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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  November 25, 2016 5:52pm-6:29pm EST

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civil rights movement that red to the civil rights act being passed and the voting act being passed as well. tragedy can turn into triumph. justice delayed is not justice denied and the rights we have as individuals today maybe freed us but cost four individuals their lives to gain those freedomals. >> american history tv is featuring historic sights and national parks from c-span's city tour. check out our website, cspan .org/cities tour. only on c-span 3. meina allender was the writr for the national party. contributing over 150 cartoons supporting women's suffrage.
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next we visit the women's equality national monument to see her work. >> my name is jennifer krafcic. at the belmont national monument. on capital hill in washington d.c. this house was the fifth and final headquarters at the national women's party and the national woman's party ways founded by alice paul as the congressional union for women's suffrage. and that became the national women's party in 1916. this group of women spent seven years actively lobbying the president and congress for a federal suffrage amendment. when they received it in 1920, they wrote and began lobbying for the equal rights amendment. when they were lobbying for
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suffrage, they were work all over the country. actively garnering support from western women voters and bringing the fight directly to the president's doorstep. they had headquarters on lafayette square where they could walk out their door and be right at the president's doorstep in a matter of minutes and they began picketing the white house. one of the first groups to do so. when the united states entered world war i, at that time the pickets were quite peaceful but quickly turned ugly when crowds watching the women picketing believed their behavior to be unpatriotic, so crowds would converge on them and tear the banners from their hands, throw things at them. and in june of 1917, the women began being arrested on charges of ubstructing traffic and they were taken to prison and sentenced anywhere from three
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days to six months at the district prison in washington d.c. and in virginia at the work house. they were treated like any otherer prisoners. often thrown into their cells. at times their hands were handcuffed above them. and so they began protesting that treatment and they went on hunger strikes and were force fed. because of their activities, there was a lot of press around what was happening to them, which ended up garnering a lot of public sympathy for their cause and in 1919, thanks to not only the worker at the national women's party but other suffrage groups, the federal amendment was passed and sent to the states for ratification and in 1920 it was ratified by all 36 states and became law. by 1921 and 1922, the national
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women's party believing that suffrage was only the first step to achieve full women's equality began working on the equal rights amendment. they presented it to the party in 1923 and from that time the nationalist party worked for legal, social and economic equality for women throughout the united states and later throughout the world. they worked for the equal rights amendment from this house from 1923 to 1997 when they became a 501 c 3 and now we preserve our outstanding collection of equal rights art facts and educate the government about this movement and the stories of the community of women who worked for total equality for women. the belmont paul house is named after alice paul, our original founder and belmont, the ben factor and president of the national women's party for many years and it's boss of her that
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we have such a large collection of artifacts and many more that allow us to tell the story. now we're upstairs and we're going to talk a little bit about our cartoons by the official cartoonist the nationalist party was the only party to boast a cartoonist and it appeared for more than 10 years. allender grew up in allen, kansas. in 1872 and her family moved to washington d.c. around 1900. her mother was one of the first women employees at the department of the interior and studied painting with the intention of becoming an art teacher.
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she was a painter. she loved to paint and that was a big part of her identity. but she also worked for the government land office. so she recognized that painting wouldn't pay the bills. she was president of the d.c. branch of the national american we78 women's suffrage association for many years and when alice paul came in 1910 with the intention of the federal amendment. allender watched. there's a great story where allender and her mother receive alice paul at their house and both of them of course were very interested in the suffrage movement and eager to hear from this woman who they claimed was about as big as their finger walk nothing to their house and the story goes by the time alice paul left they had committed time and money to the suffrage movement into the congressional
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union without realizing what they had actually committed to or how this little woman had managed to convince them to begin lobbying for the federal amendment. and allender all of a sudden was an active member of this party working for the federal suffrage amendment. i think she always looked around in amazement at alice paul's negotiating and strategic way of convincing people not only to work for the movement but also to give money. so allender began her career as an official -- as the cartoonist of the national weomewomen's pa. her first work appeared in 1914 and one of the interesting things is a lot of it focussed on poverty, child labor, the exploitation of women and laborer legislation and so her first work appeared on the
