By Kacy Rohn, Graduate Assistant Intern
Augusta Chissell. Photo courtesy of Mark Young.
Stories of the Maryland women’s suffrage movement have been forgotten at many historic sites, but it’s possible to reconnect some of this history through sources like The Baltimore Sun and organizational chronicles of suffrage groups. Though these contain valuable information, they often omit the efforts of African American suffragists and the places where they worked. This erasure is a symptom of a larger divide in the suffrage movement: as racial tensions rose during Reconstruction, many white suffrage groups excluded women of color. Even though Maryland’s first suffrage organization, the Equal Rights Society, was founded by a racially diverse group in 1867, the dominant groups of the 20th century suffrage movement were led by white women who typically distanced themselves from women of color. Continue reading
by Kacy Rohn, Graduate Assistant Intern
From February 7 to 13, 1906, thousands of activists from across the country gathered at the Lyric Theater in Baltimore to galvanize the movement for women’s suffrage. Leaders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) arranged a busy program of speeches, musical performances, and prayer services that filled the theater. Despite this momentous gathering, our understanding of the Lyric’s historic significance lacks any reference to the women’s suffrage movement (as seen in our documentation of the site). This forgotten milestone is a prominent example of the hidden history of women’s suffrage that exists at many historic sites across Maryland.
The Lyric Theater as shown in the 1906 NAWSA Convention booklet. Image: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911 (Library of Congress)
NAWSA members assembled at the Lyric at a critical time. The founding women were aging out of active work and needed new recruits. Continue reading
By Anne Raines, Deputy Director, MHT
Our recent warm spell has been a welcome reminder that spring is just around the corner. For those of us who are involved with historic buildings, spring means more than just crocuses and daffodils – it means repairs and maintenance! Many historic property owners across the state are looking for funding this time of year, so MHT put together this primer on the basics of preservation funding for your bricks-and-mortar project.
MHT administers several grant and loan programs which assist what we refer to as “capital” (bricks-and-mortar) preservation activities.
- MHT Historic Preservation Loan Program: The program provides low-interest loans for rehabilitation, acquisition, refinancing or predevelopment costs. MHT typically funds one to three projects a year for borrowers including nonprofit organizations, local governments, businesses and individuals, with preference given to projects with a high level of public benefit. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Key considerations: Loan amount will generally not exceed $300,000; property must be National Register listed or eligible for listing; conveyance of a perpetual preservation easement is required; business and individual applicants must demonstrate inability to secure funding on the private market.
Contact: Anne Raines, Deputy Director, MHT.
Leeke Academy, in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood, received MHT Loan Program, MHT Capital Grant Program, and MHAA funding for a complete restoration.
The Maryland Historical Trust is pleased to announce that Anne Raines will be our new Deputy Director. Anne is no stranger to our partners and constituents, since she has served as our Capital Grants and Loans Administrator since 2010. Her duties have taken her around the state for workshops, site visits, and outreach for the African American Heritage Preservation Program, the MHT Capital Grant and Loan Programs, and the National Park Service Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Grants.
Anne Raines in Hamburg
By Jeanne Pirtle, Education Director, Historic Sotterley, Inc.
Historic Sotterley Plantation has a long history, to be sure. It has also been open to the public as a museum since 1960. Let’s see, what was happening in the 1960’s? Schools were still segregated. Jim Crow was still alive. And in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Sotterley’s last private owner had decided to open Sotterley and create a non-profit so that it could be preserved. As with most house museums at that time, the early tours focused on the furnishings and lives of the owners with a little legend, lore and myth mixed in. After the owner’s death in 1993, ownership went to the Sotterley Foundation, which is now Historic Sotterley, Inc.
By Albert Feldstein, Trustee of the Maryland Historical Trust
In honor of Black History Month, I want to share with you “A BLACK HISTORY OF AMERICA IN 110 BUTTONS: The Events, The Issues, The Organizations, The People.” Derived from my 11,000+ button collection, this poster consists of original buttons related to Black history, from the Scottsboro Boys in 1931 to Black Lives Matter today. Many of buttons stem from advocacy campaigns; a few are controversial and most are self-explanatory. However, historical footnotes describe basic information, relevant dates, names, and when the various organizations were founded
By Evelyn J. Chatmon and Dr. Dorothy Coleman, Co-Chairs, Archives & Artifacts Ministry, Union Baptist Church, Baltimore MD
A casual conversation between Lucretia Billups, Co-Chair Emeritus, and Evelyn Chatmon outside of church one Sunday morning, about a beautiful writing created by the then pastor, Rev. Vernon N. Dobson, blossomed into an acknowledgement of how many church documents were being accumulated in our homes. That conversation led to our wondering if there was any unified effort to save the history of our church, which was already in the beginning stages of preparing to celebrate its 150th Anniversary. We learned that there had never been a concerted effort to save the church’s history and were able to convince Rev. Dobson that her history needed to be preserved. Thus was created the Archives and Artifacts Ministry of Union Baptist Church. That was 20 years ago. A well-known Baltimore archivist, by the name of Wayne Wiggins, gave us invaluable guidance, explaining at the outset of our efforts that what we were doing, though unusual, was of great importance. The effort has been well worth it.
Following are just a few of the reasons why Union Baptist Church is historically significant. Continue reading