Tag Archives: “Spirit of 1776”

Birthday celebration on December 25th: Edna Kearns & Martha Wright!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Happy Birthday, Edna Buckman Kearns, suffrage activist! on Vimeo.

December 25th birthdaysHappy birthday Edna Kearns and Martha Wright on December 25th.

Tara Bloyd, Edna’s great granddaughter, signed in support of funding for the New York State women’s suffrage centennial commission. See letter sent to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo to urge inclusion of the suffrage centennial commission in the upcoming state budget. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon used by Edna Kearns in the New York State suffrage organizing campaign is part of our 2015 “Ask Santa” effort.

NYS state suffrage centennial 2017

Happy New yearFollow 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. 

Happy December from Marguerite Kearns & Suffrage Wagon News Channel

Support Suffrage Storytelling during Season I: Drama, action, and fun! on Vimeo.

Happy holidays from “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling. Season I continues with Bess, Wilmer and Edna. Meet Jonathan Geffner, ventriloquist, a special guest on Suffrage Storytelling. We’re up to Episode #9. Watch the videos and catch up with past episodes.

Did you see the Suffrage Wagon News Channel news notes for November? Catch up now!

Women’s Suffrage Holiday News Notes on Vimeo.

COMING SOON: Marguerite Kearns interviews the director and producer of the new film, “10 Days in a Madhouse.” A new program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on December 8, 2015. A December 25, 2015 birthday celebration for Edna May Buckman. Celebrating the grandmothers at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

At Suffrage Wagon Cooking School we’ll be cooking for the holidays. Check out the cooking school programs for 2015.

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

SuffrageCentennials.com features trends, news and views about suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today, as well as 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.

Wilmer Kearns out to win Edna in Episode #6, a program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe

Wilmer Kearns, Storyteller
WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

Episode #6: Wilmer Kearns tries to win over Edna with his storytelling. “Spirit of 1776.” on Vimeo.

By Marguerite Kearns

Welcome to Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Wilmer Kearns (my grandftaher) is complicating the story, as Edna’s best friend Bess points out. Wilmer’s determined to wear down Edna’s resolve not to marry because of the few rights young women possess at the turn of the 20th century. Bess has been reading Mary Wollstonecraft and other controversial women writers. She’s even paid a price for doing this after her parents found the Mary Wollstonecraft books hidden under her mattress in her bedroom at home.

A SUMMARY OF THE “SPIRIT OF 1776” STORYTELLING SO FAR!

Wilmer Kearns is a fresh upstart from Beavertown, PA where he grew up playing musical instruments with his family. Enjoy these images of Wilmer as a young man from the Kearns family photo collection. Episode #6 highlights one of Wilmer’s tactics. His determination to wear down Edna’s resolve to avoid marriage is fueled by his storytelling. This has worked so far while they’ve been meeting in secret at the Market Street teahouse. But the narrative becomes even more complicated after Edna’s parents find out about the couple seeing each other weeks after their first meeting at the Pompeii restoration exhibit.

THE PLOT IS NOW EVEN MORE COMPLICATED.

Wilmer Kearns left his hometown at age 16 and moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled in business college. That’s when he met Edna at the Pompeii exhibit in 1903. Bess warned Edna to be careful about falling in love. Bess is committed to remaining single, and she wastes no time in sharing books with radical ideas about equality with all her friends. Edna seeks a middle ground, but it’s not clear yet if Wilmer Kearns has what it takes to win Edna’s heart.

Edna and Wilmer meetEpisode #1. Bess gets in trouble.

Episode #2. Now Bess is in even more trouble.

Episode #3. Wilmer Kearns enters the story.

Episode #4: Mary Wollstonecraft’s books gets Bess in more hot water.

Episode #5: Bess and Edna argue about decisions they must make.

Episode #6: Our special feature here at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Relax by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo. “Spirit of 1776” film posters by Corinna Canek.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

COMING SOON: New program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on suffrage movement storytelling!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

New program coming soon at Suffrage Wagon Cafe: Women’s history as you like it! on Vimeo.

The program on October 8, 2015 at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe features storytelling with the unveiling of Episode #6 when we get to know Wilmer Kearns and why Edna meets him secretly at the Market Street teahouse. Suffrage Wagon has teaching and learning resources for home and school use. And our sister site, SuffrageCentennials.com delivers trends and news about upcoming events and celebrations. For example, 2016 has two featured centennial celebrations: Canada and the centennial observance of the death of Inez Milholland, America’s suffrage martyr.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel offers three audio programs about women’s suffrage history: “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” “Playing Politics with the President.” “The Night of Terror.” These stories are edited into short segments that make learning American history easy. So let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on October 8, 2015. Follow the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is openRelax this fall by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on Vimeo.

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

Episode #4: The book that got Bess in trouble with her parents at home

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

Episode #4: How Bess got in trouble for reading Mary Wollstonecraft! on Vimeo.

The problems for Bess started when her parents discovered a forbidden book under her bedroom mattress. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) started Bess on the path of finding other books that presented the idea that women and men could be equal. But to find support, Bess had to raid the school and public library. Before long, Bess had shared Mary Wollstonecraft with all her friends.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Edna’s friend, Bess, had been the little girl who got her dress dirty climbing an apple tree to pick fruit for Edna back when they were young and spent hours playing with a rose china tea set and pretending to be mothers of their dolls.

Bessie and Edna shared oolong tea, served with scones and lemon marmalade, while practicing how to hold dainty teacups and make polite conversation. Bessie’s lilting musical voice and a clear complexion summed up Bess and her childhood joyful innocence. Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Lucretia Mott’s made it known that oolong was her favorite tea. Bess and Edna wouldn’t drink anything else.

