?–FEBRUARY 27, 1942
Elisabeth Freeman was born in Chesterfield, England, sometime around 1876. She was a suffragist and civil rights activist.
Raised primarily in America, she began her suffragist career during a trip to England, where she met radical activists, including Emmeline Pankhurst. Freeman was working to advance the women’s suffrage cause in Texas in May 1916 when she was contacted by the NAACP. A black teenager named Jesse Washington had been lynched in Waco, Texas, with a crowd of thousands of white people watching and participating. The NAACP asked Freeman to investigate, and she spent a week posing as a reporter and talking to residents of Waco. The report she put together on the terrible attack helped the NAACP and its anti-lynching work gain greater recognition in the United States.
Freeman became a peace activist during World War I. She fell out of the national spotlight after 1920, but later joined the National Woman’s Party in California and supported the Equal Rights Amendment. She died in 1942 around age 65.
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