New York City, New York, U.S., 04/08/2015 /SubmitPressRelease123/
The A&E television series, “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” brought to a large audience in 2014 an awareness of the nation’s first spy ring during the war for independence and how local residents on Long Island (NY) had been deeply divided between loyalty to the colonists and loyalty to the British.
The intrigue portrayed in this dramatic television series foreshadowed what happened 100+ years later when in 1913 women’s suffrage activists drove a horse-drawn wagon called the “Spirit of 1776” from Manhattan to Huntington, NY on Long Island. They expected townspeople to greet them and certainly not for a local resident to provoke a confrontation and reveal her family’s long-standing Tory sympathies. See video: https://vimeo.com/124107160
Details of the story about the 1913 confrontation in Huntington, NY:
This new twist on an old story brings new information to the attention of millions of Americans now tuned to the second season of “TURN: Washington’s Spies.” A video and research links contribute to the public discussion associated with the TURN’s second season on A&E. Many TV fans will be suprised to learn that by 1913, some of Long Island’s long-term residents still hadn’t forgotten the American Revolution and the commitment of their family members and ancestors to the policies of King George III. They harbored resentments over the outcome of the American Revolution. And they weren’t shy about expressing themselves about the matter.
“The confrontation over the ‘Spirit of 1776’ horse-drawn wagon suggests a little-discussed part of American history –people’s lingering feelings and strong emotions,” according to Marguerite Kearns, host of Suffrage Wagon Café (http://www.suffragewagon.org/?page_id=9448).
“In early July 1913, Edna Kearns and other women’s suffrage activists left the Manhattan office of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association and headed to Long Island for a month of Votes for Women organizing,” Marguerite Kearns said. “As they drove the old wagon called the ‘Spirit of 1776′, they provoked controversy along the way.”
The name of the wagon and its alleged origins lured descendants of former Tory sympathizers out of the closet to a confrontation with some descendants of Patriot sympathizers, Kearns continued. This confrontation on the streets of Huntington, NY in 1913 involved Mary Livingston Jones, the well-known descendant of prominent Long Island Tories. Mrs. Jones also opposed the movement to extend voting rights to women. She viewed the two issues as related.
“What makes this tale distinctive is that Mrs. Jones’ daughter, Rosalie Jones, was a well-known women’s rights activist associated with Long Island’s Votes for Women organizing campaign,” Kearns said.
“After the battle smoke cleared from the war for independence, most people conveniently forgot or dismissed their family members and ancestors’ sympathies with the English. Not so on Long Island. This fascinating story clearly demonstrates the repercussions,” Kearns added.
The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon will be on exhibit in 2017, New York State’s suffrage centennial celebration.
New York women voters won the right to vote on the state level in 1917. Women won the right to vote nationally with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.
“The national Votes for Women centennial in 2020 is expected to be popular and its observance widespread nationally,” said Marguerite Kearns, Suffrage Wagon Cafe host.
Suffrage Wagon Café is a special program of Suffrage Wagon News Channel, a multi-media educational and entertainment platform featuring women’s suffrage movement trends, news, views, events, and suffrage centennial celebrations. The channel has been publishing since 2009. (http://SuffrageWagon.org) It is a partner with Suffrage Centennials, a web site promoting events and centennial celebrations (http://SuffrageCentennials.com)
SuffrageWagon.org can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, email, and a quarterly newsletter. Suffrage Wagon News Channel hosts more than 100 videos about the women’s suffrage movement on its Vimeo platform. See: https://vimeo.com/kearnsmarguerite/videos
Photo: The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon now in the collection of the New York State Museum will be exhibited at the museum in 2017 during the state’s suffrage centennial celebration. The image is from the Edna Buckman Kearns Suffrage Archive. SuffrageWagon.org
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