Tag Archives: Suffrage Wagon

Envision a NYS suffrage centennial celebration in 2017

Fireworks. Photo: Tom Walsh.The first stage is the dream, and then comes the planning and reality of a New York State suffrage centennial celebration in 2017. The facts are being collected and the dreamers called into action. Every month I’m on a conference call with others who are stepping up to the plate in terms of making sure that New  York State celebrates its 2017 suffrage centennial, and by this, I mean, big time. There’s a great deal to celebrate, and of course, in 2017 I’ll pull out the stops in terms of telling suffrage tales of old. If you’re interested in working on a suffrage centennial ad hoc committee, let me know at suffragewagon at gmail dot com.

Watch a short video with the comments of two 2017 suffrage centennial enthusiasts, Teri Gay and Antonia Petrash, who share their visions of how exciting such a 2017 NYS observance will be.

Video: “Thoughts about a New York State 2017 suffrage centennial.”

Often I hear people ask: “What’s the point of voting if the system’s stacked against us?” A bright spot on the horizon is The Center for Voting and Democracy. Celebrating how the vote was won translates into protecting the right, in spite of where one falls on the political spectrum. From the web site: “FairVote advances systemic electoral reform to achieve a fully participatory and truly representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. We work toward these goals by providing advocates with innovative research and strategic advocacy.” Sign up for email updates and get an overview of the nation.

Fresh corn is available right now at groceries and farmers’ markets. Choose the unhusked variety and check with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School in terms of preparing it, whether inside or outside, for juicy mouth-watering servings. It’s all in memory of Grandmother Edna Kearns who cooked and canned as a fundraiser for the suffrage movement.

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Get ready for Women’s Equality Day, plus more: Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesSWNCHave you set plans in motion to celebrate August 26th, Women’s Equality Day? Fun gifts and other products available to inform your event are available from the National Women’s History Project.

Are you following the audio podcasts from Seneca Falls? Five of the total series of seven podcasts, “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls,” have been published. If you haven’t had a chance to hear the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton reflect on the 1848 women’s rights convention, here’s your chance. Podcasts #1. #2. #3 #4 #5 . Watch for the remaining two podcasts, coming soon.

On Tuesday, August 26, at 7 p.m. at the William G. McGowan Theater in Washington, DC there will be a special program, Women’s History on the Horizon: The Centennial of Woman Suffrage in 2020. In commemoration of Women’s Equality Day and the 94th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, this discussion considers how nearly one hundred years of voting rights have impacted present-day political, social, and economic roles for women. Presented in partnership with the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum.

The updates on the Harriet Tubman national park include a video and several articles for background. Video from LetsRockTheCradle.com

Make your voice heard on the proposed Tubman national park!

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with email, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a special newsletter published four times a year by email. Visit Suffrage Wagon News Channel with updates twice a week.

“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:

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Email, Twitter and Facebook.

If Barbara Blaisdell plays Susan B. Anthony for 23 years, when does she BECOME Susan?

Susan B. Anthony todayIt’s amazing that one person, Barbara Blaisdell, has been delighting fans of Susan B. Anthony for the past 23 years by showing up at events and special occasions in the Rochester, New York area, as well as other venues around the state and nation. She’s spoken on numerous occasions to groups large and small, presented convention keynotes,  and has been a special guest at luncheons and teas where guests have found her portrayal of Anthony intriguing. I love the fact that Blaisdell even had a starring role in a staging of Susan B. Anthony’s trial speech at the Ontario County courthouse not far from Rochester, NY years ago. June 19th is this coming week, folks, and there’s still time to give Susan’s trial speech observance some recognition with a party and spread the fun around.

“My outfit is historically accurate,” Barbara Blaisdell says, and she describes it as a “re-creation of Anthony’s dress displayed in the Museum/House. I also wear a hat, red shawl and carry an alligator bag to stay in character throughout the portrayal and engage in questions and answers whenever appropriate. Bringing the story of the country’s (the world’s) most legendary civil rights and women’s rights leader to so many people has been and continues to be my passion.”

Visit the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester, NY and you may meet Susan B. Anthony aka Barbara Blaisdell during tours or special events. These are occasions when Blaisdell takes her role seriously as Susan herself would have responded to certain questions and comments. It’s surprising that some still have the impression of Susan having been grumpy and blunt. “Many people don’t know that Susan B. Anthony had a sense of humor. She wasn’t a gruff old bat, and many people don’t know that she liked to cook, garden, invite people over for a meal and visit. She loved children, and in my mind was an amazing person. Susan B. Anthony sacrificed her own personal life so she could fight the good fight.”

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

 

Will new developments in Albany, New York (Including Kathy Hochul) impact the state’s 2017 suffrage centennial?

MusingWagonTourism development is big at the White House. And the incumbent NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo chose a running mate for reelection (Kathy Hochul) that reportedly has upstate New York’s economic development in mind.

Maybe, just maybe this will translate into support and recognition for women’s history, rocking the cradle. and the importance of starting NOW to plan for the 2017 state suffrage centennial and the 2020 national suffrage centennial. Let’s get the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon back on the road again in exhibitions. And this week we’re continuing with the Suffrage Wagon Film Festival that features news and views of the suffrage movement through YouTube specials.

(1.) “The Vote: Choose it and use it” is a video reminding women voters today of the importance of finding out about the suffrage movement and how to honor the hard work of our ancestors today.

(2.) “Suffrage Centennials: Events and News” highlights why following the Suffrage Wagon is a good idea to stay up to date on news and views of the suffrage movement.

(3.) “Having Trouble Keeping up with Votes for Women News and Stories” features vintage photos of women from the turn of the 20th century. A little different spin on the topic.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Remembering Toshi Seeger: Marguerite’s Musings

by Marguerite Kearns

Toshi SeegerToshi Seeger, AKA Pete Seeger’s wife and working partner, is no longer with us, but her memory lives. Last year I sent a card to the Seeger family to say that I had a tree planted in El Salvador in Toshi’s memory.

For the ten years I worked at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in the Hudson Valley, Toshi Seeger was a permanent fixture in the Poughkeepsie, NY building serving as office and headquarters. I gathered news, features, and photos, and with graphic designer Nora Porter, we published the organization’s bi-monthly publication.  Toshi arrived at the office after hours often to iron out the details of the Great Hudson River Revival, the summer organizational fundraiser that kept the sloop sailing on the Hudson. Before she retired, everyone understood all the different ways in which Toshi’s tender loving care made the event possible for upwards of 20,000 people each summer. So with all the attention on Pete Seeger’s death in January 2014, I’ve been thinking of Toshi and how he and family members must have missed her in the months following her death.

Toshi had her fingers in many pies. She made the Husdon River Sloop Clearwater engine run. Pot lucks represented the grassroots engine, and for many organizational and business meetings, the chances were good that a pot luck accompanied the gathering, plus great desserts and song.

I can see Toshi Seeger now carrying heavy shopping bags of food and supplies from the car to the building where we met. That’s why the Suffrage Wagon web site features recipes from the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School as a way to reinforce the point that food fuels activism and relationship. Food and pot lucks represent the physical manifestation of a grassroots strategy of bringing people together for hard work, relaxation and celebration. Toshi understood the connection, and she kept the awareness sharp and clear during her many years of being involved in the heart of the organization. No one could call Toshi Seeger invisible. She was and remains a rock permanently installed on the banks of the Hudson River. Today I’m remembering her unique role in keeping hope alive.

Pete and Toshi Seeger supported the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon and the importance of New York State putting it on permanent exhibit for now and future generations. Support our campaign of getting the suffrage wagon out on the road again so people can see it. More information available on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Photo: Toshi Seeger, 1985. Photo by Marguerite Kearns.

Will “Suffragette” film win Oscar for Meryl Streep & new life for women’s history?

article-2580165-1C425C4700000578-184_306x700The filming’s continuing for “Suffragette,” the UK film and already there’s speculation about whether or not Merly Streep will win an Oscar for her role as Mrs. Pankhurst in the production. Not only that, but there’s a powerful media machine handing the film’s photos and press releases. More than 30 photos have been released to whet the public’s appetite for what’s to come. And don’t you just love those period costumes?

This is good for the suffrage movement and the public’s awareness of it as an important time in our history, though I suspect it will take some time for these influences to manifest. Ask people on the street about what they know about the suffrage movement. They’re either never heard of it, or their eyes glaze over. What? They’ll probably tell you that women’s history wasn’t covered back in their school days of old. The times, they are a’changing with an increasing number of suffrage history fans. The growing interest hasn’t yet reached the awareness of the mainstream of women voters.

Some politicians realize they need women voters to win elections, but they may not be so enthusiastic about women voters becoming excited by learning about their history. If so, they might be more inclined to vote for women political candidates and not for the men who claim to be standing up for women. This would be a switch, wouldn’t it? So meanwhile there’s plenty of lip service about women’s issues, but God forbid that women  voters start getting the point that it took 72 years from 1848 to 1920 for American women to win the vote, including the fact that the U.S. had one woman, a New Yorker, (Inez Milholland) die for the right to cast one’s vote.

