17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, February 16, 1913: Went to Sunday School this morning. Carrie was over this afternoon.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What did Grandma and her friend Carrie Stout talk about?
This was the era of suffragettes. Did they ever talk about the role of women—and whether they should have the right to vote? (The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, won’t be ratified until 1919.)
Maybe they discussed a book published in 1913 by Berton Braley called Sonnets of a Suffragette.
Here’s the first sonnet in the book:
I read a lot about the Suffrage Cause.
In nearly every paper that I get
There’s something said about the Suffragette
And Woman’s Right and “brutal manmade laws.”
It’s funny, but this “Votes for Women” draws
It’s leaders from the very smartest set.
I don’t know what it’s all about; and yet
I think I’d like to join it—well—because!
Why should I be a frivolous young thing.
Thinking of gowns and dances—and of men—
When I might help make the welkin ring
With “Votes for Women! Like the Upper Ten?
My sheltered life has been too calm and quiet;
The Movement calls me—and I guess I’ll try it.