Tag Archives: women’s suffrage

No more goody-goody two shoes: Suffrage activists speak to us from the past!

Doris StevensECS-reporter2
Who are these two women? Left, Doris Stevens. Right, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Both weren’t shrinking violets although if you learned conventional history in school, they were overshadowed by men in the story of this nation. We’re in the midst of suffrage centennial fever that started with state centennial celebrations launched by the western states.

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS ARE HITTING THE NATION BY STORM!

In recent years, the following states celebrated their centennials of women winning the vote prior to 1920: Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas and Oregon (1912). Montana and Nevada observed one hundred years of women voting in 2014 with special events, projects and activities. New York’s centennial celebration is scheduled for 2017, with Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota to follow. And oh, yes. There’s the upcoming national suffrage centennial in 2020.

We aren’t going back far in time to hunt for feisty and amazing ancestors and family members. They’re speaking to us from the past NOW. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been on the case, publishing since 2009, to bring you up to date. We’re not balanced and full and effective human beings without embracing those who came before us. That’s why we’re clearing the decks so that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Doris Stevens can speak their truth. Love them or hate them, we stand on their shoulders. Now’s the time to let them speak their minds.

THREE AUDIO PODCAST SERIES SHOW THE U.S. SUFFRAGE ACTIVISTS FOR THE COMPLEX AND PERSISTENT AND FESITY INDIVIDUALS THEY WERE:

(1.) “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7. The story of the women of Seneca Falls, NY who planned the 1848 women’s rights convention. These audio podcasts tell how these activists had to get out of their comfort zone to pull off a social revolt in mind and spirit that sent shock waves through the nation in 1848. These selections by Elizabeth Cady Stanton are from her memoir, Eighty Years and More. Audio by LibriVox. Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

(2.) “Playing Politics with the President.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7. Podcast #8. Podcast #9. This podcast series shows how from 1913 to 1917 that bolder tactics and strategies would become necessary if American women were to win the right to vote. Success came about as a result of everyone working together, especially the contributions of feisty devil-may-care types who worked alongside more traditional types of women. These podcasts are from Jailed For Freedom by Doris Stevens. Audio by LibriVox. Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

(3.) “The Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7. Podcast #8. The story of how militant women suffrage activists were beaten and terrorized one night in their prison cells near the nation’s capitol in 1917. This audio narrative series isn’t for the faint of heart. The stories told here don’t represent the sentiment of all of the suffrage activists, but rather a segment of them who didn’t mind stepping out of women’s traditional roles and putting their bodies on the line. All of the activists contributed to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. These podcasts are from Jailed For Freedom by Doris Stevens. Audio by LibriVox. Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe has launched its storytelling series with the tale of how Bess, the best friend of Edna Kearns, got in trouble with her parents for a radical book circulating the rounds among young women of that generation. Stop by the Suffrage Wagon Cafe and meet Bess.

Suffrage Wagon CafeMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has a video platform on Vimeo

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.

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

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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

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

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

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

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

BESS RAIDED THE PUBLIC LIBRARY SHELVES FOR BOOKS BY WOMEN WRITERS

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

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

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

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

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WILMER KEARNS ENTERED THE PICTURE . . .

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

COMING SOON: THE BOOK THAT GOT BESS IN DEEP TROUBLE WITH HER PARENTS. You’ll be able to experience the book yourself on audio.
SuffrageWagonCafeMeet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube

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

A women’s suffrage myth & a great free book with the inside story! Marguerite’s Musings.

“Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens is featured book on Suffrage Bookshelf on Vimeo.

You can listen to the “Jailed for Freedom” book read free on Librivox.
Suffrage Movement Myth

by Marguerite Kearns

Have you heard the perspective referred to above that has been getting spread around lately? It compares the English and American suffrage movements and concludes that the English suffragette movement was exciting and creative while the American suffrage activists were boring and trite. So sad that these sister movements are being pitted against each other. If there’s anything positive about this old myth being trotted out into public, it’s to give these faulty assumptions an airing.

THE MYTH COMPARING ENGISH AND AMERICAN ACTIVISTS

The myth of exciting versus boring relies on the assumption that the English suffragists’ use of property damage, that is, a degree of violence, placed the English suffrage movement in a position of being considered more interesting than the American women who were “polite.” Translate that to “nonviolent.”