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coverage of the suffragist and from there there was no looking back. she did more than 150 cartoons over the period of seven years. they appeared almost weekly and like most political cartoons they were commentary on ongoing political issues. they were sort of the news of the week with great attention to how the news impacted or was influenced by what was happening in the suffrage movement. so here is one of her early works. this is one of my favorite pieces actually in the museum. this is called the inspiration of the suffrage workers and you can see how she's commenting on a lot of different ideas in this piece. she's talking about the importance of the vote as a way of changing the condiction of women. you see the woman holding her child and the other girl is
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sitting in the street playing with a cat and there's trash surrounding her and this is obviously in an impoverished area. especially in the early pieces was commenting on how the vote would change the ability for women to earn their own wages, protect their children, and move up in society in a way that not having the right to vote or any voice in the laws that were being made would allow them to do. so now we're actually going to make our way into the gallery. we have about 170 of allender's original works. one of the only known collection of her works in the country and as far as i know no other museum has any of her paintings or her other works either. beginning in 1914 she was doing a lot of work on the condition of women but as the suffrage
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movement progressed and as the activism increased, they began a strategy they called holding the party in power responsible and at that time it was the democratic party led by president woodrow willsowilson. so it often showed symbols of the democratic party and mainly the main symbol of the democratic party which was the president. this is called fairy god mother wilson and you can see allender is utilizing the fairy tale cinderella to make commentary about the improvement and condition of women and over the laws of the country as well. so president wilson is playing fairy god mther, this wumen is
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cinderella and between the pumpkin as the constitutional amendment and the mice as the senate and the house. and president wilson is casting the spell to make it possible for her to use her constitutional amendment to vote for the people who represent her. a lot of commentary about president wilson's power and just as an aside here in the background and in the mirror you see the proud voting sisters and this is indicating the fact that women in western states actually many western states at that point had the right to vote at that time. so the national women's party would ultimately start pinpointing those women to help vote as a block and try to vote the democratic party out of office. the title of this cartoon is lest we forget and one of the things that is important to note about the national women's party in general and certainly the way in which allender's work
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reflected this idea is that the national women's party always paid tribute to women of the suffrage movement and that included in particular susan b. anthony. this cartoon is featuring a line of women paying tribute to susan b. anthony who died before the federal suffrage amendment was passed but introduced the original suffrage amendment in 1865' you can see women who were college graduates in here. this says voter and that's indicating western women voters who had had the right to vote and up here you see a loan woman walking up to the capital and the date 1875 when susan b. anthony first introduced the amendment. so 1875 to 1915 and the intent of this is to demonstrate how far we've come but how long we still have to go and this was
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fairly common for the national women's party and for allender to pay tribute to the original suffragests and also reminding their members how far they still had to go. and then we circle over to this cartoon. this is called "our hat is in the ring." and it was drawn and published on april 8th, 1916. and this is particularly representative of allender's belief that women needed to be presented with authority, strength and control. she create an image she called the allender girl and this was lot of what people saw particularly in images of suffragests and women that appeared in the press. often times they would mock the suffrage movement by making women look haggard or ugly or
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fraught in some way. and allender instead turns that on its head and creates a youthful invigorated, intelligent woman. you can see in this image in particular she's very slender. her skirt is above her ankles which was also quite different. you see the changing face of fashion at that time as well. her hands are on her hips and she throws had her hat in the name of politics. her hat says "the women's party." and you see the comical images of a democrat, republican. all looking at this woman who's very strongly saying i'm moving in. as i mentioned before the national women's party was originally the national party for women's suffrage and changed their name to the women's party
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in june 1916. you can kind of see them predicting what's about to happen within their party. and so the wwomen's party was a important name. but at times they grapled beyond lobbying for the federal amendment to becoming an active political player in the same vein as a democrat or republican. this cartoon is called changing fashions. she used to be sat isfied with o lettal. and this is again in opportunity for allender to comment on how they were targeting congress and show casing -- this is actually talking about so many different things. not only are they targeting congress and you see the woman holding out her skirt that says national constitutional amendment.
