Friday, July 31, 2020

Flower Friday: July 31, 2020

Welcome to Flower Friday!!!
Today we honor our suffrage foremothers by posting photos of yellow, purple, and white flowers!  If you have flower photos to share, email me at!

These are from Janet T.  The first is Oxalis which has purplish leaves!  Thank you Janet!!!

Betsy G. sent us nasturtiums!

Phlox and other lovelies including balloon flowers and a lily!

From Beth's garden, a beautiful daylily!

Thank you all so very much!

Have a safe and happy day!

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Hello and welcome to 2 selections from Alice Duer Miller's book, Are Women People?  Also a reminder that tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have photos of flowers in yellow, purple, and white that you would like share to honor our suffrage foremothers, please email the pics to me at

Today's topic is chivalry.  The concept seems dated to young people but they are thinking about movie knights.  Our world and especially our country could use more chivalrous behaviour from their population and politicians.  Chivalry defined:  the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.  We certainly could use more of those qualities in this country.

And then there is this piece:


A more recent poem in the 20th century was written by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, one of my favorite poets.  In his poem, "Unrequited Love", he writes:

..."for poor Cyrano's chivalry's not dead:
it is not men who show it now, but women.

Have a safe and happy day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What Governments Say to Women

Here is another excerpt from Alice Duer's Miller's book, Are Women People?

You may be confused as to the meaning of this poem.  Those of you who saw our lecture, By The Chimney No More might remember we talked about this during the program. 

The Expatriation Act of 1907 determined that if a woman married a man from another country, she immediately lost her United States citizenship.  If she wanted to become a U.S. citizen again, her husband would first have to be naturalized and only then could she reapply to become a citizen again.

if a U.S. male citizen married a woman from another country, his wife was immediately granted citizenship.

So when the United States entered World War I in 1917, guess what?  If you were married to a German (the enemy) you had to register as an enemy alien.  

Well yes it is stupid law.  But it wasn't really corrected until the 1940s.  You may think this wasn't that common.  But in fact Beth was talking to her 90 year old Mom about this law last year and her Mom said, "Oh I know all about that."  It turns out that Beth's grandmother was born and raised in Brooklyn but when she married a British immigrant, she lost her citizenship.  Beth even found her citizenship certificate after Grandma was naturalized!

Suffragists of course objected to the law.  One of my favorite rebuttals was in 1919 and you can read it here.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Happy Birthday Lucy Burns!

Lucy Burns (1879-1966)

I've never found a biography of Lucy Burns.  I couldn't even find her obituary.  This of course, has made me more curious about her and determined to set the record straight.  The lack of scholarhip about Burns is apparently of concern to other historians, read here.

Born in Brooklyn, Lucy Burns--like Alice Paul--was extremely well educated and attended Cambridge when she met Alice Paul.  The women met in a police station when they were both arrested for assisting the Women's Social Political Union (suffragettes in England).  According to Paul, the two women became "great friends and allies and comrades."  Both women were integral to the movement and worked as partners.

Together they formed the Congressional Union which later became the National Woman's Party.  Paul would say in a later interview, "Lucy Burns was a very good speaker--she had what you call that gift of the Irish--and she was extremely courageous, a thousand times more courageous than I was.  I was the timid type, and she was just naturally valiant.  Lucy became one of the pillars of our movement.  we never, never, never could have had such a campaign in this country without her."

Doris Stevens later wrote that "Her talent as an orator is of the kind that makes for instant intimacy with her audience."

Lucy Burns spent more time in jail than any other
American suffragist.

During the Night of Terror, the guards handcuffed her arms above her head because she roll-called the women to make sure they were all accounted for and safe.

Katherine Roston Fisher would later write a poem called "The Empty Cup" about one episode in the Occdoquan Workhouse where the brutality against the suffragists occured.  The poem was published in The Suffragist in 1917.

