Cherry Hill Newsletter Fall 2020
A One Hundred Year Struggle for Equality It has been 100 years since women gained the right to vote. Yet they still are striving to have a political voice equal to that of men. Suffragists hoped the 19th amendment would bring a powerful new voting bloc that would support the progressive issues of the day. Of greatest concern were working and health conditions of both women and children. Some overly optimistic suffragists even hoped for a new third party composed of women. However, dramatic changes did not happen overnight. Over the next few decades there would be many gains and many setbacks. Suffragists were soon to discover that women did not vote as a bloc and often voted along the political lines of their husbands. Female voter turnout also varied from state to state. Early polls indicated 57% of eligible females voted in Kentucky, but only 6% in Virginia. Women did have a few significant political achievements in the early years. They ran for political offices. The Women’s Joint Congressional Committee was formed representing 20 organizations and over 20,000,000 voters. The committee helped pass two major pieces of legislation. The Sheppard-Towner Act provided millions of dollars for maternity and child-care. The Cable Act restored voting rights to women who had lost the right to vote when they married a foreign national. Women were less successful when lobbying for the international peace movement, child labor and anti-lynching laws. Unfortunately, many women’s organizations in the late 1920s were accused of having communist sympathies. The Sheppard-Towner Act was repealed in 1929 because of its socialist overtones. By the end of the 1920s the women’s movement became divided in its goals. It would take another movement in the 1960s to bring about the changes we recognize today. By 1984, female voters exceeded male voters at the polls. Yet, it was not until 2016 that a woman ran for president. Today, women account for 9 governors, 24 senators and 102 congressional representatives and, until recently, 3 Supreme Court Justices. Susan B. Anthony was arrested in 1872 when she voted “illegally” in the presidential election. Unable to fight the charges, she was fined $100. She never paid it.
From the Presidents Wow! This is the third Friends of Cherry Hill Farmhouse newsletter we’ve created since the epidemic of the Coronavirus began. We haven’t been able to offer tours of the house since early March. We have had to have our board meetings via Zoom. The history summer camps were remarkably smaller, primarily held outdoors and required extra planning and supervision by our director, Corey Janicelli. (See article on page 4.) The City canceled several traditional fall events including the Fall Festival and Farm Day, and the Friends will not be holding our seasonal Holiday Shoppe on the first Saturday in December. We are looking forward to grounds improvements by the City. This newsletter, like the last two, does not have a “Coming Events” section. The Cherry Hill face masks, a poignant substitute for our annual volunteer luncheon, were dropped off in late September at volunteers’ homes in personalized and cute packaging, a wonderful reminder to keep safe and to keep Cherry Hill and our friends who have worked with us there in mind. Thanks, Corey!
Forget-menots from The last few months have been eventful and, in large part, challenging – health-wise, psychologically, the Birch Housepolitically, and climatically. Most of us are continuing to limit our social interactions. We are economically, property, only weeks away from the 2020 presidential election and the manner and timing of voting is breaking new which was ground. Early absentee voting, first practiced in the Civil War, are at all-time highs. bought and in 1845 around thenewsletter time of Again, the makes some interesting comparisons with what we are currently experiencing and the building what wentofon in the midand late 19th century in Falls Church and the country. We hope you find it Cherry interesting.Hill.
