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Margaret Sanger, "Cantankerous Katherine," Jul 1914.

Source: " The Woman Rebel, July 1914, p. 35 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C16:0549."


The recent revolt of the prisoners in Blackwell's Island against the unbearable tyranny of Warden Hayes should prove to Katharine B. Davis, the 'commissioner of correction,' that cruelty, when exercised on men, only breeds rebellion. It is to be feared, however, that the lesson is altogether lost on the fossilized reactionary female, who is at present responsible for the prison administration.

Commenting on the situation in Blackwell's Island, one of the morning newspapers, whose name is not fit to print, says: "The population of the 'coolers,' strange to say, is increasing. On Sunday, July 13th, 16 were confined there, but now there are 24. It is understood that informers in the prison have picked out a number of disturbers." Frank Tannenbaum, the courageous I. W. W. boy, has been in one of these coolers for 130 hours. He has been forced to sleep on a damp cement floor and in the whole of the time he has been incarcerated in solitary confinement, has been allowed only two pounds of bread!! Other prisoners fared as badly.

The women of the State of New York should truly be proud of the first Woman Police Commissioner who tried in vain to make sneaks and tattlers of men by coercing them into "snitching" on their comrades. How womanly of her to shake hands with the bath attendant who licked her boots in his endeavor to curry favor, and told her what he had overheard the prisoners say.

Women who hope for recognition of their rights and look for that time when they shall hold office equal with men, have a striking proof of it here. The Club of Capitalism will descend upon their heads with the same brutality in the hands of women as in the hands of their lords and masters.

Vote on, sweated toilers, and hats off to the first Woman Police Commissioner and Strike Breaker.

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