Sometimes it appears as if no one is listening. Not so. There’s a page on this blog devoted to feedback: What people are saying! Take a look.
In the past, not all feedback about suffrage was negative. Many prominent people put themselves on the line, including Walter Clark, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He wrote to suffrage leader Alice Paul toward the end of the national suffrage campaign to pass the 19th amendment: “Your place in History is assured. There were politicians, and a large degree of public sentiment, which could be won only by the methods you adopted.” Justice Clark was referring to the direct action taken by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party, which at the time was extremely controversial. Nowadays we take the civil rights movement to expand the franchise for granted. At the time it polarized people, as well as brought them together.
What bothers me is that too few folks have any idea about this part of our history. Of course I was asleep too during history class which means I missed a lot. It wasn’t on the history test which makes me think it wasn’t considered all that important. The woman’s suffrage movement brought an enormous number of new voters into the fold, and it wasn’t easy. Anything that takes 72 years from the time of the Seneca Falls convention suggests it was uphill all the way. The 19th amendment may be in the past now, but I love learning about the brave souls who carved a path in the wilderness. Thanks to our grandmothers and great grandmothers and great great grandmothers for their hard work. And I love the idea of suffrage tea parties to celebrate these brave souls.