The A & E series, TURN: Washington's Spies, brought to a large audience in Season 1 awareness of the nation's first spy ring during the American Revolution. The spy ring was based on Long Island (NY) where British troops occupied and ran a large operation. Long Island's residents were deeply divided between loyalty to the colonials and the British. During Season 2 of TURN: Washington's Spies, the plot thickened.
The drama and intrigue portrayed in this fascinating TV account sets the stage for what happened over 100 years later on Long Island when women's suffrage activists drove a horse-drawn wagon called the "Spirit of 1776" into Huntington, NY. They weren't expecting a confrontation.
In 1913 many of Long Island's residents hadn't forgotten the American Revolution and their family's loyalties. The extent to this is illustrated in a special Suffrage Wagon Cafe program.
"What happened in 1913 provides us with a broader context to the times and people portrayed in the A&E drama, 'TURN: Washington's Spies,'" says Marguerite Kearns, host of Suffrage Wagon Cafe. In early July 1913 Edna Kearns and other women's suffrage activists left the Manhattan headquarters of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association and headed to Long Island for a month of Votes for Women organizing in a horse-drawn wagon called the "Spirit of 1776."
The name of the wagon and the alleged origins of the wagon lured descendants of former Tory sympathizers out of the closet to a confrontation with the suffrage activists, some of them the descendants of Patriot sympathizers. The confrontation on the streets of Huntington, New York in 1913 involved Mary Livingston Jones, the well-known descendant of Tories during the American Revolution. Mrs. Jones also opposed women voting in 1913. What makes this tale fascinating is that Mrs. Jones' daughter, Rosalie Jones, was a well-known women's suffrage activist associated with the suffrage activists conducting the Long island 1913 campaign.
This 1913 story adds texture and depth to the tale told in TURN: Washington's Spies, according to Marguerite Kearns, Suffrage Wagon Cafe host.
Find out more at Suffrage Wagon Cafe. suffragewagon.org/?page_id=9448
For more Vimeo videos about the women's suffrage movement. vimeo.com/kearnsmarguerite/videos
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