Tag Archives: suffragettes

Update on Susan B. party, “Suffragette”film, and new Prudence Crandall book

Susan B. Anthony PartyHere’s the basket, ready to go for last Thursday’s Susan B. Anthony party! The play was a hit and marked my niece Tara’s birthday on June 19th, and conveniently Susan B. Anthony’s trial commemoration as well.

What fun!

SusanBAnthony2There’s other news too. “Suffragette,” the major motion picture from the UK has completed filming and is on its way to release. The public relations team calls it “a thrilling drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal state. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes; they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller; it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.”

The New York State Legislature has closed up shop for this session. One bill addressing the creation of a suffrage centennial commission was introduced in the Senate in late May without any action. For more information.

Suffrage Wagon BookshelfPrudence Crandall’s Legacy: The Fight for Equality in the 1830s, Dred Scott, and Brown v. Board of Education by Donald E. Williams Jr. 470 pp. 6 x 9″ $35.00 Jacketed Cloth, 978-0-8195-7470-1 $27.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7471-8. Publication Date: June 2014.

Prudence CrandallPrudence Crandall was the Connecticut schoolteacher who educated African-American girls in the 1830s. Today, she is Connecticut’s official state heroine. All hell broke loose when she opened Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color in Canterbury. Residents of the town refused to supply Crandall with goods necessary to run her school, and even went so far as to sabotage her efforts by poisoning the school’s well water. Crandall was ridiculed and finally arrested, but she only closed the school when it became clear that her students’ safety was at risk.

The year 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, as well as the 30th anniversary of the operation of the Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury, Connecticut. 

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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.

 

 

Martial arts enthusiasts jump on suffragette bandwagon! Check out Bonnie Smith during Women’s History Month

Mrs-Pankhursts-Amazons-teaser-graphic-updated1Mrs. Pankhurst’s Amazons is a three-part graphic novel by martial arts master Tony Wolf scheduled to be published by 47North, the science fiction, horror and fantasy imprint of Amazon Publishing. The trilogy takes place in 1914 and features the adventures of English suffragette Persephone Wright who leads a society of radical suffragettes known as the Amazons who are skilled in Bartitisu. See the web site for the 2014 publishing schedule not available at the time of this posting.

If there’s a community resource to admire, it’s Bonnie Smith and HistorySmiths. Bonnie’s not only passionate about women’s history, but she’s also a terrific resource for individuals, families, organizations, businesses and anyone else interested in featuring history storytelling and benefitting from it. If you can’t launch a history storytelling project yourself, check with Bonnie Smith. She consults, gives presentations, writes articles and books. What a powerhouse!

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement during Women’s History Month!

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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Meryl Streep will be headliner in new “Suffragette” film in UK

Suffrage Wagon News ChannelNext week the cast and crew for the UK film Suffragette will be busy as the cameras roll. Meryl Streep will play suffrage activist Emmeline Pankhurst in the Ruby Films drama. In February, the national League of Women Voters celebrates its 94th birthday since its founding following the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Every time a posting arrives in my box from the Montana women celebrating their state suffrage centennial, I’m excited. What’s a recent story? The Montana web site, “Women’s History Matters,” highlights real people from Montana, people on the grassroots, our friends and neighbors, or they would have been if we’d lived in those times and places. It’s a tender and respectful, and let me say a “sweet” acknowledgment of those who might have been in our families and communities, and they certainly fit into the larger human family. Take the article, “Rose Gordon: Daughter of a Slave and Small-Town Activist,” for example. I love it!

In Rose Gordon, I can see myself and many others who persisted in spite of the odds throughout life. When I write about my suffrage activist grandmother Edna Kearns, I’m also writing about the tens of thousands of women across the nation who put themselves on the line and made a mark, even if they didn’t realize it in the moment. The Montana suffrage celebrants are doing a terrific job. We stand on the shoulders of women like Rose Gordon.

For news about suffrage centennials, check out suffragecentennials.com

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Suffragette fashion highlighted at New York Fashion Week

KAREN WALKER LOOK 1-0Marguerite's MusingsYeah for suffrage history and the way in which it is penetrating the mass culture. Just when I’m thinking that it can’t be possible to marginalize suffrage history any more, I’m surprised. The word is getting out. Like, there’s a suffrage focus on the History Channel during the month of March, and how about a top New York fashion designer who unveiled what she’s calling a glamorous fashion inspired by our grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations?

I don’t have the shape to show off wearing such outfits, but I’ll tip my hat to those who do. A woman designer from New Zealand, Karen Walker, isn’t the first designer to tap into our women’s suffrage past. And she won’t be the last. The awareness of our history is happening. Every week across the nation, in communities large and small, so many suffrage-rekated events are scheduled that I can’t list them all in terms of exhibits, plays, conferences, lectures, art exhibits, forums, and much more.

Other updates from Suffrage Wagon News Channel: Madison Kimrey, the 12 year old identifying herself as part of a new generation of “suffragettes,” confronted the NC governor about making voting difficult for young people, and then she set up a Facebook page.

NC Youth RocksThe Facebook page highlights past and current activities that respond to guidelines relative to rolling back voting rights for young people.

Australian currency

What country followed New Zealand in granting women the right to vote on Planet Earth? Australia. This doesn’t mean that suffrage history is taught better in Australia than in other places around the world. I stumbled on a great blog article that addresses this point. The blog commentator noted:

“Most people know in a vague way that Australia was the second country to grant all women (except Aboriginal women, in some states) the right to vote after New Zealand, and if you didn’t know that, we super did and go us. That’s pretty much everything you learn about Australian women’s suffrage at school, which makes it seem like women were just gifted the vote without having to do anything. That’s wrong, sister — the suffragettes worked their petticoated butts off, touring the country and collecting thousands of signatures on petitions…”

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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.

Suffrage china and suffrage movement tea parties

Suffrage tea cups“Hot Tea Month” is almost over, but there’s still room for a good hot cup of tea, plus two great articles. One is from Grandmother’s Choice, a terrific web site that is ending its focus on women’s rights. The Underground Railroad is next, and many suffrage activists also were part of that movement. As a loyal follower of Grandmother’s Choice, we’ll miss the suffrage history! See great tea cup spread. Grandmother’s Choice PDF.

Enjoy this special article from the Canton Tea Company in the UK which caters to those who love tea. See below!

The English suffrage movement’s tea parties by Kate/Canton Tea Company

Tea has many unusual connections but one of the least obvious perhaps is the fact that towards the end of the 19th century, tearooms provided a safe haven and meeting place for the women suffragists and may have been instrumental in furthering their cause.

In many areas of Britain, local branches of the women’s movement grew out of the temperance societies. T-Total meetings were often just very large tea parties (with a sermon or two thrown in) and the women, who brewed gallons of tea and dished it out in mugs, encouraged “guests” to turn away from harmful alcohol and instead drink “the cup that cheers but does not inebriate.”

Towards the end of the 19th century, society was changing fast. New public transport allowed easier movement into and around town, more women were working in professional employment, going out more, shopping in the new department stores. And yet, there were no even moderately respectable places where some kind of refreshment could be taken by female shoppers.

