tv American Artifacts Votes for Women Exhibit CSPAN October 6, 2019 5:59pm-6:31pm EDT
unfiltered view of politics. >> this weekend on american rosenfeld, sophia author of "democracy and truth: a short history," talks about tensions among citizens in history to determine what the wha is rather than relying on- an elite class to determine the truth for them. -here's a preview. >> before we conclude, i think, that we are really post anything and that democracy itself is exceptionally at stake, we need to ask a little more about what came before. it is hard to figure out what has changed if you don't know what existed at an earlier moment. my subject today, which is the subject of my new book, "democracy and truth," is a problem of historians, i ask, how did we get to this point?
how did the marriage of democracy and truth, which looks so good from the outside, go so astray? >> see her entire talk about american democracy this sunday at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. eastern. you're watching american history tv only on c-span3. >> >> annexed a visit to the smithsonian national portrait gallery. a guided tour of an exhibit marking the centennial of the 19th amendment, using images of early suffrage leaders, she shows how the movement intersected with the abolitionist and temperance movements. >> welcome to the national portrait gallery at the smithsonian institution. i'm the curator of votes for women.
for this exhibition i worked 3.5 years researching, finding all the objects. objects, 63t 124 portraits. i was hoping to commemorate the 19th amendment and tell the history of the 19th amendment and how women lobbied to get this amendment passed and ratified. ask questions about it. and why 1965, the voting rights act, was considered a part two of the voting amendment. i will show you a few of the objects that tell this history. we are in the first gallery of the exhibition.
i mentioned we have portraits that drive the narrative. i also wanted to include pieces of art, like the one we are looking at. it's by a female artist. the 1860's.e in i wanted to include this painting, because it or trays ,oung children, these four kids one is a baby. and the mother. then you have a servant or helper cleaning the dishes. what i like about this painting war. depicts the civil areakind of looking back spencer decided to portray this moment in time by looking at the lives of women.
and the women are very serious. the children are very much engaged in the celebration, they don't understand how severe and difficult that was. vicksburg, during the battle, sides battle, men on both starved, because the city was surrounded by an embargo. the civilalking about war in a suffrage exhibition? what i wanted to do was demonstrate the divide between the north and the souse -- and the south. in theays a big part suffrage movement, especially when the 14th amendment was passed and ratified. this is the first time in the history of the constitution that gender was specified, and it
delivered a severe blow to the suffrage movement, where women try to advocate for their for their right to vote, but they weren't even considered citizens . at the 14th amendment granted citizenship to anyone in the united states. when the 15th amendment enfranchised american citizens, it only enfranchised half the population. this is a huge divide. the suffrage movement disagreed on how to handle it. that's why they split between each other. wanted to advocate for suffrage by including black women, whereas lucy was trying to add the case for universal -- trying to advocate for universal suffrage. one of the major african-american suffragists.
gave speech at a convention. she was trying to explain to people that she was also an african-american and a woman combined. black women couldn't just sit around and let people take away their rights and not advocate for them. they became active in church groups and they were learning how to speak in public, understanding their rights, understanding how to get those rights by their local communities by being involved in those local community church groups. that's an interesting topic not a lot of people have gone into or understand as much. thele do understand suffrage movement was divided,
but they don't understand that african-american remain very active. mike sarah parker, whose portrait is on the far wall. in was an activist anti-slavery society of massachusetts. and she took her activism abroad. this is another interesting story in how american suffragists were not only vocus in the united states, but they were also out of -- also active elsewhere in new york. we are going to talk about seneca falls and what is being referred to as the myth of seneca falls. of susan bortrait anthony. anthony is pointing to a book, and they are very dignified.
be a publicity shot today. they were using this portrait to represent them to a wider audience. they didn't even meet until 1851. seneca falls, as most of us recall from our history books and high school, was a gathering, the first convention in 1848. elizabeth cady stanton and others penned the declaration of sentiments, which is the beginning document, one of the first documents that women were advocating for a vote. what i hope this exhibition explains is by going back way back to 1832 is that women were getting together and talking and advocating for their rights, for their citizenship rights well before 1848.