BESS TRIED TO BE LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS BUT THAT CHANGED AFTER READING A NOVEL BY MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

The story of Bess and several other young girls on Rubicam Avenue in Germantown appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1897 after they’d raised money for city children to leave crowded neighborhoods for summer excursions. The total of $200 collected for the Children’s Country Week Association wasn’t as important as having the names of Bess and her girlfriends mentioned in the society column. Edna’s mother, May Begley Buckman, wasn’t impressed. She said it wouldn’t be long before Bess and her friends would be raising money for hospitals after they’d landed husbands and waited for the birth of their first child. “Bess isn’t that way,” Edna insisted, but she didn’t tell her mother why she could be so certain.

Mary WollstonecraftEdna’s commitment to avoid marriage solidified after reading the 1788 novel by writer Mary Wollstonecraft: Mary: A Fiction. Bessie had wrapped the controversial book in newspaper and slipped it to Edna at Friends’ Central school and then returned it to the public library after Edna read it from cover to cover. Unlike Jane Eyre in the Brontë novel who delayed marriage and then later found happiness with Mr. Rochester, the fictional Mary in the Wollstonecraft novel had romantic attractions to both a man and a woman.

WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A “NEW WOMAN” IN 1900

Mary Wollstonecrafts’s character of Mary in her novel represented a New Woman who thought for herself. She didn’t ground her future in marriage and viewed the institution as guaranteed to ruin the spirit and independence of every young woman seeking her rightful place in the world. Edna had been convinced that no young man could change her mind about marriage, that is, until she met Wilmer Kearns.

Follow the entire “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling series.

TeaParty2Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on VimeoMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future.

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

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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

DISCOVERY OF HISTORIC ARTIFACT IMAGE IN NEW BOOK

by Marguerite Kearns

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

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

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

WHY THE WAGON IMAGE DISCOVERY WAS SO EXCITING!

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

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

THE POPULARITY OF MOVEMENT POSTCARDS AS VISUAL RHETORIC

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

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

WHO’S IN THE POSTCARD PHOTO?

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

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

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

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

Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Follow the 2016 Inez Milholland centennial during 2016. “Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. 

Suffrage Storytelling series to be launched at Suffrage Wagon Cafe on July 8, 2015

Watch the Video

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is introducing its women’s suffrage storytelling series on July 8, 2015. Are you subscribed? This long-awaited series links story to facts. People who follow the Suffrage Wagon love the details and how the cafe is opening its doors. Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Check out past story videos and start following the adventures of Edna Buckman Kearns and Wilmer Kearns. Teachers and students who follow the suffrage wagon tell us that they love the facts best when delivered with story. And Bess is a rebel girl, someone who challenges her best friend Edna Buckman who’s determined to become an activist in the women’s suffrage movement. Bess views herself as an outsider, and she’s headed out into the world as a free independent woman. No marriage for Bess. But Edna had romance on her mind.

Links to Suffrage Wagon News Channel‘s updates and announcements: Our second year of telling the story of the July 4th co-conspirators. National award for “Spirit of 1776” music video, plus other video highlights for women voters. Path through History weekend in NYS includes programs on women’s rights. Women’s history myth and free ebook, “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens. June special program from Suffrage Wagon Cafe about the perks of visiting Seneca Falls, NY. Get prepared for the upcoming “Suffragette” film from the UK by checking out the BBC series, “Shoulder to Shoulder.”

Wagon SliderPublishing since 2009. Follow award-winning Suffrage Wagon News Channel on FacebookTwitter, and email subscription. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Great news about national award for Suffrage Wagon music video, plus 9 suffrage storytelling videos!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Don’t be left behind! Head out to Votes for Women centennial celebrations in 2020 and 2017! on Vimeo.

GREAT NEWS:

The National Federation of Press Women has awarded the Suffrage Wagon music video, “The Spirit of 1776: A Suffragette Anthem,” second price in its category (32A) in the national media competition. “Spirit of 1776,” an anthem to sing along with, inspired by the horse-drawn wagon and used by activist Edna Kearns, is now in the collection of the New York State Museum. This award-winning music video by songwriter and performer Eighty Bug recognizes the vast grassroots network that became necessary to build support for women voting over a period of 72 years.

OTHER VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM SUFFRAGE WAGON NEWS CHANNEL:

1. The video story of how “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon came to travel for the suffrage movement.  YouTube.  Vimeo.

2. What happened on July 1, 1913 when the “Spirit of 1776” wagon hit the streets to organize for the suffrage movement is highlighted in numerous newspaper articles in the metropolitan New York City area. YouTube.  Vimeo.

3. Little Serena Kearns accompanied her mother Edna Kearns on the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776.” This video highlights the many ways in which Serena became a poster child for the women’s suffrage movement on Long Island and in NYC. YouTube. Vimeo.

4. The Kearns family (Edna, Wilmer and Serena) set out on the “hike” to Albany, NY with Rosalie Jones to see the Governor about women’s suffrage on January 1, 1914. This video highlights the march. Vimeo.

5. Edna Kearns worked closely with many women on Long Island to organize for the vote. This video focuses on Rosalie Jones and her highly-publicized marches and events.

6. Edna’s husband, Wilmer R. Kearns, not only supported his wife and daughter in suffrage movement activities, but he participated as well.

7. Photos from the life of suffragist Edna Kearns. The family photo album snapshots.

8. Edna Kearns and Serena Kearns picketed the White House in 1917.

9. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon played an important part in the 1913 organizing campaign on Long Island. The wagon was also used for speakers’ platforms, for exhibits and suffrage parades in New York City.


Film Crash Course on Suffrage WagonFollow 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 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.

