Tag Archives: Seneca Falls

“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.

Videos on what you’re missing if you can’t visit Seneca Falls, NY this summer

Image from "Puck"

 

 

BELOW:

New video featuring the highlights of Seneca Falls, New York –the birthplace of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

BELOW: Video highlighting the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments read at the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon that from now through July 20th will highlight Seneca Falls, New York and the annual events there commemorating this important occasion in American history.

New initiatives to link the past with the present: Seneca Falls and the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

NewsNotesSWNC Two important announcements from the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement of the United States (upstate NY) represent a trend of bringing the past out of isolation and linking a rich cultural heritage to social issues relevant for our times. These initiatives include the Girl Ambassador program of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, NY, the appointment of a new Gage historic site manager and director, and the upcoming Convention Days 2014 celebration in Seneca Falls, NY from July 18 to 20.

After a period of reorganization,  last week  the Gage Center announced a new director and site manager, Sarah Flick, and an expansion of the focus to carry on the work of social activist and writer Matilda Joslyn Gage (who inspired the center) in order to make her life and work relevant for the present day. The Gage Center web site describes the changes as a “new chapter”. The Gage Center’s programs are ongoing at the Fayetteville historic site.

Convention Days in Seneca Falls, NY from July 18 to 20 will  feature much more than period costumes, processions and speeches in 2014. This year’s program will include a declaration of the rights of Muslim women, an initiative that has already caused a stir. “Diversity and Equality –Local, State, National and Global” involves the town of Seneca Falls in its commemoration of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. A full schedule of events for Convention Days, recently released, highlights a wide variety of events that’s expected to attract visitors, tourists, and women’s rights enthusiasts from across the nation and abroad. The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls , NY recently announced its acquisition of the old mill property that represents a major move to showcase the organization’s offerings.

For an ongoing update on these and other initiatives, follow the Suffrage Wagon as well as LetsRockTheCradle.com  Submit event listings to the LetsRockTheCradle calendar at LetsRockTheCradle at gmail dot com

Marguerite’s reminders about June 19th, plus Susan B. Anthony resources

Marguerite's MusingsI love the ongoing discussion about Susan B. Anthony on this blog and the implications of what it must have been like for Susan to devote her life to the vote. Today we can take on challenges, like Susan did, that are meaningful (and even have fun) while making a difference.

How would Susan respond to this free-spirited poem presented recently about our suffrage activist ancestors at a Slam Poetry event? Check out “Suffragette 69″ and smile –just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any new angles relative to this part of American history.

Susan B. Anthony’s networking and advocacy energized her. When I took a bus trip last fall with Friends of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, one point was brought to my attention –about how Susan took “power walks” around her neighborhood on early mornings. I loved hearing all about Susan, the activist, the sister, the family member, the cook, the human being, and so much more. Getting inside the personal lives of our suffrage ancestors involves getting to know them as people, as well as heroic historic figures. That’s why I love doing this work!

Susan B. Anthony’s June 19, 1873 speech can be found in lists of great American oratory. If you sign up for a speech class, there’s a possibility Anthony’s presentation may be referred to as a way to learn about the structure of powerful presentations. I’m looking forward to playing Susan today at a  birthday party. For the past week or so I’ve been setting aside a few items: a long dress, hat, cape, plus an edited version of her speech. It’s great fun to add a skit to a birthday celebration.

Susan B. Anthony resources: Short video introducing Susan’s trial speech for illegal voting on June 19, 1873. Audio selection (three minutes) about Susan B. Anthony’s famous 1873 trial speech from Doris Stevens’ book, “Jailed for Freedom.” A feature story about Barbara Blaisdell who has been interpreting Susan B. Anthony for the past 23 years for groups, organizations and for special occasions. My appeal to friends about the importance of making June 19th and Susan B. Anthony’s trial speech a national observance.  New book about Anna Howard Shaw, and author Trisha Franzen, makes argument about Shaw (video included) being “true heir to Susan B. Anthony” and attempts to separate fact from fiction. Visit the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, NY.

