Tag Archives: Marguerite Kearns

Honor the grandmothers in the kitchen!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Honor the grandmothers in the kitchen! on Vimeo.

The year 2016 is an election year –more reason than ever to remember the grandmothers and great grandmothers who spent more than 72 years working to win voting rights for women.

When you visit Suffrage Wagon Cooking School you’ll see a representative sampling of the cooking demonstrations during 2015, plus an archive. Chef Marguerite is your host.

Chef MargueriteFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is closed during January 2016. Programming resumes in February. Your host: Marguerite Kearns.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Suffrage Wagon is a partner in the Inez Milholland Centennial observance in 2016. Inez Milholland is America’s suffrage martyr.

Episode #10 of Suffrage Storytelling: Bess cautions Edna about falling in love!

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Episode #10 of “Spirit of 1776” Suffrage Storytelling! on Vimeo.

Over 100 years ago young women questioned marriage and whether or not it was in their best interest. Back then, women were property, not individuals with the rights of citizenship. Women were expected to pay taxes and accept their second-class citizenship. “No way,” said Bess, Edna’s best friend. Bess decided that she didn’t want to get married if it meant giving up the freedom to realize her potential rather than be evaluated on how well she cooked and cared for children.

100 YEARS AGO YOUNG WOMEN LOOKED FOR WAYS TO COMBINE FAMILY AND FREEDOM TOO!

Edna May Buckman wanted freedom and family too. She believed that partnership could be linked to equality, but she had to find the right man who would be committed to this vision. When Edna started seeing Wilmer Kearns, Bess stepped in. Episode #10 of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling highlights Edna’s search to find the right partner.

COMING NEXT ON EPISODE #11 OF SUFFRAGE STORYTELLING

In Episode #11, Edna invites Wilmer to meet her family. But will Wilmer make a good impression? Already we’ve discovered that Edna loves Wilmer’s storytelling, but she hates his pipe and cigar. Wilmer is figuring out whether or not Edna is worth changing his lifestyle. But he needs advice. In New York City where Wilmer is working at his first job, he meets Aunt Sarah. She isn’t his biological aunt. But Aunt Sarah loves young people and giving advice. Enjoy Episode #10, and stay tuned for Episode #11 in this first season of Suffrage Storytelling.

Meet Bess at Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Marguerite Kearns is fuming over “Suffragette” film!

“Marguerite’s Musings” with Marguerite Kearns is a regular column! on Vimeo.

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

This posting is more appropriately called “Marguerite’s Fumings.” For those of you who have been following Suffrage Wagon News Channel during 2015, you’re well aware of the preview coverage I’ve given to the “Suffragette” film from the UK.

Sure, there are aspects of the film I would have done differently. But I’m not focusing on me as a back-seat driver. I’m referring to the broader significance of this production and why so many people have been waiting for the opportunity to move this important part of history out of the closet.

The long and short of it is that the “Suffragette” film didn’t open in the city where I live, even though there’s a large and sophisticated movie-going population. It’s a diverse city with people for whom this film has been anticipated since the start of 2015. The previews played in a local movie chain here. But then we were only treated to choices of action films and standard Hollywood fare after “Suffragette” opened on October 23rd in other “selected” parts of the United States.

AN OUTRAGEOUS DEVELOPMENT

The “Suffragette” film was written, directed, and produced by women; the primary performers are women. It’s a period film illustrating the long and difficult struggle to win women’s voting rights in England. Considerable pre-publicity makes the connection between women’s rights struggles of today (pay gaps, under representation on boards, and in elected positions, etc.) and the past.

Many of us have been following how this all-woman production team has gone up against the film industry. The only course open to concerned people is to vote with our tickets that may translate into box office receipts. But that won’t happen if the film has been wiped off the map where we live. If the opening box office receipts don’t provide the anticipated profits, the movie will be pulled from theaters. And the movement to break through the sandbags Hollywood has stacked against women performers, directors, and support personnel will be undermined again.

WATCH THE TRAILER AND SEE “SUFFRAGETTE” IF YOU CAN

Jane Barker of Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is pulling out all stops in terms of getting the word out to her networks. Watch the trailer: http://www.focusfeatures.com/suffragette Pass on the word that the distribution in the U.S. is already limited. Jane has been circulating the list of theaters in the Washington, DC area, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Franciso and Phoenix where people can actually buy tickets to see “Suffragette.”

Meanwhile, I’m fuming. Recently I spoke before a local group urging people to see “Suffragette.” I sent out an appeal last week to my email network making the connection between the “Suffragette” film and our own suffrage history here in the United States. My expectations were raised by the previews in a local movie theater. But Hollywood and its distributers didn’t deliver. I can only assume it’s business as usual. Vote with your theater tickets in places where the “Suffragette” film will be shown. And get behind those organizations and constituencies that support the idea that history belongs to the people, not just those salivating over profits!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes ChannelFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn 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.

Episode #7: Edna responds to Wilmer’s love of writings by Henry David Thoreau!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

Episode #7: Wilmer Kearns courts Edna Buckman with his storytelling on Vimeo.

We’re moving toward the day when Edna, Wilmer and Bess (Edna’s best friend) are active in the women’s suffrage movement. But long before that, we meet them in 1903 when they’re young. Their direction in life is still in formation.

MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT INTERESTED THE YOUNG WOMEN

In previous posts, Bess got in trouble after her parents discovered copies of Mary Wollstonecraft’s books hidden in her bedroom. Edna also read Mary Wollstonecraft. Then Wilmer entered the scene and he loved talking about his favorite author, Henry David Thoreau. The writer understood the art of walking and how he considered every walk a “crusade.” Edna listened carefully.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU INTERESTED WILMER KEARNS!

Wilmer agreed with how Henry David Thoreau needed leisure, freedom, and independence. For Thoreau, walking represented more than exercise. It turned into an adventure, an occasion that brought air and sunshine to his thoughts.

Thoreau loved climbing a tree, studying the landscape, and discovering new horizons during his walks. He listened to the quiet that wasn’t really soundless at all. While walking he contemplated the known and the unknowable. He studied the moon and buildings in varying shades of light and darkness. Thoreau said he ventured out into the world for a walk with no idea of direction. But he found a new way of traveling and being. Then he added: “In short, all good things are wild and free.”

Wilmer’s in the process of wearing down Edna’s reservations about relationships. But will he be successful in winning Edna’s heart? Stay tuned!

Wilmer KearnsRelax 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 VimeoIn 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.

The book that got Bess in trouble: Women’s suffrage storytelling special!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Suffrage Storytelling is how we reach women voters, young voters, teachers, students & American history fans! on Vimeo.

SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE PROGRAM on Suffrage Storytelling by Marguerite Kearns, your cafe host.

On the street where Edna grew up in Philadelphia, her best friend Bess became an outsider compared to most of the other young women interested in marriage and starting a family at the turn of the 20th century. Bess insisted on remaining single because of the limited rights for married women. This caused considerable distress for Bess because she loved men and romance and fashionable dresses. But Bess drew the line in terms of what she’d have to sacrifice in terms of her freedom. And so in her mid teens Bess announced to family and friends that although she invited love and romance into her life, she drew the line at marriage.

MR. WEISS WANTED HIS DAUGHTER BESS TO CHOOSE MARRIAGE, NOT FREEDOM

In the larger world, Bess wasn’t alone. Many young women like Bess longed for choices and opportunities. Increasing numbers of them, like Bess, were in a position to receive an education paid for by their fathers. Mr. Weiss wanted his daughter to be the best possible wife for a man. This included becoming a clever conversationalist, someone skilled in household management, music and art –all of the skills and opportunities that could be acquired with a proper education. And so at home, Mr. Weiss caved into pressure from his wife and daughter for Bess to attend high school, an opportunity denied to most young women of that generation.

BESS RAIDED THE PUBLIC LIBRARY SHELVES FOR BOOKS BY WOMEN WRITERS

Suffrage Storytelling features tale about how Bess got in trouble with her parents! on Vimeo.

When Bess attended high school with her best friend Edna, Bess raided the public library shelves and borrowed books from teachers. She read radical women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Margaret Fuller. Bess also heard stories about Lucretia Mott who turned the heads of old Philadelphia fogies with her radical abolitionist organizing. Many men quaked in their boots when hearing about the ways in which Lucretia Mott and her husband James Mott practiced equality in their marriage relationship. The word got around about how James played an essential role at the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

YOUNG WOMEN LIKE BESS WANTED TO LIVE A FULL LIFE & THIS GOT BESS IN TROUBLE

Young women like Bess traveled to New York City to witness for themselves the outrageous bells of Greenwich Village who strutted and pranced and showed off their liberated views about women’s equality and freedom. To her father’s dismay and regret, Bess turned out to be exactly what her father despised: an independent thinker, someone committed to remaining single and spending all her free time looking for cracks in the family’s armored existence. All of this came to a head when Mrs. Weiss found the book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft under Bess’ mattress in her bedroom.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WILMER KEARNS ENTERED THE PICTURE . . .

Young Edna Buckman followed in the footsteps of her best friend Bess and announced her intention not to marry. But this resolve was eroded when she met Wilmer Kearns at an art exhibit in Philadelphia. We’ll find out about how this disagreement about marriage impacted the friendship of Bess and Edna on “Suffrage Storytelling.” The ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft and other women writers weren’t taught in school during my youth. Today I find it fascinating to discover the impact they had on my grandmother Edna and other young women like Bess, as well as the previous generation of Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others.

COMING SOON: THE BOOK THAT GOT BESS IN DEEP TROUBLE WITH HER PARENTS. You’ll be able to experience the book yourself on audio.
SuffrageWagonCafeMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. 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

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 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.

 

VIDEO: Make a great cup of coffee at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School!

