Tag Archives: Woodrow Wilson

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.

100 Years Ago in Two Videos: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's MusingsONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serena Kearns, youngest White House picket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Marguerite's Musings" with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

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

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

Suffrage Wagon supports suffragist memorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A video about the suffrage movement.

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

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

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

Marguerite Kearns on Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A video about the suffrage movement.

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

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

Day #8, Podcast #3 of the “Night of Terror” series

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

Day #8. I actually wondered if I could fit daily blogging until November 15th (the “Night of Terror”) into my busy schedule. It’s amazing what’s possible and this project is worth the extra time. Join the group of suffrage pickets by listening to this third podcast as they arrive at the Occoquan Workhousein 1917, from the perspective of Mrs. Nolan from Florida.

The suffrage prisoners insisted on being treated as political prisoners. The podcasts feature actual testimony from the accounts of the suffragists who experienced the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse.  Get a feel for what happened with this special audio series. The history of the National Woman’s Party and the Woodrow Wilson administration is featured in these eight audio podcasts.

The election is over. I’ve been blogging for seven days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership between Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association and Suffrage Wagon News Channel. The goal is to fund and build a suffragist memorial on or before the 2020 suffrage centennial.

 

Here’s Podcast #3 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

Suffrage Wagon supports suffragist memorial

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

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

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

We want to make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

VIDEO: Teach about the suffrage movement. Put stories of the American suffrage movement into the mainstream of the nation’s awareness. Get ready to celebrate the 2020 Votes for Women centennial when American women will have been voting for 100 years.

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