this house. I think it was she who asked me, when I was a little girl of three years old, what I now regard as a very foolish question. "What do I want to do when I grow up." Or "What would I want to do." I said "Why of course I want to be a teacher." She laughed. And after she left I said "Mother, why did she laugh when I said that?" Now I realize I'd never been to school. The only teacher I'd had was mother. And so probably worshiping mother naturally I wanted to teach others. But I remember at that time it was customary for elderly people to say "What do you want to do, little girl, when you grow up?" And I'd always give the same response.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I still don't see why she laughed.

Page 34
MABEL POLLITZER:
Because for a little three year old who has never been to school to already know the profession she preferred was a little bit unusual. But mother had played school with us.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. W. H. Hanckel. There seem to be two Hanckels. One name follows the other. Rachel Whaley Hanckel's name comes after this one. You don't remember her?
MABEL POLLITZER:
It may have been Marion S. Hanckel - Educator - Head of Kindergarten Training School.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Sadie Workman.
MABEL POLLITZER:
One of my pupils. Brilliant. She died at an early age. I can not remember her taking part in any activity. I think she taught in the Elementary grade.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
She must have been very young, but here's her name as a member of the Woman's Party after the split.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I can't remember. She joined the Women's Party. Workman. She, I think, was a close relative of Workman of "The State" Columbia. William D. Workman. They were all brilliant. Had a younger sister, whom I also taught. Very brilliant.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Nina Ottolengui.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes. She was one I was speaking of the other day. Was very independent and to help support herself and her family she joined the stage and became an actress. And it was she whom I told you was a devoted friend of Sadie Cunningham. Nina Ottolengui remained an actress throughout her active life.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But she was here in Chaleston for a few years. What could she ahve done Charleston?
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know. I think she visited her family. It was her sister, Ella, who taught eloqution as they called it in those days. But Nina may also have been with her sister. But I don't know for sure. She

Page 35
may have helped her older sister, Florrie as they caller —Florence—who established the Lady Baltimore Tea Room.11 Because Nina was the youngest of these sisters who had lost everything in the way of money during or after the war. They all went to work. When I said the war, I mean the War Between the States. Our house at 5 Pett St. is the house in which those choldren, when they were young Ottolengui children, lived. I visited their parents when I was a little girl and I remember how the father took something that he wanted to show me from that closet right in that room. So I have always known the family.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Harry Boggs.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Don't know a thing about her, except I heard Lila Lockwood speak kindly of her.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. C. C. Grimké.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes, Mrs. Grimké
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Her husband must have been a descendent of the well known Grimké sisters.
MABEL POLLITZER:
How could she be a descendent? They were never married.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Angelina was married. Of course her name became Weld. But the Grimké sisters had brothers.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh. Of that family. As I remember Mrs. Grimké, she was tall and rather slender. But I cannot see her visually. I don't remember her maiden name.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Here's another Simons. Mrs. Bentham Simons. Marie Small Simons.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, lovely. Marie is a sister of Rachel Small, Captain Logan's wife. Marie was a younger sister. So now I see probably

Page 36
why Rachel said she too was interested. Because her sister, evidently, was at the meeting. And Marie is a younger sister. I loved Marie. Marie's personality was very lovely, and outgoing. I taught Marie. Rachel was just about a year or two younger than I. All of the girls married, very well. One with a Naval Officer. And the other, he may have been Admiral Bentham Simons, of the distinguished—I would say distinguished—Dr. Grange Simons family. They lived right up our street. When I was a founder of Plant Exchange Day, knowing that Dr. Grange Simons was botanist as well as physician, I went to him and unfolded my thoughts and plans. How to make it a great success. In March 1915. He contributed a great many plants. And we have some plants in our garden now given by the father of Admiral Bentham Simons, I say the great doctor Grange Simons, who worshipped my father. They were on the committee then to improve Charleston health and sewerage. It was very inadequate. And together they would spend nights and nights to make Charleston better in that direction. As far as Marie Small, or Mrs. Bentham Simons' interest in suffrage, I know nothing. Miss Frost and I were the leaders in Charleston.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Now of course your name is on the list and of course Carrie's name is on the list. And here's Anita's name. and that ends the list.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Is Anita's name on the list? Then she was there. She probably worded that telegram if her name was on the list.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Her name is last. I think that suggests that she did.
MABEL POLLITZER:
She was chairman of writing that telegram. That was

