Monthly Archives: March 2013

The awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I

This is the first part of a series about the awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in her own words:

Elizabeth Cady StantonWHEN I was eleven years old two events occurred which changed the current of my life. My only brother, who had just graduated from Union College, came home to die. A young man of great talent and promise, he was the pride of my father’s heart. We early felt that his son filled a larger place in our father’s affections and future plans than the five daughters together.

Well do I remember how tenderly he watched my brother in his last illness, the sighs and tears he gave vent to as he slowly walked up and down the hall, and, when the last sad moment came, and we were all assembled to say farewell in the silent chamber of death, how broken were his utterances as he knelt and prayed for comfort and support. I still recall, too, going into the large darkened parlor to see my brother, and finding the casket, mirrors, and pictures all draped in white, and my father seated by his side, pale, immovable.

As he took no notice of me, after standing a long while, I climbed upon his knee, when he mechanically put his arm about me and, with my head resting against his beating heart, we both sat in silence, he thinking of the wreck of all his hopes in the loss of a dear son, and I wondering what could be Eleazer L. Cady, who took the degree of A.B. at Union College in 1826, and died the same year from the effects of an accident.

At length he heaved a deep sigh and said: ” Oh, my daughter, would that you were a boy!”

Then and there I resolved that I would not give so much time as heretofore to play, but would study and strive to be at the head of all my classes and thus delight my father’s heart. All that day and far into the night I pondered the problem of boyhood. I thought that the chief thing to be done in order to equal boys was to be learned and courageous. So I decided to study Greek and learn to manage a horse. Having formed this conclusion I fell asleep. My resolutions, unlike many such made at night, did not vanish with the coming dawn. I arose early and hastened to put them into execution. They were resolutions never to be forgotten — destined to mold my character anew…

The full text of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s writings about this part of her life. Follow news and views of the suffrage movement on Suffrage Wagon.

Suffrage Wagon Bookshelf

New audio and ebook about suffrage history –the ratification of the 19th amendment in Tennessee.  #1. #2. Good books for young people about women’s history. #1. #2. Get used to the buzz now that more people understand what we’re talking about when we mention “suffrage” and “centennial” in one breath. It has been an exciting Women’s History Month with all the attention.

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There’s a new book on 1913 suffrage parade from University of Tennessee Press. This is timely because of the Washington, DC suffrage centennial parade at the beginning of March 2013. And there have been any number of theatrical events, exhibits, readings, and more that honor the suffrage movement this month.

Recently I’ve been reading a suffrage mystery from the library. I needed some light reading and it’s about the English suffrage movement (sort of). It’s well written and more about solving a mystery than much about the movement itself. I needed an escape. So, a Nell Bray mystery by English writer Gillian Linscott did the trick. Linscott is no longer writing these books, but it’s worth a few evenings with my feet up, if only to enjoy how a mystery writer can weave the suffrage movement into a who-done-it.

Booklist said this about the work: “Nell Bray is a no-nonsense, passionate suffragette living in turn-of-the-century London. She also happens to be a superb amateur sleuth.” Sometimes the suffrage angle is pretty stretched, but the writing’s excellent and fast paced. Other Nell Bray suffrage mysteries: Sister Beneath the Sheet, Hanging on the Wire, Stage Fright, An Easy Day for a Lady,  Dead Man’s Sweetheart, Absent Friends, The Perfect Daughter, Dead Man Riding, Blood on the Wood.

You don’t hear a lot about Vermont and suffrage. So, here’s a book wish come true. This book review is about suffrage work in the UK – a diary with entries that give a vivid picture of what it was like, out in the streets doing canvassing work. Nothing romantic here and a good reminder that some things don’t change. Organizing for social change has its highs and lows. Overview of “The Love Letters of Mary Hayes” is a pleasure to read.

Check out Suffrage Wagon for news notes from all over, videos, suffrage events and stories.

Marguerite’s Musings: Telling the Suffrage Story

MusingsDancerWhen I was young, my mother told me that boys and girls were equal and that I could do whatever I wanted in life. I believed her. Of course there were occasions when I received mixed messages, such as the “woman driver” jokes I heard some older relatives tell. I assumed that these cynical opinions about gender were perversions. Given time and some education, these carriers of negativity would see the light. After all, Mother knew best. Boys and girls were equal.

It took years before I realized that the story of the suffrage movement and women’s role in history had disappeared into a deep dark hole and someone needed to do something about it. Me, for example. When I watch vintage film footage of suffragists marching in the streets today, I can’t help myself. Whether it’s the film Iron Jawed Angels or the documentary Not for Ourselves Alone, it doesn’t matter. I wipe away tears and think about how most of my life I’d also been influenced by the party line. You know –how the suffrage movement is yesterday’s news and an old fashioned movement without much to teach us today.