BAD MANNERS TO REFER TO WOMEN’S BODIES

When William Whitely opened his department store in Bayswater in the 1870, he applied for a licence to open a restaurant inside the store but was refused on the grounds of its potential for immoral assignations! And where were women to wash their hands and find other essential comforts? It was still considered very improper and frightfully bad manners to refer to women’s bodies, and finding a lavatory was almost impossible.

The provision of public conveniences for ladies was considered outrageous and it was not until 1884 that the first “convenience” run by the Ladies Lavatory Company opened near Oxford Circus. To provide for women’s needs, women-only clubs started appearing – The University Women’s Club in 1883, The Camelot Club for shop and office workers in 1898, Harrods Ladies Club in 1890. And women met more and more frequently in tearooms.

Tea had always had very genteel connections. As the public tearooms became more and more popular during the 1880s and 90s, they were recognised as very respectable places where women could enjoy a peaceful cup of tea away from the hurley-burley of busy urban streets. They created the perfect place for a little light refreshment, for a chat, and for discussions about politics and votes for women and, of course, for planning campaigns and demonstrations.

INDEPENDENCE AND TEA PARTIES WENT HAND IN HAND

In Votes For Women, published in 1956, Roger Fulford wrote: “The spread of independence was helped by the growth of the tea shop. A few expensive restaurants existed but apart from these, there were no places for a quick meal other than the formality of the large damask tablecloth and best silver at home, or the brisk clatter of the bar parlour. The tea shop gave the young – perhaps in revolt against the stuffiness of family afternoon tea – an ideal meeting place; it was an integral part of the women’s liberation movement.” And according to Margaret Corbett Ashby, the teashops run by the ABC (Aerated Bread Company) were “an enormous move to freedom.” Once the suffrage campaign got going, the tearooms played a central part.

YOUNG HOT BLOODS TOOK TO TEA

In 1907, the Young Hot Bloods (the younger members of the Women’s Social & Political Union, founded in 1907) met at a tea shop in the Strand. And Alan’s Tea Room at 263 Oxford Street regularly advertised the free use of its large function room for members of the Women’s Social Political Union. Records show that the room was used in 1910 by the Tax Resistance League and in 1911 by the Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society for its inaugural meeting. In 1913, at the end of the “pilgrimage” to London by the NUWSS (the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies), some of the women (a few from the 50,000 who attended the rally) went to Alan’s for dinner and no doubt for several restorative and well-deserved cups of tea!   (Complete Canton Tea Company article in PDF format.)

Don’t forget that U.S. suffrage activist Lucretia Mott loved oolong tea. Stock up for gatherings with friends and family members.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with twice weekly postings of news and views of the movement. Suffrage Wagon has YouTube and Vimeo channels. Suffrage Wagon video for “Hot Tea Month.” Make a cup of hot tea and relax.

News from 100 years ago: Grandmother Edna Kearns’ Better Babies Campaign

Safe Fabric JournaL, NOV 2013I suspect that Grandmother Edna Kearns is behind some of our family activity these days. Though I never knew my grandmother because she died in 1934, she influenced my life profoundly. And it’s not just me. Edna has another granddaughter, Winifred Culp, who’s a mover and shaker, and the spirit is spreading. See Safe Fabric Journal, November 2013 issue where Winifred speaks about NearSea Naturals and her new project, SAFEfabric.org.

Edna Kearns wasn’t simply interested in the vote. She vowed to expand the range of women’s influence with her Better Babies campaign. See October 31, 1913 article from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The campaign went on for weeks, and who would have thought that classes on mothering and lobbying for social programs would be so controversial! Some of Edna’s suffrage associates were of the opinion their colleague shouldn’t mix up the issues in the suffrage movement, and Edna got her wrists smacked as a result.Edna persisted nonetheless. She didn’t believe in compartmentalizing and took her commitment to womens suffrage seriously. And if we go back to Grandmother Edna, my mother Wilma and forward, we’re touching into five generations in my family who are out in the traffic of life as movers and shakers.

Image above from an ad in one of Grandmother Edna’s womens suffrage newsletters. Visit the Suffrage Wagon platform for special features.

Two-part article about the politics of the proposed Harriet Tubman national park

Suffrage Wagon News NotesThe report of the 2013 blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States continues with a two-part article by Olivia Twine and Marguerite Kearns in New York History.

Part I:  “The politics of Harriet Tubman and Barack Obama.” #1. #2. Part II: “Harriet Tubman and the Projected National Park.” #1. #2.

Overview of the 2013 blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

MORE NEWS NOTES:  There’s a new play about suffragette Annie Kenney in the UK. Another example of how the Brits love their suffrage history. #1. #2.  An excellent overview about the history of granting various groups the right to vote puts woman’s suffrage in a broader perspective. #1. #2.  A new book about suffragist Anna Howard Shaw from the University of Illinois Press. #1. #2.  Jerusalem women remembered for their role in Palestinian politics. #1. #2. “Votes for Women” quilt project auctions off quilt to raise money for women’s health issues. #1. #2.

Visit our multi-media platform of news and stories of the suffrage movement.

NEWS FLASH: “Suffragette” feature film, comic book & news notes

WOMANREBEL.tour-posterTHE WORD IS OUT about the next step of the news about the UK feature film on the suffrage movement. The work, previously known as “The Fury,” has now been changed in name to “Suffragette.”  The drama is due to shoot in February 2014.

Alternative-comics master Peter Bagge has published the work, “Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story,” that brings the story of a gutsy birth control and suffrage activist to broader public notice. #1. #2.  He’s on tour, so catch him if you can. Education about these early women reformers is in great demand, so it’s essential to touch in with some of the best that’s out there.

The PBS documentary, “Women Who Make America,” is an excellent resource for teaching about women’s history. The three-part documentary is, at this time, available online. It does not deal with the suffrage movement directly, though it makes clear how the first wave of feminism (1848-1920) passed the torch to contemporary women. The challenges associated with teaching women’s history are detailed in this excellent article from the American Historical Association. #1. #2.

More news notes from all over: The campaign to take back the legacy of Susan B. Anthony. #1. #2. Author Ken Florey is featured on “Grandmother’s Choice,” a great ongoing quilt project about voting and women’s rights. #1. #2.  Is NYS History Month Dead? The answer from New York State Historian Bob Weible. #1. #2. Hillary Clinton is popular with women voters. #1. #2. Perspective on voting rights and women. #1. #2.  GOP working on reaching out to women voters after the government shutdown. #1. #2. 

Bringing suffragists like Ida B. Wells and Susan B. Anthony to the elementary school classroom. #1. #2.  The grandmother stories are taking form in a novel that’s a new angle on women’s history. #1. #2.  News of the Salem Women’s Heritage Trail from author Bonnie Smith. #1. #2. The Schlesinger Library at Harvard updates five-year backlog of cataloging to make more women’s collections available. #1. #2.

News notes from around the world: Sixty years of women voting in Mexico. #1. #2. Canadian women students draw attention to Person’s Day when voting. #1. #2.  Women voters outnumber men voters in Mizoram, but no women represented in legislature. #1. #2. Women voters in India critical to election outcomes. #1. #2.

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UK suffragette film, plus sit com’s second season, and news notes

nagy_woman_reading_newspaper_1918The Brits are serious about their suffrage history and a suff sit-com is big time on the telly. Plus there are plans in the works for a major motion picture about the movement!

