Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miller Suffrage Scrapbooks

Catch the Suffrage Spirit: Sampling the Miller Suffrage
Scrapbooks," a lecture by Rosemary Fry Plakas

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 7:30pm
Admission: Free
Lochland School, 1065 Lochland Rd (Rt. 14S), Geneva, NY

Lecturer To Speak on the Miller Suffrage Scrapbooks at the Lochland School

Geneva, N.Y.: The Geneva Historical Society is pleased to have Library
of Congress Curator, Rosemary Fry Plakas, present the lecture, "Catch
the Suffrage Spirit: Sampling the Miller Suffrage Scrapbooks" at the
Lochland School on May 19, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. The program is based on
Plakas' research into the seven Miller scrapbooks, 1897-1911, in the
National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection in the Rare Book
Division at the Library of Congress. These scrapbooks document the
pioneering leadership of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller
in the suffrage movement in Geneva, Ontario County, and the state of New
York, as well as their contributions at the national and international
level. Their preserved programs, newspaper clippings, letters,
photographs, pins, and ribbons trace the activities of the Geneva
Political Equality Club, where local women and men worked together to
broaden awareness of the positive benefits of woman suffrage, while
encouraging a better understanding of public affairs and the
responsibilities of citizenship.

Although less well-known than her cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Elizabeth Smith Miller and her daughter Anne Miller were significant
financial supporters of the woman suffrage movement and close to many
national suffrage activists. In addition, Elizabeth designed the
rational dress that came to be known as the Bloomer costume. She lived
in Geneva, in the lakefront home that is now the Lochland School, from
1869 until her death in 1911. The Millers brought national and
international suffrage activists to Geneva each year to speak to the
Geneva Political Equality Club, including Stanton, Susan B. Anthony,
Lucy Stone, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Emmeline Pankhurst. Anne Miller
founded the Club in 1897. By 1907, the Geneva Club boasted 400 members
and was the largest in the state.

Each year, after a winter of speakers and study groups, the Club's
concluding event was an elegant fund raising party the Millers held on
the piazza of their home. In honor of this tradition, the Society is
holding Ms. Plakas' lecture in the administration building on the
grounds of the Lochland School, 1065 Lochland Road/Route 14 South. For
those interested, there will be a tour of the house at 7 p.m., preceding
the lecture.

Rosemary Fry Plakas is the American History Specialist/Curator of Rare
Americana, in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the
Library of Congress. Her responsibilities there include collection
development and digitization, conservation and bibliographic control
recommendation, and interpretation of rare collections through
presentations, publications, and exhibitions. She has a BA from Park
University in Missouri and an MA in American Studies from the University
of Wyoming. She has been at the Library of Congress since 1985 and
concentrates on developing the Library's African American and women's
history collections.

This program is funded by a grant from the New York Council for the
Humanities and is also supported in part by the Samuel B. Williams Fund
for programs in the Humanities. For more information about the lecture,
call the Geneva Historical Society at 315-789-5151.

The New York Council for the Humanities is a private, nonprofit
organization dedicated to helping all New Yorkers lead vibrant
intellectual lives by strengthening traditions of cultural literacy,
critical inquiry and civic participation.

Geneva Historical Society
543 South Main St
Geneva, NY 14456

1 comment:

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