Think about fresh produce & activism! Plus suffrage centennial news!

Women Voters: Remember that Food and Activism go together!  on Vimeo.

Suffrage movement cookbooks were an important way of combining food preparation with activism. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School has been featuring these cookbooks that are now in the public domain and available for us to read and experiment with today. Of course, a great deal has changed in terms of measuring ingredients. No more sprinkles of this and a handful of that.

IN SUFFRAGE NEWS: The National Women’s History Project is having its annual online auction to raise money. Get some great deals on books, memorabilia, and educational items. The Central Park women’s statue will be unveiled in New York City during 2020, the national suffrage centennial. Also, the New York State Museum will have a 2020 exhibit that includes the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns in NYC and Long island in 1913 for grassroots organizing. Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel for more information.

If you can, join The Extreme History Project for “Hazel Hunkins of Billings: Protesting at the White House, 1917-1919”, a lecture by Kevin Kooistra, Executive Director of the Western Heritage Center in Billings, on Thursday June 28 at 6 pm at the Museum of the Rockies (600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman, MT).  This lecture is free and open to the public.

 Denied the opportunity to work in a local chemistry lab because of her gender, Billings native Hazel Hunkins promptly joined the national fight for women’s suffrage.  In his presentation, Kevin Koostra will share the story of this gritty woman who remained undeterred even after national resentment led to arrest and recrimination for Hunkins and her fellow protesters.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow Suffrage Centennials on our Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And start planning now for August 26th, Women’s Equality Day!

“Up the Women,” a U.K. sit com about the women’s suffrage movement—A blast from the past!

Trailer video for Series Two of the BBC Two sit com, “Up the Women,”

“Up the Women” was a sit com about the English suffrage movement distributed in 2013, the year Suffrage Centennials started publishing. Video highlights of the “Up the Women” sit com: The “Up the Women” commentary on hunger strikes. A letter from Emmeline Pankhurst is the subject of this video clip from the TV series. Focus on a picket sign. Discussion of the suffrage issues, topic of this video –including the definition of a “suffragette.” has a Facebook page, in addition to Twitter, email subscription, and a Quarterly Newsletter. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. is a multi-media public platform for announcements and feature articles about local, state, national and international suffrage celebrations, programs, performances, events, news and views. Regular postings, video and audio highlights. Submit announcements and events to OwlMountainProductions at

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Part II of article by Wendy Bird

Editors’ Note: This is the second part of the two-part article about Charlotte Perkins Gilman by Wendy Bird, an advocate for social justice and equality of opportunity and a strategic consultant for non-profits, government, and philanthropy.

GilmanSliderby Wendy Bird

Part II 

What is One to Do?:

Like the haunting “nevermore” of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “what is one to do” in “The Yellow Wallpaper” becomes a chilling rallying cry against the injustices of the “rest cure.” Disenfranchised and isolated, the unnamed woman feels she cannot be heard over the voices of her husband and brother, both doctors. In her words, “Personally I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to do?” The woman senses that her husband’s profession may actually be impeding, rather than aiding, her recovery and wellbeing, saying, “John is a physician, and PERHAPS–(I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind)–PERHAPS that is one reason I do not get well faster. You see he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?” For the woman, her husband’s belief that she is not sick and, therefore, not in need of quality medical care, as opposed to just “rest,” cannot be overcome: “If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression–a slight hysterical tendency–what is one to do?” As the protagonist becomes increasingly upset (“I am getting angry enough to do something desperate”) and ultimately goes insane (“I’ve got out at last”), the reader is left to wonder if something might have been done to prevent the tragedy after all.

Girl Power Matters:

Gilman adds complexity to the story by introducing Jennie, John’s sister. Rather than serve as an ally to the ailing woman, Jennie inadvertently contributes to the woman’s demise by upholding the unwanted isolation and inactivity of the “rest cure” and, by extension, the “men know best” stereotype. Before long, “Jennie sees to everything.” Like John, Jennie tries to escalate control over the woman: “Jennie wanted to sleep with me–the sly thing! but I told her I should undoubtedly rest better for a night all alone.” Just as she begins to fear her husband, the woman begins to fear her sister-in-law, saying, “even Jennie has an inexplicable look.” Without anyone to support her ideas and suggestions, the woman’s isolation extends beyond the physical into the mental and emotional.

