Sunday, December 30, 2012

General Jones's Army in Albany

The following article, accompanied by the montage of photographs, appeared a hundred years ago today, on the morning of December 30, 1912, in the New York Press.  


Father of Anti-Suffrage Speaker Says They Are "Silly Women."


Marchers Divided by Strife, but Await Chance to Give Message to Sulzer. 

ALBANY, Dec. 29--General Rosalie Jones, leader of the "army" of marching suffragists that yesterday arrived in Albany, after hiking all the way from New York, is doing her best to-night to preserve peace in the ranks of her "army" until after their message is delivered to Governor-elect Sulzer to-morrow afternoon.

It has been a day in which the strained relations existing between some of the hikers have been so evident that a watchful eye has been kept to prevent the hair-pulling stage from being reached. It was with a sigh of relief that General Jones spoke of disbanding the "army" to-morrow. No other comment was needed as to her private opinion of the squabbling that has cast gloom over all since the arrival in this city than her reply when asked if she would go to the inaugural ball.

"After we disband to-morrow," she said, "I will not be General Jones, but Miss Jones. As Miss Jones, I shall attend the ball with my cousin, James Duane Livingston."

And, as if there were not trouble enough with the doubt of the attitude of the Governor toward the pilgrim "army" and the talk of dissension that has kept groups apart from groups all day, watchfully eyeing each other and discussing what each other may be saying, the final blow was given to-night when they were told what William Croswell Doane, Diocesan Bishop of Albany, had said about them.

There are a dozen or more excited conferences going on in the hotel parlors and writing rooms, the parties being augmented momentarily by equally excited Albany suffragettes, who are rushing in after hearing the news, to join in the expressions of sympathy, condolence and general condemnation of the Bishop's attitude and opinions.

Bishop Attacks Women.
This is what the Bishop had to say this afternoon when seen in his home in Elk street:

"I have no faith in the cause of the suffragists. The women are not as ill-behaved as their sisters in England, but they are directed by the same impulses. Suffragism as we have come to know it in New York State differs from the suffragism of England as comparative differs from superlative. The suffragists who made the pilgrimage from New York to Albany are a band of silly, excited and exaggerated women. Their sole aim in making this pilgrimage, as they are wont to call it, was the attraction of attention. This demonstration will not help their cause."

General Jones was having troubles of her own when this was repeated to her in the suffrage tea given in her honor this afternoon by Mrs. Helen Hoy Greeley of New York and her sister, Elizabeth Raebquin Hoy, in the home of their father, No. 584 Western avenue. There were things of more vital interest at the moment demanding all her diplomacy. She prevented more than one serious verbal clash when challenge was ostensibly given her by one of her officers who insisted on differing with every word she said by quietly asking her not to be serious at a social affair. She stopped long enough, however, to say:

"I'm a good Episcopalian, but I think the Bishop has been misguided. His own daughter, Margaret Doane Gardner, the famous anti-suffragist, goes all over the country making speeches. If we are making a display of ourselves she is doing the same by continual speaking against the cause we represent."

General Jones received a telegram from her mother this afternoon, rejoicing in the fact that the journey is safely over. The leader had but one regret. "She did not even wish our cause success," she mourned.

Plan to Trap Sulzer.
Elaborate military plans have been made for to-morrow for presenting the all-important message. The entire army has been asked to meet in the Hampton Hotel just before the arrival of the Governor. Two pilgrims will be delegated to be at the station. They will not speak to the Governor or annoy him in any way, but will follow along silently wherever he goes to see where to send emissaries.

Reservations have been made for Sulzer in the Ten Eyck, but it is possible he may accept the invitation of Lieutenant Governor-elect Martin Glynn to stay in his Willitt avenue home. When his abode is discovered, the pilgrims will return to the hotel and report. The Chief Aid Gladys Coursen, attended by two more pilgrims, will go forth with a letter for the Governor, asking him to receive their general and their message some time during the day.

The pilgrims will stand at attention outside the doorway while Aid Coursen delivers her letter. Should she have to wait more than two hours before being received the waiting pilgrims will be relieved. Guards will thereafter be changed each two hours.

General Rosalie Jones, still in command of her own army, will present the message. She will not ask for an answer, and will wish the Governor a Happy New Year and tell him that the message has been sent by her sisters in New York City.

Immediately after the army will disband. There will be more than the General who will be glad to end the intimacy that has been forced on them in the journey of the past two weeks, it is rumored.

Sibyl Wilbur, a pilgrim and the official biographer of Mary Baker G. Eddy, was given a big reception after the service in the First Church of Christ Scientist, which she attended this morning. She was forced by enthusiastic admirers to make a speech, telling of some of her experiences on the hike. 

"I had no blisters on the trip," she said, "and I took no medicine. I experienced little fatigue, and what there was was all over after one night of natural sleep. Suffrage is a part of Christian Science, for Mrs. Eddy herself was the first to say 'Our father-mother-God.'"

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