Women’s suffrage centennial celebrations: Video & news notes

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

“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!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

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.

A surprise in Kenneth Florey’s book on woman suffrage postcards. A special program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

“American Woman Suffrage Postcards” by Kenneth Florey from Vimeo.

DISCOVERY OF HISTORIC ARTIFACT IMAGE IN NEW BOOK

by Marguerite Kearns

As I held Kenneth Florey’s book in my hands recently, I felt a surge of delight in flipping the pages for an overview of the postcard images that our grandmothers, great grandmothers and other family members may have viewed that illustrated their interest in, and in many cases, their involvement in this important American civil rights movement.

American Woman Suffrage PostcardsHundreds of these postcard images with scholarly commentary are now available in Florey’s 2015 book American Woman Suffrage Postcards: A Study and Catalog  (McFarland, a leading publisher of academic and nonfiction books). Kenneth Florey, professor emeritus at Southern Connecticut State University, is a long-time specialist in woman suffrage memorabilia. He has lectured on the subject in the U.S. and abroad, appeared on television, and written articles for a variety of publications.

Imagine my surprise when an unidentified postcard jumped off the page that only my eagle eye could have caught –that of the “Spirit of 1776,” the suffrage campaign wagon that inspired this web site.

WHY THE WAGON IMAGE DISCOVERY WAS SO EXCITING!

This postcard photo (shown here) is the first time the public is able to see the “Spirit of 1776” horse-drawn wagon used for suffrage movement grassroots organizing in the full context of the oceanside setting in Long Beach, NY in July 1913. That’s only one of special treats available when making American W1913 Spirit of 1776 wagon, 1913, Long Beachoman Suffrage Postcards part of your library.

If any of us were to try and imagine what it was like for our family members to be activists during the suffrage movement (1848 to 1920), we’d do ourselves a favor by spending quality time relaxing with this work. Over the past year I’ve witnessed several women’s suffrage postcards go viral, but these sharings, though informative, didn’t give a complete picture of the wide range of subject matter that’s expressed in the 700+ examples in what Kenneth Florey calls a “study and a catalog.” These postcards represent a wide variety of types of cards used for different purposes as “visual rhetoric.”

THE POPULARITY OF MOVEMENT POSTCARDS AS VISUAL RHETORIC

Activists collected the postcards, exchanged them, used them for fundraisers and souvenirs, as well as for sending messages to friends. They cover a wide range of topics, including anti-suffrage messages, the promotion of real events and programs, including actual arguments pro and con of women voting.

The book production staff at McFarland shared my excitement in being able to identify the details of July 1913 not long after Edna Kearns, Serena Kearns, Irene Davison and others left Manhattan for a month of votes for women organizing on Long Island. Though the newspaper coverage of the campaign at the time was ample and other images exist of the wagon, the “Spirit of 1776” postcard in this new book from McFarland shows for the first time the horse attached to the wagon and its various patriotic protest messages.

WHO’S IN THE POSTCARD PHOTO?

There’s my grandmother Edna Kearns sitting in the far left of the wagon on the beach, wearing her colonial costume. Little Serena Kearns is to the far right of the wagon, at age eight. And the woman in the middle, holding the umbrella, is unidentified. Perhaps there’s someone out there with an eagle eye like mine who could identify other features and add to the fascinating detail of this picture.

Here’s what McFarland’s web site had to say about the “Spirit of 1776” postcard discovery.

SuffrageWagonCafeThanks for stopping by to join us at Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

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

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Follow the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial during 2016. “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. 

Let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Video about next program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. I have a surprise discovery to share with you.

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

SuffrageWagonCafeMeet me at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Follow the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial during 2016. Suffrage Wagon is a partner in the national observance. “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.

Cooking School demo of soup simmering on a Waterford Stanley wood-burning stove! Videos!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Birthday party in the works featuring Waterford Stanley wood-burning cook stove! on Vimeo.

CornMelonsSuffrage Wagon Cooking School is celebrating its first birthday this summer. We started the cooking school with corn last year. Why? Because of the corn Edna Kearns canned for demonstration purposes that got her out in the community to reach women and speak about votes for women. The special cooking demonstration with roast corn on the cob.

How to make Butternut Squash Soup at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

Suffrage cookbooks were popular fundraisers for the cause. And cooking was by no means a tidy activity. We’re introducing our very own wood-burning cook stove, an Irish variety, the Waterford Stanley cook stove.

Hot Tea Month during JanuaryFollow 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 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.