Make a mean cup of coffee at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School on Vimeo.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Now’s your chance to become a hit with coffee lovers. The Suffrage Wagon chef, Ted Cutting, walks us through making the same type of coffee you’ve come to expect at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. The next cafe program on June 8, 2015 highlights a trip to Seneca Falls, NY, whether actual or virtual. Convention Days are coming up in July and Seneca Falls is expected to be a hot spot during the 2017 New York suffrage centennial celebration. Marguerite Kearns is your host on Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow 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 blogMeet 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.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe special program with award-winning songwriter Eighty Bug!

Award-winning songwriter program & interview with Eighty Bug at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Vimeo.

Welcome to the May 8, 2015 special program of Suffrage Wagon Cafe where we’re featuring Eighty Bug, her music production team, and the Heritage Museum of Orange County (California) for the music video “Spirit of 1776: A New Suffragette Anthem.” They were recipients of a first-place award from New Mexico Press Women at their annual conference and awards ceremony. A first-place award was for a video for a nonprofit web site, Suffrage Wagon News Channel, that has been publishing since 2009. Marguerite Kearns is the host of Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

NMPW judges said that the music video, “’Spirit of 1776’: A Suffragette Anthem” is “a high-quality, engaging video with a great story well done.” The music video “’Spirit of 1776’: A Suffragette Anthem” is available on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/Aga11k5s0Bc

Eighty Bug, "Spirit of 1776" musicThe song “Spirit of 1776 by Eighty Bug is also available on itunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spirit-of-1776-single/id900217383

The award-winning video of three and a half minutes highlights one version of the grassroots organizing that’s considered fundamental to American women campaigning for voting rights. This took from the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY to the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At that time, millions of women across the United States voted on November 2, 1920.

MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCTION TEAM ALSO IN LINE FOR HONORS

The creative team for the music video includes Eighty Bug (Production/Costumes), Edwin Carungay, Lesha Maria Rodriguez (Directors/Videographers),and Jon Lagda (Art Director). The video and song features The Suffragist Sisters, led by Eighty (Banjolele, Ukulele, Bass and Lead Vocals), famed violinist Lisa Lui (strings) Eighty’s younger sister Savannah (Backing Vocals), Ashli Lee Christoval, and Laura Guaico, The song was rounded out by Max McVetty (percussion), JRAT (guitar, mixing and mastering) with special thanks to Adam England, Jamie Sue Hiber, and The Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, CA.

Awareness of women’s suffrage movement history is gathering steam as more suffrage centennial celebrations are scheduled throughout the nation, according to Eighty Bug. She points out that this year, 2015, is the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It will be celebrated on August 26, 2015.

Eighty Bug award

HERITAGE MUSEUM OF ORANGE COUNTY PROVIDED SETS, ETC.

Because the Heritage Museum of Orange County was able to provide a set, a wagon, a blacksmith shop, and staff support, Eighty Bug took the project a step beyond just writing the song. She organized friends and family members to act and perform in the various scenes, film, and edit the performance into a polished production.

The “Spirit of 1776” wagon featured in the award-winning music video is a suffrage movement artifact now in the collection of the New York State Museum that was used by Edna Buckman Kearns. The horse-drawn wagon that inspired the music video is considered an icon of Votes for Women campaigning because of its 1776 taxation without representation message. This represents a call of patriotic protest and a return to the spirit of equality and freedom written into the Declaration of Independence. The music video highlights the tens of thousands of grassroots activists throughout the nation that it took to win voting rights for women over the period of 1848 to 1920.

INTERVIEW WITH EIGHTY BUG AND THE MUSIC VIDEO’S SIGNIFICANCE

“Patriotic protest was a significant theme during the 72-year Votes for Women campaigning,” Eighty Bug said. “I am thrilled to have been a part of this exciting project that features the rich creative talent that can be found in our community. What we are doing is especially relevant today. Women around the world are still struggling for equality, without the ability to vote, to own land, or to be free from tyrannical and oppressive situations.

“Even here in America, women get paid less and are often treated subserviently. It is something we must change. Hopefully this song will get people to sing along and create a spirit of equality that breaks old-school suppressions. Women and men of every color and background should be treated fairly. I’m hopeful but aware of the deep changes we must still make. Please pick up an instrument and sing along. The lyrics and the chords are on the YouTube page. I encourage others to make a video like this one supporting women’s equality worldwide.”

DESSERT RECIPES FROM EIGHTY BUG ALSO FEATURED

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School features the dessert recipes of Eighty Bug on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is a special feature of the suffrage wagon platform. The horse-drawn campaign wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” will be exhibited at the New York State Museum in 2017 during the state’s centennial celebration of the win for women’s voting rights in 1917.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe

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 blogMeet 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.

COMING on MAY 8th: Interview and music by Eighty Bug, performer and songwriter at Suffrage Wagon Cafe

Eighty Bug awardVideo announcement. We’ll be featuring the award-winning performer and songwriter Eighty Bug at the next program of Suffrage Wagon Cafe on May 8, 2015.  What award? It’s for the music video, “Spirit of 1776: A New Suffragette Anthem.” And Eighty assembled quite a production team, plus an enormous boost from the Heritage Museum of Orange County in California. See the award, hot off the press from New Mexico Press Women.

Awards were also handed out to the major players of the production effort, including Edwin Carungay and Lesha Maria Rodrigues (music video directors), the Suffragist Sisters, Jon Lagda (art director), the Heritage Museum of Orange County, and many others. See the list of the entire production team on May 8th during the special program. Marguerite Kearns is your host at Suffrage Wagon Cafe, a special feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Award for Eighty Bug

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.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog.

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.

Award for Marguerite Kearns and Suffrage Wagon’s opinion & storytelling!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

Watch the video about Suffrage Wagon Cafe that will be featuring the awards for Suffrage Wagon News Channel in upcoming postings.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel, the recipient of an award from New Mexico Press Women, was honored at the organization’s annual conference and awards banquet on April 25, 2015 for personal opinion in its women’s suffrage storytelling series. Judges said that the perspectives on Suffrage Wagon News Channel are “an original and timely contribution in light of the upcoming 2016 campaigns. The importance of making history matter for the present are highlighted by this blog.” Suffrage Wagon highlights suffrage movement history and how the struggle for voting rights is connected to today.

NMPW is New Mexico’s largest inclusive media organization. The awareness of suffrage movement history is gathering steam as suffrage centennial celebrations approach. This subject takes on increased awareness in the 2016 election cycle, the 2017 centennial of women voting in New York State, and the votes for women national centennial in 2020 when American women will have been voting for 100 years. This year, 2015, is the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in August.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe: A great place for women’s suffrage programs, music, & film on Vimeo.

FacebookFollow 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.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog.

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.

From Marguerite Kearns, anchor: Video, women’s suffrage history, news notes, and suffrage movement links

VIDEO: Marguerite Kearns features women’s suffrage news and features on voting rights blog on Vimeo.

For all those who avoid reading, this video is a quick overview of the Votes for Women news notes of the past few weeks on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. You’ll get the picture in only a few minutes and still have some attention left.

LINKS TO CHECK OUT: Suffrage Wagon Cafe. The “Spirit of 1776” campaign. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. What suffrage activists like Edna Kearns were doing in 1915, one hundred years ago. VIDEO: How New York State will exhibit the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon in 2017.

IN OTHER NEWS: From suffrage reporter Olivia Twine. Sojourner Truth’s favorite holiday, Pinkster, is celebrated in the Hudson Valley in May. Update on the campaign to put women on U.S. currency. You can participate in the Seneca Falls national park Selfie contest.


Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow 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 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.

Washington’s Spies and the link to the “Spirit of 1776” wagon: Suffrage Wagon Cafe special program

TURN: Washington’s Spies shows Long Island in 1777 and Suffrage Wagon Cafe program shows what happened 100+ years later on Vimeo.

Special Program: Suffrage Wagon Cafe

“TURN: Washington’s Spies” Foreshadows Suffrage Wagon Confrontation in 1913 by Marguerite Kearns

Activist Rosalie Jones was a loose cannon on Long Island back in 1913. She was controversial in public and in her own family. Rosalie Jones appeared often in the newspapers for her stunts and unusual Votes for Women demonstrations, such as marching to the state capitol and demanding to see the governor in 1912 and 1914. Without Rosalie Jones, we wouldn’t know that after more than 100 years after the American Revolution, some people on Long Island still supported English King George III.

A NEW TAKE ON AMERICAN HISTORY

Back in school, no teacher ever mentioned that during the war for independence significant numbers of Americans identified themselves with the British. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly today than Long Island as portrayed in the A&E television series, “TURN: Washington Spies” that goes into its second season on April 13, 2015. The tensions within Rosalie Jones’ own family on Long Island made the issue of Tory loyalties simmer and spill into the public arena in 1913.

If it hadn’t been for the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon and its 1913 journey for Votes for Women organizing on Long Island, the continued polarization of the population might not have come to light. This confrontation in Huntington, NY is featured in this special article I wrote for New York Archives.

THE PLAYERS IN THE 1913 CONTROVERSY BETWEEN TORY AND PATRIOT DESCENDANTS

The players in July 1913: Suffrage activist Edna Kearns who drove the horse-drawn wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” into Huntington, NY and Mary Livingston Jones, the mother of suffragist Rosalie Jones. Mrs. Jones identified herself as the descendant of Long Island Tories and demanded the activists stop immediately in their use of the “Spirit of 1776” wagon. Edna Kearns told a Brooklyn Daily Eagle reporter (who covered the incident) that Mrs. Jones’ tirade made her fear for her life.

Mrs. Jones insisted the old horse-drawn wagon had been in the possession of Tory descendants the previous century, and she threatened legal action against the New York State Woman Suffrage Association for misrepresenting its history. The confrontation at the Huntington, NY parade had been provoked, no doubt, by the disagreements suffragist Rosalie Jones had with her mother and sister. Jones family members considered themselves the elite of Long Island for their long-time residency and old money. Rosalie didn’t view the Tory position and the anti-suffrage position as linked together. Her mother and sister did, however. In a 1913 article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Mrs. Jones spoke of Tories and their prominence on Long Island as if the war for independence just happened yesterday.