Suffrage news from the UK: UK media features a perfectly strange and hilarious story about an English suffragette hiding in theatre in order to steal the limelight from Winston Churchill. #1. #2. No recent updated news about the development of UK suffragette film, “The Fury,” with Carey Mulligan, so it’s still hush-hush and old news is still interesting news. #1. Female-led comedy on prime-time telly, “Up the Women,” a suffrage sit com, has a second season in its future. #1. #2.

Musical drama “Wrong’Un: A Suffragette’s Story” based on life of real English activist. #1. #2. English working women in the suffrage movement. #1. #2. Love and women’s history. #1. #2. Suffragettes of the 21st century bring the stories of the past into the present day by featuring activists who are inspired by the English suffrage movement. #1. #2. Those who believe that English suffragist Emily Davison didn’t act alone during her protest of 100 years ago involving the King’s horse –researchers continue to dig into the past. Lost tape could be key to cracking the mystery. #1. Sorting out the facts from fiction in the case of suffragette Emily Davison continues. #1. #2. 

For your news and stories of the suffrage movement: Suffrage Wagon News Channel.  Rock the cradle of the women’s rights movement with Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine. Subscribe to LetsRockTheCradle.com

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.

September 2013 Suffrage Wagon News Notes from Edna Kearns

Suffrage Wagon News Notes, September 2013The fall is a terrific time for travel, and the blogging bus headed to the Cradle of the women’s rights movement in the US is about ready to hit the road. Join us! Sign up for the free tour. Enjoy a road trip through upstate New York, the “Cradle.”

While it’s still warm outside, squeeze in a cookout with roast corn on the cob. Chef Cutting shares his secrets for a mouth-watering way to roast corn, either outside on a grill or in your oven, at the first lesson from the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

News Notes for September 2013: What Obama did in Seneca Falls, NY. #1. #2. August 26th or Women’s Equality Day is like July 4th. #1. #2. Women voters in US are going to the polls in high numbers. #1. #2. The importance of Susan B. Anthony’s scrapbooks. #1. How department stores changed the dynamics for early 20th century women and their families. #1. #2.  One hundred years for women voting in Illinois. #1. Award for film about suffrage movement in the Bahamas. #1. #2.

A second season for UK suffrage sitcom, “Up the Women.”  Study notes for the Declaration of Sentiments from the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. #1. Pathways for highway travel have important implications for attracting visitors to the “Cradle” of the US women’s suffrage movement. #1. #2.  The implications of a New York State Free thought Trail. #1. #2.  News from around the world: Women voters in India. #1.

Visit the Suffrage Wagon magazine feature platform. Follow the Suffrage Wagon as it’s headed to the cradle of the women’s rights movement in the US. It’s the wagon’s suffrage centennial and we want to make the most of it.

Suffrage Bookshelf: Crossing Stones review by Tara Bloyd

Crossing StonesCrossing Stones, by Helen Frost.  2009: Francis Foster Books.

Crossing Stones is a phenomenal book.  Coming of age during the beginning of World War One, eighteen-year-old Muriel Jorgenson examines her life, her beliefs, her hopes for the future, and the concepts of war, peace, and women’s roles in this Young Adult book.  The book is written in free verse and cupped-hand sonnets, which I at first thought would annoy me but soon grew to appreciate immensely.  (The author put a lot of thought into the structure; read her note at the end to learn more.  I almost wish I’d read the note first, as I ended up going back through the book after doing so to more consciously understand and admire.)

Caught up in the build-up to WWI, Muriel is what many would have described a “headstrong” young woman; she’s not sure that she wants to follow the prescribed roles.  Frost writes:

“My mind sets off at a gallop
down that twisty road, flashes by “Young Lady,”
hears the accusation in it – as if it’s
a crime just being young, and “Lady”
is what anyone can see I’ll never be
no matter how I try, and it’s obvious
that I’m not trying. “

(I can’t easily reproduce the poem’s format in this review … seeing it for yourself is just one of the reasons I strongly recommend reading this book!) Although it’s expected that Muriel will marry the boy next door, Frank, that’s not necessarily what she wants to do.  When Frank, like so many other young men, joins the Army at the beginning of World War I, Muriel’s feelings about love, proper roles, and war become even more conflicted.  Muriel travels to Washington, DC, to help her Aunt Vera recover from a suffrage hunger strike.

While there, Muriel joins in the picketing, helps at a settlement house, makes friends, and more.  These experiences help solidify Muriel’s feelings that there are other possibilities for her, that it’s not wrong to question and challenge the status quo (even though both her high school teacher and the Espionage Act would have her believe differently. Yet she still struggles with questions of patriotism and loyalty: is it wrong to challenge the president during a time of war?  Is it wrong to wonder, out loud, if war is the right choice?

“When someone takes it
seriously, it’s only to chastise the protesters:
unwomanly, unpatriotic, a thorn in the side of the president
when he has more important things (The War)
to think about.”

And
“Papa thinks I’m strong because
I speak up for my beliefs – but as the war
gets louder all around us, I’m becoming quieter.”

Traveling through the influenza epidemic, the previously-idyllic lives of two small town families and the larger-scale vision of Washington, DC, the women’s rights movement, the war in Europe, and more, this book covers hard topics and does so well.  It puts personalities and faces on people and events from a time about which most teenagers know rather little, and is valuable for that as well as simply for the lyrically beautiful writing.

I highly recommend Crossing Stones.  Get it.  Read it.  Enjoy it. And learn, too, a bit more about what it was like to be a woman in those very turbulent times, to believe in suffrage and in questions and in possibilities.

Tara Bloyd is the great-granddaughter of suffragist Edna Kearns. She is passionate about the suffrage movement and writes often for Suffrage Wagon News Channel about Votes for Women books for young audiences.

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.

July 2013 has its own Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesJuly2013In both the US and UK, there’s considerable activism by those who’ve had enough of the last hurrah devoted to keeping women in their place. This is what happens when social systems transition, such as what we’re witnessing now. Women can grin and bear it, or stand up to be counted. One example is the banknote campaign underway in the UK, where the likeness of only one woman, Quaker and prison reformer Elizabeth Fry (other than royalty), has appeared on a bank note. Now Fry is being replaced by Churchill, and this has more than annoyed women. The protest went viral. This article about the 30,000 signatures gathered by motivated activists is worth looking at, and it stands squarely on the shoulders of the English suffragettes.

New book on Long Island’s movement: #1. Special feature coming soon.

This year’s birthday celebration for suffragist and human rights activist Ida B. Wells will take place July 12-14, 2013 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Contact the museum for more information: idabwells@bellsouth.net. Video: “Ode to the ‘Spirit of 1776′ ” suffrage wagon. Video: “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day from Votes for Women 2020 which organized the 2013 legislative resolution and a press conference on June 19, 2013 in Albany.

News notes from all over:  “Lady Liberty: A Counter-Narrative.” #1. Second season for UK sit com about the suffrage movement. #1. #2. Star suffrage quilt. #1. #2. Illinois suffrage centennial. #1. #2. The Norway suffrage centennial. #1. #2. Opening of old suffrage safe sparks interest from around the nation and world. #1. #2. Coverage about US Supreme Court decision and erosion of voting rights. #1. #2. Plan for events associated with anniversary of Seneca Falls convention in July and Women’s Equality Day in August 2013. #1.  One billion rising for justice observance set for 2014. #1. #2.  Afghan women voters. #1. #2. Vote for wagon resolution. #1. #2. Clean tourism in NYS. #1. #2. 

