The Preservation Society of Newport County, The 19th Amendment and “Votes for Women” ~

The Preservation Society of Newport County, The 19th Amendment and “Votes for Women” ~

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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Combine one of my favorite cites in the United States, Newport, Rhode Island — with the Nineteenth Amendment of nearly 100 years ago — and you get Votes for Women.

Decades ago, my husband Barry gave me a gift of six Votes for Women luncheon service settings that he had purchased at the famously opulent Marble House in Newport.

I had seen the original service in the pantry of the Marble House while touring it with a group of my high school students. I loved the service, I respected the message, I honored the abolitionists and activists who formed organizations that raised public awareness and lobbied the government to grant voting rights to women.

I wanted my own children, two sons and two daughters, to see the settings, use the pieces, converse about the message and know the great significance of the Suffrage Movement.

Of course, the original Suffrage Service is priceless, used in 1909 at a Suffrage “Open House” at Alva Vanderbilt Belmont’s Tea House on the Marble House property; but fortunately for me,The Preservation Society of Newport County offered, and still offers, adaptations of the originals…

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Over the years, my service has grown to twelve place settings, a teapot and accessories. I use this service every day. And each day, I honor the women and men who debated, rallied, organized, spoke for, fought for and realized Votes for Women. The commitment to these votes is something that we can never take for granted.

Barry and I now have 11 grandchildren, with another on-the-way, and we never miss an opportunity to serve up their favorite breakfasts, lunches and dinners on our Votes for Women service. The conversations, questions, dialogues and opinions that ensue are as priceless as Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt Belmont’s Suffrage Luncheon Service…

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During this 2016 election cycle, study the issues. Learn about the candidates. Study and research the lists of candidates running for offices — City & Town Councils, School Committees, State Offices, National Offices. Read their stories, study their views and experience, ask their reasons for running for particular offices.

Vote. Vote for women, for men, for our towns, cities, states, country and world… and VOTE especially for the good of our children.

Think of the History that has been made by those whom we credit, and so many behind the “historic scenes,” for our liberties.


This right did not come easily.

I thank the Preservation Society of Newport County for its Mission and for the great impact its Mission has had on my children, my grandchildren and many, many of my students who were able to experience our Nation’s heritage ~

The Preservation Society of Newport County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America.

We hold in public trust the Newport Mansions which are an integral part of the living fabric of Newport, Rhode Island. These sites exemplify three centuries of the finest achievements in American architecture, decorative arts, and landscape design spanning the Colonial era to the Gilded Age. Through our historic properties, educational programs, and related activities we engage the public in the story of America’s vibrant cultural heritage.

We seek to inspire and promote an appreciation of the value of preservation to enrich the lives of people everywhere.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, The 19th Amendment and “Votes for Women” ~ was last modified: July 5th, 2017 by Sharon Couto
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The Preservation Society of Newport County, The 19th Amendment and “Votes for Women” ~ was last modified: July 5th, 2017 by Sharon Couto