Sunday, June 25, 2017

NY SUFFRAGE | Centennial, June-Nov 2017 (Updated Aug 7, 2017)

Historical marker of the home of May Groot
Manson, East Hampton suffragist. Unveiled,
 June 2017.
Women won the right to vote in New York State in November 1917.

That was three years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the vote in national elections.

Nationally, anti-suffragists warned that when a woman received the right to vote,
''Political gossip would cause her to neglect the home, forget to mend our clothes and burn the biscuits.''
New York State became a pivotal state in the national suffrage campaign. Women who had never dealt with larger units than missionary societies, literary clubs or cake sales were given territory with 16,000 or more voters and ordered to reach every one of these men.

Much of the activity centered on New York City, which was the home of suffragist leaders like Inez Milholland, Crystal Eastman, Harriot Stanton Blatch and Alva Vanderbilt Belmont.

Marker. Photo by JT Marlin, June 25, 2017.
East Hampton in August 1913 was the site of a suffrage rally, starting in front of the home of suffrage leader May Groot Manson on Main Street, across from First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton.

Westchester County was a hotbed of suffrage activists, who enrolled 20,000 women in 102 suffragist clubs. The cause brought Social Register ("Blue Book") women together with women workers in trade unions and homemakers in modest homes to work under a common banner.

Westchester County's four Assembly Districts were led by a suffragist leader — Mrs. Arthur Livermore of Yonkers, Mrs. Leigh French of New Rochelle, Mrs. Marshall Backon of Tarrytown and Adelaide Goan of Katonah. The State League of Women Voters was opened to male members, and men composed about 10 percent of the county group.

New Rochelle was the home of Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association. Following the state success in passing votes for women in 1917, Mrs. Catt organized the New York State League of Women Voters, saying:
''What are we going to do? We know nothing about politics. We've got the vote. Now we must learn to use it.''
Famed Portrait by Sargent of May
Groot Manson. It was a house gift
 from the painter.
Scarborough was home to Narcissa Cox Vanderlip who became the first president of the Woman's Suffrage party (later called the New York State League of Women Voters). She agreed to organize volunteers to take a "military census" of able-bodied men in the county. She surveyed 320,000 residents and saved taxpayers thousands of dollars. The New York Sun said in 1917:
''One of the common reproaches against suffragettes is that they are not interested in anything but getting the vote. The Woman's Suffrage Party is disproving the accusation.''
White Plains was the site of a project begun by S. J. Russell, a leader of the White Plains suffrage association. In 1914, Russell organized a ''baby-checking'' service to encourage women to exercise the vote they had won in local town and village elections.



June 29 (Thursday) One Woman, One Vote at the Adirondack History Museum, Lewis, Essex County, N.Y. Lewis is the birthplace of Inez Milholland.


New Yorker Inez Milholland Boissevain,
well portrayed in a reading of "Take Up
 the Song" at the Westwood  Country Club,
Vienna, Virginia in June. The black-tie
event raised $20,000 for the Turning
Point Suffrage Memorial.
July 4 (Tuesday), 10 a.m. Parade in Southampton. Parade forms at 9 a.m. Wear white, and “Votes for Women” sashes ($10 donation). To sign up, email Judi Roth at rothhandj@ or Arlene Hinkemeyer at ahinkemeyer@

July 13 (Thursday), 11 a.m. Southampton Historical Museum and Rogers Memorial Library present Natalie Naylor’s PowerPoint talk on “Winning Votes for Women,” about L.I. suffrage leaders. Southampton Historical Museum, 17 Meeting House Lane. Dr. Naylor, a retired Hofstra professor, is president of the Nassau County Historical Society.

July 16 (Sunday). Afternoon Tea, Talk and Tour, celebrating Mary Louise Booth. Yaphank Historical Society, 469 Main Street, Yaphank, NY 11980, (631) 924-0146.


