Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: woman suffrage

Monday, December 30, 1912

Here is the entirety of a front-page article about a man who is not dead:

“A rumor circulated on the streets Saturday evening was that Neil (Army) Armstrong, who until recently lived at 910 West Illinois street, this ciyt [sic], had been killed. There were different reports as to the manner in which he met death, but all agreed on the main issue—that ‘Army’ was no more. On Sunday the story was proven to be a canard. Its origin was traced to a North Market street habitue who was having alcoholic hallucinations.”

In Kankakee, a Miss Mary Crocker is suing the highway commissioner of that county for $2,000. “She alleges that he attempted to kiss her and placed one arm around her, greatly to her embarrassment.”

The “Suffragette Pilgrims” have reached Albany ahead of schedule, having walked 174 miles from New York in twelve days. They will present a message to Governor-elect Sulzer advocating votes for women.

Monday, December 23, 1912

This is so sweet! The University students who were barred from the Saintz club dance—because they brought chorus girls as dates—got together their own impromptu dance in College Hall, with the four “Mother Goose” girls as guests of honor. “It was stated today that the young women belong to excellent families and that one’s mother is chaperoning the four while on the tour. Miss Nora Busey of this city is acquainted with them and had them for her guests on an automobile ride whie [sic] the company was here.”

From Rhinebeck, New York, comes the headline “RICH MEN HEAR SUFFRAGISTS.” Vincent Astor, Frederick Vanderbilt, Mrs. Vanderbilt, and Miss Huntington came upon the five suffragettes who are hiking to Albany, as the women were addressing a crowd of 300 in front of the hotel. “The five women have now covered 98 miles of their journey. All are in good spirits.”

And goodness me, there are female highwaymen (highwaywomen?) in Boston!

Football, Educated Bears, and a Magical Chink

at least it doesn't say "chink" in the ad

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on December 14, 1912. Here is the full text of the review in the same paper:

Mlle. Spellman and her educated bears will be the Waker [sic] feature for Monday—this is some act for it has played before the crowds at the New York Hippodrome. Big bears and little bears, but all of them trained marvelously are put through difficult and amusing paces. The intelligent bears head a bill which includes Nadell and Kane, comedians; Nealis and Hopkins, “The Postman and the Maid,” and Ah Ling Foo, the Chink magician. Final performances tonight of Nan Halperin and her “Suffragettes,” an amusing musical show featured by Nan herself—she is a comedienne of originality and her imitations of “vodvil” are worth a trip to the Walker.

Monday, December 9, 1912

“Make a bonfire of your hats, throw away your corsets and wear trousers instead of those ridiculous tight skirts,” said Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt to the Equal Suffrage club in New York. For the past two years, she has traveled around the world promoting the idea of votes for women. “My trip around the globe convinced me that my own country women are the most fettered, sartorially, to be found anywhere. It is time for the western woman to kick herself free of the swaddling draperies which the Parisian sends over to us. We should declare our independence in dress as we have in politics, and the sooner we do it the better for health, happiness and the cause.”

This does sound rather comfortable, but I certainly won’t be setting my hats on fire! Here is a picture of Mrs. Catt:

Carrie Chapman Catt

Friday, December 6, 1912

Seventeen-year-old Elsie Slade, of Urbana, was taken into custody as a runaway in Danville. She had run away with two girls who had been visiting in Champaign. “They were arrested by a detective, who recognized the Wilson girl as unfit company for a lass of Miss Slade’s appearance.” Miss Wilson was arrested a couple of weeks ago, “following an encounter in a resort.”

In Quincy, a decree of divorce was granted to a fifteen-year-old mother of three children. She was married three years ago, and the charge was desertion.

The first jury of women in Idaho is apparently guilty of an “odd stunt,” because the hearing was adjourned while the jurors prepared the midday meals for their families, and they reached their verdict (finding a woman guilty of threatening a man with a revolver) in less than an hour.

Finally, there is a report from London that militant suffragettes decided at a recent meeting to blow up the lower house of Parliament if the government fails to adopt woman suffrage in a forthcoming bill, “according to a statement issued by a news agency.”

Thursday, December 5, 1912

“Failing in two previous attempts to destroy the restaurant of E. B. Ford and Weaver’s pool room, adjoining, the baffled incendiary resorted to an explosive, and yesterday morning wrecked both structures.” The article does not give details of the two previous attempts, but it does say that there is evidence that nitro glycerine was placed in the wall separating the two Villa Grove establishments.

Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman had a large audience at the Illinois theatre last night. “Naturally, the audience was composed principally of women. However, there was quite an attendance of men and all seemed well pleased with the speaker’s remarks.” Her topic was “Women and the State,” and the article calls her exposition “brilliant and humorous” and her arguments “sane and convincing.” Many people joined the Equal Suffrage society at the close of the lecture.

Samuel Castle, the man who attacked another man with a hatchet on Tuesday, was released from the city prison after a Mrs. Funkhouser paid his fine. “WOMAN PAYS HIS FINE,” shouts the headline of the article, which intimates that the woman is Castle’s paramour.

Monday, December 2, 1912

Champaign police raided two more bootlegging joints. The first, at 407 North Neil street, just north of the Beardsley hotel, belonged to Sam Lowry, a former drummer at the Walker opera house. Ten men were taken, including a prominent Champaign lawyer. The other raid was conducted at the home of Mattie Johnson, a negress, at 32 North Oak street, and five white men were arrested there.

“Owing to the fact that a large number of negroes employed on the construction work, have thrown up their jobs with the approach of cold weather, the Urbana & Kankakee Traction Company will employ white men exclusively from now on.”

In Minneapolis, two chorus girls from a burlesque house danced rag time dances on the platform of the pulpit of a church, illustrating the preacher’s sermon on “Praise Him With the Dance,” and the audience “fairly gasped at this. No matter how brazen, the dance was performed, the ‘turkey trot,’ the ‘crab crawl,’ the ‘tortoise tango,’ the ‘Jelly Wobble,’ ‘tangleworm wriggle,’ the ‘grizzly’ and all others known to these two girls of the stage.”

Three suffragettes were arrested in Aberdeen, Scotland, for attempting to kill David Lloyd-George, chancellor of the exchequer. One of the women had what she believed to be an infernal machine, which she intended to hurl at the man when he appeared to make a speech; but she had been duped, as the box contained only firecrackers, rather than the powerful explosive she expected. In any case she was found before she had a chance to throw it.

Friday, November 29, 1912

Two Mahomet men were on their way to Urbana in an automobile Wednesday evening when the machine ran off a bridge six miles west of Champaign. They were found an hour later, pinioned beneath the overturned vehicle, unconscious from exposure, with only their heads above water. Neither was hurt badly, but they are suffering from nervous shock and it is feared they may develop pneumonia. “It is almost certain that had relief come thirty minutes later, both men would have died. The water was freezing rapidly and Thursday morning the stream was covered with ice nearly an inch thick.”

Another letter-box outrage, supposed to be the work of militant suffragists, was committed in the center of London. Acid was poured into letter boxes throughout the financial district, including Threadneedle street, the stock exchange and the Mansion house, the official residence of the lord mayor of London. Many letters were destroyed and much inconvenience was caused.” I am not sure how this vandalism came to be associated with suffragists, for it makes no sense to do such a thing and not at least claim responsibility for it. Perhaps they are convenient scape-goats?

Wednesday, November 27, 1912

There is a turkey famine in Centralia, Illinois! “Most of the housewives will have to serve the Thanksgiving spread minus this luxury.”

In Philadelphia, the National American Woman Suffrage association convention closed after adopting resolutions praising President Taft for appointing a woman as head of the national children’s bureau, commending the crusade against the traffic in women, and indorsing arbitration to prevent wars.

And speaking of woman suffrage, here is an advertisement for the talk that will be given here by Charlotte Perkins Gilman next month:

Friday, November 22, 1912

Suffrage will win, said Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National Woman Suffrage association, at the forty-fourth annual convention of that organization in Philadelphia. “Heretofore we had to inspire enthusiasm; now we have to hold it down,” she declared. The convention took place in historic Independence square, which was filled to its capacity, with men predominating.

A man near Murphysboro killed a bald eagle that had been stealing fowl and pigs. Its wingspan was six feet and nine inches.

In Hood River, Oregon, there is a hunt on for a big brown bear that raided a raspberry patch, destroyed an apiary, and entered a kitchen. When it entered the caretaker’s sleeping room, he dove out an open window by his bed. “The flapping of his night shirt waving an adieu so suddenly in the cool morning breeze frightened the bear, which turned over a cupboard of jams and canned fruits in its hasty exit through the pantry.”