More events and articles are posted on the internet about the suffrage movement than there’s time to read and stay current. So, the “Suffragette” film from the UK  is expected to place suffrage subject matter square in the faces of the American public starting in January 2015 when the film’s scheduled for release. Try a few links, including an interview with Carey Mulligan. And another piece featuring Carey Mulligan and her role in suff film. The media machine has been sending out great photos of the period production.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Stay current on the progress of the “Suffragette” film in production and remember that you read about it on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

 

 

National women’s museum in Washington, DC might actually happen! Plus Suffrage Wagon videos.

Suffrage Wagon News NotesA women’s history museum in the nation’s Capitol is closer than ever to reality, as the U.S. Congress moved closer to approving the planned institution on the National Mall. Earlier proposals relied on public funding, but the recent proposal involving private funding brought the idea out of the shadows and into the sunlight of possibility. The museum has been an online nonprofit organization for the past 17 years.

House Republicans just may get in line since it won’t cost the public anything. Considerable effort has been invested in giving women’s history a nod. It’s the same legislative body that’s been sitting on the eggs of other important women’s history proposals such as funding for the Harriet Tubman national park and the “Votes for Women” heritage trail in the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The next phase of the project involves selecting a site for the museum and hiring a woman architect to move the proposed museum forward. All the other buildings on the mall have been designed by men.

Check in with the Suffrage Wagon News Channel video offerings. More than 30 videos have been posted over the past few years. For  suffrage movement news and views, follow the Suffrage Wagon on Twitter, Facebook, email subscription, and a quarterly newsletter. Check in with the LetsRockTheCradle calendar of  suffrage-related events.

Male suffragist dresses as a woman, Inez Milholland Festival 2014 and other news notes

Inez Milholland Festival 2014SideInezThe rocking of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement moves forward, whether or not New York State has this important centennial on its “to do” list. Mark your calendar for August 16-17 for the Inez Milholland Festival 2014 that will be held in the Champlain Valley in the Adirondacks. LetsRockTheCradle.com is the “go to” place for upcoming announcements of the two-day program.

“Male suffragist dresses as a woman” is a headline that’s certainly to get some attention. Great musical video of the Corrs sisters singing “The Long and Winding Road” demonstrates the power of combining women’s issues with music and bringing attention to African women. Online link. Another cool story about a suffrage quilt. Huffington Post has article about the lessons learned from suffragist Anna Howard Shaw. Many new New York History blog contributors wrote about women’s history during March, Women’s History Month. New  York women and their contributions to the Adirondacks. Ken Florey’s book on suffrage memorabilia reviewed. The Missouri Women’s Network Education Fund launched its 1,000 Strong Campaign to raise $10,000 for the bust of St. Louis suffragist Virginia Minor to join the collection of bronze memorialized Missourians.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news and views of the suffrage movement. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Book about suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw, plus need for suffrage film!

New book on Anna Howard ShawIt has been a long journey for women’s history professor Trisha Franzen of Albion College whose new book on suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw represents two decades of research and writing to produce the work now available from the University of Illinois Press. Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage is believed to be the first major work on this suffrage leader who was well known in her time but has faded into the past. Thank you, Trisha Franzan, for your vision and persistence.

The film “Suffragette,” now in production in England about the militant wing of the suffrage movement, is getting attention in the U.S. because of its subject matter (about women and women’s history), and also because of the opportunities for women in film roles. “The Academy’s Celluloid Ceiling” is the topic of a public radio program by host Martha Burk who interviewed Melissa Silverstein, founder of the Women and Hollywood blog. The last dramatic film about the suffrage movement, “Iron Jawed Angels,” was produced by HBO back in 2004. Both commented that it’s about time for this part of American history to receive more exposure. Both Burk and Silverstein lament the declining numbers of women involved in the Hollywood movie business and say it is unacceptable to make it close to impossible for women to break into the industry.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Upcoming Alice Paul book author claims new approach to suffrage leader

Book about Alice Paul: Claiming Power

Alice Paul: Claiming Power by J.D. Zahniser with Amelia R. Fry is an upcoming book expected to be published in September 2014 by Oxford University Press. Suffrage leader Alice Paul may have preferred to be remain out of the limelight as she organized the picketing of the White House and other controversial actions that resulted in the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment that granted American women the right to vote in 1920.

Scholarly works about Paul have been few and far between in recent years. One biographer simply gave up and said that Paul didn’t leave enough personal resources behind to be useful for historians. This upcoming book will be examined closely because Zahniser is expected to offer a new perspective about Paul’s entry into suffrage activism. She uses oral history resources gathered by historian Amelia Fry, as well as interviews with Paul’s friends and family. Fry’s extensive oral interview sessions with Paul are available online.

Upcoming: Women’s History Month in March and International Women’s Day on March 8th. Encourage young people to step forward!  Sign a petition and help high school students in California focus attention on the Equal Rights Amendment. Go to ERA web site and follow the progress (or lack of it) and how you can push things along.

Interesting links to articles to share: A provocative article from the Huffington Post about the sex lives of the founding fathers. A history of American women can be read between the lines, as well as directly. #1.  A novel by Sue Monk Kidd deals with the human issues associated with being a strong and independent woman during the time of slavery. #1.  A senior citizens blog recommends Seneca Falls, NY as a travel destination.  #1. #2.

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“I walk on my suffragist grandmother’s carpet”: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musingsby Marguerite Kearns

My writing space at home has two pieces of Oriental carpet –sections of the rug Grandmother Edna Kearns had in her home over 100 years ago. The carpet feels sturdy under my feet.  Though these remnants are now frayed and attract dog hair, I’d never expected this floor covering to have  lasted so long. But it has, just like the suffrage stories  Grandmother Edna passed down to me through my mother and of course, Edna’s own articles, stories and writings.

I can identify only a few things as having been touched by my grandmother. There’s the carpet, Edna’s tea tray, her silverware and letters, and suffrage archive. I walk on Edna’s carpet daily. Often I’m down on my knees tucking under frayed edges. When others mention how important it is to walk in other people’s shoes, I stand on Grandmother Edna’s carpet, listening to voices now faint (but growing louder) in this fast-moving world.

Suffrage stories are exciting. And they’re threatening. They’re a reminder of a time of grassroots organizing –people united in their determination to make change. We live in a time again of women rising, and at the same time, we are witnessing the last hurrah of a social system losing ground that no amount of legislation and other obstacles placed by backlash movements can change.

Grandmother Edna Kearns’ life has transformed me. The suffrage stories that have come down from her generation suggest the many ways in which it must have been a heady experience to have been involved in the suffrage movement. It represented a rush of sensation in a dead environment where education, marriage, political and personal power were limited, or for many, non existent. Women made many compromises, but the cat was out of the bag. Equality was on the horizon, and there was no turning back.

Women understood the value of working together, building constituencies, power and control through a nonviolent social revolution. As I walk on the carpet each day, I remember the legacy of our grandmothers and great grandmothers, as the power of their suffrage stories grow larger in spirit. The carpet’s surface is worn and beautiful in its strong threads.

Stay up to date with Marguerite’s Musings, plus news/views/stories  of the suffrage movement at the suffrage “go to place,” Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Edna Kearns is among 2014 National Women’s History Month Nominees

2014 National Women's History Month NomineesEdna Kearns is a 2014 National Women’s History Month nominee, as featured in the “Women’s History 2014 Gazette.” The theme for 2014 is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.”

The National Women’s History Project is one of the trailblazers in the field of women’s history and is increasingly recognized as such. Each year’s Gazette features noteworthy women, and it is a resource for projects and key events around the nation. A gala reception and dinner celebrating the National Women’s History Month 2014 honorees will be held March 27, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at The Willard Hotel, Washington, DC. Tickets are available at the NWHP web site. The NWHP Gazette costs $10 for 25 copies, plus all sorts of goodies available to order for Women’s History Month celebrations in March. It’s a no brainer.Edna Kearns: 2014 National Women's History Month Nominee

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news and views of the suffrage movement. Postings twice a week, plus a quarterly newsletter. Suffrage Wagon also has YouTube and Vimeo channels.

America’s Joan of Arc and two videos: Special for Joan’s birthday!

Inez Milholland as Joan of ArcKathleen Kelly, long-time friend of Suffrage Wagon, takes Joan of Arc on the road on her birthday with a special feature in “New York History.” See the special article for Joan’s birthday that spreads the word about the U.S. having its own Joan of Arc.

VIDEOS: A clip from “Iron Jawed Angels,” that shows Inez Milholland leading the 1913 suffrage parade in the nation’s Capitol. It’s a great clip. And Kathleen’s article nails down the details of how we have our own Joan of Arc on this side of the Atlantic. My grandmother Edna and grandfather Wilmer marched in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC at the time of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. Can’t help the tears that well up every time I watch the clip. If you haven’t seen “Iron Jawed Angels,” it’s available online, including YouTube. Treat yourself during Hot Tea Month in January! And serve hot tea.

Here’s the launch video for Suffrage Wagon during Hot Tea Month. Link and I’ll embed it , though I’m not sure it’s going to hold on all platforms.

Have a party in honor of Joan of Arc, Inez Milholland, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucretia Mott, Anna Vaughn Hyatt and others from our history and feature hot tea at your gathering during Hot Tea Month in January.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon. Postings twice a week and a quarterly newsletter. Vimeo and YouTube channels. Suffrage Wagon News Channel celebrates women’s freedom to vote.