Suffrage Wagon has been tweeting since 2010. Blogging about the suffrage movement and the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon since 2009.

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. 

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has new videos often. Do you ever check in with the main platform? If not, pay us a visit.

Visit Seneca Falls, New York

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

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

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

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

Daniel Cady

Daniel Cady, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father.

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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

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

HER CHILDHOOD RESOLVE TO CUT THE NASTY LAWS FROM THE BOOKS

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

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

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

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

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Suffrage News Alert and Tara Bloyd reviews “Marching with Aunt Susan”

NEWS ALERT: Two suffrage programs on UK television. One is a documentary on suffragette Emily Davison TODAY that can be viewed online. Details soon. The other show is a three-episode suffrage sitcom, “Up the Women” (see trailer) that starts this coming Thursday, May 30th. See overview and episode summaries: #1, #2, #3. And now for Suffrage Bookshelf:

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Marching With Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage, by Claire Rudolph Murphy, illustrated by Stacey Schuett.  2011: Peachtree Publishers.

Review by Tara Bloyd

I thoroughly enjoyed Marching With Aunt Susan.  Based on the 1896 campaign in California, the book focuses on events in the life of an actual ten-year-old girl, Bessie Keith Pond.  In this story, Bessie’s belief in the suffrage cause is precipitated by two closely-related events: her father refuses to take her hiking with her older brothers because “strenuous exercise is not for girls,” and her mother suggests helping with a suffrage tea instead.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY,  NOT OLD AND CRABBY AT ALL

Looking at a newspaper picture of Susan B. Anthony, Bessie thinks the suffrage leader looks old and crabby; she soon learns differently, though, and is inspired by Anthony’s statement that “Women’s votes can help change the world.”  Bessie attends rallies, works in the suffrage office, visits a factory where young women work in poor conditions, marches in a parade, and more.   I found the story, told in first person, compelling.

The book tells of the long, dedicated quest for votes for women, and is all the more poignant because it concentrates on an unsuccessful aspect of the long campaign.  Bessie is lucky because her family is supportive – her aunt was a leader in both campaigns, her father buys her a new white dress when hers is destroyed by an egg splattered on it during a march and realizes over the course of the book that Bessie should be able to go hiking with the family, her mother is in a position to host teas honoring and attended by Anthony, etc.

But even from her privileged position Bessie still faces challenges: her friend’s father rules the family and won’t let her participate in marches, onlookers at the march both verbally and physically heckle participants, Bessie talks with factory girls her own age, and, of course, California’s men vote against suffrage.

REALISTIC, NOT SIMPLISTIC VIEW OF THE STRUGGLE

I appreciate that the book shows a realistic view of the struggle and how important it was to not give up even after major setbacks; Bessie’s mother is determined to learn how to ride a bike after the defeat (because “Aunt Susan says that a bicycle gives a woman freedom”). And the book ends with Bessie suggesting to her father: “Sunday there’s a rally for the next suffrage campaign.  Come march with Mama and Me.”

The richly-colored illustrations are expressive and enjoyable and definitely add to the story.  Even though it’s a picture book, Marching with Aunt Susan doesn’t talk down to readers.   The historical information in the back of the book tells quite a lot in a fairly limited space: we learn about Bessie’s life, about California’s suffrage campaign and suffrage history in general, and about Susan B. Anthony’s life and work.

The section of Further Resources for Young Readers includes book and website recommendations, and photographs and copies of various documents are both on the endpapers and scattered through the historical information.   I strongly recommend adding Marching With Aunt Susan to any suffrage library, and I think it would be an excellent introduction to the suffrage movement for any children who find stories more interesting than facts.  (Wouldn’t that be almost all of them?)

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Suffragette Emily Davison still controversial after 100 years

Centennial of death of Emily DavisonOne hundred years ago English suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of the king’s horse at the Derby to draw attention to the long and difficult campaign to win the vote. Emily Davison’s death remains newsworthy and controversial today. Because of the upcoming centennial of Davison’s death in June 2013, a great deal is appearing in the UK media about this topic and all of its variations. This film clip of the Derby race and Emily’s demonstration from the UK archives is easily accessible online.

Emily Davison’s great-great-great niece, Lauren Caisley, recently attended a ceremony to unveil a plaque at the racetrack where Emily stepped into the path of the king’s horse as a Votes for Women demonstration (PDF). Dr. Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, and her daughter also attended the ceremony. A descendant of the jockey who rode the King’s horse that killed Davison has even emerged to speak publicly about the suffragette; the family has been silent (with one exception) all these years.

Here’s a sampling of postings about Emily Davison and the centennial: Upcoming TV special. #1. #2. No moment of silence at the Derby in memory of Emily Davidson. #1. #2.  Special tea lunch in Emily’s honor scheduled. #1.  BBC coverage of Emily Davidson centennial. #1. #2.  Is there more to the story of Emily Davidson? #1. #2. An overview of the suffrage movement in England. #1. #2. Art work planned for Emily Davison. #1. #2.   Emily Davison play. #1. #2. Emily fund. #1. #2.  Emily Davison exhibit. #1. #2. 

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for news and views, videos, audio, and postings twice a week.

Motorcycle ride to Seneca Falls: May News Notes

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

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

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

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

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

Photo at top of column by Sporty Driver.

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

Suffrage movement gets wheels: Part II

by Kenneth Florey

Suffragists in America also promoted automobile tours as a way of advertising “Votes for Women.” The most famous trip was that of Alice Snitzer Burke and Nell Richardson in 1916.  The pair left New York on April 6, accompanied by their new kitten called “Mascot,” to make a circuit of the United States on behalf of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

The Saxon Motor Company donated their car, and NAWSA arranged for their expenses and entertainment along the way. They reached San Francisco in June.  In reporting on their activities to the delegates at NAWSA’s annual convention in September in Atlantic City, Esther Ogden exuded delight in recounting the dangers and depredations the pair faced along the way.  They crossed a desert and traveled through the Bad Lands of the Northwest.  They were along the Mexican border during the raids, and their car had to be pulled out of the river during floods.  In all of this, they maintained their courage and were able to elicit nationwide newspaper coverage for the movement.

By the time Burke and Richardson had returned to New York later in the year, Mascot had grown from a kitten to a cat.  The Saxon Company picked up on their success and featured the two in a magazine advertisement headed “Two Noted Suffragists Travel 10,000 Miles in a Saxon Roadster.” While the ad did note that the journey proved the “ease” with which the car could be handled, it also demonstrated that the car, and, by implication, women, could surmount “every obstacle of road and weather.”

Suffrage auto trip across countryNAWSA issued a post card that pictured Burke and Richardson in their “Golden Flier” Saxon, with the names of some of the cities they had visited painted on the side of the car. Although some conservative suffragists maintained that they wanted the right to vote and nothing more, it is clear that the issue of the franchise was not an isolated one but part of a larger tapestry of social change and a re-clarification of the roles of men and women in our culture.

Part I of the suffrage auto story by Kenneth Florey that you may have missed!