Page 37
in 1917. I'm just trying to think how she happened to be home. She graduated from Columbia, University in 1916. She was home, that covers it.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
This is from the Charleston Post, December 5, 1917.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, definitely. She had already met Alice Paul and her great workers. That was it. So she came probably to help Sue Frost. Most likely.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
My second list here includes the women who took the other position. These are the NAWSA women at the Charleston split. The National American Women's Suffrage Association. Miss Pollitzer, do you remember Maria Gibbes.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh, Maria [pronounced m-o-r-i-a] Gibbes, the daughter of the great, outstanding professor Louis R. Gibbes of the College of Charleston. Now, Miss Maria Gibbes in her own right was a great woman. Extremely conservative. She taught me when I was a pupil at Memminger School. She taught physics for a while [unknown] But that physics was only for a while. Her big subject was mathematics. Her father was one of the most distinguished gentlemen, scientist, Professor of astronomy, botany, chemistry. Just everything. And she had inherited his brains. Now Miss Maria Gibbes in her own name, was great. You say she did not follow Miss Frost. I didn't remember her being at the meeting. She must have been very elderly at that time. She always seemed elderly to me, a school girl. I was devoted to her and she was devoted to me, I know. Many of the girls in school were afraid to death of her. Just scared to death. [unknown] It was that type of thing. Very domineering. But I loved her. I felt she had a right

Page 38
to respect her own integrity and self . . . THIS PORTION OF THE TRANSCRIPT HAS BEEN DELETED BY MS. POLLITZER. . . . Regarding her relation to suffrage, I have no idea. I didn't even know that she was at that meeting. But as I say, she was a great force and a wonderful mathematics teacher. Nearly all of the teachers in those days dressed in black, with little tiny white bands or collars around their neck. I really loved my teachers. So many girls, as I say, were really fearful of them. They were scared to death. I wasn't.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
What about Miss Carrie Jackson?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Carrie Jackson. I haven't thought of that name . . . She was a dignified lady. Isn't it interesting how these things come back? I can't tell you a thing about her forebearers, about her life.

Page 39
I don't know. But the name registers.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mary Miles.
MABEL POLLITZER:
The Miles that I knew would not sign her name Mary. There was an Elizabeth May Miles. I don't know a Mary Miles.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Jean Robinson.
MABEL POLLITZER:
A wonderful artist. Wonderful, wonderful artist. And a lovable person. I never knew anything about her with respect to suffrage. So many of those people gave their names, you know . . . There weren't many who ever worked for Suffrage and ERA as did Anita, for a full lifetime.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Oh, I understand that. But these were those, I understand, from the newspaper accounts, who were present at the meeting.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Some of them might have gone there to see what it was all about, out of curiosity. But anyway, Jean Robinson was a very wonderful woman. A painter. She came from a very lovely family. Her sister, Robinson—I don't know her first name—married one of the James Allen family of the Allen jewelry store. And she had very lovely children. One of them was one of Anita's best friends.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Anna Gibbes.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I think that was a sister of Maria. Miss Maria taught in public schools. She had two sisters, Anna and somebody else. They had a private school. They might have gone because sister Maria said "Come on, let's see what it's about."
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. W. S. Allen.
MABEL POLLITZER:
That's the sister of Jean Robinson. Lovely woman.

