Tag Archives: Women’s History

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Coming soon: the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Mystery with a side of history: Seneca Falls Inheritance

by Tara Bloyd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon?

Votes for Women 2020. Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

June 2013 Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesJune2013

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

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

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

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

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

What was Edna Kearns doing on June 27, 1913?

What was Grandmother Edna Kearns doing in June 100 years ago? Grassroots organizing at every opportunity. There were meetings –outdoors, indoors, up on soapboxes, standing on automobiles, out with the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon on the beach, and anywhere a crowd gathered. Such is the nature of grassroots organizing. You get out the message however you can, where ever you can. The South Side Observer was a Long Island paper. Edna knocked on editors’ doors with her columns and special suffrage reports. For information about Edna Kearns, her life and work –video and bio.

And now the answer as to what Edna Kearns was doing on June 27th one hundred years ago. She was clipping the newspaper to preserve a record of her grassroots organizing:
South Side Observer, June 27, 1913

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

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

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

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

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

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

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News of suffragette sit-com and many updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Cady

Daniel Cady, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father.

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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

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

HER CHILDHOOD RESOLVE TO CUT THE NASTY LAWS FROM THE BOOKS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The WPU and its Suffrage Wagon Shop: Part I

by Kenneth Florey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

suffrage_wagone_high_res copy

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

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

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

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

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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 suffragists knocked down doors: Part II

Suffrage Wagon Stories

by Marguerite Kearns

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

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

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

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

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

One hundred years ago on Long Island: Suffrage Stories

Suffrage Wagon Stories

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

by Marguerite Kearns

PART I:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NewNotesApril2013

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.

Video: 2013 Suffrage centennial parade in Washington, DC

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

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

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

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.

Suffrage News Notes: March 2013

NewsNotesMarchWomen’s History Month means that it has been a busy and active month for suffrage buffs. Also, the suffrage centennial parade march and events the first week in March has had the digital circuits buzzing. Start with the suffrage parade in Washington, DC. Link #1. Link #2. The 1913 march that made history. Link #1. Link #2. Ms. Magazine coverage of suffrage parade. Link #1. Link #2. “Brimstone, Booze, and the Ballot” is launched by Susan B. Anthony House, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, and Votes for Women 2020: Link #1. Link #2.

Tribute to Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Alice Stevens. LINK. Alice Paul given her due. Link #1. Link #2. A Congressional Medal for Alice Paul? Link #1. Link #2. Fashions at the time of the suffrage movement. Link #1. Link #2. Women and anti-lynching campaigns. Link #1. Link #2.  Women’s e-news. Link #1. Link #2. Suffrage Map. Link #1. Link #2. Vision 2020. Link #1. Link #2.  Black women’s history. Link #1. Link #2.  Will there ever be an end to Women’s History Month? Link #1. Link #2. Smithsonian document dive. Link #1. Link #2. Birthdays and special dates from women’s history from the National Women’s History Project. LINK. Votes for Women 2020′s web site and blog. Link #1. Link #2.

Masterpiece Theatre fans of “Downton Abbey” might like the suffrage angle on the “Mr. Selfridge” TV series that starts March 31st. Link #1. Link #2. Kudos for Inez Mulholland. Link #1. Link #2. Oxfam’s reports on top corporations’ record on women. LINK. Photos from Anthony luncheon. Link #1. Link #2. Women underrepresented in politics. Link #1. Link #2.  Safiya Bandele’s new multi-media presentation on suffragist and activist Ida B. Wells. LINK.

The quilt project representing women’s rights. Link #1. Link #2. The Constitution Center during Women’s History Month. Link #1.  Point of view on Presidential Proclamation for Women’s History Month. Link #1. Concern about problem of sexual slavery. Link #1. Link #2.  Reproductive freedom. Link #1. Link #2.

Find out more about Suffrage Wagon News Channel. LINK.  Subscribe.

Curl up in a chair and listen to audio about our roots!

Happy Women’s History Month! This podcast from Indiana is worth listening to: “Helen Gougar: Foot Soldier for Suffrage.” Click here. Helen Gougar became a suffrage activist because of her determination to reduce the rate of domestic violence.

Martha Burk’s “Equal Time” radio broadcasts have guests you may never get an opportunity to listen to otherwise. Martha broadcasts from KSFR in Santa Fe, and her programming is available online.

Don’t forget that Suffrage Wagon’s archives have the audio version of “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens of the National Woman’s Party who reports on the tale of winning the 19th amendment. The book was published in 1920, and the story is still fresh in the words of those who lived it. For anyone who’s just been introduced to the suffrage movement by watching “Iron Jawed Angels,” read or listen to Doris Stevens.  Here it is:

Doris Stevens and “Jailed for Freedom.”  Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4. Sections 5 and 6 coming soon. Audio by Librivox.