The more I dig into Grandmother Edna’s archives and papers, the more I’m certain that the suffrage story is finally coming into its own. I’m amazed at the persistence and sophistication of these marvelous activists. My grandmother was a grassroots mover and shaker who understood how to build personal and community power. She believed in and carried out the basic principles of community organizing. Tens of thousands of other suffrage activists like Edna led the way, so as women we have this in our DNA –whether or not we have a certified suffragist activist in our family line. Tens of thousands of women participated in the movement and their names will never be known. Which is why I persist in telling the suffrage story. Thank you for coming along with me for the ride.

“Marguerite’s Musings” appear on a regular basis in Suffrage Wagon.

Video: 2013 Suffrage centennial parade in Washington, DC

Check out Suffrage Wagon’s one-minute video of suffrage centennial parade in Washington, DC on March 3, 2013. Planning for the 2020 national suffrage centennial is already underway.

PBS video of the 2013 suffrage centennial parade in Washington, DC. LINK Great CNN coverage of the suffrage movement and the press. Link #1Link #2.

Subscribe to the Suffrage Wagon quarterly newsletter. COMING SOON: The Suffrage Wagon spring newsletter.

What was Edna Kearns doing in March 100 years ago?

New York City and Long Island suffragist Edna Kearns wrote Votes for Women columns for the newspaper and she responded to letters to the editor! Here, she answers a man who writes to the paper about how women have it good and they should stop complaining. In another piece (below), Edna refers to the big 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC and then spells out how the New York State suffrage campaign is shaping up. The suffs realized the importance of press coverage, and Edna did her part in terms of keeping the issue alive in the newspapers. For an overview about Suffrage Wagon News Channel. LINK.

Suffrage News Notes: March 2013

NewsNotesMarchWomen’s History Month means that it has been a busy and active month for suffrage buffs. Also, the suffrage centennial parade march and events the first week in March has had the digital circuits buzzing. Start with the suffrage parade in Washington, DC. Link #1. Link #2. The 1913 march that made history. Link #1. Link #2. Ms. Magazine coverage of suffrage parade. Link #1. Link #2. “Brimstone, Booze, and the Ballot” is launched by Susan B. Anthony House, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, and Votes for Women 2020: Link #1. Link #2.

Tribute to Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Alice Stevens. LINK. Alice Paul given her due. Link #1. Link #2. A Congressional Medal for Alice Paul? Link #1. Link #2. Fashions at the time of the suffrage movement. Link #1. Link #2. Women and anti-lynching campaigns. Link #1. Link #2.  Women’s e-news. Link #1. Link #2. Suffrage Map. Link #1. Link #2. Vision 2020. Link #1. Link #2.  Black women’s history. Link #1. Link #2.  Will there ever be an end to Women’s History Month? Link #1. Link #2. Smithsonian document dive. Link #1. Link #2. Birthdays and special dates from women’s history from the National Women’s History Project. LINK. Votes for Women 2020′s web site and blog. Link #1. Link #2.

Masterpiece Theatre fans of “Downton Abbey” might like the suffrage angle on the “Mr. Selfridge” TV series that starts March 31st. Link #1. Link #2. Kudos for Inez Mulholland. Link #1. Link #2. Oxfam’s reports on top corporations’ record on women. LINK. Photos from Anthony luncheon. Link #1. Link #2. Women underrepresented in politics. Link #1. Link #2.  Safiya Bandele’s new multi-media presentation on suffragist and activist Ida B. Wells. LINK.

The quilt project representing women’s rights. Link #1. Link #2. The Constitution Center during Women’s History Month. Link #1.  Point of view on Presidential Proclamation for Women’s History Month. Link #1. Concern about problem of sexual slavery. Link #1. Link #2.  Reproductive freedom. Link #1. Link #2.

Find out more about Suffrage Wagon News Channel. LINK.  Subscribe.

Curl up in a chair and listen to audio about our roots!

Happy Women’s History Month! This podcast from Indiana is worth listening to: “Helen Gougar: Foot Soldier for Suffrage.” Click here. Helen Gougar became a suffrage activist because of her determination to reduce the rate of domestic violence.

Martha Burk’s “Equal Time” radio broadcasts have guests you may never get an opportunity to listen to otherwise. Martha broadcasts from KSFR in Santa Fe, and her programming is available online.

Don’t forget that Suffrage Wagon’s archives have the audio version of “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens of the National Woman’s Party who reports on the tale of winning the 19th amendment. The book was published in 1920, and the story is still fresh in the words of those who lived it. For anyone who’s just been introduced to the suffrage movement by watching “Iron Jawed Angels,” read or listen to Doris Stevens.  Here it is:

Doris Stevens and “Jailed for Freedom.”  Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4. Sections 5 and 6 coming soon. Audio by Librivox.

Photo of radio: Massimianogalardi.