Monthly Archives: January 2013

Suffrage News Notes for January 2013

JanuaryNewsNotes

The 2013 winter issue of Suffrage Wagon’s quarterly newsletter is on the stands. LINK.

SuffrageWomen’s History Month in March 2013 is off to a great start with a suffrage centennial celebration in Washington, DC. For more information. Yeah!!! Sign up for email updates as the event approaches. LINK.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a YouTube channel. LINK.

New York needs to connect history with public policy. LINK. DAR suffrage exhibit in Washington, DC during March. LINK. Open letter to the women of Seneca Falls. LINK. PDF. A transgender woman visits the Susan B. Anthony House to learn more about what it means to be a woman. LINK.

Did Susan B. Anthony oppose abortion? Interview with Deborah Hughes, executive director of Susan B. Anthony House. LINK. More Votes for Women quilt design updates. LINK. PDF. The Catholic church and its suffrage history. LINK. PDF. The franchise in Egypt today. LINK. PDF. Young Canadian woman in politics. LINK. PDF.

In the event you missed some of January 2013’s special Suffrage Wagon features –here they are: The strange story of the Governor’s wife –video and story. LINK. Suffrage icon Joan of Arc. LINK. Special tribute to suffrage leader Alice Paul on her January 11th birthday. LINK. Author Ken Florey’s special features on suffrage tea memorabilia. LINK #1. LINK #2.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Suffrage activists loved their teas and parties: Part II

by Kenneth Florey

English suffrage activist Sylvia Pankhurst was responsible for the design of several tea sets.  One, commissioned by the WSPU from the Diamond China Company for their refreshment stall at the Scottish WSPU Exhibition in Glasgow in 1910, was also available for sale after the event. Here Pankhurst’s angel with clarion was now facing right.  A thistle, the national flower, was included in the image.  A third set, probably also attributable to her and certainly the rarest of all English suffrage tea china, pictured the image taken from the Holloway Prison Badge that was given to all WSPU martyrs for the cause.

The prison gate was drawn in green, and the prison arrow, which all suffrage prisoners were forced to wear on their dresses, was in dark purple.  The Women’s Freedom League, the militant but non-violent organization that broke away from the WSPU over policy differences, also produced china that probably consisted in part of teacups and saucers, but no independently produced full tea services are known.

One of the first suffrage “collectibles,” a piece that was made for display only and had no utilitarian value at all, was a silver commemorative spoon that was designed by Millie Burns Logan of Rochester, New York in 1891.  It featured a bust of Susan B. Anthony at the tip of the handle, her name, and the words “Political Equality.”  While there are about five different types of spoons known in this design, including a walnut spoon,” at least two are associated only with tea, including a small demitasse variety as well as a full teaspoon.  Logan’s mother was Anthony’s cousin, and the spoons were probably sold as a fundraiser and not for personal profit. Other commemorative silver teaspoons were later produced, including one ordered by NAWSA for their convention in 1912.

NAWSA, as well as other suffrage groups, also sold special “Votes for Women” paper napkins, which, although theoretically could be used with any type of meal or refreshment, probably were quite popular at suffrage tea parties.  Certainly, not all suffrage “tea events” necessarily involved special tea or “Votes for Women” cups, saucers, and napkins.  However, enough of them did, in part to encourage the sale of such suffrage artifacts, and in part to reinforce the message of the day.  If one were not encouraged sufficiently by a speaker to contribute to the cause, either through money or through work, perhaps the very tea cup that one was drinking from reinforced the compelling message of the movement.++

Link to Part I of the story about suffrage tea memorabilia. Did you like this article? Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel. LINK.

Ken’s new book on suffrage memorabilia will be published in the Spring/Summer of 2013. See article. The author’s web site. The video photos are from Florey’s suffrage memorabilia collection.

Reading tea leaves during National Hot Tea Month

tealeavesLet’s have some fun. Marie Knight is a guest blogger who’s sharing her reading of tea leaves for Suffrage Wagon during our celebration of National Hot Tea Month. Here’s what the tea leaves said:

“Before I even began your tea leaf reading, I kept getting a message that February will be a big month for you.  I have a very strong feeling One Billion Rising can be significant. Then I did your reading, and it confirmed this for me. I saw a flock of birds flying towards the handle. This is a sign that good fortune is coming your way, but in a manner that affects groups of people. Get involved with One Billion Rising or host your own local event which was also in the cup. (See the SWNC link.)

“A book is the second symbol that shows strongly in your reading. Have you been thinking about writing a book? Perhaps you should. As for the subject, I believe this has to do with the third symbol –a hand-held mirror. Your book should take a look into your own family for the subject, perhaps a view of the world today from Grandmother Edna’s perspective or a historical view of her own life.