After suffrage had been achieved, Burns left the movement.  Her sister died during childbirth and Lucy and two sisters raised their niece, Janet Appleton (later Campbell after marriage).  One of the most insightful articles I have read about Lucy is here.

In a wonderfully ironic turn, the Occoquan Workhouse, later called the DC Correctional Facility at Ralton (Virginia), has been recently reopened.  It is called the Lucy Burns Musuem and you can read about the museum here.  I'm hoping the museum will make it through the pandemic.

I read in one source (only one source) that quoted when Lucy left the movement she said this:  "...we have done all this for women, and we have sacrificied everything we possessed for them, and now let them fight for it now."

We continue the fight Lucy.  Thank you for your sacrifices.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Why We Oppose Votes for Men

As I mentioned on Thursday, this week the main feature are excerpts from Alice Duer Miller's book, Are Women People?  published in 1915.

This piece applied the same logic of the anti-suffragettes to men voting:
Here is the piece with artwork and slightly altered:

Note that the artwork was from Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the "Gibson Girl" and supporter of the New Woman and suffrage.

Tomorrow is a special day.  It's Lucy Burns birthday and we will celebrate her and then return to more of Alice Duer Miller's book.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Flower Friday: July 24, 2020

Sorry for the delay on this post, I forgot to hit "publish" for some reason this morning!

It's Flower Friday and time to celebrate our suffrage foremothers by publishing photos of yellow, white, and purple flowers!

These blooms all came from my garden.  Many of us in the Lehigh Valley and many of you in blogland have been dealing with a lot of heat and humidity--not always condusive to photographing flowers!

Above and Below:  An hydrangea called the swan.  It has more of a tree quality (I'll take a better photo for next week) and the blooms are huge!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Are Women People?

Alice Duer Miller (1874-1942)

Alice Duer Miller was a writer who had written some verses about suffrage for the New York Tribune.  The verses were published in a book in 1915 called Are Women People? 

In the 1940s, she wrote a novel in verse called The White Cliffs which was a surprising best seller and it was made into a film in 1942 called The White Cliffs of Dover.

Next week I will be featuring a number of her verses, many of which are humorous (we need all the humor we can find these days).  Today I'll start with the Introduction:

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have any photos of yellow, white, or purple flowers that you would like to share with us, please email me at

Stay safe and have a good day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Abigail Scott Duniway's Granddaughters

"The wall of moms is at the frontline and they've put sunflowers through the fence.  SUNFLOWERS, y'all.  They're fearlessly welding flowers."   --A tweet from the Portland protests.

I am marveling at the Wall of Moms in Oregon. Women of all sizes, colors, and ages are taking a stand in Portland, Oregon to protect protestors from being unlawfully beaten and seized by unmarked "federal agents."  The women may not be blood descendants of Abigail Scott Duniway but they share her spirit.  On Saturday night they wore white and formed a "mother barrier" to protect protestors--only to be teargassed themselves.  

Like our suffragists, they returned: this time donned in yellow t-shirts, carrying sunflowers, and singing "Hands up, please don't shoot me."

One of the leaders was quoted as saying, "We moms are often underestimated.  But we're stronger than we are given credit for."

Protecting the young was a main impetus for the suffrage movement and it continues to galvanize women today.

The powers behind the federal troops could learn a lot by studying women's suffrage.  In 1913, a huge suffrage parade was held in Washington, D.C.  Women from all over the world were represented as well as special speakers like Helen Keller.  Many children were in the procession as well.
Oregon was represented in the parade by a famous actress, Margaret Vale Howe.

The women were jeered, shoved, and some had their clothes torn.  The chaos left Helen Keller so anxious that she had to be treated at a local hospital.  The police stood by and did nothing to protect the women.  Eventually Secretary of War Henry Stimson had the calvary come in to control the crowd. 