Diane Morse & Maureen Budetti, C0-Presidents Mattel and Barbie Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment Mattel Inc. has unveiled a new Susan B. Anthony doll as a part of its Barbie line of “Inspiring Women." Designed in conjunction with the National Susan B. Anthony Museum in Rochester, New York, the doll was officially unveiled on October 1. Anthony is known for her work on behalf of women’s suffrage and her infamous arrest after voting in the 1872 presidential election when it was illegal for women to do so. She also spoke out against slavery and was instrumental in getting colleges to admit women. The 2020 launch is especially significant as 2020 marks the museum's 75th anniversary, Anthony's 200th birthday, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The limited-edition doll is dressed in a black and lace dress that reaches the floor and is complete with glasses and a cameo brooch. The doll sells for $29.99 on Barbie's website. “While Barbie may have started as a teenage fashion model in 1959, she has evolved over the decades into a feminist role model…” says Michelle ParnettDwyer, curator of dolls at The Strong National Museum of Play, home to the National Toy Hall of Fame. Other dolls in the Inspiring Women line currently include Sally Ride, Rosa Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Jean King, and Florence Nightingale. Image: https://barbie.mattel.com/shop
A Brief History of Voting in the U.S. The William Blaisdell family resided at Cherry Hill Farm from 1856 to 1868. During that period, Mr. Blaisdell would have voted in two Presidential elections. ❖ The 1860 United States presidential election was the 19th presidential election. ❖ The U.S. population was near 31.5 million. About half met the age requirement, but women and, in most states, minorities were excluded, leaving around 6.9 million eligible (45% of the age-eligible population) to vote. In 1860, 81% of eligible voters voted. In 2016, 55% of eligible voters engaged. ❖ In 1860, national voting standards did not exist. ▪ In Virginia you could vote if you were: White, Male, 21 or older, Not Disabled, Of Sound Mind, Not in the Military, Not a pauper. ▪ In Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire: In addition to the above, African Americans were allowed to vote. ❖ Voting Process: Voting men received a paper “party” ticket for all party candidates on the local to national level. On Election Day, an official would announce each vote out loud before placing it in the ballot box. The public voting process left room for corruption and intimidation. At Cherry Hill, we have a copy of the posted record of the townsmen’s vote on succession. ❖ In 1860, geography was a factor in the election. ▪ Lincoln was not on the ballot in Southern states. ▪ People living in the territories could not vote. ▪ The original 13 states controlled less than 50% of the electoral vote. ▪ The general population in South Carolina did not have a popular vote. ▪ Slave states counted 3/5 of their enslaved population when determining electoral votes although those individuals were not allowed to vote. ▪ In Virginia, 1/3 of the population was enslaved. ❖ 1864 – Absentee voting provisions were first added to the constitution by amendment to allow Civil War soldiers to vote by absentee ballot. It was highly controversial, and the amendment was effective only for the duration of the war. This provided for the 20th Presidential Election. ❖ 1870 – The 15th Amendment specified that all male citizens over the age of 21 would be entitled to vote regardless of race or color. Native Americans were not granted citizen status until 1924 and Chinese Americans were not granted citizenship until 1943. ❖ 1920 – The 19th Amendment made voting in federal elections available to women. August 26, 2020 marked the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage. ❖ 1932 – Article XXXIX of the Amendments to the 1818 Connecticut Constitution allowed for the enactment of absentee voting to individuals who could not appear due to absence from their city or town, sickness, or physical disability. Prior to this, only soldiers had the right to absentee voting. In 1964, a U.S. constitutional amendment extended absentee voting privileges to individuals whose religion forbids secular activity on the day of an election. ❖ 1964 – The 24th Amendment made the poll tax illegal. Prior to that African Americans and those of little means were excluded for not having the money to pay for a poll tax. ❖ 1971 – The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Prior to that 18-year-old Americans were drafted but did not have the right to vote. ❖ 2020 – Voting process differs by state. For information on voting process in Virginia: Alexandria City: https://www.alexandriava.gov/Elections Arlington County: https://vote.arlingtonva.us/about/voting-resources/ Fairfax Country: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/upcoming
Falls Church: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/vote Loudoun County: https://www.loudoun.gov/vote
Summer Camp 2020 “Blast into the Past” summer camp may have looked a little different this year, but to the campers it was a great opportunity to have fun with their peers in a safe environment. In keeping with VA health guidelines, camp was held outside with each camper having their own set of supplies and adequate space to socially distance. In addition to the beloved camp tradition of wearing period clothes, campers decorated their own fans and parasols, great for keeping cool in the summer heat. Campers also learned the art of Victorian fan language, creating a unique way to communicate with each other from a distance!