“My sister Lynn is a better channeler than I am. Together we spoke to your grandmother. She said that young women are still under the same societal pressures to conform. Look at the role models they are given and these girls believe they are imperfect because of them. Unreasonable goals to be thin, to be ‘loose acting,’ and to be dim witted. Someone has to be there to show them the way. “Something else that came to my sister was an overwhelming sense of pride that Edna’s own family is continuing in her path.  The sensation was so strong that my sister Lynn was overwhelmed and brought to tears. Your grandmother is so proud of you for continuing the work.”

Thank you, Marie. She can be contacted directly for readings: LINK. January is National Hot Tea Month. Celebrate with special features on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

NEXT TIME: Part II of Ken Florey’s article on suffrage tea memorabilia.

A hot cup of tea with your suffrage history lesson: Part I

TeaMemorabilia

by Kenneth Florey

That there was more than a casual connection between tea and suffrage activism is undeniable.  Suffragists organized tea parties to promote their cause and to raise money, as evidenced by many of the state reports that appear in Volume VI of The History of Woman Suffrage, a work that was originally conceived by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

Further references to suffrage tea parties are scattered throughout the pages of the Woman’s Journal, where they are sometimes held up as models to advance “votes for women.” The Woman’s Journal, the most popular and longest lasting of all suffrage publications in America, was for a time the official organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the main periodic source for all things suffrage related.

SPECIAL BRAND OF TEA FOR SUFFRAGE EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING

But there was also a manufacturing component involved, and “suffrage tea,” along with its ancillary products, was sold to the general public and proved to be a successful fundraiser.  During the California campaign of 1911, for example, the Oakland Amendment League had a suffrage booth at the Cherry Festival at San Leandro where they dispensed, among other items, “Equality Tea.”  This tea was a special brand for the campaign manufactured for the Woman Suffrage Party that was also sold by other organizations to raise money at their events.

The Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association advertised their own “Suffrage Tea in a Special Box” for fifty cents. In England, the Women’s Social and Political Union began selling in 1910 “Votes for Women Tea” in half pound and one pound packets.  When WWI began, the English movement, which produced a greater variety of suffrage memorabilia than did its counterpart in America, placed a semi-halt on the sale of artifacts, perhaps considering novelty items to be inappropriate during darker times.

Suffrage tea was an exception and continued to be offered through suffrage periodicals.  It is unfortunate that given its ephemeral nature, no tea, or even its attendant packaging, appears to have survived from the period, although one hopes that some examples may as yet emerge.

SUFFRAGE TEA CUPS AND TEA SETS, MOSTLY ENGLISH

There are a number of suffrage tea cups and tea sets known, but most of them are English.  The National American Woman Suffrage Association did offer for sale in its 1915 catalog a demitasse cup and saucer for fifty cents each that were embellished with the words “Votes for Women” on a small, elegant gold rim.  The setting was made for them by Hutschenreuther Selb Bavaria and imported by the Art China New York Import Company. Alva Belmont, Newport socialite and founder of the Political Equality Association, sold a small creamer for twenty-five cents that was inscribed “Votes for Women” in cobalt blue at the suffrage shop that was connected to both her headquarters and the Association’s lunchroom in New York City.

The Women’s Political and Social Union sold the most famous of the English sets at their huge bazaar at the Prince’s Skating Rink in Knightsbridge, London, held from May 13 to 26, 1909.  Manufactured by the firm of Williamsons of Longton, Staffordshire, various distinct pieces included teacups and saucers, small cake plates, a teapot with lid, a small milk jug, and a sugar basin or bowl.

In 1911, the WSPU remade the set in a slightly larger size, expanded the number of items in it from 13 to 22, and sold it for ten shillings, six pence to the general public.  All pieces featured an imprint with a design by Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of WSPU founder Emmeline Pankhurst, of an angel facing left, blowing a curved horn.  In the background are prison bars and the initials of the WSPU.  Above the angel is a banner upon which the word “Freedom” is inscribed.

COMING SOON: The second part of the special feature by Ken Florey about suffrage movement tea memorabilia.” Ken’s new book on suffrage memorabilia will be published in the Spring/Summer of 2013. See article. The author’s web site. Photos above are from the author’s suffrage memorabilia collection.

Have a cup of tea with your suffrage scone!

800px-Tea_and_scones_2It’s National Hot Tea Month. SWNC special features help celebrate the ways in which tea played an important part in the suffrage movement. Today we only have a vague idea of the tea culture which played such an important part of the lives of our ancestors. If Downton Abbey is your passion, it’s difficult to get past an episode without afternoon tea playing a central role. The English suffrage movement is referred to only briefly in Downton Abbey. Considering that the series addresses shifting gender and class issues, I would have liked to have seen the suffrage movement have more of a place in the overall period drama of Downton Abbey.