June 19th is not only the date when Susan B. Anthony gave her now famous speech at the Ontario County courthouse near Rochester, New York. It’s also a celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The suffrage and antislavery movements were intricately connected, and this is definitely reflected in the wide range of events that can be accessed in the LetsRockTheCradle.com calendar. The Cradle site is a recognized resource destination and online community for events, historic sites, action campaigns, movement stories, and the many ways the past inspires our actions today!

The news notes shared here are by no means a representative sampling of what’s available online. But they give me an opportunity to keep up to date, and point out some noteworthy content I found online. For example, here’s an article about five commentators who still are angry about the fact that women won the right to vote in 1920. Link. Seneca Falls, NY will be the birthplace of a Muslim women’s rights declaration in July of 2014. Link. A conference in Detroit during July features women and their role in the Underground Railroad. Link. June 19th and a celebration about the end of slavery. Link. An overview of “male feminism.” Link. Observations on the stalemate concerning the governor’s Women’s Equality Agenda in the NYS Legislature. Link. Women and Canadian elections. Link.

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

Centennial fever is in the air: 965 days until the 2017 women’s suffrage party!

LetsRockTheCradleNo one’s openly planning for New York’s 2017 suffrage centennial. Centennial awareness is out there, however, bubbling under the surface. What are the signs? How about a groundbreaking in Seneca Falls, New York for the National Women’s Hall of Fame that’s taking over the old Seneca Mill along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, a historical location in its own right. Abolitionists and reformers Charles Hoskins and Jacob Chamberlain, the mill founders, signed the Declaration of Sentiments in 1848. Good news. . . because it sets the stage for what’s to come in New York in 2017 and then across the nation in 2020.

The National Women’s History Project is in the process of bringing together a wide coalition of people in support of strengthening public interest in Votes for Women history and the various advantages it will bring to old and young, communities and the nation in terms of education and economic development. The network is expected to be on the ground, up and running by this coming summer.

LetsRockTheCradle.comLetsRockTheCradle.com is putting New York under the microscope in terms of featured events, action campaigns, and featured suffrage activists. You can rock the cradle by following on Twitter or with an email subscription.

The web site SuffrageCentennials.com is gearing up for a birthday party –its first.

Suffrage Centennials BirthdayAnd here’s a video for a quick reminder. Watch the app on LetsRockTheCradle that keeps track of the number of days until NYS’s women’s suffrage centennial: 965 days. Put that on your “to do” list.

Follow news and views of the suffrage movement and how it relates to us today. Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel for posts twice a week in your email, or Facebook or Twitter. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Help a high school class gather signatures for the ERA!

We’re interested in bringing our fabulous suffrage history of the past together with the present day and then informing and inspiring the future. One way is by visiting suffrage historic sites. Birthdays are always a fun celebration, especially with it being Susan B. Anthony’s birthday this weekend.

What better way to celebrate than to help a high school women’s studies class in California move the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) forward. I signed their petition. Add your name. ERA buttonThe students’ goal is 5,000 signers. They have about half that amount as I write this. Show them your support!

VIDEO: about suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony. ARTICLE  I wrote in New York History about Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, NY and her many fans.

Continuing on with the celebration of Susan’s birthday, she would have been at One Billion Rising on February 14th, the annual international event that brings attention to the necessity of ending violence against women and girls. It’s a rush to attend an event in your own community. I did. What about you?

Subscribe to a weekly journal that highlights a great deal of what’s going on in women’s history. Women’s History Weekly Digest from Chick History does just that, and you’ll hear the news in the words of the newsmakers themselves. Every week I skim through the digest and have found some gems to share on Suffrage Wagon. Go directly to the source. It’s only one email a week, and it’s worth signing up!

News Notes: C-Span video about Elizabeth Cady Stanton is worth watching. The Huffington Post featured Louise Bernikow’s article about teaching the suffrage movement to school children. It’s an interesting take on what’s ahead relative to bringing this important part of American history to light. See: #1. #2.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon through news, views and features about the suffrage movement!

December 25th birthdays for suffragists Edna Kearns and Martha Wright

Martha Wright & Edna Kearns birthdays

It’s sufragist Edna Kearns‘ birthday on December 25th, as well as Seneca Falls convention heavyweight Martha Wright.

