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Mrs Pankhurst arrested at Immigration, but then freed to enter the US
Emmeline Pankhurst addressing a crowd on Wall Street in New York city in 1911, on a previous trip to the United States. Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Mrs Pankhurst arrested at Immigration, but then freed to enter the US

New York, 21 October 1913 - The Suffragette leader, Mrs Pankhurst, was held by immigration officials when she landed at Ellis Island. She had travelled to the US to undertake a lecture tour, but officials were initially concerned that her presence in the country, and the things she might say, would prove inflammatory.

The original decision of the Immigration Commissioners to deny Mrs Pankhurst entry to the US was reversed after President Wilson consulted with Mr Wilson, the Secretary for Labour, and was based on a pledge made by Mrs Pankhursts's lawyer that she would not preach militance during her stay in the country.

On entering the US, and meeting with reporters, Mrs Pankhurst said that her admission was a serious blow to the Liberal Government who were fearful that she would tell all about the treatment of the Suffragettes in Britain.

'This is a great victory', she said, 'and good advertisment'.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.