Valentine’s Day Special: My grandmother Edna May Buckman loved Wilmer Kearns, but she didn’t want to get married!

Marguerite's Musings

Edna1914ArticleTennesseeby Marguerite Kearns

I’m not saying that my grandparents wore these particular coats shown below, but they certainly glanced at the winter styles and were, I suspect, influenced by the fashion.

The styles appear on the same page as an article about Grandmother Edna and her suffrage movement organizing and activities.

If I transpose my grandparents onto the couple in the newspaper, I imagine Edna thinking in 1915 that Wilmer turned out to be quite a supportive and loving husband.

BUT WHAT ABOUT EDNA’S DETERMINATION NOT TO MARRY?

In 1904 one of Edna’s letters to Wilmer Kearns (then working in NYC) described friends and family members’ puzzlement by the couple’s  infatuation with each other and they wondered if the relationship could be moving in the direction of becoming serious. After all, Edna had announced her intention not to marry early in her teenage years. And Wilmer and Edna came from very different backgrounds. Many young women, like Edna, preferred to be free and independent, unless, of course, they found the exceptional guy, which Wilmer turned out to be.

The conscious decision to remain single wasn’t all that unusual in the 19th and early 20th century. Edna’s childhood friend Bessie, for example, found support in other women, who like her, preferred to remain single. And this recent article from Massachusetts also documents the larger context. Edna’s friend Bessie at the turn of the 20th century was fascinated with the Cult of Single Blessedness, another variation of the same trend.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

“Spirit of 1776″ is up and running. . .

A digital library is being built to document the travels of “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon a video on Vimeo.

"Spirit of 1776" digital library

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

100 Years Ago: What was Edna Kearns thinking about? Going to the ball!

2015 is the centennial of the 1915 New York State suffrage centennial on Vimeo.

PART OF SUFFRAGE WAGON’S SPECIAL NYS’S SPECIAL SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL COVERAGE:

1915 special feature

Edna Kearns: 100 years ago

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

What was suffragist Edna Kearns concerned about 100 years ago? Suffrage films!

Edna Kearns: 100 years agoby Marguerite Kearns, History Communicator*

New York State suffragist Edna Kearns was no slouch. Her correspondence shows this clearly. One hundred years ago New York State suffrage activists were poised on the cusp of a year-long campaign to win a referendum. New York wasn’t alone. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts women were also up against the challenges before them. And an enormous amount of effort was poured into these state campaigns. Although the prospect of votes for women in these four states were defeated, the national momentum toward victory in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was well  underway.

This letter sent to suffragist Edna Kearns in January 1915 shows that activists on the community level freely communicated their needs and challenges with each other. In this letter,  one activist reached out to Edna Kearns to pick her brains about the use of film to bring women out of their homes and introduce them to the idea of woman suffrage. What a concept!

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FILM IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS LIKE SUFFRAGE

Film is an especially important medium today. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s “Crash Course on Suffrage Film” that features film and video selections from today and yesterday, all of them extremely important in introducing the public to the suffrage movement, here and abroad.

Are you up to date about the upcoming film, “Suffragette,” from the UK that’s expected to be released in September 2015? The BBC suffrage movement sit com is in its second season. Watch the trailer. And books continue streaming out of the UK, in particular the recently-released work on English suffragette, Princess Sophia. This book by UK broadcast journalist Anita Anand is especially interesting because of its six-figure advance.

FacebookEDITORIAL NOTE:

The asterisk above next to the byline refers to the link to an appeal for people to step forward as “History Communicators.” Take a close look at a passion many of us already share.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

The long-awaited Chinese fortune cookie demonstration: From Suffrage Wagon Cooking School

Make Chinese fortune cookies at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School

Make Chinese Fortune Cookies at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo. Give yourself enough time and space to make and serve traditional Chinese fortune cookies for 2015’s Chinese New Year! Make every suffrage movement celebration memorable!

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Crash course on hot tea and the suffrage movement

Suffrage tea cups
January is Hot Tea MonthThe Suffrage Wagon Cafe will open soon and feature hot tea during January, Hot Tea Month. Did you know that suffragist Alice Paul ran a teahouse, The Grated Door,” in Washington, DC? The story.

Paul always had her tea set ready for serving tea at the National Woman’s Party as part of entertaining guests involved in the lobby effort for the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Did you know that oolong tea was Lucretia Mott’s favorite? And suffragist Alva Belmont built a Chinese teahouse that was used for suffrage gatherings. The Chinese teahouse was an opportunity to show off Belmont’s specially designed Votes for Women china. A replica is featured in the photo above.

The relationship between hot tea and the suffrage movement is highlighted in a two-part article by suffrage author Kenneth Florey. Part I. Part II. We’ll be making traditional Chinese fortune cookies to serve with hot tea for the Chinese New Year at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School in February 2015. Cookie promo video. Article about how suffrage centennials and tea are related.

And now the accompanying VIDEOS:

Make a cup of hot tea: From Suffrage Wagon Cooking School from Vimeo.

Keep the tea pot hot for Susan B. Anthony’s birthday party in February! from Vimeo.

White House Picketing & Hot Tea in 1917: Part of the “Night of Terror” observance from Vimeo.

Suffrage tea memorabilia from the collection of Kenneth Florey: Video.

Chinese fortune cookies for the Chinese New Year on Vimeo.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

VIDEO: A New Year’s Resolution– To make Chinese fortune cookies for the Chinese New Year!

Chinese fortune cookies for the Chinese New Year is a Vimeo video.

New Year’s Eve came and went but not without a resolution to make traditional fortune cookies for the upcoming Chinese New Year in February. That’s why it’s time to put the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on your calendar to visit for the next demonstration. Create cute containers for fortunes you can write yourself with custom suffrage movement messages to surprise your guests. This video promo gets you in the mood and the demonstration is in the pipeline. The fortune cookie demonstration from Suffrage Wagon News Channel is coming soon.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote.