This Cheeky 1913 Letter From A Suffragist Is Giving Us Life

Go off, Bertha!
A group of suffragists picket outside the House of Commons in the early 1900s/ 
A group of suffragists picket outside the House of Commons in the early 1900s/ 

Do not mess with Bertha Brewster. 

On Feb. 26, 1913, a letter written by Brewster, a British Suffragist, appeared in the U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph. The letter is a powerful representation of just how far these women were ready to go to obtain the right to vote. 

Brewster politely addressed the short letter to an unknown “Sir,” writing: “Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so.”

The suffragist continued that there are “two, and only two” ways to stop the violent protests of the movement: “1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom,” or “2. Give women the vote.”

Read the full note below that was posted to Twitter on Thursday morning by “Letters Of Note,” a book of historical letters. 

The British Suffragist Movement began in the late 1800s and fractured into two distinct sections by the early 1900s. One group lobbied and protested for the women’s vote peacefully, while the second group ― led by Emmeline Pankhurst ― became more militant. Brewster was a part of this second group, which used violent tactics such as throwing rocks through windows and blowing up buildings to push for the vote. 

Listen below to actress Carey Mulligan recite the note at an event for The Telegraph on March 9, 2017. Mulligan played British suffragette Maud Watts in the 2015 film “Suffragette.”

Head over to Letters Of Note’s Twitter feed to read more historical letters.