Grandmother Edna Kearns presented an “Appeal to Liberty” to thousands

The Votes for Women activists took their appeal to the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July in 1915. It’s an example of the bold tactics of the suffragists in 1915 which didn’t win them the vote during that campaign, but it certainly sent a message that the issue wouldn’t go away.

One version of the story is told about New York City where huge suffrage parades and demonstrations put an “Appeal to Liberty” (read by suffragists) into the mainstream awareness as it became an essential element of the Fourth of July observance. See the Fourth of July 1915 coverage in the Times.

Grandmother Edna Kearns carried the “Appeal to Liberty” theme to Long Island where this report noted that local firefighters gave Edna the platform to speak about Votes for Women and thousands listened. News about Edna is in the second column.

Photo: Associated Press.


7 responses to “Grandmother Edna Kearns presented an “Appeal to Liberty” to thousands

  1. Have always had a fascination with the tall lady in New York’s harbor. It’s very clever how the women stood at her feet and appealed to her. It must have given them a rush of feeling, how they were doing the right thing. They did this for us. Wow.

  2. Edna Kearns wasn’t one of the suffrage leaders we have heard about, if we heard anything at all. But she’s the kind of person who’s like our next door neighbor, the earnest someone across town who sticks to an issue like flypaper and doesn’t give up. I like her.

  3. George Thomas Gent

    It must have been stirring to listen to these street speakers, up on their soap boxes, or standing on their toes, belting out the words. Go, Edna.

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  6. Regure Travis

    It’s cool how you bring history down to the community level and make it personal.

  7. If I was voting back in 1915, I would be listening carefully. How brilliant to stand at the feet of the Statue Of Libarty.

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