Photo of radio: Massimianogalardi.


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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Grandmother Edna Kearns sends report back from 1913 suffrage parade: Marguerite’s Musings

MusingWagonThe 1913 suffrage centennial events in Washington, DC March 1-3, 2013 has people participating from all over the nation. I can’t be part of it, but I’m “there” in spirit, as is Grandmother Edna Kearns and tens of thousands of our ancestors. The 1913 parade was a visual representation of decades of work on the local, state, and national levels, and this weekend’s centennial parade on Sunday, March 3rd represents the vision of the tens of thousands of grassroots suffrage activists that it took to win the vote for women. They passed the torch to successive generations of activists, and they’re showing up in Washington this weekend.

Grandmother Edna knew that the story had to be preserved, not only for American history but also for us today. Edna sent back reports of the 1913 parade to New York City metropolitan newspapers. Here’s a selection in her own words: LINK. She reported how the marchers were slapped, insulted, and abused as they marched in the streets.

Stay up to date with suffrage stories from Grandmother Edna and news of the suffrage movement from Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

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.

Performance highlights why one suffrage leader was written out of history

 FINALBOOZEsmallBRIMSTONE, BOOZE AND THE BALLOT

Provocative program explores why one suffrage leader was written out of history 

Women voters and lovers of American history will discover the inside story of two of the suffrage movement’s founders during Women’s History Month when the background struggle between suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage is revealed on stage.

The dialogue performance will be at the Rosendale Theater in Rosendale, NY on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are celebrated as two of the founding mothers of the women’s suffrage movement. But who was Matilda Joslyn Gage? In her time she was considered a “founding mother” along with Anthony and Stanton. However, Gage was written out of history.

The background drama will be explored by Sally Roesch Wagner, executive director of the Gage Center in Fayetteville, NY, and Deborah Hughes, president & CEO of the Anthony House in Rochester NY, who will present a compelling dialogue that explores the split between two of the three suffrage movement founders. The event is a joint presentation of the Susan B. Anthony House, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Center, and Votes For Women 2020.

Matlda Joslyn Gage

The rupture between Anthony and Gage will be revealed by the reading of correspondence between them. In a unique juxtaposition, Sally Roesch Wagner (Gage director) will read Susan B. Anthony’s letters while Deborah Hughes (Anthony House director) will bring Gage’s correspondence to light.

After the performance, the audience is invited and encouraged to join the dialogue.

Deborah L. Hughes is a strong advocate for human rights and equal opportunity for all, especially those who suffer discrimination based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic circumstance. As an ordained minister and theologian, she brings a depth of knowledge and breadth of experience to this dialogue and special program.

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner is one of the first women to receive a doctorate in the US for work in women’s studies and is a founder of one of the country’s first women’s studies programs. An author and lecturer, Dr. Wagner appeared in the Ken Burn’s PBS documentary “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony for which she wrote the accompanying faculty guide.

Tickets are priced at $20.20 (tax-deductible) and are available at www.rosendaletheater.org or the box office.

For more news items like this, subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

The buzz has started about the suffrage centennial parade on March 3, 2013

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Suff buffs and citizens in general have been hearing a great deal these days about the centennial parade planned for Sunday, March 3, 2013 in Washington D.C.  The parade celebrates the spectacular suffrage procession of March 3, 1913, a key date in women’s rights history. It was a significant show of strength for suffragists, and a galvanizing point for the Votes for Women movement.

It’s also the centennial of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, organizer of the 2013 parade as part of their festivities.  When a troop of fearless young black women from the  new Howard University sorority joined the all-white parade in 1913, they boldly challenged the segregationist policies that might have excluded them.  Now, one hundred years later, the sorority leads the parade!

The parade was specifically designed for its aesthetic value. It’s remembered as both a political marvel and a brilliant spectacle, including a pageant and an astonishing procession of divisions of hundreds of women in coordinated color costumes arranged by profession, organization, and state.  Floats highlighted women in American history and many marchers carried vibrant banners and flags. Following the 1913 parade, the special care devoted to the planning by suffragist Alice Paul became recognized and appreciated.

After the parade of over 5,000 women and men had marched more than a mile from the Capitol, intoxicated opponents demonstrated.  Crowds surged forward and blocked the marchers.  Women on foot and on the floats were insulted and accosted.  Troops on horseback drove the crowds back so the shaken suffragists could complete their parade.

It’s a pivotal event to remember. March is National Women’s History Month.  Commemorate the occasion by joining or supporting the parade on March 3, 2013 in DC. There’s a full schedule of events and exhibits. In addition to Delta Sigma Theta, national coalition members planning events include the National Women’s History Museum, Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, American Association of University Women, and National Women’s History Project.

