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100 Years of Women's Suffrage on Long Island

Kelly Campbell edna kearns spirit of 1776 womens suffrage new york

In 1917, New York State granted women the right to vote, several years before most of the rest of the nation.

Long Island women played a large part in that success. Of particular note is Edna Kearns of Rockville Centre, who worked as a suffrage editor for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and a columnist for several other New York metropolitan newspapers.

She was active in Long Island suffrage clubs, wrote and distributed press releases for local and state suffrage campaigns, and became a congressional representative for Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party on Long Island in the campaign for the 19th amendment.

An early master of social media marketing, she also spread her message by travelling the state in her “Spirit of 1776” horse-drawn wagon, built in Huntington, Long Island by Ebenezer Conklin in 1912. Kearns even brought along her very young daughter, Serena, who was 12 when women got the vote in New York, to organize on Long Island and participate in suffrage parades in New York City and beyond.


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