About the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon

"New York Archives" article, Fall 2013This web site is inspired by the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon used by suffrage activist Edna Kearns that is now in the collection of the New York State Museum. This article (left) is from the “New York Archives” magazine, Fall 2013. It is reprinted with permission in a publication that’s a member benefit of the Archives Partnership Trust (nysarchivestrust.org)

The article provides an overview of the  wagon, its symbolism for the suffrage movement, and why it continues to have significance for our times. The “Spirit of 1776″ wagon symbolizes patriotic protest, an important theme of the suffrage movement from 1848 to 1920.

2013 NYS Legislature Resolution about the "Spirit of 1776" suffrage wagon

The music video, the “Spirit of 1776″ teaches suffrage history. For overview of the music video on the “New York History Blog.” Patriotic protest is well illustrated in the “Spirit of 1776″ music video. Highlights of media coverage of resolution passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature designating July 1, 2013 the “Spirit of 1776″ Wagon Day in New York. Transcript of June 18, 2013 of the New York State Senate introduction of the Wagon Day (July 1, 2013) resolution. #1. #2. 

Audio readings below and check out links to newspaper articles highlighting the first voyage of the “Spirit of 1776″ in 1913. Video highlights newspaper coverage in 1913. The presentation of the “Spirit of 1776″ to the New York State Woman Suffrage Association was well documented in New York City and area publications.


Below: A reading of the wagon presentation ceremony article from the NYTimes on July 1, 1913. “Suffragists out for a stir,” NYTimes, July 1, 1913. PDF

Below: “Off on Caravan to Win Long Island.” Article about the 1913 Long Island suffrage organizing campaign as covered by  The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, on July 2, 1913. PDF

Below: “Suffragists Finish Tour of the Island” is an article from The Daily Standard Union on August 6, 1913. PDF

Below: This two-minute audio is an article from an unknown Brooklyn paper on July 1, 1913. See article. 

 Other articles about the wagon presentation and the 1913 Long Island suffrage organizing campaign:

“Suffragists Off for Farms in Garb of ’76,” The Sun, July 2, 1913. PDF

“Suffragists Tour Island,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 9, 1913. PDF

“Came to See One Horse Shay,” The Long Islander. August 1, 1913. PDF

Long Island suffrage stories from Suffrage Wagon.

A great photo from the book about the Long Island suffrage movement written by Antonia Petrash and published by The History Press in 2013. One featured photo is of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon when on exhibit at the New York State Capitol in 2012, as part of the Governor’s history exhibit, “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court: New York’s Women Leading the Way.”

How and why the “Spirit of 1776″ was donated to the New York State suffrage movement. The president of the NYS Woman Suffrage Association, Harriet May Mills, saw the “Spirit of 1776″ off from Manhattan on its voyage to Long Island for a month of organizing.

Image of "Spirit of 1776" suffrage wagon by Peter Sinclair

Vimeo channel for Suffrage Wagon videos. Youtube channel of Suffrage Wagon videos.

Videos about the “Spirit of 1776″ and its journeys. Video highlighting newspaper coverage of the 1913 trip of the “Spirit of 1776″ through Manhattan and Long Island.

Bibliography and resources for Edna Kearns and “Spirit of 1776″ wagon.

Important resources about suffrage wagons and automobiles. Not many survive, but this coverage gives an overview. See special videos, plus articles by Ken Florey about how wagons and automobiles were used in the Votes for Women or suffrage movement. Twelve reasons why the “Spirit of 1776″ is a NYS Treasure.

Media about “Spirit of 1776″ resolution in NYS Legislature: Ms. Magazine blog: #1. #2. Newsday coverage. #1. Legislative Gazette. #1. #2. Feature from Women’s eNews. #1. #2. Albany TV coverage. #1. #2.  State Senator Little’s web page about resolution. #1. #2. Transcript of June 18, 2013 of the New York State Senate introduction of the Wagon Day (July 1, 2013) resolution. #1. #2. New York History blog. #1. 

Drawing by Peter Sinclair.

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