Interview with Eighty Bug: Suffrage Wagon Cafe program on May 8, 2015

May 8, 2015: An interview with award-winning songwriter and performer Eighty Bug. Plus an extra feature when Eighty shares her dessert recipes with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

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.

Season 2 of “TURN: Washington’s Spies” has “Spirit of 1776” wagon wrinkle!

Program on TURN at Suffrage Wagon Cafe

ALERT: APRIL 8, 2015. A SPECIAL PROGRAM OF SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE:

SECOND SEASON OF “TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES” LURES STORIES OF TORIES OUT OF THE CLOSET

The A&E television series, “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” opens its second season on April 13, 2015. The series in its first season introduced an awareness of the nation’s first spy ring to a broad audience. The spy ring, the Culper Ring, dates to 1778 and the war for independence. Its informants provided essential information to General George Washington and his army.

The spy ring was based, in part, on Long Island that English troops occupied when they held New York City. Long Island residents were significantly divided between loyalty to the colonists and loyalty to the British.

The drama of this A&E television series foreshadows what happened more than 100 years later in 1913 when women’s suffrage activists drove the horse-drawn wagon the “Spirit of 1776” into Huntington, NY on Long Island. They had no reason not to expect that local residents would greet them warmly. So they didn’t anticipate that a local resident might provoke a confrontation.

ON LONG ISLAND, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WASN’T OVER YET IN 1913

Many Long Island’s old families hadn’t forgotten the American Revolution by 1913 as well as the sympathies of their family members and ancestors toward the British king. Some descendants still carried resentments over the American Revolution’s outcome. And they weren’t hesitant to express themselves about their then controversial points of view.

Edna Kearns and other women’s suffrage activists left the Manhattan office of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in early July 1913 and headed to Long Island for a month of Votes for Women organizing. They drove the
Spirit of 1776 suffrage campaign wagon. The name of the wagon and its alleged controversial origins lured descendants of former Tory sympathizers out of the closet to a confrontation with some descendants of Patriot sympathizers in Huntington, NY.

APRIL 8, 2015 PROGRAM AT SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE WILL GIVE THE DETAILS OF THIS STORY OF LINGERING RESENTMENTS

The April 8, 2015 Suffrage Wagon Cafe program will give the details about Mary Livingston Jones, the well-known descendant of Long Island Tories, who was involved in this confrontation. Mrs. Jones also opposed the movement to extend voting rights to women, and she viewed the two issues as related. What makes this tale distinctive is that Mrs. Jones’ daughter, Rosalie Jones, was a well-known women’s rights activist associated with Long Island’s Votes for Women organizing campaign.

After the battle smoke cleared from the war for independence, most people conveniently forgot or dismissed their family members and ancestors’ sympathies with the English. Not so on Long Island. This fascinating story clearly demonstrates the repercussions.

The New York State Museum will exhibit the “Spirit of 1776” wagon in Albany, NY during New York’s suffrage centennial celebration in 2017. The “Spirit of 1776” wagon was used as a speakers’ platform for Votes for Women organizing, in suffrage parades in New York City and on Long Island, as well as for exhibits, rallies, and special events.

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. 

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. 

We’re spreading the word about upcoming women’s suffrage programs at Suffrage Wagon Cafe

Dear Friends, Instead of a long posting, we’re featuring the upcoming Suffrage Wagon Cafe programming during this four-day festival primarily in images. Starting Saturday, March 28th, here’s an overview of the special programs planned.

2-SWAN-Day

The cafe opening is on SWAN Day during Women’s History Month.

Eighty Bug is performer and songwriterPerformer/songwriter Eighty Bug composed and performed in the award-winning video, the “Spirit of 1776: A Suffragette Anthem.” It’s available on the home page of Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Dr. helen Pankhurst and her message to American women voters

This message to American women voters is especially timely as movie audiences in the U.S. await the release of the “Suffragette”film from the U.K. in 2015. Meryl Streep plays Emmeline Pankhurst, Dr. Pankhurst’s great grandmother.

Anti-Suffrage Movement video

There’s been considerable interest in the anti-suffrage movement in recent years, and this program on Suffrage Wagon Cafe features the original music of Elizabeth Johnson who performs “In Her Sphere.”

Nellie Bly

The special program on Nellie Bly, one of America’s early press women, has a surprise. Let’s meet at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

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

VIDEO: Are you ready for the “Spirit of 1776” campaign? It’s on its way.

Suffrage Wagon Quarterly Newsletter coming soon. Are you ready to follow the Spirit of 1776? on Vimeo.

The Spirit of 1776 is a campaign being launched during Women’s History Month 2015 by Suffrage Wagon News Channel to restore the women’s suffrage movement to its rightful place in American history. We’re 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.

If you haven’t signed up for the quarterly newsletter, there’s still time. There’s an important announcement contained in the Winter/Spring 2015 edition.

Are you a parent who wants to educate your daughters and sons about the suffrage movement? Are you a teacher interested in content for your lesson plans? Historians, public officials, citizens, and students of all ages follow the Suffrage Wagon.

And don’t forget the opening of the Suffrage Wagon Cafe on March 28th.

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.

Two videos about the Suffrage Wagon Cafe, plus news notes for Women’s History Month!

VIDEO: Meet me at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe for the Women’s History Month opening! on Vimeo.

The Suffrage Wagon Cafe is partnering with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. Chef Cutting, our chef for the first series of cooking school recipes, gives us the Big Picture.

VIDEO: Suffrage Wagon Cafe & Suffrage Wagon Cooking School: Important announcement! on Vimeo.

