November 4 and 5, 2017
A Suffrage-laden weekend in the Hudson Valley
Saturday was the weekend’s main event so just a few highlights from a great day at the Cultural Education Center and New York State Museum at Empire Plaza in Albany. The New York Cultural Heritage Network sponsored the conference, the third in an annual series in support of the state’s centennial celebration, which goes on until 2020.
Here’s the day’s program and sponsors, which I’ll follow with a few highlights, programmatic and personal.
I ran into some of my favorite new suffrage friends. There was Coline Jenkins, who was our house guest in August when she came to East Hampton to march in the League of Women Voters’ suffrage rally re-enactment. And I caught up with Marguerite Kearns, who was standing sentry at the suffrage wagon of her ancestor, Edna Kearns, now on display at the very front of the New York State Museum.
Marguerite is a superb animator who also anchors the Suffrage Wagon Channel.
I finally met Karen Pastorello and Susan Goodier, authors of another of the new New York suffrage books, Women Will Vote. We hugged because we have been so much in tandem in these suffrage-heavy months, along with Johanna Neuman, author of the Gilded Suffragists. Organizers gave out the Goodier-Pastorello book as conference swag.
More swag came courtesy of the New York State Legislative Women’s Caucus in the form of a booklet that traced all the state’s women legislators through the decades. Here is the vanguard, two representing New York County (one, a graduate of NYU School of Law, just like Inez Milholland and Crystal Eastman, both Vassar grads), and one from Suffolk County and one from Schenectady County.
I enjoyed meeting Erin Leigh Carnley of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and the conversation we had with New York State’s Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul (center), who spearheaded the 2017 suffrage centennial celebrations across the state.
At the display, I met up with a lovely woman from Olympia, Washington, in full period garb, who had been reading it.
And it was nice to see that the State Museum Shop had copies of the book on display.
The panels I attended were informative: the opening one; the breakout session on partnerships between corporations, foundations, and nonprofits; and the Albany Times Union‘s Women@Work presentation (Interesting: it’s a bi-monthly magazine and an organization of women-mentoring-women on workplace issues.)
And we attended the sandwich lunch (I’m in gray to the right of the speaker, State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy of Albany County). Beyond the tables, conference goers were painting tiles from patterns for the mosaics of suffrage stalwarts. This clearly took my attention as this photo was snapped.
I really liked the mural that leads to the exhibition, which I video’d:
The exhibition had some other great artifacts in addition to the wagon, like Susan B. Anthony’s alligator satchel (which looks exactly like the ostensible Nellie Bly satchel I donated to the Newseum,)
And this cool women’s ballot box:
And tons of prized ephemera, including this one I took a photo of for one of my five granddaughters who has a powerful Wonder Woman affinity.
Best of all were inspiring speeches from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (this is she on NY1 talking through much of what she said in Albany) and from Sally Roesch Wagner, who received a sustained standing ovation. I wish I could share it because it was as fine a speech as I have ever heard.
This about sums up the day:
The weekend included a visit to the breathtaking Storm King Art Center and the amazing printing works of Thornwillow Press, makers of the sumptuously printed broadside of the Mission Statement of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage that I offer with the books I personally sign to readers. We met with close friends from Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Red Hook and for the “festive holiday signing,” I did what my wardrobe registers as tarting up, as you can see in this weekend recap in slides. Thanks to our Hudson Valley pals and the foliage (at last!) for making it so fine.
Incidentally, Susan Goodier and I both appear on a panel sponsored by the Gotham Center for New York City History on Friday, November 10, at the CUNY Graduate Center. We are in good company, as you can see below. But even better than that, Gotham’s NYC history blog is running new suffrage articles every day during this centennial week.
The weekend included a visit to Storm King and the amazing printing works of Thornwillow Press, makers of the sumptuously printed broadside of the Mission Statement of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage that I offer with the books I personally sign to readers. We met with close friends from Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Red Hook and for the “festive holiday signing,” I did what passes for tarting up in my wardrobe.
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 at Lebanon Valley College. Brooke’s “Summer Camp Newsletters” (with photos and often video) and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about her books under their titles here. National History Day contestants, please read this.
Next up: 2019: UCLA Law Conference on Food and Animal Rights: February 23. Scarsdale Women’s Club, March 13. National Women’s Republican Club, May 15.