Tag Archives: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls”: Podcast #4 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady StantonPodcast #4. If Elizabeth Cady Stanton had known in advance about the public reaction to the 1848 women’s rights convention,  she might not have had the courage to set events in motion. But once over, she notes that conventions like the one in Seneca Falls happened all over New York State. Listen to Stanton herself continue telling the story in the fourth installment of “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.”

Today is the last day of “Convention Days” in Seneca Falls, the annual event that highlights the significance of the Seneca Falls convention and attracts visitors to the town. This year’s innovative programming will, no doubt, bring more attention than ever to the festivities. The town is decked out and ready for the extra traffic in town. These podcast selections are from Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s memoir, “Eighty Years and More.” Audio, Librivox. Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

The plot thickens…Podcast #3: “Trouble in Seneca Falls”

The plot thickens as the town of Seneca Falls, New York prepares for its big celebration this weekend with Convention Days 2014 where the entire community will be decked out for the festivities. Meanwhile, here’s Podcast #3 where Elizabeth Cady Stanton collaborates with four other women to plan the convention and some of the participants have second thoughts. It appeared, at first, that the 1848 women’s rights convention might be a failure. Watch for the ongoing story of “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” Audio, Librivox. A production of Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Hear Cady-Stanton’s own words:

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Podcast #2: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls”

Elizabeth Cady StantonPodcast #2: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.”

Podcast #2 of “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls” highlights the unrest and discontent stirring and how an invitation from Lucretia Mott to share tea one afternoon unleashed a shared frustration among a small group of women that resulted in action. We’re well served by hearing Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s own words.

The Finger Lakes region deserves its reputation as an emerging tourist destination for visitors headed toward the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the U.S.  But don’t get the idea that the “Cradle” is a Disneyland. Visitors to the national park headquarters in Seneca Falls might wonder why Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home is short of furniture and why the park services aren’t available seven days a week. Welcome to the underfunded frontier. You’ll need imagination and the ability to look below the surface to see what’s really there.

Places of interest in the area of Seneca Falls, NY include the national park, the hall of fame, and special programs such as the Seneca Falls Dialogue and Convention Days. Extend your trip to the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center in Fayetteville, NY; the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester; the 1816 Quaker meetinghouse in Farmington; the childhood home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Johnstown; the Howland Stone Store Museum in Aurora, the Harriet Tubman historic site in Auburn, plus much more.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Watch for the remaining installments of the podcast series, “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” Check out the summer issue of Suffrage Wagon‘s quarterly newsletter.

“Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls”: New podcast series plus Convention Days!

Street sign in Seneca Falls, NYA seven-podcast series called “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls” describes the atmosphere in the area leading up to the 1848 women’s rights convention.

If you’ve ever have thought about attending Convention Days in the town of Seneca Falls, NY… the July 18-20, 2014 weekend is the right time to do it.

Meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her descendants; kayak the First Annual Convention Paddle; have your head read by a phrenologist; hear speakers Nadia Shahram and Daisy Kahn; tour Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home; march in the Women’s Rights procession; tour local museums; attend dinners, receptions, films, and the Side Walk Festival. Check out the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls as well. The town is located in the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in New York State. It’s considered the historic gateway to the Finger Lakes. Official schedule for Convention Days 2014.

Visiting Seneca Falls  requires an engagement with story, even before you get there, so it’s great timing to find out about the context of the times as it was back in the 1840s.

PODCAST #1: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” This short audio file features Elizabeth Cady Stanton speaking about what it was like to arrive in Seneca Falls prior to 1848. This is the first podcast of a series of seven from “Eighty Years and More” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Audio by Librivox. A Suffrage Wagon News Channel special.

Don’t set out for Seneca Falls without checking on times that the Women’s Rights National Historic Park will be open.  The park’s visitors center is open often, but not daily. Special ranger programs feature information about the 1848 women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls. Information about house tours are available at the park’s web site.

Video about visiting Seneca Falls, New York that features several local historical sites and images from the national park visitors’ center. On the weekend of July 18-20, 2014 a group of Muslim women will make history in Seneca Falls by announcing a “Declaration of the Equities for Muslim Women” that’s part of the Convention Days 2014 program. A national tour team launched a national women’s economic agenda in Seneca Falls on June 1st, an initiative organized by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and honoring the groundbreaking 1848 women’s rights convention.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. To stay up to date through email, Twitter or Facebook, visit the wagon site.

Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy little-known story of how suffrage activists crashed a national centennial celebration!

Fourth of July 1876HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY:

The Suffrage Wagon summer newsletter is on the stands. It spells out what happened on the Fourth of July in 1876 when five suffrage activists crashed the national centennial celebration in Philadelphia… a little-known story that’s also an important part of our national history.

See link and forward to the people on your social media list as a way to deepen the appreciation of our past and how it links to our present. Link to story. The story involves Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Phoebe W. Couzins, Sara Andrews Spencer, and Lillie Devereux Blake. There’s even an audio podcast where the event’s described by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement.