NEW VIDEO: Automobiles used in the suffrage movement, with photos from the postcard collection of author Kenneth Florey, as well as the Library of Congress. Ken’s book on suffrage memorabilia is due for publication in 2013. Suffrage Wagon has a YouTube channel that specializes in short feature videos about the movement.

COMING SOON: The centennial of Emily Davison, English suffrage martyr. The case is still controversial after 100 years!

Suffrage auto video plus article & News Notes from all over (Part I)

NewsNotesMay2013Part I of Kenneth Florey’s article of suffrage automobiles is available NOW: “Suffrage Autos: A new form of freedom.” Automobiles became hot items during the suffrage movement because grassroots organizing became more efficient. Ken Florey makes this point. He’s the author of an upcoming book on suffrage memorabilia, and he’s also the Suffrage Wagon columnist who has documented the connection between tea and the Votes for Women movement.  Coming Soon: Part II of Ken Florey’s article about when the suffrage movement got wheels.

The new one-minute Suffrage Wagon video highlights the suffrage automobiles Ken writes about. Many of the images are from his suffrage postcard collection. If you’re receiving this posting by email, you might not be able to see the video player that’s embedded here. Click through on the link above! Just a minute of your time. It will be worth it. I promise.

When things are heating up on the suffrage front –like they are– I’m struggling to keep up with suffrage news notes. I’m behind (again), but there’s more to come in the next few postings.

News notes in this first round of May include: Norway’s women celebrate 100 years of women voting. #1. #2. Women still can’t vote in the Vatican. #1. #2. One hundred years ago in Troy, NY. #1. #2. South Dakota native Carey Graeber stands up for Dorothy. #1. #2. Another great block for the suffrage quilt project. #1. #2. Another try at getting a Congressional medal for suffragist Alice Paul. #1. #2. Alice Paul’s copy of Betty Friedan book. #1. #2. Margaret Thatcher and suffragettes in one breath. #1. #2. Susan B. Anthony birthplace attracting visitors. #1. #2. A pitch to visit the Susan B. Anthony House in NYS. #1. #2. Telling women’s stories at historic sites. #1. The importance of storytelling. #1.Women’s exhibit at New York State Capitol. #1. #2. 

Check in with our magazine platform. You’ll see that the content changes often. And if an overview of Suffrage Wagon is what you crave, we have this as well. Suffrage Wagon’s videos can be found on Vimeo and YouTube.

A new form of freedom for suffragists in automobiles, Part I by Kenneth Florey

PART I: Women, Cars, and the Suffrage Movement

Early on in the history of the modern suffrage movement, there was a strong connection between the development of the automobile and its adaptation by suffragist activists.  In part, cars were functional and could be used by various movement organizations to ferry workers from campaign office to campaign office and from rally to rally.

In 1911, for instance, the wealthy American socialite, Mary Dodge, gave Emmeline Pankhurst of the English Women’s Social and Political Union a new Wolseley that allowed her to travel to suffrage events with not only her luggage but also with WSPU literature and other materials that proved helpful when she delivered her speeches.Emmeline Pankhurst

This functional purpose was also a reflection of the emergence of women in public life, an emergence that was recognized not only by the suffragists themselves but also by manufacturers who saw the possibilities of a profitable new market.  The Peerless “38-Six” car was promoted in magazine advertisements as early as 1912 as “most satisfying for women to drive” because of its electric starting and easy steering. In 1915, American suffragists presented NAWSA’S President, Anna Howard Shaw, with a Saxon automobile, painted in the suffrage color of yellow. The company went on to maintain loose ties with the movement, directing some of its advertising not only to suffrage workers in particular but also to women in general.

Photo from the collection of Kenneth FloreySo closely was the Saxon to become identified with the movement that a song published in 1915 by Ella Lowe and Edward Johnson called “November” heralded the use of the car for suffrage activities: “In a Saxon built for two I will save a place for you in asking for the franchise next November.” Automobiles driven by women were to become a standard feature in suffrage parades, serving not only as floats but perhaps also as a not-so-subtle message pertaining to the liberation of womanhood.

After all, it was not that long ago that even women on bicycles were subject to intense derision and mockery. President Grover Cleveland forbade the wives of his cabinet members from riding bicycles, and Belva Lockwood, candidate for President in 1884 and 1888, was lampooned in the press for her use of a tricycle that she used to save time when she conducted her business rounds.  In England, Emmeline Pankhurst’s driver, Aileen Preston, was the first woman to qualify for the Automobile Association Certificate in Driving, so new even there was the concept of the freedom of women to command their own automobiles and thus their own movement.

COMING SOON: Part II about automobiles and the suffrage movement. ALSO, video about suffrage automobiles. Articles by author Kenneth Florey during May 2013 about automobiles and horse-drawn wagons used in the suffrage movement. Ken’s web page and order form for his book. Images from the suffrage memorabilia collection of Kenneth Florey.

Check out new features in Suffrage Wagon News Channel this month.

“Suffrage Books for Young Audiences” by Tara Bloyd

We The People: Great Women of the Suffrage Movement.4133IwK-JuL._  By Dana Meachen Rau, Compass Point Books,  2006.

This 48-page book includes biographies of several women involved in the fight for suffrage, each with a tagline.  (Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Mother of the Movement; Lucy Stone: Speaking State to State; Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Proud to March; etc)  Aimed at a fairly young audience (I’d guess 2nd-3rd grade), the book takes a somewhat simplistic view of the challenges these women faced.  That said, the women chosen to profile give a nice overview of the movement.

Great Women of the Suffrage Movement is part of the We The People series of books, which is designed to “explor[e] every era of U.S. history – from pre-colonial to modern times. This exciting series examines key events that have shaped the course of the nation, while clearly defining their place in history.”  Other books in the series discuss the Lowell Mill Girls, the Harlem Renaissance, the Haymarket Square Tragedy, etc. It looks like a useful series for learning a bit more about topics that are often glossed over otherwise.

This book is an option for children interested in the quest for suffrage who’ve moved beyond picture books but aren’t yet ready for more complex works. It could also be a quick reference for teachers who want to teach a basic unit to early-grade children, as it includes such useful bits as a map showing women in each state were granted at least basic suffrage, a timeline of the struggle, and suggestions for additional research. I enjoyed reading the book, and would recommend it to the right audience.

(As a side note, almost every book I’ve reviewed thus far is available at our local library; never overlook the power of the library!)

If you’re reading this posting with an email subscription, you’re missing the rich graphics and many videos that are available on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. We have a YouTube channel and videos are also available on Vimeo. A good place to begin is “Debby recommends these Suffrage Wagon videos” that gives an overview of recent short works (most one minute or less) that highlight the suffrage wagon’s centennial in 2013 and other relevant topics. Subscribe.

Palm readings as a suffragette fundraiser: Suffrage Bookshelf

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“Woman and her Sphere” is a blog and web site created and maintained by Elizabeth Crawford (UK researcher, writer, and dealer in women’s books and ephemera). She is not only on the search for great material, but she’s immersed in it. Her blog contains many features, including a diary entry of an English suffrage volunteer who read palms at a suffrage bazaar and fundraiser.

