One Hundred Years Ago Today

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported today, September 23, 1914 about suffrage activity at the Mineola Fair:

The Nassau County Woman’s Suffrage Party has a tent, and beginning today prominent speakers will attempt to make converts to the cause throughout the week. At a distant point the management has placed the antis, and they also will have speakers for the remainder of the week who will dissuade the women visitors from joining the suffrage cause. One of the new features in the tent of the Nassau County Association in which the poor whom they have helped to become self-supporting the past year will show the results of their work. Mrs. Emily Ladenburg will preside over this exhibit and she will be assisted by many of the prominent society people. It is expected that later in the week many of the younger society members will sell Red Cross stamps in aid of the tubercular patients in the county.

As we have mentioned before, the anti-suffrage movement was alive and very powerful on Long Island, especially on the east end. Anti-suffragists used many of the tactics of the suffragists, making speeches, publishing papers and articles, exhibiting a strength of purpose that suffragists grudgingly admired, even though it was in direct conflict with their cause. And, certainly, a county fair was the perfect place to air their views.

Susan Goodier’s wonderful book, No Votes for Women, offers an in-depth glimpse into the lives of these women who fought against the vote in part because they feared the imposition of masculine political responsibilities. (Additional information can be found in my book, Chapter 13.) It is interesting to note that many of the antis calmly moved over to accept their right to vote when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920.

One Response

  1. Marguerite Kearns September 23, 2014 at 9:45 am | | Reply

    Your posting about what happened 100 years ago reminds me that the suffrage exhibit at the Mineloa Fair is still within the living memory of people today. I wasn’t there, nor is anyone in my family who was at the fair that day. But my grandmother Edna Kearns took the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon to the fair, set it up, and gave speeches about the importance of women voting. I heard stories from my grandfather who lived til past 90 years old.

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