Alice Paul Insitute
(for more information about the Alice Paul Institute click on logo above)
Honoring her legacy, Preserving her home
Developing future leaders
The Alice Paul Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. It was founded in 1984 by a group of dedicated volunteers to commemorate the centennial of Alice Paul’s 1885 birth and to further her legacy. The organization was operated by volunteers for more than a decade. Today, four staff members, as well as volunteers, oversee the daily business and special events at Paulsdale.
Since its inception, API not only has preserved the legacy of Alice Paul and her fellow suffragists, but also has taken a leadership role in bringing recognition to other organizations and historic sites that honor women.
The mission of the Alice Paul Institute is to promote full gender equality through education, development and empowerment of leaders. The legacy of Alice Paul provides the foundation and the beacon to develop critical leadership skills and inspire others to become agents of positive change.
Gender equality is a basic human right. The Alice Paul Institute seeks to fulfill the life-long mission of suffragist and equal rights activist Alice Paul to achieve full gender equality worldwide. The Alice Paul Institute is in a unique position to develop future generations of leaders and human rights activists, demonstrating the extraordinary difference one person can make.
API’s accomplishments include:
- Receiving a $20,000 Historic Sites Management grant from the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, administered by the New Jersey Historic Trust, for Destination Paulsdale: Revealing the Hidden Gem, a wayfinding planning project. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie held a press conference at Paulsdale in August 2011 to sign the historic preservation appropriations bill.
- Recipient of the BPW/NJ Women of Achievement award in May 2011
- Receiving 1st place- History Education category for the Meeting Alice program by the Burlington County Freeholders in honor of National Historic Preservation Month in May 2011.
- Recipient of the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer award in March 2011.
- Receiving the Women in Municipal Government Day award in March 2011.
- Honoring individuals who demonstrate a long-standing commitment to advancing women’s equality in New Jersey at the third Alice Paul Equality Awards in April 2011. Recipients of the awards included Senator Diane Allen, Lynn Elsenhans, Mindy Holman, Lisa Kaado, Barbara Lee, Esq., Angela Snyder and Myra Terry.
- Celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2010. Also in that year, Alice Paul was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and API held year-long celebration of the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.
- Receiving 1st place in the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey’s Kevin M. Hale Annual Publications Awards (Media) for the DVD, The Life of Alice Stokes Paul, 1885-1977 in 2010.
- Honoring individuals who demonstrate a long-standing commitment to advancing women’s equality in New Jersey at the second Alice Paul Equality Awards in April 2008. Recipients of the awards included Kirsten S. Branigan, Esq., Jeanne Fox, Esq., Roberta Francis, Lendel Jones and Ferris Olin, Ph.D.
- Researching and launching the report, Girls Share Their Voice, a comprehensive study that summarized the evaluations of past leadership programs, current research in the field, and recommendations for expanding and changing existing leadership programs.
- Retiring the mortgage for Paulsdale in 2007.
- Receiving recognition in the March 2006 issue of the New Jersey Monthly magazine as a “Best of Jersey” for Advocate. Our State boasts some impressive philanthropic endeavors, but one of our favorites is the relatively unsung Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel.
- Honoring individuals who demonstrate a long-standing commitment to advancing women’s equality in New Jersey at The Alice Paul Equality Awards Dinner in April 2005 (API’s 20th Anniversary). Recipients of the awards included Jennifer S. MacLeod, Ph.D., Vivian Sanks King, Esq., Ruth B. Mandel, Ph.D., and the Honorable Sylvia B. Pressler.
- Launching the physical restoration and rehabilitation of Paulsdale, Alice Paul’s birthplace and family home, which API purchased in 1990. The restoration of the house began in spring 2001 and the majority of the project was completed during summer 2002.
- Serving as Project Director for the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail: The New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail Bill, sponsored by Senator Diane Allen and Assemblywoman Rose Heck, provided funding for a comprehensive survey of women’s historic sites statewide. New Jersey is the first state to conduct this type of survey.
