Category Archives: women

All the Suff News that Fits!

The suffrage wagon is a back door opening to the subject of a grand period of our history: the struggle for Votes for Women.  Judging by the number of mentions about the suffrage movement, as seen online, the level of interest is increasing. Here are some recent highlights:

One Washington county honors its suffragists. College student reports on reflections about voting in light of the sacrifices made by the suffragists she studied in Beverly, MA. Review of the book, The Feminist Promise. A quick lesson on the American Woman Suffrage Association. A teachable moment (one hour and fifteen minutes) about Alice Paul and the passage of the 19th amendment. “Woman’s Suffrage: I had no idea.” The discovery of women’s history and Alice Paul in a blog called “Mom2Mom.” British women activists connect their present-day struggle with the suffrage movement.

“Strength Without Compromise”

People are interested in the history of woman’s suffrage. Author Teri P. Gary is finding this out as she travels upstate New York to speak to groups about her research and the story of the movement in Washington, Warren and Saratoga Counties. She’s been at about 40 appearances during the past year and is about to take a break so she has time for writing. Her book Strength Without Compromise:  Womanly Influence and Political identity in Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Rural Upstate New York (2009) isn’t a candidate for the best-seller list. But it’s hot among certain audiences of people hungry to know more about this part of history. Teri has three more appearances scheduled:

Monday, Nov. 1 – at 7pm – Book talk and signing at the United Church in Greenwich, NY for the Washington County HIstorical Society (and is open to the public)

Sunday, Nov. 7 – (11am – 4pm – signing books all day at The Chronicle Book Fair in Glens Falls, NY at the Queensbury Hotel (this is the largest book fair in the Adirondacks!)

Saturday, Mar. 19, 2100 – 2pm – Book talk and signing at Hubbard Hall (an 1878 historic opera house) in Cambridge, NY – in conjunction with singer/songwriter Bob Warren, who will present his musical composition, “Only the Message Mattered,” about the life and work of Susan B. Anthony in the Greenwich, New York area.

Inspired by the true stories of Lucy Allen, Chloe Sisson and the Political Equality Club of small town Easton, NY, Strength Without Compromise focuses on the quest for political equality as carried out by suffragists in the rural areas of northern upstate New York at the turn of the 20th century. To order Teri’s book, contact her at: terig1189@yahoo.com

Book Underway About Long Island Suffrage Movement


“They aren’t absentee –just absent” is a Newsday Op Ed piece written by Antonia Petrash about women and voting. Petrash is the director of the Glen Clove (NY) Public LIbrary, and she is writing a book about the suffrage movement on Long Island.

Grand Opening of Matilda Joslyn Gage Center

The grand opening of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center in Fayetteville, New York is scheduled for the weekend of October 8-10, 2010. This is an incredible opportunity to find out more about a key suffragist in the movement, Matilda Joslyn Gage. There’s a very full weekend of activities –both educational and entertaining. Visit the newly-restored Susan B. Anthony house in Rochester, NY on a bus tour. Be part of the open house at the Gage home with special exhibits and features. Enjoy an evening of music and the special opening ceremony. For more information.

Long and Short Suffrage Hikes

A rare and precious film clip of 1913 showing Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman leaving on a hike to Washington, DC for suffrage gives a sense of, not only their courage, but the intense interest in women voting and the need to accelerate the pressure. The story in my family was that my grandmother, Edna Buckman Kearns, planned to take the wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” on the long trip with Rosalie and Elisabeth, but she backed out at the last minute for health reasons. Edna went to the big march in Washington, but couldn’t commit to the long ordeal of the hikers underwent.

Edna, her husband Wilmer Kearns and their daughter Serena Kearns accompanied Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman on the 1914 hike to Albany in January, no small accomplishment. Hiking as a media event in the suffrage movement received considerable publicity.

Edna’s Hometown of Rockville Centre has a Woman Mayor

On the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, the newspaper covering Nassau County on Long Island featured Edna Kearns and a roundup of the number of women holding elected positions on Long Island. Check it out! I’m sure Edna thought it perfectly reasonable that Rockville Centre, where she lived, should have a woman mayor, Mary Bossart. While an accomplishment, it should be noted that Mary Bossart was elected in 2007 as the first woman mayor for Rockville Centre. She served as a village trustee for eight years.

“Iron Jawed Angels” to Bring in the New Year!

What a way to celebrate the New Year as I concentrate over the next few weeks and dive into grandmother Edna’s life and correspondence. I watched “Iron Jawed Angels” which focused on Alice Paul and others who worked their fingers to the bone for a national suffrage amendment. There were no films like this when I was growing up. And there’s another reason to celebrate. The year 2010 is the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution. Women worked hard and long for it. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers were in the front lines. This is a highlight of how Hollywood dealt with the issue.

Part 1 of “Iron Jawed Angels.”