view counter

Articles by Krista Pfunder Boughey

Young Maryland voter maps women’s campaign to vote
       SUFFRAGE — In representative government, the right to vote in electing public officials and adopting or rejecting proposed legislation.
 
 
      In the year 2019, presidential hopefuls — including five women so far — are lining up like beauty pageant contestants to win our attention and perhaps our vote.
     With over 80 million women registered to vote, winning women’s votes is key to winning the election.
     One hundred years ago, no women ran for president. The male candidates — among them Warren G. Harding, James Cox, Eugene Debs, Parley Christensen, Aaron Watkins, Leonard Wood, Frank Lowden, Hiram Johnson, A. Mitchell Palmer, William McAdoo and Franklin D. Roosevelt — hardly bothered to appeal to women.
     At that time, just 19 states and territories gave women full or partial suffrage. Wyoming was the first state to grant women full voting rights. Back in 1869, the new state’s first legislature passed a woman’s suffrage bill, so by 1920 Wyoming women had voted in a dozen presidential elections.
     “One man thought it right and just to give women the vote. Another said he thought it would be a good advertisement for the territory. Still another voted to please someone else,” state historian Charles Giffin Coutant reported at the time.
     One hundred years ago, in March of 1919, Maryland women and many of their sisters across the country were protesting, marching, lobbying and going to jail for their right to cast a ballot.
     Every step of the way, woman met resistance.
     Opponents often argued that a woman’s place was in the home. At least some men worried they would be emasculated by sudden expectations that they should cook, clean and care for children. 
     The women faced opposition from their own sex, as well. In Baltimore, anti-suffrage women worked closely with national groups, saying that women were “not equipped physically or mentally to meddle with any degree of success in politics and problems of government.”
      Nonetheless, the women persisted.
      The suffragists among them campaigned peacefully; more militant suffragettes took direct and violent action.
      Suffragettes such as the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, founded by Alice Paul in 1913, organized demonstrations and picketed the White House. They used militant tactics including obstructing traffic and inciting riots. When arrested, they refused to pay fines and were sent to a workhouse. They then protested by waging a hunger strike. Officials, in turn, force-fed them through tubes. 
 
Women Prevail — Without Maryland
      Slowly, suffrage prevailed. In the summer of 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, the federal Women’s Suffrage Amendment. It made women voters in two short sentences: “The right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
      But until 36 states — three-fourths of the 48 states at that time — ratified the amendment, it meant nothing but the hopes of all those waiting. 
      Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan were the first states to ratify the amendment.
      “The timing was not ideal,” explains Kacy Rohn, Maryland historian of women’s march to suffrage. “Many state legislatures had already adjourned and were not due to reconvene for two years. Suffragists, therefore, began a major organizing effort to try to get governors around the country to call special legislative sessions to take a vote on ratification.” 
       With time running short for the amendment to be passed in time for women to vote in the 1920 presidential election, Maryland suffragists urged Gov. Emerson Harrington to call a special session. Suffrage organizers traveled statewide during the summer and fall of 1919, visiting legislators and raising public support to bring the Assembly into session. 
       Harrington refused.
       Thus, Maryland would have only one chance, the regular session beginning January 1920, to pass the 19th Amendment.
      The politically savvy suffragists rallied forces, lobbying, coordinating rallies and testifying in Annapolis in support of its passage.
      To persuade Maryland lawmakers — all men — to approve the amendment, women gathered on the steps of the State House in Annapolis on February 20, 1920. Statewide suffrage leaders spoke amidst an upbeat atmosphere that included a band.
      Despite the suffragists’ efforts, the Maryland legislature voted against ratification that day. Long opposed to the expansion of voting rights, most Maryland legislators — especially Democrats, who held the governorship and both houses — argued that it should be up to the states, not the federal government, to decide who should have the right to vote. 
      Indeed, they passed a resolution declaring the 19th Amendment an act of overreach by the federal government that Maryland would oppose.
     “They even went beyond this to pass an additional resolution supporting the travel of seven anti-suffrage legislators to West Virginia to try to convince their legislature to reject the amendment as well,” Rohn says “This delegation failed in their mission. West Virginia voted to ratify.”
     Tennessee, the 36th state, made the 19th Amendment the law of the land. A 24-year-old legislator named Harry Burn cast the deciding vote, crediting his mother with switching him to yes.
      Maryland’s anti-suffragists held out past ratification. In October of 1920, anti-suffragist judge Oscar Leser contested the legality of two women registering to vote in Baltimore. His case eventually landed at the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1922 ruled that the 19th Amendment had been legally adopted, closing the door for future challenges.
     Maryland did not vote to ratify the amendment until 1941 and did not certify it — the process whereby an archivist receives the required number of authenticated ratified documents and makes a formal proclamation — until 1958.
      Maryland’s recalcitrance mattered little on November 2, 1920, when some 28 million American women —about half the eligible number — voted in the presidential election.
 
