Suffrage Storytelling series to be launched at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on July 8, 2015

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Suffrage Wagon Cafe is introducing its women’s suffrage storytelling series on July 8, 2015. Are you subscribed? This long-awaited series links story to facts. People who follow the Suffrage Wagon love the details and how the cafe is opening its doors. Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Check out past story videos and start following the adventures of Edna Buckman Kearns and Wilmer Kearns. Teachers and students who follow the suffrage wagon tell us that they love the facts best when delivered with story. And Bess is a rebel girl, someone who challenges her best friend Edna Buckman who’s determined to become an activist in the women’s suffrage movement. Bess views herself as an outsider, and she’s headed out into the world as a free independent woman. No marriage for Bess. But Edna had romance on her mind.

Links to Suffrage Wagon News Channel‘s updates and announcements: Our second year of telling the story of the July 4th co-conspirators. National award for “Spirit of 1776” music video, plus other video highlights for women voters. Path through History weekend in NYS includes programs on women’s rights. Women’s history myth and free ebook, “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens. June special program from Suffrage Wagon Cafe about the perks of visiting Seneca Falls, NY. Get prepared for the upcoming “Suffragette” film from the UK by checking out the BBC series, “Shoulder to Shoulder.”

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Two accounts of the hot women’s suffrage protest on a July 1876 afternoon!

Edna on a horse

ABOVE: Amelia Bowen reads from the memoir of Elizabeth Cady Stanton about the July 4th protest in 1876 in Philadelphia. BELOW: More about what happened after the suffrage co-conspirators left the centennial hall:

“Passing out, these ladies made their way to a platform, erected for the musicians, in front of Independence Hall. Here, under the shadow of Washington’s statue, back of them the old bell that proclaimed “liberty to all the land and all the inhabitants thereof,” they took their places, and, to a listening, applauding crowd, Miss Anthony read the Woman’s Declaration.

“During the reading of the Declaration, Mrs. Gage stood beside Miss Anthony and held an umbrella overher head, to shelter her friend from the intense heat of the noonday sun. And thus at the same hour, on opposite sides of the entrance to the old Independence Hall, did the men and women express their opinions on the great principles proclaimed on the natal day of the Republic…

“These heroic ladies then hurried from Independence Hall to the church, already crowded with an expectant audience, to whom they gave a full report of the
morning’s proceedings. The Hutchinsons, of world-wide fame, were present in their happiest vein, interspersing the speeches with appropriate songs and
felicitous remarks. For five long hours on that hot midsummer day a crowded audience, many standing, listened with profound interest, and reluctantly dis-
persed at last, all agreeing that it was one of the most impressive and enthusiastic meetings they had ever attended.

“Through all the busy preparations of the Centennial, the women of the nation felt sure that the great national celebration could not pass without the con-
cession of some new liberties to them. Hence they pressed their claims at every point, at the Fourth of July celebration, in the exposition buildings, and in the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions, hoping to get a plank in the platforms of both the great political parties.”

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Great news about national award for Suffrage Wagon music video, plus 9 suffrage storytelling videos!


Don’t be left behind! Head out to Votes for Women centennial celebrations in 2020 and 2017! on Vimeo.


The National Federation of Press Women has awarded the Suffrage Wagon music video, “The Spirit of 1776: A Suffragette Anthem,” second price in its category (32A) in the national media competition. “Spirit of 1776,” an anthem to sing along with, inspired by the horse-drawn wagon and used by activist Edna Kearns, is now in the collection of the New York State Museum. This award-winning music video by songwriter and performer Eighty Bug recognizes the vast grassroots network that became necessary to build support for women voting over a period of 72 years.


1. The video story of how “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon came to travel for the suffrage movement.  YouTube.  Vimeo.

2. What happened on July 1, 1913 when the “Spirit of 1776” wagon hit the streets to organize for the suffrage movement is highlighted in numerous newspaper articles in the metropolitan New York City area. YouTube.  Vimeo.

3. Little Serena Kearns accompanied her mother Edna Kearns on the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776.” This video highlights the many ways in which Serena became a poster child for the women’s suffrage movement on Long Island and in NYC. YouTube. Vimeo.

4. The Kearns family (Edna, Wilmer and Serena) set out on the “hike” to Albany, NY with Rosalie Jones to see the Governor about women’s suffrage on January 1, 1914. This video highlights the march. Vimeo.

5. Edna Kearns worked closely with many women on Long Island to organize for the vote. This video focuses on Rosalie Jones and her highly-publicized marches and events.

6. Edna’s husband, Wilmer R. Kearns, not only supported his wife and daughter in suffrage movement activities, but he participated as well.

7. Photos from the life of suffragist Edna Kearns. The family photo album snapshots.

8. Edna Kearns and Serena Kearns picketed the White House in 1917.

9. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon played an important part in the 1913 organizing campaign on Long Island. The wagon was also used for speakers’ platforms, for exhibits and suffrage parades in New York City.

