Essex County in upstate New York is Inez Milholland country.
Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916) considered among America’s suffrage martyrs and 2016 is the centennial of her death. The centennial of the death of England’s most prominent martyr for suffrage, Emily Davison, who died for women’s right to vote in 1913, was observed nationally.
Inez Milholland, however, is little known, even in the region where she lived, and where there are today few women elected to office. As a result, there has been an outpouring of concern that has led to action on the national level. Continue reading
This speech was delivered at the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference on October 7, 2016.
This is a time of great potential, a celebration of significance. The U. S. government was founded on a vision of rule by the people – not a monarch or a ruling elite but each person with a voice, a vote. But 144 years later, half the people still were not recognized in the constitution as having a voice.
State by state, women carved out a voice – in school, municipal, finally state government. NY in 1917. But federally women were still silenced. Continue reading
One hundred years ago, on October 22, 1916, Inez Milholland Boissevain gave a powerful suffrage speech in Los Angeles. At one point, she directed a question at Woodrow Wilson: “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?” As those words echoed through the hall, Inez collapsed on stage.
Today, New York State prepares to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage and the nation approaches an historic election – a woman is the presidential nominee of a major political party. The importance of casting a vote on November 8, 2016, seems obvious, and the right to vote taken for granted. But consider that women in New York State could not vote in Congressional or Presidential elections a hundred years ago. However, after decades of campaigning for women’s suffrage, it appeared that momentum was building in 1916. One woman from New York helped spur the forces to move “forward into light.” Continue reading
Old Songs, Inc. presents a concert of 19th–20th century songs from the Women’s Suffrage Movement on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19, 2016, at 7:30 pm at the Old Songs Community Arts Center, 37 South Main St., Voorheesville, NY.
With narrative, and songs that women sang during the suffrage movement between 1848 and 1920, this two-act concert tells the story of how American women won the right to vote. This is the story of one of the most innovative and successful non-violent civil rights efforts in our country. Continue reading
Across the street from the home where Elizabeth Smith Miller designed the bloomers – the “most important dress reform of the 19th Century” according the historic marker in the yard, a biography of Miller will be presented.
At 2 pm on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at the Smithfield Community Center (5255 Pleasant Valley Road Peterboro, NY) Norman K. Dann PhD will speak about his research for his latest book on Peterboro history. Author of Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform, Dann has now turned to research on Smith’s daughter with the Log Cabin Books’ publication of Ballots, Bloomers, and Marmalade: The Life of Elizabeth Smith Miller. Continue reading
On Friday, October 7, the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network will hold a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference at the Holiday Inn in Seneca Falls/Waterloo. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women voting legally in New York.
The Conference will take place from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is also serving as Chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission, has been invited to make the Keynote presentation. Continue reading
On Sunday, September 11, at 1 pm, Professor Susan Ingalls Lewis will give a talk at the Gomez Mill House, on her work on women’s suffrage in New York. Continue reading
In 2017 it will be 100 years since New York State signed woman’s suffrage into law, three years before the US passed the 19th Amendment. This was a milestone for the state and a transformative moment in American democracy.
Thanks to public help last November, Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther circulated letters outlining a $3.9M request to support the centennial. This funding would support grants, programs, and statewide events and activities at cultural heritage sites, museums, libraries and other community organizations. Signers from both houses added their support to these letters, but thus far no funding has been included in either the Senate or House budgets. Continue reading
In the film Back to the Future Part II (1989), the characters of Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future year of 2015. Not to go too far into the plot (which many of you may already know), while in the future Marty gets the idea to buy a sports almanac to bring back from the future and make money betting on sports. But before they leave 2015 (October 21st to be exact) Doc discovers the almanac and gives the reasoning behind the building of his time machine. Doc say to Marty: “I didn’t invent the time machine for financial gain. The intent here is to gain a clear perspective on humanity. Where we have been. Where we are going. The pitfalls and the possibilities. The perils and the promise of perhaps an answer to that universal question – why?” Continue reading
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday dawned on November 12, 2015, my birthday. I used the occasion to drive the eight hours round-trip to Seneca Falls, NY to sit among the crowd of about 200 people at Wesleyan Chapel, the restored site of the legendary 1848 women’s rights convention.
The program sponsored by the Women’s Rights National Historic Park on November 14 was one of two programs in New York State designed to bring attention to this historic figure. The large turnout at Cooper Union in New York City for Stanton’s birthday on November 12 was another indication of the increased interest and honor being paid to New York’s historic women in the first wave of the movement that started in the Finger Lakes region. Continue reading