Mapping Maryland’s Long March
     The 91-year campaign of Maryland suffragists and the intransigence of their elected representatives is a story as close as your fingertips thanks to the Maryland Historical Trust and the dedication of a graduate intern. 
      That’s Rohn, who got the job of locating the more than 50 sites of significance in Maryland’s campaign. The steps of the Maryland Statehouse where women protested for their rights remain. But many of the other sites no longer stand.
      While you may not be able to physically visit these spots, you can follow them online at ­bit.ly/SuffrageMap. That is the project Rohn took on in 2016 for the Maryland Historical Trust. 
      “I have a political organizing background,” said the University of Maryland dual community planning and historic preservation major. “So when I heard a hint that my project as a graduate internship would be women’s suffrage, I got excited.
      “My assignment was to find the specific sites,” she said. “I used available research: census documents, local newspapers, records, city directions and a PhD dissertation by Dr. Diane Weaver: Maryland Women and the Transformation of Politics.”
     The research of Augusta Chissell, a leader of the Colored Women’s Suffrage Club in Baltimore, stood out in particular. To prepare women to vote, Chissell authored the column A Primer for Women Voters in the Baltimore Afro-American. So impressed was Rohn that she has nominated Chissell to the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.
     To preserve the progress of suffrage, Rohn created a map highlighting the movement’s landmarks and historically important dates. It combines narrative text, images and multimedia content.
     The story begins with Margaret Brent, who in 1648 petitioned the Maryland Assembly in St. Mary’s City for the right vote. She was not granted her demand but earned herself the title of first woman suffragist in the country. 
      For two centuries, suffrage activity was stifled due to an unreceptive political climate. The tale resumes in the latter half of the 1800s.
      In Baltimore in 1867, Lavinia Dundore founded the Maryland Equal Rights Society. 
      In 1889, Caroline Hallowell Miller gathered members of her Sandy Spring Quaker community as the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The group joined forces with the National American Woman Suffrage Association to send Maryland delegates to attend national suffrage events. 
      The National American Woman Suffrage Association held its annual convention in 1906 in Baltimore at the Lyric Theater, one of the places where history was made.
      At the convention, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton and Julia Ward Howe encouraged the next generation to take up the cause.
      “Some of these women died without seeing their goal realized,” Rohn says. “They urged the next generation to get involved.”
      “I am here for a little time only, and then my place will be filled as theirs [suffragists before me] was filled. The fight must not cease; you must see that it does not stop,” Susan B. Anthony, then 86, told the 1906 Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
      Many did take up the challenge, and their influence is still felt.
     “The League of Women Voters was born out of the women’s suffrage movement, and the realization that simply having the right to vote does not mean that you are innately prepared to exercise that right,” says ­Ashley Oleson, administrative director of the Maryland League of Women Voters.
       “The League was created to ensure that every voter, female and male, would have access to the polls and access to candidates’ positions on the issues so they could make informed decisions at the polls.”
      The League celebrates 99 years of Making Democracy Work this year, as women celebrate a century of suffrage.
      On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, honor the Marylanders who fought to ensure all citizens could vote: Cast your ballot.
 
Here’s how Chesapeake neighbors describe their very best gifts
      The best gifts bring happiness to both giver and receiver. Memorable gifts forever hold a place in the heart, and recalling the moment the gift was given recreates the pleasure. 
     This year, reflective Chesapeake neighbors told us about gifts that have meant the most to them through the years. We’ve shared their stories in the hope that reading them reminds you of the best gifts you’ve given or received.
–compiled by Krista Pfunder Boughey
 
Rick Anthony
Anthony is director of Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation & Parks
      “My dad bought me and my two brothers our first motocross bicycles. After we opened all of the gifts inside, he made us take the trash out. The bikes were in the back yard, and when we saw them, we promptly lost our minds.”
 