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Women’s suffrage movement news: Features, events, and programs!

Women’s suffrage news notes wrap up on Vimeo.


If you know a woman — current or historic– whose life demonstrates the 2016 theme, “Working to Make a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government,” visit the National Women’s History Project for a nomination application form. Women’s suffrage movement history will be highlighted by the organizations and individuals participating in the NYS Path Through History annual observance this year, June 20-21, 2015. The weekend includes a new exhibit at the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse in Farmington, NY on June 20, 2015, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In a conversational presentation at Woodstock Town Hall, Woodstock, NY on Sunday, June 21 at 2 p.m., Olivia Twine will confront her youthful illusions about slavery in the North in order to reconcile with what she has learned by studying abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth’s path through Ulster County. Olivia tells her story and invites others to do the same in this free NYS Path Through History weekend event. Call 845-706-0540 for more information.

The New York State Museum has presented a master plan for the renovation of the state museum’s galleries to the state Board of Regents. The state museum in Albany, NY is already committed to present a women’s suffrage movement centennial exhibit in the fall of 2017. There hasn’t been a major renovation of the museum’s galleries since 1976.

Sally Roesch Wagner offers a 35-minute monologue as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, followed by audience interaction featuring the 19th-century feminist’s bold wit and brilliant logic. Wagner says: “Having performed as Elizabeth Cady Stanton for 26 years, I have grown old with her. I am drawing on my 40 years of Stanton research to offer a celebratory gift – the seasoned Stanton at her witty, brilliant, and iconoclastic best.” The program is limited to 12 performances. To schedule, contact

Both the NYS Senate and Assembly have approved a women’s suffrage centennial planning commission for 2017.The bill is on its way to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing. Follow news of suffrage centennial celebrations at our sister site,
Film Crash Course on Suffrage WagonFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow 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.

A women’s suffrage myth & a great free book with the inside story! Marguerite’s Musings.

“Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens is featured book on Suffrage Bookshelf on Vimeo.

You can listen to the “Jailed for Freedom” book read free on Librivox.
Suffrage Movement Myth

by Marguerite Kearns

Have you heard the perspective referred to above that has been getting spread around lately? It compares the English and American suffrage movements and concludes that the English suffragette movement was exciting and creative while the American suffrage activists were boring and trite. So sad that these sister movements are being pitted against each other. If there’s anything positive about this old myth being trotted out into public, it’s to give these faulty assumptions an airing.


The myth of exciting versus boring relies on the assumption that the English suffragists’ use of property damage, that is, a degree of violence, placed the English suffrage movement in a position of being considered more interesting than the American women who were “polite.” Translate that to “nonviolent.”

Sweeping generalizations underlie this myth. In fact, the women’s rights movements in England and the United States were committed to nonviolence. And later on, the English tactics that included property damage were controversial in their time and did not represent the sentiments of all English women engaged in the movement. Suffrage activists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean argued vehemently about the best tactics and strategies necessary to reach their goals. And while they disagreed about tactics, they remained committed to the goal of freedom.

"Marguerite's Musings" on Suffrage Wagon News ChannelTHROWING ROCKS AND BLOWING UP MAILBOXES

Sadly, the perspective comparing the Americans and the English relies on a misunderstanding. Nonviolent tactics and strategies are considerably more difficult and challenging to implement than a decision to resort to violence. Throwing rocks definitely has more juice for the purpose of a mainstream film. A commitment to nonviolent social change isn’t as visual and tension producing as deciding to blow up a mailbox.

In fact, the ties between American and English activists were close. And both movements, for all their differences, can be plotted on the same path of working within a rigid political and social structure to accomplish similar goals while facing considerable resistance from government to win voting rights. While the American suffrage activists remained committed to nonviolent strategies, there’s no doubt that violence was used against them, especially those who picketed the White House in 1917 and were imprisoned and assaulted by authorities.


Both the suffrage activists in England and the U.S. went up against hard-core resistance. The picketing of the White House in 1917 heightened awareness of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. And if these activists hadn’t been successful in impacting national policy, it’s difficult to predict now, in retrospect, if U.S. women would have won the right to vote at all in 1920.

This old tired myth comparing the two movements will hopefully lose its power once the public is better informed about the spirit and determination and dedication that kept American suffrage activists with their eye on the prize. Check out Doris Stevens’ work, “Jailed for Freedom.” These free audio files from Librivox fill in more of what it took for American women to win voting rights.

As more research on the women’s suffrage movement is completed, books are published, and the constituency interested in this part of history grows stronger, we’ll join hands across the Atlantic. I envision a grand parade or awards banquet where English and American women honor our suffrage activist ancestors and properly celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment of winning voting rights together.

Onward to the 2020 suffrage centennial celebration!


Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“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. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.


Come along to Seneca Falls, NY with us for a program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe: June 8, 2015





This special program from Suffrage Wagon Cafe features Seneca Falls, NY and the importance of making a journey or pilgrimage there to connect to our roots. PLENTY OF VIDEOS AND RESOURCES!

