Jessie Stephenson’s Manchester and Hannah Mitchell’s Oldham Road
in Vanishing for the vote
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Manchester remained the suffrage city. All the main suffrage organizations ~ NUWSS, WSPU, WFL and Men's League ~ were well represented. Luckily Jessie Stephenson's typescript autobiography offers a vivid portrait of the local WSPU census weekend. And her south Manchester ‘Census Lodge’ was also captured on camera by a professional photographer. Altogether, there were 208 evaders clustered together overnight, with an additional 88 people accommodated round the corner. This made central Manchester undoubtedly the largest mass evasion outside London. Meanwhile, the WFL organized smaller imaginative evasions out in their suburban strongholds - like Sale in north Cheshire. But, as Hannah Mitchell's autobiography The Hard Way Up testifies, some WFL members decided to comply. Hannah's own schedule, seemingly a mix of handwriting, is scarcely straightforward. Why exactly did Hannah, a working-class suffragette, decide not to boycott?

Vanishing for the vote

Suffrage, citizenship and the battle for the census

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