August 24 (Thursday), 2-4 p.m. Re-creation of August 1913 suffrage rally in East Hampton, starting in front of the home of suffrage leader May Groot Manson on Main Street, across from First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton. Wear white or period dress, “Votes for Women” sashes, and choose to be one of the prominent women/men who marched in 1913 (names recorded in 1917 E.H. Star article). Rally ends with program and refreshments at E.H. Library. Buy your sash for $10 donation, email to sign up. Hamptons 100th Anniversary.


October 19 (Thursday), 6 p.m. East Hampton Library, Tom Twomey Lecture Series, talk by Antonia Petrash and Arlene Hinkemeyer, on Long Island and South Fork suffrage leaders. Moderated by Judith Hope, hosted by Brooke Kroeger. Includes historical exhibit, student presentation, and reception.

October 21 (Saturday), 12 Noon. Rally at the Nassau County Legislative Bldg.


November 4 Votes for Women exhibition opens at The New York State Museum in Albany, NY. The six-panel traveling exhibition will be on view at venues throughout NY State: Albany City Hall, Clinton Historical Society, Cortland County Historical Society, Eastville Community Historical Society, Geneva Historical Society, Katonah Village Library, Lorenzo State Historic Site, National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, New York State Fair, Niagara County Historical Society, The History Center, and the Seneca Falls Historical Society

November 19 (Sunday), 3 p.m. Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton Historical Museum and SAC, a Suffrage Musical Revue!, directed by Valerie di Lorenzo, at Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, refreshments, $10.

Sources:, http://longislandwomansuffrage.comThe New York Times, 1917. The New York Sun, April 29, 1917

Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention . The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender

Sunday, June 4, 2017

PULITZER CENTENNIAL | June 4, First Awards Include Suffragist Bio

June 4, 2017 — On this day in 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded from a $250,000 fund left to Columbia University by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. His will also launched the University's journalism school. He specified: 
"four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships.” 
The prizes were awarded after his death. Nowadays they are awarded every April.

The prize for biography went to Laura Elizabeth Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, who wrote about  their mother, the 19th-century writer and suffragist Julia Ward Howe, at a time when women were picketing the White House on behalf of the Anthony Amendment. Howe was an abolitionist and suffragist best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

The other three awardees in 1917 were:
  • Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the United States from 1902 to 1925, for history: With Americans of Past and Present Days. 
  • Herbert B. Swope of the New York World won the prize for journalism. In his acceptance remarks, he said: 
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula of failure — which is try to please everybody.”
  • The New York Tribune for its editorials on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

19TH AMENDMENT | Credit for Success, Pen and Inkstand

Gold pen awarded to NAWSA after the
 Senate passed the Anthony Amendment.
A gold pen looms large in the final days of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which recognized the right of all adult American women to vote in elections.

After the passage of the Anthony Amendment in the Senate, a gold pen used in signing the law was awarded to NAWSA. This became a source of irritation to the National Woman's Party, which was originally an offshoot of NAWSA but became independent.

After the August 26, 1920 signing of the ratification of the 19th Amendment by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, he said that the pen he used to sign off on the ratification, as is required under the Constitution, was a standard steel pen, not a gold one.

The New York Times editorial suggested that two rival suffrage organizations, jockeying to take credit, both deserved credit. So while the gold pen may have gone to NAWSA, a silver inkstand should go to the National Woman's Party. A detailed analysis by the Library of Congress of the final days before President Woodrow Wilson changed his mind about supporting the Anthony Amendment shows that the initiatives were constantly emanating from the National Woman's Party, at great personal cost to the activists. It would be a great injustice to minimize the role of the activists, just as it would also be unfair to ignore the long years of patient lobbying undertaken by NAWSA.

Colby suggests that the pen he used to sign the certification of the 19th Amendment would end up in the Smithsonian. I don't know if this happened.

But the gold pen used in the signing of the Senate's approval of what had been called the Anthony Amendment is indeed at the Smithsonian. It  is part of the Women's History Collections, Political Collections of the Division of Social History in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.