Thursday, May. 23, 2019

Elizabeth Thacher Kent discusses her Suffrage Activities in Washington D.C. and London

By Laurie Thompson · December 12, 2014

Elizabeth Thacher Kent, circa 1912 <span>&copy; Anne T. Kent Calif. Rm </span>

Elizabeth Thacher Kent, circa 1912

Elizabeth Thacher Kent at the Suffrage Pickets, Washington D.C., 1917 <span>&copy; Anne T. Kent Calif. Rm </span> William Kent Family portrait, circa 1912 <span>&copy; Anne T. Kent Calif. Rm </span>

In 1911, the  William Kent family moved to Washington D.C. after Mr. Kent was elected to serve his first term in Congress. While there, his wife -Elizabeth Thacher Kent- became involved in the Woman's Suffrage movement.

On a visit to her home town of Kentfield in 1912, Elizabeth addressed a meeting of the Tamalpais Centre's Woman's Club recounting memorable experiences from her time in Washington D.C. and of a family tour of Europe during the summer.

Included are several interesting accounts of her suffrage activities:

“I was in the big suffrage parade in New York, and wore the green and white suffrage hat; it cost thirty-eight cents and was a very pretty, becoming and useful chapeau. My two boys came up from college to witness the parade, and teased and joked their mother for marching in line.

When the great crowd filed into Carnegie Hall, elder boy remarked to the younger, ‘A spectacle like that makes you think,’ the other gravely responded, ‘it does make one think.’

On her experiences in London, Mrs. Kent remarks:

“ Notwithstanding the earnest disapproval of my children, I went to a suffrage meeting. The speaker’s stand was a wagon drawn by the most pitiful specimen of a horse. The stand was prettily decorated in white and green, and a small woman….commenced to speak. Two men in the audience who were professional disturbers, hooted and jeered at every utterance, and did all that they could to create disorder and annoy the speaker. They asked me to tell something about suffrage in this country, and I did. Recognizing in me an American and a foreigner, they listened with respectful attention, not even the trained rioters offering to interrupt.

The children were much relieved when I got home alive and sound.”

Extracted from: Tamalpais Centre Woman's ClubMarin Journal, 10 October 1912.

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