The diary, recently republished, details the life of a grassroots activist, Kate Frye. Wrap-around paper covers, 226 pp, over 70 illustrations, all drawn from Kate Frye’s personal archive and edited by Elizabeth Crawford.  Copies available from Francis Boutle Publishers, or from Elizabeth Crawford: e.crawford@sphere20.freeserve.co.uk

Elizabeth Crawford not only has a passion for suffrage books, she also sells them. Check out a recent catalog. You might find something you never knew you wanted.

Find out about Suffrage Wagon’s new videos. Our videos now on a YouTube channel. More information about Suffrage Wagon.

Suffrage Films: “The Suffragette” and “The Militant Suffragette”

Watch Charlie Chaplin portray a suffragette in drag in this 1914 film called “A Busy Day,” which was also called “The Militant Suffragette.”

Film, a novelty at the start of the 20th century, received news coverage, and a film shown by the “antis” caused quite a commotion: “The Militant Suffragette.” This 1914 article is about Nellie, the militant suffragette, who made the “antis” blush. Interesting article about suffrage silent films. Another video, below, about suffrage and silent film is worth taking a look.

Excellent film and video about suffrage is highlighted on  “Crash Course on the Suffrage Movement.” Check out our magazine platform.

And Doris recommends videos from Suffrage Wagon. Yes, we’ve been busy producing videos of one minute or less to highlight the movement.

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.

Book for young readers from “Suffrage Bookshelf”

American Girl seriesMeet Samantha: An American Girl, by Susan S. Adler

By Tara Bloyd

Part of the popular and lucrative American Girl empire, Meet Samantha takes place in 1904.  The book’s synopsis says “It’s 1904.  Samantha Parkington, an orphan, lives in her rich grandmother’s household.  Grandmary has many servants, but there is no one for Samantha to play with.  When a servant girl named Nellie moves in next door, the two girls become fast friends, though their lives are quite different.  Samantha turns to Nellie for help in solving a mystery at Grandmary’s, but then Nellie encounters an even bigger problem of her own.”

The book doesn’t directly discuss suffrage, but does give a (somewhat sanitized) view of what life was like for women and girls in the early 1900s.  Because the main character is a sheltered, wealthy orphan, we read as much about stitching a sampler as we do about more challenging topics.  Racism is only hinted at, when Samantha discusses why their family seamstress has to live in “the colored part of town;” the answer, provided by her friend Nellie, is that “It’s just the way grownups do things.”

Suffrage is not discussed directly in the body of the book, but is mentioned in the historical information in the back.   In those six pages, we learn more about society’s expectations of women and girls, the options poor people had, and how  “modern women” wanted other choices — including the right to vote.  There’s also a nice picture of a suffrage march.

So why did I review this book?  Two main reasons, really.  First, it popped up when I did a library search for suffrage.  And second, as one of the wildly-popular American Girl books, it might be the first exposure many girls have to the history of the movement.  It’s not an amazingly fact-filled book, but it could end up as a “gateway book” to interest readers in the movement.

Wondering about Suffrage Wagon? Check out our overview of news about the suffrage movement, the passage of the 19th amendment, and stories about suffragists, suffragettes, suffrage activists, voting rights, and much more.

Suffrage Bookshelf is a regular feature of suffragewagon.org

 

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 News Notes: April 2013

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Exhausted from all the suffrage and women’s history events of last month? It’s only just starting in the Big Picture.

This month, April, we’re featuring the anniversary of a large 1911 protest in New York City in response to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. There’s a new children’s book on the subject of garment workers, plus an opportunity to watch the great PBS documentary about the Triangle fire that makes the link between the suffrage and labor movements.

What does the word “suffragist” mean? #1.  #2. You might want to send on this link to someone you know.

Photos from the 2013 suffrage centennial parade march.  #1.  2013 suffrage centennial parade video in Washington, DC. Suffrage hikers in 1913 remembered by another march in 2013.  #1.  #2. 

DSC_0210New York History and Olivia Twine‘s overview of the dialogue with Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage. See photo left, on stage at the Rosendale Theatre. Other event coverage includes: Preview of the program. New Paltz, NY blog highlights. Program sponsored by Votes for Women 2020, the Susan B. Anthony House, and the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation.

I’m playing catch up on news notes from all over: Lessons from the suffrage movement for our times. #1.  #2. Quotes from suffrage activists that are still relevant today. #1. #2. The role of Tennessee in the movement. #1. The Susan B. Anthony Project and survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. #1. #2. State celebration of the ratification of the 19th amendment. #1. #2.  Colorado suffrage history. #1. #2. Caroler figurine.  #1.  #2.  Satire: why men shouldn’t vote.  #1. #2. Susan B. Anthony legacy.  #1. Reflections on Betty Friedan and the significance of her groundbreaking book.  #1. Putting Carole King together with suffrage.  #1. #2.  Women in political office: The Iron Mother.  #1. #2. The Irish teapot suffrage gift.  #1.  #2. Remembering suffragist Emily Howand. #1.

An overview of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Subscribe for great news and features.

Suffrage Wagon Bookshelf

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marguerite’s Musings: Telling the Suffrage Story

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

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

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

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

What was Edna Kearns doing in March 100 years ago?

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

Large crowd today in Washington, DC in 2013 for 1913 centennial suffrage parade

Washington, DC newspaper from the archives of Edna B. Kearns. If you like this and other related articles, visit us at Suffrage Wagon News Channel. And subscribe. See other parade highlights: The 1913 Washington, DC suffrage parade from the archives of Edna Buckman Kearns. Link #1. Link #2. Link #3.1913ParadeNewsEDIT
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Suffrage News Notes: February 2013

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Wondering about these people sitting on Grandmother Edna Kearns’ suffrage wagon? L to R: My sister Winnie Culp, me at age 14, my George School friend Madge Passmore, my mother Wilma, and Grandfather Wilmer Kearns. It’s the time of the month for Suffrage Wagon news notes, and now –a special thanks to everyone who participated in One Billion Rising with us on February 14th. Here’s the report on the ongoing initiative. LINK.

News Notes: Masterpiece Theatre program, “Mr. Selfridge,” deals with shopping and suffrage. LINK. See also. LINK. Hundreds celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s birthday at special birthday luncheon. Link #1. Link #2. Friendship with suffragist Alice Paul noted as significant. Link #1. Link #2. A reminder about the 1913 suffrage parade centennial in Washington, DC the weekend of March 1-3, 2013 during Women’s History Month. LINK. Maryland state legislature commemorates 1913 suffrage parade. Link #1. Link #2. Video page link for “Women Suffrage March in Maryland General Assembly. Remembering Gerda Lerner and her contributions to women’s history. Link #1. Link #2. The controversy surrounding free love. Link #1. Link #2. Another call to repeal the 19th amendment. Link #1. Link #2. Promoting tourism in NYS through history. Link #1. Link #2. Innovative promotion of history. LINK. The suffrage quilt lives on. LINK.  Suffrage and super bowls. LINK. Kickstarter campaign for feature film about Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Link #1. Link #2. Regional Emmy for suffrage video “Bad Romance.” LINK.

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture announces the availability of Mary Lily Research Grants for research travel to use its collections: LINK. Grants are available to any faculty member, graduate or
undergraduate student, or independent scholar with a research project
requiring the use of women’s history materials held by the Sallie Bingham
Center. March 29, 2013 is the deadline.