Top photos: Stylish campers practice the art of parasol twirling! Right: Working on a Danish paper heart! Lower right: “Head Camper” and Director, Corey Jannicelli Lower left: Social distancing, campstyle
New activities this year included creating Danish paper hearts, commonly hung as Christmas tree ornaments. The earliest reference to paper hearts comes from the author Hans Christian Anderson in 1860. Our campers found them to be the perfect size to hold their paper fans. We also spent time reading ghost stories and campers wrote their own ghostly tales to share aloud. Victorians loved ghost stories…think Edgar Allen Poe! But writing wasn’t the only skill for a proper Victorian lady to practice at camp. Campers worked on their artistic endeavors with watercolor paintings inspired by the landscape around us and enhanced their needlework skills making a potpourri pillow for their dresser drawers. Each week ended with a traditional camp favorite, the tea party! Although tea was served outside, picnic-style, we still had a chance to practice our manners. Party attire was required!
Outdoor Suffrage Exhibit Currently at the Woodrow Wilson House is an outdoor exhibit entitled “Suffrage Outside: The 19th Amendment.” It consists of 19 banners of historic images and descriptions of women’s fight for the vote. You can also listen by phone to President Wilson’s 1908 views of why women should not have the right to vote. Visitors must reserve a time slot at Woodrow Wilson house.org. It’s free, but a donation is suggested. The exhibit closes November 1. For Information: woodrowwilsonhouse.org Address: 2340 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008
vs “Real” Womanhood
During the mid- and late 19th century, many women’s magazines contained somewhat contradictory “didactic” articles on the role of women. These differing philosophies have been described in recent scholarly articles. One was referred to as the “cult of true womanhood” and the other as the “ideal of real womanhood.” The former, also known as the “cult of domesticity” instructed women to be pure, submissive, and domestic. The other urged women to be fit and engaged in their communities. Both may have had the objective of making women into better, more capable wives and mothers.
Absentee Voting (It’s really nothing new!) Just days away from the 2020 Presidential election, November 3, millions of citizens have already mailed, dropped off their absentee ballots or taken advantage of early voting as provided for in their states. Such alternatives to voting in person on Election Day have gained notoriety and increased in practice due to the Coronavirus and many people’s reluctance to vote where others gather.
and provided at the election. Voting at camp polling stations was also permitted. Approximately 150,000 out of 1 million soldiers voted absentee. (Wisconsin predated this by allowing absentee voting in its 1862 mid-term elections.)
In the late 1800s, several states offered the option of absentee voting if the voter had an acceptable excuse. Between 1911 and 1924, 45 of the 48 Absentee voting is not new. Alternatives to voting in states adopted some kind of absentee voting. person on Election Day have a long and varied To accommodate voting by the military in World history in the U.S. The Constitution gives to states War II, the Soldier Voting Act of 1942 enabled - in Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution - the voting from abroad. Roughly 3.2 million military determination of the “times, places and manner of persons cast such votes during the war. The Act holding elections.” expired after the war. Today the military and others American Revolution. One of the earliest known overseas are protected by the Uniformed and instances of absentee voting occurred during the Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986. American Revolution. In December 1775, a group Later expansion of Absentee Voting. “No excuse of soldiers from the Continental Army sent a letter needed” absentee voting first became common in to their town asking if their votes could be counted the West with its large expanses of land and rural in a local election. The town agreed to count the households. Now nine states, and some counties – votes “as if the men were present themselves.” both Democratic and Republican - have all-postal (Constitutional Accountability Center) Pennsylvania elections, in which the state mails out ballots to allowed soldiers who were more than two miles registered voters and they return them, often from home to vote absentee during the War of postage free. (These states are California, 1812. The law was later declared unconstitutional. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon (the first in 2000), Election of 1864. The first large scale absentee Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont, and balloting took place in the 1864 election between Washington.) Virginia adopted “no-excuse” Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan. Nineteen absentee voting this year. Today all 50 states allow Union states permitted proxy voting where ballots some form of absentee voting. (Continued on page 6) could be mailed to someone in the home district Fraud. According to experts, there were no instances of widespread fraud related to absentee voting during the Civil War. Reportedly, however, the Democrats raised concerns about fraud out of concern that the Republicans would vote for Lincoln. Exceedingly few cases of fraud have been attributed to more recent absentee balloting. Over the years, and presently, fraud has been deterred by the use of special ballot paper, witnesses, voter signatures, and verification through rolls of registered voters and those casting ballots. (Pearce Rotondi – Vote-by-Mail Programs Date Back to the Civil War; Olivia B. Waud – Voting by Mail Dates Back to American’s Earliest Years; Ellen Gutoskey – The Civil War Beginnings of America’s Absentee Ballots. (Continued on page 6.)