At this time, the suffrage movement was in the midst of the doldrums, a period when suffrage organizations floundered for direction and new members.  The treatment of the women at the parade made headline news and a few years later it was credited with reinspiring the movement:

Similarly, the Wall of Moms started out with "more than 30 moms" on Saturday night.  Now it's reported that over 2,000 women are clamoring to join the cause.

"You don't mess with the kids," a politcal croney once told me when I worked for the federal government.  The implication being that legislation harmful to children would inevitably become an issue during reelection time.  

The current administration might learn something from that phrase and another saying--known to families throughout this planet-- don't mess with Mom.

Have a safe and happy day.

Monday, July 20, 2020

She didn't like sewing...

Abigail Scott Duniway was a true trailblazer and a leader of suffrage in Oregon.  Life in the western country was incredibly difficult and especially for women.  Abigail had witnessed that from childhood.  She is often referred to as the "pioneer suffragists of the great northwest."

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915)

Her history can be found in a very interesting article here which relays her history and the hardships faced by women. It's an excellent article and features a close up of her quilt.  

Here is the quilt  in it's entirety:

One article said she disliked sewing but knew that sewing would provide her with an opportunity to interact with a variety of women.

 From 1871 to 1887 she published a newspaper called The New Northwest Newspaper and featured a variety of stories about women and suffrage.

Abigail passed away in 1915, five years before the 19th Amendment was ratified.  But due to her hardwork and campaigning, she did get to vote.  Oregon enacted equal suffrage in 1912.

Way to go Abigail!  P.S.--doesn't that man behind her look annoyed?  😂

Have a safe and happy day!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

And now for something completely different...

We interrupt our previously scheduled blogging to share an important announcement.

In just a few short weeks our year long celebration of women's suffrage will be ending. I gather from some of your emails that you are really enjoying the blog.  One person actually emailed me--what the heck will the blog be about after the suffrage centennial, so here it is:

It will be different but not too different.  I was grappling with the idea when I spotted a lovely Queen Anne Lace's blooming alongside the gutter.  

And then it occurred to me.  I had intended to write a quilt lecture with a specific title after the centennial but the time to tackle the concept is during the pandemic and in a group setting.  

The theme of the blog--until a vaccine is found--is "Bloom Where You're Planted."  It's a very old concept, made famous in modern times by Mary Engelbreit, but guess what-- it fits our needs right now.

The main idea of the theme is INSPIRATION. 

We will not just discuss where Beth and I pluck inspiration; we want to know what inspires YOU.  Learning about suffrage has been inspiring for us.  But learning about YOU has been even more rewarding.  We hope you continue to participate.

Here's another aspect that fits into Blooming--

Since the 1970s, I've hoarded collected tons of sewing ephemera, a variety of stories, and of course, a couple hundred vintage and antique quilts.  Then of course, there is all the stuff that Beth has in her garage, sewing room, and other assorted places.  It's time to share these stories.  

The one constant we will take from the Suffrage Centennial to  Blooming will be Flower Fridays.  Don't worry, you don't need house plants!  After the first frost we will look at old and new floral inspired textiles.  Hopefully you will  participate in our new Flower Fridays and share your embroidery, knitting, quilting, sewing, crafting, or just a nice flower image you encountered with the group.  I am certain we will all appreciate floral joy this winter.

We now return to our previously scheduled blogging. 

Thank you for your patience and see you on Monday!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Flower Friday: July 17, 2020

It's Flower Friday!!!
Today we honor our suffrage foremothers by posting photos of yellow, purple, and white flowers!  If you have flower photos to share, email me at!

Madelon L. shared these lovely calla lillies for us!

Sue M. shared this lovely and very suffrage appropriate border of flowers!

Over at my suffrage garden, the rudbeckia is in full bloom!

Canterbury bells are ready to be deadheaded and a new set of blooms can emerge!

This particular flower is "Nana" Boltonia.  The petals in the photograph look white but they are in actually a light lilac.

And finally, my mother gifted me this metal sign which is now hanging in the garden as well:

Have a safe and happy day!