 

Video and article: Join Susan B. Anthony in Rochester

Marguerite's MusingsWho loves Susan B. Anthony? Thousands of people, and that includes hundreds who attended the annual luncheon of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY. this week. Susan’s birthday is on Saturday, February 15th.

I wrote an article about Susan, her fans in Rochester, and how the Susan B. Anthony House will be launching a virtual tour of the house in order to meet the demand. The story is about Susan’s fans today, as much as it is about Susan. Rochester, New York and the Susan B. Anthony House demonstrate a novel and very effective living history tied to economic development and education.

See my article in New York History. Article in PDF.

Video of Susan B. AnthonyThe article also features the horse chestnut tree growing outside the Susan B. Anthony House on 17 Madison Street in Rochester and how many are concerned because the tree didn’t produce chestnuts last year. Get the Big Picture about the preservation district that includes the house where Susan and her sister Mary lived for 40 years, the “1872 Cafe” around the corner where Susan voted illegally, the statues of Susan and Frederick Douglass having tea in a park down the street and much more .

Video: Commentary by Doris Stevens about Susan B. Anthony in “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

Follow feature articles by Marguerite Kearns and the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Get ready for upcoming events, plus Suffrage Wagon news review

Grandmother's Choice quilt projectJoin an international movement that builds on women’s civil rights movements of the past. One Billion Rising for Justice is on February 14th in 2014. I’ll be participating. Check out what’s happening in your community and join in!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: February 15th is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday. A special article is planned. The month of March is Women’s History Month, so participate in events near where you live. Also join in by hosting friends and family for a tea party featuring goodies from your kitchen. March 8th is International Women’s Day. March 29th is the Seventh International SWAN Day or “Support Women Artists Now” Day. There have been over 1,000 SWAN Day events in 23 countries in the first few years of this holiday.

Sad to see the end of the online suffrage quilt project. See photo above. Over the past year I’ve been following the Grandmother’s Choice quilt blog project that has inspired and involved all sorts of people with Votes for Women history and quilts inspired by this fabulous time in our history. The projects have been varied and fascinating. The above illustration called “Gerry’s Suffrage Crazy Quilt” is one example. It demonstrates a terrific way to combine art, history, civil rights, and fun. Quilting is an extraordinary networking opportunity. #1. #2. 

Montana is moving full speed ahead with its suffrage centennial in 2014. It has a Facebook page, and the launch of media coverage. The Montana Historical Society points out that women didn’t serve on state juries until 1939, and the state celebration doesn’t include just “accomplished” women. A video gives an overview. For other suffrage centennial news from all over, follow suffragecentennials.com.

And now a Suffrage Wagon review of January. It was “Hot Tea Month” and we celebrated our past that’s tied to the present and future. January 3rd was Lucretia Mott’s birthday. She was featured on the New England Historical Society’s blog and there’s a new book out on Lucretia Mott by Carol Faulkner that I plan to read (another promise). For more information. Suffrage Wagon honored Joan of Arc’s birthday on January 6th with a special article from Kathleen Kelly about Joan and how the theme played out in the suffrage movement. Carrie Chapman Catt’s birthday in January didn’t go by on Suffrage Wagon without comment from one of her fans, Nate Levin, who shared a visit to Catt’s childhood home.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon. Postings twice a week. Facebook and Twitter. Vimeo and YouTube channels. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

“Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas…” letter and new video, plus December 25th birthdays and stories!

Federal and state womens trailsDear Santa, All I want for Christmas. . .

We’ll see if Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves can pull off what appears to be a minor miracle in terms of putting a federal and state women’s trails in Santa’s sleigh on Christmas eve. There’s a video called “All I want for Christmas is a women’s trail” that lays out the situation published in “New York History” recently by Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine. See Part I of the series. And then Part II.

merryxmas_whiteberryChristmas Story Wrapup: Enjoy the holiday story from Elizabeth Cady Stanton about Christmas in Johnstown, NY where she grew up. Plus a story from 1914 where international suffragists exchanged holiday greetings even though their countries were at war. Interesting!

Two birthdays on December 25th: Edna Kearns and Martha Wright. See video honoring them. Also, Edna Kearns acknowledged as “Suffragist of the Month” during December on web site about the Long Island suffrage movement that’s inspired by a book on the same subject by Antonia Petrash. Having a birthday on Christmas didn’t make Edna Kearns a happy camper. One of Marguerite’s Musings. Seneca Falls convention activist Martha Wright has a birthday on December 25th. Celebrate her contributions at the 1848 Seneca Falls convention.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news, views, videos, audio and much more about the suffrage movement. Everything you need to know, and then some. We have a YouTube channel (suffragewagon) and a Vimeo channel too. Postings twice a week and a quarterly newsletter.

Points of view about Elizabeth Cady Stanton on her November birthday!