Innovative Storytelling:

Gilman uses several strategic literary devices to advance her point of view. First, Gilman presents the protagonist as a woman without a name. By the end of the story, we know the names John, Jennie, Mary, Henry, and Julia, but not the name of the ailing woman, underscoring the woman’s sub-status treatment. Second, Gilman uses the wallpaper as a metaphor for the stifling treatment of John and Jennie, enabling the woman to criticize her family without drawing the ire of conservative readers. For example, echoing John and Jennie’s relentless oversight, the woman says, “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down. I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere.” Finally, Gilman uses familiar language to draw readers in and win their trust, making her ultimate denouncement of the “rest cure” more compelling. Initially, for example, John and Jennie are described as “loving,” “dear,” “sweet,” and “careful,” as to be expected from family members. The woman would never prioritize her own needs over those of her husband: “of course, I would not be so silly as to make him uncomfortable just for a whim.” The woman even expresses gratitude for her husband’s treatment, saying, “it is lucky that John kept me here.” Like the woman, the reader is drawn in by the false promises of the “rest cure” and, in turn, also shocked and dismayed by its tragic consequences.


With its masterful storytelling, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” raised serious questions about the “science” behind the “rest cure” and amplified a voice still hear too little in women’s health care: a woman’s. Other writers such as Virginia Woolf also criticized the treatment, laying the foundation for improved understanding of women’s health needs and effective treatments moving forward.


In 1935, suffering from incurable breast cancer, Gilman chose to use chloroform to end her life on her own terms. In a note she left behind, Gilman described her choice as a human right: “When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one” (Radcliffe Magazine). While still controversial in health care today (as recently evidenced, for example, by Brittany Maynard in “My Right to Death with Dignity at 29”), in death, as in life, Gilman exercised autonomy and the power of choice

The original collection of the “Papers of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1846-1975” is located at the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. For more information and the online collection, please visit the “Charlotte Perkins Gilman Digital Collection.”


Part I of the article series on Charlotte Perkins Gilman by Wendy Bird.

FREE AUDIO of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.


Suffrage CentennialsimagesYou can follow Suffrage Centennials on FacebookTwitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

“Votes for Women” Gazette is on the stands!

The next edition, or also known as the Gazette, edition of “How Women Won the Vote” is now on the stands from the National Women’s History Project. It functions as a Call to Action for individuals and institutions at the local, state and national levels to honor the 100th anniversary of the enfranchisement of American women in 2020.


Entertaining and lavishly illustrated, the Gazette documents the victories, defeats, personalities, and strategies used by state suffragists in their relentless effort to secure the basic right of citizenship for women. An excellent resource for Women’s Equality Day celebrations and for classrooms and events throughout the year. 25 copies for $10 (for orders placed before June 30th after that the cost is 25 for $15. Pre-orders need to be placed before June 30, 2018. Contact the National Women’s History Project. —

The Tale of the Fourth of July Co-conspirators for your suffrage centennial event!


Gather your friends around and help them picture the scene. Susan B. Anthony is ready to move in with Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereau Blake, and Phoebe W. Couzins to crash the July 4th, 1876 centennial event in Philadelphia. The platform is filled with dignitaries and the co-conspirators wait until after the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Here is what happened: Anthony marched up to the platform filled with centennial officials. She formally presented the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, an update on the declaration from back in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.

The document sent the message that the nation must not turn its back on the unfinished American Revolution by denying women equality and the right to vote.

After delivering the proclamation, Anthony and others distributed copies to the crowd and left the centennial hall. THE RESULT: Pandemonium. General Howley, chairman, shouted for order to be restored.

THE OUTCOME: Suffrage activists held their own independence celebration in Philadelphia.



The July 4th Co-conspirators

AUDIO ACCOUNT OF WHAT HAPPENED on July 4, 1876 at the Fourth of July national centennial, as told by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her memoir, Eighty Years and More. Read by Amelia Bowen for Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

NOW, LET’S FIRE UP THE BARBEQUE GRILL in 2018 and have fun!
Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow Suffrage Centennials on our Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Part I of an article by Wendy Bird about this women’s suffrage leader

Editors’ Note:

Wendy Bird, M.P.P., is an advocate for social justice and equality of opportunity and a strategic consultant for non-profits, government, and philanthropy. This is the first part of Wendy’s two-part article about Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a well-known suffrage movement writer and literary figure who had roots in Woodstock, NY. She spent two summers in retreat writing at Byrdcliffe. In August 2015, the Woodstock town board passed a resolution honoring its women in history and expressing support for the state’s 2017 upcoming women’s suffrage centennial celebration.


Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Raising Eyebrows & Revolutionizing Women’s Health Care in the 1800s

Part I by Wendy Bird

Celebrated suffragist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) raised eyebrows and helped revolutionize women’s health care with her provocative and innovative short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” published in 1892 in The New England Magazine. The story chronicles the injustices and inadequacies of the 19th century “rest cure” for women, which isolated patients from family and friends and confined them to bed rest for extended periods of time. Gilman also used to the story to courageously challenge the popular notion at the time that, as doctors and husbands, men know best about women’s health and wellbeing.

In the story, an unnamed woman moves into a summer home with her husband John, a doctor, to help address her “nervous troubles” through the “rest cure.” Having recently given birth, the woman’s condition is today interpreted as a form of postpartum depression. At the time, however, there was little understanding of the condition or effective treatments. Alone and rendered completely inactive, the woman begins to see visions in the yellow wallpaper of her room and ultimately goes insane.

Gilman based “The Yellow Wallpaper” on her own negative experiences with neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell, who treated Gilman (then Charlotte Stetson) with the “rest cure” in 1887, following the birth of Gilman’s daughter Katharine (Thraikill, 2002). While a work of fiction, the real-life Weir is a looming threat in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” As the unnamed woman in the story describes, “John says if I don’t pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don’t want to go there at all.”


After “treating” Gilman, Mitchell advised her to give up writing, her passion, and concentrate exclusively on being a wife and mother as a way to maintain good health (Science Museum). Instead, Gilman went on to write “The Yellow Wallpaper” to dramatically illustrate the deficiencies of the “rest cure, as well as the influential non-fiction book Women and Economics (1898), which advocated for women’s economic independence and was translated into seven languages.

Dismantling the “Rest Cure”: In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman outlines how the “rest cure” systematically disenfranchises, isolates, and controls an unnamed woman in need of quality health care, resulting in her ultimate insanity.

  • Disenfranchisement: Throughout the story, the woman asserts her ideas that writing and companionship would greatly improve her health, but is dismissed. In one example, she says, “I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me.” However, her husband advises her to “check the tendency.” When the woman asks for the room downstairs that “opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window,” her husband refuses, choosing the nursery with barred windows upstairs instead. When the woman complains of the ripped up wallpaper in the room, her husband refuses to fix it, saying he doesn’t want to “give way” to her “fancies” or spend money renovating a rental. When the woman says the “treatment” isn’t helping and asks to leave, her husband again refuses, citing the lease agreement: “I told him that I really was not gaining here, and that I wished he would take me away. ‘Why darling!’ said he, ‘our lease will be up in three weeks, and I can’t see how to leave before.'”


  • Isolation: Despite allegedly good intentions, John’s actions increasingly isolate the woman in the story. Twice, he prevents her from having the company of sought-after cousins Henry and Julia. The first time, the woman says, John “would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now.” The second time, the woman says, “I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk with him the other day, and tell him how I wish he would let me go and make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia. But he said I wasn’t able to go, nor able to stand it after I got there.” Meanwhile, John is away a good deal of the time on medical cases (“John is away all day, and even some nights”), a clear juxtaposition — and contributing factor — to the woman’s increasing isolation.
  • Control: Finally, as the summer goes by, John’s behavior becomes increasingly controlling, and the woman begins to question his true intentions. According to the woman, he “hardly lets me stir without special direction.” The woman is forced to lie down alone for increasing periods of time. As she describes, “I lie down ever so much now. John says it is good for me, and to sleep all I can. Indeed he started the habit by making me lie down for an hour after each meal. It is a very bad habit I am convinced.” As her condition worsens, the woman says, “I believe John is beginning to notice. I don’t like the look in his eyes.” As the summer draws to a close, the woman believes John is only “pretending” to be loving and kind. Eventually, these questions turn to cold fear: “The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John.”

COMING SOON: PART II OF ARTICLE BY WENDY BIRD. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is available online to read or to listen to an audio reading.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow us—Suffrage Centennials—on FacebookTwitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

We honor Louise Slaughter! More suffrage centennial news!

