Mabel Vernon

Lived:September 19, 1883—September 2, 1975 (aged 91)
Party:National Woman's Party
Education:B.A., Swarthmore College
M.A., Columbia University

Mabel Vernon was a national leader in the United States suffrage movement and a key organizer of the Silent Sentinels campaign that picketed the White House six days a week from January 10, 1917, to June 4, 1919.

Vernon was born on September 19, 1883, in Wilmington, Delaware, to a Quaker family. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1906, a year behind fellow suffragist Alice Paul. After graduating, she taught Latin and German at Radnor High School in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She later earned a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1924.

As part of NAWSA's Congressional Committee, Vernon helped to organize the Woman Suffrage Parade held on March 3, 1913, the day before President-elect Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. She was an early member of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, working as a fund-raiser, recruiter and organizer. When the National Woman's Party was formed in 1916, Vernon was named secretary. On July 4, 1916, Vernon interrupted President Woodrow Wilson's during a speech he was giving, asking, "Mr. President, if you sincerely desire to forward the interests of all the people, why do you oppose the national enfranchisement of women?" Vernon was a key organizer of the Silent Sentinels campaign, responsible for finding volunteers to picket each day. On June 25, 1917, Vernon was in a group of women arrested while picketing, and spent three days in jail rather than pay the fine.

After passage of the 19th Amendment, Vernon remained active in the NWP, serving as executive secretary. Beginning in 1930, she shifted her attention to peace issue, joining the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and representing the organization at international conferences. In the mid 1930s, she became particularly interested in Latin America. In the 1940s, she served as director of the Peoples Mandate Committee for Inter-American Peace and Cooperation, and was a member of an inter-American delegation at the founding of the United Nations.

Vernon died on September 2, 1975.