- Initiated Reclaiming Women’s History Through Historic Preservation, the first national conference on the preservation of women’s sites. API later became a founding member of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS), a consortium of historic sites dedicated and/or incorporating women’s history in their interpretation.
- Receiving recognition from The President’s Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History: In 1999, API was one of six sites nationwide to receive special recognition for visionary leadership in bringing women into the mainstream of American history.
- Coordinating “Passing the Torch”: In 1995, API organized New Jersey’s statewide event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
- Initiating the Alice Paul Leadership Program: In 1995, API offered its workshops that focus on leadership and women’s history for eighth-grade girls using original curriculum, which is presented in single- and multi-session programs. This was the first (and remains the only) program of its kind in southern New Jersey.
- Obtaining National Historic Landmark status: In 1991, Paulsdalewas designated an NHL, one of the few dedicated to women in our nation. Paulsdale also is listed on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.
- Purchasing, in 1987, the only known books, papers, and personal memorabilia of Alice Paul: The collection was donated to The Arthur & Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. API and the Mount Laurel Library also hold a small collection of Alice Paul’s books and papers.
- Commemorating Alice Paul’s 100th birthday in 1985 with the presentation of Alice Paul Women of Courage Awards to astronaut Sally Ride, Sonia Johnson and Judge Lisa Richette.
Alice Paul was the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century. Born on January 11, 1885 to Quaker parents in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Alice Paul dedicated her life to the single cause of securing equal rights for all women.
Few individuals have had as much impact on American history as has Alice Paul. Her life symbolizes the long struggle for justice in the United States and around the world. Her vision was the ordinary notion that women and men should be equal partners in society.
Growing up at Paulsdale
|William and Tacie Paul married in 1881 and moved into Paulsdale in 1883. Two years later, their first child, Alice, was born, followed by William in 1886, Helen in 1889 and Parry in 1895. Alice’s father was a successful businessman and, as the president of the Burlington County Trust Company in Moorestown, NJ, earned a comfortable living. His economic success allowed Paulsdale to become a gentleman’s farm; family members may have had some farm chores, but hired hands actually provided a majority of the farm labor. Alice’s life on the “home farm” (as she referred to her home) marked her early childhood and is reflected in her work as an adult. As Hicksite Quakers, Alice’s parents raised her with a belief in gender equality, and the need to work for the betterment of society. Hicksite Quakers stressed separation from the burgeoning materialistic society and advocated the benefits of staying close to nature. Paulsdale reflected this ideal; the 265-acre farm was situated away from the town, isolated but not closed to society.|
|Despite their relative wealth and in accordance with Quaker practice, the Pauls lived very simply. Alice and her siblings likely had many domestic and agricultural responsibilities instilling the values of industry and perseverance; two lessons critical for her later success. Though it followed Quaker designs for simplicity, Paulsdale boasted many comforts. The house was large and spacious, possessing indoor plumbing, electricity and a telephone by the early twentieth century. A wraparound porch overlooked the farmyard complete with a barn, hen house, icehouse, and several peach orchards. Irish maids and hired hands carried out the most arduous work, allowing Alice and her siblings to enjoy leisure activities, such as playing tennis at Paulsdale’s own court or sitting under the shade of the massive Copper Beech tree watching the goldfish in the pond. Alice was an excellent student, a voracious reader, and played several extracurricular sports in school including basketball, baseball and field hockey.|
“When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row. “
|The most enduring legacy of Paulsdale was its role in the suffrage movement and the resulting influence it had upon Alice. Alice’s suffrage ideas were planted early as Tacie, who as a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association attended women suffrage meetings– often with Alice in tow. Tacie may have also held meetings at Paulsdale or entertained members afterwards. It was at Paulsdale, Paul noted years later, that she was first introduced to the suffrage movement.|
When a Newsweekinterviewer asked Paul why she dedicated the whole of her life to women’s equality, she credited her farm upbringing by quoting an adage she learned from her mother, “When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.”