Woodstock, NY in the news for its women’s suffrage ties

Woodstock, New York: Travel to this distinct Hudson Valley town! on Vimeo.

The State of New York kicked off the 2017 suffrage centennial in Albany, NY on March 1, 2017, Women’s History Month. And Woodstock Times (Woodstock, NY) published the story by Marguerite Kearns about how the “Spirit of 1776” wagon had Woodstock, NY ties and came to be part of New York State history.

Olivia Twine highlighted the exhibition of the “Spirit of 1776” wagon at the State Capitol in Albany during March, Women’s History Month, and at the New York State Museum through May 2018. Other events and celebrations during the 2017 state suffrage centennial are also noted.

“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 at Suffrage Wagon News Channel. We have been publishing since 2009.

“Through the Eye of Marguerite Kearns” is a point of view column on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.


“Does women’s suffrage hurt?” Point of View by Marguerite Kearns





Edna Kearns gets attention for her women’s suffrage work! on Vimeo.


When I first started blogging  in 2009 about my grandmother Edna Kearns and her votes for women activism, most people had no idea what I meant when I referred to the “women’s suffrage movement.”

“Suffrage? Does it hurt?” one friend asked me.

“The word suffrage refers to the right to vote, and it’s not a term used much these days.”

“Can you pick another word other than ‘suffrage’? It is difficult to remember.”

“I can’t. It’s not my place to change it.”


The conversation came to an end with my friend’s eyes glazing over and her parting remark went something like this:

“Suffrage sounds boring and old fashioned. Have fun doing what you’re doing. Those old bats have nothing to teach me.”

Sadly, the women’s suffrage movement has been marginalized and awareness of its scope and significance has long since disappeared into the void of forgetfulness. This happened especially after 1920 with the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting American women voting rights.

My grandfather and mother told me about my grandmother Edna and how she devoted a decade of her life to the cause.

“How exciting,” I thought. The stories I heard from my grandfather Wilmer sparked even more interest. He not only observed the activism but he marched in suffrage parades with his wife and daughter in New York City and Washington, DC.


There wasn’t one movement that spoke with a single voice constantly from 1848 to 1920. People joined various and diverse organizations. Over a period of 72 years, numerous strategies and tactics came and went. “The movement” was a handy way of referring to a coalition of quite different individuals who agreed on one thing. They didn’t like being treated as inferior, and they united over a single issue—voting rights for women. Many other issues were at stake. However one issue became the focal point because many believed it would make the most difference in the long run—the right to vote.

I couldn’t wait to raise my hand in elementary school and speak about my grandmother. I imagined myself—a shy kid in the spotlight speaking about a cause I believed should represent an important part of American history. You probably can guess what happened. The subject of the women’s suffrage movement wasn’t raised. I concluded that history was only about memorizing dates, the strategies and tactics of war. No wonder I didn’t like history. Nor did many of my friends.

A great deal may have changed in how history is taught today. Yet many Americans still know relatively little about how women have participated significantly in the building and nourishing of our nation.


The struggle continues for equality, sustainability, and social justice not only for women, but all of us. Following the Januaury 2017 women’s march in Washington, DC, across the nation and around the world, there has been a dramatic surge of energy. This has included more interest than ever in the contributions of our family members and ancestors. This is why I love telling the story of my grandmother Edna and her “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon. It’s a symbol of where we’ve been and how we’re still on the move.

The “Spirit of 1776” wagon used by Edna Kearns will be on exhibit during March 2017 at the State Capitol in Albany, New York on the second floor. It will be shown in other locations during the year. Stay in touch. I’ll keep you posted!

“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 at Suffrage Wagon News Channel. We have been publishing since 2009.

“Through the Eye of Marguerite Kearns” is a point of view column on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Why travel to New York State during 2017?

Watch the Video

Travel to celebrate the 2017 New York State suffrage centennial! on Vimeo.

Welcome to Suffrage Wagon Cafe where we stretch out and enjoy catching up on what’s happening with suffrage news, views, events and celebrations.

There’s a great deal going on in New York this year in observance of 100 years of women voting in the state. This is a long-anticipated observance and the cultural arts scene is already buzzing with literature, music, song, conferences, exhibits, speeches, and much more.

My grandmother Edna Kearns turned a decade of her life over to make sure every woman had the right to vote and the potential to determine her own future. So did tens of thousands other activists across the nation who in some small or large way invested in and worked hard for change.