WHY THE SECOND SEASON OF A&E’s “TURN” IS A GREAT TIME TO REVIVE THE SPIRIT OF 1776 STORY . . .

Long Island was divided in loyalties in 1776. A significant number of colonial sympathizers moved away after the Battle of Long Island. And the island became even more entrenched in loyalist support in the aftermath of the British capture of New York City. This was well portrayed in “TURN: Washington’s Spies” during its 2014 first season, enough for the intrigue and spy thriller to hook two million Americans and have them glued to their TV sets. So the TV series going into its second season performs a much-needed service of expanding the understanding of American history, even if some of the details have been crafted to meet the storytelling requirements of Hollywood.

Mrs. Mary Livingston Jones halted the Votes for Women parade in July 1913 with her claim that the “Spirit of 1776” wagon had been in the possession of her ancestors, the Hewletts, before the suffrage movement decided on the vehicle’s use for grassroots organizing on Long Island. It was, therefore a Tory icon, not a patriot one, Mrs. Jones insisted.

The suffragists disagreed and proceeded to carry their own message of patriotic protest to towns and villages all over Long Island during the summer of 1913. More than 20 newspapers, including the New York Times, covered the splash caused by the “Spirit of 1776” wagon and its supporters at suffrage demonstrations, rallies, and special fundraising events. See representative media. No legal action resulted, despite Mr’s Jones’ threats. Without the confrontation in Huntington, NY, we wouldn’t be privy to the fact that Long Island remained polarized between loyalists and patriots, on some level at least, more than a century after the end of the war for independence.

COLONEL HEWLETT PORTRAYED AS NICE GUY, IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME

If you’ve been following “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” the Hewlett name should be familiar to you. He’s the TV character wearing a red British uniform, not a bad guy actually –more like a decent guy in an extremely awkward situation. It’s not politically correct these days to make our former enemies, especially the English, look too bad. This happened back in 1917 with filmmaker Robert Goldstein, and a controversial trial that sent Goldstein off to federal prison for ten years. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later commuted Goldstein’s prison sentence to three years. But the filmmaker’s crime had been specific: making the English look like brutes during the war for independence in his silent film, a crime not addressed under the First Amendment during World War I.

A 1913 Long Island history clearly identifies the Hewletts as the largest and most powerful of all Tory families on Long Island. So it shouldn’t have been necessary for the TV series to import a Hewlett from England to wear a red coat. In actuality, Hewlett represented a well-known household name for Tory support on Long Island. Hewlett family members remained on Long Island after the American war for independence after they officially declared their loyalty to the new nation.

DID THE TORY CONVERSIONS TO THE NEW NATION MAKE PEOPLE FORGET THEIR PREVIOUS LOYALTIES?

Pressures to become patriots didn’t make the Hewletts revolutionaries overnight any more than the threat of death convinced many Jews to willingly convert to Christianity at the time of the Inquisition. This had been Mrs. Jones’ point (indirectly) when she confronted the suffrage activists on the streets on Huntington, NY in July 1913, a perspective preserved by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reporter’s account. Mrs. Jones made it clear that her relatives, the Hewletts, resented being linked to the colonial cause.

Long term, the Hewletts’ conversion to patriots seems to have been enough for family members to continue living on Long Island after the American Revolution without limping around, tails between their legs. Later, Hewlett family members became the source for stories told to the suffrage activists that the “Spirit of 1776” wagon had been a symbol of patriotism, not Tory loyalties. The suffragists took advantage of the opportunity to spread this patriotic protest message in 1913. Patriotic protest had been a key theme of the suffrage movement going back to 1848 when the Seneca Falls, NY signers of the Declaration of Sentiments linked their civil rights struggle to the spirit of 1776 and the American Revolution. In 1913, Edna Kearns and other activists dressed in colonial costumes and milked the patriotic protest theme for all it was worth in the cause of votes for women.

But the Hewletts couldn’t shed their loyalist associations easily. The state education department, back when the agency was in charge of historical street markers, produced one marker to stand in front of the home of Richard Hewlett in Rockaway, NY. There, Richard Hewlett was acknowledged as the local Tory who planned the capture of General George Washington. Long Island newspaper accounts during the 1920s suggested that Tory loyalties and the threats on the life of George Washington were, in the opinion of many local residents, best forgotten. But with the second season of “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” we’re treated to a new spin on an old story.

RESOURCES: Videos about Rosalie Jones demonstrate how her support for Votes for Women might have annoyed her mother and sister who were avid supporters of the state and national anti-suffrage cause. “Rosalie Jones and her band of activists marched to Albany, NY in January 1914″; “Rosalie Jones’ hikes to Albany get people’s attention”; “Rosalie Jones; High-Profile Long Island Suffragist.”

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openFollow 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 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.

Message from Dr. Helen Pankhurst on Day #4 of Suffrage Wagon Cafe’s opening festival!

Marguerite Kearns, your host

Hi, I’m Marguerite Kearns on our fourth and final day of the opening festivities for Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Today we’re delighted to showcase the message to American women voters from U.K. women’s rights activist Dr. Helen Pankhurst.

The casting of Meryl Streep to play English suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst in the “Suffragette” film has brought new attention to Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter. Dr. Pankhurst is also the granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst. The international release of the “Suffragette” film has been scheduled for October 2015.

Dr. Helen Pankhurst sends message to American women voters! Spirit of 1776 special from Suffrage Wagon Cafe  on Vimeo.

VIDEO SOUNDTRACK: “THE MARCH OF THE WOMEN” BY ELIZABETH JOHNSON

The video soundtrack features Elizabeth Johnson in a performance of “The March of the Women,” the anthem of the women’s suffrage movement in England. It was composed by Ethel Smyth in 1910 and became famous during the suffrage movement there. “The March of the Women” is still widely performed today.

The entire song by Elizabeth Johnson is available on the Suffrage Wagon audio channel (https://soundcloud.com/suffragewagon/march-of-the-women-sung-by-elizabeth-johnson-a-spirit-of-1776-special).

“SUFFRAGETTE” FILM BRINGS INCREASED ATTENTION TO VOTES FOR WOMEN

Dr. helen Pankhurst and her message to American women votersDr. Helen Pankhurst was recently featured in a photograph released on International Women’s Day in March 2015 showing her with the cast of the film “Suffragette.” This major motion picture from the U.K. stars Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Gerai, and others. It is the first film ever to be shot at the Houses of Parliament in London. “Suffragette,” the film, highlights the struggles of women’s rights activists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

DR. HELEN PANKHURST’S MESSAGE

“Both in the United States and in the United Kingdom, women fought long and hard for the right to vote, and to be voted in as politicians,” Dr. Pankhurst told Suffrage Wagon News Channel. “They faced derision and both private and public violence before attitudes started to change.

“The campaign for equal suffrage continues both in our two countries and all over the world. It is needed everywhere. Either the right for equality hasn’t been won, or it has in theory. But obstacles remain that impede progress on representation in practice,” Dr. Pankhurst continued.

“If we want a better world, every one of us needs to vote for those that are closest to representing our view in local and national elections. For those who feel their views are not represented by the current options of political candidates, more –not less—political activism is the solution. By caring enough to be politically engaged, we honor both ourselves and previous generations who campaigned for our right to have a voice,” Dr. Pankhurst concluded.

Although our SWAN Day opening festival at Suffrage Wagon Cafe has come to an end, we remain persistent in our goal of inspiring, motivating, educating, and entertaining audiences about how we stand on strong shoulders. The suffragists were “there” for us. Let’s be “there” for them by voting and becoming leaders in the world today.

IN OTHER NEWS: New York City will celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday on Thursday, November 12th with an artistic interpretation of the Declaration of Sentiments by feminists, activists, and artists at the Historic Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. More details to be announced. Stay tuned for updates and a surprise announcement about the music video, the “Spirit of 1776” suffragette anthem starring Eighty Bug and the Suffragist Sisters. Suffrage Wagon Cafe will continue planning special programs and events.

Opening of Suffrage Wagon CafeWRAP UP OF THE SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE OPENING FESTIVAL PROGRAMS:

Link to March 28, 2015 Program: Welcome from Marguerite Kearns, Suffrage Wagon Cafe host. The cafe menu. News about the “Spirit of 1776” wagon exhibit. Video feature about visiting Seneca Falls, NY, a destination and a pilgrimage.

Link to March 29, 2015 Program: New 2015 film, “10 Days in a Madhouse” highlights the contributions of Nellie Bly, an early press woman and investigative reporter. There’s a film trailer, an intro from Suffrage Wagon Cafe, and a selected reading from Nellie Bly’s writing.

Link to March 30, 2015 Program: Elizabeth Johnson sings “In Her Sphere,” vintage music from the suffrage movement. Song appears in suffrage songbooks and it was sung at rallies. Video highlights the anti-suffrage movement. And book by Susan Goodier, “No Votes for Women,” gives an overview of the anti-suffragists’ opposition.

FacebookFollow 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 friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

The opening celebration of Suffrage Wagon Cafe continues: March 30, 2015

Marguerite Kearns, your host

Hi, I’m Marguerite Kearns, host of Suffrage Wagon Cafe, back again on the third day of our four-day festival. This special program highlights the anti-suffrage movement. The suffrage movement is considered to have taken from 1848 to 1920, quite a struggle. And we can appreciate the accomplishment when examining what the women’s suffrage activists were up against.

The featured video’s soundtrack is “In Her Sphere” by Elizabeth Johnson. The entire song can be found in Suffrage Wagon’s Soundcloud collection. The playful tune that takes on the opposition to women voting was sung at rallies and included in women’s suffrage songbooks.

“The Anti-Suffrage Movement” video with soundtrack, “In Her Sphere,” program of Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Vimeo.

“No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement,” a book by Susan Goodier from on Vimeo.

