Monthly Archives: April 2013

“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!

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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.

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