Archival Collection

Harriot Stanton Blatch: Why Suffragists Will Parade on Saturday

"Why Suffragists Will Parade on Saturday." Harriot Stanton Blatch. New York Tribune, May 3, 1912, p. 1.

Era: Suffrage Era | Media: Newspapers, Pageants and Parades

On May 3, 1912, just ahead of the third annual New York Woman Suffrage Day parade, the New York Tribune carried a front page essay by Harriot Stanton Blatch, the daughter of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton and one of the movement’s foremost figures in her own right. In it, Stanton Blatch explains why the suffrage movement was investing so heavily in spectacle.

“Logic and sermons never convince,” she wrote, borrowing Walt Whitman’s phrase. “Emotions do. So do music and marching groups of people, far more than the most careful argument.” Parades demonstrate strength in numbers, organizing ability, “and that we have a sense of form and color.” Parades also have news value, which “feeds the enthusiasm of our army” and generates great publicity. “Look at our press,” she wrote, “note the space it is giving to the May 4 demonstration, and surely the question is answered why we have a parade.”

You can view a digitized copy of the Tribune issue containing Stanton Blatch’s essay here. You can find archived Tribune issues from 1866-1924 here, via the Library of Congress  this link, and as a download (see below).

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