Tennessee governor listened to suffragist Edna Kearns’ speech in pouring rain 100 years ago!

Story of Tennessee governor listens to Edna Kearns in pouring rainby Marguerite Kearns

I heard the story about the Tennessee governor when I was young. Yes, in back in 1914 the governor of Tennessee listened to grandmother Edna Kearns’ suffrage speech in the rain. No one bothered to tell me where this happened. It could have been at Long Beach on Long Island for all I knew.

Even worse, I didn’t know enough to ask, but I got the message. The Tennessee governor was important. He listened to Edna speak. Therefore, my grandmother Edna must have been important. Not much to pass on in my storytelling, at least until 1oo years passed and the other day I delved into researching exactly what happened in November 1914.

I know nothing about what the delegates discussed at the National American Woman Suffrage Association annual conference in Tennessee where Edna served as a NYS delegate in the proceedings from November 2 to 17, 1914. But I know now that Long Island suffragist Rosalie Jones set up suffrage street speeches all over Nashville, the first time that street speaking for the suffrage cause had been tried in a Southern city. Edna Kearns put herself in the thick of the street corner action.

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite KearnsEdna Kearns, who’d made a reputation for herself back in New York as a popular suffrage speaker, captivated the attention of the Tennessee governor, Ben W. Hooper (1870-1957). He served the state from 1911 to 1915. His administration was so controversial, documents say, that armed guards were required in the state legislature. In 1920 the State of Tennessee legislature provided the final ratification vote to bring about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So all of this Big Picture explanation is now viewed by me in retrospect.

It was a novelty for women to speak in pubic on Nashville, TN street corners 100 years ago. So Governor Hooper must have been fascinated to listen in the rain to a determined activist like Edna Kearns who didn’t fold up shop when the rain pelted the sidewalks. It was a big deal, just as I’d heard about as an impressionable youngster –and even more so now that I’m aware of the details. Back in New York in November 1914, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle ran a long article about the contingent of Long Island women who took Nashville by storm in November 1914. And we’re enjoying hearing about the details 100 years later.

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Story Episode #1. A conference in Tennessee: 1914, 100 years ago

Edna Kearns 100 years ago on Suffrage Wagon News ChannelWhere was Edna Kearns 100 years ago? In Nashville, Tennessee attending a national convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This leads to a story I heard when growing up when hearing about my grandmother Edna Kearns. Featured here is the letter Edna received informing her that she had credentials to attend as as a delegate and the conference would be from November 12th to 17th in 1914. Follow the Suffrage Wagon for what happens next. Stories will be presented in episodes. Stay tuned!

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite KearnsYesterday was the last day of blogging about the suffrage activists behind bars at the Occoquan Workhouse outside of Washington, DC. That really took all my energy, but it was great fun working with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial whose work continues to raise money so the memorial can be open on or before the 2020 votes for women centennial celebration. And now I’m back to the usual schedule of twice a week for posting. And I’m adding the overview of the “Night of Terror” blog postings in the event you missed any.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13), Day #14 (Nov. 14), Day #15 (Nov. 15).

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Subscribe to email on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog to register your views and observations. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Day #15 of the “Night of Terror” observance: Support the proposed suffragist memorial!

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

The last day of the “Night of Terror” observance on Day #15 of the first annual event of raising awareness. It’s been a great experience getting to know about other visionaries who are imagining the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial being completed on or before the suffrage centennial in 2020. We’ve listened to podcasts about what happened in the Occoquan Workhouse, followed the timeline of events at the workhouse, viewed the proposed memorial from the perspective of suffrage centennials unfolding across the nation.WagonSupportsSlider Even 12-year-old Serena Kearns made a showing as the youngest Silent Sentinel on the picket line in front of the White House. Give Turning Point Suffragist Memorial the support it needs. Follow TPSM on Twitter, Facebook, and blog.

Enough information is available during this observance to keep your head spinning in terms of appreciating the many American women who came before us. A special thank you to Nancy Sargeant, Emily McCoy, and Whitney Stohr from Turning Point Suffragist Memorial for such a rich and productive working relationship during our partnership during this first annual “Night of Terror” observance. Spread the word. Follow the campaign to build a suffragist memorial. Imagine it. Work for it. Make it happen. Video about the Suffrage Wagon that continues its travels.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13), Day #14 (Nov. 14).