 
 
 
 
Liz Demulling
Demulling is a director of the League of Women Voters of Calvert County
      “When I was 10, our family started giving an experience as a gift instead of an item. That year marked the start of the tradition. We’ve done so ever since, but no present has come close to the one that year: tickets for all to a hot air balloon ride.”
 
 
 
 
Joy Hill
Hill is CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maryland
      “Fifteen years ago, a group of friends got together to provide two weeks of groceries for a working mother of five who was having a hard time making ends meet. The look of surprise and gratefulness on her face when she realized that all the food in the car was for her and her kids was truly a gift to us.
       “We have done this every year since for families in need. Last year we provided groceries for 14 families. This year we hope to do more. Giving to others is the best gift I have ever given to myself.”
 
Steuart Pittman
Pittman is the newly elected Anne Arundel County Executive
      “When I was about 12 years old, the family procrastinated on everything to do with the holidays, including getting a Christmas tree. 
      “Our family would cut down a tree from the farm. Over the years, the pine trees had been replaced by tulip poplars. There was a shortage of pine trees, and very few remaining that had that Christmas tree look.
      “About two days before Christmas, I went alone into the woods in search of a tree. The longer I stayed out, the more the trees were starting to look more like Christmas trees. I sawed one down and hauled it back to the house. 
      “I was teased by my five sisters for some time after. The tree wasn’t a very good Christmas tree; it was not full; it had few branches on which to hang ornaments. But it served as the family Christmas tree that year.
      “That tree still reminds me that sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.”
 
Jen Frum
Frum, of Chesapeake Beach, a busy mom of two boys, found time to create and sell homemade coasters at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue’s Christmas market.
       “My mom saves everything, especially art work; she was an art teacher. She had been creating scrapbooks for me and my sisters. They started from when we were babies until we were in middle school. When we were in our 40s, she gave them to us. We were all really touched by her gift.
      “We also received a written account of oral history from our family history, dating back from the 1800s.”
 
Scott Goodman
Goodman is sales manager at Criswell Used Cars in Edgewater
      “I’ve always decorated the house for Christmas. Ours is the corner house, and I’ve put up lights, candy canes and snowmen for 25 years.
      “There is a school bus stop near our house. One of the nicest gifts I’ve received was when a little girl waiting for her bus told me that my house decorated for Christmas was the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen.”
 
Raoul Graves
Event planner, Graves owns Next BIG Things ­Productions in Annapolis
      “Every year we gather people to sponsor giving gifts to children. This year will be the third year in a row that my wife Clarice and I host the event. The children meet Santa and other animated guests. They eat lunch and create Christmas ornaments to take home.
      “The children make build-your-own Christmas gift kits. The kits get delivered to John Hopkins Children’s Hospital the week of Christmas to children staying in the hospital over Christmas. This way, the sick and shut-in children can make a present and give it to a loved one.
      “At the end of the day, the children at our event are surprised with a gift.”
 
Kate and Jack Harrison 
Harrison is Twin Beach Players’ president; Jack is her eight-year-old son.
      “Every year we make time to go to Ocean City the weekend following Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition to see The Festival of Lights and visit with Santa. When Jack was five, he decided that he did not want Mommy to follow him to chat with Santa. I snuck around back to hear his special request.
       “He didn’t ask for Legos, or toys or a bicycle. He asked for a baby. Sure enough, by the end of January, he was the first person to know that his baby brother was on the way. He’s an amazing big brother, and I’m so excited for him to share his wholehearted belief in Santa with two-year-old Reid.”
 
Shannon Nazzal
Nazzal is director of Calvert County Government ­Department of Parks & Recreation
      “I’d say the best (or most memorable) gift I’ve received was from my dad when I was a kid. My dad is always about jokes. There’d always be something silly under (or on) the tree. I couldn’t say how old I was, but probably under 10. I would get to open one present on Christmas Eve. Inevitably, I’d always end up picking the joke gift.
     “One year it was a window squeegee, another year it was a plunger, and another year it was a handheld mirror that laughed when you held it up. So memorable in fact that we’ve kept the tradition going with my kids and have a good laugh every year when my dad tells my daughter the story of when Pop Pop hung a plunger on the Christmas tree.”
 
