Tax Resistance in Women’s Freedom League Newspaper

The Vote

I recently discovered on Google News Archives a treasure trove of information about tax resistance in the British women’s suffrage movement, in the form of what looks like the complete run of The Vote, the newspaper of the Women’s Freedom League.

I’ve found upwards of 175 different mentions of tax resistance in this archive, and I hope to share them here over the next year, assuming I can keep up the pace. They tell the story of a tax resistance campaign that had many facets, met multiple challenges, used a variety of techniques, and can take at least some of the credit for a successful campaign for women’s suffrage.

Today, a short piece from the edition, marking the death of Florence Gardiner Hamilton that contains this note:

I was not present when she took her stand as a Tax Resister from Chestnut Cottage, Wendover, but was told by a countryman that “if ever there was a rebellion in the quiet village of Bucks it was that day”! How reminiscent of those four women who backed John Hampden and resisted the ship money! Their names were writ in letters of ribboned gold tied upon a wreath and placed by their spiritual descendants (Mrs. Hamilton and others) on the great Hampden’s statue in Aylesbury market-place in our day and generation.

For some reason, Google News Archives lists The Vote mistakenly as “The Globe,” so it can be more difficult to find than it should be.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s time for a new Boston Tea Party, said Huey Long, :

Will Not Pay Federal Tax, Huey Threat

Senator Huey Long, Democrat, Louisiana, in a scorching blast at the New Deal warned today that states would refuse to pay Federal taxes if they are “stripped of their sovereinity [sic]” by stern administration measures of distributing relief and public work funds.

Before galleries, packed with eastern visitors in gay holiday attire, the Louisiana Democrat charged President Roosevelt had set up a “new Boston Tea Party.”

Referring to the recent action of Federal Relief Administrator H.L. Hopkins and Public Works Administrator Harold L. Ickes in refusing to permit Long’s men in Louisiana to handle relief and public work funds the Kingfish said:

“The states must not only be taxed without their consent but the states must allow the money to be spent only by surrendering their sovereign rights.”