William Waud sketch of Pennsylvania soldiers voting during the Civil War. (Published in Harper's Weekly, October 29, 1864. Source: Library of Congress.)
Victorian Games Still stuck at home with little ones needing to get those wiggles out? Try some Victorian Games to keep them entertained at home or even at a social distancing play date! Hop Scotch The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long, designed by the Roman empire for military training. Children drew small courts to imitate the soldiers, adding a scoring system and the game of hopscotch soon spread throughout Europe. You can draw your own hopscotch court with sidewalk chalk and use a stick or rock as your marker.
The Virginia Bluebell’s (Mertensia Virginia) flower shape looks like a girl’s skirt and hat. In the mid19th century, girls made them into little dolls. While girls were allowed to pick flowers on Sunday, making them into dancing dolls was frowned on.
Players take turns throwing a small object into square one. The object must land inside the square without touching the border or bouncing out. If successful, the player will hop through the squares, skipping the one containing the object. If she steps on a line, hops on the wrong square, or steps out of the square, she loses her turn. If the player completes the course with her marker on square one (and without losing her turn), the player then throws the marker onto square two on her next turn. The goal is to complete the course with the marker on each square. The first person to do this wins the game! Skipping Rope Long before a news item could go viral around the world in a matter of hours, jump rope rhymes (aka skipping chants) were a means of disseminating stories about current events, gossip, advertising slogans and political propaganda. During the 1918 Spanish Flu, the following skipping rhyme spread across the country by children in school yards. "I had a Bird, Her name was Enza, I opened the window, In-Flew-Enza!" Looking for something a little harder? You may remember the popular rhyme that was recorded by the press when Susan B Anthony was campaigning for suffrage in California. It is believed that the “lady with the alligator purse” was a reference to Anthony. “Miss Susie had a baby His name was Tiny Tim She put him in the bathtub To see if he could swim. He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap. He tried to eat the bathtub But it wouldn't go down his throat. Miss Susie called the doctor. The doctor called the nurse. The nurse called the lady With the alligator purse. Out ran the doctor. Out ran the nurse. Out ran the lady With the alligator purse.”
Absentee Balloting - continued Fraud. According to experts, there were no instances of widespread fraud related to absentee voting during the Civil War. Reportedly, however, the Democrats raised concerns about fraud out of concern that the Republicans would vote for Lincoln. Exceedingly few cases of fraud have been attributed to more recent absentee balloting. Over the years, and presently, fraud has been deterred by the use of special ballot paper, witnesses, voter signatures, and verification through rolls of registered voters and those casting ballots. (Jessica Pearce Rotondi – Vote-by-Mail Programs Date Back to the Civil War; Olivia B. Waud – Voting by Mail Dates Back to American’s Earliest Years; Ellen Gutoskey – The Civil War Beginnings of America’s Absentee Ballots.
We’re so sad. No Fall Festival or Farm Day this year.
