Saturday, April 20, 2013

Today -100: April 20, 1913: No court can tell me what to do

Featured in the NYT Sunday Magazine: “Famous French Duelist Defends ‘Affairs of Honor.’”

Belgian suffrage strike Day 6, still mostly peaceful.

Gov. Coleman Blease of South Carolina ignores a writ of habeas corpus, because “no court can tell me what to do,” and hands two fugitives wanted in New York for financial swindles over to NY detectives, suggesting they get their prisoners out of the state quickly, which they did, with the sheriff trying to serve the writ in hot pursuit in a high-speed car chase for the border.

The US Senate Woman Suffrage Committee hears from anti-suffragists. In the audience was “Dr. Mary Walker, who has the statutory right to wear trousers”. The only woman ever to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, and all anyone ever wants to talk about is the trousers (for example, this 1974 biography, “Dr. Mary Walker: The Little Lady in Pants.” Sigh.) A letter from Kate Douglas Wiggin, author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, is read to the committee: “I would have woman strong enough to keep just a trifle in the background; the limelight never makes anything strong.” A letter from Mary Elliot Seawell, another author, writes that a constitutional amendment would also allow negro women to vote. Which would be bad.

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