Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Army Enters Albany

This account appeared in the Syracuse Herald one hundred years ago today, on December 29, 1912.

Little Band of Pilgrims Arrive Two Days Ahead of Their Schedule. 


General Jones to Present Message to Governor-elect Sulzer Next Week.

Albany, Dec. 29—Tired and footsore, but still enthusiastic and glorying in the fact that they reached their destination two days ahead of the schedule, the little band of suffragette pilgrims who walked 174 miles from New York to present a message to Governor-elect Sulver advocating votes for women, arrived in Albany shortly after 4 o'clock this afternoon.

The 174 miles, which "Gen" Rosalie Jones said was the record shown by the official registers, although railroad maps show some twenty-five miles less, were covered in twelve days of walking, an average of fourteen and a half miles a day.

Of the six "pilgrims" who started from New York on the morning of December 16th, five, Miss Jones, "Surgeon General" Livinia [sic] Dock, "Colonel" Ida Craft, "Corporal" M. N. Stubbs and Private Sibyl Wilbur, completed the long hike. Mrs. Inez Craven, who was one of the sextette to make the start, dropped out en route.

Contents Still Secret.
The "message," the contents of which will not be known until Governor-elect Sulzer reads it, will be placed in his hands by "General" Jones at his convenience as soon after his arrival as possible Miss Jones said. The Governor-elect is expected here Monday.

All of the marchers reported none the worse for their long trip, with the exception of "Surgeon" Dock. She is suffering slightly from rheumatism and limped noticeably.

"I should like to have everybody form a New Year's resolution that they shall at least consider seriously the proposition of votes for women, if they are not at the present time absolutely in favor of it," said "General" Jones to-night. "We feel that we have touched the people along the line of march in a way that could have been effective by no other method. We feel that the people realize that this is no idle notion. The pilgrimage has always stood for the highest ideals of the cause it represents, and we are sure from the receptions we have been accorded that our march has not been in vain."

Escorted into Albany.
To-day's journey was from Niverville, a distance of 18 miles. A score of local workers for the cause, headed by Miss Elizabeth M. Smith, president of the Albany Equal Suffrage club, met the marchers at East Greenbush shortly after noon and escorted them to Albany. There was no brass band, the only real demonstration in the musical line being "Everybody's Doing It" from a bugle, behind closed doors in a house on the outskirts of Rensselaer.

The marchers were met at the bridge over the Hudson leading into Albany by two policemen and Dr. C. M. Culver, a local suffragist, who prides himself upon the fact that he has been "for the cause" since 1867, and who incidentally paid the toll for all in the band.

When the pilgrims reached the city it was decided to have a short parade up to the Capitol and down State street to the hotel where they will make their headquarters in the city. There was no demonstration during the march, although there was a bit of grumbling "in the ranks" at the extra tramp up Albany's steepest hill.

Arriving at the hotel, "General" Jones made a brief speech, thanking all friends and sympathizers. All the marchers were besieged by admiring friends and congratulated upon the successful conclusion of the journey.

For every good effort, there are always detractors, as this article, which appeared in the New York Sun on the same day, gives evidence.


Asks Governor-elect to Tell His Views on Suffrage Question.


Women Believe Most of Work for Cause Must Be Done in This City.

"A picturesque thing to do, and splendid to stir up sentiment," is the characterization of General Rosalie Jones's Albany hike, by Nora Blatch De Forest, who stayed in New York and beat the Jones army in reaching Governor-elect Sulzer.

"I think Rosalie Jones's message is one of greeting more than anything else," continued Mrs. De Forest. "I felt we should speak to the Governor-elect before he finished his message. That meant to reach him before he left New York. So we called on him. He was delightful.

"'You ladies have my assurance that you will be entirely satisfied with the reference to suffrage which you will find in my message,' he said. Of course, no one believes our success rests with Governor Sulzer. He hasn't the power to give us suffrage, but we want his indirect influence."

Suffragists are interested in the move of the De Forest "army," that has taken the edge from the Jones achievement. General Rosalie Jones has led a footsore, weary "army" all the way to Albany to say to Governor-elect Sulzer exactly what General De Forest and her army told him after a fifteen minutes' ride from the headquarters of the Women's Political Union to his office in No. 115 Broadway.

Mrs. De Forest thinks the farmers and people of small villages must have been "tremendously impressed" by Rosalie Jones and her followers.

"I can't see much real use in walking to Washington, if that is a serious plan," she said. "We want to concentrate our efforts on New York State."

Mary Garrett Hay says she is confident New York State women will vote for President of the United States in 1916.

"It isn't necessary to chase to Albany or hound the Governor-elect," she said yesterday. "He sent me a letter a week ago telling me where he stands. I am willing to take his word. No use in chasing after him. You'll never find Mary Hay in anything sensational. I'm too busy doing real work."

Nora Blatch Barney in 1921
Gossips Note: Nora Blatch De Forest, the daughter of Harriot Eaton Stanton and the granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was a third generation suffragist. She graduated from Cornell University in 1905 with a degree in civil engineering--the first woman in the United States to earn a degree in any kind of engineering. She married inventor Lee De Forest in 1908, but they separated after only a year owing in large part to De Forest's insistence that Nora give up her profession and become a conventional housewife. They were divorced in 1911. In 1919, she married marine architect Morgan Barney. 

In 1912, Mary Garrett Hay was the president of the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs, and she is credited with bringing the woman's club movement to suffrage. Despite her scorn for "anything sensational," as president of the New York Equal Suffrage League and the New York City Woman Suffrage Party, Hay undoubtedly had a hand in organizing the Suffrage Parade held in New York City on October 23, 1915, which, with 40,000 marchers, can still claim to be the largest parade ever held in New York City.

Hay's prediction that "New York State women will vote for the President of the United States in 1916" did not come true. It wasn't until 1917 that New York women achieved the right to vote in state elections--three years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote in national elections.

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