Sweeping generalizations underlie this myth. In fact, the women’s rights movements in England and the United States were committed to nonviolence. And later on, the English tactics that included property damage were controversial in their time and did not represent the sentiments of all English women engaged in the movement. Suffrage activists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean argued vehemently about the best tactics and strategies necessary to reach their goals. And while they disagreed about tactics, they remained committed to the goal of freedom.

"Marguerite's Musings" on Suffrage Wagon News ChannelTHROWING ROCKS AND BLOWING UP MAILBOXES

Sadly, the perspective comparing the Americans and the English relies on a misunderstanding. Nonviolent tactics and strategies are considerably more difficult and challenging to implement than a decision to resort to violence. Throwing rocks definitely has more juice for the purpose of a mainstream film. A commitment to nonviolent social change isn’t as visual and tension producing as deciding to blow up a mailbox.

In fact, the ties between American and English activists were close. And both movements, for all their differences, can be plotted on the same path of working within a rigid political and social structure to accomplish similar goals while facing considerable resistance from government to win voting rights. While the American suffrage activists remained committed to nonviolent strategies, there’s no doubt that violence was used against them, especially those who picketed the White House in 1917 and were imprisoned and assaulted by authorities.

THE SIMILARITIES ARE IMPORTANT TO APPRECIATE

Both the suffrage activists in England and the U.S. went up against hard-core resistance. The picketing of the White House in 1917 heightened awareness of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. And if these activists hadn’t been successful in impacting national policy, it’s difficult to predict now, in retrospect, if U.S. women would have won the right to vote at all in 1920.

This old tired myth comparing the two movements will hopefully lose its power once the public is better informed about the spirit and determination and dedication that kept American suffrage activists with their eye on the prize. Check out Doris Stevens’ work, “Jailed for Freedom.” These free audio files from Librivox fill in more of what it took for American women to win voting rights.

As more research on the women’s suffrage movement is completed, books are published, and the constituency interested in this part of history grows stronger, we’ll join hands across the Atlantic. I envision a grand parade or awards banquet where English and American women honor our suffrage activist ancestors and properly celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment of winning voting rights together.

Onward to the 2020 suffrage centennial celebration!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

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

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Meet your friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

 

Come along to Seneca Falls, NY with us for a program at Suffrage Wagon Cafe: June 8, 2015

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

 

 

 

This special program from Suffrage Wagon Cafe features Seneca Falls, NY and the importance of making a journey or pilgrimage there to connect to our roots. PLENTY OF VIDEOS AND RESOURCES!

Head out for the afternoon to the Suffrage Wagon Cafe? on Vimeo.

Seneca Falls, NYWelcome to the Suffrage Wagon Cafe with a special program on Secena Falls, NY. There, the odds were at least a million to one or higher against the small band of 68 women and 32 men who showed up in Seneca Falls, NY in mid-July of 1848 to sign their own version of the Declaration of Independence and challenge the status quo. These brave souls relied on each other and brave allies for reassurance, support, and nourishment. And they realized that if they didn’t do something, few others would be able to take the issue of inequality to the level where it needed to go. Make no mistake about this important event in American history: a handful of people got the ball rolling.

Suffrage tea cupsWas the 1848 convention in Seneca Falls, NY as important as people claim it was? Find out the details in this special report now available at the web site of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY.

Five women met together in a house near Seneca Falls in July of 1848. They wrote up their grievances, published an announcement in the newspaper for the convention, and held their collective breaths. It not unlike today when we take a stand against injustice, telephone or contact friends and family, and then send messages by way of social media, emails, letters, leaflets, and text messages. The activists of 1848 showed up in Seneca Falls to meet together and they kept stepping. Many wondered if they could accomplish the goal of equality in their lifetimes. But a core of stubborn activists persisted. “Yes, we can and we will,” they insisted. The rest is history and we’re celebrating this accomplishment today!