Video to celebrate these December 25th birthdays.

Edna Kearns (1882-1934) is cited as one of two suffragists of the month in December 2013 for the Long Island women’s suffrage site.  #1. #2. Want to give a gift? Edna Kearns has her own chapter in Antonia Petrash’s 2013 book about women’s suffrage: Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement. To order. And then a look at the information about Long Island historian Natalie Naylor‘s book where Edna is also featured.

Past postings about the life of Edna Kearns: Video about the love of Edna’s life: Wilmer Kearns, a response to reader requests. See video about WilmerMarguerite Kearns muses about Grandmother Edna’s birthday on December 25th. The highlights of Edna Kearns’ life on Wikipedia. Videos and background about Edna Kearns.

Edna shares a December 25th birthday with Martha Wright, who may not be as well known as her sister, Lucretia Mott, but she was a mover and shaker at Seneca Falls nonetheless. Give someone a suffrage book this holiday season. Antonia Petrash’s book highlights Grandmother Edna, plus many other suffrage activists on Long Island, some of whom may surprise you. And A Very Dangerous Woman about the life of Martha Wright is a great choice. You can get a used copy online for very little and make someone very happy. Or buy it new.

Martha Coffin WrightDecember 25, 1806 (1875) - Martha Wright, called the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 with her sister Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Stanton and others. Wright was also president of women’s conventions in 1855 in Cincinnati, Saratoga, and Albany, a founder of the American Equal Rights Association in 1866, and she continued working for equal suffrage during the Civil War.

Biography of Martha Wright

And while you’re at it, December is Suffrage Wagon News Channel’s birthday. See the video!

Visit the Suffrage Wagon feature platform and enjoy the platform you don’t get to see when you subscribe by email. Follow the suffrage wagon and link up with the “go to” place on the internet for what’s happening with women voting, today and what led up to it.

Signs of life for NYS’s suffrage centennial, plus Susan B. Anthony & News Notes

Susan-B-Anthony-PrincessThe suffrage movement or “women’s suffrage” may seem like a niche topic, yet the news items  concerning Votes for Women events and activities increase by the day. Here’s a sampling:

Statewide conference planning underway for 2017 suffrage centennial of women voting in New York State by CRREO (the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach) and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz. Yeah! #1. #2.

If Susan B. Anthony were a Disney princess. #1. #2. What would Susan B. Anthony think of secrecy in government? One commentator wonders why all the secrecy when naming an elementary school after Susan B. #1. #2.  And why is the South Dakota school being named after Susan B. Anthony when another suffrage leader, Matilda Joslyn Gage, had South Dakota connections? #1. #2. Kick-Ass quotes from Susan B. Anthony. #1. #2.One upstate New York woman dresses her daughter as strong women, including Susan B. Anthony, Jane Goodall, Helen Keller. #1. #2.

Women voters will face challenges in voting because of name changes. #1. What are women voters concerned about? This commentator says that the women’s vote is essential to an election outcome, yet many political strategists still don’t understand what women really want. #1. #2. Legislation is pending in Congress (HR 863 and S. 398) that would create a Congressional Commission to identify a building site for a national women’s museum. Where do your representatives stand on this? #1. #2.

Voiceless speeches played an important role in the public relations strategies of the suffrage movement. Check out an excellent article illustrating this point. #1. #2. Kate Roosevelt and her campaign to oppose the right of women voting in New York State. #1. #2. Women in the Civil War and their role in the suffrage movement. #1. #2. Colorado women reflect on how far they’ve come as voters in the past 120 years since their suffrage movement achieved victory. #1. 

A commentator from Iowa claims that suffragists like Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton have become household names. She makes the point that equal pay for equal work still leaves much to be desired. Her point is well taken, though it’s still debatable if the names of these individuals roll off the tongue of many Americans easily. See #1. #2.

Follow the suffrage wagon with postings twice a week and a special newsletter four times a year? Where else do you get  up-to-date news about the suffrage movement, as well as today’s news and views and stories? New York History features my writing with Olivia Twine, as well as LetsRockTheCradle.com. We’re shaking up the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement. How about joining us?

