Susie Martin, Class of 1911, Letter to Mother, 1908
In a letter to her mother postmarked October 25, Susie ‘11 mentions attending a mock Republican Convention. She notes that “[a]ll the girls were dressed like men, and had wigs + beards” to impersonate various candidates. Students dressed as convention attendees including Carrie Nation, Howard Taft, Nicholas and Alice Longworth, and Theodore Roosevelt. Carrie Nation was a militant member of the temperance movement, so the student dressed as her included physical actions: after seeing “a pitcher of wine on the table… Carrie Nation broke it with her hatchet. Quite exciting.” The students’ commitment to their roles displays not only an awareness of politics, but a deep interest and understanding of the prominent figures and platforms at a time when women were still a dozen years from the vote.
October 25, 1908
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We had a Republican Convention last week in the gym. All the girls were dressed like men, and had wigs + beards. On the platform were Theodore Roosevelt (the girl looked exactly like him) Taft, Carrie Nation, & Mr & Mrs. Longworth. Mrs. Longworth wore a sheath-gown and smoked a cigarette which quite shocked Carrie Nation. There was a pitcher of wine on the table and Carrie Nation broke it with her hatchet. Quite exciting. (Pages 4-5)