suffrage just didn't appear out of thin air. it has a long history that others argue. that is a great intellectual debate i encourage you to look into. i brought us up to 1869 and now we are going to move into the next gallery, which starts in 1870. gallery ande second i wanted to make sure to include representation of the women's christian temperance union. ofhelps us get into a lot friend issues that american women were facing. temperance was a large organization that had 100 thousand women across the united states involved. they would gather and meet in what was called chapters. the temperance union fully
endorsed -- there is a woman on the horse. these welling over marked barrels of alcohol. behind her are all of her compatriots. they are part of the temperance league. in the name of god and humanity, that is with the banner one of them is carrying. when women were married to alcoholics, they became a vulnerable population. they were organizing amongst
each other in ways that help understand their rights and what they can do to advocate for their rights. prize.bottom you see the i wanted to include this little metal because i was curious to know how women were teaching themselves how to speak in public. you think about toastmasters of today. they were actually awarding prizes to women who was speaking and having a contest in order to award them. they were talking about christianity. there was an interesting object i was able to find.
the reason why was important for women to know how to speak in public was in part because the suffrage cause, the word about it was being threat -- angst spread through -- was being spread through speeches. they were speaking at auditoriums and being paid lots of money. earned $20,000 annually. she made more than mark twain. i think that is an interesting comparison. remembered today? even though and elizabeth even though-- dickinson was known more than dark -- mark twain of the time. she started her own business as a wall street banker. love,vocated for free
which means sex outside of marriage, which was definitely outside of the norm for women. and she also ran for president on a word party ticket. she was the first woman to do so. herave a nice portrait of attempting to vote, asserting her right to vote. weren'td when you supposed to vote. lots of women at this time were doing what would be referred to illegal voting. it was illegal for women to vote. they would hold one of thousands across the country who thought to change the system by going out, voting, getting arrested, not paying fines, and serving a sentence in jail so they can
appeal through the court system. and they try to change the laws that way. was another severe blow dealt to the suffrage movement in 1873 when the apreme court ruled against virginian minor who tried to vote and got up to court system. then the supreme court found women should not vote legally in the united states. we were discussing how victoria woodhalld -- victoria asserted her right to vote. here we have a different type of pallet box. this one is made of metal. what i like is it explicitly says women's ballot on it. very much in your face that
women were voting separately. they could may be for municipal .uffrage or in some states, about 15 were allowed to vote in the presidential election. indiana, which is one of those states that allowed women before 1920 to vote in the presidential election. it was made out of st. louis, and they made these boxes between 1860 and 1920. peacefulhis is a material culture that eliminates what women's rights were like and what it looked like, what it felt like. we are looking at a caricature of victoria woodhall in 1872.
this exemplifies some of the struggles women were going through at the time. woodhall has been known for wearing what is known as victory rolls. them intortoon turns devil horns. she has become a demon. she is walking away from a woman who is looking over her shoulder , maybe a little undecided that she made her decision, she is going up this mountain. you can tell there are three children she is carrying as well as the alcoholic husband strapped to her back. this exemplifies the choices women had. stock you throw in your with somebody like victoria woodhall, who is advocating for free love at the time, and that term for sext
outside of marriage. she was advocating that women should indulge that and have that outside of harwich, and why get married therefore? burden of ill husband without any support? victoria woodhall was trying to promote choices women had. at the time women were definitely not supposed to be having sex and enjoying it. this is very much a taboo subject. histhomas capture that in caricature of victoria woodhall. we are looking at a portrait of velda and lockwood. arguing for cherokee man's rights. she became an expert witness for native americans in subsequent trials.
what i like is how dignified she looks, she had her hair wound up in this beautiful cloth. on, and it collar represents her as this respectable woman, because she was a suffragist and they were constantly being accused of being outside the bounds of femininity. she was actually the first woman to campaign for a presidency. i mentioned victoria woodhall, who is the first one who would name herself as candidate for presidency, but she couldn't campaign because she was serving a sentence. yet she had founded what was called equal rights party. this was like a democrat party and the republican party, but the third party ticket. the suffragists are running for president on what is called a third party ticket.