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and she's also wearing a hat that shows new york, pennsylvania, new jersey and massachusetts, all states that were voting on suffrage refer ren ren -- refer endms. and she has west virginia and iowa, which may have also been veeth at that time. national constitutional amendment and the congressman is saying she used to be satisfied with so little. so you see allender focusing her attention on the federal amendment and also talking about how this continued to be state by state by state. and her work reflects that in other ways too. as they approach the ratification of the amendment, allender's work began to increasingly reflect the idea
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that states were having to ratify this amendment and that could also be a process to hold them up and in 1919 the national women's party created a banner in sch they started selling stars. so for every state that ratified the suffrage amendment, they would so a star and by 1920 they had 36 states on that banner and the day suffrage was passed there's this iconic image of alice paul unfurling the bannerality headquarters and showing it for all of the members and we no longer know what happened to that bannerer but we're hoping somebody has it in their attic somewhere. and there's a great cartoon that show s them sewing the stars o the banner. this cartoon is called "american
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justice" published june 1st, 1918. the interesting thing is that this is another instance of allender taking the image of democracy and patriotism and obviously this is uncle sam standing here and turning on its head a little bit. this is a very powerful image. you're seeing uncle sam in front of this bound, gagged helpless woman and he's holding a bouquet of flowers and he's saying american women you are our inspiration. you give us our soldiers, you conserve our food, work in our munition factories, accept this bouquet. so he's trying to force this on this woman. you see her bound with unequal political rights, equal work, unequal wages and this kindly omit flowers rope. those are obviously issues that women continue to grapple with
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today. and this image is one of many that allender used where she features uncle sam, the democratic donkey, the republican elephant and other typical images of democracy to showcase how contradictory our country was towards women. particularly during world war i, these women really focussed on the fact that president wilson was lobbying for democracy abroad while not doing so in the united states. and we're going to look another cartoon that shows that issue. we're going to move over here. this cartoon is called "insulting the president." and it was published june 2nd, 1917. in january of 1917, the national women's party began picketing the white house through a sustained act of nonviolent protest and they were among the
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first group ever to do this. every day these women would stand in front of the white house holding their banners that would basically speak for them. saying mr. president, how long must women wait for liberty? and talking about democracy in this countsry and using president willson's speeches and words to show the contradictory nature of the direction of the united states. we entered world war i and their banners became a little bit more problematic. they were seen as unpatunpatrio. this was just before women started to be arrested. this particular cartoon shows our allender girl again. the skirt above the ankle. this was how women dressed when they were standing at the white house. so her work also reflects the
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reality of how they were on a daily base and the banner she's holding is a quote by wilson saying "we will fight for the things we have always carried dearest our hearts, democracy to have a voice in their own government. and then it says www down at the bottom. this is just before their being arrested. and allender's work continues to reflect that especially over the next several months where the arrests became particularly violent and you see her work showing women in prison and other instances again of the donkey and the elephant being used to persecute women. so they're kind of keeping up that targeting congress and the party in power by using these banners to their advantage. they picketed the white house and congress at times and took
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their banners across the country too. so they were really lobbying against congress in a really national way. so we're going to move across to this cartoon. which was published in february 1st 1920. this one's called training the animals. at this point the amendment had been sent to the states for ratification and so passage was all but -- the hope was that passage was all but achieved. you see the democratic donkey and the republican elephant standing there as the woman is holding a treat that says vote on it. so she is literally training these animals to get usesed to the idea that women. are entering the political arena and will exercise their right to vote. and so her 1920 cartoons in
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particular reemphasizing this over and over again. i believe this is one of the final times that she actually employed the donkey and the elephant. this cartoon is called call to the women voters stand by your disfranchised sisters. and you can see it's an unfinished cartoon. it has the masked head of suffragest, which would have been their publication. and they often times showed women in this sort of -- in this way. this particular woman is wearing the flowing robes and blairing a horn and the intent is actually to garner support from western women voters to bring them together to vote as a block against the democratic party. and this is another instance. the finished product actually
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looked very different once it was published in the suffragest. they added sloengs and pieces to the original drawings. allender did the bones and the editors, added additional context to it. she would work with editors to define the week's focus for the cover and then the editors would also feed her information about articles that would appear so they would tie together nicely. and there's a great quote in this particular issue that talks about the need for western women to stand up for the disenfranchised women across the united states. we are now in the florence feminist library. at the belmont paul house, which is the first feminist library
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established in the united states by the national women's party in 1941. this is the primary place we house our collection and even more importantly we house all of our allender cartoons and political cartoons in this space. so yvl rr pulled out a few cartoons to show additional facets of her work. this particular piece is fantastic. it's one of her earlier pieces and you can see it's quite large. it's more of a poster ethan any of her other work. and you can see the detail that she put into this. this is another one of those early pieces where she's talking about child labor, exploy tasie. it appeared i believe in a june issue, june of 1914 issue of the