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Cady Stanton copyNovember 12th is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday, and it’s my mother Wilma’s birthday as well. And don’t forget my friend and collaborator Olivia Twine who weighs in with November 12th as her birthday. November is heavily weighted with women’s birthdays, and the National Women’s History Project does a great job of pointing this out.

After a trip to the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States this fall, we stood witness to the places that percolated with activity and risks during the 19th century. And these free thought activists experienced their share of criticism as well. Each year we promote travel to Seneca Falls, NY and the national park there with a virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Join us this year!

But not everyone is taking a seat at the virtual birthday party. Blogger Mikki Kendall believes that Elizabeth Cady Stanton is a skeleton in the closet of feminism. Listen to her audio. Lori Ginzberg, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s biographer, expresses what it was like to write a biography of Stanton, the first serious biography in decades, and she doesn’t spare any words about Stanton’s mixed history in the suffrage movement.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Stanton caused waves on many levels. And the purpose of studying any period of history is to draw a circle around it and examine the details, the warts, the high and low points. The suffragists were as varied as any group of women voters today, and we continue to build on their strong shoulders. Here at Suffrage Wagon News Channel we rock the cradle by embracing the suffrage movement as an important part of American history.

Visit Seneca Falls, New York: Historic gateway to the Finger Lakes. Seneca Falls has an insider’s guide. Women’s Rights National Historic ParkNational Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. Find out about other historic sites to visit in the “Cradle” of the suffrage movement near Seneca Falls, NY. A one-hour documentary about  Seneca Falls, NY and nine teenage girls who visited there to discover themselves and their history. Ideas for teachers. Review of novel about Seneca Falls by Tara Bloyd.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with twice-weekly posts of news and views of the suffrage movement.

Make traditional English scones: Video from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School

Scones from Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolAn old friend, Chef Cutting, dropped by the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School to show us how to prepare fresh English scones. Check in with the link.  He’s not only making them for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, but also as a way to remember Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

November 12th is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday, and it’s also my mother Wilma’s birthday, Olivia Twine’s birthday, my goddaughter Alicia’s birthday, and I’m sure there are many more birthday celebrants out there.

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. AnthonyTea parties are very much part of the suffrage movement. I’ve seen photos of “Let’s Have Tea,” the statues of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony having tea, a project of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association (artist Pepsy M. Kettavong) in Rochester, NY. Seeing these sculptures for myself was a highlight of the fall 2013 LetsRockTheCradle blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. It made me think about how the month of November is a great time to dust off the old teapot, make scones from scratch and invite friends over.

These occasions are but two reasons why Chef Cutting’s instruction on English scones from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School fits perfectly into your plans to hold a tea party. And as someone with English roots himself, Chef Cutting reminds us that the English suffragettes were great tea house enthusiasts, as were their American sisters in the movement.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is but one reason to follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Our 4th birthday is coming soon, and we’ll be celebrating women’s freedom to vote. Also, 2013 is the centennial year of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon’s first journey back in 1913. This year both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a resolution designating July 1, 2013 as “Wagon Day” in the State of New York. If you missed any of this news, you’ll find highlights in the Suffrage Wagon archive.

A visit to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s hometown in Johnstown, NY

Nancy Brown of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown AssociationBy Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine

It’s late afternoon in Johnstown, NY, magic hour, right before sunset when filmmakers capture the best lighting. Nancy Brown, a fifth grade teacher, is waiting to take us to the local historical society and out to dinner with three other board members of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association.

This is the town where well-known women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton grew up. The place is also loaded with history of the American Revolution, plus generations of tanners and workers in the glove industry who lived and worked here. We can’t get to the Johnstown Historical Society at 17 North William Street without passing sites of major historical interest. It’s as if everybody is related in some way to this historical community. It looks like classic small town America, made in America.

The Historical Society building has a front parlor room that’s devoted entirely to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with things to die for: her piano, her chair, her father’s bookcase, her family bible. They have sleuths volunteering for the board who ferret out facts about the Cady family never known before. Elizabeth’s parents and many of her relatives are buried in the local cemetery. Local people here talk about Elizabeth Cady Stanton as if they’re related to her. And they are. Like they’re first cousins or neighbors.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's piano

Today the activists of the local historical and hometown association understand the value of what they’ve got in their cultural heritage and they’re building it up from the grassroots.

Yet they feel there’s something lacking, despite the fact that Johnstown has the oldest working courthouse in America, the same courthouse where Elizabeth’s father was a judge. This is an area with strong women, well-known local women, including Molly Brant, Rose Knox, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and a Native American Catholic saint, Kateri Tekakwitha.

Johnstown has a strong revolutionary history, a strong labor history. By going to the next level, the two local organizations are moving into the future by developing awareness through advertizing, street signs, a social media presence, collaboration and partnering. They have organized themselves thoroughly, and the town reflects this with its banners, cell phone tour, and exhibits including one at the local bank, the site of the Cady home where Elizabeth grew up.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium, the umbrella of women’s organizations including the hometown association, is planning a symposium in 2015 to honor the year of Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday.