Suffrage Wagon CafePACK A SUITCASE:

(1.) Convention Days in Seneca Falls, NY,  July 17-19, 2015. A two-day celebration has a schedule, not yet announced. Check the Convention Days web site for details as they become available.

(2.) The 200th birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton during 2015. Save the date for an evening at Cooper Union in New York City on November 12, 2015 for a big birthday bash. See details. And then party yourself at home or in your own community. Be inspired by a virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton and then plan one yourself.

(3.) Places to visit in Seneca Falls, NY include the NPS Women’s Rights National Park, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and other local attractions.

SuffrageWagonCafeRESOURCES: Plan a trip to Seneca Falls, NY. Take advantage of this seven-part audio series, “Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls,” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton from her book, Eighty Years and More. The reading is by Librivox and the production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

“Trouble Brewing in Seneca Falls.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3. Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7.

Seneca Falls, NY is a pilgrimage and a destination! See the Women’s Rights National Park! on Vimeo.

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

Musical Tribute to Suffrage Leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton during her 200th birthday celebration in 2015! on Vimeo.

Significance of Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848 featured in special report! 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.

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.

Women’s suffrage news update & two videos!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGONWomen’s suffrage news from Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Vimeo.

 

It’s that time of the month for the news highlights from Suffrage Wagon News Channel. There wasn’t time to add the update about the NYS Senate passing the state suffrage centennial planning commission for 2017. But there’s plenty to say about the matter. See coverage on SuffrageCentennials.com. If you’re a New Yorker, contact your representative in the NYS Assembly and support appropriations for the state commission whose work will extend from 2017, the state suffrage centennial, to 2020, the suffrage centennial for the United States.

VIDEO: Answer the Clarion Call to Celebrate New York State’s 2017 Suffrage Centennial on Vimeo.

suffrageFollow 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.

Making coffee is a wake-up call for action when you follow the Suffrage Wagon!

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School clears the decks to make great cup of coffee  on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School celebrates its first birthday this year. We’ll be visiting farmers’ markets this summer and blazing new trails, that is, if you come along with us. Over the past year, our in-house chef has featured how to make a pot of tea, roasted corn (in honor of Edna Kearns), as well as scones and fortune cookies. Now Chef Cutting will demonstrate making coffee with a French press. This video is the preview. And the actual demonstration is coming soon!

Coffee is a wake-up call for action. There are two action campaigns that need your support: the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress AND a petition to the legislature of the State of New York to get moving on creating and funding a 2017 commission to celebrate the state’s 100 anniversary of women winning the vote.

Go ASAP to the petition to light a fire under the NYS Legislature about a 2017 funded commission for the 2017 suffrage centennial.

The ERA Ratification bills have been introduced into the 114th Congress. Your help is needed now to show support. EqualRightsAmendment.org is an informative web platform operated by the Alice Paul Institute. For more information on the Equal Rights Amendment, visit the Equal Rights Coalition. More about this as the bills wind their way through the U.S. Congress. This is what our suffrage ancestors initiated and it’s our job to complete the work!

IN OTHER NEWS: The “10 Days in a Madhouse” film was screened at the Cannes film festival. It’s the story of Nellie Bly and her undercover ten days in a mental hospital before the turn of the 20th century. Nellie also covered the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC.

Eighty Bug awardDuring May, Suffrage Wagon Cafe featured an interview with Eighty Bug, the award-winning performer and song writer of “Spirit of 1776: A New Suffragette Anthem.” And her dessert recipes at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School were a hit too.

Did you miss April’s news notes video from the news channel? Here it is.


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 activists thought outside the box!

suffragettes_england_1908How do suffrage stories speak to us today? They tell us that there’s a long history of people who reached toward change and had no idea in the moment of the impact and outcome of what they were doing. What’s the message for today? Think outside the box. Even if you’re convinced your cause is hopeless, take an important step by documenting your campaign. Small actions become larger in significance over time.

Suffragist activists in the U.S. and England both went up into the air to make their point. One story is about Long Island suffragist Roaslie Jones who tied down her skirts with blue string in 1913, gathered together a stack of yellow Votes for Women leaflets, and took off in a plane from the Staten Island airport for a trip to throw the literature from the sky.

Reminder to vote from 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.

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.