NEWS WRAPUP: Video: Big birthday bash planned for Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday in 2015. New York State is moving forward to plan its 2017 suffrage centennial. The U.S. will have a national suffragist memorial only if we insist on it. Support the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. Alice Paul Institute is 30 years old. The National Women’s History Project is having its 35th birthday party. The Suffrage Wagon video channel on Vimeo now has more than 100 suffrage videos. A digital library for the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon is under construction. The concerns of a suffrage activist 100 years ago.
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 Wagon Cafe opens on March 28, 2015 during Women’s History Month

VIDEO: Suffrage Wagon Cafe: Grand Opening on SWAN Day on Vimeo.

A music video, the “Spirit of 1776: A Suffragette Anthem,” celebrates grassroots activism during Women’s History Month in March. The music video is one of the highlights of the opening of Suffrage Wagon Cafe on March 28th, SWAN Day, an international celebration honoring women artists. Suffrage Wagon Cafe is an online meet-up place dedicated to entertainment and education.

“Americans are making a connection today between their family histories and the larger sweep of American history. The result has been like a jolt of electricity that’s redefining our cultural identity,” Marguerite Kearns explained when speaking about her own suffrage activist grandmother, Edna Kearns, who organized in New York City and on Long Island from 1910 to 1920. “Dry accounts in history books aren’t enough anymore. We want our history alive and relevant.”

With the popularity of programs like “Finding Your Roots” (PBS) and ancestry web sites, a collective memory of women’s history is now possible. This includes the narrative of how one hundred years ago in 1915 women laid an important foundation for voting and civil rights movements in the 20th century.

The anticipated release of the major motion picture “Suffragette” from the UK with Meryl Streep in a starring role is expected to bring the English and American suffrage movements to the attention of a broader segment of the public when the film is released in the fall of 2015. Already there’s speculation about the possibility of an Oscar win for the production.

Women in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts conducted bold campaigns in 1915 that involved thousands of indoor and outdoor meetings, telephone campaigns, lobbying of public officials, parades, and high-profile public relations campaigns. Although none of the referendum initiatives were successful, the extraordinary effort opened the door to the eventual victory and the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.

The music video, “The Spirit of 1776,” makes this precedent-setting grassroots organizing effort more accessible to millions of Americans. The “Spirit of 1776” music video to be highlighted at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe is available on YouTube (http://youtu.be/Aga11k5s0Bc).

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. 

 

100+ Suffrage Movement Videos or Bust!

100+ Suffrage Videos or Bust! A VIDEO  featured on Vimeo.

We’re getting close to going over the top by producing and publishing 100 suffrage videos. Visit our Vimeo channel.

IN OTHER NEWS: The National Women’s History Project is celebrating its 35th year with a big party on March 28th. Video. Follow special coverage on video during Women’s History Month in March. Video.

This video announces the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon digital library in the planning stages. The 1913 news article may be the first photo taken of the wagon prior to its presentation to the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in Manhattan in 1913. Note the article to the left: “‘Women Should Strike’ Says Woman Lawyer.” While it might bring a smile to our faces today, it’s a terrific example of how such an article could strike fear in the hearts of those opposed to women voting back in 1913.

Suffrage Campaign Wagon

In 2013, the centennial celebration of the “Spirit of 1776” wagon’s first journey was acknowledged by resolutions passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature. The wagon was exhibited at the New York State Museum in 2010 and at the state Capitol in Albany, NY in 2012. Photo: 2012 at the Governor’s exhibit, “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court.”

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

“Spirit of 1776” is up and running. . .

A digital library is being built to document the travels of “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon a video on Vimeo.

"Spirit of 1776" digital library

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

VIDEO: Spirit of 1776″ wagon heads toward 2020!

VIDEO: This posting is a reminder about where the “Spirit of 1776” wagon has been and where it is headed –to 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennial celebrations.

In upcoming elections, ask ALL candidates their thoughts on how the present day is linked to the long struggle for equality and justice. Reinforce how it is critical to get behind our upcoming suffrage centennials with funding and leadership. Emphasize that we’re not satisfied with more volunteering opportunities and an endless series of bake sales.

If you’re supporting the idea of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon on permanent exhibit, give the idea an extra boost with this video.

Music video about the “Spirit of 1776” wagon. A toe-tapping reminder of where we’ve come from and where we’re going.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with postings twice a week. Newsletters four times a year: summer, fall, winter and spring. Video, audio, news and views. Join in with conversation on the Suffrage Wagon blog.

Podcast #4: “Playing Politics with the President”

Doris StevensAudio Podcast #4 of “Playing Politics with the President” takes us behind the scenes to the nitty gritty business of laying on the pressure.

In the last podcast, #3 the suffragists took their appeal to Congress in 1913. Petitions were delivered there for the first time in 26 years. The women activists thought this would be enough. “Four million women voters are watching you,” became the mantra. The Congressional representatives were polite, and the matter taken seriously at least on the surface. But it became clear voting would have to become a political issue. Wilson’s agenda of tariff and currency had been addressed. But he hadn’t taken any of his promised steps toward supporting votes for women. A delegation from Wilson’s home state, New Jersey, paid a call on the president and he promised to give the matter his “earnest attention.” But was Woodrow Wilson serious?

Find out in Podcast #4 of “Playing Politics with the President.” Doris Stevens in her book, “Jailed for Congress” notes that Woodrow Wilson took a baby step. But more pressure would be necessary. When the suffragists appealed to the Democratic Party, they considered their advantages and disadvantages. “We cannot wait,” they said.

“Playing Politics with the President”: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3 of the nine-audio podcast series. The “Playing Politics with the President” audio podcast series is produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by J.M. Smallheer. From Doris Stevens’ book, Jailed for Freedom. Image: Doris Stevens.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with posts twice a week and special newsletters published in the summer, fall, winter and spring. News, views, videos, audio podcasts.

