I have written two books about the fight for suffrage, both published by Maine Author's Publishing.  To book an author talk with me, visit the contact page.

We Demand

The Suffrage Road Trip

Middle-aged Swedish immigrants Ingeborg Kindstedt and Maria Kindberg visit San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition in the summer of 1915, planning to buy a car and have a leisurely drive back to their home in Rhode Island. On impulse, they volunteer to bring along two envoys heading to Washington, DC to demand votes for women from President Woodrow Wilson and Congress. Soon they are plunged into a difficult and dangerous journey that pushes them to the very limits of their endurance. Over primitive, poorly-signed roads and through blazing heat, biting cold, rain, and snow, they battle their way across the country.

Along the way they encounter unexpected allies, as well as those who oppose women’s growing independence. They meet labor activist Joe Hill, Black suffrage and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells Barnett, and civil rights attorney Clarence Darrow. Their faith in their adopted country is tested as they grapple with America’s racial politics, and see growing intolerance toward immigrants and working people. Will they- and the petitions- surmount these obstacles and arrive in Washington DC at the appointed day and time?

My daughter Emma Leavitt of Solei Arts, provided the beautiful cover design and illustrations.

In 2015 I retraced the route these suffragists took to try to understand what it was like for them, and to understand what difference it made for most women having had the vote for the last one hundred years. Read my blog about the 2015 trip here.

Learn more and purchase here.

Front cover of "We Demand: The Suffrage Road Trip"

Order We Demand through your local book store!

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Voting Down the Rose

Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine's Fight for Women's Suffrage

Voting Down the Rose is a lively account of Maine native Florence Brooks Whitehouse’s efforts to win women voting rights in the decisive final years of the campaign, 1913-1920. Considered radical for picketing the White House, Florence helped win women suffrage against a backdrop of conservative views of women’s roles, political intrigues, WWI, and the 1918 influenza epidemic.

 

The title was taken from an exchange of poetry in which Florence was involved in 2015. The "Rose" was the flower symbol of Maine's anti-suffragists, so in "voting down the rose" the suffragists were defeating the anti faction. 

 

Maine suffragists used the jonquil- or daffodil- as their flower symbol, so suffrage history lovers around the state are encouraged to plant beds of daffodil as a living tribute to the work done by the women- and men- who fought for this basic right.

Florence was my great-grandmother, but I knew almost nothing about her when I was growing up. Our family- and the State of Maine- had forgotten her. I wrote Voting Down the Rose in an effort to give her the recognition she so richly deserved. In 2008 she was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame.  Click here to see her website.

Learn more and purchase here.

Front cover of "Voting Down the Rose"

Order Voting Down the Rose through your local book store!

Click here to locate a bookstore near you.