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CONSTANCE MYERS:
What were her accomplishments?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Her accomplishments? Being a lovely mother. Lovely wife. She was a member for many years of the Civic Club and helped me when I founded Plant Exchange Day on that memorable March 7, 1915. She was on my committee for years. I cannot remember whether she was on the collection committee or the distribution committee. I had about a hundred on my committee in the first year. It was then held at the public schools. It was first Memminger, where I was, naturally, teaching. We had cordons and everything around so nobody would come rush and help themselves to plants. Policemen were there.
It was then that Robert N. S. Whitelaw who later became director of the Gibbes Art Gallery, he, as a little boy, was told either through the media or maybe I telephoned the schools, that he should bring a kodak And the one that could take the best picture, for the loading and the unloading of plants in the Plant Exchange, should receive a prize. And it was Robert Whitelaw who got a prize. A Kodak. For having taken the best picture. And I often think of that in connection with his art work. He died very recently. Maybe a month ago. I met him on the Battery not long ago. Anyway, to go back with your names, Mrs. Willie Allen was a loyal member of the Civic Club. What else she did I don't know.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Belle Heyward.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Belle Heyward as I think of her, very nice lady. It seems to me in some way she was connected with the Library Society. I cannot be sure about that, or in what position. But this comes to my mind. She was a devoted friend of Miss Bragg.12 She was very conservative, I'm sure. I have no idea her attitude toward suffrage. I don't

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remember that any of this departing group . . . carried on . . . I think they just departed. I just don't think anything happened.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Faber Porcher
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes, I know the name. I did not know Faber Porcher except by name.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Addie Howell.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes. Lovely. A picture comes definitely to mind. [unknown] When I think of her I just think of grace and daintiness and charming attire. Just as if she were on a stage to show off some pretty dress [unknown] and probably a lovely spring hat. She was a very lovely woman with a beautiful voice I cannot tell you her activities; Probably a voice teacher. I know she was with the Civic Club, but I don't know anything more. As to suffrage, I don't know. She departed, too. If she's the one I'm thinking of, she was related . . . well, that's not here nor there . . . but her father, I think, held a prominent position.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Emma Drayton.
MABEL POLLITZER:
The Drayton's of course are what you would call the FFVs of Charleston.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Excuse me. Emma Drayton Grimké.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Well, as I say, I knew some of the Grimkés but I cannot tell you if it was this particular Grimké that I knew. I can't visualize her. Unless I can picture a person I don't feel I know them well. All of this was decades ago.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. John E. Gibbs.
MABEL POLLITZER:
She was original, frank, intelligent. She was a Ball [unknown] I knew her

Page 42
grandfather. Wonderful gentleman. Her grandfather, at the age of 95. I went to see her and he came to the door and said "Granddaughter is not at home. But come in." I said "I'm going to interrupt you. I'd love to visit you, but what are you engaged in doing right now?" He said "I'm reading the latest encyclopedia [unknown] on an article about radio. I want to know the workings of it and how it works." He was what you call a gentleman of the old school. His name was Mr. Ben Simons.
This is Mrs. John E. Gibbs. This dear old gentleman, being the gentleman that he still was, wanted to walk home with me after dusk. And I said "Oh, but you must not do that." I didn't want to offend him and didn't know what to do. I said "You'd be very sorry if your granddaughter worries about you if she comes home and can't find you. You stay here and open the door for her." He had a wonderful mind. Mother and I were devoted to him. That is the grandfather of Mrs. John E. Gibbs, whom I told you was so wonderful and called mama, cousin Clara and brought the portable kerosene stove to us when we were sick. Oh, so kind. Brought us the oyster stew. She was then about to make her home at 4 Logan Street, which formerly had been occupied by Susan Frost. When Miss Frost moved to the Pringle house, the John E. Gibbs moved in there. Her husband was in the fertilizer business.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. J. J. Edwards.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Oh yes. I think all I can tell you about her is that she had a very beautiful home which has since been torn down. It was on Meeting Street near what they called Ashmead Place. And that's really all I can tell you. Quite a portly, lovely lady. She withdrew, too?
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Mazyck. No first name given.

