The sturdy wooden wagon on display in the New York State capital last summer was the centerpiece of an exhibit called “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court- New York’s Women Leading the Way.” Unheard of in 1776 and unsecured until 1920, the women’s vote has become critical to candidates’ success.
The suffrage movement of the early 20th century evokes the stamina and discernment needed to address the overwhelming values crisis that’s challenging the American spirit now. Continue reading →
Olympia Brown made U.S. history in the North Country 150 years ago, early this summer. She became the first woman to become a fully ordained minister with a degree from a regularly established theological school. Olympia was ordained in the Universalist Church of Malone by the St. Lawrence Association of Universalists on June 25, 1863 and graduated from the St. Lawrence University Theological School in Canton two weeks later, on July 9, 1863.
Throughout the remainder of her 91-year-old life, she was an outspoken Universalist preacher and a fearless campaigner for suffrage and equal rights for women. Olympia marched, lectured, testified, published, protested and picketed a myriad of times from coast to coast. Continue reading →
Love was too important to be left in the hands of the state, thought Victoria Woodhull. And she said so, at Steinway Hall just off Union Square in New York City in 1871, speaking to a packed audience on the principle of “social freedom,” the code word for the right to choose your sexual partners.
“Yes, I am a free Lover, I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long a period as I can, to change that love every day if I please.” The audience went wild. Continue reading →
There’s going to be dancing in the streets of New York City next winter!
Gotham will host a Super Bowl, putting the city in the same big boys league as Dallas and Miami. As Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced, the grand spectacle is coming off after many years of planning by knowledgeable gentlemen with their eyes on hoopla and tourist dollars. Continue reading →
Artist John Sloan is better known but his wife Dolly was a tireless campaigner for causes in the Village. Sloan’s diaries are full of vignettes describing her buzzing off to demonstrations for the Socialist Party, the International Workers of the World (IWW), and Suffrage. He seems to be following her, and soaking up the atmosphere, more than out there professing his beliefs.
However, Sloan supported votes for women and rights for workers, and drew illustrations for such left wing publications as The Call. Continue reading →
Irene’s flooding in August 2011 prevented Penny Colman from getting to Peterboro to discuss her new book Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World. Colman has arranged with the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark to discuss and sign her work at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 25, 2012.
Colman will highlight the friendship between Stanton and her cousin Gerrit Smith of Peterboro, who she once called “the sage of Peterboro.” Stanton spent summers in Peterboro in the 1830s and it was during these visits that she met Henry Brewster Stanton and he proposed marriage to her. Smith’s daughter Elizabeth and Stanton were close friends with each other and with Anthony. In the spring of 1851 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were introduced to each other on a street corner in Seneca Falls NY. Immediately drawn to each other, they formed an everlasting and legendary friendship. Together, they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote, despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements, and betrayal by their friends and allies.
Penny Colman weaves commentary, events, quotations, and personalities into her book Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World and into her program on the two famous women’s rights activists. Colman writes about illustrious, but not typically well-known, women and a wide range of significant and intriguing topics in her books for all ages: Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II, Corpses, and Thanksgiving: The True Story. She has taught nonfiction literature and creative writing at colleges and universities, including Ohio State University, Queens College, the City University of New York and Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Englewood, New Jersey.
The following day Sunday, August 26, Norman K. Dann PhD. shares his research for his upcoming book Cousins of Reform on the relationship between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Gerrit Smith. Respected researcher and author of Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform, Dann became interested in the lively and stimulating relationship between two of the principal leaders of 19th Century reform in America. Dann delighted and admired Stanton’s pluck in standing strong in her convictions – even when her admired older cousin challenged her.
Gerrit Smith’s reform efforts are also part of a new interpretive exhibition at the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark installed in mid July. People coming to the Equality Weekend programs are encouraged to come before and stay after the presentations in order to view the new exhibits.
Admission at each site is three dollars. Students are free. For more information and updates www.sca-peterboro.org
The annual Susan B. Anthony Festival is set for Saturday, August 18, 2012 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Susan B. Anthony Square Park between Madison and King streets in Rochester. The events celebrates the 92nd anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women throughout the country the right to vote.