Head out for the afternoon to the Suffrage Wagon Cafe? on Vimeo.

Seneca Falls, NYWelcome to the Suffrage Wagon Cafe with a special program on Secena Falls, NY. There, the odds were at least a million to one or higher against the small band of 68 women and 32 men who showed up in Seneca Falls, NY in mid-July of 1848 to sign their own version of the Declaration of Independence and challenge the status quo. These brave souls relied on each other and brave allies for reassurance, support, and nourishment. And they realized that if they didn’t do something, few others would be able to take the issue of inequality to the level where it needed to go. Make no mistake about this important event in American history: a handful of people got the ball rolling.

Suffrage tea cupsWas the 1848 convention in Seneca Falls, NY as important as people claim it was? Find out the details in this special report now available at the web site of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY.

Five women met together in a house near Seneca Falls in July of 1848. They wrote up their grievances, published an announcement in the newspaper for the convention, and held their collective breaths. It not unlike today when we take a stand against injustice, telephone or contact friends and family, and then send messages by way of social media, emails, letters, leaflets, and text messages. The activists of 1848 showed up in Seneca Falls to meet together and they kept stepping. Many wondered if they could accomplish the goal of equality in their lifetimes. But a core of stubborn activists persisted. “Yes, we can and we will,” they insisted. The rest is history and we’re celebrating this accomplishment today!

Suffrage Wagon CafePACK A SUITCASE:

(1.) Convention Days in Seneca Falls, NY,  July 17-19, 2015. A two-day celebration has a schedule, not yet announced. Check the Convention Days web site for details as they become available.

(2.) The 200th birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton during 2015. Save the date for an evening at Cooper Union in New York City on November 12, 2015 for a big birthday bash. See details. And then party yourself at home or in your own community. Be inspired by a virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton and then plan one yourself.

(3.) Places to visit in Seneca Falls, NY include the NPS Women’s Rights National Park, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and other local attractions.

SuffrageWagonCafeRESOURCES: Plan a trip to Seneca Falls, NY. Take advantage of this seven-part audio series, “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls,” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton from her book, Eighty Years and More. The reading is by Librivox and the production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

“Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7.

Seneca Falls, NY is a pilgrimage and a destination! See the Women’s Rights National Park! on Vimeo.

Celebration of the anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848! on Vimeo.

Musical Tribute to Suffrage Leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton during her 200th birthday celebration in 2015! on Vimeo.

Significance of Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848 featured in special report! on Vimeo.

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Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blogMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“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. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Prepare yourself for “Suffragette” film from the UK with video of “Shoulder to Shoulder” BBC miniseries

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News ChannelIf you do a little homework before the release of the major motion picture, “Suffragette” in October 2015, you’ll be glad you did. Episode 1 is called “The Pankhursts” 

This BBC special introduced the Pankhurst family of English suffrage activists. And subsequent programs developed the story of the English women’s suffrage movement. Meryl Streep is in a perfect position to bring this period of history to the public as she’s starring as Emmeline Pankhurst in the “Suffragette” film from the U.K. Hopefully she’ll use the opportunity to steer the public’s attention in the direction of the U.S. suffrage movement. Although a great deal is made about the differences between the American and English movements, suffrage movement activists on both sides of the Atlantic had close ties because they both faced tough resistance to the radical idea of women voting.


Forty years have passed since the “Shoulder to Shoulder” series. That’s why this YouTube video, Episode #1 of the 1974 BBC miniseries, “Shoulder to Shoulder,” is such a treasure. Sadly, the series hasn’t been rerun on BBC. And no DVD has been released although anyone interested in this time in history still has an opportunity to dredge it out of the archives. See key article in British Politics and Policy.

On this side of the Atlantic, the HBO special from the 2004 “Iron Jawed Angels” about Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party continues to inspire grassroots and community organizations who use the production for fundraisers and special events. “Iron Jawed Angels” isn’t as obscure as “Shoulder to Shoulder,” however. Throughout the U.S., “Iron Jawed Angels” continues to be a favorite during March, Women’s History Month, for private and public gatherings.


The 30th anniversary of the Alice Paul Institute in 2015 is a reminder of how women’s history advocates have been plugging along in the wings of the mainstream culture. There are more blogs and related media about this time in our history, especially as the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws near. In March of 2015, the National Women’s History Project celebrated its 35th year, another example of a loyal and persistent constituency that’s keeping women’s history alive.

Plan to see the “Suffragette” film from the UK when it opens in September 2015, but keep in mind some advance preparation will be necessary. But it’s enjoyable homework! All this effort and enjoyment is training for the 2017 suffrage centennial in New York State and the 2020 Votes for Women national centennial in the U.S.

IN OTHER NEWS: Video about suffrage history and 2016 election. Recently-published book about English suffragette, Princess Sophia continues to get good reviews. October 2015 set for release of “Suffragette” film from the UK.

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 for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials.