Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Suffragettes Spend Christmas in Hudson

This account of the suffragettes' Christmas stopover in Hudson appeared in the New York Press on Thursday morning, December 26, 1912.


Griffith Bonner Wins Gladys Coursen's Promise to Become His Bride.


Christmas Is Spent in Hudson in Skating Party and Charity Ball.
HUDSON, N. Y., Dec. 25--General Rosalie Jones and her suffragette "army" that is hiking to Albany, to-day were thrilled with the announcement that one of their member, Gladys Coursen, is to become a bride of Griffeth [sic] Bonner, a volunteer in the cause.

Miss Coursen is a Vassar graduate. Bonner finds time apart from his cotillon [sic] calls in Poughkeepsie and New York to work for the ballot for women. He devotes some of his time to the Men's League of Poughkeepsie and works for a newspaper in the same city.

The engagement was made known when Miss Coursen began to wear the fraternity pin of Bonner, even more conspicuously than the "Votes for Women" badge. Bonner supplied the answer. He said:

"We are engaged--that is, I believe we are; but there is a slight string to it. Miss Coursen has put me on a three months' probation. She wants to be sure I will devote my entire time to her, as is natural. My social duties, of course, have made it necessary for me to have many young woman friends. But I intend to show her I can be true."

The social duties he refers to compel his weekly appearances at dances in Sherry's, Delmonico's and other places where the younger set stage their festivities.

The marchers to-night attended the charity ball held for the benefit of the Hudson Hospital. The ball was under the auspices of three of the local social leaders, Cornelia Andrews, Gretchen Longley, her niece, and Mrs. J. Y. Hogeboon. All three are survivors of the Titanic disaster.

Bonner is the grandson of Robert Bonner, who made a fortune in the publication of the New York Ledger and who owned Maud S. and other famous horses. The father of Griffith Bonner is wealthy and was a classmate of Alfred Chester Coursen, father of Miss Coursen. Both parents were graduated from Princeton in 1876. Their children have been chums since childhood. Griffith Bonner's father is a director in a dozen or more corporations, the most important being the Pennsylvania Cement Company and the McKinnon Steel Works.

Bonner Follows "Army."
For years Bonner has begged Miss Coursen to become his wife. When she became interested in the suffrage movement he organized the Men's League. When she decided to join the "army" he went with her. When they started from Poughkeepsie another suitor, Pelton Cannon, walked on the other side of Miss Coursen and tried to dissuade her from attempting to make the trip.

The "army" of General Jones had come prepared to make a big showing. For three weeks the General has had trunks in this city with costumes for to-night's ball. The marchers appeared as spirits.

General Jones represented the "spirit of Abigail Adams," wife of the President, who urged him "not to forget the ladies, John, because some day they will arise in their might," when he went away to help frame the Constitution. She wore a costume of pink and blue, a blue satin petticoat under a polonaise and looped panniers of flowered pink silk. Her shoes were of black velvet with buckles.

Major Katherine T. Stiles wore a costume of black velvet and lace, with high-heeled shoes of black velvet, and widely draped panniers. She represented the "spirit of Mercy Warren," also of 1776. Colonel Ida Craft was "the spirit of Lucretia Mott," of 1848. Her gown was of garnet velvet, with which she wore a Quaker cap. 

First Suffragette
"The Spirit of Margaret Brent," of 1647, was represented by Lieutenant-Colonel Jessie Hardy Stubbs, who came on from New York for the event. For the benefit of those who knew nothing of Margaret Brent, it was explained that she was the original American Suffragette. As the heiress of Lord Calvert and Lord Baltimore, she once went before the Maryland Assembly and demanded two votes in their name. She also kept the Assembly worrying all of one night, before it decided to deny her the right to vote.

Gladys Coursen represented the "Spirit of 1912," being her own natural self. About her neck was a placard enumerating the ten States that have given the franchise to women.

One of the worst hardships of the journey was encountered by the "spirits" on arriving at the ball. It was especially hard on Lieutenant Colonel Stubbs, who, as the heavy artillery of the trip, had missed no opportunity to make a speech. They were told they were to be seen and not heard for one hour. It was a hard command, but not one broke her silence. After the hour was over the "spirits" left the hall. Then they returned and danced.