Susan B. Anthony’s holiday sleigh ride, plus suffrage news notes for December 2013

Grandmother Edna KearnsThe Winter 2013-14 Suffrage Wagon newsletter should be in your email box. If not, here it is.

Terrific article about Susan B. Anthony’s organizing sleigh ride throughout New York State at Christmas in 1854. If you read no other article about Susan B. Anthony, this is the one. It shows how Susan took advantage of an opportunity and milked it for all it was worth. The New  York History blog is a great source for commentary, events, trends, celebrations and more.  #1. #2.

Not long ago, there were few women historians, maybe ten to one. Today the ratio is two to one, which is quite an improvement. This article from History News Network lays out the issue in a snapshot of what it’s like on the front lines in terms of getting the public to listen to women’s history in general, and specifically suffrage history. Things are changing, slowly.  #1. #2.

In New Zealand 120 years have passed since women there won the vote. Government officials take the anniversary seriously by meeting with young women voters to jumpstart their participation in voting. One news article gives an overview of the past, plus a perspective on what needs to be done from this point on.  #1. #2.  

If you didn’t hear about the 12-year-old calling herself a “suffragette” who challenged the NC governor over voting rights, here’s your chance. #1. #2. Feminist describes life-changing moment when describing how she marched with a veteran suffragist activist in a 1970 New York City parade. #1. #2. 

Suffrage News from all over: Keynote speech at centennial celebration of women’s right to vote in Norway. #1. #2. Women make up half of the Canadian population but only hold one quarter of the seats in the House of Commons. Why? #1. #2. The Shoeleather History Project features working women in the suffrage movement. #1. #2. The Irish remember their own suffrage movement. #1. #2.  Women around the world celebrate New Zealand’s 120th suffrage anniversary and note Africa’s progress on women’s representation. #1. #2. Is Canada a good place to be a woman? This article raises and answers the question in light of the Global Gender Gap Report. #1. #2.

Follow the suffrage wagon with postings twice a week and newsletters four times a year. We also have YouTube and Vimeo channels. 

Stirrings about 2017 suffrage centennial for New York, plus other news notes

News NotesI did some baking recently and then put my feet up to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” that many believe was set in Seneca Falls, NY. #1. #2. The resulting article was published this week in “New York History.” It highlights the town and its cottage industry, including the Frank Capra film and women’s rights sites.

There’s an increased number of references to the upcoming 2017 suffrage centennial  in New York State. #1. #2.  New York may be the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the U.S., but move on over and let the torch enter. #1. #2.

Do you know that the first country claiming to be the first in women’s suffrage –Pitcairn– had its 175th suffrage anniversary this year? Pitcairn disputes New Zealand’s claim to be number one in the world by challenging the definition of a “country.” Today, Pitcairn has 36 residents of voting age: 19 women and 17 men. They spent their 175th women’s suffrage anniversary on November 29th with a feast prepared by the men for the women. Most of Pitcairn’s 60 residents are descended from mutinous sailors of a British ship. #1. #2.

Misc. News Notes: Gloria Steinem was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. Among the facts listed in a bio published by CNN is the fact that her grandmother, Pauline Perlmutter Steinem, served as president of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association. #1. #2.  U.S. President Barack Obama referred to the civil rights and suffrage movements when presenting recently to a room of young people at the White House Youth Summit.

Advice from the heart of Rochester, New York where local heroes include Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. The greats were helped by others. They didn’t do everything alone. Don’t forget this, says local commentator. #1. #2.  Looking to name a baby? This article scans history and finds some extraordinary women with very unusual names. #1. #2.  February luncheon is set for Susan B. Anthony’s birthday in February 2014 at the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY. #1. #2. 

How about a book for the suffrage buffs in your life this holiday season? The National Women’s History Project has quite a selection. And Elizabeth Crawford publishes suffrage stories and offers books on the suffrage movement. Current offerings are available in her December 2013 catalog. Great possibilities for gifts year round.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel, a multi-media news and story platform about women’s suffrage and how the 19th amendment came about. LetsRockTheCradle.com deals with building awareness of the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in the U.S. 

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.

A happy 4th birthday to Suffrage Wagon, plus birthday video!

Happy Birthday, Suffrage Wagon News Channel Every year in early December there’s another birthday for Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Now it’s number four!

We’ll be celebrating 350 posts this month, and that’s quite an accomplishment. Back in the early days it wasn’t clear just how long I could keep up with blogging on a subject as focused as my suffragist grandmother Edna Kearns and her “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon. Here I am, four years later and not running out of things to say.

There’s a happy birthday video. Take a minute and smile at the thought of four candles as you send birthday greetings by way of cyberspace. Leave a comment on YouTube so that we know you’re out there cheering on the wagon as much as people took notice 100 years ago. Today the news channel keeps fans abreast of suffrage news and views, events and centennials. The story of Grandmother Edna Kearns is just as fresh as it has ever been. She represents the tens of thousands of women on the community level that it took for women to win the vote. Current affairs suggest that rights granted can also be taken away. Choose the vote and use it!

The "Spirit of 1776" article in "New York Archives"An article about the “Spirit of 1776″ in the current issue of “New York Archives” demonstrates how the suffrage wagon in its centennial year continues to have juice. Suffrage centennials like this one are an opportunity to pause for reflection and honor the hard work and dedication that went into winning the vote. Take a stand and insist that rights fought for this shouldn’t be compromised. And don’t stop at the vote itself. It’s merely a tool in our toolbox as citizens.

Grandmother Edna Kearns’ birthday is on Christmas Day. She’ll be 121 years old in 2013.

Highlights of Suffrage Wagon News Channel in 2013 include the centennial celebration of the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon from Manhattan to Long Island in July of 1913. Some links:

Media about “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon resolution in the New York State Legislature during 2013: Ms. Magazine blog: #1. #2. Newsday coverage. #1. #2. Legislative Gazette. #1.#2. Votes for Women 2020. #1.  Feature from Women’s eNews. #1. #2. Albany TV coverage. #1. #2.  State Senator Little’s web page about resolution.#1. #2. Transcript of June 18, 2013 of the New York State Senate introduction of the Wagon Day (July 1, 2013) resolution. #1. #2. New York History blog. #1. 

Suffrage Wagon News Channel publishes twice a week and four times a year with a special quarterly newsletter. Follow us. “Marguerite’s Musings” are a special feature.

The story about womens suffrage activist Edna Kearns that has a lot of juice!

The "Spirit of 1776" article in "New York Archives"You can read all about the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon’s confrontation and threats in an article from the fall issue of “New York Archives” that’s still on the stands. The trip from New York City to Long Island for a month of campaigning in 1913 had a high point when the wagon arrived in Huntington, NY in a grand parade. People who were lined up on both sides of the street witnessed a historic event. That’s when the confrontation and threats were recorded by a Brooklyn Daily Eagle reporter. You can read all about it! This article gives an overview of the campaign wagon’s history and what was going on at this time. Check out the entire womens suffrage history feature piece by Marguerite Kearns in the fall edition of “New York Archives,” the quarterly publication of the Archives Partnership Trust. I call it the definitive suffrage wagon story, so don’t miss it! Read all about it!

Check in with the Suffrage Wagon feature platform where there are special features that don’t manifest when you get this message just by email and all the special effects are sliced out for efficiency. Touch into the magazine format once in a while. Make Suffrage Wagon News Channel a part of your daily check-in.

“Marguerite’s Musings” and feature piece about “Cradle” and Cotton Country

Cradle articleArticle about rocking the Cradle in the Finger Lakes of New York State.

Last week I returned from Texas cotton country where my sister Winifred Culp received an award for her work with NearSea Naturals (and sustainable and organic fabrics) from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas. Grandmother Edna would be proud. One hundred years ago Edna launched her “Better Babies” campaign on Long Island and who would have thought it would have been controversial? Some Long Island women thought it inappropriate to mix the issues of voting and everyday life. Not so, said Edna. And I’m seeing, more than ever, the inter-relatedness of issues when once compartmentalizing seemed so neat and tidy.

It’s been a busy two months starting with the “Cradle” blogging tour in September. Olivia Twine and I are still blogging about our whirlwind trip through the Finger Lakes region of New York State. My article about Grandmother Edna’s “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon was published in the fall issue of New York Archives. And Suffrage Wagon Cooking School moves forward to its second recipe and lesson to celebrate November birthdays starting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 198th birthday tea party (pull up a chair to the virtual party table) and a spread featuring traditional English scones brought to us by Chef Cutting.

The Texas organic cotton growers rolled out the red carpet for us in Texas this past week, and I learned more about organic cotton production than I could have ever imagined. Women as a voting block have many issues on their minds today, especially safety, as far as food, fabric, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. What we wear is just as important as the quality of food we put in our mouths. Logical? Cotton seems like such an American apple-pie product until you realize how much poison it takes to keep insects from eating the cotton ball in one gulp.

Other news items from Suffrage Wagon News Channel for November 2013. Stay current on new comic book about suffragist Margaret Sanger and updates on the upcoming film ‘Suffragette” in the UK.

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 gearing up to shake up the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in upstate New York (the Finger Lakes district). How about joining us?

