Monday, March 12, 2018

ANTHONY AND STANTON | Statue Campaign

L to R: Stanton, Anthony, Mott.
March 12, 2018 – Gary Ferdman's birthday is today and he wants you to give money to his campaign to have statues erected in New York City memory of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first of the two to become committed to the Votes for Women cause. Stanton was at the Seneca Falls Convention; Anthony was converted to the cause a couple of years later, although her Rochester-area Quaker family was long committed to the abolitionist movement.

Stanton met Lucretia Mott in London at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Conference and the were told that women should keep quiet and sit in a special section reserved for non-voting observers. They were outraged, but Lucretia Mott went back to Philadelphia where she was a famed Quaker orator. Stanton had several children in succession and found her life as a mother in Seneca Falls to be difficult.

There is no statue to Stanton or Anthony in New York City. Famously, the statues to women are of ancient Greek or Roman gods, or Mother Goose. Mott, Stanton and Anthony are remembered in a sculpture in the U.S. Capitol building. Edna St Vincent Millay, who married the widower of Inez Milholland, wrote a poem dedicated (in the printed version) to Inez Milholland, which she read out in 1923 at an unveiling of the statue. This is the ending of a play I wrote about Milholland that was read at a fund-raiser in Vienna, Va. in 2017.

Millay and Milholland were both New Yorkers in the sense of New York City dwellers (Milholland was born in Brooklyn and lived there and on Madison Square; Millay became a Greenwich Village aficionado). It would be just as appropriate in due course to have monuments to these great women in the City. Millay was a student at Vassar when Milholland visited the college as an alumna with her husband, my mother's uncle, at Vassar's 50th Anniversary.

I have donated toward the erection of the statues to Stanton and Anthony. My second contribution is this appeal, in addition to the one I posted in 2016. Please give!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

WOMEN ON THE MARCH | 1912-2018

Inez Milholland leading the Women's March, 1913. 
There is a fine photo history of the women's parades in Washington put together by the USIA here

It focuses on Washington, D.C. and therefore omits the woman-suffrage parades in New York City. The reason that Inez Milholland was asked to head up the Washington parade is that she had led the 1912 New York City parade on her horse.

Both Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan were among the 50,000 women who marched down Fifth Avenue in 1970, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women being guaranteed by the Constitution's 19th Amendment the right to vote at the Federal level.

Here are links to stories on the first day of the 2018 Women's March
and the second dayIn The New York Times, Michelle Goldberg argues that the agreement to end the shutdown sells out the Resistance and the women’s marches. Paul Krugman says it is a betrayal of the DreamersIn The New Yorker, John Cassidy thinks the effects of the women’s marches are more lasting than the shutdown. Time noted in 2016 that in 1923 (it was in advance of a memorial to Inez Milholland at her family home) many people had forgotten about Inez.

Friday, January 19, 2018

CENTENNIAL | Suffrage Marches, January 20

To find out about suffrage centennial events, consult the centennial website maintained by Marguerite Kearns and others.

The year 2017 celebrated the passage of votes for women in New York State.

In 2018, votes for women passed in South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.

Monday, January 8, 2018

INEZ | Memorial March, January 20

Inez Milholland leads Woman Suffrage parade on Fifth
Avenue, New York City, May 1913, a month before
she met her husband-to-be, Eugen Boissevain.
If you live in upstate New York, please consider going to the second Adirondack Women’s March, planned for Saturday, January 20, 2018. 

The organizers promise that it will be a combination of "rally, march and community celebration," showing solidarity with women around the world. 

"We will stand together to protect the civil rights, safety, and health of all people. We call on defenders of human rights to join us at this peaceful, non-partisan event." It is free and is billed as non-partisan.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the grave of Inez Milholland at the top of the hill, in the Lewis Cemetery. The program will include a welcome address, poems, songs, and grave ceremony. Participants are encouraged to bring signs, flags, and/or flowers to lay on Inez’s gravesite. 

After the program, the march will proceed down the hill to the new Inez Milholland roadside marker, at the corner of Route 9 and Fox Run Road. It will continue up Route 9 to Lewis Veterans’ Park, and back past the Lewis Town Hall to the Lewis Congregational Church parsonage. 

At the parsonage, refreshments will include soup, bread and hot drinks. A program of sing-alongs, memories of 2017, and inspirational thoughts for the future is planned. The Town of Lewis will open its town hall from 11 a.m.to 2 p.m. so marchers can view the town exhibit about Inez and the Milholland family. 

Her father John E. Milholland amassed a fortune providing underground mail services via pneumatic tube, but he lost much of it when Woodrow Wilson was reelected in 1916, because of his Lincoln-Republican attacks on Wilson and his Postmaster-General, whom he accused of racism. He was the founding Treasurer of the NAACP.

There will also be two showings of “Forward Into Light,” the short film produced by Martha Wheelock about the life of Inez Milholland, at 10:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m. in the church parsonage. A Q&A, moderated by Kathy Linker and Sandra Weber, will follow each showing. 

Area Women’s March events are also planned for Glens Falls at noon and Plattsburgh at 3 pm. At a memorial for Inez in 1916, speakers praised her advocacy for feminism, for civil rights for blacks, and for humane treatment of inmates. "Inez hated inequality, shams and hypocrisy," says the announcement of the march. "She loved truth."

She also loved commitment. A century ago, the people of Lewis and Essex County decided to rename Mt Discovery, to call it Mt Inez. The maps were never changed. Isn't this change overdue?

A friend of the organizers said: “What Inez showed us was that it is possible to have a glorious time and stand like iron for truth.” The memorial march on January 20 is organized by Sandra Weber and David Hodges. For more information, visit the Women’s March website, adirondackwomen.weebly.com or email Sandra Weber at weber@sandraweber.com.