Page 43
MABEL POLLITZER:
There were so many Mazycks. I don't know that I could guess at which one. It may have been a Miss Belle Mazyck, probably. Miss Belle Mazyck was connected with the Charleston library society. Very conservative. When people went to the library who did not belong to the library society, she would very kindly tell them until they became a member they could not get books or use the library. But it was all right. Those were library rules. It was a society. I remember the dues in our day . . . Father took a membership so all of us could have the advantages of good books. Then the dues were $4. They gradually went up. I think now they are $8 unless they've advanced and I haven't heard of it. It's a wonderful library, established about 1770.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Natalie Dotterer
MABEL POLLITZER:
The only daughter of a very excellent dentist. Dr. Lewis P. Dottera. They brought her up like a little queen. Mama said she was one of the most beautiful babies ever, except for our Anita. I don't know that she was ever married. I lost track of her. I suppose she passed away many years ago. But you say these are the people who dropped out. And just dropped out in all activity for Suffrage After all, so many of the others were at least telephoned to.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Julia Conner.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Yes, a very distinguished, aristocratic family, the Conners. There are some Connor and some Conner.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
CONSTANCE MYERS:
— the geography of Charleston again.
MABEL POLLITZER:
So many of the aristocrats always remained south of Broad Street. Well, father was living in a house south of Broad Street

Page 44
when my brother Richard and I were born. So often when people say "Well are you a true Charlestonian or a native?" I say "Oh, I was born south of Broad Street on Legare St. To be born north of Broad street didn't have the same connotation and effect as the other. Of course it's all nonsense.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Robert E. Tucker.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I've known the Tuckers by name. I'm not sure whether the one I knew was a Tupper or Tucker. I can't be sure. But I never really knew them very well. I know the name.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Miss Minnahan.
MABEL POLLITZER:
That's interesting. Adele was her first name. I guess she brought herself up by her own bootstraps [unknown] She was a kindergartener and playground director, which was a great thing for a woman to be in those days. Later she moved to Columbia and had a very prominent position there. Regarding Her part in suffrage, I have no idea. She was what you want to call just really the raw, crude type. But very interesting and very nice. If you want to know more about her, you could ask that question of Carrie because Carrie as a kindergartener, knew her much better than I.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Mrs. Russell M. Means.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I don't know the Russell part of it, but all the Means were very fine people. I have a feeling she was closely related, perhaps a sister in law, of Coatsworth Means who was the senator for many years. But I really didn't know her. When you said Miss Tucker or Miss Tupper, which I'm not sure of, I think Mrs. Means was a sister of Miss Tucker, Carrie would Know that I think.

Page 45
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Ellen Hayne.
MABEL POLLITZER:
The aristocrat of the aristocrats and lovely, lovely ladies. There was Ellen and another sister and a younger sister. And they lived opposite to us when we lived either on New St. or Savage St. I was about 5 or 6 years old. And they, just like Dubosa Heyward's mother, and others, needed to supplement their income. Ellen taught for some years. She taught at Ashley Hall in the lower grades, in her later Elise Hayne studied music and played very well. And the little one they called "Cutoy" Hayne. Her name was Henrietta. Henrietta was the youngest of the three daughters. I saw Henrietta not so very, very long ago. I better not say whom I think she married because I'm not sure. I know she married. Mrs. Hayne, to support herself, made rolls and sold the most delicious rolls to those in the neighborhood. I was always so glad when my mother bought her rolls. You see, our family were not here during the Reconstruction days. I think father came here just towards the end from Beaufort. Papa came to Charleston about 1870 but of course the war had already been over for some time. The Haynes are closely related, you know, to the great Colonel Isaac Haynes. Distinguished people in the very earliest days of our country. You'd have to get that history straight. I would not pretend to remember all of it. But in the old Exchange Building it was, Isaac Hayne who was captured and put down there in what they called the dungeon, and hanged, I think.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Now this is Hayne. It doesn't have an "s" on it.
MABEL POLLITZER:
You are correct.