Suffrage Wagon News Notes: October 2013

NewsNotesOctober2013Citizens and businesses in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York State are proud of its cultural riches and a recent news article says this is something to crow about. Olivia Twine and I barely scratched the surface on our 2013 blogging tour of what’s available. We could have been on the road for a month in upstate New York and still wouldn’t have been able to touch into everything that’s available for visiting and thinking about. See article. #1. #2.

Too bad that we’d just left Rochester, NY in early October 2013 because we missed the Susan B. Anthony: Spirit in Action Legacy Women Conference. New York’s women are stirring in the “Cradle.” It won’t be long before they’re asking questions, like: Is New York State planning and moving forward to celebrate the centennial of its women voting for the past 100 years? Not yet. The upcoming suffrage centennial is in 2017. Scholars are rolling up their sleeves at the potential of enormous opportunities coming our way. The interest is evident on the grassroots, though it appears to be too early for details. Check out the Rochester conference program. #1. #2.

If you aren’t busy this weekend and happen to be in the vicinity of Seneca Falls, NY and the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US, check out the induction ceremony at the National Women’s Hall of Fame. #1. #2.

The lights at the national park in Seneca Falls, NY have been shut down over the past week. The federal government closings has many up in arms, but no one would have predicted the extent of the public reaction. #1. #2.

And now for the news notes. There are more than you ever thought possible: Illinois suffrage centennial celebrants produce play honoring Chicago. #1. The ongoing Votes for Women quilt project continues. #1. #2. The National Women’s History Museum is still seeking building in Washington, DC after 20 years. #1. #2.  October is Women’s History Month in Canada. #1. #2. Find out about the background slogan’s origin: “Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History.” #1. #2.  Fascinating article about researcher who dug up 50 primary documents about Americans, their views and struggles for freedom. #1. The perspective that women aren’t suited for voting comes up on the internet in various forums by some commentators who claim to have access to the subconscious of women. Take a look at this one: #1. #2.

LetsRockTheCradle features the upcoming 2017 suffrage centennial in NYS, the proposed state and federal trails in the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US, and the 2013 Cradle blogging tour in late September and early October with Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a multi-media platform with news and stories of the suffrage movement. Subscribe, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The “Cradle” Blogging Tour was a great success: Marguerite’s Musings

Seneca Falls Visitors Center

Home from the blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US in upstate New York! What an eye opener! It’s one thing to talk about the “Cradle” of the movement in the US, and yet another thing to see it for myself. I’m exhausted. I’m happy. I have enough material to write about for the next six months.

And we left the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY right before the federal government shutdown. Or we would have been among the thousands of visitors from around the nation and world disappointed (on many levels) about the politicizing of public services. Roads were closed, visitor centers shuttered, and campers ordered to pack up and hit the road.

The loss in revenue is tremendous. An estimated 716,000 people spend  $76 million dollars a day visiting the national park system, according to one AP story in the daily paper delivered to my front door yesterday. The news piece focused on national park sites in Utah and Arizona and the bewildered tourists, many of whom had traveled considerable distances to reach the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and other national sites.

The number of visitors to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY aren’t at the level of these destinations, although in my opinion, the national park in the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in upstate NY hasn’t yet reached its potential in terms of public awareness.

Olivia Twine and I started out with the unveiling of the Sojourner Truth statue in Port Ewen in the Hudson Valley as a launching pad. Then we visited Johnstown, Fayetteville, Seneca Falls, Auburn, Rochester, and Farmington. There are hundreds more places we could have visited, depending on how broad we defined our parameters. It was ambitious enough for six days on the road. Visiting sites, photographing, interviewing, and driving kept us going nonstop, and still, we couldn’t keep up with the daily blog posts. We’ll be blogging about the experience some more, and there’s plenty to think about.

This was an experience made easier by the cradle’s accessibility to the New York State Thruway. We covered a lot of territory quickly. And it appears as if we may have rocked the cradle until the limb of the national government broke in two.

Subscribe to our blog, Lets Rock the Cradle, to keep up to date with the developments associated with making the Finger Lakes region of New York State a destination for people of all ages and backgrounds interested in this significant part of American history.

Still on the Road with the Cradle Blogging Tour

Stories from Edna Buckman KearnsSTILL ON THE ROAD WITH THE CRADLE BLOGGING TOUR: Yes, I’m behind in keeping up to date with the Cradle Blogging Tour postings. Yes, I’m still on the road and will be catching up soon. Meanwhile, here are some highlights of past postings, and the regular posting schedule will resume soon.

Traveling on the road with Edna:  Family stories about Grandmother Edna and Grandfather Wilmer. Edna’s speech noted in news account. Edna’s suffrage “voiceless speech” in the waves. What Edna did on the 4th of July in 1913. At the feet of the Statue of Liberty. Grandmother’s speeches from the suffrage campaign wagon. When the suffrage wagon was presented to the movement in 1913. Letters and news clippings from the family archive. Edna Kearns stood up on a automobile to give a speech. Long Island street corner debates. Current events of 2013: the wagon suffrage centennial and the resolution passed by both houses of the New  York State Legislature in June of 2013 designating July 1, 2013 the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day in New  York.

 

12 Reasons Why the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon is a Treasure!

The "Spirit of 1776" suffrage wagonAnd you thought the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon was safely tucked away in a warehouse of the New York State Museum near Albany, NY. Wrong! The security team at the museum warehouse will note the wagon is in its usual place. However, the wagon’s 1776 spirit is heading out in late September for a blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US .

Your spirit can join in with the fun. Follow the Suffrage Wagon by signing up for a seat on the blogging bus. It’s free. You don’t have to leave home. And if for some reason, you can’t join us live, stop by when it’s convenient. Join us at LetsRockTheCradle.com

The suffrage wagon called the “Spirit of 1776″ is considered an important part of American history. Here are 12 reasons why:

1. The suffrage wagon a prime artifact of the suffrage movement in NYS and the nation;

2. The suffrage wagon can be exhibited in a stationary place or taken on the road to travel;

3. The wagon symbolizes the national suffrage theme of the unfinished American Revolution and the “Spirit of 1776” theme of the Declaration of Sentiments going back to Seneca Falls in 1848;

4. The suffrage campaign wagon is in the collection of the NYS Museum and already has been seen by thousands of people in an exhibit at the state museum in 2010 and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Capitol exhibit in 2012;

5. The wagon has a constituency of people who follow its stories from history through an online multimedia news and story platform called Suffrage Wagon News Channel (http://suffragewagon.org);

6. The wagon has been well documented in its history, including coverage of the “Spirit of 1776” wagon’s travels by the New York Times, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the New York Tribune, and many other papers in 1913;

7. The New York Archives magazine in Albany, NY is preparing an article on the “Spirit of 1776” wagon that is scheduled to appear in October 2013;

8. The wagon is representative of the extensive grassroots organizing that was necessary for NYS suffrage movement leaders to campaign in 1915 and ultimately win the franchise for New York’s women in 2017;

9. The “Spirit of 1776” has come to represent the decade-long activism of the Kearns family (Edna, Wilmer, and their daughter Serena and descendants) for whom the NYS woman suffrage movement has been a family affair;

10. The “Spirit of 1776” wagon symbolizes the tens of thousands of activists that it took to win the vote for women nationally and how the movement also involved communities large and small across the nation;

11. The “Spirit of 1776” wagon continues to develop the theme of the 2012 Governor’s Capitol exhibit, “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court: New York’s Women Leading the Way”;

12. The suffrage campaign’s centennial of its first journey in July 1913 will be celebrated throughout 2013, and the wagon has a long shelf life in terms of public interest and the development of cultural tourism from now through 2017 and 2020, the NYS and national centennial of women voting in the United States.

The “Spirit of 1776″ is another way to rock the cradle of the women’s rights movement in the US. Sing along.

Subscribe to the Suffrage Wagon main platform for videos you can easily access. Follow the wagon!

Don’t make a fuss –get a front-row seat on the blogging bus!

Blogging Road Trip

Sign up for a free tour of the cradle of the women’s rights movement in the US

Late September is a great time to take a trip when the leaves are turning and soon to be at their peak. We want you to join us on a free tour of the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. You hop on the blogging bus and take off. As simple as that. Sign up online at LetsRockTheCradle.com

The idea started with the suffrage campaign wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” that had a day of glory on July 1, 2013 when the State of New York designated the “Spirit of 1776” Wagon Day to commemorate the centennial of the wagon’s first journey in 1913 from Manhattan to Long Island to campaign for women’s rights. Both houses of the New York State Legislature passed the resolution on June 18, 2013 creating the 2013 Wagon Day.

Now there’s an opportunity to help us take the suffrage wagon out on the road again with a blogging tour of the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement. Seneca Falls will be one of the stops, plus the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, the home and center of Matilda Joslyn Gage in Fayetteville, and much more.

It’s not necessary to leave home to join us on the blogging bus. It’s free. No worries about parking, hotel overnights, meals. This is a road trip to build interest in and momentum for the upcoming centennial of women voting in New York in 2017 and the national centennial suffrage observance in 2020.

If you think it’s early to be thinking about the future, consider this: We have an opportunity to create a splash with our fabulous history in 2017 and 2020, but it requires advance planning and building interest in the opportunities these suffrage centennials provide.

