Tag Archives: Edna Kearns

Kearns Family Members Got Together over the Holidays: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musings

It’s always fun to stumble on a family connection. It’s one thing to know that my Kearns relatives are still based in Beavertown, PA where my grandfather Wilmer Kearns was born. And it’s even more exciting to know the extent of their ties and how they spent the holidays visiting, either in the NYC area or Beavertown, PA

I found a social notice of Max and Peg Kearns (Wilmer’s brother and sister in law) visiting Wilmer and Edna Kearns in 1917 in the South Side Observer of Long Island, December 30, 1917. “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Maxwell Kearns, of Pennsylvania, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer Kearns for several weeks.”

I’m busy documenting how Wilmer Kearns served as treasurer of Kearns Motor Car Company, the family business,  when he and Edna lived in New York City. And Lulu Kearns, Wilmer’s sister, played an important part of suffrage organizing with my grandmother Edna Kearns in 1913.

A holiday video greeting.

Another opportunity to celebrate the holidays with the Suffrage Wagon on Vimeo.

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A happy holiday video card from the Kearns family!

Happy holidays from the Kearns family! on Vimeo. Edna, Wilmer and Serena Kearns were all involved in the suffrage movement and oh, what a time it was!

THE 2014 HOLIDAY CARD VIDEO from the Kearns family:

That’s right. We’re still celebrating Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday in December 2014.

Three very interesting articles I thought you’d find interesting include highlights of the book Remembering Inez. There are optimistic signs about planning in New York State for upcoming votes for women centennials. See summary. And there’s a 2015 wish list that includes a funded NYS suffrage planning commission for 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials, as well as a suffragist memorial in Lorton, VA and a proposed statue of “real women” (Anthony and Stanton) in New York City’s Central Park.

Video about Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday.

.  “A happy birthday greeting” for Suffrage Wagon.
Birthdays are great fun. Martha Wright and Edna Kearns were both born on December 25th. See our previous coverage.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel 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.

VIDEO, plus News Notes for November 2014 from Suffrage Wagon

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite KearnsVideo about following the Suffrage Wagon on its ride to freedom. The street speaking of Edna Kearns in Nashville, Tennessee 100 years ago is the topic and you can find out more on “Marguerite’s Musings”.

SPECIAL FROM “THE OWL” (Long Island): November 29,1914:

“Miss Rosalie Jones organized a squad of speakers on nearly every corner in Nashville. This is the first time that street speaking has been tried in a southern city. Mrs. Laidlaw, Mrs. Norman Whitehouse, Mrs. Raymond Brown, Miss Potter and Mrs. Wilmer Kearns were among the women who held the men of Nashville spellbound with their speaking, and in spite of the fact that it started to rain, not a man left the crowd. Even when it poured so hard the speakers themselves gave up, yet their audiences were still there; talking it over under the awnings, when they left. Mrs. Wilmer Kearns, of Rockville Centre, had the distinction of having the Governor of Tennessee listen to her speech, even when it rained. These meetings are the outcome of the Forty-Sixth Annual Convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, held in the House of Representatives at the capitol in Nashville.” 

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.

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.

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.

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 #5 of the ‘Night of Terror” observance & the “why” of the White House picketing

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

I’m late getting the blog post Day#5 finished, but it’s still 10:54 p.m. where I am. One of my stalwart friends asked me the other day: “But why did the women picket the White House in 1917? Couldn’t they have expressed their point of view in some other way?”

Good question and one that I welcome in this fifth day of partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to raise awareness of and support for the building of a suffragist memorial to honor those brave women who experienced the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC in 1917.

When you look at the 1917 picketing from a larger perspective, put yourself back into time. How would you feel as someone in the second generation of women petitioning for the right to vote? Then turn the clock back to 1848 and the women’s convention at Seneca Falls, NY. This wasn’t the first occasion when women decided that enough was enough. But it’s the date when we start counting as far as the suffrage movement is concerned –when there’s no doubt that the nation heard the rumblings from impatient citizens who demanded participation in the public arena. The suffrage movement started in 1848 and concluded in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Keep this in mind: it was touch and go for a great deal of that time.

Think of it. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others spent 50 years petitioning for the vote by the turn of the 20th century. This is when my grandmother Edna Kearns and her generation stepped up to the plate and took over from the first wave of activists. By 1917, women had been working themselves into states of exhaustion by continuing to pressure for the right to vote. I’ve written a lot about Grandmother Edna Kearns. Here’s a video where she speaks for herself.

By 1917, my grandmother Edna B. Kearns had been in the suffrage fold for at least a decade. When’s the last time you spent ten years working on a single cause? Did you burn out? Were you even a bit annoyed or frustrated at your lack of progress? When the National Woman’s Party announced the White House picketing in 1917, many activists didn’t hesitate to join. However, others condemned them for taking such a bold action. The “suffrage movement” wasn’t one movement. It existed under an umbrella of women from many backgrounds.

Women joined the picket line from all over the United States. The National Woman’s Party needed people on the front lines who were prepared to go to prison, if necessary. And without the extraordinary support network that stretched across the United States, the campaign wouldn’t have been as effective.

This is Day #5 of blogging to honor the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

COMING SOON: The eight audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on November 15, 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4)

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.

On Day #4, ELECTION DAY, fire up the oven for hot treats!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The picketing of the White House started in January of 1917 and went on for over a year. Standing in front of the White House gates with a picket sign was no walk in the park. So, a cup of hot tea and some goodies must have sounded terrific at the end of the day.

This is why a visit to Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is a perfect way to honor Election Day and the November 15th observance.  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is the “go to” place if you’re on a college or university campus and would like to host a fundraiser for the Occoquan Workhouse suffragist prisoners’ memorial. And you can quickly put together a fundraiser at home with a little determination and a recipe for traditional English scones.

This is my fourth day blogging in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership between Suffrage Wagon News Channel and Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Turning Point has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a great deal of activity going on at Suffrage Wagon and Turning Point these days. The goal? To fund and complete a memorial to the brave women who faced the “Night of Terror” November 14-15, 1917.

And now the fun part: Let’s cook up a storm with a fundraiser for the memorial right in your own home or school, organization, or college campus. Video about how to make traditional English scones for a fundraiser.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School‘s video guides you through making traditional English scones like suffrage activists used to make. Hot tea and goodies must have been welcome treats after a long day out in the streets speaking from soapboxes or picketing the White House.

Baking scones is part of the two-week observance of November 15th this year when Suffrage Wagon News Channel partners with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. It isn’t easy raising money to build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House in 1917 and then were held at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC to experience the “Night of Terror.” That’s why we love having you along for the ride. Find out how you can host a fundraiser with friends and family. Contribute to and support the proposed suffragist memorial with the goal of it being completed before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial celebration.

Carry the vision of a suffragist memorial forward. These events and celebrations are part of the previews of suffrage centennial observances now and in the future. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates about suffrage centennials. If you’re planning a centennial event, let SuffrageCentennials know about it.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a multi-media platform for news and stories of the suffrage movement that has been publishing since 2009. Follow the Suffrage Wagon. December 2014 is Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is inspired by the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon used by suffrage activist Edna Kearns in New York City and on Long Island.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3).

LINKS: “Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial”: Marguerite’s Musings.

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.