by Ramona Dayton

It wasn’t easy to promote Marguerite’s maternal grandmother Edna who volunteered in the “votes for women” or suffrage movement during 1913 in New York City and Long Island. Edna Buckman Kearns was a writer, a speaker, a representative, a grassroots organizer, and someone who consistently spoke for women who “needed” the right to vote. Edna was a “behind the scenes” type, someone who made a priority of “the cause” and promoted the cause primarily rather than herself.

Her granddaughter Marguerite donated the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon Edna Buckman Kearns used in 1913 that her grandfather Wilmer R. Kearns restored and kept active and on the road in the service of education after Edna’s death in 1934.


Marguerite never met Edna, but she was so curious about her grandmother Edna that she spent most of her life volunteering to take her story out to the general population. She spoke to public groups, wrote a book, and did much more. She did this for years and some of the community groups included the Abiquiu Library, the Española Library, the Santa Fe Library, the Historical Society of Woodstock, NY, plus national and state government bodies. She also made sure that Edna’s suffrage campaign wagon became part of the permanent collection of the NYS Museum in Albany, NY. She has published a blog weekly about the wagon since 2009.

She has used many examples of news angles to promote the wagon. Here is one example.

TURN: Washington’s Spies shows Long Island in 1777 and Suffrage Wagon Cafe program reveals what happened 100+ years later on Vimeo.

And Marguerite made sure that her grandmother’s efforts in Long Island, NY, were also documented in other films and programs funded by the Pomeroy Foundation, the organization sponsoring state Votes for Women historical road markers, as well as elements of the national Votes for Women Trail.

Thank you, Marguerite.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been publishing since 2009.