"No Votes for Women" by Susan Goodier

 SUFFRAGE WAGON BOOKSHELF:

by Marguerite Kearns

It’s difficult to believe today the extent to which votes for women were bitterly resisted, even more so than women’s education and employment. From 1848 to 1920, women challenged their traditional roles and second-class citizenship on a scale that raised the hackles of enough special and commercial interests that the entire process of winning the vote took 72 years. As we know, the struggle for equality continues.

I never thought seriously or deeply about those who opposed votes for women, or the anti-suffragists as they were also known. To me, they represented an obstacle to be overcome, more abstract than real. My perspective was not only disturbed but expanded after reading “No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement” by Susan Goodier (University of Illinois Press). I ended up being surprised about how I couldn’t put the book down until I reached the end.

The reason for my interest in the anti-suffrage movement stems from my curiosity, not only about my grandmother Edna Kearns’ suffrage organizing in New York City and on Long Island, but also the context of the times in which she lived and worked. After reading “No Votes for Women,” Edna Kearns’ published reports of attending anti-suffrage meetings as an observer and reporter took on a different meaning for me. The work gave depth and texture to my grandmother’s life and her commitment to women’s rights.

And it also opened my eyes to the differences between New York State’s anti-suffrage supporters and those in the rest of the nation. Goodier gives an overview to the anti-suffrage movement and focuses on New York State. She introduces us to its leaders and advocates. All of this suggested a surprising way for me to view the victory of New York State women in their winning of the vote in 1917.

When New York celebrates its suffrage centennial in 2017, we want as much material available as possible. And the anti-suffrage movement is an important part of the tale. The 1915 suffrage referendum in New York was hotly contested. And Goodier points out that the anti-suffragists gave the suffrage activists a run for their money. Though not many people have picked up on New York’s centennial celebration this year, some recognition puts the 1917 victory in sharper focus.

Because New York’s anti-suffragists diverted their efforts toward support of World War I, this left a vacuum for suffrage organizers to succeed, Goodier points out. This and other insights and commentary provide the reader with a more complete picture of a democratic process with dramatic implications for the turn of the 20th century as well as today. I highly recommend this book.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openFollow 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. 

A message from Marguerite Kearns on Suffrage Wagon Cafe’s opening: March 28, 2015

A welcome from your Suffrage Wagon Cafe host, Marguerite Kearns.

Marguerite Kearns’ welcome message for Suffrage Wagon Cafe’s opening, the go-to place for women’s suffrage programs on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is open. Welcome! This video highlights a special greeting from me, your host Marguerite Kearns. It’s important to note how Americans are making a connection today between their family histories and the larger sweep of American history. I’ve been telling everyone: “The result has been like a jolt of electricity that’s redefining our cultural identity. Dry accounts in history books aren’t enough anymore. We want our history alive and relevant.”

The Suffrage Wagon Cafe’s special campaign is called the “Spirit of 1776.” The goal is to restore the women’s suffrage movement to its proper place in American history. It’s about time this remarkable part of American history emerges from the shadows. I started out on this journey to find out about my suffragist grandmother, Edna Kearns, and I’m discovering so much more. Follow Suffrage Wagon Cafe on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Voting rights and how they were won continues to be a critical issue for our times. And because a woman may run for the U.S. presidency in 2016, the story of how women won the vote will be of increased interest. You can stay in touch with Twitter, Facebook, email and the quarterly newsletter. Follow the Suffrage Wagon.

The Suffrage Wagon Cafe is open. Join us for women’s suffrage history, events and issues! on Vimeo. We have menu items that have been prepared at the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Seneca Falls, New York is a pilgrimage and a destination. Enjoy the highlights of visiting the national park at Seneca Falls, New York in this video feature. 

OTHER NEWS: Do you know that the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon will be exhibited at the New York State Museum in 2017, the state’s 2017 suffrage centennial observance? Video announcement.

Opening of Suffrage Wagon CafeStay current with the programs of Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Have fun with us at the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube. There are more than 100 videos made for and highlighting our channel. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Can the U.S. catch up with the U.K. on suffrage movement awareness? Marguerite’s Musings

VIDEO: “Marguerite’s Musings” with Marguerite Kearns is a regular column about women’s history! on Vimeo.

Marguerite's Musings, a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The United States is racing to catch up with the United Kingdom that has been far ahead in terms of bringing awareness of the historic women’s suffrage movement to public attention in recent years. Keep in mind that American audiences haven’t seen a home-grown major motion picture on the suffrage movement since 2004 with the HBO production “Iron Jawed Angels.” Excellent documentaries, especially independent productions, are being produced on the American shores, as well as YouTube and Vimeo offerings.

Public interest in the American suffrage movement has increased dramatically since the announcement about the U.K. “Suffragette” production team casting Meryl Streep in the role of Emmeline Pankhurst, the pivotal leader of the militant wing of the English suffrage movement.

THE SEPTEMBER 2015 “SUFFRAGETTE” FILM FROM THE U.K. HAS SHAKEN THINGS UP

The U.K. “Suffragette” film production directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan has announced the film’s release in September of 2015. In previous announcements, the release date had been in January 2015. Already there’s speculation among entertainment commentators about the production’s Oscar potential in 2016. While the United Kingdom has had the edge in terms of public attention, there’s a growing audience of those who want to know more about long and difficult struggle for U.S. women to win the right to vote from 1848 to 1920. Suffrage centennial events and celebrations in the U.S. and abroad are taking on an increased importance.

The 2004 HBO film “Iron Jawed Angels” introduced millions of Americans to the 1917 picketing of the White House by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party. This led to the suffragists’ imprisonment, force feedings, and a round of publicity that wore down opposition to women winning the vote. The bold activism led to the eventual ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 that expanded the franchise for American women. The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial project is organizing to honor this period of the suffrage movement in its fundraising to have a suffragist memorial completed and operational by the 2020 suffrage centennial.

THE U.K. HAS GRABBED THE LEAD IN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT AWARENESS

The U.K.’s prominence in suffrage movement awareness has a lot to do with the “Suffragette” film as well as the high-profile media attention showered on the centennial observance of the death of English suffrage martyr Emily Davison in 2013. By comparison, the American suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland, is much less known. The centennial of her 1916 death in 2016 may bring Milholland out of obscurity. However, it’s too soon to tell if U.S. suffrage martyr Milholland will ever have the same public recognition as Emily Davison in the U.K.

The second season of the BBC suffrage sit com “Up the Women” has made the suffrage movement familiar to a broader segment of British television audiences. And the recent release of a major book, “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary,” by Anita Anand (Bloomsbury) focuses on an Indian princess, the goddaughter of Queen Victoria and a high-profile player in the English suffrage movement.

The book “Sophia” is a great read, and this book doesn’t stand alone. There’s also a growing body of scholarly research about the U.S. suffrage movement that has eroded the movement’s relative obscurity. Some excellent books have been published in the U.S. over the past few years. The close ties between the American and English suffrage movement from 1900 through 1914 are also of increasing interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Projects in the process of development in the U.S. include the proposed national suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia and a statue of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in NYC’s Central Park.

A LONG LIST OF THOSE PLANNING FOR UPCOMING SUFFRAGE EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS

Various advocacy organizations and historic sites are already busy planning upcoming suffrage events from now through 2020. These include the National Women’s History Project, the Alice Paul Institute, AAUW, SUNY, the NYS Museum, New York City government, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, the National Park Service, the New York State Council on the Humanities, NOW, the NYS Cultural Heritage Tourism Network, WAMC public radio Albany, Vision 2020, Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Sewall-Belmont House, the Girl Scouts, historic sites and local historical societies, the New York History blog, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, Votes for Women 2020, Newseum, feminist and voting advocacy organizations, scholarly journals, and many individuals, community organizations, media outlets, public officials, state agencies, and those offering special content such as theatre, workshops, and conferences. If you are aware of suffrage events and programs, let me know at suffragewagon at gmail.com so I can add them to the expanding list.

ACTIVITY AND AWARENESS HAS INCREASED DURING 2015 IN THE U.S.

State centennial celebrations held west of the Mississippi in recent years have brought considerable attention to how American women there first won the right to vote. Delta Sigma Theta made a major contribution to awareness of the participation of African-American women in the movement when it organized record numbers of its members to participate in the centennial parade observance in Washington, DC in 2013.

Susan B. Anthony’s 195th birthday was observed in February 2015 by suffrage movement fans across the U.S. Ambitious plans are also in the works to celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday in November of 2015. The Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, New York has announced an active program schedule throughout the year.

Tens of thousands of activists were responsible for American women winning the right to vote. It’s a remarkable accomplishment that deserves to see the light of day. And this means opportunities to mobilize on the local, state and national levels. Don’t forget to bring memories and stories from family archives out of the closet and down from the attic. And support ALL suffrage-related events. If you demonstrate support for the efforts of others, the support will also be there for you.

FacebookFollow 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. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Suffrage Video Mania for Women Voters, with Marguerite Kearns, host of Suffrage Wagon Cafe

VIDEO: Mark your calendar for special suffrage movement programs for women voters at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe! on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe will open on March 28, 2015 as part of the international celebration of women artists called SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now Day). It’s an initiative underway to imagine and manifest what it’s like for women’s art and perspectives to be fully integrated into the life of the planet. The long-term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.

SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE IS GO-TO PLACE FOR NEWS, VIEWS & CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is a platform of Suffrage Wagon News Channel that features lectures, music, film, conversation, and networking about the suffrage movement. Women’s History Month is a great time to subscribe.

SWAN Day is an annual event facilitated by WomenArts (www.womenarts.org) that’s scheduled for the last Saturday of Women’s History Month in March. The idea for SWAN Day grew out of a collaboration between Martha Richards of  WomenArts and Jan Lisa Huttner of Chicago’s WITASWAN (Women in the Audiences Supporting Women Artists Now).  For more information about SWAN Day events happening around the world, visit www.WomenArts.org/swan/.

