To Albany for 2020: Commitment to the Vision at the New York State Museum “Votes for Women” Exhibition Opening and then to sign books in Rhinebeck at the historic Beekman Arms

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.


Saturday’s welcome:

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.

center, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and right, Erin Leigh Carnley.


SUNY Press had a fine display, ably woman-ed by Donna Dixon, of all its current women’s history and suffrage offerings, including The Suffragents.

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,)

Susan B. Anthony’s alligator satchel.

And this cool women’s ballot box:

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.

  • We started at the historic, as in 1776, Beekman Arms, checking in Thursday night . . .

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.



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.