it is thanks to victoria woodhall that she is able to -- that lockwood is able to run. a good example of what women could do. she was advocating for rights in the supreme court and running for president. we have a lovely portrait of abigail scott dunaway, who is active in trying to persuade male legislators to change the of these western states. she founded the new northwest, which was a newspaper in 1871, that advocated for women's rights. a lot of people think suffrage was only based in the northeast. across the united states. there were mormon women
advocating in utah. there is a nationwide approach to this reform movement. it was probably one of the longest reform movement's in the united states in american history, and one of the most widespread. entitled the new woman. it goes up to 1912. educated, on was her bicycle, not bound in her home. as you can see in this depiction of the former, his wife and possibly his daughter. this new woman, she is wearing what looks like bloomers, pans, she asked them for a glass of
water. they of course oblige, but as she is drinking, they are thinking, what is this person? woman, what is she doing, is she outside of the home? you can see a lot of the confusion women had when they advocated for rights. magazines were picking up on this. to become misses frank leslie. in order to assume the authority it took to publish a magazine like this, you can see the use of the color.
she's obviously carrying the banner of votes for women. it speaks to privilege behind the movement. a lot of wealthy white women were the ones that were actually out there advocating in parades like this. but they were doing well and getting the word out. lazily -- miriam leslie -- if you studied leslie after she took over, you can see a clear trajectory into the feminist causes. we are going to look at an example of anti-suffrage. new york had tried to change its state referendum to include
women's right to vote. , despite having 600,000 signatures in support of changing the legislation, the referendum failed area this exemplifies what was happening in this era, where the suffragist had taken on a state-by-state approach. there were no longer going for this amendment change that hadn't -- that had been proposed in the 1870's. they try to do a full court process state-by-state. you can see how can she vote booths are sog narrow. it is depicting this woman as a fanciful serious bit.
if you can't figure out how to dress yourself, much less finish voting -- how could women even see themselves having a political voice? there is a lot of suffrage that accompanies the whole movement and in the exhibition i chose to highlight some of those examples and really not focus on it too much. in howore interested african-americans were really involved and what the strategies were in the movement. are looking at two examples that speak to the history of colorado and women's voting rights. they were able to convince the lobby and legislatures to change the state constitution.
wyoming was a territory they sort of grandfather in the right to vote when it became a state. women didn't have to lobby wyoming legislators to get the right to vote. it was written into their constitution. colorado example is pretty interesting. you can see the three party tickets. this would be what they voted with. equal suffrage approved or equal suffrage not approved. once colorado women achieve the right to vote they elected female legislators. this is a portrait of three of the four female legislators from 1894 youf 1893 through have two democrats and one
republican. we've got three portraits of african-americans. middles cooper in the and mary on the right. these were studio portraits that were made of these women while they were students at overland college. it is not the first in the united states to accept african-american students. what i love about these portraits is how young they are. go on to lead great lives as activists, as whitman -- women who are advocating for citizenship rights. particularly for african-americans. anna julia cooper was a teacher in washington, d.c..
she was living the life of someone who truly believed in giving liberal arts education to african americans. she was also teaching at the end street color school. what i like about these two onen was they were taking to assimilatelity african-americans in the post-civil war suffrage era in a way that would give them white collar access so they can become a once they went to the high school, then they went to college, and they were business people.
they embody that argument that these two men have been having. booker t. washington advocated for technical training. and these women were walking the walk. they are less recognized than the men and they are very much equal to both of these men in the ways in which they were strategizing how to make life better for african-americans during a very difficult time. these three women are in this exhibition because they were not advocating for only suffrage, but they were advocating for other things outside the parameters of the focus. even though they were still
excluded from the national american woman suffrage association, which the two fractions we were talking about in the very beginning when in 1870 they have come back together in 1892. they then move forward with great force and good strategy but also excluding african-americans the whole time. my point is these women were not just sitting around waiting on the sidelines. they were being very act of within themselves on their own group and their own societies and their own local communities. we are standing in front of a 1911. in the writing is actually an excerpt called the glorious light, written in 1871 by the
british dean of canterbury. what i love about this banner is -- thatas that sanchez up throughirituality the 19 teens. ofalso has that sense emerging onward and making progress forward. i want to make sure to include a couple of banners in the national women's party. it also points to the activism. this concludes the first half of the exhibition. we have covered the movement up through 1912. we covered the first generation of suffragists and from this point on we are going to discover that suffragists still haven't achieved the right to
vote, women still don't have the right to vote in the united states, but they will switch tactics and really achieve progress in a very comparatively small amount of time. changes talk about the and the ongoing battle through 1965. >> this is the first of a of the national portrait gallery's exhibit of the the centennial 19th amendment. you can watch this and american artifacts programs. so you we hear from rosenfeld, who was the author of democracy in truth, a short history. she talks about the long-held tensions of citizens in a democracy to determine what the