WomenArts is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women artists have access to the resources they need for their creative work.  Its emphasis is on women in film, video, and theatre.  The WomenArts website provides free networking, advocacy, and funding information services to approximately 2,000 visitors a day.

OTHER VIDEOS ABOUT THE SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE: Pass on the “Spirit of 1776” video. Follow Marguerite Kearns and the “Spirit of 1776” wagon. Grand opening of the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes ChannelFollow 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. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennial events and celebrations.

“Great Work, Meryl Streep”: Marguerite’s Musings about the “Suffragette” film from the UK

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

During an interview recently about the upcoming film “Suffragette” from the UK, Meryl Streep announced: “Girls, we’ve been waiting for this.”  Who was she talking to?

I haven’t been a girl for so long, I automatically assumed she wasn’t talking to me. But Meryl Streep got my attention and she’s referring to the new film, “Suffragette” from the UK where Streep has a starring role as Emmeline Pankhurst, the English suffrage movement matriarch. If there’s anyone who can knock down doors and get people to pay attention to something important, it’s Meryl Streep. She’s in a perfect position to bring this neglected part of history to light.

Meryl Streep made the point in an interview with USA Today that in their day, suffrage activists in England provoked the government so much that authorities developed surveillance cameras to document those they perceived to be terrorists.  In yet another statement, Streep expressed surprise about how the mainstream media generally has ignored this part of history.

APPEAL TO MERYL STREEP TO PRESS FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

How refreshing it is for those of us struggling to get out the word about the suffrage movement to have someone like Streep join the cheering section! While you’re out there, Meryl, please affirm the growing number of folks pressing for answers to questions about upcoming suffrage centennials as well as the 2020 suffrage centennial commemorating the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears went into this accomplishment.

Will the upcoming 2020 national suffrage centennial in the U.S. receive the attention and funding it deserves? Is a national suffrage centennial commission realistic? The commission established to commemorate World War I recently received $5 million for its mission of serving as a national clearing house for events and programs. At the present time, there’s nothing in the wings for women and their suffrage centennial except more opportunities for yard and bake sales to carry out similar work.

WILL THE 2020 SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL DO AS WELL AS THE CENTENNIAL FOR WORLD WAR I?

Meryl Streep, we’re delighted you’re on board. And we trust that you’ll be asking other questions wherever you go, such as:  Will the 2020 suffrage centennial observance in the U.S. bring to the attention of present and future generations the significance of this important votes for women accomplishment?

In what way will we receive the torch from past generations of activists and pass it on? There’s so much ground to cover and the “Suffragette” film is a terrific opportunity to raise questions and expect answers. Let’s the most of it, Meryl. We’re counting on you. And count on us to be allies by telling our friends about “Suffragette” and our plans to stand in line to buy tickets on opening night in mid September 2015!

BREAKING NEWS: The UK is pressing forward, not only with the “Suffragette” film but with the publication of two new books about the English suffrage movement: one about Princess Sophia and another about Emmeline Pankhurst. Stay tuned!

FacebookFollow 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 suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote.

Happy New Year from Marguerite Kearns

Follow the Suffrage Wagon

Follow the Suffrage Wagon through snow and sleet and rain. . . on Vimeo.
FacebookHappy New Year! 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.

Kearns Family Members Got Together over the Holidays: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musings

It’s always fun to stumble on a family connection. It’s one thing to know that my Kearns relatives are still based in Beavertown, PA where my grandfather Wilmer Kearns was born. And it’s even more exciting to know the extent of their ties and how they spent the holidays visiting, either in the NYC area or Beavertown, PA

I found a social notice of Max and Peg Kearns (Wilmer’s brother and sister in law) visiting Wilmer and Edna Kearns in 1917 in the South Side Observer of Long Island, December 30, 1917. “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Maxwell Kearns, of Pennsylvania, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer Kearns for several weeks.”

I’m busy documenting how Wilmer Kearns served as treasurer of Kearns Motor Car Company, the family business,  when he and Edna lived in New York City. And Lulu Kearns, Wilmer’s sister, played an important part of suffrage organizing with my grandmother Edna Kearns in 1913.

A holiday video greeting.

Another opportunity to celebrate the holidays with the Suffrage Wagon on Vimeo.

FacebookFollow 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.

A happy holiday video card from the Kearns family!

Happy holidays from the Kearns family! on Vimeo. Edna, Wilmer and Serena Kearns were all involved in the suffrage movement and oh, what a time it was!

THE 2014 HOLIDAY CARD VIDEO from the Kearns family:

That’s right. We’re still celebrating Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday in December 2014.

Three very interesting articles I thought you’d find interesting include highlights of the book Remembering Inez. There are optimistic signs about planning in New York State for upcoming votes for women centennials. See summary. And there’s a 2015 wish list that includes a funded NYS suffrage planning commission for 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials, as well as a suffragist memorial in Lorton, VA and a proposed statue of “real women” (Anthony and Stanton) in New York City’s Central Park.

Video about Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday.

.  “A happy birthday greeting” for Suffrage Wagon.
Birthdays are great fun. Martha Wright and Edna Kearns were both born on December 25th. See our previous coverage.

FacebookFollow 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.

Happy birthday video & audio podcast: “You are There” program in 1853

Happy 5th Birthday, Suffrage Wagon News Channel from Marguerite Kearns on Vimeo. Yes, five years of plugging along with this web site is something to brag about, or perhaps weep. In any event, it’s time to celebrate. Have fun with the birthday jingle and then…

Tune into an audio program about a suffrage convention in 1853. Be the first on your block to say you were there.

Congratulations! The National Women’s History Project will be in its 35th year in 2015. “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for National Women’s History Month 2015. The theme presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories – individually and collectively – into the essential fabric of our nation’s history. Join the National Women’s History Project. We’re members.  Visit the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and follow the effort to complete a suffragist memorial on or before 2020, the votes for women centennial.

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 on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog to register your views and observations. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

VIDEO, plus News Notes for November 2014 from Suffrage Wagon

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite KearnsVideo about following the Suffrage Wagon on its ride to freedom. The street speaking of Edna Kearns in Nashville, Tennessee 100 years ago is the topic and you can find out more on “Marguerite’s Musings”.

SPECIAL FROM “THE OWL” (Long Island): November 29,1914:

“Miss Rosalie Jones organized a squad of speakers on nearly every corner in Nashville. This is the first time that street speaking has been tried in a southern city. Mrs. Laidlaw, Mrs. Norman Whitehouse, Mrs. Raymond Brown, Miss Potter and Mrs. Wilmer Kearns were among the women who held the men of Nashville spellbound with their speaking, and in spite of the fact that it started to rain, not a man left the crowd. Even when it poured so hard the speakers themselves gave up, yet their audiences were still there; talking it over under the awnings, when they left. Mrs. Wilmer Kearns, of Rockville Centre, had the distinction of having the Governor of Tennessee listen to her speech, even when it rained. These meetings are the outcome of the Forty-Sixth Annual Convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, held in the House of Representatives at the capitol in Nashville.” 

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 on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog to register your views and observations. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Tennessee governor listened to suffragist Edna Kearns’ speech in pouring rain 100 years ago!

Story of Tennessee governor listens to Edna Kearns in pouring rainby Marguerite Kearns

I heard the story about the Tennessee governor when I was young. Yes, in back in 1914 the governor of Tennessee listened to grandmother Edna Kearns’ suffrage speech in the rain. No one bothered to tell me where this happened. It could have been at Long Beach on Long Island for all I knew.

Even worse, I didn’t know enough to ask, but I got the message. The Tennessee governor was important. He listened to Edna speak. Therefore, my grandmother Edna must have been important. Not much to pass on in my storytelling, at least until 1oo years passed and the other day I delved into researching exactly what happened in November 1914.

I know nothing about what the delegates discussed at the National American Woman Suffrage Association annual conference in Tennessee where Edna served as a NYS delegate in the proceedings from November 2 to 17, 1914. But I know now that Long Island suffragist Rosalie Jones set up suffrage street speeches all over Nashville, the first time that street speaking for the suffrage cause had been tried in a Southern city. Edna Kearns put herself in the thick of the street corner action.

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite KearnsEdna Kearns, who’d made a reputation for herself back in New York as a popular suffrage speaker, captivated the attention of the Tennessee governor, Ben W. Hooper (1870-1957). He served the state from 1911 to 1915. His administration was so controversial, documents say, that armed guards were required in the state legislature. In 1920 the State of Tennessee legislature provided the final ratification vote to bring about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So all of this Big Picture explanation is now viewed by me in retrospect.

It was a novelty for women to speak in pubic on Nashville, TN street corners 100 years ago. So Governor Hooper must have been fascinated to listen in the rain to a determined activist like Edna Kearns who didn’t fold up shop when the rain pelted the sidewalks. It was a big deal, just as I’d heard about as an impressionable youngster –and even more so now that I’m aware of the details. Back in New York in November 1914, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle ran a long article about the contingent of Long Island women who took Nashville by storm in November 1914. And we’re enjoying hearing about the details 100 years later.

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 on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog to register your views and observations. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Day #15 of the “Night of Terror” observance: Support the proposed suffragist memorial!

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

The last day of the “Night of Terror” observance on Day #15 of the first annual event of raising awareness. It’s been a great experience getting to know about other visionaries who are imagining the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial being completed on or before the suffrage centennial in 2020. We’ve listened to podcasts about what happened in the Occoquan Workhouse, followed the timeline of events at the workhouse, viewed the proposed memorial from the perspective of suffrage centennials unfolding across the nation.WagonSupportsSlider Even 12-year-old Serena Kearns made a showing as the youngest Silent Sentinel on the picket line in front of the White House. Give Turning Point Suffragist Memorial the support it needs. Follow TPSM on Twitter, Facebook, and blog.

Enough information is available during this observance to keep your head spinning in terms of appreciating the many American women who came before us. A special thank you to Nancy Sargeant, Emily McCoy, and Whitney Stohr from Turning Point Suffragist Memorial for such a rich and productive working relationship during our partnership during this first annual “Night of Terror” observance. Spread the word. Follow the campaign to build a suffragist memorial. Imagine it. Work for it. Make it happen. Video about the Suffrage Wagon that continues its travels.

