Saturday, September 29, 2012

5. New Jersey: Suffrage Pioneer

New Jersey
By Becky Brown

In the United States the right to vote could be determined by an individual state if the federal government did not address the issue. When the New Jersey Constitution was first adopted in 1776 the document defined a voter as a propertied adult resident of the state.

1880 representation of the 18th-century New Jersey
"Petticoat Electorate" in Harper's Weekly
How many women, blacks and non-citizens took advantage of this freedom at the polls is not recorded but by 1802 the Trenton True American described the percentage of woman voters as "alarming."  In 1807 politicians using the excuse of voter fraud prevention narrowed the franchise to free, white males over 21 years of age.

Campaigning for a renewed franchise
on the Jersey Shore in 1915
By the early 20th century suffragists reached a consensus that a national law, a Constitutional Amendment, was necessary to ensure that states could not give and take voting rights on political whims. New Jersey was the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, the Woman's Suffrage Amendment, in 1920.
The 19th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Alice Paul of Moorestown, New Jersey became a leading suffragist, effectively using newspaper publicity to win the fight for the 19th Amendment. After each state ratified the Amendment she invited reporters to watch her stitch another star on her Suffrage Flag. The law required ratification by 35 states. Here she totes up 22 in late 1919.

New Jersey by
Georgann Eglinski

New Jersey by
Dustin Cecil


New Jersey
 Adapted from BlockBase #2952

In the early 20th century Hearth and Home magazine asked readers for blocks named for their home states. The nine-patch submitted for New Jersey here is adjusted for an 8" block but retains the X which can symbolize the vote New Jersey "gave" to women and then took away.

Cutting: 8" Finished Block 

A - Cut 2 squares 4" 

 Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 4 triangles.

B Cut 4 rectangles 2-1/4" x 3-1/8".

C - Cut 2 rectangles 1-1/8" x 3-5/8".

D - Cut 2 squares 3-7/8".

Cut each with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 8 triangles.

E - Cut 1 square 3".

Cut  with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 4 triangles.
F - Cut 1 rectangle 1-1/8" x 7-3/8".

New Jersey
by Becky Brown


For a 12" block I made the proportions a little different (tough to get a block divisible by 5 into 12").
A - Cut 2 squares 5-5/8".

 Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 4 triangles.

B Cut 4 rectangles 2-7/8" x 4-1/8".

C - Cut 2 rectangles 2-3/16" x 4-3/4".

D - Cut 2 squares 4-3/16".

Cut each with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 8 triangles.

E - Cut 1 square 3-5/8".

Cut  with 2 diagonal cuts to make 4 triangles. You need 4 triangles.

F - Cut 1 rectangle 2-3/16" x 10-11/16".

Another romanticized look at New Jersey's
 female voters.

Read Irwin N. Gertzog's paper "Female Suffrage in New Jersey 1790-1807" by clicking here:

And Rosemarie Zagarri's blog post "On Voter Fraud and the Petticoat Electors of New Jersey" here:

New Jersey: Pioneer in women's suffrage.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

4. Kansas Sunflower: Yellow and Gold

Kansas Sunflower
by Becky Brown

American women's groups chose an identifying palette based on yellow or gold.

Historians trace the emphasis on yellow gold to the Kansas sunflower, a reminder of the pioneering suffrage campaigns beginning with Territorial constitutional conventions in 1859.
Editor Clarina Nichols came to Kansas from Vermont
 and led the first suffrage campaign in the territory in 1859

Former Governor James Denver recalled that first Kansas "universal suffrage" proposal.

 "Every man, woman and child, every horse, every cow, everything that had life in it, should have the right to vote in Kansas. Well, that was only an illustration of the wildness of the times."

 Not a supporter, Denver was given to hyperbole. The 1859 campaign failed.

Felt banner from the early 20th century

Undaunted, Kansas women tried an 1867 suffrage referendum in which Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone and other women's rights leaders toured the new state in vain. In 1887 suffrage campaigners revived the campaign, this time with a yellow ribbon as a symbol.

Topeka voters in 1916
It took decades but Kansas became the seventh state to enfranchise women---a century ago---in 1912. We are celebrating the Centennial of Kansas Women's Suffrage on November 5th this year (2012).

This Crazy Quilt once belonged to Lucy Browne Johnston of Topeka. It features many gold ribbons from women's organizations. At top right is one from the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association (K.E.S.A.). See more of this quilt at the website Kansas Memory here

Inspired by the Kansas colors of 1887, national organizations adopted a color ranging from butter yellow to cheddar.

Becky is fussy-cutting flowers for the centers
of her purple, green and white version.
You can see why every suffrage quilt must have a sunflower. This one with nine points comes from Carrie Hall, a life-long Kansan, who included a Kansas Sunflower in her 1935 index to quilt patterns The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America.

Dustin is using dots and woven geometrics.

Georgann pieced the sunflower and then appliqued it to the background. There are 8 points in her sunflower.
Kansas Sunflower
BlockBase #3448


I've added a template page for an 8" block here and a 12" block below. You can piece the whole block or applique the sunflower to an 8-1/2" background.

Here's a how-to on piecing the block:

If you have BlockBase print templates for #3448 at 8 inches.

The Kansas Suffrage Reveille was a monthly newspaper published by the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association (KESA) from 1896 to 1900. The Kansas State Historical Society prides itself on an excellent newspaper collection. You can read issues on line by clicking here.

There maybe an online archive of regional suffrage newspapers in your local historical society.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

3. Union Square: Red for Rebellion

Union Square
by Georgann Eglinski

The NUWSS was considered the moderate arm of the
British Suffrage movement.

England's National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was the largest group dedicated to obtaining the vote for British women. Note they call themselves "Law-Abiding" on the above banner, differentiating themselves from the WSPU, which often broke the law. The word Union in their name referred to a merger of organizations. Union was an optimistic term. The Union often fractured over politics, tactics and philosophy.

 NUWSS banners
In 1907 the NUWSS decided to show politicians and press the widespread sentiment for Votes For Women with a march though the streets of London. Despite February's mud more than forty groups marched from Hyde Park. From a newspaper account: 

 "A gay enough procession by most accounts, despite the weather. Little touches of red and white splashed its length with rosettes and favours, posies bound with red and white handkerchiefs, programmes and above the line white banners with vivid scarlet lettering."

The campaigners realized the effectiveness of taking it to the streets.
We take public marches for granted---
but when the NUWSS began marching in London
the tactic was not so obvious.
Above American women planning
 a "procession" 5 years later.
The ideas of a public parade with a unified color scheme took hold. In 1907 and 1908 NUWSS marchers wore white with accents of red, the color of rebellion. They later added green to a create a tricolor palette, echoing the colors of Garibaldi's Italian revolution.

Union Square in two versions by Becky Brown

Union Square was given that name by the Nancy Cabot quilt column in the Chicago Tribune, a good pattern to remember the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and its dramatic marching colors.

Union Square is
BlockBase # 2417
A red and white color scheme for these blocks would also echo the popular palette for American quilts in the years 1880 to 1920. The quilt below was probably made in those decades.

Each week you'll have a suggestion for a two-color version of the block of the week.
Cutting an 8" Finished Block
A - Cut 4 squares 2-1/2"
B - Cut 4 squares 2-7/8". 

Cut each in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. You need 8 triangles.
C - Cut 9 squares 2-3/8".

I'm adding 12" blocks in 2020.

Millicent Garret Fawcett (1847-1929) was president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies from 1890 until 1919. The NUWSS received less press and is remembered less vividly than the WSPU, but the group was far larger and more politically astute.
Read more about Fawcett and her sister here:
Union Square
Dustin Cecil