For most, the work was unpaid. These volunteers organized and persisted because they believed in women taking their rightful place in the larger society. They experienced victories and defeats. Now that a century has passed, there’s more interest than ever about the details, the many organizers and the trails they blazed over a 72-year period from 1848 to 1920. We are their grandchildren—great grandchildren, family members, extended families, and fans.


Events are being scheduled from now through to 2020, the nation’s suffrage centennial when American women will have been voting for 100 years. Get busy scheduling a fundraiser for your action group, plan a party or reception to honor women’s history with friends and family members, and go out of your way to attend events inspired by those on whose strong shoulders we stand.

The State of New York is observing its state suffrage centennial in 2017. Other state observances are planned and underway. All of this is in preparation for 2020, the nation’s observance of its women voting for a century. Many opportunities are available for you to plan activities and programs for your community organizations, action groups, and other instances to keep alive the gains of the 2017 women’s march. Join us!

Four more states are on the women’s suffrage centennial bandwagon! on Vimeo.

Marguerite Kearns is your host at Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

“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 at Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Visit SuffrageCentennials.com to find out about centennial news, events, and celebrations.


Suffrage Centennial news & events

Watch the Video

Support the 2017 suffrage centennial for New York State. on Vimeo.

The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns and other activists in New York’s state campaigns to win the vote is on exhibit during the month of March 2017 at the State Capitol in Albany, NY. Numerous programs and special celebrations are planned throughout the state. A conference at Cornell University sponsored by NYS Cultural Heritage Tourism on March 15th will feature what it takes to merge tourism with cultural resources such as women’s history and other sites celebrating the state’s legacy.


Upcoming “History in the Hall” Women’s History Exhibit: 100 Years: Votes for New York Women (1917-2017) at Suffolk County Historical Society, Long Island (Riverhead, NY)(suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org). When New York State women won the right to vote one hundred years ago—making 2017 the centennial of that historic civil rights victory—their success changed the national political landscape and was a critical tipping point on the road to a constitutional amendment. This exhibit celebrates the centennial by narrating the stories of Long Island women activists who dedicated themselves to the powerful grassroots movement. Curated by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell. On display beginning March 8, 2017.

IN OTHER NEWS: Convention Days, Inc. will honor the women and men who signed the movement’s foundational document, the Declaration of Sentiments, by recognizing the descendants of the document’s original signers. The 2017 Convention Days weekend is July 13 to 16. This year, 2017, marks the State of New York’s commemoration of 100 years of women’s full voting rights. The Declaration of Sentiments and the eleven resolutions adopted at the Seneca Falls Convention were signed by 100 of those in attendance—68 women and 32 men. Descendants of the original signers of the Declaration of Sentiments can register on the Convention Days website at ConventionDays.com or visit the Seneca Falls Visitor’s Center at 89 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY for more information.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Special women’s suffrage events in Seneca Falls, NY this summer

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


Join Women’s Rights National Historical Park for Convention Days 2017. This four-day event will feature speakers, historical interpreters, themed theater performances, activities for young people, and a Native American art exhibit.

Would you like to host a table at the event? Groups are welcome with themes of equality, human rights, civil rights, and women’s rights. Contact Ashley Nottingham at: ashley_nottingham@nps.gov

The park staff is also seeking various musical performances, singers, speakers, authors, etc that are involved with equality, human rights, civil rights, or women’s rights. If you are interested in performing at the NPS historic site at Seneca Falls, contact Ami Ghazala at: noemi_ghazala@nps.gov


The National Susan B Anthony Museum & House in Rochester, NY has launched plans to commemorate the centennial of woman suffrage in New York State with a VoteTilla – a weeklong navigational celebration – to take place along the Erie Canal from July 16 to 22, 2017. A core group of canal boats will set out from Seneca Falls and travel to Rochester, with a concluding celebration at the Anthony Museum on Madison Street.

VoteTilla boats will dock at several towns and villages along the route. Local residents and partner organizations are invited to share in the celebration by offering programming and excursions or by adding their own boats to the traveling fleet. Current partners include Bristol Valley Theatre, Canal Society of New York State, the City of Rochester, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the RIT Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinating Committee, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Susan B Anthony Neighborhood Association, the Seward House, and the University of Rochester’s Susan B Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership.The VoteTilla celebration immediately follows both the Fourth of July bicentennial celebration of the New York State canals and the Convention Days weekend in Seneca Falls, NY.


