Book purchases made through this link support New York Almanack’s mission to report new publications relevant to New York State.
Angelica Shirley Carpenter’s new children’s picture book The Voice of Liberty (South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2020), with illustrations by Edwin Fotheringham, tells the story of three women’s rights activists, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Lillie’s daughter, Katherine Devereux Blake, who staged a protest at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886.
Why protest that statue? Because they thought it wrong for Liberty to be portrayed as a woman when women had no liberty, not even the right to vote, in the United States.
As president of the New York State Suffrage Association, Lillie Devereux Blake applied to speak at the dedication ceremony on behalf of women. No, the men in charge replied. No woman would speak. No woman would be allowed on the island where the statue stood. Next, Devereux Blake applied to sail in the naval parade that was part of the day’s festivities and, surprisingly, that request was approved. The only boat the women could find was a smelly cattle barge, but that didn’t stop them. They celebrated when their protest made the front page of the New York Times the next day.
Angelica Shirley Carpenter is the author of Born Criminal: Matilda Joslyn Gage, Radical Suffragist, L. Frank Baum: Royal Historian of Oz (Baum was Matilda Joslyn Gage’s son-in-law), and four other books. Curator emerita of the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at California State University, Fresno, she is a former president of the International Wizard of Oz Club, an advisory committee member for the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Authors Guild, and the League of Women Voters. Her website has Statue of Liberty craft projects to download and make.
Books noticed on the New York Almanack have been provided by their publishers. If you found this post helpful, make a contribution at our Rally.org fundraising page.