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tv   American Artifacts Votes for Women Exhibit  CSPAN  October 12, 2019 10:00am-10:35am EDT

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want to improve the status of women in the nursing profession, the best way to do it is to get men to want to do the job. the pay inevitably will go up. nation's past on american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. >> next, a visit to the smithsonian's national portrait gallery. kate clarke lemay gives 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. this is the first of a two-part program. kate: hello, everyone, welcome to the national portrait gallery at the smithsonian institution.
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i am kate clarke lemay and i'm the curator of votes for women. for this exhibition, i worked 3.5 years researching, finding all the objects. about 124 objects, of which there are 63 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. but also ask questions about it. and why 1965, the voting rights act, is considered a part two of the 19th amendment. i will show you a few of the objects that tell this history. let's go.
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we are in the first gallery of the exhibition. -- 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. she was active in the 1860's. i wanted to include this painting, because it portrays young children, these four kids, one is a baby. and the mother. she is reading the new york times. then you have a servant or helper cleaning the dishes. what i like about this painting is that it is from 1866 and it depicts the civil war. it is looking back and spencer
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decided to portray this moment in time by looking at the lives of women. the women are very serious but the children are very much engaged in the celebration, they don't understand how severe and difficult that was. vicksburg, during the battle, men on both sides starved, because the city was surrounded by an embargo. why am i talking about the civil war in a suffrage exhibition? that is a good question. what i wanted to do was demonstrate the divide between the north and the south. races, as between the african-american and white because this plays a big part in the suffrage movement, especially when the 14th amendment was passed and
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ratified in 1869. male.luded the word 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. 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. they wanted to advocate for suffrage by excluding black women, whereas lucy was trying
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advocate for universal suffrage. one of the major african-american suffragists. she famously gave speech at a convention. she said we are all bound up together. she was trying to explain to people that she was also an african-american and a woman combined. bound up together, intersection a. 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 worked on 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.
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people do understand the suffrage movement was divided, but they don't understand that african-americans remain very active. sureexhibition is to make we include african-americans and their stories, like sarah parker, whose portrait is on the far wall. she was an activist in anti-slavery society of massachusetts. she took her activism abroad. this is another interesting story, how american suffragists were not only focused in the united states, but they were also active elsewhere. we are going to talk about seneca falls and what is being referred to as the myth of seneca falls. this is a portrait of susan b anthony.
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anthony is pointing to a book, and they are very dignified. this would 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 in 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 put into writing 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
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their citizenship rights well before 1848. suffrage just didn't appear out of thin air. it actually has a long history argue starteduld well before. 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. we are in the second gallery and i wanted to make sure to include representation of the women's christian temperance union. because it helps us get into a of different issues that american women were facing. temperance was a large organization that had about 150,000 women across the united states involved. they would gather and meet in what was called chapters.
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in 1873, the women's christian temperance union actually endorsed the sufferance cause. all of a sudden, sufferance has expanded its membership and 150,000 people, which is an incredible amount. what is great about this energetic print is there is a woman on a horse and she is like a joan of arc figure. she is leaping over these well marked barrels of alcohol. beeran see gin, whiskey, and rum. behind her are all of her compatriots and they are part of the temperance league. in the name of god and humanity, that is with the banner one of them is carrying. the battle is against alcohol. when women were married to alcoholics, they became a
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vulnerable population. so they were organizing amongst each other in ways that help them get support and also understand their rights and what they can do to advocate for their rights. on the bottom, you see the prize. it says women's christian temperance union at the top. i wanted to include this little medal, 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 were speaking and having a contest in order to award them. they were talking about christianity.