General Jones admitted that she has worked her feet hard to-day, for the dancing was not the first of her athletics. For more than an hour she was busy in the skating rink here this afternoon. She made a suffrage speech.

She and Colonel Craft each made one in the same rink at 11 o'clock this morning to representatives of the Hudson suffragette organization.

Presents Distributed
This afternoon the General gave a tea to her army and camp followers. There were a Christmas tree and gifts for each, presented by Colonel Craft. Only little "Doc" Dock was absent. She has been in bed all day, resting for the hike to-morrow. Then the war correspondents made their gift, a copy of "Pilgrim's Progress," in which each marcher and each war correspondent had written his or her sentiments regarding the journey. Some of these read:

"Where are you going, my pretty maid?
I'm going a-suffering, sir, she said.
May I go with you, my pretty maid?
If you carry the baggage, sir, she said.

"Theirs not to reason why. Theirs but to tramp or die, the noble six hikers."

Such useful gifts as cold cream, foot powder, foot soap and water pails also decorated the tree.

Early to-morrow the hikers will start for Stockport, where they will spend the night. The itinerary now has been completed. On Friday night they will be at Schodack Centre. The last night before reaching Albany will be spent at Rensselaer.

Accompanying them from here tomorrow will be a delegation of Hudson Suffragettes, prominent along them: Mrs. Luella D. Smith, president of the local W. C. T. U.; Mrs. C. B. Snyder, of the D. A. R. and prominent club woman of this city, and Sallie Stupplebeen and Eloise Payne.

The following excerpts are from an article that appeared in the afternoon of Thursday, December 26, 1912, in the Hudson Evening Register.


Suffragists Spent Pleasant Christmas Here.


Where They Will Stay Until Tomorrow Morning.

The Suffragettes, who marched into Hudson Tuesday evening, and who spent a most merry Christmas here, left The Worth at 9:20 this morning, resuming their on-to-Albany hike. . . . 

Manager Stupplebeen opened his rink for the Suffragettes to hold a meeting, and a meeting was held there in the afternoon. General Jones put on the rollers and had a Christmas skate before addressing the meeting. There were a number of people present who seemed considerably interested in the cause.

When the meeting was over the Suffragettes repaired to The Worth, and there a Christmas tree was awaiting them. Proprietor H. C. Miller had given over his private office for the occasion and here the room was decorated in holly and other Christmas greens, while Christmas bells and ornaments were suspended from the ceiling and intertwined from corner to corner. The Christmas tree was just loaded down with gifts and presents. . . . 

A pink tea was given, and the parlor adjoining the room in which stood the tree was thrown open as well as the large public parlor which connects it. Many Hudson well wishers of the cause were present in these rooms. Though away from home and loved ones, the army had a Christmas tree all to itself at the hotel and after singing several songs they distributed presents from a real Christmas tree, with Col. Craft acting as Santa Claus.

The party that stopped at The Worth was made up of Gen. Rosalie Jones, Col. Ida Craft, Surgeon-General Lavinia L. Dock, Alice Clark, Gladys Coursen, Sibyl Wilbur, suffragist and reporter, Jessie Hardy Stubbs, A. Major, of Major's cement, and Edward Van Wyck, of commissary department and traveling by auto; M. A. Stiles, of Associated Press, and his wife, a suffragist; Virginia Hudson of New York Press; Emma Ragbee, New York Tribune; Gertrude A. Marvin, New York Sun; Henry Parker, the New York Journal; J. O. Smith, New York World; H. Percy Soule, New York Times; William Conley, New York Globe; Martin Casey, Brooklyn Eagle; Griffith Bonner, Poughkeepsie Star.

Mrs. Luella Smith, president of the local W. C. T. U. and Mrs. C. E. Snyder, President of the local D. A. R. extended greetings to the band, and this morning when the Suffragists started out, they were accompanied by Miss Eloise Payne, Miss Laura Atwood and the Misses Stupplebeen, all of this city.

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