Visit Suffrage Wagon’s feature page to stay current with new updates. LINK.

Suffrage buffs and nuts, like me, are in heaven: Marguerite’s Musings

MK-musing

I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the interest and attention increasing over the planned events March 1-3, 2013, in Washington, DC to commemorate the centennial of the 1913 big suffrage parade.

What a time. It’s when Grandmother Edna Kearns met Alice Paul for the first time, though they did have similar cultural roots as Quakers. Grandfather Wilmer marched in the men’s division. Young Serena Kearns marched with her mother Edna as part of a Quaker delegation, all of them in traditional dress. Edna wrote about it for New York City newspapers. The movement needed the press.

Suffrage hikers stormed into Washington (including Rosalie Jones, Elizabeth Freeman and others), excited from all the press coverage. The suffrage parade itself was a masterpiece of planning, vision, and symbolism. And the reaction and resistance to the suffrage message equally strong. People kept on talking about the suffrage activists who simply wouldn’t give up.

The centennial celebrations in Washington this year are expected to be great. And the year 2013 is the centennial for Grandmother Edna’s suffrage wagon. And everywhere I turn there’s something else.

“One Billion Rising” is set for February 14th this year, and it’s the dream realized from our suffrage ancestors. We’re participating. Make sure you do as well. LINK. I’m putting together a tribute to Susan B. Anthony this month. Make sure you’re subscribed to Suffrage Wagon. LINK. Alice Paul will get considerable attention during March and Women’s History Month because of the centennial celebration of the 1913 suffrage parade. Schedule and other information concerning this exciting upcoming event. LINK. New videos are posted regularly on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Take a look.

New Video and a peek into suffragist Alice Paul’s tea room


“The Grated Door” was the tea room for the National Woman’s Party. The selection below is from The Story of The Woman’s Party by Inez Haynes Irwin. 1921. LINK.

“Alice Paul’s office, which is on the second floor, was done in purple and gold; the woodwork of gold, the furniture upholstered in purple velvet. Later, a large room, originally a stable at the rear of the first floor, was transformed into a tea room. Vivian Pierce had charge of the decorations here; and she made it very attractive. The brick walls were painted yellow, the tables and chairs black. The windows and doors were all enclosed in flat frames of brilliant chintz, of which the background was black, but the dominating note blue. The many hanging lights were swathed in yellow silk.

“The tea room rapidly became very popular in Washington; and, as rapidly, became one of the most interesting places in the city. Visitors of many distinguished kinds came there in preference to the larger restaurants or hotels. They knew the members of The Woman’s Party who lived in the house, and they gradually came to know the habitues of the tea room. At meals, separated parties were always coalescing into one big party. People wandered from table to table. There was an air of comradeship and sympathy. Afterwards, groups often went up the little flight of stairs which leads to the ballroom, and sitting before the fire in the huge fireplace, drank their after-dinner coffee together. These talks sometimes lasted until midnight.

“All about and from the offices that ran beside the ballroom sounded the click of typewriters — some one counted twenty-four typewriters in the house once. Everywhere, you ran into busy, business-like stenographers with papers in their hands, proceeding from one office to another. If it were lunch time, or dinner time, pairs of young girls, with their arms around each other’s waists, chattering busily, were making their way to the tea room. At night, the big ballroom was filled with groups reading magazines at the big (and priceless) tables; or talking over the events of the day

“Late at night, the discussions still went on. Upstairs, they followed each other from bedroom to bedroom, still arguing, still comparing notes, still making suggestions in regard to a hundred things : organizing, lobbying, personal appeal to political leaders, et caetera, ad infinitum. The huge, four-poster bed — big enough for royalty — in Mrs. Lawrence Lewis’s room was the scene — with ardent pickets sitting all over it — of many a discussion that threatened to prolong itself until dawn.”

If you liked this special feature, subscribe to Suffrage Wagon.

Suffrage News Notes for January 2013

JanuaryNewsNotes

The 2013 winter issue of Suffrage Wagon’s quarterly newsletter is on the stands. LINK.

SuffrageWomen’s History Month in March 2013 is off to a great start with a suffrage centennial celebration in Washington, DC. For more information. Yeah!!! Sign up for email updates as the event approaches. LINK.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a YouTube channel. LINK.

New York needs to connect history with public policy. LINK. DAR suffrage exhibit in Washington, DC during March. LINK. Open letter to the women of Seneca Falls. LINK. PDF. A transgender woman visits the Susan B. Anthony House to learn more about what it means to be a woman. LINK.

Did Susan B. Anthony oppose abortion? Interview with Deborah Hughes, executive director of Susan B. Anthony House. LINK. More Votes for Women quilt design updates. LINK. PDF. The Catholic church and its suffrage history. LINK. PDF. The franchise in Egypt today. LINK. PDF. Young Canadian woman in politics. LINK. PDF.

In the event you missed some of January 2013′s special Suffrage Wagon features –here they are: The strange story of the Governor’s wife –video and story. LINK. Suffrage icon Joan of Arc. LINK. Special tribute to suffrage leader Alice Paul on her January 11th birthday. LINK. Author Ken Florey’s special features on suffrage tea memorabilia. LINK #1. LINK #2.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

A hot cup of tea with your suffrage history lesson: Part I

TeaMemorabilia

by Kenneth Florey

That there was more than a casual connection between tea and suffrage activism is undeniable.  Suffragists organized tea parties to promote their cause and to raise money, as evidenced by many of the state reports that appear in Volume VI of The History of Woman Suffrage, a work that was originally conceived by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

Further references to suffrage tea parties are scattered throughout the pages of the Woman’s Journal, where they are sometimes held up as models to advance “votes for women.” The Woman’s Journal, the most popular and longest lasting of all suffrage publications in America, was for a time the official organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the main periodic source for all things suffrage related.

SPECIAL BRAND OF TEA FOR SUFFRAGE EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING

But there was also a manufacturing component involved, and “suffrage tea,” along with its ancillary products, was sold to the general public and proved to be a successful fundraiser.  During the California campaign of 1911, for example, the Oakland Amendment League had a suffrage booth at the Cherry Festival at San Leandro where they dispensed, among other items, “Equality Tea.”  This tea was a special brand for the campaign manufactured for the Woman Suffrage Party that was also sold by other organizations to raise money at their events.

The Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association advertised their own “Suffrage Tea in a Special Box” for fifty cents. In England, the Women’s Social and Political Union began selling in 1910 “Votes for Women Tea” in half pound and one pound packets.  When WWI began, the English movement, which produced a greater variety of suffrage memorabilia than did its counterpart in America, placed a semi-halt on the sale of artifacts, perhaps considering novelty items to be inappropriate during darker times.

Suffrage tea was an exception and continued to be offered through suffrage periodicals.  It is unfortunate that given its ephemeral nature, no tea, or even its attendant packaging, appears to have survived from the period, although one hopes that some examples may as yet emerge.

