Marguerite Kearns July 19, 2019

July 1913 is when Edna Buckman Kearns, Irene Davison, and Serena Kearns started out in the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon for a run through Manhattan with the goal of a fast and furious organizing trip through Long Island. The goal? To introduce the message of “taxation without representation as it applied to women.

Dr. Helen Pankhurst on voting & activism! on Vimeo.

A SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE

This special Suffrage Wagon Cafe program for 2019 highlights the theme of the American Revolution. The women activists wore replicas of what they thought represented the period dress of 1776 to go along with the name of the campaign suffrage wagon now in the collection of the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. It will be on exhibit during 2020, the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. Make plans now to see it. And link your concerns for today with the base laid by others along the way.

THE NEW FEDERAL INCOME TAX LEVY FOR AMERICANS IN 1913: A HOT TOPIC

The 1913 action featuring the travels of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon in the media was newsworthy in its time. During the year of 1913, the passage and ratification of the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution that opened the way for the US Congress to levy an income tax to its citizens.

Because of this, the cry of “taxation without representation” was newsworthy as Edna B. Kearns and others of the New York State Woman Association planned for the wagon’s journey through Manhattan and Long Island during July of 1913. If the US government planned to tax all of its citizens, the issue of taxation annoyed and infuriated the nation’s women.

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION COMPARED TO PROTESTS IN 1776

This was, in part, the theme of the wagon protest that appeared in newspapers of the period. Edna Kearns and Harriet May Mills worked closely to coordinate the framing of the message, the costumes, used by wagon participants, and the message as presented in the news media. This is why the origin of the wagon’s building became such an important part of the news angle presentation.

The historic road marker dedicated and erected in April of 2017 in Huntington, New York stands as a reminder of this journey of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon in July of 1913. The same goes for the historic marker unveiled in Long Beach, NY commemorating the visit of Edna Kearns and the “Spirit of 1776” wagon during July of 1913.

Follow the suffrage wagon during  our 10th year of publication.

The “Spirit of 1776” will be exhibited at the New York State Museum during 2020. Stay tuned for display information. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been publishing since 2009.

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