The Women and their Kitten, Scouty, Advance on Washington, D.C.

New York Suffragists, and their mascot, Saxon, in Portland after an auto trip for NY.     source:  Philadelphia Ledger, July 9, 1916

New York Suffragists, and their mascot, Saxon, in Portland after an auto trip for NY.
source: Philadelphia Ledger, July 9, 1916

By the second decade of the 20th century woman had been fighting for the right to the ballot for over 60-years. Along the way, they had become experts at figuring out how to grab attention, and one of their well-honed techniques was to take long automobile tours in specially decorated vehicles. They were frequently accompanied by a mascot, often a kitten.

Delaware was treated to one of these unique events in February 1913 as a determined band tramped across the State, advancing on their objective, the occupation of Washington, D.C.

The suffrage army stepped sprightly into Delaware on February 18, 1913, to the tune of “Marching through Georgia.” The first person to officially greet them was the Claymont postmaster, Eben H. Baldwin. A little ways down the road at the Robinson Mansion, Jeff Davis, a gentle bulldog adorned with “votes for women” strode confidentially up to the General Rosalie Jones, heading the march.

Slightly ahead of the main group of marching campaigners was the chief scout, Olive Schultz, driving an automobile. At the Philadelphia Pike Toll House William J. Whiteford, met the advance officer, motoring toward Wilmington in the muddy machine with a bright yellow suffrage banner on the side.

There the scout car driver received an animal mascot, a kitten, donated by Mrs. Whiteford. Olive named it “Scouty” and said he would occupy a seat of honor when the brightly decorated vehicle rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on March 3rd. Also at the toll house was Mrs. A. L. Steinlein, president of the Arden Suffrage Club and her supporters. For ten years women had voted on village affairs.

And Scouty occupied a prime seat when the advanced guard rolled into the District of Columbia.

suffrage delaware 2500 signaturesw suporters headquaters dover phil ledger march 22 1920

In 1920, the nation’s attention centered on Dover, as the Legislature voted on the constitutional amendment. Here supports in Dover show the 26,000 signatures favoring voting rights for women. source: Philadelphia Ledger, March 22, 1920.

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