[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"]Alice Chapin
(1858-1924) born at Keene, New Hampshire, Chapin became an actress and spent her career partly in the USA, and partly in Britain. She married H.M. Ferris in 1885, by whom she had a daughter, Elsie, a suffrage activist and a son, actor/playwright Harold Chapin with whom she wrote A Knight Errant
(Grand, Falkirk, 1906). She also co-wrote plays with others including Shame
(1892) and the extravaganza Dresden China
(both with E.H.C. Oliphant, both Vaudeville, 1892), The Happy Medium
(with P. Gaye, Ladbroke Hall, 1909) and most interestingly Outlawed
(Court, 1911) a dramatisation with Mabel Collins of Collins’ and Charlotte Despard’s suffrage novel of the same name. Her other plays included The Wrong Legs
(Ilkeston, 1896); Sorrowful Satan or Lucifer’s Match
(Kentish Town, 1897); A Woman’s Sacrifice
(St George’s Hall, 1899) and A Modern Medea
(Rehearsal Theatre, 1910) directed by Edith Craig. Chapin was a suffrage activist and dedicated member of the WFL and an early and committed member of the AFL. Accounts in the suffrage press or AFL reports mention her chairing meetings such as that in Victoria Park, Manchester when the “platform was singled out by a band of rowdies, and the speakers not given a hearing”, addressing a meeting in Edinburgh and chairing three meetings for the AFL in Hyde Park during 1913. A one-page version of her play appears in The Vote
(16 Dec, 1909) before its pamphlet publication by the Woman Citizen Publishing Society.
In 1909, at the age of 51, she was arrested for pouring acid into ballot boxes, together with her fellow-protester, Alison Neilans
. Only Chapin was found guilty, as the acid slightly splashed and “injured” one of the tellers. Chapin was sentenced to imprisonment for four months. She later returned to the USA for some years and died in Keene.
See The Ballot Box Protest, and the trial of Mrs Chapin and Miss Neilans, at the Central Criminal Court (Miss Neilans’ Defence) London: Women’s Freedom League, 1911.[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]
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