Thursday, July 14, 2011

Climb Aboard the Suffrage Wagon!

The New York State Museum in Albany has an amazing piece of history... The Suffrage Wagon!

The what? Yes, you read right, the Suffrage Wagon! A Long Island suffragist named Edna Buckman Kearns hitched a horse to a wagon she dubbed "The Spirit of 1776" and campaigned for "Votes for Women" while riding around in it.

Suffrage Wagon on display 2010

& the NY Sate Museum has it. I was so excited to see it on display during Women's History Month (March) 2010. I went down with my daughter specifically to see the exhibit, if you could call it that. She loves the State Museum more than I do and would gladly go every week as long as I don't make her look at old furniture. As soon as I saw it in the front lobby of the building I knew two things;
1.) it was an amazing artifact &
2.) it was on temporary display. So, now it is in storage. Why, you may ask? Who knows? The fourth floor where the carousel is has any number of random artifacts on display from Teddy Roosevelt's car to Roycroft furniture to stuffed bats. Can't the curatorial staff find room up there at least?

What I would really like to see, & what Marguerite Kearns, granddaughter of Edna Buckman Kearns, would like to see, is the Suffrage Wagon on permanent display with other artifacts from special collections chronicaling the Suffrage Movement on the main exhibit floor. We would like this to be a reality prior to 2017 which will be the Centennial of New York State granting the right to vote to its female citizens. If you would like to see this happen as well, Marguerite has launched a postcard campaign. I have sent my postcards out. Will you help? I have some postcards to pass out, or you can contact Marguerite at

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