US Senate proposes female suffrage

January 10, 1878
US Senate proposes female suffrage

Here’s the needlework connection to this date:

Alice Stone Blackwell

Alice Stone Blackwell (1857–1950). Photographer and date unknown. Daughter of Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell, Alice Stone Blackwell edited the suffragist newspaper The Woman’s Journal (which Blackwell holds in this photo) from 1883 to 1917. George Grantham Bain Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIGggbain-07886). Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Suffragists raised funds to support their cause by holding bazaars. As Katherine Durack explains in her article, “Let Us Keep Knitting and Crocheting for the Bazar, Sisters!: Notes on the December 1900 National Suffrage Fair,” in the January/February 2015 issue of PieceWork:

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York. Circa 1900. Photographer unknown. The National Woman Suffrage Fair was held here in December 1900. Detroit Publishing Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIG-det-4a17562). Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

“The National Suffrage Bazar at New York City’s Madison Square Garden was the first major project of Carrie Chapman Catt, newly appointed by eighty-year- old Susan B. Anthony as leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Modeled after the successful suffrage fairs held in Massachusetts since 1870, organizers of the fair called for participation from every state in the union, seeking ‘all sorts of saleable things.’ Donations poured in from across the country.” Even Alice Stone Blackwell, the editor of The Woman’s Column, the oldest suffrage paper in the country, supported the cause and kept a stash of washcloths to crochet edgings on at her desk.

Crocheted washcloths were among the many items for sale at the December 1900 National Suffrage Fair. Crochet your own washcloth with PieceWork’s A Suffrage-Fair Washcloth to Crochet Kit. Never underestimate the power of the needle to affect change. Women’s needlework helped achieve the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 26, 1920. This finally gave women the right to vote.

—Elizabeth


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