Hudson Ridgeway
Five-year-old ­Hudson lives in Chesapeake Beach
       “My fire truck Lego set because I love fire trucks. I want to be a fireman when I grow up so I can be just like my daddy.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anne Sundermann
Sundermann is executive director of the Calvert Nature Society
       “After years of Barbie dolls and tea sets, my parents finally gave in and bought me a microscope and a home chemistry set that I had thoughtfully highlighted in the Sears catalog. 
      “In this year of Sears’ bankruptcy, I can’t help but recall how that catalog was the stuff of dreams. Those gifts also let me know that my parents saw my love of science as valid and true.”
 
 
Lynne Sherlock
Sherlock owns Tara’s Gifts in Annapolis
      “I was the first of my friends to receive a Barbie doll the year that they were released. 
      “Another fond memory is when myself and my two sisters were given matching Dale Evans cowgirl outfits complete with hats, boots and all the fringe trimmings.”
 
 
 
 
Jane Walter
Walter is co-owner of A Vintage Deale gift and antique store
      “When I was turning 30, my mother gave me a day at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa. It was a day of luxury: massage, pedicure, facial and steam bath. It is the best gift I’ve ever received.”
 
Minnie Warburton
Warburton is an Annapolis writer, artist and ­performance poet
      “One Christmas, my very hard-working daughter, Samantha, who received ridiculously few days off, even at holidays, handed me a card. It read, The Gift of Time. She had taken off days so we could be together.”

Growing and thriving over 43 years

     Do you smell the roasting smoked turkey legs? Hear the clanging of steel as jousters meet on the field of battle? Spot courtiers from the 1500s showing up in everyday scenes?
      Yes, it’s that time of year again. The Renaissance Festival is Chesapeake Country’s unofficial sign that summer is ending.
...

Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest supplies 400 kids

         It takes good school supplies to get the school year off to a good start. To make sure that a few hundred kids have exactly what they need, Chesapeake neighbors have joined forces.

            In Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest Saturday, August 24, backpacks brimming with school supplies will be handed out.

...

Kids On the Creek get to know the water

      Visit Truxton Park in Annapolis Saturday, August 24, with your kids and they’ll learn who’s swimming in Spa Creek. Biologists will identify the fish you pull up in seines. They’ll also hear about the 12 types of animals that make the park home and enjoy a scavenger hunt with prizes.

...

Canine athletes compete in Flying Disc Dogs Open and Ultimate Air Dock Diving

     The two swimming pools at Hog Dog Productions Farm in Millersville are the scene of intense canine competition.
     The field was packed at last weekend’s canine dock diving and Frisbee event at the 33-acre farm. Forty-eight dogs leapt into dock diving in the competition pool and 65 pups into Frisbee competition.
...

Motorcyclists carry the flame into town

      Local families who have lost a soldier are expecting visits from a dedicated band of motorcyclists, who will present them with a memorial plaque of distinguished service.

       American Legion Post 175 in Severna Park is hosting the 15 to 20 motorcyclists, arriving August 1 and visiting families August 2. Their mission is to remind those left behind that their fallen hero hasn’t been forgotten.

...

We’re meeting our reduction goals, Bay Foundation says

     Of the six Bay states, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia produce roughly 90 percent of the pollution.

    To control Bay pollution, the EPA Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint of 2010 sets limits for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. By 2025, all Bay jurisdictions must have in place the practices and policies necessary to meet the Bay’s pollution limits.

...
What to do with your household’s excess baggage
      The first few weeks of spring have many of us reenacting the role of the mole in The Wind in the Willows — dusting, sweeping, whitewashing and in the mood for a major home turnover. 
...

Thanks to Helena Scher for helping Bay Weekly readers propogate butterfly-loving plants

       It takes just one person to plant a seed of change.

         This spring, Helena Scher of Millersville has taken on that Johnny Appleseed role for the planting of milkweed.

         “We had a nice crop last summer,” Scher says of her backyard common milkweed. “Many butterflies visited.”

...