Sign up for the Cradle Road Trip by visiting Let’s Rock the Cradle, a project of Suffrage Wagon News Channel, the web site and blog that tells the story of the suffrage campaign wagon in New York City and Long Island. Follow us!

You’ll be in the forefront of an effort to rock the cradle. Start now by joining with  the blogging tour at LetsRockTheCradle.com

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.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon by email, or follow us with Facebook or Twitter. Let’s get the wagon back on the road again!

New Video: “Rap and Roll” about Women’s Equality Day

Edna on a horseVideo and audio about August 26th or Women’s Equality Day, available now. Plus an audio reading of the 1971 resolution that passed Congress.

Video: “Rap and Roll the Suffrage Wagon” celebrates August 26th.

Audio: Amelia Bowen reads the text of the Women’s Equality Day resolution that passed the US Congress in 1971.

Audio: T. Fowler’s rap about Women’s Equality Day.

Each year the United States President announces the commemoration of the granting of the vote to women throughout the country on an equal basis with men on August 26th. US women were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution became official. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1971 when Bella Abzug introduced the legislation in Congress. 

Reminder: It’s still summer, and the first session of the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is underway. Buy corn on the cob, especially if you can get it fresh at a farmers market or grocery. Even better if you grow it yourself. Chef Cutting can guide you through its roasting that will have everyone demanding more. Include corn on the menu, whether it’s in your oven or on a grill or campfire. Visit Suffrage Wagon Cooking School for the first session with Chef Cutting.

Bonded after wearing Grandmother Edna Kearns’ clothes: Marguerite’s Musings

MusingWagonby Marguerite Kearns

The first time I wore Grandmother Edna’s dresses, it was summer. I was about ten years old when we spent hours every day at the playhouse my father built –a small building in the back yard with green shingles on the roof and openings for windows Dad never finished.

My mother told me: “Here, go and play with Grandmother Edna’s dresses and her Votes for Women sashes.” I dug into the box. My brothers and younger sister weren’t all that interested in dress ups, so I had the cardboard box to myself with its musty-smelling thin fabric, lace, and flowing long skirts.

I marched in imaginary New York City suffrage parades and wrecked the dresses, tore and dragged them through mud. They’d been stored since Grandmother Edna’s death in 1934 –unwashed after she wore them. The sensation of dressing up like Edna never left me. Throughout life I’ve always loved high collars, long skirts, petticoats, and broaches worn at the neckline.

BONDED THROUGH WEARING EDNA’S CLOTHES

When my grandmother’s clothes touched mine, we bonded. I confided to Grandmother Edna Kearns in whispers, became convinced she worried about me and protected my secrets. My friends heard every story my mother told me about Edna’s horse-drawn wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” how she wrote articles for New York City and Long Island newspapers, and marched in Votes for Women parades –especially the big one down in Washington, DC in 1913.

Edna’s archives fell into my hands in 1982. They’d been stored for years upstairs in my Aunt Serena’s closet. My mother and I sorted newspaper clippings and letters in an attempt to make sense of all this suffrage history. There were names of organizations I’d never heard of, plus events and speaking engagements spanning more than a decade from about 1911 through 1920.

GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST AT TURN OF 20TH CENTURY

Only years later did I recognize it as an archive of a grassroots suffrage activist at the turn of the 20th century. And then it became more than this. I learned about organizing for a cause as I sorted through Edna’s archives. Edna covered every inch of Long Island. In her free time, she participated in or organized events in New York City, such as a pageant at the Armory or being part of a suffrage program at the Metropolitan Opera. Though I’d never read Grandmother Edna’s writings all the years of storage in Aunt Serena’s closet, I was surprised to discover my own writing at the newspaper where I worked was almost identical in style to Edna’s. More than one person among my friends and family says I have Grandmother Edna in my DNA.

“Marguerite’s Musings” is a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. 

Follow the Suffrage Wagon to stay up to date with news and stories of the suffrage movement. We’ve been highlighting events, suffrage centennials, trends, and more since 2009. Tweets about suffrage news and views since 2010. Find out about Edna Kearns, the womens suffrage movement, how the 19th amendment came about, the campaign wagon called the “Spirit of 1776″ that is today in the New York State Museum and how it is the featured suffrage centennial in 2013 on this suffrage news channel.

New suffragette feature film in UK: Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesA lot on our plate: The Brits are ahead of us with an announcement about a new feature film about the suffrage movement under production! #1. #2. Do you know about the Suffragette Cocktail? #1 #2. The “anti” suffrage forces are on the move –the same old thing and with the attitude of a former generation. #1. #2. 

Video on how to make the best roast corn for your next cookout. Introducing Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. It’s part of our suffrage centennial series, and 2013 is the centennial of the “Spirit of 1776’s” first journey. You’ll love this way of cooking from Chef Cutting. Make your next cookout a sensation!

August is perfect to begin planning for a high tea in early November to commemorate the Night of Terror. A quick refresher. This may seem early, but it’s also when planning should be underway on how to celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday on November 12th.  And also, there’s the Night of Terror in November. It’s a possibility for a gathering of friends because there’s more possibilities for a program about our history that will have guests sitting on the edge of their seats.

Norway is having its suffrage centennial this year. The June events may be over, but there’s an international conference in November 2013 that promises to be interesting. For more information. Chick History has news items worth subscribing to. #1. #2. Women’s issues that haven’t changed since 1911. #1. #2. Activist school in UK was once called Suffragette Summer School. #1.165 years since the Seneca Falls convention of 1848. #1. #2.

And if you haven’t ever traveled to Seneca Falls, NY, it’s still warm weather right now. Visit our page on Seneca Falls resources.

Video of the Declaration of Sentiments, 1848, reading by Amelia Bowen. Video about the “Spirit of 1776″ resolution that declared July 1, 2013 Wagon Day in NYS. Ode to the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon.

News items to think about: Bad jokes about women’s rights aren’t funny these days. #1. #2.  Long Island exhibit includes women’s suffrage. #1. #2. And what about Votes for Women on the east end of Long Island? #1. #2. The Women’s Equality Agenda highlights. #1. #2. NOW impatient with politicians with histories of objectifying women. #1. #2. Another suffragist ancestor honored. #1. Illinois suffrage centennial produces play. #1. #2.  The force feedings are still remembered. #1. #2.

Suffrage Wagon has its own YouTube channel. We’re posting new videos all the time. Visit Suffrage Wagon’s feature platform.

New York State suffrage leader Harriet May Mills was at 108 Madison Avenue in NYC on July 1, 1913 to see off the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon

HarrietMayMillsOne hundred years ago, the hardy band of suffrage activists were still busy traveling throughout Long Island. It’s difficult to know exactly how many people saw them off from the NYS Woman Suffrage Association at 108 Madison Avenue on July 1st, even though newspaper reports said the event stressed the capacity of the meeting room at the state headquarters while the horse and the “Spirit of 1776″ horse-drawn wagon waited outside to take Edna Kearns, Serena Kearns, and Irene Davison on a month-long campaign.

State suffrage association president Harriet May Mills orchestrated the presentation ceremony. She may not be the best-known suffrage leader in the state, but she was a hard worker and dedicated. Here’s a little that I’ve gathered to fill out Harriet’s life and career: Harriet May Mills House. LINK. Rivalry over state suffrage politics.  #1. #2. Harriet May Mills, editor of suffrage news. #1. #2. The Freethought Trail. #1. #2. Harriet May Mills biography. #1.  The parents of Harriet May Mills. #1. #2. Harriet May Mills grave.  #1. #2. 1913 Brooklyn suffrage parade. #1. #2. Letter to NY Times. #1. #2. Harriet May Mills news photo.  #1.  #2. 1910 lobbying in Albany for suffrage.  #1.  Suffrage debate.  #1. #2. 1911 lobby day at the state capitol. #1.  State suffrage association incorporation. #1.  A woman ahead of her time.  #1. #2.

Follow the suffrage wagon. News and views of the suffrage movement, suffrage centennials and this year, the suffrage centennial of the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon. Subscribe for videos, audio readings, and coming soon: The Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

The”Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon travels on: a suffrage centennial

One hundred years ago, all through the month of July 1913, the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon traveled for freedom throughout Long Island (NY). A quick overview of what happened during this suffrage centennial observance in 2013 can be seen through videos, special postings, and the story of the resolution that passed both houses of the New York State Legislature on June 18, 2013 designating July 1, 2012 the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day in NYS. It’s a suffrage centennial celebration that brings the story home to us today.

Video about legislative resolution for the “Spirit of 1776″ resolution. Video about the 165th anniversary year for the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.

About Edna Kearns: her life and her travels with the “Spirit of 1776.” About the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon. Ode to the Wagon video. About Suffrage Wagon News Channel. The archives, so you can catch up on what you missed. Audio highlights. The Suffrage Wagon media room. Edna Kearns’ family members chime in. Visit Seneca Falls, NY. Other news items that are special for this suffrage centennial celebration. Find out about Votes for Women 2020.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news, views, events, suffrage centennials, and more. Image: The “Spirit of 1776″ on exhibit for six months at the state Capitol in Albany, NY during 2012.