For more information, visit unitewomen.org  Check in with Suffrage Wagon’s videos and postings. LINK.

Susan B. Anthony DANCES as part of One Billion Rising!

VIDEO SPECIALS: A tribute to Susan B. Anthony who joins One Billion Rising across the United States and around the world. Susan’s video tribute. LINK. Susan dances with One Billion Rising. LINK.

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day of love and caring and respect for those who are special. It’s a perfect day for One Billion Rising which unites many different types of people in a rising of spirit, action, energy and determination. Let’s put an end to violence to women and girls.

Dance with Suffrage Wagon today. RSVP at suffragewagon at gmail dot com

February 15th is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, a day celebrated by suffrage advocates and allies during Aunt Susan’s life time that continues to this day. Many women over the years called themselves Susan’s nieces. And it seems fitting to continue the tradition.

Susan’s smiling on February 14, 2013. Join us for One Billion Rising!

WE LOVE YOU, AUNT SUSAN!

Keep up to date with Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Action: Join One Billion Rising with us!

Women are rising all over the world. Join the demonstration of women and the men who love them. Visit Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Thursday, February 14, 2013 and be part of our virtual party during One Billion Rising.

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

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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.

Suffrage News Notes for January 2013

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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.

Reading tea leaves during National Hot Tea Month

tealeavesLet’s have some fun. Marie Knight is a guest blogger who’s sharing her reading of tea leaves for Suffrage Wagon during our celebration of National Hot Tea Month. Here’s what the tea leaves said:

“Before I even began your tea leaf reading, I kept getting a message that February will be a big month for you.  I have a very strong feeling One Billion Rising can be significant. Then I did your reading, and it confirmed this for me. I saw a flock of birds flying towards the handle. This is a sign that good fortune is coming your way, but in a manner that affects groups of people. Get involved with One Billion Rising or host your own local event which was also in the cup. (See the SWNC link.)

“A book is the second symbol that shows strongly in your reading. Have you been thinking about writing a book? Perhaps you should. As for the subject, I believe this has to do with the third symbol –a hand-held mirror. Your book should take a look into your own family for the subject, perhaps a view of the world today from Grandmother Edna’s perspective or a historical view of her own life.

“My sister Lynn is a better channeler than I am. Together we spoke to your grandmother. She said that young women are still under the same societal pressures to conform. Look at the role models they are given and these girls believe they are imperfect because of them. Unreasonable goals to be thin, to be ‘loose acting,’ and to be dim witted. Someone has to be there to show them the way. “Something else that came to my sister was an overwhelming sense of pride that Edna’s own family is continuing in her path.  The sensation was so strong that my sister Lynn was overwhelmed and brought to tears. Your grandmother is so proud of you for continuing the work.”

Thank you, Marie. She can be contacted directly for readings: LINK. January is National Hot Tea Month. Celebrate with special features on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

NEXT TIME: Part II of Ken Florey’s article on suffrage tea memorabilia.

Have a cup of tea with your suffrage scone!

800px-Tea_and_scones_2It’s National Hot Tea Month. SWNC special features help celebrate the ways in which tea played an important part in the suffrage movement. Today we only have a vague idea of the tea culture which played such an important part of the lives of our ancestors. If Downton Abbey is your passion, it’s difficult to get past an episode without afternoon tea playing a central role. The English suffrage movement is referred to only briefly in Downton Abbey. Considering that the series addresses shifting gender and class issues, I would have liked to have seen the suffrage movement have more of a place in the overall period drama of Downton Abbey.

Upcoming in January 2013: a two-part series about suffrage tea memorabilia by Ken Florey, author of Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia; a feature on Alice Paul’s tea house, a tea leaf reading by Marie Knight, and more.

Videos on tea can set the mood:

LINK to tea resources.

If you like these upcoming features, make sure you don’t miss them. Subscribe. Also, don’t forget the special tribute to Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Doris Stevens. LINK.

Photo by Jeremy Keith.

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!

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

Hioliday

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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

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

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas: Marguerite’s Musings

Huddling under the covers mornings until the last minute like me because it’s so cold? Still trying to dig your way out of the snow in the driveway? Needing some last-minute gift ideas for the suffrage buff in your life?

It’s freezing here and the snow hasn’t cleared from my back yard. But more gift ideas are coming in. One idea is the music CD by Bob Warren featuring Susan B. Anthony. “Only the Message Mattered” is available on CD Baby and Amazon. You can listen to mp3 samples online. For more information.

bobwarren4Check out our special page with gift ideas for the suffrage buff in your life.

Find out about Grandmother Edna’s birthday on December 25th. She’ll be 120 years old.

Video wishing Suffrage Wagon News Channel a happy third birthday during December 2012.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel and don’t miss updates during 2013. Don’t forget to check out our regularly-updated magazine page.