Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Today in Suffragette History —> On November 12, 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spokesperson for the rights of women, was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton formulated the philosophical basis of the woman suffrage movement, blazing a trail many feared to follow.

Stanton’s verbal brilliance combined with the organizational ability and mental focus of her lifelong collaborator Susan B. Anthony made the two women a formidable resource to the early cause.

Although Stanton served as president of the “radical” National Woman Suffrage Association and its successor the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), she found it Increasingly difficult to maintain her leadership role. Interestingly, her agenda was far more radical than that of many younger, more conservative feminists.

Stanton’s belief that organized religion subjugated women alienated some supporters. In The Woman’s Bible, she brought considerable notoriety upon herself by criticizing the treatment of women in the Old Testament.

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world…wherever we turn, the history of woman is sad and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation.”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments.”

Sources: Library of Congress

Pictured: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, seated, and Susan B. Anthony, standing.
Pictured: Draft of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Woman’s Bible” circa 1895

#Suffragette #Feminism #ElizabethCadyStanton

History of America First

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Know your history. Words have power. A short history lesson on the “America First,” movement with the help of prolific American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known simply as Dr. Seuss.

#KnowYourHistory #WordsHavePower

Photo Essay: Colonial Williamsburg Houses


“That the future may learn from the past”

Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation presenting part of an historic district in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia.  Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area includes buildings from the 18th century (during part of which the city was the capital of Colonial Virginia), as well as 17th-century, 19th-century, and Colonial Revival structures, as well as more recent reconstructions.

The Historic Area is an interpretation of a colonial American city, with exhibits of dozens of restored or re-created buildings related to its colonial and American Revolutionary War history. Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area’s combination of restoration and re-creation of parts of the colonial town’s three main thoroughfares and their connecting side streets attempts to suggest the atmosphere and the circumstances of 18th-century Americans. Colonial Williamsburg’s motto has been: “That the future may learn from the past”.









Savannah’s Forsyth Park Fountain


Savannah’s Forsyth Park was designed after the French ideal of having a central public garden, and the fountain is said to be the garden’s centerpiece (although it isn’t at the center of the park).

However beautiful, the fountain is not unique. It was ordered from a catalogue.

Other cities fancied the catalogue spread, too. Similar fountains exist in New York, Peru and France.

Myth Busting: Christopher Columbus


MYTH: Christopher Columbus was the one who discovered America.

TRUTH: Even if you ignore the indigenous populations on the continent (you shouldn’t), the first European to land in America was technically Leif Erikson some 400 years earlier.

MYTH: Columbus discovered that the Earth was round when he sailed for India and ended up in America.

TRUTH: Believe it or not, it was generally accepted that the Earth was a sphere by the time Columbus embarked on his famous voyage. In fact, it had even been known to the ancient Greeks almost 2,000 years prior!

#Colombus #America #RoundEarth

Most Admired: Theodor Seuss Geisel


Author Profile of the Day:

Theodor Seuss Geisel —> better known as Dr. Seuss, 1925. Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925. His first nationally published cartoon appeared in the July 16, 1927, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. His first book wasn’t published until 1931. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.

Geisel was a liberal Democrat and a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. His early political cartoons show a passionate opposition to fascism, and he urged action against it both before and after the United States entered World War II. His cartoons portrayed the fear of communism as overstated, finding greater threats in the House Un-American Activities Committee and those who threatened to cut the United States’ “life line” to Stalin and the USSR, whom he once depicted as a porter carrying “our war load”…

#DrSeuss #TheodorSeussGeisel

Most Admired: Charlotte Perkins Gilman


Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

She is best known today for her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a semi-autobiographical account of a severe bout of postpartum psychosis. She was a Utopian Feminist (women’s suffrage as well as women’s economic independence) and a prominent sociologist, novelist, writer of short-stories, non-fiction and poetry. Her book “Women and Economics : A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution,” was published in 1898 and considered by many her greatest work. Her contention was that humans were the only species in which women were dependent upon the male for survival. They paid for this dependence through domestic services of “sex functions”. Here belief that this awkward distribution of power within the sex roles were detrimental to both genders. Her novel “Herland” published in 1915 is a utopian novel describing an isolated society entirely of women who reproduced asexually and thus had an idea social order – free of war, conflict and domination. Perhaps her greatest literary achievement was self-publishing a magazine, “The Forerunner”, for seven years (1909-1916), she wrote the entirety of every issue – editorials, critical articles, book reviews, essays, poems, stories, and six serialized novels including “Herland” and the sequel “With Her In Ourland.”