SUFFRAGE TEA CUPS AND TEA SETS, MOSTLY ENGLISH

There are a number of suffrage tea cups and tea sets known, but most of them are English.  The National American Woman Suffrage Association did offer for sale in its 1915 catalog a demitasse cup and saucer for fifty cents each that were embellished with the words “Votes for Women” on a small, elegant gold rim.  The setting was made for them by Hutschenreuther Selb Bavaria and imported by the Art China New York Import Company. Alva Belmont, Newport socialite and founder of the Political Equality Association, sold a small creamer for twenty-five cents that was inscribed “Votes for Women” in cobalt blue at the suffrage shop that was connected to both her headquarters and the Association’s lunchroom in New York City.

The Women’s Political and Social Union sold the most famous of the English sets at their huge bazaar at the Prince’s Skating Rink in Knightsbridge, London, held from May 13 to 26, 1909.  Manufactured by the firm of Williamsons of Longton, Staffordshire, various distinct pieces included teacups and saucers, small cake plates, a teapot with lid, a small milk jug, and a sugar basin or bowl.

In 1911, the WSPU remade the set in a slightly larger size, expanded the number of items in it from 13 to 22, and sold it for ten shillings, six pence to the general public.  All pieces featured an imprint with a design by Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of WSPU founder Emmeline Pankhurst, of an angel facing left, blowing a curved horn.  In the background are prison bars and the initials of the WSPU.  Above the angel is a banner upon which the word “Freedom” is inscribed.

COMING SOON: The second part of the special feature by Ken Florey about suffrage movement tea memorabilia.” Ken’s new book on suffrage memorabilia will be published in the Spring/Summer of 2013. See article. The author’s web site. Photos above are from the author’s suffrage memorabilia collection.

Alice Paul’s birthday on January 11th!

AlicePaul

Suffragist Alice Paul’s birthday is on January 11th, and it’s also Alice Paul Day.

We have a NEW special feature highlighting Lucy Burns, Doris Stevens, and Alice Paul.

LINK to Suffrage Wagon News Channel’s tribute to Alice, Lucy, and Doris.

Special links with more information: Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, DC (the home of the National Woman’s Party) LINK and the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, New Jersey LINK.

Subscribe to news and views and stories of the suffrage movement.

It’s the birthday of Joan of Arc, icon of the suffrage movement!

Happy birthday, Joan! Joan of Arc was important to the suffrage movement, here and in England, and possibly other places in the world. Just type in “suffrage movement” and “Joan of Arc” and you’ll see what I mean. In England, Joan was openly acknowledged as the patron saint of the suffrage movement. In the HBO film, “Iron Jawed Angels,” the above clip features Inez Milholland on a horse evoking the commitment and leadership of Joan of Arc.

Inez Milholland on her horse leading U.S. suffrage parades evoked Joan of Arc more than any other single individual who took on the role. Inez was a familiar figure in suffrage parades (see image left, below) on her horse. The association was, in part drama and beauty, plus a heavy dose of symbolism to evoke strength and courage from the parade participants.

Check out the video trailer from “Iron Jawed Angels,” the HBO film about the suffrage movement.

“Iron Jawed Angels” is primarily about Alice Paul and only briefly highlights Inez Milholland. Nonetheless, the film grows in value with the passage of time.

If you’re planning afternoon tea and choosing an occasion worthy of friends and family arriving for the occasion, Joan of Arc’s birthday is perfect –especially if your activism project is in need of a resource of strength and resolve.

More information about Inez Milholland: Link

For curriculum materials relative to the use of “Iron Jawed Angels” in the classroom, check out “Teach with Movies.”

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has posting updates twice a week, as well as updates four times a year with the SWNC quarterly newsletter.

The ghosts of suffrage ancestors got Nancy Pelosi in trouble!

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was teased in 2012. She was attacked. Some commentators suggested that she had a serious mental disorder. What’s behind such a vehement reaction?

Pelosi suggested that she’d been in communication with some of our most revered ancestors who struggled for women’s right to vote. Suffrage ancestors reportedly whispered in Pelosi’s ear about how women finally had a seat at the table of power and as a result, the suffrage spirits crowded in to witness the proceedings.

An animation short produced by an off-shore production company seems rather suspicious in terms of its origin and motivation, considering that Nancy Pelosi and our suffrage ancestors is a relatively obscure story associated with American politics. The video is worth watching, however, if only to cheer on Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and other activists. Not mentioned in the feedback is an apparently long tradition at the White House of staff and others witnessing ghosts.

Anecdotes and references to these famous suffrage ancestors were recorded at Pelosi’s speeches over time. No one in the audience threw tomatoes at her. It isn’t often when US political figures even mention the suffrage movement, though it’s happening more often these days as awareness of the long and difficult struggle to win the vote for women becomes more mainstream.

ARE YOU DESCENDED FROM A NATIONAL WOMAN’S PARTY ACTIVIST?  Get in touch with The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. LINK

LAST-MINUTE DONATION TO SUFFRAGE MEMORIAL: LINK

Stay up to date with suffrage news and stories and the long and difficult struggle for the 19th amendment to the US Constitution. We wish everyone a happy New Year!

It has been a good year!

Suffrage Wagon News Channel

Suffrage Wagon News Channel

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday, Grandmother Edna Kearns!

ColumnMKMarguerite’s Musings:

Grandmother Edna was born on Christmas day in 1882. My mother told me how Edna hated having her birthday on Christmas. She claimed to always get shirt shrift as a child when it came to gifts and attention on her birthday.

For Edna, Christmas meant books as gifts; each book contained sweet messages from family members. Edna’s gifts of books to her two daughters on Christmases past ended up in my hands as an eager young reader with the date on the inside cover and a Merry Christmas from “Dearie,” which is how her daughters addressed her, and not “Mother.” Oh, what a scandal it was in those days not to call one’s mother by her role. I loved the Louisa May Alcott series starting with Little Women, all the way through to  Jo’s Boys.

Christmas meant holly and mistletoe to Grandmother Edna, plus hand-made sachets of dried roses and lavender, storytelling next to the fireplace as holiday tree candles burned on Christmas eve and the kitchen buzzed with talk of fruitcake, candied pineapple and citrus… MORE of the article!

Marguerite’s Musings is a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Special feature for the upcoming holidays: Gifts for the suffrage buff in your life.

Amelia Bloomer: a book review, a song on video, and more by Tara Bloyd

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer, by Shana Corey; Chelsey McLaren ill.  Scholastic Press, 2000.

by Tara Bloyd

Aimed at young children, this short picture book presents the story of Amelia Bloomer and her eponymous outfit in a simple, direct fashion.  The illustrations are bright and compelling, and are set off by a generous amount of white space.  The book contrasts Amelia Bloomer with the “proper ladies” who surrounded her – women who were not supposed to work or vote, and who wore dresses that required 20-30 yards of fabric just for the skirt.  The fact that Amelia didn’t invent bloomers – something that many people do not know – is clearly stated and is important.  As editor of the woman’s newspaper The Lily, Amelia’s championing of the short skirt and baggy pantaloons to replace cumbersome, socially-approved dresses was crucial to their popularization, and the book shows how both men and women reacted to the new clothing option.

I found the Author’s Note at the end of the book the most compelling part; it provides additional information about Amelia Bloomer’s life and times that couldn’t really be discussed within the parameters of a book for young children.  As an introduction to the issues facing women in the 19th century, though, the book is a good addition to suffrage-related libraries.

SuffBookShelf

The life and writings of Amelia Bloomer are available as a free ebook. Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.