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that is 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 spread through speeches. they were speaking at auditoriums and being paid lots of money. dickinson earned $20,000 annually in 1873. she made more than mark twain. i think that is an interesting comparison. whose name is remembered today? even though dickinson was more famous than mark twain at the time. she was well ahead of her time. she started her own business as
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a wall street banker. she advocated for free love, which means sex outside of marriage, which was definitely outside of the norm for women. and she also ran for president on a third party ticket and she was the first woman to do so. we have a nice portrait of her attempting to vote, asserting her right to vote. she voted when you weren't supposed to vote as a woman. she is pointing her finger in the air and asserting her right to vote and she dropped her vote into the ballot box. lots of women at this time were doing what would be referred to as illegal voting today. it was illegal for women to vote. she was one of thousands across
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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 tried to change the laws that way but they failed. and there was another severe blow dealt to the suffrage movement in 1873 when the supreme court ruled against a woman named virginia 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 woodhall asserted her right to her ballot ing the ballot box. here we have a different type of ballot box. this one is made of metal. what i like is it explicitly
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says women's ballot on it. it is very much in your face that women were voting separately and most likely not on equal terms. vote for youybe discipline suffrage or school suffrage. before 1920,ates about 15 states allowed women to vote in the presidential election. this is from 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. i think this is an interesting piece of material culture that eliminates what women's rights were like and what it looked like, what it felt like.
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we are looking at a caricature of victoria woodhall in 1872. this exemplifies some of the struggles women were going through at the time. this is a caricature. victoria woodhall was known for wearing what is known as victory rolls. but the cartoon turns them into 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 could tell there are one, 2, carrying, ase is well as the alcoholic husband strapped to her back. this exemplifies the choices women had. either you throw in your stock with somebody like victoria
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woodhall, who is advocating for free love at the time, and that is a very soft term for sex outside of marriage. she was advocating that women sexld enjoy sex and have outside of marriage. have thearried and an 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. and thomas captures that in his caricature of victoria woodhall. we are looking at a portrait of the first woman to argue a case before the supreme court in
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1880. she was arguing for cherokee man's rights. she became an expert witness for native americans in subsequent trials. what i like about this portrait is how dignified she looks, she had her hair wound up beautiful. she had her collar on, and it 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 woman to name herself as a candidate for presidency but she couldn't , campaign because she was serving a jail sentence. yet she had founded what was called equal rights party. this was like a democrat party and the republican party, but it is a third party ticket.
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the suffragists are running for president on what is called a third party ticket. it is thanks to victoria woodhall that lockwood is able to run. she is a good example of what women could do. she was a lawyer, she was advocating for rights in the supreme court and running for president. over here, we have a lovely portrait of abigail scott dunaway, who is active in trying to persuade male legislators to change the laws of these western states. shewas based in oregon and 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. in fact, it was very active
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across the united states. there were mormon women advocating in utah. wyoming became the first state to endorse suffrage for women in 1869, and then utah in 1870. there is a nationwide approach to this reform movement. it was probably one of the longest reform movements in the united states in american history, and one of the most widespread. we are in the third gallery now, and this is entitled the new woman. it goes up to 1912. the new woman was educated, on her bicycle, out and about, not in the home, physically active. this depiction of the former, -- farmer, his wife and possibly his daughter. this new woman, she is wearing
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bloomers, pants she asked them for a glass of water. , they of course oblige, but as she is drinking, they are thinking, what is this person? is she a woman, what is she doing? why is she outside of the home? you can see a lot of the confusion people had when women advocated for rights. magazines were picking up on this. become ged her name to mrs. frank leslie. in order to assume the authority it took to publish a magazine
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like this. you can see the use of the color. she's obviously carrying the banner of votes for women. it speaks to some of the privilege behind the movement. a lot of wealthy white women were the ones that were actually out there advocating in parades like this. in part because the parades excluded african-americans. but they were doing well and , getting the word out. miriam leslie included images like this in her magazines. if you studied leslie after she took over, you can see a clear trajectory into the feminist causes. finally we are going to look at , an example of anti-suffrage. this is from 1894.
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new york had tried to change its state referendum to include women's right to vote. but it failed, despite having 600,000 signatures in support of state's the legislation, the referendum failed. this exemplifies what was happening in this era, where the suffragists had to take on a state-by-state approach. there were no longer going for this amendment change 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 when the voting booths are so narrow. it is depicting this woman as a
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tz, iful, not serious di you will. if you can't figure out how to dress yourself, much less finish -- much less fit in a voting booth. 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. i was more interested in how african-americans were really involved and what the strategies were in the movement. we are looking at two examples that speak to the history of colorado and women's voting rights. suffragists were able to
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convince the lobby and legislatures to change the state constitution to make sure women could vote. wyoming was a territory, they sort of grandfathered 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. the colorado example is pretty interesting. if you come in close you can see , the three party tickets. at the very bottom of the ballot, this would be what they voted with. equal suffrage approved or equal suffrage not approved. once colorado women achieved the right to vote, they elected female legislators. this is a portrait of three of the four female legislators from
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the era of 1893 through 1894 you have two democrats and one republican. in the back, we've got three portraits of african-americans. there is cooper in the middle and mary on the right. these were studio portraits that were made of these women while they were students at overland college. it was founded by abolitionists and was one of the first liberal arts schools in the united states to accept african-american students. what i love about these portraits is how young they are. the each went on to lead great as women whovists, are advocating for citizenship rights, particularly for african-americans.