Coming soon: the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Suffrage Bookshelf and a review by Tara Bloyd

Women's suffrage bookPeople at the Center of Women’s Suffrage, by Deborah Kops, Blackbirch Press: 2004

by Tara Bloyd

Rather than covering the suffrage movement as a whole, except for an overview at the beginning, this book gives short profiles of fifteen women important in the struggle.  I appreciated that instead of starting with the Elizabeth Cady Stanton/Susan B Anthony/Lucretia Mott era, the work begins much earlier: it includes information about Margaret Brent (“First American Woman to Demand the Right to Vote,” in the 1600s) and Mary Wollstonecraft (“Her Writing Inspired Early Suffragist Leaders”).  I’d never read about Margaret Brent in a children’s book about the quest for the vote, so I particularly appreciated seeing her here.

The author, Deborah Kops, does a very good job of including interesting details in her coverage; for instance, she writes of Carrie Chapman Catt that “By 1890, she was so passionate about the cause that her second husband, George William Catt, had to agree she could work for women’s suffrage four months out of the year before she would marry him.”  However, there were also a few notable omissions.  For instance, Lucy Stone’s marriage isn’t mentioned in her profile.  This saddens me because I think it’s an excellent example of people refusing to be bound by convention and instead creating their own, more equal, relationship.  Perhaps instead of including a picture of Oberlin College, the biography could have been a touch more comprehensive.  (I may be biased, though, as a proud “Lucy Stoner” … she was the first recorded American woman to not take her husband’s name upon marriage, saying “A wife should no more take her husband’s name than he should hers.”)

Many of the images included are rarely seen in works of this type; for instance, Sojourner Truth is shown, with her knitting, in a color painting instead of the more common black-and-white photograph seen elsewhere in which she looks quite stern.  (And why, I wonder, do authors so rarely explain why people tend to look stern and serious in those early photographs, and why they’re all black-and-white instead of color images?  I’d think it would be both important and interesting for readers to know a bit about how photography worked in the early years!)  There’s a beautiful picture of women celebrating passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, photos from various stages of Jeanette Rankin’s life, etc.  I appreciated the book’s layout and visual appeal.  That said, more than half of the book’s space was taken up by images … I would have appreciated more text, but that’s probably the English major in me!

I definitely recommend People at the Center of Women’s Suffrage for any readers who are drawn toward learning more about individual people instead of reading about the movement as a whole. Reading about the experiences of specific women who were involved can be very compelling, and the women profiled provide a nice overview – we learn about Francis Willard, Anna Howard Shaw, Harriot Stanton Blach, Alva Belmont, and several others.  If the biographies are somewhat sparse, that’s a fault of the format rather than the author.

Unlike several of the other books I’ve profiled, People at the Center of Women’s Suffrage is still available (though Amazon warns that it could take 2-3 weeks for delivery); I’d encourage anyone creating a library of suffrage works for kids to seriously contemplate including this work. Book ordering information.

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The “Spirit of 1776″ by Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I

Suffrage activists didn’t let the centennial of the Declaration of Independence pass in 1876 without a demonstration. In this chapter of her memoir, Elizabeth Cady Stanton explains the preparations associated with traveling to Philadelphia to make the point that the American Revolution remained unfinished as long as women were denied the ballot and basic civil rights.

Fireworks. Photo: Tom Walsh.

Chapter XVIII: The Spirit of ’76

THE year 1876 was one of intense excitement and laborious activity throughout the country. The anticipation of the centennial birthday of the Republic, to be celebrated in Philadelphia, stirred the patriotism of the people to the highest point of enthusiasm. As each state was to be represented in the great exhibition, local pride added another element to the public interest. Then, too, everyone who could possibly afford the journey was making busy preparations to spend the Fourth of July, the natal day of the Republic, ‘mid the scenes where the Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776, the government inaugurated, and the first national councils were held.

MAKING JULY 4TH A WOMAN’S DAY

Those interested in women’s political rights decided to make the Fourth a woman’s day, and to celebrate the occasion, in their various localities, by delivering orations and reading their own declaration of rights, with dinners and picnics in the town halls or groves, as most convenient. But many from every state in the Union made their arrangements to spend the historic period in Philadelphia. Owing, also, to the large number of foreigners who came over to join in the festivities, that city was crammed to its utmost capacity. With the crowd and excessive heat, comfort was everywhere sacrificed to curiosity. .  . .

As the lyceum season lasted from October to June, I was late in reaching Philadelphia. Appropriate headquarters for the National Suffrage Association
had been found on the lower floor of No. 143 1 Chestnut Street. As it was the year for nominating candidates for the presidency of the United States, the Repub-
licans and Democrats were about to hold their great conventions. Hence letters were to be written to them recommending a woman suffrage plank in their
platforms, and asking seats for women in the conventions, with the privilege of being heard in their own behalf.

WRITING THE WOMAN’S DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Then it was thought pre-eminently proper that a Woman’s Declaration of Rights should be issued. Days and nights were spent over that document. After many twists from analytical tweezers, with a critical consideration of every word and sentence, it was at last, by a consensus of the competent, pronounced very good. Thousands were ordered to be printed, and were folded, put in envelopes, stamped, directed, and scattered. Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, and I worked sixteen hours a day, pressing everyone who came in, into the service, and late at night carrying immense bundles to be mailed. With meetings, receptions, and a succession of visitors, all of whom we plied with woman suffrage literature, we felt we had accomplished a great educational work.

Coming soon: Part II. The “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon carried on the theme of the national suffrage movement, which was the unfinished American Revolution. Photo: Tom Walsh. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote. Visit our main news channel platform.

Two new videos about July 1, 2013 being the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day

“Wagon Day” on July 1, 2013 in New York State video.

What is the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon?

Votes for Women 2020. Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

June 2013 Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesJune2013

Big week in Albany, NY with legislative resolution highlighting “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon: Book about Long Island suffrage movement expected to be published in late June 2013. #1. #2.

“Spirit of 1776″ wagon cited on Senator’s web page. #1. #2. Overview of the wagon’s travels in Albany, NY. #1. #2. News 10 in Albany covers “Spirit of 1776″ legislative resolution. #1. #2. #3.

The suffragette sit-com in the UK has been signed up for a second season. Emily Davison centennial reminds everyone of her sacrifice. #1. #2.  Unique perspective about English suffragette Emily Davison at the Derby. #1. #2. Excellent articles part of series on Emily (Woman and Her Sphere): #1. Guardian article on Emily. #1. #2.  Special June ceremony at House of Commons. #1.

UK media runs series about the “New Suffragists” of today. #1. #2. The new suffragettes around the world. #1. #2. And even more about the big suffrage picture. #1. #2. Women in Egypt called “new suffragettes.” #1. Young woman from UK interviewed about meaning of the vote to her today. #1. Young people are wild about the suffrage movement. #1.  Fourth graders learn about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. #1. #2. New England finds tourism outlook sunny. Suffrage history fits well with cultural tourism promotion.  #1. #2.  Men suffrage supporters referenced in contemporary appeal. #1. #2.  Ask a scholar about how the movement impacted the US. #1. #2. The women’s rights quilt continues. #1. #2.  The UK suffrage sitcom generates more media. #1. #2. 

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Fifteen Minutes of Fame for the Suffrage Wagon

It has been a great week and there’s more to come. One hundred years ago the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon made a “stir” with the coverage of its first journey in the New York Times. And one hundred years later, almost to the week, the wagon made a stir at the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York when both houses of the state legislature passed a resolution directing that July 1, 2013 be designated the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day in New York. Right now, the wagon resides at the New York State Museum when it isn’t out on one of its journeys. In 2012 the wagon was the centerpiece for a Governor’s exhibit called “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court: New York’s Women Leading the Way.” In 2010, the wagon was exhibited in March and April at the NYS Museum in Albany, NY. The state legislature resolution and press conference in 2013 was covered by a TV station, Albany public radio, several newspapers, and the web sites of women members of the NYS Legislature.

Quotes from the event. Text of the resolutions from both houses of the NYS Legislature. Overview of this extraordinary accomplishment.

Audio and video about the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon. What you need to know about  Edna Kearns: life history and videos. What is the Suffrage Wagon? Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Our main Suffrage Wagon platform.

New York State Legislative Resolution for the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day in NYS

editWagonState of New York Legislative Resolution (Senate:2421, Assembly:642)

Whereas, New York State is the cradle for the women’s rights movement in the United States and it is critically important to celebrate women’s history as well as support programs that build economic development through cultural and heritage tourism, including the development of a New York State Women’s Heritage Trail,

Whereas, A Governor’s Capitol women’s exhibit in 2012 pointed out how New York’s women led the way from “Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court” and the exhibit showcased a horse-drawn campaign wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” that was used in parades and special events on Long Island and New York City,

Whereas, This “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon is held in the collection of the New York State Museum and it is a prime historical artifact symbolizing the significance of New York women’s participation in the suffrage movement over a 72-year period starting in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY and ending with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920,

Whereas, Attendant to such interest in our history, and in full accord with its long-standing traditions, this Assembled Body is justly proud to memorialize the “Spirit of 1776” wagon as it celebrates the centennial of its first journey for freedom on July 1, 1913 when the wagon left the state headquarters of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in Manhattan and headed to Long Island for a month of grassroots organizing for the vote, in addition to later appearances in New York City suffrage parades,

Whereas, Celebration of this “Spirit of 1776” wagon centennial is in alignment with the Legislative Women’s Caucus of New York State’s mission to educate citizens of New York State by celebrating our rich cultural heritage and advancing the centennial of New York Stare’s women winning the vote in 1917, followed by the national suffrage centennial in 2020,

Whereas, Celebration of the Spirit of 1776” wagon celebration is in alignment with the State of New York‘s “ Path Through History “ program that includes women’s rights as one of the 13 identified themes building on New York’s already robust heritage tourism attractions,

Whereas, The mission of Votes For Women 2020 is to celebrate, educate, inspire, and promote the history of women’s right to vote with a focus on the past and an eye to the future with the goals of preserving and promoting NYS history sites, including but not limited to the Susan B. Anthony House, Matilda Joslyn Gage Home, Harriet Tubman Home and others; creating a NYS Women’s Heritage Trail with the “Spirit of 1776” wagon” inaugurating that trail; and hosting national celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote in 2020, beginning in 2017 with the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in New York State,

Resolved, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to memorialize Governor Andrew Cuomo to proclaim July 1, 2013 as the “Spirit of 1776” Wagon Day in the State of New York ; and be it further Resolved, That a copy of this Resolution, suitable, engrossed, be transmitted to the Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York.