Special Report: Thank you, Louise Slaughter (1929-2018) for your work benefitting American women! on Vimeo

.IN OTHER NEWS: The website——is adding to the resources associated with 2020. You can add the 2020 centennial logo onto your site. The May issue of the Suffrage2020 listserv has some up-to-date and breaking news. Are you subscribed? Sampling of some of the listings:

The “One Woman, One Vote” Film Festival scheduled for March 2020 in Washington, DC.

The database (online) for Women and Social Movements is compiling a biographical dictionary of this first wave of the women’s rights movement. WASM is a subscription website, although the biographical dictionary portion will be made available on September 2018.

There is activity around the 2020 votes for women centennial in Washington state, North Dakota, and Missouri. Paperback editions of “Alice Paul: Claiming Power” by J.D. Zahniser (Oxford, 2014-2019) and “Remembering the Ladies: Celebrating Those who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box”by Angela P. Dodson (Center Street, 2017/2019)._

Post to Suffrage2020 by sending an email with your message to



“Stamping for Suffrage” by Kenneth Florey

by Kenneth Florey

Given past practice, it is highly likely that the US Postal Service will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the federal amendment granting women the right to vote. Doubtless it will issue at least one postage stamp honoring “Votes for Women,” if not, more probably, a “souvenir sheet,” containing a variety of stamps picturing different elements of the movement.

In 1948, for example, the post office printed a stamp honoring the “one hundred years of progress of women” featuring images of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1970, the PO distributed an issue for the 50th anniversary of the suffrage amendment picturing a “votes for women” touring car that was so popular during the campaign. And in 1995, it honored the 75th anniversary with a very colorful design featuring a large group of suffragists in front of the Capitol Building. Its souvenir sheets celebrating the major events of the different decades of the 20th century included a stamp delineating a woman voting.


The Post Office has not neglected individual suffragists either. There have been stamps honoring Susan B. Anthony (twice), Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abigail Adams, Dr. Mary Walker, Julia Ward Howe, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Belva Lockwood, and Alice Paul. Still yet to be pictured are such notables as Harriot Stanton Blatch, Anna Howard Shaw, and Inez Milholland, the suffrage martyr. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman ever to run for President (1872), has not been graced with a stamp either, although her period notoriety, particularly her stance on “free love,” could preclude her from ever appearing.

But again, I suspect that in 2020 we will see a souvenir sheet picturing either famous events from the suffrage movement or famous suffragists, perhaps a combination of both. The reason why I believe in the possibility of multiple stamps is that the PO in its current budget crisis has not been bashful in printing many different series to attract stamp collectors. If cartoon characters, famous chefs, baseball players, jazz musicians, Olympic athletes, early TV memories, and Gulf Coast lighthouses can be honored with multiple issues as they have been, surely the centennial celebration of women’s right to vote should attain at least equal if not greater recognition.

Check out Kenneth Florey’s website ( and his book, “American Woman Suffrage Postcards: A Study and Catalog” (McFarland Books).

Keep in touch with us at Suffrage Centennials.





Only one more state to go for ERA: Plan now for August 26th, Women’s Equality Day!

Suffrage activist Rosalie Jones and Edna Kearns, left, on their way hiking in the direction of Albany, NY to see the governor about voting rights, 1914.

BREAKING NEWS: The state of Illinois passed the Equal Rights Amendment which means there is one state to go before the ERA is added to the U.S. Constitution. Here’s the list. Send emails and make phone calls!

Democratic Representative Lou Lang, who worked for this for over 20 years—- (217) 782-1252

Republican Representative Steven Andersson who helped get his Republican colleagues on board —- (217) 782-5457

Democratic Rep. Anthony DeLuca —– (217)782-1719

Republican Rep. Robert Pritchard —- (217) 782-0425

Republican Rep. Christine Winger —- (217) 7824014

Knuckle down and put on your thinking cap. There’s a buzz going on from now through 2020. And 2020 is an election year. Don’t forget to put suffrage centennial events and celebrations on your “to do” list.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow Suffrage Centennials on our Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event.

Great suffrage centennial celebrations, New York State!

Suffrage Wagon Cafe loved the New York State suffrage centennial from 2017 to 2018!! on Vimeo.

Thank you, New York State Museum, for your terrific votes for women exhibition. There were so many events and special celebrations during 2017 and 2018, we couldn’t keep up with it all. If you weren’t featured on the suffrage centennials blog, contact Marguerite Kearns at SuffrageWagon at gmail dot com.

Let us know what you are doing, and if we can feature your hard work, we will.

Sign up with Suffrage Wagon News Channel at