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especially anna julia cooper was a teacher in washington, d.c., which is now dunbar high school. she was living the life of someone who truly believed in giving liberal arts education to african americans. she was also teaching at the school that is now dunbar high school in washington, d.c. what i like about these two women was they were taking on the responsibility to assimilate african-americans in the post-civil war suffrage era in a way that would give them white collar access so they can become
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a once they went to the high school, then they went to college, and they were business people. they embodied that argument that these two men have been having. booker t. washington advocated for technical training. someone else advocated for liberal arts 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.
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african-american women were even a lot of activism , 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 active within themselves on their own group and their own societies and their own local communities. we are standing in front of a banner that was carried in 1911.
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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 how it has that sense of spirituality that was so important through the suffragists up through the 19 teens. it also has that sense of emerging onward and making progress forward. i wanted to make sure to include a couple of banners that we borrowed from 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 have covered the first generation of suffragists and
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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 we will trace how they switched tactics and really achieved progress in a very comparatively small amount of time. we will talk about the changes and the ongoing battle through 1965. >> this is the first of a two-part tour of the national portrait gallery's exhibit , marking the centennial of the 19th amendment. you can watch this and american artifacts programs by visiting our website at this columbus day weekend on american history tv, tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on reel
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america, the film the whole world is watching, about the 1971 anti-vietnam demonstration in washington, that led to the largest mass arrest and u.s. history. >> thousands swarmed onto washington circle. over 1000 more hit georgetown. >> sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, and artist shares his vision for the upcoming native american veterans memorial on the national mall. >> in the middle is a 12 foot stainless steel circle. at the base of that is a fire. you can use that fire to let your sweetgrass and your sage that you use, and you can touch fire.ter and use the we call that the drum. >> monday, columbus day, at
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noon, ruth bader ginsburg and sonia sotomayor talk what the impact of the first woman of the supreme court, sandra day o'connor. >> if you read between the lines, what she is saying is if you want to improve the status of women in the nursing profession, the best way to do it is to get men to want to do the job because the pay inevitably will go up. [laughter] >> explore our nation's passed on american history tv, every weekend on c-span3. american history tv products are now available at the new c-span online store. check out what is new for american history tv and all of the c-span products. tonight on amerco history tv,
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a ceremony at arlington national ceremony, dedicating a memorial at the 129 people on board with a nuclear powered submarine broke up underwater in 1963. here is a preview. president kennedy said of our loved ones, the future of our shorty will always be when there are men -- will always be assured when there are men like this. recognize the legacy of the uss dresher and its crew as they continue on eternal patrol. the memorial will honor and recognize the sacrifice made by our loved ones for our country. it will emphasize the point that freedom is not free, even in
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times of peace or armed conflict. the arlington national cemetery is respected and held in high esteem by our nation and the world. cemetery national provides knowledge, history and recognition of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. arlington national cemetery is our nation's sacred and hallowed ground where our nation honors its fallen heroes and never forgets. the loved ones of the families will never be forgotten. thank you. [applause] watch the dedication ceremony tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern,
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here on american history tv. >> next we hear from sophia rosenfeld, who was the author of democracy in truth, a short history. she talks about the long-held tensions among citizens in a democracy to determine what the truth is, rather than relying on an elite class to determine what the truth is for them. >> welcome ladies and gentlemen to the robert c. byrd center for congressional history and education. i think i know most of you. in case you don't know me, i am the director here at the byrd center. i thank you for joining us as we celebrate constitution day. constitution day, as i'm sure many of you know, was yesterday. we are a little bit belated in celebrating, but that's ok. before i get started i want


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