Marguerite’s Musings: Presidential Bus Goes to Seneca Falls, NY

Marguerite's MusingsIt isn’t every day that a US President visits Seneca Falls, New York. Yet this is precisely what happened this past week as I’ve been encouraging everyone to visit the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. Who would have believed that the presidential bus would pull into the small upstate NY town and citizens lining the streets would witness a historic event! Has a US president ever visited Seneca Falls? Don’t know, but it certainly helps our “Let’s Rock the Cradle”campaign of encouraging everyone to visit the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. See some of the press from this past week: An Albany media outlet. #1. #2. And another clip from Washington, DC. #1. #2.

Tomorrow, or August 26th, is Women’s Equality Day initiated in 1971 by Congressional Representative Bella Abzug. And on Wednesday, or August 28th, is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom. It’s a time when collectively we’re re-evaluating who we are and what we stand for. And what better strategy than to touch into our own history! Suffrage Wagon link for Seneca Falls.  Here at Suffrage Wagon, we’ve pretty much been celebrating Women’s Equality Day all month with a rap video, audio, and fun in the kitchen with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Fresh corn is coming into the markets right now. I love the local farmers’ market where the corn has been picked that very morning. And Chef Cutting is on the case at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School to guide us through the process whether we roast our corn in the oven, on a grill, or campfire. It’s mouthwatering great! Chef Cutting loves giving a great show, and it will transform how you roast corn. And now: the highlights of August as collected by the National Women’s History Project:

August 26, 1920 -August 26, 1920 - The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution is ratified granting women the right to vote Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
August 26, 1970 - 
Betty Friedan leads a nationwide protest called the Women’s Strike for Equality in New York City on the fiftieth anniversary of women’s suffrage
August 26, 1971 - The first “Women’s Equality Day,” instituted by Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and reaffirmed annually
August 26, 1976 - “EXONERATION OF ANNE HUTCHINSON DAY” - Banished by the Massachusetts General Court in 1637, our early American Foremother was exonerated in a Proclamation by then Governor Michael Dukakis
August 28, 1963 - More than 250,000 gather for a march on Washington, DC, and listen to Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech
August 30, 1984 - Judith A. Resnick is the second US woman in space, traveling on the first flight of the space shuttle Discovery.

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How to make the best roast corn for your next cookout!

Chef Cutting is revealing his secrets at this first lesson of the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School with a step-by-step guide on how to roast corn now that corn’s in season. Let’s go for it. Video.CookingSliderAnnouncement

This recipe is splendid, whether you’re cooking on a grill or in your oven, during the summer or year round. Get rave reviews. If you visit the main Suffrage Wagon platform, you get immediate access to the Cooking School video.

The corn recipe is in memory of Edna Kearns who canned fruits and vegetables and then went on the road to teach canning, as well as campaigning, for the movement.

Quick review: This is the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Check out our page on visiting Seneca Falls and the video about the Declaration of Sentiments. Listen to it read, just as it was heard all those years ago.

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.

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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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)

Suffrage Documentary to be Showcased in Silver City, NM

The upcoming November election, the Day of the Dead, and the 90th anniversary of U.S. women voting all converge with a shrine to suffragist Edna Buckman Kearns that will be on display from October 25 through November 14 in Silver City, New Mexico in the Silver City Day of the Dead Shrine Show.  The exhibit, spread throughout Silver City in 14 businesses and galleries, showcases the shrines of 21 artists. The opening reception is Friday, October 29, 2010, 6-9 p.m. at the A-Space Studio Gallery, 110 West 7th Street. Exhibits fall into the categories of contemporary and traditional shrines. Many shrines are traditional, such as Chickie Beltran’s shrine honoring miners and Gloria Beltran’s shrine honoring the Apache.

“Five Generations and the Million Dollar Wagon” is an example of a contemporary shrine in the form of a 19-minute documentary honoring Edna Buckman Kearns who campaigned for woman’s suffrage. This shrine also acknowledges the thousands of American women who campaigned for the vote over a 70-year period, an effort which was launched in 1848 with the woman’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.