Founding Feminists is FMF’s daily herstory column.
“General” Rosalie Jones’ suffrage army is reunited and back to full strength again as “Colonel” Craft’s contingent marched into Baltimore on Day 13 of the hike from Newark, New Jersey, to Washington, D.C.
Ida Craft’s small detachment of troops enjoyed a big sendoff this morning from the villagers at Overlea, with four-year-old Albert Ayeman and six-year-old Julia Raspe, both wearing suffrage-yellow streamers, leading the procession out of town.
In Raspeburg, the hikers were met by members of the Just Government League, who gave them a luncheon at the home of their president. Though Col. Craft’s feet may be in notoriously poor condition after all these days of hiking, her voice is still at its best. After her luncheon speech, some of her listeners were sufficiently motivated to start a suffrage club, and will be presenting Craft with a gold medal in Washington on March 3rd for her courage and devotion to the cause.
As was the case yesterday when the main body of troops arrived, the police were again present in sufficient numbers to give the hikers a pleasant entry into Baltimore. The marchers were joined by a delegation of women from Goucher College as well.
General Jones spent today at her headquarters in the Hotel Stafford, sending hikers out to various speaking engagements, and to sell postcards bearing photos of the hike and individual hikers, while she made plans for the final days of this exceedingly successful campaign.
But nearly two weeks on the road have caused some dissension in the ranks. Col. Craft, still angry about General Jones’ decision to push on to Baltimore yesterday, instead of stopping at Overlea, as planned, clearly thinks there should be more time spent socializing with the locals even if it means less hiking. A brisk pace was justifiable back in New Jersey, with a couple of hundred miles of marching ahead under unpredictable weather conditions and over unscouted, muddy roads. But there’s now a full week left until the big parade and pageant in Washington, and only a relatively short distance to go, so a change of pace and priorities seems in order. As Col. Craft put it:
I don’t believe in rushing about the country. We are now engaged in going at a ‘six-day bicycle race’ speed, and I am frank to say that I don’t like it. There must be consideration shown to both the pilgrims and to those who offer us their hospitality. I will obey the reasonable commands of General Jones, but when Gen. Jones wants to cut out all the social functions, which I think are necessary to the cause, it is going too far. We cannot slight Southern hospitality. I am going on to Washington, and if Gen. Jones cares to push on in this ‘six-day bicycle’ manner, I will not. I started to Washington, and intend to get there.
Still, even with some ruffled feelings after yesterday’s march, there is no doubt that the hike will go on, and Constance Leupp was sent ahead to Washington to help coordinate plans for the pilgrims’ arrival and activities in that city. Leupp will return to Baltimore tonight to march with the troops when they resume their trek day after tomorrow.
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