Upcoming in January 2013: a two-part series about suffrage tea memorabilia by Ken Florey, author of Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia; a feature on Alice Paul’s tea house, a tea leaf reading by Marie Knight, and more.

Videos on tea can set the mood:

LINK to tea resources.

If you like these upcoming features, make sure you don’t miss them. Subscribe. Also, don’t forget the special tribute to Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Doris Stevens. LINK.

Photo by Jeremy Keith.

Alice Paul’s birthday on January 11th!

AlicePaul

Suffragist Alice Paul’s birthday is on January 11th, and it’s also Alice Paul Day.

We have a NEW special feature highlighting Lucy Burns, Doris Stevens, and Alice Paul.

LINK to Suffrage Wagon News Channel’s tribute to Alice, Lucy, and Doris.

Special links with more information: Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, DC (the home of the National Woman’s Party) LINK and the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, New Jersey LINK.

Subscribe to news and views and stories of the suffrage movement.

It’s the birthday of Joan of Arc, icon of the suffrage movement!

Happy birthday, Joan! Joan of Arc was important to the suffrage movement, here and in England, and possibly other places in the world. Just type in “suffrage movement” and “Joan of Arc” and you’ll see what I mean. In England, Joan was openly acknowledged as the patron saint of the suffrage movement. In the HBO film, “Iron Jawed Angels,” the above clip features Inez Milholland on a horse evoking the commitment and leadership of Joan of Arc.

Inez Milholland on her horse leading U.S. suffrage parades evoked Joan of Arc more than any other single individual who took on the role. Inez was a familiar figure in suffrage parades (see image left, below) on her horse. The association was, in part drama and beauty, plus a heavy dose of symbolism to evoke strength and courage from the parade participants.

Check out the video trailer from “Iron Jawed Angels,” the HBO film about the suffrage movement.

“Iron Jawed Angels” is primarily about Alice Paul and only briefly highlights Inez Milholland. Nonetheless, the film grows in value with the passage of time.

If you’re planning afternoon tea and choosing an occasion worthy of friends and family arriving for the occasion, Joan of Arc’s birthday is perfect –especially if your activism project is in need of a resource of strength and resolve.

More information about Inez Milholland: Link

For curriculum materials relative to the use of “Iron Jawed Angels” in the classroom, check out “Teach with Movies.”

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has posting updates twice a week, as well as updates four times a year with the SWNC quarterly newsletter.

Women who didn’t want to vote: New video and upcoming book

MKmusings 

Ninety-nine years ago in the first week of January, a hardy band of marchers under the direction of suffragist Rosalie Jones started out from from New York City on a march headed to Albany, NY to ask NYS Governor Martin Glynn to appoint poll watchers in the 1915 suffrage referendum. My grandparents Edna and Wilmer Kearns, plus their young daughter Serena, were part of the first contingent.

I’ve written about this before, and this is the time of the year to bring it up again because marching anywhere the first week of January doesn’t get me excited. In fact, it only reinforces my determination to curl up under a down quilt and read next to a nice open fire, even if it’s gas fired. This is exactly what I did today when I decided to catch up on some of the background associated with the 1:12 minute feature video I made for the web site, “Women Who Didn’t Want to Vote.”

I was fascinated with the prospect of my grandparents being part of a group appealing to the governor where Governor Glynn himself supported women’s suffrage, but his wife didn’t. The governor met with Rosalie Jones and a delegation of the marchers who made it during the long freezing ordeal on foot, but he was non committal about responding to their request.

I wanted to find out the real story, so I tracked down the only source of background information I could find, Governor Martin H. Glynn: Forgotten Hero by Dominick C. Lizzi, a former Town of Valatie historian. I had ordered it from the author last September and today finally got around to reading it.

It’s an extraordinary story that involves NYS, national, and international politics. The book refers to Governor Glynn’s support of votes for women and his progressive policies. Plus, there’s considerable discussion of his wife Mary Glynn and her popularity in the Albany social scene.

I stumbled on Mrs. Glynn’s name in a Women’s Anti-Suffrage Association pamphlet printed and distributed by the Third Judicial District of NYS in Albany, NY. where Mrs. Glynn’s listed as a vice president. Dominick C. Lizzi confirmed that –yes, indeed– it was Martin Glynn’s wife Mary. This fascinated me, and that’s how I came to spend the the day reading Lizzi’s book.

The details of story of the governor and his wife are too much to address here, and I’ll be finding out and sharing more, especially as a major book on the NYS anti-suffrage movement, No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement by Susan Goodier, becomes available in March 2013 from the University of Illinois Press.

Stay tuned! Watch the video and order the book. One has been reserved for me in March, Women’s History Month. Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.