Our Michelle is on the phone again. This time she’s on the horn about the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon that was on display in 2010, 2012, and then again for New York State suffrage centennial in 2017. So it’s going to be out there again in 2020. What’s the big deal? It’s a symbol not only of “patriotic protest” as well as the unfinished American Revolution.
Two horse drawn suffrage campaign wagons of exhibit quality exist today. One is the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon now in the collection of the NYS Museum. The other used by Lucy Stone is in the Smithsonian. Wouldn’t it be great if these two artifacts could be displayed together? Such an exhibit would bring to light the extensive grassroots organizing put into US women winning the right to vote. It opens up a discussion of organizing tactics on the community and local levels.
Take a look at this video about wagons used in the first wave of women’s activism as represented in postcards from the collection of Kenneth Florey. Ken is the author of two books about the suffrage movement—one about movement collector’s items, and the other about postcards with a votes for women theme. Kenneth Florey is a treasure. Check in with his Amazon page.
By doing this, you are rocking the cradle of the women’s rights movement in the US. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote. Keep elections fair and honest. Don’t let partisan politics get out of control.