Tag Archives: “Jailed for freedom”

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 COMPARING ENGISH AND AMERICAN ACTIVISTS

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.

THE SIMILARITIES ARE IMPORTANT TO APPRECIATE

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!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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 SuffrageCentennials.com 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.

 

Christmas day tribute to Inez Milholland: An audio podcast

This audio selection is from Doris Stevens’ book, Jailed For Freedom, a selection that highlights the Christmas day ceremony at the nation’s Capitol in memory of Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr. The reading is by Librivox and produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

FacebookHappy holidays! Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

100 Years Ago in Two Videos: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's MusingsONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO:

A review of the suffrage “hike” or march to Albany, New York in January 1914,  a little over 100 years ago. My grandparents Edna Kearns, Wilmer Kearns, and my mother’s older sister Serena Kearns started out from New York City on January 1, 1914 with Rosalie Jones and a band of other brave souls. The first video version about the march or “hike” to Albany, NY highlights newspaper articles of the period. It’s followed by a feature where I had fun. Check out the second video version.

Here’s another version of the same event with images from the Library of Congress and several examples of memorabilia from the Suffrage Wagon News Channel collection.

A review of the complete “Playing Politics with the President” story series in the event you missed any of the episodes: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7, Podcast #8, Podcast #9 of the nine-audio podcast series about US President Woodrow Wilson and the impending showdown over the issue of women voting. This is the leadup to when things became sticky and led to the National Woman’s Party picketing the White House and prison time in 1917.

FacebookCOMING SOON: The fall issue of the quarterly newsletter. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Please join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Day #12: Video of youngest White House picket and Podcast #7 of “Night of Terror”

"Night of Terror" podcasts on Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

Day #12. We’re getting close to the end of the “Night of Terror” audio podcasts, but the observance continues until November 15th. Listen to Podcast #7.

By popular demand: A video about Serena Kearns, the youngest White House picket (see below). The video highlights a variety of Votes for Women activities and events where Serena took part, including the organizing journeys of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon in 1913.

Serena Kearns, youngest White House picket

Podcast #7 highlights the indignant words of the women who were held at the Occoquan Workhouse. The terror continues at the workhouse, as Doris Stevens continues in her description of how the administration of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to squash the rebellion of the prisoners. Pickets at the White House became increasingly more unacceptable to the federal government. Keep in mind that the picketing of the White House continued while those at the Occoquan Workhouse carried their protest forward.

I’ve been blogging  for a total of eleven days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Share Podcast #7 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

Get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Let’s make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11).

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Subscribe to email postings on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

“Night of Terror” Day #11 of blogging, plus video & Podcast #6!

"Marguerite's Musings" with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #11. Betty Graham of Portland told others about testimony from a government doctor that lifted the suffragists’ spirits in Podcast #6 of the “Night of Terror.” The health of the pickets incarcerated at Occoquan Workhouse concerned many family members and friends. The podcasts reveal the daily concerns of those concerned, like freezing in their cells.

First-person accounts, like those in the audio podcasts, bring us closer to understanding the “Night of Terror.” I’ve been blogging for a total of ten days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Check out Podcast #6 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

“The Song of the Women” video. This is a reminder of the participation of New York women who joined in support of the picketing. On the “Night of Terror’ at the Occoquan Workhouse, 14 of the larger number hailed from New York State,

Let’s get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” We want to make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 (Nov. 10)

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay current with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Marguerite’s Musings on Day #10 of the “Night of Terror,” plus Podcast #5 and video

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #10 and Podcast #5. More alarming reports reached the outside from Lucy Burns about the “Night of Terror,” –messages written on small scraps of paper. Follow the continuing story on Podcast #5 of the  audio series. Nothing pretty. First-person accounts. Being held down and force fed. Not easy to know about, but essential in terms of understanding the Big Picture and its significance.

The publicity associated with the “Night of Terror” resulted in a “turning point” in the national suffrage movement. Suffrage Wagon’s partner, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, doesn’t have that name by accident. The federal government couldn’t stand the publicity in 1917, especially after the U.S. entered World War I. And it must have been particularly difficult because of the split within the larger suffrage movement. The antis, or those who were against women voting, shifted a large part of their effort to supporting the war.

Suffrage Wagon supports suffragist memorial

And many suffragists, including members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, announced that they could work for woman’s suffrage, as well as support the war. A New York Times article on August 31, 1917, “State Suffragists Condemn Picketing,” is a case in point. At its Saratoga, NY conference, the Woman Suffrage Party denounced the women picketing the White House. Imagine yourself in 1917, hearing about the brave women at the White House gates and still others at the Occoquan Workhouse and the controversy swirls around you, daily. Only now do we realize that the bold actions of these women became the “turning point” for the movement.

The audio podcasts provide an intimate view of activists in the last stages of the national Votes for Women or suffrage movement. The audio by Librivox and its team of volunteers is memorable. These first-person accounts are from Doris Stevens in her book “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

I’ve been blogging for nine days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Here’s Podcast #5 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West.

Let’s get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

LibriVox is a terrific resource and one that educates and inspires. How appropriate. LibriVox is run by volunteers, and we’re honoring activists who volunteered for a tour of duty at the White House gates. We’ve edited the LibriVox recordings and made them short and sweet to fit your busy lifestyle.

COMING SOON: The final three episodes of the audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on at the Occoquan Workhouse and the aftermath. We support the building of the suffrage memorial! Join us.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9).

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5.

A video about the suffrage movement.

Join me in supporting  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in its campaign to fund and build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Think of it. Imagine it. Support the suffragist memorial.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Day #9, Audio Podcast #4 of the “Night of Terror” observance, plus a video!

Marguerite Kearns on Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

Day #9 and Podcast #4 in the “Night of Terror” observance. Join me in finding out about the aftermath of the November 14, 1917 arrests and the women committed to Occoquan Workhouse. This is covered in Podcast #4 of the “Night of Terror” series.

Word leaked out about the brutalities and attacks on the women prisoners that makes the “Night of Terror” a pivotal moment or “Turning Point” during the activism carried forward by the National Woman’s Party during the administration of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Lucy Burns smuggled small scraps of paper out of the workhouse with the details that created considerable shock and worry. The word spread quickly among the supporters back at National Woman’s Party headquarters and throughout a support network around the nation Alice Paul had created. You can hear Lucy Burns’ own words about what happened in this special audio report.

I’ve been blogging eight days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. And now we’ve come to Podcast #4 of the “Night of Terror” series.

Share Podcast #4 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by LibriVox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920. LibriVox is a terrific resource and one that educates and inspires. How appropriate. LibriVox is run by volunteers, and we’re honoring activists who volunteered for a tour of duty at the White House gates. We’ve edited the LibriVox recordings and made them short and sweet to fit your busy lifestyle.

COMING SOON: The final four episodes of the audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on November 15, 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse and the aftermath. We support the building of the suffrage memorial! Join us.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8)

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4.

A video about the suffrage movement.

Join me in supporting  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in its campaign to fund and build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” The goal? To complete the memorial  before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.