From time to time, something I have researched and written about here out of personal interest is found by those looking for specialist knowledge on the web. That is the fun of having diverse interests and an inquisitive mindset, though there is risk of becoming something of a dilettante, or worse, succumbing to what my sister calls MARS or Male Automatic Response Syndrome, in which those of my gender with this affliction feel compelled to hold forth on any topic regardless of qualification. Perhaps you have seen this at play around the holiday dinner table, or in certain gatherings of men in the legal profession (which might property be called MARS bars).
Nonetheless, blogs can be great aggregators of related data, and good blogging, like good research, is also capable of synthesizing and intelligible whole out of all of those pieces. So I was delighted when I was contacted by someone who was searching the web for information about woman suffragist memorabilia and stumbled upon something I had written about my Gr-great Aunt Het the suffragist, or possibly about a suffragist curiosity in my possession that once belonged to her. This person hoped I could help untangle the puzzle of an item that turned up in an old shed on land in Maine, and though I am no expert I know a bit about the topic and how to use the web to do research and I said I'd have a go.
There was no picture, but the item was described to me this way:
I have a metal bird that we found in an old shed on our property in Maine. It is blue and gold and says Votes for Women Nov. 2..it also says in small letters..."Mass woman suffrage assn. Gertrude H. Leonard-Teresa A. Cr....something...Have you heard of this item... It is about 11 1/2" long and 3 1/2" wide at the widest part..
Gertrude Halladay Leonard (1868- ) - suffragist.Scope and Content: She first became interested in the suffrage cause in 1905, and for the next 12 years gave an increasing amount of time to the Mass. Woman Suffrage Association. From 1912-1917 she was chairman of the State Board of Directors and was virtually acting president as Alice Stone Blackwell was often unable to fulfill her duties as president. She was parade chairman of the first Boston Suffrage Parade. Along with Theresa Crowley, Mrs. Leonard was greatly responsible for the work of lobbying in the Mass. Legislature in favor of a suffrage bill. Mrs. Leonard resigned from her chairmanship of the Mass. Woman Suffrage Association in 1917 and spent the next few months in France working with the Red Cross. In 1925-1926 she worked as an organizer for the League of Nations Non-Partisan Association.
Lawyer, suffragist, and amateur actress Teresa A. (O'Leary) Crowley was born in Wakefield, Mass., in 1874. As chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, TAC led several successful campaigns against anti-suffrage politicians; she was remembered as one of the leading outdoor suffrage speakers.
As in 1895, the referendum is once again defeated by Massachusetts voters, reflected by the votes in Beverly. The only community in the state of Massachusetts to vote in favor of suffrage is Tewksbury with a vote of 149 to 148. Statewide, only 35.5% was in favor. Four states in the east vote on full suffrage for women: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. All four states vote in the negative. "