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), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13), Day #14 (Nov. 14).

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 on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

“Why I support the suffragist memorial” on Day #14 of the first “Night of Terror” observance

Graphic for "Night of Terror"by Marguerite Kearns

One more day to go on the “Night of Terror” blogging. I wouldn’t have predicted I’d make it to the end of this two-week stretch of daily blogging. It’s all for a good reason. November 15, 1917 became a “turning point” in the 72 year struggle for American women to win the right to vote.

Some people claim other turning points, like the March 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC, and the death of Votes for Women martyr Inez Milholland in 2016. But all these dates are related. It could be said they’re companion turning points culminating in the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment. This is what the 2020 votes for women centennial will be all about…the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. And oh, won’t it be great if the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is completed on or before this suffrage centennial celebration. Follow news about suffrage centennials on email or Twitter.

This is why I urge you to join me in supporting the proposed suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia. The Washington, DC suffrage parade in 1913, followed by Inez Milholland’s death in 1916, directly led to the decision to picket the White House, and that became pivotal. Of course the unfinished American Revolution for women’s rights continues today. But that’s another story.

If there’s an enormous monument for Martin Luther King in the nation’s capitol, it makes sense for there to be a suffragist memorial not far away in Lorton, VA. Both monuments –the suffragist and civil rights monuments– acknowledge important parts of American history. If we believe in equality and justice for all, it’s important to affirm ALL manifestations of attempts to complete the American Revolution. We have a great deal to do: support our Mother Earth, achieve freedom and equality for everyone, plus much more. One piece of legislation –the 19th Amendment– expanded rights for more Americans than ever before and since. This at least deserves a memorial, don’t you think?

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), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13).

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. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Day #13, Last day of the “Night of Terror” audio podcast series!

by Marguerite Kearns

Day #13. Here is Podcast #8 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 entire “Night of Terror” audio podcast series. I’ve been blogging continuously for a total of twelve 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 #8 of the “Night of Terror” audio series. It’s the last podcast in the series.

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), Day #12 (Nov. 12).

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.

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.

Day #6 and Audio Podcast #1 of the “Night of Terror”

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #6. I’ve been blogging for five days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

We have the basics complete at this point. It’s clear that women became impatient after working continuously from 1848 to 1917. They were annoyed with the slow process. They hated being ignored. So they upped the ante by picketing the White House during the administration of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson starting in January of 1917 through the next year. Even with arrests, by November of 1917 the top federal government officials were impatient with the picketing. The “Night of Terror” resulted.

Here is Podcast #1 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.

COMING SOON: More of the eight 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 as Suffrage Wagon News Channel partners with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in this first annual observance of the “Night of Terror.” 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).

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

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.

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 #5 of the ‘Night of Terror” observance & the “why” of the White House picketing

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

I’m late getting the blog post Day#5 finished, but it’s still 10:54 p.m. where I am. One of my stalwart friends asked me the other day: “But why did the women picket the White House in 1917? Couldn’t they have expressed their point of view in some other way?”

Good question and one that I welcome in this fifth day of partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to raise awareness of and support for the building of a suffragist memorial to honor those brave women who experienced the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC in 1917.

When you look at the 1917 picketing from a larger perspective, put yourself back into time. How would you feel as someone in the second generation of women petitioning for the right to vote? Then turn the clock back to 1848 and the women’s convention at Seneca Falls, NY. This wasn’t the first occasion when women decided that enough was enough. But it’s the date when we start counting as far as the suffrage movement is concerned –when there’s no doubt that the nation heard the rumblings from impatient citizens who demanded participation in the public arena. The suffrage movement started in 1848 and concluded in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Keep this in mind: it was touch and go for a great deal of that time.

Think of it. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others spent 50 years petitioning for the vote by the turn of the 20th century. This is when my grandmother Edna Kearns and her generation stepped up to the plate and took over from the first wave of activists. By 1917, women had been working themselves into states of exhaustion by continuing to pressure for the right to vote. I’ve written a lot about Grandmother Edna Kearns. Here’s a video where she speaks for herself.

By 1917, my grandmother Edna B. Kearns had been in the suffrage fold for at least a decade. When’s the last time you spent ten years working on a single cause? Did you burn out? Were you even a bit annoyed or frustrated at your lack of progress? When the National Woman’s Party announced the White House picketing in 1917, many activists didn’t hesitate to join. However, others condemned them for taking such a bold action. The “suffrage movement” wasn’t one movement. It existed under an umbrella of women from many backgrounds.

Women joined the picket line from all over the United States. The National Woman’s Party needed people on the front lines who were prepared to go to prison, if necessary. And without the extraordinary support network that stretched across the United States, the campaign wouldn’t have been as effective.

This is Day #5 of blogging to honor the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

COMING SOON: The eight 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.

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

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.

On Day #4, ELECTION DAY, fire up the oven for hot treats!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The picketing of the White House started in January of 1917 and went on for over a year. Standing in front of the White House gates with a picket sign was no walk in the park. So, a cup of hot tea and some goodies must have sounded terrific at the end of the day.

This is why a visit to Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is a perfect way to honor Election Day and the November 15th observance.  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is the “go to” place if you’re on a college or university campus and would like to host a fundraiser for the Occoquan Workhouse suffragist prisoners’ memorial. And you can quickly put together a fundraiser at home with a little determination and a recipe for traditional English scones.

This is my fourth day blogging in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership between Suffrage Wagon News Channel and Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Turning Point has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a great deal of activity going on at Suffrage Wagon and Turning Point these days. The goal? To fund and complete a memorial to the brave women who faced the “Night of Terror” November 14-15, 1917.

And now the fun part: Let’s cook up a storm with a fundraiser for the memorial right in your own home or school, organization, or college campus. Video about how to make traditional English scones for a fundraiser.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School‘s video guides you through making traditional English scones like suffrage activists used to make. Hot tea and goodies must have been welcome treats after a long day out in the streets speaking from soapboxes or picketing the White House.

Baking scones is part of the two-week observance of November 15th this year when Suffrage Wagon News Channel partners with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. It isn’t easy raising money to build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House in 1917 and then were held at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC to experience the “Night of Terror.” That’s why we love having you along for the ride. Find out how you can host a fundraiser with friends and family. Contribute to and support the proposed suffragist memorial with the goal of it being completed before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial celebration.

Carry the vision of a suffragist memorial forward. These events and celebrations are part of the previews of suffrage centennial observances now and in the future. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates about suffrage centennials. If you’re planning a centennial event, let SuffrageCentennials know about it.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a multi-media platform for news and stories of the suffrage movement that has been publishing since 2009. Follow the Suffrage Wagon. December 2014 is Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is inspired by the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by suffrage activist Edna Kearns in New York City and on Long Island.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3).

LINKS: “Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial”: Marguerite’s Musings.

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.

Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial: “Marguerite’s Musings”

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

It’s that time of the year. Election Day tomorrow. Conversation is something we engage in every day, and too often I don’t take advantage of conversation opportunities to tell people what’s on my mind.

Like this past Sunday with me in my pajamas as I  opened the door to two women Jehovah’s Witness volunteers there to deliver a message about my salvation. This is a conversation challenge. I’ve closed the door too many times before saying I wasn’t interested in their latest pamphlet. OK, how can I respond to this conversation challenge? Why couldn’t Life have sent me a better test case?

I told them I’m concerned about the state of Mother Earth and much needed support in creating harmony and balance. They share with me their excitement about their new web site. They refer to passages in their Bibles with respectable blue covers and tell me again about their great web site. They probably have no idea about the crowded internet where millions of messages are dumped on unsuspecting souls each and every day.

What can I say that won’t unleash a longer lecture from them about salvation? The tea kettle is screaming at me from the stove. I forgot to turn off the humidifier and the red light’s blinking. So I grab for something –anything– to say.

“Tuesday’s Election Day,” I told them.

“We don’t get involved in politics,” they responded.

“I’m not suggesting you vote for any one person or party. I’m reminding you that it took 72 years for American women to win the right to vote. That’s why I vote. And I support the building of a suffragist memorial outside of Washington, DC. Voting and supporting the suffragist memorial are out of respect for my grandmother, great grandmother, other family members and ancestors who won the right to vote for us.”

“Oh, we had no idea.”

“Most people don’t either. That’s why I’m telling you.”

We exchanged parting greetings and affirmed the warm sunny Sunday, a memorable occasion that left me and two Jehovah’s Witness volunteers smiling. Mission accomplished. I closed the door and then rushed to turn off the tea kettle and fill the expired humidifier with fresh water.

Suffrage Wagon and the proposed suffrage 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. Visit Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, Suffrage Wagon’s partner in the November 15th “Night of Terror” campaign.

Day #3 of “Night of Terror” Observance: Audio podcasts and Marguerite’s Musings

Edna Kearns, New York suffrage activistby Marguerite Kearns

Day #3. For the past two days I’ve been sharing some background about the suffrage movement as we move forward toward November 15th, the “Night of Terror.” Notice how we’re easing into the subject matter. The topic can be a rocky road at some points. So buckle your seat belt. Some audio podcasts are stored in my back pocket to share with you this posting.

After dragging you from the White House gates (with the music video) to the workhouse (YouTube), it’s time to lighten things up. Let me introduce you to my grandmother, Edna Kearns. Here she is, over to the left. We’ll hang out with Grandmother Edna a few minutes. No doubt she’ll tell you  it wasn’t long before she was in the thick of the suffrage movement action in New York City and then off picketing the White House in 1917. Many of my friends and associates have adopted Edna as their own grandmother because she represents our collective grandmothers and great grandmothers and family members who were involved in the movement. They made it possible for us to vote. Make sure you get to the polls Tuesday. Winning the franchise was no small accomplishment.