And still, something is missing. Ask them what they need, and there’s no question in their minds.

“The greatest gift the State could give us would be to fund a Votes for Women history trail,” said Nancy Brown of the Hometown Association. “A trail has been established, but there’s no funding.”

And what else is missing? They say that other historical-related groups located in the “cradle” are worthy, energetic, and well organized, but there’s no unity among the separate organizations. These associations of people may work together and share information, but there’s a recognized need to make a focused effort to get a trail funded that would be good for the state and visitors on a number of levels.

Emphasized Helen Martin of the historical society: “Money for a historical trail is desperately needed. Money –that’s the biggest gift the state could give us. There’s so much potential, like I could see a big convention of womens’ groups in New York State, maybe at the state fairgrounds. Some place where we can celebrate women’s past, get media coverage and press, get the right speakers.”

“We must pull together,” added Nancy Brown. “Look at all that needs to be done!”

“We know our past; we know where we are. But where are we going?” posits Helen Martin. “Let’s break that glass ceiling!”

These community grassroots organizers are aware of what can be accomplished by themselves and the value of working together with others to reach a goal. This involves rocking the cradle.

As we made our way back to the Holiday Inn from the Union Hall Inn Restaurant and dinner with Hometown Association board members Bonnie Valachovic, Barb Taylor, Sandy Maceyka, and Nancy Brown, we asked about their goal. We were told: “…to be the home of women’s equality by 2020.” But isn’t this competing with Seneca Falls? “Oh no,” they said.

“We complement Seneca Falls and other places and sites. There’s no doubt in our minds that Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s experience in Johnstown as a young person made her the revolutionary thinker she was.”

The Johnstown Historical Society at 17 North William Street, Johnstown, NY is open weekends 1-4 p.m., Memorial Day through September. Or by appointment 518-762-7076.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association has a one-hour, one-mile cell phone tour called “Walking the Footsteps of Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” plus events, exhibits, banners and signs throughout the town. They also have a fabulous web site: http://ElizabethCadyStantonHometown.org

Follow Marguerite and Olivia on their travels for LetsRockTheCradle.

Photos: Top is a photo of Nancy Brown of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association featuring an image of one of Johnston, NY’s historic landmarks. Below is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s piano at the Johnstown Historical Society.

“Spirit of 1776″ by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Part III

Independence Hall, PhiladelphiaThe continuing story of the suffragists’ demonstration at the nation’s centennial celebration in Philadelphia in early July 1876.

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

. . . With this rebuff, Mrs. Mott and I decided that we would not accept the offered seats, but would be ready to open our own convention called for that day, at the First Unitarian church. But some of our younger coadjutors decided that they would occupy the seats and present our Declaration of Rights. They said truly, women will be taxed to pay the expenses of this celebration, and we have as good a right to that platform and to the ears of the people as the men have, and we will be heard. That historic Fourth of July dawned at last, one of the most oppressive days of that heated season. Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Phcebe W. Couzins made their way through the crowds under the broiling sun of Independence Square, carrying the Woman’s Declaration of Rights.

This Declaration had been handsomely engrossed by one of their number, and signed by the oldest and most prominent advocates of woman’s enfranchisement. Their tickets of admission proved an “open sesame” through the military barriers, and, a few moments before the opening of the ceremonies, these women found themselves within the precincts from which most of their sex were excluded. The Declaration of 1776 was read by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, about whose family clusters so much historic fame. The moment he finished reading was determined upon as the appropriate time for the presentation of the Woman’s Declaration. Not quite sure how their approach might be met, not quite certain if, at this final moment, they would be permitted to reach the presiding officer, those ladies arose and made their way down the aisle.

The bustle of preparation for the Brazilian hymn covered their advance. The foreign guests and the military and civil officers who filled the space directly in front of the speaker’s stand, courteously made way, while Miss Anthony, in fitting words, presented the Declaration to the presiding officer. Senator Ferry’s face paled as, bowing low, with no word he received the Declaration, which thus became part of the day’s proceedings. The ladies turned, scattering printed copies as they deliberately walked down from the platform. On every side eager hands were outstretched, men stood on seats and asked for them, while General Hawley, thus defied and beaten in his audacious denial to women of the right to present their Declaration, shouted, “Order, order!”

For more information, visit the Suffrage Wagon platform at suffragewagon.org This year is the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. Join us in a special celebration: a video, a book review, and links when planning a visit to Seneca Falls, NY. Part IV, the final installment of this suffrage series, coming soon.

Suffrage Wagon features news and stories, events. One recent suffrage centennial acknowledged the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776″ campaign wagon used in New York City and on Long Island.

