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Historic York County York, PA United States 717.502.1281
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WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE BROADSIDE FROM A 1914 MASS MEETING

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Period 1900-1919
Dimensions
W. 22.5 in; H. 32 in;
W. 57.15 cm; H. 81.28 cm;
Creation Date 1914
Description WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE BROADSIDE FROM A 1914 MASS MEETING IN CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE, NEW JERSEY, WHERE THE FEATURED SPEAKER WAS WYOMING SALOON-KEEPER WILLIAM H. BRIGHT, THE MAN WHO, IN 1869, INTRODUCED THE BILL THAT LED THAT STATE TO BE THE FIRST TO GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

Description:
Suffragette broadside, printed in black on a yellow ground, with bold, Western style lettering in the header. This was particularly fitting for the event, held on August 27th, 1914, that featured speaker William H. Bright, the uneducated Wyoming Saloon keeper and senator, who introduced the 1869 bill that gave that state (at that time still a territory) the right to vote. The act was of great significance, because this was the very first legislation in America to do so.

Born in Alexandria around the year 1827, at a time when this part of Virginia was considered to be within Washington D.C., Bright joined the Union Army during the Civil War. Afterwards he worked as a mason and served as a police officer in Washington, before moving West. Here he successfully invested in gold mines and opened his saloon establishment in the frontier mining town of South Pass City. A staunch Democrat, his politics were in contrast to the Republican governor, selected by Ulysses S. Grant, who had just won the White House and established the Wyoming Territory. In 1868, he was elected to the territorial legislature and won a seat on the Council, which was effectively the senate of the governing body. Obviously popular among his peers, from within he was selected as its president and traveled to Washington to represent Wyoming interests.

In December of 1869, Bright's suffrage bill was accepted. Later that year he was visited by John Morris and his wife, Esther Hobart Morris, who congratulated him and were among the only local people that supported the measure. John Morris wrote about the meeting in a national magazine that championed women’s rights. Early the following year, Esther Morris became the first woman to ever hold public office, when she was appointed justice of the peace. In September, women throughout the territory cast their first votes, in Wyoming’s second election. And in both that year and the following (1871), women achieved additional landmarks, when others, including Amalia Post, served on juries in the town of Laramie.

Presented in various fonts, as-was typical of early printed advertising, the broadside reads as follows: "Votes for Women; Equal Suffrage Mass Meeting in the Court-House at Cape May Court House, N.J.; Thursday Evening, Aug. 27 at Eight O'Clock; Speakers: Mr. Wm. H. Bright; Mrs. Albert Norton Wood; Mrs. E.H. Osgood; Rev. J.W. Lynch; Civics and Suffrage; All, men and women are cordially invited; Music." Along the bottom is the name and location of the printer: "Gazette Power Print, Cape May Court House, N.J."

Period Suffragette broadsides are particularly rare and sought-after. This one has exceptional graphics and appears to be singular among known examples, as well as unrecorded. Adding to desirability is its bold size, which, while smallish among posters in general, is large and coveted in the world of antique Suffrage material.

A year later, in 1915, the Suffrage issue came to a vote in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, all of which were unsuccessful. Public support had been favorable in New York specifically, where the Suffrage movement was 100,000 members strong. Polls had predicted the likeliness of a win, and while it did not occur that year, a successful follow-up campaign in 1917 made New York the first eastern state to adopt suffrage.

Mounting: This is a pressure mount between U.V. protective Plexiglas and 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. The mount has been placed in a chocolate brown, cove-shaped molding with a wood grain surface, to which a deep, shadowbox with a gold gilded face and dark brown exterior was added as a cap.

Condition: There are minor fold marks, tack holes, and foxing and water staining, and modest fading of the yellow color. Overall this is simply an excellent state of preservation with respect to the extreme rarity of suffragette broadsides of this quality.

Frame Size (H x L): 32" x 22.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 24" x 14.5"
Styles / Movements Americana, Folk Art, Traditional
Incollect Reference Number 296564
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