What Did Things Cost in 1860? READER ALERT: If you’ve noticed that grocery prices seem to be rising precipitously thanks to COVID, you may find this article depressing. The Civil War had not yet begun in 1860, although there was rising discontent. Americans had access to new innovative products that included home canning jars, the sewing machine and the Winchester rifle. Louis Pasteur had perfected the pasteurization process, leading to a new era of food safety. Abraham Lincoln was campaigning for President against three Democrats. Following Lincoln’s election win, seven Southern states seceded prior to his inauguration, setting the stage for the American Civil War. According to the 1860 Census, the United States had 31 million people, an increase of 35 percent over the total counted during the 1850 Census. Not surprisingly, those who had a trade fared better than most, earning roughly 50 to 100 percent more than laborers and farmhands. The standard work week of the time was generally 10 hours per day, six days a week. Here are some average wages for workers of the time: Masons - 22.5 cents an hour ($13.50/week, $700/year) Blacksmiths - 18 cents an hour ($10.80/week, $560/year) Machinists - 16 cents an hour ($9.60/week, $500/year) Firemen - 15 cents an hour ($9.00/week, $468/year) Carpenters - 14 cents an hour ($8.40/week, $436/year) Laborers - about 10 cents an hour ($6/week, $300/year) Farmhands - 8 cents an hour ($4.80/week, $250/year) Slaves: $0 The president of the United States: $25,000/year These are some of the average food prices paid in 1860: Wheat flour — $7.14/barrel Granulated sugar — 8 cents/pound Soup beef — 4 cents/pound Eggs — 20 cents/dozen Butter — 8 cents/pound Milk — 4 cents/quart
Rice — 7 cents/pound Roasting beef — 11 cents/pound Cheese — 13 cents/pound Roasted coffee — 23 cents/pound Potatoes — 59 cents/bushel
Other goods and services: Hardwood — $6.49/cord Room and board for men — $2.79/month Cotton flannel fabric — 15 cents/yard Cotton print material — 11 cents/yard
Rent for 4 rooms — $4.45/month Room and board for women — $1.79/month Better dress goods (sateen) — 56 cents/yard Men’s work boots — $2.75/pair
During the Civil War, the Union blockade of southern ports would result in severe shortages and massive inflation throughout the South. A Richmond family that spent $6.65/week for groceries in 1861 would be paying $68.25/week two years later. Sources: http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/what-did-things-cost-in-1860/; Wages and Earnings in the United States, 1860-1890: Wages by Occupational and Individual Characteristics https://www.nber.org/chapters/c2500.pdf; https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/1850-1877
Weather During the Civil War
Falls Church’s Fall Colors!
Summer 2020 was warm in Falls Church, although much more bearable than other places in the U.S. The West and South experienced severe weather conditions including hurricanes and floods. Devastating forest fires and the resulting dangerous smoke were intensified due to drought and persistent high temperatures. Worldwide, the last five years have recorded the highest average temperatures in history. 2020 is reported likely to make the count rise to six. (A fun activity is to check The Old Farmer’s Almanac website for the weather conditions in Falls Church, and elsewhere in the U.S., for any day since 1945.) The present day concern about global warming and perilous storms led this author to check the weather in the mid- and late 19th century and particularly during the Civil War. It seems that the weather during that war was varied. “Virginia experienced extreme precipitation and alternating periods of blazing heat and bitter cold.” Meteorologically, the Civil War took place at the tail end of what is often termed the Little Ice Age, a period of general cooling and unpredictability that most scholars date from roughly 1310 to 1850. Conditions began to warm after 1850 but the weather continued to be varied and as such was an important determinant of military strategy, tactics, and success or failure in battles. Military leaders sought what weather data and predictions as might be available to help them plan action. Rain dampened the gunpowder, which affected the accurate firing of weapons. Rain confused men and impeded troop movement. It resulted in abysmal living conditions. Reflecting this, one battle site was given the name “the field of lost shoes.” A positive aspect of rain was that it dampened the ground and thus eliminated dust that might reveal the movement of soldiers. Armies usually did not campaign in winter, but that didn’t mean that heat couldn’t also be a problem. Reportedly, during a battle in May 1864, the heat caused forest fires that “consumed dead and wounded men’s bodies.” The weather was a popular topic of conversation, as it is today. It was frequently recorded in letters, diaries and newspapers. Soldiers described the weather and its impact on their lives, moods, movement, and battles. Some soldiers even wrote that certain diseases seemed to be weather-related. Source: EncyclopediaVirginia.org (Kathryn Shively Meier)
Words from the past found in a collection of old lace.
More Scenes from the 2020 Blast into the Past Summer Camp
Signs of the Times
“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” John Howard Bryant
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This issue takes a look back at the fight for women's suffrage and history of voting rights. The newsletter also includes stories and photos...
Published on Oct 23, 2020
This issue takes a look back at the fight for women's suffrage and history of voting rights. The newsletter also includes stories and photos...