Adopted in Senate on June 18, 2013
Adopted in Assembly on June 18, 2013
State of New York Legislative Resolution

The “Spirit of 1776″ will be honored in Albany, New York this coming week

WagonDay

This coming week both houses of the New York State Legislature are expected to pass a special resolution honoring Grandmother Edna Kearns’ wagon and its centennial and designating July 1, 2013 as the “Spirit of 1776” Wagon Day.

Members of the bipartisan New York State Legislative Women’s Caucus that sponsored the resolution about the wagon’s centennial will make a presentation at a press conference at the state Capitol legislative building at 10 a.m.

One hundred years ago on July 1, 1913, Votes for Women activists Edna Kearns, Irene Davison, and eight-year-old Serena Kearns left Manhattan and headed to Long Island in the horse-drawn wagon called the “Spirit of 1776.” They spent the next month organizing in many communities to gather support for women voting.

Three years later in 1917, New York’s women finally won the franchise. This was followed by the vote being extended to millions of American women nationwide in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution.

The Wednesday press conference this week is expected to highlight New York’s special designation as the cradle of the women’s rights movement in the United States. The US women’s rights movement was launched in July 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. New York’s women blazed a trail from 1848 to 1920 because of the large numbers of suffrage leaders, strategists, and grassroots activists from the state.

“As New Yorkers we have a special place in history,” said Susan Zimet, town supervisor of New Paltz, NY and co-founder of Votes for Women 2020, the organization that’s in the forefront of advocating for the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day, as well as other upcoming celebrations of New York State’s centennial of women voting in 2017, followed by the national suffrage centennial set for 2020.

“New York’s women led the way from Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court. The importance of the work of these brave warriors who paved the way for myself and my daughter are unsung heroes that deserve to have their proper place in history. The passage of this resolution by our NY State elected leaders is a critical step in the recognition of the work ahead of us.”

The ‘Spirit of 1776’ campaign wagon reinforced this theme when it left the headquarters of the NYS Woman Suffrage Association on July 1, 1913 in Manhattan to further the movement’s mission of freedom.

The “Spirit of 1776” wagon represents a key piece of the state’s history of social movements. Not only is the wagon an important part of New York State history, but it also represents the theme of the unfinished American Revolution that was advanced by the suffrage movement across the country.

Find out more about Votes for Women 2020.

Suffrage Bookshelf: Ken Florey’s suffrage memorabilia book is out!

Kenneth Florey book on suffrage memorabiliaMcFarland Publishers has finished printing Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia–An Illustrated Historical Study by Kenneth Florey. Consult McFarland’s spring catalog for more information. The book is available at Amazon.  The New York Times antiques column recently gave the book a favorable mention. If you’re a fan of Ken Florey’s articles on Suffrage Wagon News Channel about tea and the movement, wagons and automobiles used in the movement, plus more –you’ll be interested in his book.

Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study by Kenneth Florey: Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7293-2   Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-0150-2     ca. 215 photos (16 pages in color), notes, bibliography, index softcover (7 x 10) 2013

While historians have long recognized the importance of memorabilia to the woman suffrage movement, the subject has not been explored apart from a few restricted, albeit excellent, studies. Part of the problem is that such objects are scattered about in various collections and museums and can be difficult to access. Another is that most scholars do not have ready knowledge of the general nature and history of the type of objects (postcards, badges, sashes, toys, ceramics, sheet music, etc.) that suffragists produced.

New techniques in both printing and manufacturing that grew side-by-side with the suffrage movement created numerous possibilities for supporters to develop campaigns of “visual rhetoric.” This work analyzes 70 different categories of suffrage memorabilia, while providing numerous images of relevant objects along the way, and discusses these innovative production methods. Most important, this study looks at period accounts, often fascinating, of how, why, when, and where memorabilia was used in both America and England.

Kenneth Florey, professor emeritus at Southern Connecticut State University, is a long-time specialist in Woman Suffrage memorabilia. He has lectured on the subject both here and abroad, appeared on television, and written articles for a variety of publications. He has also served as an auction appraiser on suffrage material. His collection of suffrage artifacts, consisting of postcards, buttons, ribbons, sashes, sheet music, and other objects, may be the largest ever accumulated by a private individual in this country.

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News of suffragette sit-com and many updates

newsnotesmore copyI just signed a digital petition. Tara forwards them to me. Bless her! It’s another tool in my tool box –along with recycling. Any of these things alone won’t budge the inertia associated with humans taking necessary steps to build a safe and sustainable future. But it keeps the Big Picture in mind while taking the garbage outsider to the composter. Digital petitions work when they’re included in a movement’s toolbox. If digital petitions are an end in themselves, they’re unlikely to attract much attention. Here’s the link to the petition Tara sent me. It’s all in the spirit of Grandmother Edna who was a peace activist, which in her day represented a challenging cause.

And now… on to Suffrage News Notes: A YouTube trailer about “Up the Women,” a suffragette sit-com. “Up the Women,” the suffragette situation comedy on UK TV featured. #1.  Even more about UK suffrage sit-com. #1.

An appeal to women to lead the Third Women’s Revolution. #1. #2. Speculation about a woman presidential candidate in 2016. #1. #2. Upcoming state suffrage centennial celebration in Illinois. #1. Woman mayor in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s hometown has stepped down. #1. #2. Congressional medal for Alice Paul bill filed. #1. #2. Appeal to protect voting rights. #1. #2. Sojourner Truth statue vandalized. #1. #2.   Free suffrage downloads. #1. #2.  The Atlantic’s suffrage coverage. #1. #2. The story behind the story of Votes for Women. #1. #2. 

The unfinished women’s rights statue at the nation’s capitol. #1. #2. Should we change the date for Election Day? #1. #2.  Student wins contest for suffrage project. #1. #2. Pro women voters and candidates. #1. #2. Efforts to expand voting. #1. #2. Funding the Susan B. Anthony House. #1. #2.  Class trip to the cradle of the movement. #1. #2.  Suffragists in Texas. #1. #2.  One hundred years ago for big NYC parade. #1. #2. Honoring suffrage history. #1. #2.

News from: Japan. #1. #2. Bahamas. #1. #2. Norway’s national suffrage  centennial. #1.  Article from England: Suffragettes on hunger strikes. #1. Report from Australia. #1. #2. International Women’s History Month. #1#2. Jewelry of the suffragettes. #1.  The theme of cats in the suffragette movement. #1. #2.  Suffrage badge hung up in customs. #1. #2. 

This video about horse-drawn wagons used in the suffrage movement goes with Ken Florey’s wagon article (the images are from his postcard collection). See two-part article about wagons used in Votes for Women movement by Ken Florey, whose new book on suffrage memorabilia is expected to be published in late June 2013. See his web site for more information.

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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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The suffrage shop for the WPU: Part II, by Kenneth Florey

In the spring of 1914, suffrage leader Harriot Stanton Blatch continued experimenting with various forms of publicizing suffrage and purchased a used, horse-drawn van, with the intention of converting it into a roving shop. The van was moved from place to place every few days, and sold a variety of suffrage literature and memorabilia such as colorful buttons, pencils, ribbons, and even suffrage cigarettes.

“Votes for Women” cigarettes caused considerable controversy within the movement when the WPU announced earlier that they would be selling them at the grand opening of their headquarters in December 1910.  Many suffragists were strongly opposed to the use of tobacco, and condemned its sale in any form. The WPU version, however, was made of chocolate, a fact that was kept secret until opening day in order to create publicity through controversy.  The cigarettes sold from the wagon were also probably made of chocolate.

The WPU wagon shop carried on the format of its stationary predecessor in that it served both as a retail establishment and as a platform for speakers.  A side of the van folded out to allow a small platform to be let down, much in the manner of a drawbridge. Speakers emerged from the van, bringing the message of suffrage to various parts of the city.

Blatch explained to the press, “Young people move; the shop will move; democracy moves . . . youth harnessed to democracy is certainly a winner.” The shop apparently attracted many working women and men, one of Blatch’s main goals when she had organized the Equality League in 1907. As the suffrage movement became more and more popular among society women in New York, Blatch did not want to forget about workers, and the van became a way of reaching them.

