Nassau County Historical Society – The Suffragents – April 22, 2018 – Jericho Library



April 22, 2018


I felt sure that the gorgeous day—a Sunday, and at 2pm, no less,  the first day to snap a long, miserable cold spell—would have meant a tiny turnout for the Suffragents event, organized by the Nassau County Historical Society at the beautiful Jericho Public Library. So, Alex and I steeled ourselves for same as we made the trek from Manhattan, salved by the chance to try a Portuguese restaurant, the Lisbon Cafe, which happens to be around the corner from the library, not a minute away.



All cares disappeared upon sight of the welcoming amuse-bouche on every table: freshly fried homemade potato chips and a selection of olives. Well, that alone was worth the 40-minute drive.



Alex ordered viño verde, which we decided after two sips to make our summer aperitif of choice this year.



The meal was just that good, too. For me, it was grilled octopus, followed by house salad and the restaurant’s tenderly delicious goat.



I should have known better than to worry about what would happen at the library, another superb Long Island public center of community life.



With arrangements for the historical society meeting in the charge of the organization’s extremely able president, my friend, Dr. Natalie Naylor, Hofstra professor emerita, (with an able assist from her aide de camp, Den Collins), it was clear that no long-yearned-for burst of warmth was going to stand in the way of her ability to summon a crowd.

Side note: You can read more about Dr. Naylor and her interest in the Long Island suffrage movement in this March 21, 2018 write-up in the Long Island Weekly (during Women’s History Month, of course.) The lovely portrait of Natalie by Jonathan Heisler is reproduced just below. The writer is Betsy Abraham. 


Natalie Naylor (Photo by Jonathan Heisler)


Natalie is an accomplished historian and the author of several books, including Women in Long Island’s Past: A History of Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives.

Now, how about the 170-seat auditorium at the Jericho Public Library? It really is state-of-the-art spectacular. On the stage, in the photo below, is Carlos, the library’s crackerjack AV expert. He did the set up and saved the day at least once during my time on stage.



I was thrilled that in the audience was one of my other great Long Island suffrage buddies, Antonia Petrash, head of the Long Island Woman Suffrage Association and author of Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement. I’ve known Antonia since the Long Island suffrage planning event she organized at the Walt Whitman House, back in November of 2016. There, I also met Arlene Hinkemeyer of the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, with whom I’ve also joyfully collaborated in this period.

In fact, it was at Antonia’s 2016 event that I first got to try out my Suffragents research—happily, before a warm and like-minded group. The photo below was taken that day. Natalie and Antonia are both to my left as you face the photo. Arlene is at the far right, in the “Votes for Women” sash.



And here are Antonia and Natalie at Sunday’s event, looking mighty swish.




And here’s Den Collins:





And a few shots from a warm and receptive crowd and the reception and book signing that followed.



And the presentation itself, minus the introductory remarks and thank yous and the first bit of the reading. The reading is from a major suffrage campaign planning meeting in Saratoga Springs, which took place two months before the New York referendum vote on November 6, 1917.





Warm thanks again to Natalie and the Historical Society for inviting me, to the Jericho Public Library for hosting, and to everyone who came for being such a receptive and responsive audience.





National History Day contestants, please read this before you contact me.

The Suffragents won the Gold Medal in US History in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was a finalist for the 2018 Sally and Morris Lasky Prize, presented by the Center for Political History.  See Summer Camp Newsletters” and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about my books are under their titles here. My articles are here.

Upcoming 2019: October 17: Suffragents Panel, National Archives, Washington DC.

Upcoming 2020: January 30: Learning in Retirement Program at Iona College. March 27 Ephemera Society of America, 40th annual conference, Old Greenwich CT. June 4-6Métiers et professions des médias (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles),”  Université de Lausanne (Switzerland).

Past 2019: September 23: January 29: Exhibition Opening Remarks: “Women Get the Vote: A Historic Look at the Nineteenth Amendment,“New York Society Library. February 23: Public Values in Conflict with Animal Agribusiness Practices,” UCLA Law School, Los Angeles.  March 13: The Suffragents,” Scarsdale Woman’s Club, Scarsdale NY. March 24: League of Women Voters, Albany County at the Bethlehem (NY) Public LibraryMarch 25:Judges, Lawyers, and Women’s Suffrage: Recognizing the Men Who Stood with Women on the Front Lines,” Gender Fairness Committee of the Third Judicial District, CLE, NY State Courts at SUNY Albany Law School, Albany NY. May 15: “The Republican Suffragents,” National Women’s Republican Club, New York City. August 7:  Panel, “From Emma Goldman to the Marketplace of Ideas: Marking the 100th Anniversary of Free Speech at the Supreme Court.” (page 40) AEJMC, Toronto. August 14: Webinar, National Park Service. September 23: Bentson Dean’s Lecture, College of Arts and Science, New York University.