Music and entertainment will be provided in the park by the Hochstein School of Music and Dance as well as the Rochester Raging Grannies, a group that promotes peace, justice, and social and economic equality through song and dance. Food vendors and unique crafts vendors will sell their goods in the park. Authentic nineteenth-century base ball (it was actually two words when it first began in the 19th century!) demonstrations will be provided by Genesee Country Village’s women base ball team, in period costumes, following the rules and etiquette of the game as it was played in the 1800s.
Walking tours of this historic 19th century Historic Preservation District will also be offered. Tours of the Anthony House will be available beginning at 11 a.m. at the special admission price that day only of $5.00 for all ages.
The event is presented by the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association and the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Deborah L. Hughes, President of the Anthony House, explains, “This annual event is close to our hearts because it recognizes the date—August 26, 1920—when the 19th amendment was officially declared law by the Secretary of State after it was ratified by the required 36 states. It honors the women and men who struggled so long—over 72 years—and so hard—often at personal danger—to achieve equality for women. Many of those who worked so fervently in the cause, including Susan B. Anthony, did not live to see the amendment finally ratified. We thank them each year with this festival.”
The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 signed by President Obama authorized the Women’s Rights National Historical Park (NHP) to administer a Votes for Women History Trail Route that would link properties in the New York State that are historically and thematically associated with the struggle for women’s suffrage in the United States.Upstate New York is home to some of the most significant locations of the women’s suffrage movement and the trail is expected to recognize some of the courageous women who led the way to equal rights and will also allow visitors to see the historic places where these pioneering actions occurred.
Although Women’s Rights NHP was authorized to develop and administer this vehicular route, until now no funds had been appropriated for this purpose. The National Park Service recently provided funds through the Park Service’s Washington office to begin the process of formally establishing the trail by defining the criteria for participation and a selection process by which trail sites would be selected.
The Women’s Rights NHP will be holding a public meeting to seek public comments and suggestions on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 in Seneca Falls regarding the Votes for Women History Trail Route. All are invited to attend this meeting and share ideas. More information about the time and location of the August public meeting will be made available as soon as it is available.
For more information, please the website www.nps.gov/wori or call (315) 568-0024.
To be considered for inclusion in the trail, the National Park Service requires that properties be historically significant and easily accessible to the public. The list of potential sites includes:
* Susan B. Anthony Memorial, Rochester
* Antoinette Brown Blackwell Childhood Home, Henrietta
The Women’s Rights National Historical Park program for the 164th Anniversary of the First Women’s Rights Convention begins today and continue through July 22, 2012 in Seneca Falls, NY. All events will be free of charge.
Several programs are being offered during the Anniversary events. Artist Carol Flueckiger will present a program and several art workshops as a part of Women’s Rights NHP’s ongoing ARTS AFIRE! programs. Melinda Grube will portray Elizabeth Cady Stanton in two different programs on Saturday, July 21, and Pamela L. Poulin will portray Matilda Joslyn Gage in two different programs on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22.Paul and Mary Kuhn will present phrenology demonstrations, and Bonnie Breed will present lace-making demonstrations as part of the Anniversary events. The Hutchinson Family Revival will perform abolitionist, temperance, and women’s rights songs. Also, Women’s Rights NHP Social Media Coordinator Stephanie Freese will live-blog during the Anniversary events.
For more information about the program of events visit their website. A listing of the Convention Days events in Seneca Falls can be found on the Convention Days Committee website.
For more information, visit he Women’s Rights National Historical Park website or call (315) 568-0024. You can also follow the park’s social media sites for Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their upcoming programs.
Julie A. Gallagher’s Black Women and Politics in New York City (2012, Univ. of Illinois Press) is a remarkable contribution to twentieth-century political history that documents six decades of politically active black women in New York City. These are Black women as liberal reformers, from suffrage to civil rights, who waged struggles for justice, rights, and equality not through grassroots activism but through formal politics.
In tracing the paths of black women activists from women’s clubs and civic organizations to national politics–including appointments to presidential commissions, congressional offices, and even a presidential candidacy–Gallagher also articulates the vision of politics the women developed and its influence on the Democratic party and its policies. Deftly examining how race, gender, and the structure of the state itself shape outcomes, she exposes the layers of power and discrimination at work in all sectors of U.S. society. Continue reading →