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September 18

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.

The Woman Who "Bought" Your Voting Rights


QUOTES by Carrie Chapman Catt.

Posted 10-07-1999

Her Amazing Will "Bought" U.S. Women The Vote

Event 09-18-1914: Mrs. Frank Leslie, aka Baroness de Bazus, aka Miriam Florence Folline Leslie, died and her amazing will changes the course of history in the U.S.:
      She bequeathed $2 million to Carrie Chapman Catt PERSONALLY to get woman's suffrage approved in the U.S.!
      After legal battles that seemed to go on forever and caused Catt to remark that the money seemed to be more of a curse than a boon, Catt received about $900,000 - the rest eaten up by legal fees by family members trying to break the will.

Catt put it all - every cent - into the Leslie publicity bureau which sent suffrage material to newspapers, magazines, and activists in a snow of information that turned a stalled movement into an avalanche of pressure. Would U.S. women gotten the vote without Leslie's money? Eventually, but history (read correctly) showed that even withthe tremendous amount of pressure exerted by women, the results came down to ONE VOTE in the Tennessee legislature. Had that one vote not been cast for suffrage, the entire movement would have been stopped because a number of states were poised to rescind their favorable vote. leslie.gif
      One must remember that lifting any restrictions on women's freedom breaks one of the oldest of all prejudices reinforced by almost every religion, that of men have the right and duty to keep women, by force if necessary, as subservient slaves.
      Most sources simply state the donation by a Mrs. Frank Leslie and one is left to surmise that it was the will of pampered wife who didn't even lay claim to her own name and used HIS money for HER causes.
      But nothing could be further from the truth. Miriam changed her name to Frank legally after she was left a widow with bankrupt businesses. Through shrewd business dealings, she rebuilt what was left of her husband's publishing empire into the fortune.

[Excerpts from the report of the Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission, Inc., formed to administer the Leslie fortune have been added to the Library of WiiN. Just click on the entries below; it has been divided because of its length and thoroughness.
      It is a remarkble document about a remarkable event. It is long - it is extensive. It is ACCURATE! Anything Mrs. Catt had anything to do with was completely and totally documented and open to public review.
      Anyone interested in furthering the rights of women are urged to read the document. It is an excellent review in detail of the entire suffrage movement of 1914-1920. One may also trace the intricate political machinations of the willy Carrie Chapman Catt and seek to become more politically effective by following her example.
      "The Plan" as put forth by Catt is a lasting blueprint for the political success for women's issues in the U.S. Would that it were being followed today! Had the Catt suffragists' maneuvers been followed in the ERA battles of the 1970s instead of the confrontational Alice Paul method which develops no political strength, the results would probably have been much different.]

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B. 09-18-1581 (87-88?), Francesca Caccini, aka La Cecchina, noted Italian musician whose Primo Libro (1618) was the most extensive collection of songs by a single composer that had been published to that date. Her opera La liberazione du Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina was performed 02-02-1625 with great pomp and royal attendance and is considered the first opera composed by a woman.. or first opera acknowledged to be written by a woman to be performed publicly.

Event 09-18-1634: Anne Hutchinson landed in Boston from England at age 43. She then settled in Massachusetts colony with her husband and children and would become the first American colonial woman exiled from her home for expressing her religious beliefs. When she and her family were killed by Indians, the Massachusetts religious leaders expressed pleasure.