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Subscribe to email on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

“Why I support the suffragist memorial” on Day #14 of the first “Night of Terror” observance

Graphic for "Night of Terror"by Marguerite Kearns

One more day to go on the “Night of Terror” blogging. I wouldn’t have predicted I’d make it to the end of this two-week stretch of daily blogging. It’s all for a good reason. November 15, 1917 became a “turning point” in the 72 year struggle for American women to win the right to vote.

Some people claim other turning points, like the March 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC, and the death of Votes for Women martyr Inez Milholland in 2016. But all these dates are related. It could be said they’re companion turning points culminating in the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment. This is what the 2020 votes for women centennial will be all about…the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. And oh, won’t it be great if the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is completed on or before this suffrage centennial celebration. Follow news about suffrage centennials on email or Twitter.

This is why I urge you to join me in supporting the proposed suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia. The Washington, DC suffrage parade in 1913, followed by Inez Milholland’s death in 1916, directly led to the decision to picket the White House, and that became pivotal. Of course the unfinished American Revolution for women’s rights continues today. But that’s another story.

If there’s an enormous monument for Martin Luther King in the nation’s capitol, it makes sense for there to be a suffragist memorial not far away in Lorton, VA. Both monuments –the suffragist and civil rights monuments– acknowledge important parts of American history. If we believe in equality and justice for all, it’s important to affirm ALL manifestations of attempts to complete the American Revolution. We have a great deal to do: support our Mother Earth, achieve freedom and equality for everyone, plus much more. One piece of legislation –the 19th Amendment– expanded rights for more Americans than ever before and since. This at least deserves a memorial, don’t you think?

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13).

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Day #13, Last day of the “Night of Terror” audio podcast series!

by Marguerite Kearns

Day #13. Here is Podcast #8 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

The entire “Night of Terror” audio podcast series. I’ve been blogging continuously for a total of twelve days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. And now we’ve come to Podcast #8 of the “Night of Terror” audio series. It’s the last podcast in the series.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11), Day #12 (Nov. 12).

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Day #12: Video of youngest White House picket and Podcast #7 of “Night of Terror”

"Night of Terror" podcasts on Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

Day #12. We’re getting close to the end of the “Night of Terror” audio podcasts, but the observance continues until November 15th. Listen to Podcast #7.

By popular demand: A video about Serena Kearns, the youngest White House picket (see below). The video highlights a variety of Votes for Women activities and events where Serena took part, including the organizing journeys of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon in 1913.

Serena Kearns, youngest White House picket

Podcast #7 highlights the indignant words of the women who were held at the Occoquan Workhouse. The terror continues at the workhouse, as Doris Stevens continues in her description of how the administration of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to squash the rebellion of the prisoners. Pickets at the White House became increasingly more unacceptable to the federal government. Keep in mind that the picketing of the White House continued while those at the Occoquan Workhouse carried their protest forward.

I’ve been blogging  for a total of eleven days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Share Podcast #7 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

Get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Let’s make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11).

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Subscribe to email postings on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

“Night of Terror” Day #11 of blogging, plus video & Podcast #6!

"Marguerite's Musings" with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #11. Betty Graham of Portland told others about testimony from a government doctor that lifted the suffragists’ spirits in Podcast #6 of the “Night of Terror.” The health of the pickets incarcerated at Occoquan Workhouse concerned many family members and friends. The podcasts reveal the daily concerns of those concerned, like freezing in their cells.

First-person accounts, like those in the audio podcasts, bring us closer to understanding the “Night of Terror.” I’ve been blogging for a total of ten days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Check out Podcast #6 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

“The Song of the Women” video. This is a reminder of the participation of New York women who joined in support of the picketing. On the “Night of Terror’ at the Occoquan Workhouse, 14 of the larger number hailed from New York State,

Let’s get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” We want to make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 (Nov. 10)

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay current with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.