Videos: Wrapping up our first year at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School!

Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolOur first year at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is coming to an end. This is the last day for visiting the farmers’ market where, over time, the refrigerator’s produce bin has been crammed with food fresh from the fields. We love to cook with fresh local ingredients!

Our Irish wood-burning cook stove has been a hit with cooking school students and fans. During 2015 we’ve baked apple pie in it, as well as butternut squash soup.

A demonstration on how to make French onion soup is coming soon from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. Keep your produce bin stocked with fresh onions. They come in handy when you’re in a hurry and a pot of fresh soup is all that you can manage for dinner.

VIDEOS: Highlights of cooking school demonstrations for 2015. If you didn’t have a chance to attend our birthday party celebration on video, here’s your opportunity now.

Here’s what we crammed into the shopping bag during our last visit to the farmers’ market. Check in with this video now:

More fresh produce from the Farmers’ Market! on Vimeo.

Cooking School posterMeet our cooking school students and check out our vintage Irish wood-burning stove. Relax this fall by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo.

In your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. We’re celebrating voting rights and women’s freedom to vote! Join us.

Wilmer Kearns out to win Edna in Episode #6, a program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe

Wilmer Kearns, Storyteller
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Episode #6: Wilmer Kearns tries to win over Edna with his storytelling. “Spirit of 1776.” on Vimeo.

By Marguerite Kearns

Welcome to Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Wilmer Kearns (my grandftaher) is complicating the story, as Edna’s best friend Bess points out. Wilmer’s determined to wear down Edna’s resolve not to marry because of the few rights young women possess at the turn of the 20th century. Bess has been reading Mary Wollstonecraft and other controversial women writers. She’s even paid a price for doing this after her parents found the Mary Wollstonecraft books hidden under her mattress in her bedroom at home.

A SUMMARY OF THE “SPIRIT OF 1776” STORYTELLING SO FAR!

Wilmer Kearns is a fresh upstart from Beavertown, PA where he grew up playing musical instruments with his family. Enjoy these images of Wilmer as a young man from the Kearns family photo collection. Episode #6 highlights one of Wilmer’s tactics. His determination to wear down Edna’s resolve to avoid marriage is fueled by his storytelling. This has worked so far while they’ve been meeting in secret at the Market Street teahouse. But the narrative becomes even more complicated after Edna’s parents find out about the couple seeing each other weeks after their first meeting at the Pompeii restoration exhibit.

THE PLOT IS NOW EVEN MORE COMPLICATED.

Wilmer Kearns left his hometown at age 16 and moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled in business college. That’s when he met Edna at the Pompeii exhibit in 1903. Bess warned Edna to be careful about falling in love. Bess is committed to remaining single, and she wastes no time in sharing books with radical ideas about equality with all her friends. Edna seeks a middle ground, but it’s not clear yet if Wilmer Kearns has what it takes to win Edna’s heart.

Edna and Wilmer meetEpisode #1. Bess gets in trouble.

Episode #2. Now Bess is in even more trouble.

Episode #3. Wilmer Kearns enters the story.

Episode #4: Mary Wollstonecraft’s books gets Bess in more hot water.

Episode #5: Bess and Edna argue about decisions they must make.

Episode #6: Our special feature here at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Relax by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo. “Spirit of 1776” film posters by Corinna Canek.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

COMING SOON: New program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on suffrage movement storytelling!

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New program coming soon at Suffrage Wagon Cafe: Women’s history as you like it! on Vimeo.

The program on October 8, 2015 at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe features storytelling with the unveiling of Episode #6 when we get to know Wilmer Kearns and why Edna meets him secretly at the Market Street teahouse. Suffrage Wagon has teaching and learning resources for home and school use. And our sister site, SuffrageCentennials.com delivers trends and news about upcoming events and celebrations. For example, 2016 has two featured centennial celebrations: Canada and the centennial observance of the death of Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel offers three audio programs about women’s suffrage history: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” “Playing Politics with the President.” “The Night of Terror.” These stories are edited into short segments that make learning American history easy. So let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on October 8, 2015. Follow the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openRelax this fall by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Women’s suffrage centennial celebrations: Video & news notes

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“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is featured short story for women on Vimeo.

Since the 1970s with the emergence of feminist scholarship and the re-discovery of the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we have a remarkable opportunity to bring Gilman and her work to life again. Because of Gilman’s strong New York State connections, this is a great opening for scholars and women’s history advocates to make a contribution to the stories and lives of New York State women. Montana produced a remarkable series of stories about the state’s women for its 2014 suffrage centennial. It’s something to aspire to, that New York State may or may not have the capacity to contribute. It’s important, especially in light of how many New York women were in the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement.

Efforts are underway to feature New York State suffrage activist, Inez Milholland, during her 2016 centennial year. Milholland is America’s suffrage martyr. Become a partner in the year-long observance under the umbrella of the National Women’s History Project co-chaired by Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney Jr. Follow on Twitter.

 WomensActivism.NYC is the hub for a five-year celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial in New York City. The first big event, “Declaration of Sentiments: The Remix, A Celebration of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial and the 200th Birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton” is planned for November 12, 2015. The Cooper Union will co-host an evening of music, performance, dance, comedy and poetry.

IN OTHER NEWS: “Suffrage Storytelling” is a multi-media feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is one year old. Follow for updates.

Alfred Stevens (Belgium painter, 1828-1906) Looking Out at the SeaRelax this fall by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Episode #5: Bess and Edna argued at the teahouse!