New music video, the “Spirit of 1776,” highlights the patriotic protest representative of the suffrage movement on the national, state and local levels.

Podcast #3: “Playing Politics with the President”

Doris Stevens, author of "Jailed for Freedom"Podcast #3. This audio series places the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon smack in the middle of the Big Picture nationally.

As the wagon headed out from Manhattan to Long Island in July of 1913 over one hundred years ago, women across the nation mobilized for the vote in Washington, DC. Awareness of such a historic occasion is at an all-time low. But it doesn’t diminish the significance American women’s organization on the grassroots.That’s why we’re running this series. Take a few minutes to listen and catch up with the previous audio podcasts.

“Playing Politics with the President”: Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3 of the nine- audio podcast series.

The “Playing Politics with the President” audio podcast series has been produced by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by J.M. Smallheer. From Doris Stevens’ book, Jailed for Freedom. Image: Doris Stevens.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with posts twice a week and special newsletters published in the summer, fall, winter and spring. News, views, videos, audio podcasts. New music video, the “Spirit of 1776,” highlights the patriotic protest representative of the suffrage movement on the national, state and local levels.

VIDEO: The “Spirit of 1776” launched its 1913 journey with letters

Marguerite's MusingsThe new music video, the “Spirit of 1776,” has a companion video about the history of the wagon and its role in suffrage grassroots organizing. It covers the weeks leading up to the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776” wagon on July 1, 1913.

The video featuring archival evidence of the wagon’s history showcases letters from A.F. Wilson, president of the I.S. Remson wagon company in Brooklyn to the New York State Woman Suffrage Association that had offices in Manhattan. Remson claimed to be New York’s largest wagon company specializing in fine carriages, business grocer and express wagons, blankets, robes, whips, boots, and horse furnishing goods.

Though the company had been in business since 1881, automobiles had already taken a chuck out of the wagon business. And I.S. Remson company was badly in need of some fresh advertising. So a letter to Harriet May Mills, president of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in Manhattan, from A.F. Wilson, the Remson president, tested the possibility. Would the suffragists like a horse-drawn wagon for campaign purposes?  Mills said “yes,” and suggested that Edna Kearns of Rockville Center, New York use it in an upcoming organizing tour of Long Island by suffrage movement activists.

Video about The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon in 1913.

The series of letters that followed between A.F. Wilson and Kearns dealt with details such as a horse, maintenance, storage and so on. In the early days the Remson company claimed that the wagon had been built in 1776 by a Revolutionary patriot; word to this effect were painted on the side of the wagon. Over the years those claims (still faintly seen) were removed, leaving only the wagon’s name, the “Spirit of 1776.” Although the American Revolution theme worked well for the suffragists, historians and scholars have determined that the wagon actually had been built around 1820. The suffrage movement activists inherited the wagon’s history and name from I.S. Remson who heard this legend from sources on Long Island.

Though the name came with the wagon, the suffrage movement also used the theme of the “Spirit of 1776” that dates back to the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY: the unfinished American Revolution.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon with email, Facebook and Twitter, your source for the 19th amendment and other stories. Pass on these videos to any and all interested in suffrage centennial celebrations. The column, “Marguerite’s Musings,” by Marguerite Kearns is a regular feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channel, publishing online since 2009.

Suffrage movement brawl involves Andrew Cuomo campaigner in race for governor

Marguerite's Musings: by Marguerite Kearns

It’s amazing that references to the “suffrage movement” have surfaced in New York’s election campaign for governor?  Not by the incumbent Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo himself, but a verbal brawl in the media between Christine Quinn ( Cuomo supporter) and Tim Wu (running on the Working Families Party line for lt. gov., with Zephyr Teachout for governor). The topic of the suffrage movement flared at a rally at City Hall in New York sponsored by the Women’s Equality Party in mid August 2014.

Sherlocks like me scan the internet for any and all references to the suffrage movement. Did the suffragists create a “little movement” from 1848 to 1920 as Tim Wu suggested? Did the remark offend the “legacy of Susan B. Anthony” as Christine Quinn, campaigner for Cuomo, insisted? Did Wu’s response get him off the hook with his retort that the suffrage movement had been “amazing”? Find out for yourself. PDF.

 The new music video, the “Spirit of 1776” is out, circulating, and delivering the news of this important symbol of the suffrage movement –the unfinished American Revolution. And this means more chipping away at bringing upcoming suffrage centennials to the attention of a broader public. See article in the New York History blog. Eighty Bug is the songwriter and performer who pulled out her magic wand and the music video miracle manifested. Share the “Spirit of 1776” music video with others! There’s an audio version too. The words and chords are great for sing alongs and for use in classrooms.

And check out this short video about the significance of NYS’s 2017 suffrage centennial.

So far, nine states have celebrated their centennials of women winning voting rights prior to 1920: Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas and Oregon (1912). Montana and Nevada are observing one hundred years of women voting in 2014 with special events, projects and activities. New York’s suffrage centennial celebration is scheduled for 2017, with Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota to follow. 

Will New York State get its act together and engage in some substantial long-term planning for a suffrage centennial celebration in 2017? Some NYS stakeholders are on the phone monthly to discuss centennial event possibilities, but hardly a peep yet from the state Capitol in terms of appropriate funding and an official endorsement. Some observers predict that New York’s 2017 suffrage centennial will turn out to be little more than expanded opportunities for women to hold bake sales and volunteer. Can NYS pull off a celebration consistent with its position of being the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States? Follow the Suffrage Wagon and a web site called Suffrage Centennials.