This is my third day blogging in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Turning Point Suffragist Memorial has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a lot of activity going on at Turning Point’s Twitter while it must seem like Suffrage Wagon is more like a classroom. Just the background, folks! Then we’ll get into the thick of things!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes ChannelLet me be clear. Grandmother Edna Kearns didn’t experience the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse. But Edna and little Serena Kearns were on the White House picket line showing their support, as were hundreds of women across the United States.

The campaign to win the vote started back in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. Actually it started earlier, but Seneca Falls became the launching pad. This is significant because the years from 1848 to 1917 were uphill. You know the drill: one step forward, one step backward and so on. By 1917 the women hit the streets with picket signs.

HOMEWORK ALERT: An assignment to spread over the next few days. Listen to the nine-podcast audio series linked here called “Playing Politics with the President.” Yes, it’s long, though each audio podcast averages no more than three minutes. Just enough time to squeeze it into your busy schedule.

In order to appreciate the story of the women of the Occoquan Workhouse, it’s helpful to understand the larger picture. American women were patient souls, but sooner of later they hit a brick wall. The audio series spells out in detail how U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and the two major political parties put roadblock after roadblock in the paths of the suffragists. They may have been patient souls, but their patience eventually wore thin. Audio by Librivox in the series “Playing Politics with the President.” The account is from the 1920 book by Doris Stevens, “Jailed for Freedom” that’s in the public domain.

For your reference: Here’s the entire “Playing Politics with the President” story series: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7, Podcast #8, Podcast #9  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 Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party picketing the White House, followed by prison time for many at the Occoquan Workhouse.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2).

Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Support our partner, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. SWNC 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.

A homework assignment for the “Night of Terror: A basic video to start

Marguerite's Musings, a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The other day a friend of mine asked me for homework? “What do you mean?” I responded.  I couldn’t help but consider the question a joke. Then the talk grew serious. She really wanted a video, a podcast, or a crash course on the suffrage movement, an exciting part of American history. Either she’d been absent at school when the “Night of Terror” had been taught, or the 1917 picketing of the White House by American suffrage activists simply wasn’t in any of her teachers’ lesson plans. Fortunately Suffrage Wagon is partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial on the November 15th “Night of Terror” observance, or I wouldn’t have been able to respond so fast.

OK. Here it is. If you haven’t seen the Lady Gaga parody, watch it. The video always reveals surprises. And while you’re watching, imagine that the streets near the White House in 1917 as bedlam some days when the women lined up with their picket signs. By the time November 15th rolled around, things were hot and heavy at the Occoquan Workhouse, the scene of the “Night of Terror.” I always think of it personally, as when my grandmother Edna Kearns and my aunt, Serena Kearns, then 12 years old, joined hundreds of others from around the nation to stand vigil at the White House gates in the U.S. Capitol to press for change.

From November 1 through November 15, Suffrage Wagon News Channel is partnering with the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to draw attention to the “Night of Terror” at the Occuquan Workhouse near Washington, DC. This means that Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will be Tweeting like mad, and you can touch in with my musings over the next two weeks. Tweets and Facebook deliver the updates. Or you can subscribe by email.

Watch the video. Take a careful look at this music video produced in 2012 by Soomo Publishing that took the nation by storm and won a raft of awards for excellent educational programming. The “Bad Romance” video highlights the picketing at the White House, as well as the process of ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A lot to cram into a video of about three minutes. But it’s worth the effort. It takes much more than three minutes to explain the suffrage movement that took 72 years. So consider yourself significantly up to speed. And pass this along this history to women voters headed for the polls on Tuesday. This video alone is reason enough to vote, but we’re building a foundation to celebrate suffrage centennials in the future, including the 2020 suffrage centennial.

The next two weeks constitutes a crash course on the suffrage movement, with the end point of the “Night of Terror” in mind on November 15th. In another segment of my “Musings,” I’ll review the content of the nine podcast series recently completed on Suffrage Wagon News Channel called “Playing POlitics with the President.” It gives the background as to why the suffragists of the National Woman’s Party picketed the White House in the first place. But I’ll get to that soon. Stay tuned!

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.

Marguerite’s Musings and Podcast #7, “Playing Politics with the President”

Marguerite's Musings

I’m delighted to announce that my cousin Rosalie Morales Kearns has launched a new press in Albany, New York specializing in women’s writings:

Shade Mountain Press. The first title, Egg Heaven, has been favorably reviewed in Booklist and Foreword Reviews. This is terrific news! I’ve been curled up in the outside hammock reading Egg Heaven during the late afternoon over the past few days.

PODCAST #7: “Playing Politics with the President.” We’re getting close to the end of the audio podcast series. Here’s the series so far: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7 of the nine-audio podcast series about Woodrow Wilson and the suffrage movement. The audio podcasts are produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. From Doris Stevens’ Jailed for Freedom, 1920.

A LAST MINUTE REMINDER: VISIT SENECA FALLS, NY:

Edna on a horseYour last chance to see the colorful countryside before all the gold and red leaves are on the ground and cold weather has set in. This past weekend Seneca Falls hosted people attending the Seneca Falls Dialogues. And don’t forget that special programs are ongoing at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park as well as exhibits at the National Womens Hall of Fame. Also, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday is coming up in November.

The Richard P. Hunt papers are open to the public at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park for the purpose of research. It’s a special event celebrating Richard Hunt’s 217th birthday. The Hunt House in Waterloo isn’t far from Seneca Falls. The Hunt papers include a thousand separate items dating from 1828 to 1856. Use the Hunt Family Papers weekdays by appointment from 9 to 4 at the park visitor center, 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls. A finding aid/guide is available on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/wori/historyculture/upload/HFP-Finding-Aid.pdf. Contact Vivien Rose, Chief of Cultural Resources, at 568-2991 ext. 5000 or vivien_rose@nps.gov to make arrangements to see the papers.

All sites within Women’s Rights National Historical Park are free and open to the public. Follow the park’s social media sites for Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/womensrightsnps) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/WomensRightsNPS) to learn more about upcoming programs.

FacebookFollow the Suffrage Wagon on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. You can 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.

Women Drivers: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musings (Marguerite Kearns)When I was young, I was confused often when hearing  jokes about women drivers. I wasn’t exactly sure why so much attention was showered on women who drove, though subconsciously it must have made an impact because I didn’t learn to drive myself until my early 20s. Perhaps it had to do with a subconscious desire not to look foolish.

I haven’t heard any woman driver jokes for decades, though I’m certain they’re out there –like in Saudi Arabia, for example, where women aren’t allowed to drive. Saudi women drivers protesting the ban have caused a stir with petitions and women themselves posting their driving protests online. One cleric warned that women drivers could cause damage to their ovaries by operating a motor vehicle. Have you checked the health of your ovaries recently? Find out more. #1. #2.

There’s more information than ever coming down the pike about violence against women and girls, in particular the recent kidnapping of Nigerian students. In the United States suffrage leaders and women’s history is being politicized, no doubt a foreshadowing of what’s to come in the 2016 presidential election where a woman may run for the nation’s highest office. Who would have thought our marginalized suffrage history would come under attack? It’s all predictable. Tighten your seat belt for what’s to come!

Marguerite’s Musings (from Marguerite Kearns) are a regular feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Visit our feature platform for new updates on videos and other special postings you might not see on the email platform. We also have Vimeo and YouTube channels.

Remembering Toshi Seeger: Marguerite’s Musings

by Marguerite Kearns

Toshi SeegerToshi Seeger, AKA Pete Seeger’s wife and working partner, is no longer with us, but her memory lives. Last year I sent a card to the Seeger family to say that I had a tree planted in El Salvador in Toshi’s memory.

For the ten years I worked at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in the Hudson Valley, Toshi Seeger was a permanent fixture in the Poughkeepsie, NY building serving as office and headquarters. I gathered news, features, and photos, and with graphic designer Nora Porter, we published the organization’s bi-monthly publication.  Toshi arrived at the office after hours often to iron out the details of the Great Hudson River Revival, the summer organizational fundraiser that kept the sloop sailing on the Hudson. Before she retired, everyone understood all the different ways in which Toshi’s tender loving care made the event possible for upwards of 20,000 people each summer. So with all the attention on Pete Seeger’s death in January 2014, I’ve been thinking of Toshi and how he and family members must have missed her in the months following her death.

Toshi had her fingers in many pies. She made the Husdon River Sloop Clearwater engine run. Pot lucks represented the grassroots engine, and for many organizational and business meetings, the chances were good that a pot luck accompanied the gathering, plus great desserts and song.

I can see Toshi Seeger now carrying heavy shopping bags of food and supplies from the car to the building where we met. That’s why the Suffrage Wagon web site features recipes from the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School as a way to reinforce the point that food fuels activism and relationship. Food and pot lucks represent the physical manifestation of a grassroots strategy of bringing people together for hard work, relaxation and celebration. Toshi understood the connection, and she kept the awareness sharp and clear during her many years of being involved in the heart of the organization. No one could call Toshi Seeger invisible. She was and remains a rock permanently installed on the banks of the Hudson River. Today I’m remembering her unique role in keeping hope alive.

Pete and Toshi Seeger supported the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon and the importance of New York State putting it on permanent exhibit for now and future generations. Support our campaign of getting the suffrage wagon out on the road again so people can see it. More information available on Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Photo: Toshi Seeger, 1985. Photo by Marguerite Kearns.

Washing sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving day . . .

Thanksgiving1895Marguerite’s Musings:

On Thanksgiving Day I’ll be off  for our 2013 family holiday gathering. It’s a day when I’m not wondering if the laundry basket is full, or the bed made, the carpet vacuumed, or the newspapers picked up from the front porch where they’ve stacked up for days.

On Thanksgiving I’m in charge of washing sweet potatoes to bake and serve with butter. While scrubbing the sweet potatoes, I’m remembering the story of the 100th monkey –about how a single monkey on an island discovers how to wash a sweet potato in a stream, eat it, and not struggle later with grit grinding down on his/her tongue or churning down in the gut.