B. 09-18-1870, Lucy Martin Donnelly, U.S. English teacher.

B. 09-18-1905, Greta Garbo, Swedish-American actor of the almost perfect face, and one of the great stars of cinema. She made 24 films in Hollywood and was nominated for Academy Awards four times. She was finally awarded a special Academy award in 1954 "for her unforgettable screen performances." Although she retired in 1941 to live in seclusion in New York, the papparzi continued to chase her and the gossip newspapers printed photos of her when she was in her 70s and 80s - even while swimming.
      She hated making movies and condemned their superficialities as well as the burden of being portrayed a beatiful thing rather than a human being.
      Greta Gustafsson left school at 14 to work after her father died. A film director saw her, admired her beauty and gave her a small part in a movie. She then studied at the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm for two years where she met Mauritz Stiller, the foremost Swedish film director of his time who renamed her Garbo. When he went to the United States to work for MGM, he took her along. Garbo's fame soon eclipsed his.
      One of the few stars who were able to move from silent films to talkies, she made The Torrent (1926), Flesh and the Devil (1927), Love (1927), A Woman of Affairs (1929), and Wild Orchids (1929). Garbo starred in "talkies" for the next 14 years before walking away from movies, some say because her box office draw was dwindling, others because she was aging and didn't want the world to watch the process. Others noted her hatred of the Hollywood superficiality.
      The Hollywood publicists blared "Garbo Talks!" as she starred in her first talkie, Anna Christie (1930), followed by Mata Hari (1932), Grand Hotel (1932), Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), Camille (1936), and Ninotchka (1939). She died in New York City on April 15, 1990.
      Yes, she was a lesbian rather than a bi-sexual.
      Ironically, Marlene Dietrich who was brought to the U.S. as a rival to Garbo was a bi-sexual who, in private life, also played the rival to several of Garbo's women lovers.
"I said I wanted to be left alone, not I want to be alone. There is a great difference," Garbo explained about the misquote that is universally attributed to her.

B. 09-18-1905?, Agnes DeMille, major U.S. ballet choreographer whose ballet Rodeo (1942) for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo revolutionized ballet by using modern dance techniques and movements from life rather than just the standard ballet movements. As an honored Broadway and screen choreographer of legendary proportions, she created ballets seen in such plays and movies as Oklahoma, Carousel, Fall River Legend, Brigadoon, etc. Her greatest contributions that revolutionized musical drama were to use American themes and folk dancing and gestures an integral part of her choreographing, and to incorporate dance as a part of the action, not just a diversion. Her dance routines moved the action along and developed the story line rather than being pleasant interruptions.

B. 09-18-1922, Catherine Fahriner, U.S. writer.

B. 09-18-1940, Nannerl Overholser Keohane - U.S. university president. NOK was president and professor political science Wellesly College 1981-1993 and president Duke University 1993-. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame (1995). She is a member, Board of Directors, IBM.

Event 09-18-1940: Harper and Brothers published "You Can't Go Home Again" by Thomas Wolfe. A little known fact is that Wolfe's manuscript was a total mess, unreadable actually, and a woman editor made it readable - as well as the rest of "his" other "great American" novels. WOA's author has lost the citation and the reference material as to her identity and her subsequent work which made Wolfe a great writer - and left her very, very unacknowledged. We would appreciate any information on the matter. Some claim that her work was so extensive that she should be listed as co-author.

Event 09-18-1948: Dr. Leslie Swigart Kent is elected the first president of the Oregon Medical Society, the first woman to head any U.S. medical society.

Event 09-18-1985: The Frank G. Brewer Award, highest honor given in the U.S. for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace education, was awarded Mary Jo Knouff. "Her impressive credentials testify to her lifetime dedication to aviation and space education. After gaining a most respectable national and international reputation, she retired in 1985 from her position as education specialist of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)."

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"The world taught women nothing skillful and then said her work was valueless. It permitted her no opinions and said she did not know how to think. It forbade her to speak in public and said the sex had no orators. It denied her the schools, and said the sex had no genius. It robbed her of every vestige of responsibility, and then called her weak. It taught her that every pleasure must come as a favor from men, and when to gain it she decked herself in paint and fine feathers, as she had been taught to do, it called her vain."
            -- Carrie Chapman Catt in a speech before the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1902. (Is it any wonder Susan B. Anthony handpicked Catt as her successor? Catt is Irene Stuber's person icon.)

      Excerpts from the report of the Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission, Inc., formed to administer the Leslie fortune are to be found in the WiiN Library:

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