Katherine Pfeffer Pross is an artist and painter from Seneca Falls, New York who considers herself “intensely concerned about equal rights and peace in the world.” She says: “I create works that are thought provoking with messages of inspiration and enlightenment.” One of her favorite movies is “Iron Jawed Angels.”
In this painting Pross features Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, who are considered The Big Three movers and shakers of the American suffrage movement. You may have heard about Anthony and Stanton. Matilda Joslyn Gage is less well known, although her participation and commitment to the cause is increasingly coming to the forefront. This is due, in great part, to the work of scholar Sally Roesche Wagner, director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation in Fayetteville, New York.
The suffragists took risky actions in the name of Votes for Women. They did almost anything, just like I’m shamelessly promoting Tuesday’s “History Detectives” program (PBS, 8-9 p.m.) to spread the word about our exciting suffrage history. The 1909 climb to the top of Mt. Rainier also has a food angle because these same women published the Washington Women’s Cookbook. See also my most-recent posting for BUST.
The suffs acted fearlessly, not only to keep the issue of voting alive, but also to send the message that they wouldn’t give up until reaching their goal. One of my favorite stories is about a suffragist —Elizabeth Smith Miller— who planned to train a green parrot to belt out Votes for Women slogans. Miller died before she could carry out her plan. Winning the vote for women was uphill, just as it is challenging today to bring suffrage history into the crowded marketplace and compete for people’s attention.
Here’s another segment from the “Votes for Women Salon” audio interview with Louise Bernikow who’s one of the historical consultants for the “History Detectives” segment. Louise talks about the support for suffrage on the grassroots, which is what Yvonne Crumly’s grandmother Addie represents in the “History Detectives” segment. If you can’t watch the “History Detectives” post, check in with Suffrage Wagon News Channel for a link in the next post so you can watch at your convenience!