On March 18, 2017 at 9 a.m. at Saratoga State Park (the Gideon Putnam Hotel), there will be a special program about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Ellie Stearns has researched and written portrayals of “Women  of Vision” for schools and organizations throughout New York. She participated for many years in the National Park’s dramatizations of the 1848 Convention and portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton on C-Span’s Writers and Books series in 2001. There will be a breakfast buffet and the program is called “Breakfast with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.” Reserve by March 8th for the March 18th program. Tickets are $55, $75, and $100. Make checks payable to LWV-NY and mail to Steve Koebrich, 718 Malta Ave extn, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Tax-deductible donations, except for the fair value of the breakfast ($25), go to the League of Women Voters, Saratoga Account, within the LWVNY-EF to support voter service programming.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Films for Women’s History Month: “Suffragette” now on DVD

“Suffragette” film makes Votes for Women movement come alive! on Vimeo.


“Suffragette” film is now available on Amazon.

This film about the suffrage movement in England brings to life this important part of history. Many American activists such as Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and many others spent time in England working and studying with the Pankhursts. This and “Iron Jawed Angels” are important films to see if you haven’t already.

Women’s History Month in March is a perfect time to arrange a fundraiser, reception, or other event in order to carry on the spirit of the January 2017 women’s march on Washington, DC. Consider “Suffragette,” “Iron Jawed Anegls,” and the new film by Martha Wheelock, “Forward into Light,” the 15-minute production about Inez Milholland (1886-1916), America’s suffrage martyr. For more information about the film, visit InezMilholland.org More information about Inez at InezMilhollandCentennial.com

Watch trailer for “Iron Jawed Angels” on YouTube.

Contact for “Forward into Light” film.

“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 at Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

“Through the Eye of Marguerite Kearns” is a new point of view column on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Through the eye of Marguerite Kearns: a new point of view on Suffrage Wagon News Channel






During the first week of January in 1914, a hardy band of marchers under the direction of suffragist Rosalie Jones started out from New York City on a march headed to Albany, NY to ask NYS Governor Martin Glynn to appoint poll watchers in the 1915 suffrage referendum. My grandparents Edna and Wilmer Kearns, plus their young daughter Serena, were part of the contingent.

I’ve written about this before, and it is appropriate to bring it up now. On February 18, 2017 there’s a symposium at the Irish American Heritage Museum. 370 Broadway, Albany, NY, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take a look at New York’s 40th governor and the first Irish American Roman Catholic governor. Governor Glynn is virtually unknown in New York today. I stumbled on his service to the state when I looked into what the suffrage activists like my grandmother faced when they took off from New York City to bend the ear of the state’s chief executive officer.

Governor Glynn supported women voting, but his wife didn’t. The governor met with Rosalie Jones and a delegation of the 1914 marchers who made it successfully during the long freezing ordeal on foot, but Glynn was non committal at that time about responding to their request.

When I decided to find out more about this story, I tracked down Governor Martin H. Glynn: Forgotten Hero a biography by Dominick C. Lizzi, a former Town of Valatie historian.  It’s an extraordinary story involving NYS, national, and international politics. The book refers to Governor Glynn’s support of votes for women and his progressive policies. Plus, there’s discussion of his wife Mary Glynn and her love of the Albany social scene.

I stumbled on Mrs. Glynn’s name in a Women’s Anti-Suffrage Association pamphlet printed and distributed by the Third Judicial District of NYS in Albany, NY. where Mrs. Glynn was listed as a vice president. Dominick C. Lizzi confirmed that—yes, indeed—it was Martin Glynn’s wife Mary. This fascinated me, and that’s why and how I settled in to read Lizzi’s book.

The details of the story about the governor and his wife are too much to address here, as well as the larger context of the NYS anti-suffrage movement. No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement by Susan Goodier, published by the University of Illinois Press in 2013, fills out the big picture and provides a larger context to those who didn’t support women’s voting rights back then. Just like today, there are those women who benefit from the current social structure who feel threatened by a shift in the status quo. It’s not a matter of reason or logic. It’s a fact, and many Americans are getting used to the idea that women don’t necessarily vote as a block. The story of NYS Governor Glynn and his wife Mary is one such example. The constituency of those women tired of their second-class citizenship status is growing faster than during the days of my grandmother Edna Kearns. As a grassroots activist, she volunteered to address the uphill struggle of bringing about equality with voting rights in mind. It was no casual commitment. From what I can tell, she worked from dawn to dusk for a decade, from 1910 to 1920, and had no idea if the goal would ever be realized.

“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 at Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

New York State’s suffrage commission has a mission of celebrating the state’s suffrage movement history from 2017 through to 2020, the nation’s celebration of American women voting for 100 years. This is one of many features associated with this important historic observance.