Saturday November 18, 1 PM, New York State Museum. “ ‘O Emily, How Could You?’ ” and Burden of the Ballot. “I have just been reading your letter over and am taken aback to see what I had taken for Suffrage Society is Anti-Suffrage Society—O Emily, how could you? How could you go four years through Smith, and take psychology and sociology courses galore… and then turn around and go and be recording secretary for the Anti-Suffrage Society? ” On October 14, 1915, Dorry Scribner wrote these words to her one-time college roommate, Emily Rankin. How could a woman, indeed, an educated woman, oppose her own enfranchisement? Why did Emily cast her lot with the anti-suffragists—even serving as the Recording Secretary for the Albany chapter of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage? What motivated Emily’s anti-suffrage stance?
In discussion and theatrical performance Deborah Emmons-Andarawis, Curator at Historic Cherry Hill and writer director Krysta Dennis, Siena College Theatre faculty, draw on photographs, letters, diaries, artifacts, and more from the collections at Historic Cherry Hill, to richly document Emily’s life and illuminate the larger forces that helped shape her opinions—examining Emily’s early life as a Van Rensselaer descendant, her education, the influences of progressive womanhood, her place in Albany’s elite society, and the larger socio-political climate of the time.