And stay tuned! This week the National Archives and the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, DC hosted a streaming online discussion about the upcoming national suffrage centennial in 2020. There is significant movement with certain proposed projects that are in the planning stages in New York. It’s still too early to tell which proposals will stick to the wall. So we’ll be covering the upcoming 2017 New York State suffrage centennial celebration, as well as each and every development along the way.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon to stay current. Watch the new wagon video. And don’t forget to imagine the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon that inspired this web site on permanent exhibit at the New York State Museum for 2017 and 2020! Recent attention to “Spirit of 1776” on WAMC public radio.

Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter of Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Check in with the magazine platform. Follow the musings of Marguerite Kearns, a regular Suffrage Wagon column. And sign up for email, Twitter, Facebook updates, and the quarterly newsletter. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is celebrating its 5th year of publishing in 2014.


NEW VIDEO: “Spirit of 1776” for Women’s Equality Day!

Songwriter and performer Eighty Bug

This new music video has people talking. Now you can get in on the act by watching the “Spirit of 1776” on YouTube. Songwriter and performer Eighty Bugg assembled quite a remarkable group of musicians, stage hands, filmmakers, and living history staff at the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, California.

It’s a fabulous production inspired by the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon. The music video was produced by performer and songwriter Eighty Bug; directors Edwin Carungay and Lesha Maria Rodriguez; art director Jon Lagda; and the Suffragist Sisters featuring Eighty (banjolele and vocals), her sister Savannah Creech (ukulele and vocals), Ashli Lee Christoval (ukelele and vocals), Laura Guaico (tub bass), and Lisa Lui (violin), in addition to Max McVetty (percussion), and the Integral JRAT (guitar, mixing and mastering). The Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, California provided the sets and production support.

“We’re recognizing the efforts of our ancestors by creating an anthem for women everywhere to learn and sing together,” said Eighty Bug who composed and arranged the video’s lyrics and music. Her musical career has included performances in a variety of styles, including pop, hip hop, soul, R&B, rock, country, electronica, down tempo, and dance music. She continued: “Just as Americans fought for freedom from tyranny in 1776 and suffrage activists organized for equality starting in 1848 at Seneca Falls, NY, we must continue to support our sisters today in the Middle East, India, Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, as well as throughout the world who struggle for freedom today.”

The music video pays tribute to suffragist Edna Kearns and others who hitched a horse to the “Spirit of 1776” wagon and wore colonial dress to make the connection between the American Revolution and the unfinished social revolution that left out women. Kearns’ work symbolizes the combined efforts of tens of thousands of activists across the nation who over a 72-year period participated in the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. They worked in local and state campaigns as well as in the final push to win passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

For only the audio, the “Spirit of 1776”:

Follow the Suffrage Wagon for news and views of the suffrage movement. Choose between a quarterly newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and twice weekly postings.

Will new developments in Albany, New York (Including Kathy Hochul) impact the state’s 2017 suffrage centennial?

MusingWagonTourism development is big at the White House. And the incumbent NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo chose a running mate for reelection (Kathy Hochul) that reportedly has upstate New York’s economic development in mind.

Maybe, just maybe this will translate into support and recognition for women’s history, rocking the cradle. and the importance of starting NOW to plan for the 2017 state suffrage centennial and the 2020 national suffrage centennial. Let’s get the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon back on the road again in exhibitions. And this week we’re continuing with the Suffrage Wagon Film Festival that features news and views of the suffrage movement through YouTube specials.

(1.) “The Vote: Choose it and use it” is a video reminding women voters today of the importance of finding out about the suffrage movement and how to honor the hard work of our ancestors today.

(2.) “Suffrage Centennials: Events and News” highlights why following the Suffrage Wagon is a good idea to stay up to date on news and views of the suffrage movement.

(3.) “Having Trouble Keeping up with Votes for Women News and Stories” features vintage photos of women from the turn of the 20th century. A little different spin on the topic.

Follow the Suffrage Wagon. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

When on the road, videos make a great posting!

Tea for Two at Suffrage Wagon News ChannelWarm weather already and postings aren’t as easy out on the road. Five entire days without even a glance at email. You may have missed the following short video pieces, but here’s a rerun to inspire checking in with the Suffrage Wagon by way of email, Twitter, and Facebook.

(1.) “Carry on the ‘Spirit of 1776’ by following the Suffrage Wagon” highlights why others consider Suffrage Wagon News Channel as a “go to” place for news and views of the suffrage movement.

(2.) “A Flight into the Unknown: Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel” is a reminder about the importance of carrying on the “Spirit of 1776.”

(3.) “Happy Fourth Birthday, Suffrage Wagon News Channel” highlights the four and a half years that the suffrage multi-media news channel has been featuring news and view of the suffrage movement.

Celebrate women’s freedom to vote by following Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

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.

Suffrage Wagon gathered speed in 2013 for women’s suffrage!

The "Spirit of 1776" suffrage wagonSuffrage Wagon News Channel celebrated a total of 350 posts since its inception in 2009. We have several platforms including the Suffrage Wagon blog and the web site. There’s a newsletter four times a year. I also post suffrage history on New York History, as well as Lets Rock the Cradle. Follow the suffrage wagon directly or touch in occasionally.

Edna Kearns is a 2014 National Women’s History Month nominee, as featured in the “Women’s History 2014 Gazette.”  New York Archives magazine article about the suffrage wagon, the “Spirit of 1776” highlighted and summarized its history. And the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon was honored by a resolution by both houses of the New York State Legislature designating July 1, 2013 as Wagon Day in the state. During “Hot Tea Month” in January 2014, we featured videos on tea and the suffrage movement (See Video #1, #2), as well as Ken Florey’s articles about the role tea events had in organizing for the larger movement.