Mystery with a side of history: Seneca Falls Inheritance

by Tara Bloyd

Seneca Falls InheritanceSeneca Falls Inheritance, by Miriam Grace Monfredo (Berkley Prime Crime; published 1994)

For once I’m not reviewing a children’s book – what fun!  This light mystery-with-a-side-of-history takes place in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, at the start of the women’s rights movement in the United States.  Glynis Tryon, the town librarian, is the perfect protagonist to introduce readers to social issues, historical details, and real-life characters (including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass).  And oh yeah, there’s a few murders thrown in for the fun of it.  This wasn’t the absolute best mystery I’ve ever read, but it was quite enjoyable. I definitely recommend reading Seneca Falls Inheritance if you’re looking for a diverting story and gentle introduction to the suffrage movement.

Thirty-year-old Glynis Tryon has chosen to remain unwed, largely because of the many difficulties inherent in marriage in the mid-nineteenth century.  Monfredo writes that “The choices were limited: marriage and dependence, or Oberlin College and freedom.  There were no confusing alternatives.  Women did one or the other.  They usually got married.  Simple.”  Simple though the choice may have been, Glynis doesn’t live without regrets.  She just can’t see any other way.  Through her observations and experiences we see how little power women had to change circumstances ranging from abuse to alcoholic husbands to poverty.   We realize how common – and legal – domestic violence was, and also recognize the existence of racism and other social issues.  The frequent death of women from self-induced abortions – more even than from childbirth – and the existence of “no reliable method to avoid pregnancy, no safe way to abort one” is mentioned, as is the controversy about using anesthesia during labor.  (Women, after all, are meant to suffer in labor.)

Historical characters mingle with fictional ones throughout the book, giving the book extra verisimilitude and adding interest as well.  In a discussion Glynis has with Elizabeth Cady Stanton about a meeting to discuss women’s rights (the meeting that was to become the Seneca Falls Convention), the following conversation takes place:

Elizabeth Stanton sat back against the chair and sighed.  “We’ve talked of this before,” she said, “and I know you feel women’s suffrage is the ultimate goal, as I do.  But most women I’ve talked with are afraid asking for the vote is an extreme position.”

“I know that without the vote we will forever be asking!” Glynis said.  She got to her feet and went to the window.  The abolitionists were justifiably questioning why human beings should be enslaved, denied legal rights, because of their color.  Why couldn’t it also be asked: should human beings be denied legal rights because of their gender?  Weren’t women without those rights also in a sense enslaved?  Her opinion of male beneficence was not so high she couldn’t see that.

 “In my mind,” Glynis said, returning to her desk, “the vote should be the first and only goal now, otherwise it will take years of pleading and petitioning to achieve the others.[…]”

 “But you are one of the few who feel that way,” Elizabeth said, “at least at this time.  Which is why it is so important to bring women together.  For discussion and planning.  And education.  Next month,” she went on, “Lucretia Mott – she’s a Quaker minister, you know, an abolitionist and advocate of women’s rights – will be with mutual friends in Waterloo.  I hope to see her and suggest the idea of a meeting.  With her help, I think we can do it.”

Monfredo makes it clear in this conversation and elsewhere that asking for the vote is a truly radical idea, one which many women oppose because they think it’s simply too audacious.  As hard as that is to imagine now, it was reality in 1848.  Elizabeth Stanton talks about her husband’s dislike of her interest in women’s rights, as he believes she is abandoning the abolition cause; she angrily discusses the fact that women were instrumental in the early years of the fight for abolition but are being discouraged from taking part in public debate.  Glynis thinks to herself “Won’t it be interesting […] when the men who believe women fit only for the drudge work of male campaigns learn those same women have been honing their skills for a battle of their own.”

Besides occasionally considering the tea party that sparked the social revolution, the period before the Convention is generally disregarded; I particularly appreciate that this book encompasses the issues and mindsets during that oft-overlooked timeframe.  I also love the many historical details.  The description of a dinner eaten at the local fancy hotel is beyond interesting; not only was I driven to learn what the word “kickshaw” meant (a fancy but insubstantial cooked dish), but I also reacquainted myself with the wide variety of dishes served in such a situation: “The roast course arrived: an immense silver platter of carved spring chicken, ham, crisp golden-brown canvasback duck, green goose, and sirloin of beef trimmed with parsley.  This was accompanied by mashed potatoes, asparagus, green beans, and parsnips.”  Bear in mind that that’s just one part of the meal!

The historical notes in the back of the book are fascinating.  I was quite intrigued by the Cult of Single Blessedness.   Monfredo writes that “As developed from 1810 through 1860, the main principles of the single blessedess philosophy were to encourage the single life as a socially and personally valuable state, and to inspire the search for eternal happiness through the acceptance of a higher calling than marriage.” Here’s a bit of information about the Cult of Single Blessedness if you, like me, want to learn more.

You may notice that I haven’t discussed the mystery.  That’s because, to me, it seemed incidental to the rest of the story.  The historical vignettes, the interactions between characters, the buildup to the Convention and description of what happened at it (including the fact that the door to the Methodist church where the Convention was held was locked and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s nephew had to be lifted through a window so he could open the door from the inside) – all those interested me much more than the whodunit part.  That’s not to say that the mystery aspects were poorly written, just that I found them the least compelling part of the book!

