Tag Archives: Marguerite Kearns

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.