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Episode #5. Bess and Edna argue about marriage and other things on Vimeo.

Bess and Edna may have been the best of friends, but often they didn’t agree. Edna read Mary Wollstonecraft’s classic work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman because Bess insisted. And Edna agreed that when women were treated like second-class citizens, they made compromises and often acted strange out of confusion or just simple survival.

Bess shocked her friends when she told them to be careful about not becoming a “servile parasite.” That’s the term  Mary Wollstonecraft used in her book. Bess said it made her think twice about accepting the way things were. This was tempting to do, Bess insisted. Young women had a choice. To live within the cage society carved out for young women. Or step out of expected roles and face the obstacles facing all those who decided to be free.

For Bess, reading Mary Wollstonecraft only reinforced her determination to consider living the single life. Women wanted freedom, Wollstonecraft wrote, but this freedom had been “bartered for splendid slavery.” Many people considered Mary Wollstonecraft the mother of the women’s rights movement. The words of Mary Wollstonecraft  reached the ears of Bess about how Lucretia Mott kept Wollstonecraft’s Vindication handy in a central location at her Philadelphia home. Mary may have lived in a different time and across the ocean, but her words resonated with Bess and many others her age.

LUCRETIA MOTT LOVED THE BOOK BY MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

Lucretia Mott had been a legend in Philadelphia because of her involvement in the Seneca Falls, NY women’s rights conference in 1848. People said that Lucretia could quote entire passages from Mary Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman made such an impression on Lucretia Mott that she urged her friends to read it, especially Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Mott was married, which in Edna’s mind suggested the possibility of making marriage work for a modern woman of the early 20th century. If someone’s husband believed in equality and equal rights, marriage wouldn’t turn into a prison. But Edna never imagined finding a man who could change her mind about remaining single until she met Wilmer Kearns.

RESOURCES: You can listen to both books by Mary Wollstonecraft on Librivox, free. Mary: A Fiction and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

ACTION: Help support a statue of Mary Wollstonecraft in England. Despite the significance of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life and work, she has no monument. The Mary on the Green campaign believes that a monument to Mary Wollstonecraft would stimulate questions, establish her place in history, and trigger investigation into her impact on history. Newington Green, London, is where Mary lived, and where her radical ideas on equality, education and politics were first formed. A dedicated group of Mary Wollstonecraft enthusiasts and  supporters are raising funds to commission a monument in England. Find out more. 

Mary Wollstonecraft
Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on VimeoMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Off to the farmers’ market for harvest produce!

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Visit your local farmers’ market for fresh fruits and produce! on Vimeo.

It’s harvest time at a farmers’ market near you. Now’s the time to prepare a banquet. Here at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School we’ve been stocking up. There’s also our first birthday to celebrate. We’ve been featuring recipes and cooking demonstrations for the past year.

Follow the entire “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling series. We’re in Season 1.

TeaParty2Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on VimeoMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Episode #4: The book that got Bess in trouble with her parents at home

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Episode #4: How Bess got in trouble for reading Mary Wollstonecraft! on Vimeo.

The problems for Bess started when her parents discovered a forbidden book under her bedroom mattress. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) started Bess on the path of finding other books that presented the idea that women and men could be equal. But to find support, Bess had to raid the school and public library. Before long, Bess had shared Mary Wollstonecraft with all her friends.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Edna’s friend, Bess, had been the little girl who got her dress dirty climbing an apple tree to pick fruit for Edna back when they were young and spent hours playing with a rose china tea set and pretending to be mothers of their dolls.

Bessie and Edna shared oolong tea, served with scones and lemon marmalade, while practicing how to hold dainty teacups and make polite conversation. Bessie’s lilting musical voice and a clear complexion summed up Bess and her childhood joyful innocence. Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Lucretia Mott’s made it known that oolong was her favorite tea. Bess and Edna wouldn’t drink anything else.

BESS TRIED TO BE LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS BUT THAT CHANGED AFTER READING A NOVEL BY MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

The story of Bess and several other young girls on Rubicam Avenue in Germantown appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1897 after they’d raised money for city children to leave crowded neighborhoods for summer excursions. The total of $200 collected for the Children’s Country Week Association wasn’t as important as having the names of Bess and her girlfriends mentioned in the society column. Edna’s mother, May Begley Buckman, wasn’t impressed. She said it wouldn’t be long before Bess and her friends would be raising money for hospitals after they’d landed husbands and waited for the birth of their first child. “Bess isn’t that way,” Edna insisted, but she didn’t tell her mother why she could be so certain.

Mary WollstonecraftEdna’s commitment to avoid marriage solidified after reading the 1788 novel by writer Mary Wollstonecraft: Mary: A Fiction. Bessie had wrapped the controversial book in newspaper and slipped it to Edna at Friends’ Central school and then returned it to the public library after Edna read it from cover to cover. Unlike Jane Eyre in the Brontë novel who delayed marriage and then later found happiness with Mr. Rochester, the fictional Mary in the Wollstonecraft novel had romantic attractions to both a man and a woman.

WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A “NEW WOMAN” IN 1900

Mary Wollstonecrafts’s character of Mary in her novel represented a New Woman who thought for herself. She didn’t ground her future in marriage and viewed the institution as guaranteed to ruin the spirit and independence of every young woman seeking her rightful place in the world. Edna had been convinced that no young man could change her mind about marriage, that is, until she met Wilmer Kearns.

Follow the entire “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling series.

TeaParty2Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on VimeoMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.