Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Army in Albany: Another Perspective

The coverage of the pilgrimage that appeared a hundred years ago today in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was considerably more sympathetic to the suffragist army than the account in the New York Press--curious because, according to the report that appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on December 26, the reporter from the New York Press who was traveling with the suffragists was a woman and the reporter from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was a man. 

The article in the Eagle reports on the same plans and strategies for delivering their message to Governor Sulzer but makes only passing reference to Bishop Doane's denunciation when it reports that "Colonel Ida Craft of Brooklyn was considerably nettled today over the statement made by Bishop Doane of Albany, one of the most prominent Episcopal divines in the country, who declared that the hiking suffragettes were a band of silly women."  Of particular interest is this message from the pilgrims to their supporters in Brooklyn which introduces the Eagle article.


Headquarters of the Suffragist Pilgrims, 
Albany, N. Y., Dec. 30.

To our Brooklyn suffragists and friends--Heartiest greeting and the happiest New Year in the history of woman suffrage, from the Albany pilgrims.

To the Brooklyn Eagle--A Happy New Year and many thanks for its constant interest in our work, and especially for its splendid treatment of this pilgrimage.

We take this opportunity, through the courtesy of The Eagle, to assure our Brooklyn friends that New Year greetings is not a hollow, meaningless phrase. The prospects for suffrage are better than ever before. This trip through the country has given us an insight into the state of suffrage sentiment in the up-state districts which has been a constant delight. Everywhere we found interest, just waiting to be crystalized into real suffrage enthusiasm. The people came to their doors and open windows to wish us Godspeed.

There was little ridicule and no open hostility. Of course, we cannot say that everybody we saw was a believer in women's cause, but the attitude even of the anti-suffragists is best explained by incidents such as this.

It was the day we walked from Peekskill to Fishkill, 22 miles, through six inch mud, with a cold rain beating in our faces. In the muddiest corner of a country road we met two men, evidently residents of the nearby farms. They gave us cheery greetings and as they passed we heard one say, "Gee whiz, Bill, they're doin' more for their cause than we men would."

On this trip hundreds of people have heard the votes for women gospel whom we never could have reached through ordinary meetings. We distributed thousands of rainbow leaflets at farm house doors, and made immediate speeches at cross roads gatherings.

New York State cannot be carried for woman suffrage in 1915 without the upstate vote, and this is the method of reaching the country voters. Every section of the state will have to be canvassed in similar pilgrimages. We have only three years to do it. Awake, sisters, and help us. It won't do to sit back and say, "Yes, I think women ought to vote." We must pack up our knapsacks and say, "We've got to get it."

Wishing you all could have had the inspiration of this pilgrimage, we are yours for the cause.

IDA CRAFT, Brooklyn.
On December 30, 1912, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle also reported this story about an unexpected and happy consequence for one of the suffragists, Lieutenant-Colonel Jessie Hardy Stubbs.

Left to right: Rosalie Jones, Jessie Hardy Stubbs, Ida Craft


Suffrage Marcher Finds Father From Whom She'd Not Heard in Years


Major Hardy Located His Daughter by Means of Newspaper Stories of the "Hike."

Albany, December 30--Mrs. Jessie Hardy Stubbs, one of the most prominent organizers in the New York State Woman's Suffrage Association, today received a letter at the Hampton Hotel from her father, Major A. L. Hardy, whom she hasn't seen or heard from since she was 8 years old. Mrs. Stubbs, who has been with the pilgrim army on and off since it started out from New York, collapsed from sheer joy today when she received a long-looked for word of some kind from her father, who is living in Pittsburgh, and who located his daughter's whereabouts through the newspapers.

Major Hardy was one of the most prominent newspaper editors in Central Illinois when trouble arose between him and his wife in Chicago, twenty-five years ago. They separated, and Mrs. Hardy took her daughter and came East, and from the day they parted neither has heard a single word from the Major, who dropped out of sight as if swallowed up by the earth. He was graduated from the Peekskill Military Academy, and when a youth entered and fought all through the Civil War. Inclosed [sic] in a brief letter, which Mrs. Stubbs received in the first mail this morning, reading: "I am proud of the position you have acquired. Hope to hear from you soon," was a newspaper clipping saying he was formerly histographer of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg [sic].

There was also a clipping showing that he had written several books, among them "Pertaining to Pittsburg" and "The Story of Pittsburg." Mrs. Stubbs was too upset to-day to talk about the long separation, but she declared that she would immediately go into communication with her father, whom she hasn't seen in twenty-five years.

"No matter what fruit the pilgrimage may bear," she said, "it has done one thing that fills my heart with joy today--it has restored my father to me, and that is the greatest gift that heaven could bestow upon me."

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