The Suffrage Hikes of 1912 to 1914 brought attention to the issue of women's suffrage. Florence Gertrude de Fonblanque organised the first from Edinburgh to London. Within months Rosalie Gardiner Jones had organized the first American one which left from The Bronx to Albany, New York. The second hike was from New York City to Washington, D.C., and covered 230 miles in 17 days.
The major participants of the hikes, and the ones who covered the entire distance, were reporter Emma Bugbee, Ida Craft (nicknamed The Colonel), Elisabeth Freeman, and Rosalie Gardiner Jones, who was known as The General.
It began on Monday morning at 9:40 am, December 16, 1912, and left from the 242nd Street subway station in The Bronx where about 500 women had gathered. About 200, including the newspaper correspondents, started to walk north. The march continued for thirteen days, through sun and rain and snow covering a distance of 170 miles, including detours for speeches. The first 5 pilgrims walked into Albany at 4:00 pm, December 28, 1912.
Suffrage hikers in Newark, New Jersey, in 1913
This call was answered. On Feb. 12, with cameras clicking, 16 "suffrage pilgrims" left New York City to walk to Washington for the parade. Many other people joined the original hikers at various stages, and the New York State Woman Suffrage Association's journal crowed that "no propaganda work undertaken by the State Association and Party has ever achieved such publicity." One of the New York group, Elizabeth Freeman, dressed as a gypsy and drove a yellow, horse-drawn wagon decorated with Votes for Women symbols and filled with pro-suffrage literature, a sure way to attract publicity. Two weeks after the procession five New York suffragists, including Elizabeth Freeman, reported to the Bronx motion picture studio of the Thomas A. Edison Co. to make a talking picture known as a Kinetophone, which included a cylinder recording of one-minute speeches by each of the women. This film with synchronized sound was shown in vaudeville houses where it was "hooted, jeered and hissed" by audiences.
'Gen.' Rosalie Jones and her suffragist army started a 'hike' to Albany yesterday to take a petition to the legislature asking for women watchers at the polls when the question of votes for women is voted upon in 1915. The march began at Broadway and 242d Street at 9 o'clock in the morning. ...
The "hike" began Monday morning, Dec. 16, 1912, from the 242nd street subway station, where about 500 had gathered, and about 200, including the newspaper correspondents, started to walk. From New York City to Albany there was left a trail of propaganda among the many thousands of people who stopped at the cross roads and villages to listen to the first word which had ever reached them concerning woman suffrage, and many joined in and marched for a few miles. The newspapers far and wide were filled with pictures and stories. The march continued for thirteen days, through sun and rain and snow over a distance of 170 miles, including detours for special propaganda, and five pilgrims walked into Albany at 4 p. m., December 28.
The most arduous media stunt was the 'Suffrage Hike' or 'pilgrimage' to Wilson’s first Inauguration in the winter of 1913. Organized by millionaire heiress Rosalie Jones, the hike coincided with a large parade that Alice Paul of the more radical Congressional Union ... was staging to confront Wilson and Congress on the issue.
The long-heralded women's suffrage "hike" from New York to Washington will start tomorrow. Sixteen women, with "General" Rosalie G. Jones in command, have pledged themselves it was announced, to walk the entire distance 230 miles. They hope to complete their...
Bugbee walked with the suffragists on a week-long winter march from New York City to Albany
So angry that she would not speak to General Rosalie Jones Colonel Ida Craft, second in command, led the detachment of suffragist hikers that spent the night at Overlea into Baltimore late this afternoon. General Jones was not in the lobby of the Hotel Stafford when Colonel Craft came tramping in.
Gen. Rosalie Jones, in command of the suffragist hikers, changed the army's schedule once to-day, and then she changed it back again. Early in the day, although the pilgrims were walking over bad roads under a sullen downpour of rain, the General said that from this town tomorrow the pilgrims would proceed to Baltimore, twenty-six miles away.
'The Army of the Hudson,' the warlike name selected for the suffragette hikers by Gen. Rosalie Jones, arrived in this town to-night after its first day's march toward Washington, where it will take part in the suffragette parade on March 3.