Vermont Humanities

From the Parlor to the Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists

Man giving a talk in a bike shop
Speakers Bureau

Suffragette standing before a bannerSinger and historian Linda Radtke, in period garb and “Votes for Women” sash, celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, specifically highlighting the decades-long persistence of Vermonters, both women and men. Music was essential to the movement: each state convention of suffragists began and ended with songs such as “Shall Women Vote?” “New America,” “Giving the Ballot to the Mother” or “Voting as we Pray,” as well as rousing Christian hymns. Radtke also traces the movement’s alignment with other social justice initiatives such as temperance, labor conditions, wage equity, peace, and children’s welfare.

Touring the state in 1870, suffragist Lucy Stone urged resistant citizens to see women’s involvement in civic life as “Enlarged Housekeeping,” expanding women’s traditional efforts to nurture hearth and home to a wider focus to improve the greater community. (The Rutland Herald reporter expected “Harpies and Amazons,” and was impressed by suffragists’ mild and rational approach!)

Both the songs and stories in Radtke’s engaging presentation, accompanied by pianist David Gibson, highlight Vermonters’ efforts from 1840-1921, as they lobbied in churches, at “parlor meetings” at town halls and at the State House for total enfranchisement.

Additional Costs


Special Arrangements

Performers bring keyboard and speakers; no equipment is required of the host.

Available in correctional facilities.

Booking a talk

First, contact the speaker by clicking on their biography below to confirm their availability and discuss any special arrangements.

Then, click the “Book this Talk!” button below to send a request form to Vermont Humanities. We’ll respond within one week. Linda is scheduling events starting August 1st, 2022.

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About the Presenter

Talks by Linda Radtke

Vermont Humanities*** June 7, 2019