Seneca Falls Inheritance is a fun book, a good read, and a gentle introduction to the suffrage movement in the mid-1800s.  Like the best novels, it teaches without being didactic and it leaves you wanting more.  I look forward to reading the rest of Miriam Grace Monfredo’s works.++

Did you see the video about the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls? It’s from Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Spirit of 1776: Part II by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women's 4th of JulyThe continuing story of the suffragists’ protest at the nation’s 1876 celebration of the Declaration of Independence, held in Philadelphia. This year is the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls convention. Let’s celebrate!

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Among the most enjoyable experiences at our headquarters were the frequent visits of our beloved Lucretia Mott, who used to come from her country home bringing us eggs, cold chicken, and fine Oolong tea. As she had presented us with a little black teapot that, like Mercury’s mysterious pitcher of milk, filled itself for
every coming guest, we often improvised luncheons with a few friends. At parting, Lucretia always made a contribution to our depleted treasury.

Here we had many prolonged discussions as to the part we should take on the Fourth of July in the public celebration. We thought it would be fitting for us to read our Declaration of Rights immediately after that of the Fathers was read, as an impeachment of them and their male descendants for their injustice and oppression. Ours contained as many counts, and quite as important, as those against King George in 1776. Accordingly, we applied to the authorities to allow us seats on the platform and a place in the program of the public celebration, which was to be held in the historic old Independence Hall. As General Hawley
was in charge of the arrangements for the day, I wrote to him as follows:

143 1 Chestnut Street, July 1, 1876.
General Hawley.

Honored Sir, — As President of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, I am authorized to ask you for tickets to the platform, at Independence Hall, for the celebration on the Fourth of July. We should like to have seats for at least one representative woman from each State. We also ask your permission to read our Declaration of Rights immediately after the reading of the Declaration of Independence of the Fathers is finished. Although these are small favors to ask as representatives of one-half of the nation, yet we shall be under great obligations to you if granted.

Respectfully Yours, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

To this, I received the following reply: U. S. C. C. Headquarters, July 2.

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Dear Madam, — I send you, with pleasure, half a dozen cards of invitation. As the platform is already crowded, it is impossible to reserve the number of seats you desire. I regret to say it is also impossible for us to make any change in the programme at this late hour. We are crowded for time to carry out what is already proposed.

Yours Very Respectfully, Joseph R. Hawley,President, U. S. C. C.

Image: Puck magazine cover, Library of Congress. For regular updates on suffrage news notes and the continuing campaign centennial coverage of Long Island organizing for Votes for Women, see Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Part III and final selection of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s report from Philadelphia coming soon.

July 4th grill and a holiday story from 137 years ago: Suffrage Centennial Special

Image: Library of CongressIt’s a mulit-tasking feat to run from the computer to the back yard to greet friends and at the same time finish this Fourth of July posting. Tomorrow it’s old news that 137 years ago on July 4th, suffrage activists traveled to Philadelphia to be part of the nation’s celebration of the Declaration of Independence. It was too good of an opportunity to make the point that the American Revolution was far from finished as far as women were concerned. They asked permission to be part of the program and were refused. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote about the holiday in vivid detail in her memoir. This is Part I read by Suffrage Wagon’s own reader, Amelia Bowen, who says this is one of her favorite readings. I’m turning up the volume as I’m counting out paper plates, cups, tableware, and napkins on their way to the picnic table. Part II: coming soon! Happy 4th of July!

Here’s the link to the six-minute reading in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s own words.

The summer issue of the Suffrage Wagon quarterly newsletter is out. If you haven’t read it, here’s your chance. This Suffrage Wagon blog has limited options. For full features, visit our Suffrage Wagon full platform and follow us from there. See link.

Visit Seneca Falls, New York

Visit Seneca Falls, New York: Located in the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in New York State. Seneca Falls is considered the historic gateway to the Finger Lakes.

Link to Seneca Falls ad. Women’s Rights National Historic Park and National Women’s Hall of Fame are in Seneca Falls, NY. Also: #1.  The park is a must see. New programs every season. Seneca Falls has an insider’s guide for visitors which makes the case that there’s something for everyone in the family.

Resources: The awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I. Part II. A virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton from Suffrage Wagon News Channel gives reasons for visiting Seneca Falls this summer. We celebrate Cady-Stanton’s birthday all year long.  Ideas for teachers.

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The awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton –inspecting law books: Part II

Daniel Cady

Daniel Cady, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father.

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The tears and complaints of the women who came to my father for legal advice touched my heart, and early drew my attention to the injustice and cruelty of the laws. As the practice of the law was my father’s business, I could not exactly understand why he could not alleviate the sufferings of these women.