Another monkey watches and washes his/her sweet potato until there’s a tipping point when the 100th monkey follows the same routine. Then, all the monkeys on one island instantly wash and eat their sweet potatoes in the same way which happens without any sweet potato washing lectures or workshops or demonstrations.

The insightful lesson on how to wash sweet potatoes travels on invisible jet streams of knowledge, or the collective monkey unconscious, until monkeys all over the world wash their sweet potatoes in the same way to clean off the grime and dirt before sitting down to dinner. This is what comes to mind when I’m troubled about so many critical situations facing us on Planet Earth and how change often occurs on levels far beyond our awareness and comprehension.

This morning I carried my empty glass bottles out to the driveway recycling bin and remembered back to the 1970s, when I was young, when Toshi and Pete Seeger practiced glass and newspaper recycling for everyone to see. Pete, America’s troubadour, didn’t pay someone to wash his sweet potatoes or sort his newspaper from glass. The Seegers modeled recycling for everyone from the little retreat that Pete built where the Seeger family lived and overlooked the Hudson River near Beacon, NY.

One day Pete Seeger drove up to the parking lot of Green Haven prison in the Mid-Hudson Valley in his old pickup filled to the brim with bottles and plastic and papers, on route to a recycling center. He grabbed his old banjo from the truck’s front seat and marched up to the prison’s front door, reported to the guard station, presented his driver’s license, and filled out forms and papers so he could enter the cement fortress and visit with those of us in the prison school. Pete opened his mouth as wide as he could and belted out one song after another.

The officers in the towers above the 30-foot walls stared down at Pete Seeger’s pickup filled with bottles and newspapers as they witnessed one of the first monkeys on the block wash away the grime and dirt and gravel from a highly-evolved institution with its electric chair, barbed wire fences, and gun towers with guards and machine guns. That’s how change happens, in increments, as words and deeds are passed around.

Image above by Marianna Sloan (1875-1954). The artwork for the Women’s Edition of The Press. From the Library of Congress. Color lithograph.

Marguerite’s Musings is a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel, the “go to” place since 2009, for news and views of the suffrage movement and how the movement inspires us today.

A tale of lemon meringue pie, women’s suffrage style

Marguerite's MusingsMarguerite’s Musings:

When Thanksgiving comes around each year, I love to cook and become the center of attention like I did at age ten.

My mother Wilma didn’t mind telling people about how she was a terrible cook. This was always accompanied by the explanation that her own mother, Edna Kearns, was a suffrage and women’s rights activist, and not a terribly good cook either. Because Edna had died when my mother was a young teen, even boiling water had been a challenge for my mom. So, in the absence of any of the other young’ins in my family stepping forward to care about Sunday dinners, I vowed to become a good cook.

Photo by Annie MoleLemon meringue was a delicate and delicious dessert surprise –the one thing I could carry from the kitchen and present to everyone at the dinner table, guaranteed to evoke waves of comments and compliments.

Lemon meringue pie was lip-smacking good. Roll out the pie dough. Clean up the flour mess. Make everything from scratch. No lemon pudding mix. Not me.

I dug into the back kitchen cabinet for my mom’s double boiler to prepare the lemon custard with fresh lemons, egg yokes and sugar. Yum. Bake the pie and hold the meringue until the end. Then, beat the egg whites with sugar until they form a stuff peak and spread over the top of the baked custard pie. That’s what I remember. Place the pie back in the oven and toast to a quick brown.

“You’ll make a good wife for some man, someday,” my father said after polishing off every crumb on his plate and standing in line for more. I don’t ever remember making lemon meringue pie for any of my husbands. Nor do I ever remember them making it for me. Perhaps it’s time to search for a women’s suffrage lemon meringue pie recipe as Thanksgiving approaches. There are several great suffrage movement recipe books online. I can see my dad peeking around the corner of some heavenly cloud and wondering if I’m searching for a new husband.

Follow Marguerite’s Musings on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Postings twice a week and a newsletter four times a year. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School has yet to schedule a lesson on making lemon meringue pie. But stay tuned; you never know!

Photo of meringue by Annie Mole.

“Marguerite’s Musings” and feature piece about “Cradle” and Cotton Country

Cradle articleArticle about rocking the Cradle in the Finger Lakes of New York State.

Last week I returned from Texas cotton country where my sister Winifred Culp received an award for her work with NearSea Naturals (and sustainable and organic fabrics) from the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas. Grandmother Edna would be proud. One hundred years ago Edna launched her “Better Babies” campaign on Long Island and who would have thought it would have been controversial? Some Long Island women thought it inappropriate to mix the issues of voting and everyday life. Not so, said Edna. And I’m seeing, more than ever, the inter-relatedness of issues when once compartmentalizing seemed so neat and tidy.

It’s been a busy two months starting with the “Cradle” blogging tour in September. Olivia Twine and I are still blogging about our whirlwind trip through the Finger Lakes region of New York State. My article about Grandmother Edna’s “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon was published in the fall issue of New York Archives. And Suffrage Wagon Cooking School moves forward to its second recipe and lesson to celebrate November birthdays starting with Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 198th birthday tea party (pull up a chair to the virtual party table) and a spread featuring traditional English scones brought to us by Chef Cutting.

The Texas organic cotton growers rolled out the red carpet for us in Texas this past week, and I learned more about organic cotton production than I could have ever imagined. Women as a voting block have many issues on their minds today, especially safety, as far as food, fabric, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. What we wear is just as important as the quality of food we put in our mouths. Logical? Cotton seems like such an American apple-pie product until you realize how much poison it takes to keep insects from eating the cotton ball in one gulp.

Other news items from Suffrage Wagon News Channel for November 2013. Stay current on new comic book about suffragist Margaret Sanger and updates on the upcoming film ‘Suffragette” in the UK.

Follow the suffrage wagon with postings twice a week and a special newsletter four times a year? Where else do you get  up-to-date news about the suffrage movement, as well as today’s news and views and stories? New York History features my writing with Olivia Twine, as well as LetsRockTheCradle.com. We’re gearing up to shake up the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in upstate New York (the Finger Lakes district). How about joining us?

Bonded after wearing Grandmother Edna Kearns’ clothes: Marguerite’s Musings

MusingWagonby Marguerite Kearns

The first time I wore Grandmother Edna’s dresses, it was summer. I was about ten years old when we spent hours every day at the playhouse my father built –a small building in the back yard with green shingles on the roof and openings for windows Dad never finished.

My mother told me: “Here, go and play with Grandmother Edna’s dresses and her Votes for Women sashes.” I dug into the box. My brothers and younger sister weren’t all that interested in dress ups, so I had the cardboard box to myself with its musty-smelling thin fabric, lace, and flowing long skirts.

I marched in imaginary New York City suffrage parades and wrecked the dresses, tore and dragged them through mud. They’d been stored since Grandmother Edna’s death in 1934 –unwashed after she wore them. The sensation of dressing up like Edna never left me. Throughout life I’ve always loved high collars, long skirts, petticoats, and broaches worn at the neckline.

BONDED THROUGH WEARING EDNA’S CLOTHES

When my grandmother’s clothes touched mine, we bonded. I confided to Grandmother Edna Kearns in whispers, became convinced she worried about me and protected my secrets. My friends heard every story my mother told me about Edna’s horse-drawn wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” how she wrote articles for New York City and Long Island newspapers, and marched in Votes for Women parades –especially the big one down in Washington, DC in 1913.

Edna’s archives fell into my hands in 1982. They’d been stored for years upstairs in my Aunt Serena’s closet. My mother and I sorted newspaper clippings and letters in an attempt to make sense of all this suffrage history. There were names of organizations I’d never heard of, plus events and speaking engagements spanning more than a decade from about 1911 through 1920.

GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST AT TURN OF 20TH CENTURY

Only years later did I recognize it as an archive of a grassroots suffrage activist at the turn of the 20th century. And then it became more than this. I learned about organizing for a cause as I sorted through Edna’s archives. Edna covered every inch of Long Island. In her free time, she participated in or organized events in New York City, such as a pageant at the Armory or being part of a suffrage program at the Metropolitan Opera. Though I’d never read Grandmother Edna’s writings all the years of storage in Aunt Serena’s closet, I was surprised to discover my own writing at the newspaper where I worked was almost identical in style to Edna’s. More than one person among my friends and family says I have Grandmother Edna in my DNA.

“Marguerite’s Musings” is a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. 

Follow the Suffrage Wagon to stay up to date with news and stories of the suffrage movement. We’ve been highlighting events, suffrage centennials, trends, and more since 2009. Tweets about suffrage news and views since 2010. Find out about Edna Kearns, the womens suffrage movement, how the 19th amendment came about, the campaign wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” that is today in the New York State Museum and how it is the featured suffrage centennial in 2013 on this suffrage news channel.

Happy Birthday, Grandmother Edna Kearns!

ColumnMKMarguerite’s Musings:

Grandmother Edna was born on Christmas day in 1882. My mother told me how Edna hated having her birthday on Christmas. She claimed to always get shirt shrift as a child when it came to gifts and attention on her birthday.

For Edna, Christmas meant books as gifts; each book contained sweet messages from family members. Edna’s gifts of books to her two daughters on Christmases past ended up in my hands as an eager young reader with the date on the inside cover and a Merry Christmas from “Dearie,” which is how her daughters addressed her, and not “Mother.” Oh, what a scandal it was in those days not to call one’s mother by her role. I loved the Louisa May Alcott series starting with Little Women, all the way through to  Jo’s Boys.

Christmas meant holly and mistletoe to Grandmother Edna, plus hand-made sachets of dried roses and lavender, storytelling next to the fireplace as holiday tree candles burned on Christmas eve and the kitchen buzzed with talk of fruitcake, candied pineapple and citrus… MORE of the article!

Marguerite’s Musings is a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Special feature for the upcoming holidays: Gifts for the suffrage buff in your life.