"KEEP AMERICA DRY!"
ALGEO, Sara M. The Story of a Sub-Pioneer. Providence, Rhode Island: Snow & Farnham, (1925). Octavo, original burgundy cloth. $600.
First edition of this photo-illustrated work on Rhode Island's suffragette movement, number 379 of 1000 numbered copies, inscribed: "Keep America dry! Sara M. Algeo. Barrington, R.I., Nov. 3, 1932."
From the beginning, New England was at the center of the conflict over women's suffrage. Immediately after independence, women's voting rights were revoked, state by state, in New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. After the Constitutional Convention, the rest of the nation followed. Nearly a century later, Rhode Island became the first state to attempt to vote on a women's suffrage referendum, which failed to pass. In 1917, Rhode Island, like many other states in the years leading up to the 19th Amendment, granted women presidential suffrage. This work focuses on the space between—those years when women protested and suffered and risked death for the right to vote. The author, Sara Algeo, carefully narrows her focus to Rhode Island, showing its interaction with the larger movement and the areas in which it broke ground. Without rare dust jacket. This book is wonderfully inscribed with a reference to the temperance movement, one of the suffrage movement's two major antecedents (along with abolitionism). Prohibition, a movement bolstered by reform-minded Christian women who believed in supporting fundamental human dignity, lent many supporters to the suffrage movement in its earlier days. As both movements strengthened and hit new heights during the war years, prominent members regularly moved back and forth between them.
Interior generally fine, cloth with small stain to front board. A near-fine inscribed copy.