She married twice, separating from her first husband in 1888 and finally divorcing 1894. She bore one child with her first husband, Katherine. She married her second husband in 1900 and they remained happily married until 1934 when he died of a sudden cerebral hemorrhage. In 1932 she learned she had incurable breast cancer. She was an advocate for the right-to-die and thus on August 17th, 1935 she committed suicide by taking an overdose of chloroform. Both her autobiography and suicide note stated she “chose chloroform over cancer.” One of her more famous quotes comes from her suicide note…

“Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or broken heart, is excuse for cutting off one’s life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one.”
~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver.”

Most Admired: Edith Wharton


Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Edith Wharton is well known as one the more prolific American writers of the twentieth century, being a novelist and short story writer as well as a garden and interior designer. In 1921 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for one of her best known novels, “The Age of Innocence.” It has been made into at least three movies, the most recent being the Martin Scorsese film released in 1993. In 1923 she became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale.

During her long life her literary endeavors were encouraged by a varied group friends of both the literary elite and other notable public personalities such as: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry James, Jean Cocteau, Andre Gide and Theodore Roosevelt. Additionally she met both Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her upbringing and varied group of friends and influences provided her with unique insights into the upper class. Through all her life her polished prose and humor produced fiction which appealed to a large audience. She received the French Legion of Honor for her philanthropic work during World War I, and was additionally a member of the National Institute of the Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In addition to notable novels such as “The Age of Innocence,” “The House of Mirth,” and “Ethan Frome,” she also wrote at least eighty-five short stories and non-fiction dealing with her European travels and Interior and Garden design such as “Italian Villas and Their Gardens,” and “French Ways and Their Meaning.” She is best known for her novels with portraits of New York’s upper class during pre-World War I society. She used both humor and empathy to discuss their vanishing world at the beginning of the twentieth century. In such novels as “Ethan Frome” she was much more harsh and critical of the rural lower class of Massachusetts.

A few short quotes :

“Nothing is more perplexing to a man than the mental process of a woman who reasons her emotions.”

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”

“Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.”
~ Edith Wharton

Most Admired: Anne Sexton


Anne Sexton (1928-1974)

Anne Sexton was an American poet best known for her personal autobiographical style of confessional verse. In 1967 she won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her book “Live or Die.” Additionally she was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the first woman to be a member of the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The main themes of her poetry consisted of her suicidal tendencies, her battle with depression, isolation, and personal details of her intimate life including her marriage and children. In 1928 she was born in Newton, Massachusetts and would remain in the Boston area for the rest of her forty-five years. She married in 1948 and had two daughters. She was diagnosed with what is now called bipolar disorder and struggled with it much of her life, including several suicide attempts and a long relationship with Glenside Hospital. On October 4th, 1974 she put on her mother’s fur coat, removed her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage turning on the car and committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Besides her reoccurring themes of depression, isolation and suicide she also focused on certain issues specific to women which were not commonly addressed in poetry up to that point such as menstruation and abortion. She also more broadly addressed such subjects as masturbation and adultery all subjects that were taboo up until that point. Early in her career she focused almost entirely on autobiographical verse, but as her career progressed she made attempts to reach outside her own personal experience. One of her most successful of these was the book, “Transformations,” in which she retold Grimm’s fairy tales. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. commented after reading the book, “God love her.” The poet Denise Levertov said of her death, “We who are alive must make clear, as she could not, the distinction between creativity and self-destruction.”
A link to Anne Sexton reading her poem “Her Kind” :

A few quotes :
“All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children…. I was trying my damnedest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can’t build little white picket fences to keep the nightmares out.”

“Death, I need my little addiction to you. I need that tiny voice who, even as I rise from the sea, all woman, all there, says kill me, kill me.”

“The beautiful feeling after writing a poem is on the whole better even than after sex, and that’s saying a lot.”

Wanting To Die – By Anne Sexton

Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.
Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.
But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.
Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, his magic.
In this way, heavy and thoughtful,
warmer than oil or water,
I have rested, drooling at the mouth-hole.
I did not think of my body at needle point.
Even the cornea and the leftover urine were gone.
Suicides have already betrayed the body.
Still-born, they don’t always die,
but dazzled, they can’t forget a drug so sweet
that even children would look on and smile.
To thrust all that life under your tongue!–
that, all by itself, becomes a passion.
Death’s a sad Bone; bruised, you’d say,
and yet she waits for me, year after year,
to so delicately undo an old wound,
to empty my breath from its bad prison.
Balanced there, suicides sometimes meet,
raging at the fruit, a pumped-up moon,
leaving the bread they mistook for a kiss,
leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.