Page 46
THIS PORTION OF THE TRANSCRIPT HAS BEEN DELETED BY MS. POLLITZER.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
Dora Rubin.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Dora Rubin is one of three sisters, all intellectuals. Very ambitious. Dora is the aunt of Louis Rubin Jr. of Chapel Hill, who has written many books. And the son of Louis Rubin, an electrician who received every National prize any electrician could ever get. I don't know her relation to suffrage. One of Dora's brothers was a great play-wright and another one was editor of "The Evening Post" of Charleston, S.C.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You say these women, these three sisters, were intellectual and ambitious. In what way did they display their intellectuality and their ambition?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Climbing the ladder and getting to the tops of whatever

Page 47
they wanted to do. One of the sisters now is with Mary Elizabeth Barbot, Mrs. Pryor, of the South Carolina Historical Association. And for years she was just everything almost to the men of the Chamber of Commerce. A great asset there. And the younger one went to Columbia and I really don't know what the younger one did. But now she is giving of her time to some organization to help others. I cannot tell you just which organization. It may be the retarded or it may be the crippled or it may be something else. But she is giving her time. None of them are young any more, of course. And all brothers . . . let's see, Louis and Manning and Dan—there are just the three—have passed away.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
The last name on this list is Sadie Hanckel.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I'm going to guess that it's Sadie Jervey, who married a Hanckel. The Jerveys were also a very fine family. This is what I mean by very fine. I mean rated by Charlestonians as the old Charlestonians. You see, Charleston has been a very aristocratic cultured city. The new comers are sort of new comers. The ones who were born here and their grandparents have lived here and they, among the fifth and sixth generation are sort of the old Charlestonians. And their family I think are the Postell Jerveys. Well, Sadie Hanckel, or Sadie Jervey as I knew her, was one of three sisters. Sadie and Katie and Ellie and their mother lived right across the street from us, and we used to play together. I think Ellie was the eldest, who married a Hanckel. And their son is Dr. Hanckel, ear, eyes, nose and throat. Because when I went to him I said I knew his mother long before he did.

Page 48
CONSTANCE MYERS:
You might be interested to know that these women who elected to stay with the Equal Suffrage League had the best of intentions. They stated to the newspaper reporter—this was all in the Charleston Evening Post on December 5, 1917—that they intended to have regular monthly meetings of the league. The first would take place in January. And they intended to publish a declaration of principles and policies.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Maybe they did have their meeting. But I was not with them. I was with Sue Frost.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I know, but let me say what else they declared here before their official declaration of principles. I think it's interesting. They will affirm adherence to women's suffrage through the federal amendment. They will also do war work. First, last and always, making the cause of suffrage subordinant to these primary purposes. And they announced their disapproval of picketing.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I'll tell you a great many absolutely opposed picketing. That's the way it was. You know, I wonder if Miss Frost had that list in her possession. If ever she worked with them to get more members for the national women's caucus.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
It was in the newspaper.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I never heard any of that. She could have had it.
CONSTANCE MYERS:
I thank you very much. You've been a great help today.
MABEL POLLITZER:
I'm glad my brain worked. You know, there are times when things just disappear and you can't get it. But today I feel I could recall a great deal of the 1917 Suffrage meeting.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. Miss Sue did so much for the Colored (Negro) folks; they loved her.
2. Known today as the Miles-Brewton House, a Charleston showplace.
3. Anita L. Pollitzer, later National Chairman of the National Woman's Party 1945-49, and Carrie Teller Pollitzer.
4. U.S. Senator William Pollock from Cheraw, South Carolina, chosen to serve out Senator Benjamin R. Tillman's unexpired term after Tillman's death in 1918.
5. An across-the-nation train trip to publicize woman suffrage and the imprisonment of suffragists who had picketed the White House.
6. "The War Between The States" had reduced all incomes—many were left in poverty.
only
8. Member of the NWP in Charleston. She frequently wrote letters to the editor in behalf of women's suffrage, letters characterized by considerable precision, logic, and persuasiveness.
9. There were those who thought that a decision to split would be the best course of action. I think only Miss Frost's group (NWP) survived.
10. At that time there were no kindergarten classes in the public schools.
11. And developed the recipe for the Lady Baltimore cake.
12. Laura Bragg, Director of the Chaleston Museum.