The roving shop had but a limited shelf life, however. In late 1914, it was abandoned for a more permanent site, a shop on New York City’s famous Fifth Avenue.  Management of the shop became one of the prized positions in the WPU, and was held by some of the wealthiest of New York socialites, including Vera Whitehouse, Louisine Havemeyer, and Helen Rogers Reid.  Still, the wagon had achieved various successes. Its value was a form of visual rhetoric was enormous.  Articles about it in such papers as The New York Times gave valuable publicity to suffrage, as many in the general public eagerly awaited its appearance in their neighborhoods.

Image: WPU suffrage wagon shop. From Library of Congress.

If you have an email subscription, chances are that you’re missing out on a lot of the colorful photos, graphics, and videos available on the suffragewagon.org site.  If so, play us a visit. Also, check out Kenneth Florey’s web site on suffrage memorabilia.

The WPU and its Suffrage Wagon Shop: Part I

by Kenneth Florey

The Women’s Political Union was organized in 1910 by Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It evolved out of her earlier Equality League of Self-Supporting Women, created in 1907 to provide working women with a voice in their own lives.  The Union eventually became incorporated within Alice Paul’s Congressional Union in 1915, later renamed the National Woman’s Party.

In creating the WPU, Blatch was strongly influenced by the organization’s English namesake, Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union. To a degree, she emulated Pankhurst’s more assertive tactics, relying on marches, demonstrations, colorful buttons and sashes, and other forms of visual rhetoric to achieve the aims of the movement.

Most other suffrage organizations in America at that time were more conservative in their methods, some leaders even fearing that it was out of place for women to engage in public demonstrations until Blatch and Paul began to achieve success. Blatch borrowed not only the name of her Union from Pankhurst’s, but also copied its official colors of purple green and white, which created far more visual impact than the subdued yellow of the National Woman Suffrage Association. One of her buttons records Pankhurst’s famous slogan, “Deeds Not Words.”

Blatch very early on saw, as did the leadership of the WSPU, that merchandising the movement could contribute significantly in advancing its aims, In July of 1910, the Equality League, prior to its transformation into the Union later that year, erected a suffrage newsstand in front of its headquarters at 43 East Twenty-Second Street in New York City, where members sold suffrage ribbons, buttons, and post cards, as well as suffrage tracts. In addition to serving as a source of income, the newsstand gave a strong visual presence of suffrage to passersby, serving as a clever form of advertising for both the Union and the movement, even for those who had no interest in purchasing anything.

Later in 1913, the WPU experimented with another form of suffrage shop located outside of its headquarters, and rented a downtown storefront in New York City, where a daily program of suffrage speeches and events took place. Most other suffrage organizations such as NAWSA either had or were eventually to establish their own suffrage shops, but these generally were maintained inside of headquarters; the WPU shop, on the other hand, was a separate entity, allowing for all sorts of display possibilities in its windows to attract the public. . .

COMING SOON: Part II of Ken’s article on suffrage wagons, plus new video from his postcard collection featuring horse-drawn suffrage wagons. Check out Ken’s web site. His book on suffrage memorabilia is due for publication in 2013. Image above: Library of Congress.

The buzz has started about the Suffrage Wagon Centennial, plus suffrage news notes!

suffrage_wagone_high_res copy

July 2013 is the suffrage wagon’s centennial. It’s interesting how we pay attention to something when it has a 100th anniversary. Something that a few days before had been virtually invisible pops up on the radar screen and commends attention just because a centennial has been announced.

When I bring up my favorite subject of the suffrage movement, it’s surprising how often folks comment: “Women haven’t even had the right to vote for a hundred years. It’s not that long in the bigger scheme of things.”

Yes, I say. Ask people about the 19th amendment to the US Constitution and see how many know what you’re talking about. Not many.  Then mention that we have seven years to go before the national Votes for Women centennial in 2020. Most people don’t even think that far ahead, but it’s on my mind in 2013 in this year of centennials. The buzz started in earnest with the 1913 suffrage centennial parade in early March and the associated whirlwind of events, exhibits, and performances.

NewsNotesMoreMore news notes for April 2013 spill into this posting. Come May and you’ll see the full extent of suffrage-related news and events. Try for example: Alice Paul and hunger strikes. #1. #2. This latter article about Alice Paul calls her the “true” founder of the women’s movement. Now, I’ve never heard this before. And I  love Alice Paul. I suspect that Alice would bristle hearing such a claim. She had arms large enough for everyone. And then we continue on: A handmade lamp for suffrage. #1.  C-Span program about Sewall-Belmont House, headquarters of the National Woman’s Party in Washington, DC. #1. Statue of Liberty reopens in July. #1. #2.  Diversity of suffrage movement.  #1. #2.  A new look at Sylvia Plath. #1. #2. The husband of a suffragist. #1. #2. The old gap between what is and what should be. #1. #2. Women voters in Pakistan. #1. #2.  Important exhibition at the Smithsonian about women’s history. #1. #2. Community building. #1. #2. Gloria Steinem puts everything into perspective. #1. #2.   Program announced for Vision 2020. #1. #2.

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One hundred years ago suffragists knocked down doors: Part II

Suffrage Wagon Stories

by Marguerite Kearns

The first week in July of 1913 represented a high point in bringing the issue of Votes for Women to the public. This is  when the campaign suffrage wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” left the Manhattan office of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association at 108 Madison Avenue in the care of Edna Buckman Kearns and headed to Long Island.

From this point on, campaigners under the state suffrage association’s umbrella barely rested. They barnstormed on foot, gave speeches on street corners, decorated and traveled in automobiles, and hitched horses to wagons to make themselves visible throughout Long Island. Agitating for change and interacting with a wide variety of people was exhausting –but oh, so stimulating– in the July 1913 heat.

Votes for Women activists stayed in touch with each other by phone, letters, and in person. They developed relationships with local and city newspaper reporters, as well as anyone else who would listen. If reporters couldn’t or wouldn’t cover suffrage news, suffragists themselves became reporters and press agents themselves. They stormed through every open door.

Suffragists learned how to make their own news and then participate in the process of gathering it as volunteers in the service of a cause.  For many, like Edna Kearns, it wasn’t paid work. But it was an exciting time to be learning about the Big Picture. Starting about 1911, Edna Kearns wrote suffrage columns and edited special newspaper reports about Votes for Women that were published on Long Island and in New York City papers. She was also a squirrel and saved as many of her speeches, news articles, letters, photos, leaflets, and suffrage memorabilia as she could. . .

Watch for more selections from the ongoing story of what happened 100 years ago with organizing for the vote and how the “Spirit of 1776″ theme and wagon played an important role in the unfinished American Revolution. For more information, check out our story and news source: Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

One hundred years ago on Long Island: Suffrage Stories

Suffrage Wagon Stories

Have a cup of tea with your suffrage stories and fortune cookies

by Marguerite Kearns

PART I:

The suffrage movement was big news in 1913, but Votes for Women activists had their eye on Long Island well before the turn of the 20th century. Women, in general, organized themselves into a complex web of local clubs and community groups throughout the island to promote everything from reading circles to the support of community institutions, the establishment of libraries, and a wide variety of social issues.

Newspaper accounts document that the state suffrage association sent representatives to Long Island women’s club meetings prior to 1900. On occasion, these women were keynote speakers at club luncheons and special events. Often it was enough for a newspaper article to document the presence of suffragists at club meetings which implied that Long Island represented fertile ground for the cause.

The first Long Island suffrage organizing meetings were held in private homes and informal settings. Organizing for the vote became more overt in 1912 with a “whirlwind campaign” of organizing that was covered in the state suffrage association’s newsletter and the local press.

Then on June 24, 1913, NYS Woman Suffrage Association president Harriet May Mills wrote to suffrage organizer Edna Kearns in a letter about her concern that the Women’s Political Union had been sending organizers to Long Island and  the state suffrage association better get busy making its mark. Mills wrote: “The W.P.U. has two workers on the Island and is trying to steal the whole of it.” She asked Kearns exactly when their volunteers would hit the ground running. Kearns replied that she was ready to take on the challenge, and she expected others to join her immediately. . .

Check out these videos of about one minute each that illustrate the Long Island movement organizing for Votes for Women.

WATCH FOR PART II OF THIS ARTICLE ABOUT THE EARLY DAYS OF SUFFRAGE ORGANIZING –LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK. COMING SOON. The main Suffrage Wagon platform changes often. Not familiar with us and want to know more? Check us out! And then subscribe.

Three new videos about suffrage movement

Suffrage Wagon Centennial

The spring issue of Suffrage Wagon‘s quarterly newsletter is on the stands. It’s an announcement about the suffrage wagon’s centennial in July 2013 and three new suffrage videos. They’re both on YouTube and Vimeo, depending on the time of day and whether or not these platforms are performing well. Here are the links:

1. Centennial of Suffrage Wagon, 1913-2013. Vimeo. YouTube.

2. Organizing for Votes for Women on Long Island, NY. Vimeo. YouTube.

3. One-minute version of the story about the suffrage campaign wagon. Vimeo. YouTube.

Visit our updated Suffrage Wagon platform.

Suffrage Wagon Bookshelf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: 2013 Suffrage centennial parade in Washington, DC

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

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

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