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suffagee suffageest. the line of women and children wrapped round. this is a great opportunity to talk about the materials she used to create these works. she often used graphite. sometimes she would use water color paint. interestingly with these pieces she was never picky about the type of paper she used. it was obvious allender would use whatever she had in her studio at the time. anything from artist's paper or poster to something thicker like a poster board, cardboard. sometimes you see they started a
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work and didn't like it and she'd use the same material to start a new piece. it really varied the type of materials she would use to draw on. what they would do with these is once allender drew them and she would either draw them at home or there are images of head quarters drawing them there. he would give them to the editors. they would go through an editing process. allender would make recommendations, it went back and forth on that. they'd make markings on the back and then these items would be put on to metal print blocks then used to print the newspaper. and it didn't matter how large or install items were, they appeared the same size. i'm going to close this piece
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and i'm actually going to show a few pieces that demonstrate the editing process. because of the many different materials that she used, you can see this piece has split in two over time. it gives oschance to talk about how fragile these materials are. preservation is very difficult. they have sustained water damage, flaking. anytime you handle one of these pieces, something will flake off. there are holes in them. they didn't mean for these pieces to survive as well as they have. they were work product and that's how they were treated. slide that over. so we have a few additional works that show the editing
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process. so i'm going to show this piece here and this is quite a powerful drawing. you can see the woman is held by a noose. so they have her in a noose hanging from the tree and she's representing the suffrage amendment and then there's this group -- person writing in to save democracy and i believe this is woodrow wilson and the caption she chose is "his last chance." i think she's talking about this is wilson's last chance to preserve democracy by saving this woman. but if you flip it over, a lot of these have allender's original notes and in this case she's addressing this to the editor and saying i am sure you can come up with a better caption than i have. so she's suggesting they need to think about the caption they want to use for this and rethink
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what her recommendation is. this is one of the pieces i mentioned where she uses color. so this is water color she uses on here and this is a fairly simp cartoon. the caption she wrote is "31 more days." and this would have been around the time would be published and demonstratoring they only have 31 more days for a particular deadline to achieve -- to perhaps get suffrage passed or arguments in congress or something along those lines. and you flip it over. and there's a pretty lengthy note from allender. she basically says there's a lot behind this date and our members won't necessarily know what what 31 more days means.
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so we need find a way to caption it or put more information in the suffragist so our members will understand what it stands. people are going to need help with this one. this is actually another great instance where you see the pin holes in it. there are little pin marks where they would put these up on the walls and there's a great image of her surrounded by her work and it must be at least 25 or 30 pieces they tacked up there. but they didn't see these as long lasting preserved pieces but this was work product. this was something they had to do every week to get their issue of the suffragist out. this was her job so she did it
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quickly, efficiently and get it to the editors so they could add it to the issue. i'm going to talk a little bit about the cartoons once they won the right to vote. and started working towards the equal rights amendment. so this particular piece is called "protection." and one of the early issues that the national women's party didn't pub luicize a lot is protection of women so how it would lend itself to increased protection for a moment. independence for mothers who weren't necessarily married and so this is one of those pieces demonstrating how the equal rights amendment will lend itself. one of the opposing arguments
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was that protective labor legislation would be negatively impacted if the era were to be passed. this might have been published around 1923 or 24. they have the right to vote and presenting to susan b. anthony the bill of rights and this is not captioned here but it would have been in the equal rights magazine. and susan b. anthony is going down the list and saying you have a lot of work to do. >> allender once said that cartooning gave her a sense of pow power. she was an artist, a painter and always believed that was her path. but over the course of more than 10 years she ended up drawing
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more than 200 cartoons for the national women's party. images that resonated with women that created a new image for women. and so her perspective became very important to the overall success and the success of the national women's party. this, like so much of the other work that they were doing was really dedicated to getting their message out in the press, positive or negative and show case thg strategy to bring this movement to a close. so in 1920 when women won the right to vote, it made sense she turned around and continued to draw. her last work appeared in 1927. but allender continued to work for the national women's party, ultimately becoming chairman of their world's women party later on and chairman of their legal
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counsel. she really delved into other areas in her later life and passed away in 1957 at the age of 88. her work today continues to resonate with our visitors and it's a draw for a lot of people that come here. but oddly enough she continues to not be as well known as we like. so we invite people to come here and see her work and of others to experience this hall of portraits and community of women and stories we're able to tell. her work at one point was reafford like this, a woman speaking to women in. the language of women about weomen and that remains true today. we invite you to experience our stiegz see yourself as a future leader, empower your sons and
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daughters to continue to fight for women's equality and be a part of women's empowerment and activity in politics. the house is actually open thursdays, fridays, and saturdays from 11:00 to 4:00. and we invite you to take a tour. my first introduction was at


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