What is your image of the suffragists?  Georgie Wentz may not fit the stereotypes.  Her campaign against immodesty in women’s evening dress got  coverage in the New York Times and other publications.  She opposed cocktails, cigarettes and the “drug habit.”  Apart from suffrage, her passion was electing Republicans.  Even before she was able to vote she worked on the campaigns of Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley.  She actually went door to door in the tenements of New York to campaign for her candidates.

When Maude Howe Elliott took over as President of the Newport County Woman Suffrage League the center of league activities moved to Newport. Georgie Nichols Wentz (Mrs. James Griswold) is a good example of the Newport summer colonists that joined the league and helped the effort. While in Newport, Georgie Wentz worked hard for her causes.  As early as 1914 Newport County Woman Suffrage League meetings were being held at the Wentz home – “Beaumaris.” Newspaper articles show her as a speaker at  suffrage meetings and demonstrations.   In 1915 she helped with Mrs. Belmont’s event at Marble House.  Mrs. Wentz (along with several other socialite suffragists) are listed as Vice-Presidents of the Newport County Woman Suffrage League in 1917.

Like many of the suffragists, Georgie Wentz helped in the war effort during World War I.  She opened her estate in Newport to entertain sailers from the Naval Training School.  She was an active member of the Red Cross.

Once women secured the vote, Mrs. Wentz focused on organizing the Newport County Woman’s Republican Club.  She established her headquarters on Thames Street and by the mid 1920’s she had 400 members.

Sources:  Biographical Cyclopaedia of American Women, Alvord Publishing, 1924.

Newspaper clippings from Newport Mercury and New York papers.