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Photo of the Week


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian

Long Island Suffrage Leader Rosalie G. Jones at Age 12, February 1895. (Image from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

Rosalie Gardiner Jones was a flamboyant and headline-grabbing leader of women’s rights, entering the suffrage movement at age twenty-eight. A wealthy Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor socialite, she found marching to Washington for women’s rights much more enjoyable than drinking afternoon tea with the ladies.

Rosalie joined the Nassau County branch of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and soon was serving as its president. She found herself more attracted to the militant “suffragettes” of London, rather than the more passive American suffragists. Known as “General Jones" among both her followers and by the press, her “pilgrimages” (as she called them) to Albany, to Washington, DC, and across Suffolk County in a horse-drawn wagon helped spread the “Votes for Women” message far and wide. Under the headline “Gen. Rosalie Jones Flies for Suffrage,” the New York Times reported on one of her stunts in 1913, when she was taken up in a two-seat Wright biplane over Staten Island to toss out yellow Votes for Women leaflets.

Jones planned successful suffrage hikes to Albany in 1912 to present a suffrage petition to the governor, and to Washington, DC, in 1913, where a large suffrage parade was being planned for March 3, the day before the inauguration of the new president, Woodrow Wilson. Jones and her followers set out on the 245-mile March to Washington carrying a banner that proclaimed: “Criminals and the insane can’t vote, neither can I, what about it?” The women’s suffrage issue was front and center on March 3, 1913, when over 5,000 women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the cheers of thousands of onlookers.  

Just yesterday Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the winning design in the New York State Suffrage Centennial "I Voted" Sticker Competition is an entry that features the image of Long Island's own Rosalie Jones. The anniversary sticker, celebrating the 100th anniversary of New York women getting the right to vote in 1917, will be distributed throughout the state at polling places on Election Day, November 7, 1917.


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by head research librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at librarian@schs-museum.org 

Interested in seeing more historical documents from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Research Library perusing our extensive collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.

To view our Photo of the Week archives, visit our website at www.SuffolkCountyHistoricalSociety.org.



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