Tea for Two at Suffrage Wagon News ChannelWomen’s suffrage history isn’t a top draw, so considering what’s out in the marketplace for folks to consider thinking about, this is terrific. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has come a long way in the past four years as a multi-media platform about what it took for women to win the vote from 1848 to 1920. We also follow our sisters in the UK and around the world who have a passion for their history.

Follow the suffrage wagon and subscribe on YouTube and Vimeo. You can also stay in touch with the wagon through Twitter and Facebook.

A happy 4th birthday to Suffrage Wagon, plus birthday video!

Happy Birthday, Suffrage Wagon News Channel Every year in early December there’s another birthday for Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Now it’s number four!

We’ll be celebrating 350 posts this month, and that’s quite an accomplishment. Back in the early days it wasn’t clear just how long I could keep up with blogging on a subject as focused as my suffragist grandmother Edna Kearns and her “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon. Here I am, four years later and not running out of things to say.

There’s a happy birthday video. Take a minute and smile at the thought of four candles as you send birthday greetings by way of cyberspace. Leave a comment on YouTube so that we know you’re out there cheering on the wagon as much as people took notice 100 years ago. Today the news channel keeps fans abreast of suffrage news and views, events and centennials. The story of Grandmother Edna Kearns is just as fresh as it has ever been. She represents the tens of thousands of women on the community level that it took for women to win the vote. Current affairs suggest that rights granted can also be taken away. Choose the vote and use it!

The "Spirit of 1776" article in "New York Archives"An article about the “Spirit of 1776” in the current issue of “New York Archives” demonstrates how the suffrage wagon in its centennial year continues to have juice. Suffrage centennials like this one are an opportunity to pause for reflection and honor the hard work and dedication that went into winning the vote. Take a stand and insist that rights fought for this shouldn’t be compromised. And don’t stop at the vote itself. It’s merely a tool in our toolbox as citizens.

Grandmother Edna Kearns’ birthday is on Christmas Day. She’ll be 121 years old in 2013.

Highlights of Suffrage Wagon News Channel in 2013 include the centennial celebration of the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon from Manhattan to Long Island in July of 1913. Some links:

Media about “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon resolution in the New York State Legislature during 2013: Ms. Magazine blog: #1. #2. Newsday coverage. #1. #2. Legislative Gazette. #1.#2. Votes for Women 2020. #1.  Feature from Women’s eNews. #1. #2. Albany TV coverage. #1. #2.  State Senator Little’s web page about resolution.#1. #2. Transcript of June 18, 2013 of the New York State Senate introduction of the Wagon Day (July 1, 2013) resolution. #1. #2. New York History blog. #1. 

Suffrage Wagon News Channel publishes twice a week and four times a year with a special quarterly newsletter. Follow us. “Marguerite’s Musings” are a special feature.

“Spirit of 1776” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Part III

Independence Hall, PhiladelphiaThe continuing story of the suffragists’ demonstration at the nation’s centennial celebration in Philadelphia in early July 1876.

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

. . . With this rebuff, Mrs. Mott and I decided that we would not accept the offered seats, but would be ready to open our own convention called for that day, at the First Unitarian church. But some of our younger coadjutors decided that they would occupy the seats and present our Declaration of Rights. They said truly, women will be taxed to pay the expenses of this celebration, and we have as good a right to that platform and to the ears of the people as the men have, and we will be heard. That historic Fourth of July dawned at last, one of the most oppressive days of that heated season. Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Phcebe W. Couzins made their way through the crowds under the broiling sun of Independence Square, carrying the Woman’s Declaration of Rights.

This Declaration had been handsomely engrossed by one of their number, and signed by the oldest and most prominent advocates of woman’s enfranchisement. Their tickets of admission proved an “open sesame” through the military barriers, and, a few moments before the opening of the ceremonies, these women found themselves within the precincts from which most of their sex were excluded. The Declaration of 1776 was read by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, about whose family clusters so much historic fame. The moment he finished reading was determined upon as the appropriate time for the presentation of the Woman’s Declaration. Not quite sure how their approach might be met, not quite certain if, at this final moment, they would be permitted to reach the presiding officer, those ladies arose and made their way down the aisle.

The bustle of preparation for the Brazilian hymn covered their advance. The foreign guests and the military and civil officers who filled the space directly in front of the speaker’s stand, courteously made way, while Miss Anthony, in fitting words, presented the Declaration to the presiding officer. Senator Ferry’s face paled as, bowing low, with no word he received the Declaration, which thus became part of the day’s proceedings. The ladies turned, scattering printed copies as they deliberately walked down from the platform. On every side eager hands were outstretched, men stood on seats and asked for them, while General Hawley, thus defied and beaten in his audacious denial to women of the right to present their Declaration, shouted, “Order, order!”

For more information, visit the Suffrage Wagon platform at suffragewagon.org This year is the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. Join us in a special celebration: a video, a book review, and links when planning a visit to Seneca Falls, NY. Part IV, the final installment of this suffrage series, coming soon.

Suffrage Wagon features news and stories, events. One recent suffrage centennial acknowledged the first journey of the “Spirit of 1776” campaign wagon used in New York City and on Long Island.

The “Spirit of 1776” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I

Suffrage activists didn’t let the centennial of the Declaration of Independence pass in 1876 without a demonstration. In this chapter of her memoir, Elizabeth Cady Stanton explains the preparations associated with traveling to Philadelphia to make the point that the American Revolution remained unfinished as long as women were denied the ballot and basic civil rights.

Fireworks. Photo: Tom Walsh.