So, in order to enlighten me, he would take down his books and show me the inexorable statutes. The students, observing my interest, would amuse themselves by reading to me all the worst laws they could find, over which I would laugh and cry by turns. One Christmas morning I went into the office to show them my present of a new coral necklace and bracelet. They all admired the jewelry, and then began to tease me with hypothetical cases of future ownership. “Now,” said Henry Bayard, “if in due time you should be my wife, those ornaments would be mine. I could take them and lock them up, and you could never wear them except with my permission. I could even exchange them for a cigar, and you could watch them evaporate in smoke.”

HER CHILDHOOD RESOLVE TO CUT THE NASTY LAWS FROM THE BOOKS

With this constant bantering from students, and the sad complaints of women clients, my mind was sorely perplexed. So when, from time to time, my attention was called to these odious laws, I would mark them with a pencil, and becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of taking some active measures against these unjust provisions, I resolved to seize the first opportunity, when alone in the office, to cut every one of them out of the books; supposing my father and his library were the beginning and the end of the law.

However, this mutilation of his volumes was never accomplished, for dear old FloraCampbell, to whom I confided my plan for the amelioration of her wrongs, warned my father of what I proposed to do. Without letting me know that he had discovered my secret, he explained to me one evening how laws were made, the large number of lawyers and libraries there were all over the state, and that if his library should burn up it would make no difference in woman’s condition.

“When you are grown up, and able to prepare a speech,” said he, “you must go down to Albany and talk to the legislators; tell them all you have seen in this office — the sufferings of these Scotchwomen, robbed of their inheritance and left dependent on their unworthy sons, and, if you can persuade them to pass new laws, the old ones will be a dead letter.”  Thus was the future object of my life suggested and my duty plainly outlined by him who was most opposed to my public career when, in due time, it was entered upon.”

SOURCE:  Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s memoir. Information about Daniel Cady, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father.

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Motorcycle ride to Seneca Falls: May News Notes

MotorcycleYou’d think the article wasn’t important: the news that greenhouse gas has reached a high never before encountered by humans! It appeared yesterday on page 5 in my local paper. Two million years ago was the last time greenhouse gas levels were this high.

COMING SOON: Suffrage Wagon columnist Tara Bloyd launches a letter writing campaign about sustainability issues of concern to the entire planet. Let’s receive the torch from our suffrage ancestors and carry on their work.

Highlights of suffrage news: UN staff travels to Seneca Falls, NY on motorcycles to bring attention to this historic site in the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. #1. #2. The 24th annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference on Youtube. Illinois has its suffrage centennial. #1. #2. Summer suffrage centennial celebration. #1. #2. New play: “The Shrieking Sisters” in Ireland. #1. #2. Highlighting an Australian suffragist. #1. #2.  Interviewing one’s grandmother. #1. #2. Helen Hunt and her suffragist great-great grandmother. #1. #2. The ongoing women’s rights and suffrage quilt project features Theodore Roosevelt. #1. #2. An overview of what happened with One Billion Rising. #1. #2.  New Zealand suffrage memorial stirring controversy. #1. #2.  Scotland honoring its women. #1. #2. Wikipedia coverage of women. #1. #2.  Pushback on Pakistani women voters. #1. #2.

SusanB_LargeWideDon’t you just love it when Susan B. Anthony believes in a new cause in 2013? This letter places Aunt Susan in history. #1. #2.  We need a few laughs. Here, Peter Feinman recommends that historic sites be abolished in blog article published in New York History. #1. #2. More news notes coming this month.

More News NotesSuffrage Wagon has an archive of news and features you may have missed. In one click, you can catch up. New videos on the way. Current videos highlight suffrage organizing on Long Island and NYC. Visit our Suffrage Wagon magazine platform.

Photo at top of column by Sporty Driver.

NEXT TIME: Horse-drawn wagons in the suffrage movement! (a continuing series)

“Christmas in 1823,” a story by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Hioliday

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The winter gala days are associated in my memory with hanging up stockings, and with turkeys, mince pies, sweet cider, and sleigh rides by moonlight. My earliest recollections of those happy days, when schools were closed, books laid aside, and unusual liberties allowed, center in that large cellar kitchen to which I have already referred. There we spent many winter evenings in uninterrupted enjoyment. MORE STORY

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Images: Holiday cookies by Miyagawa; Christmas pudding by Musical Linguist; Holiday ornament by Hmbascom.

It has been a good year!

Suffrage Wagon News Channel

Suffrage Wagon News Channel

Grandmother Edna’s birthday each year is on December 25th. Other news and stories:

“Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon used by Edna Kearns on exhibit in Albany, NY for six months in 2012. American apple pie wasn’t sacred to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. California women have been voting for 100 years. Guest bloggers, news notes, and book reviews were special features in 2012. Action in the world today. Book reviews. New features and video. A Christmas story by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Upcoming book about suffrage memorabilia. The story behind Grandmother Edna’s suffrage wagon. Op-Ed wagon piece by Olivia Twine. New Video: “This Wet and Wrinkled Paper.” Viral suffrage email. Suffrage movement quilting. The UK had a Suffragette Summer School. Demonstration about suffrage at the 2012 Olympics. Virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Kansas almost didn’t have a suffrage centennial except for writer Tom Mach. More about Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Link #1. Link #2.  Women voters thank their suffrage ancestors VIDEO. Holiday gifts for your suffrage buff.