Chapter XVIII: The Spirit of ’76

THE year 1876 was one of intense excitement and laborious activity throughout the country. The anticipation of the centennial birthday of the Republic, to be celebrated in Philadelphia, stirred the patriotism of the people to the highest point of enthusiasm. As each state was to be represented in the great exhibition, local pride added another element to the public interest. Then, too, everyone who could possibly afford the journey was making busy preparations to spend the Fourth of July, the natal day of the Republic, ‘mid the scenes where the Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776, the government inaugurated, and the first national councils were held.

MAKING JULY 4TH A WOMAN’S DAY

Those interested in women’s political rights decided to make the Fourth a woman’s day, and to celebrate the occasion, in their various localities, by delivering orations and reading their own declaration of rights, with dinners and picnics in the town halls or groves, as most convenient. But many from every state in the Union made their arrangements to spend the historic period in Philadelphia. Owing, also, to the large number of foreigners who came over to join in the festivities, that city was crammed to its utmost capacity. With the crowd and excessive heat, comfort was everywhere sacrificed to curiosity. .  . .

As the lyceum season lasted from October to June, I was late in reaching Philadelphia. Appropriate headquarters for the National Suffrage Association
had been found on the lower floor of No. 143 1 Chestnut Street. As it was the year for nominating candidates for the presidency of the United States, the Repub-
licans and Democrats were about to hold their great conventions. Hence letters were to be written to them recommending a woman suffrage plank in their
platforms, and asking seats for women in the conventions, with the privilege of being heard in their own behalf.

WRITING THE WOMAN’S DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Then it was thought pre-eminently proper that a Woman’s Declaration of Rights should be issued. Days and nights were spent over that document. After many twists from analytical tweezers, with a critical consideration of every word and sentence, it was at last, by a consensus of the competent, pronounced very good. Thousands were ordered to be printed, and were folded, put in envelopes, stamped, directed, and scattered. Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, and I worked sixteen hours a day, pressing everyone who came in, into the service, and late at night carrying immense bundles to be mailed. With meetings, receptions, and a succession of visitors, all of whom we plied with woman suffrage literature, we felt we had accomplished a great educational work.

Coming soon: Part II. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon carried on the theme of the national suffrage movement, which was the unfinished American Revolution. Photo: Tom Walsh. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote. Visit our main news channel platform.

What was Edna Kearns doing on June 27, 1913?

What was Grandmother Edna Kearns doing in June 100 years ago? Grassroots organizing at every opportunity. There were meetings –outdoors, indoors, up on soapboxes, standing on automobiles, out with the “Spirit of 1776” wagon on the beach, and anywhere a crowd gathered. Such is the nature of grassroots organizing. You get out the message however you can, where ever you can. The South Side Observer was a Long Island paper. Edna knocked on editors’ doors with her columns and special suffrage reports. For information about Edna Kearns, her life and work –video and bio.

And now the answer as to what Edna Kearns was doing on June 27th one hundred years ago. She was clipping the newspaper to preserve a record of her grassroots organizing:
South Side Observer, June 27, 1913

What did Edna Kearns do on the 4th of July, 1913?

Grandmother Edna Kearns hitched a horse to her “Spirit of 1776” wagon and headed to the shore at Long Beach on Long Island. She took two outfits with her: a bathing suit and a white dress with a “Votes for Women” sash. What a crowd on the beach that day, and the group of women made a splash. Edna even got out in the surf to make a “voiceless speech,” a tactic of the suffrage movement which fell under the category of the visual rhetoric associated with sophisticated public relations. Take a look at this link. The suffrage campaign wagon again made the NY Times.

“Appeal to Liberty” on behalf of the foremothers. . .

Read at the feet of the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 1915

To the Men of New York,

We therefore appeal to you, in the name of justice and fair play, for relief from the intolerable position in which we have been placed.

We protest that no Government is just which taxes and governs half its people without their consent.

We protest that no Government is efficient which is guilty of so absurd a discrimination as that of putting a vote in the hand of male paupers and denying that privilege to at least a third of its taxpayers; of counting the opinion of illiterate males, and denying that count to the 41,000 women teachers of the State.

We protest that no Government is sound which pretends to secure the highest welfare to its people, yet pays no heed to what half its people want.

We protest that no Government is logical which elevates half its people regardless of qualifications to sovereignty and condemns the other half to political subjection.

Justice gave you the vote, in the name of that same great virtue, we ask you to give it to us!

For news clips about the entire story about the “Appeal to Liberty” and Edna Kearns carrying on the work on Long Island, follow this link.

Splits in suffrage movement didn’t deter working relationships

Mrs. Raymond Brown took over after Harriett May Mills as president of New York’s state suffrage organization. A rare recording of Mrs. Brown speaking is a valuable look at the period, as well as a reference in one of Grandmother Edna Kearns’ newspaper columns that she wasn’t all that pleased with Mrs. Brown being selected as state president. Despite her personal opinion, Kearns and Brown worked closely together on suffrage organizing of Long Island. Photo: Library of Congress.

Long and Short Suffrage Hikes

A rare and precious film clip of 1913 showing Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman leaving on a hike to Washington, DC for suffrage gives a sense of, not only their courage, but the intense interest in women voting and the need to accelerate the pressure. The story in my family was that my grandmother, Edna Buckman Kearns, planned to take the wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” on the long trip with Rosalie and Elisabeth, but she backed out at the last minute for health reasons. Edna went to the big march in Washington, but couldn’t commit to the long ordeal of the hikers underwent.

Edna, her husband Wilmer Kearns and their daughter Serena Kearns accompanied Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman on the 1914 hike to Albany in January, no small accomplishment. Hiking as a media event in the suffrage movement received considerable publicity.