Film and video is how many people learn about the suffrage movement. Suffrage wagon storytelling at Hudson River Playback Theatre. Suffrage hikers to Washington, DC captured on film. Mother’s Day interview about Grandmother Edna Kearns. “Holding the Torch for Liberty” suffrage musical gala in Manhattan. Behind the scenes of great suffrage music video, “Bad Romance.” Audio interview about Edna Buckman Kearns in Chick History series.

Alice Paul, the most overlooked civil rights leader of the 20th century. Do you know about “Suffrage Buffs of America”? Suffrage Wagon quarterly newsletter: The Fall 2012 quarterly newsletter.  Summer 2012 issue. Spring 2012. Suffrage Wagon highlighted in ElectWomen magazine.  Albany, NY women’s exhibit had the “Spirit of 1776.”Grandmother Edna makes “New York History.” Article in “Albany Kid,” by Tara Bloyd about Edna and Serena Kearns. A holiday story by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Art work of the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon by Peter Sinclair. Spice Cake for High Tea from a Suffragist CookbookValentine’s Day stories about suffrage. New Suffrage Wagon videos. Check out the SWNC archive.

Make a New Year’s resolution to subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel in 2013.

Suffragists out of the Shadows: Plus News Flash!

History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I, by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage. Free ebook, available online.

NEWS FLASH: Original 19th Amendment document on display at Clinton Library for a limited time. Special radio report by Malcolm Glover. Link.

EXTRA, EXTRA!!  A new book about Long Island women, published by The History Press, just came in the mail. I’m looking forward to curling up on the couch and reading Women in Long Island’s Past: A History of Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives by Natalie A. Naylor, Professor Emerita at Hofsta University, editor of the Nassau County Historical Society Journal, and Long Island Historian. This puts Grandmother Edna and her times in a much clearer perspective.

I’m gearing up for a virtual birthday party in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s honor on November 12, 2012 by reading the featured free ebook, History of Woman Suffrage: Volume I, with its 1157 pages. It’s the introduction to a six-volume set of the history of the woman suffrage movement started in 1881 and completed in 1922.

I breezed through the digital book with many clicks and slides, although it took considerable effort to digest the material. Consider it a detailed report from the Big Three of the suffrage movement (Cady Stanton, Anthony, Gage) passed on down to us today. Personal accounts, letters, original documents, reports, recommendations, meeting minutes, speeches, and much more were documented with a freshness and with an ear and eye to passing on an account of those precious moments.

If people laughed or clapped during a speech, it’s noted. The authors were aware that if they didn’t document the suffrage movement, no one would. And since women documenting their activism was a rare event, it’s all the more valuable for us today. Volume I is a remarkable document, considering it’s from a time period when women were infrequently seen and heard. I read my free version on Amazon, and it’s available on several other internet sites.

My favorite parts: the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention in London where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott hatched their plans for the Seneca Falls Convention (though it wouldn’t take place until eight years later) and the Seneca Falls Convention itself.

DON’T FORGET to send your birthday greetings on this form to Elizabeth Cady Stanton for her 197th virtual birthday party on Suffrage Wagon News Channel!

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has news and stories of the suffrage movement. Find out more!

Suffrage Bookshelf: The life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote by Dawn C. Adiletta

As the 2012 presidential election approaches and all the media coverage about extensive efforts to deny the vote to citizens, the spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is stirring in the wake of her birthday on November 12, 2012. She’ll be 197 years old. Join us in celebrating at her virtual birthday party. For more information about the event, visit this link.

When I was young, my mother made sure my birthday and holiday gifts included books about famous and accomplished women. I didn’t realize then how unusual that was. Sadly though, I never had a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These days Elizabeth Cady Stanton has considerably more recognition, although it’s too often, “Oh, that lady and Seneca Falls.” Which brings us to the part we all play in educating young people by passing on the torch of wisdom and appreciation.

This book, featured above, is available on Audible and worth listening to. Type “suffrage” into the Audible search engine, however, and only this work  comes up. It’s an excellent overview of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s life for young audiences. After spending a little over an hour with the audio version, it’s clear how much we owe to this one woman who changed the world. Someday when political parties are more interested in democratic participation rather than manipulating the outcome of elections, our suffrage ancestors will be given their due.

Combined with Stanton’s memoir (free as an ebook online), Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote, gifts us with the essentials of a life devoted to equal rights. The work provides details Elizabeth doesn’t tell you herself, including the resistance from her father and husband about her political activities. I love the part describing Elizabeth using her white hair and matronly figure so as to be less threatening to audiences when she laid out her radical views.

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