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Gertrude Foster Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gertrude Foster Brown
Gertrude Foster Brown Mrs. Raymond Brown ca 1913.jpg
Born Gertrude Foster
(1867-07-29)July 29, 1867
Morrison, Illinois
Died March 1, 1956(1956-03-01) (aged 88)
Westport, Connecticut
Spouse(s) Arthur Raymond Brown
Parent(s) William Charles Foster,
Lydia Anne Drake

Gertrude Foster Brown (Mrs. Arthur Raymond Brown, July 29, 1867 – March 1, 1956) was a concert pianist, teacher, and suffragette. Following the passage of women suffrage in New York State in 1917, and pending passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution,[1] Brown wrote Your Vote and How to Use It, published in 1918.[2][3] She was Director-General of the Women's Overseas Hospitals in France, founded by suffragists, in 1918. In addition to her work in the New York suffrage movement, she helped to found the National League of Women Voters. She was the Managing Director of the Woman's Journal from 1921-1931.[4]

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Early years

Gertrude Foster was born on July 29, 1867 in Morrison, Illinois, to William Charles Foster and Lydia Anne Drake.[5]

Foster studied piano at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She finished a four-year course in two years, graduating in August 1885. After teaching for a year in Dayton, Ohio she went to Europe, studying with Xaver Scharwenka in Berlin and Élie-Miriam Delaborde in Paris[4] between 1886 and 1889.[5]

Performing career

On January 25, 1889 Foster made her professional debut as a pianist with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin.[4] By July 1889, she had returned to the United States,[6] joining the Chicago Conservatory of Music, where she taught and performed until 1896.[7]

In August 1893 Gertrude Foster married Arthur Raymond Brown (1865-1944), an artist and advertising executive who worked for the Chicago Evening Post. In 1896, they moved to New York City, where Raymond Brown worked for the Hawley Advertising Company.[5] He was known as an illustrator, author and art editor.[8] Gertrude Foster Brown continued to play and performed lecture recitals on Richard Wagner and his operas.[5]

Suffrage career

Gertrude Foster Brown organized a Woman Suffrage Study Club in New York in 1909,[9] which later became part of Carrie Chapman Catt's Woman Suffrage Party. Brown attended the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in 1910.[4] She was elected president of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in 1913.[10] Among her activities were the organization of suffrage parades in New York City.[11] How It Feels to Be the Husband of a Suffragette, which was published anonymously in 1915,[12] has been attributed to her husband.[8][13]

Brown was active in campaigning in New York for the passage of women's suffrage.[14][15] Victory there on November 6, 1917 was an important step towards the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[10][16][17][18] Following the passage of women suffrage in New York State in 1917, and pending passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, Brown wrote Your Vote and How to Use It.[19][1] It was published in February 1918 by Harper & Brothers,[2][3]:verso and was endorsed by the New York State Women Suffrage Party.[3]:vi In it she encouraged New York women to be good citizens and exercise their new ability to vote.[14][20][21] Dealing with civics "from the standpoint of the woman voter", women were encouraged to "regard their vote as a trust to be used not to advance partisan politics, but to further human welfare."[20]

Your Vote and How to Use It was one of a number of "citizenship manuals" educating women in their new rights and responsibilities and encouraging them to take their new obligations seriously.[22][14] Some of its materials were also used as the basis of a correspondence course for women voters, distributed by the New York State Women Suffrage Party.[21] The book itself was listed as suggested civics reading for Girl Guides who wanted to earn a Citizen's Badge, in the 1920 guides handbook Scouting for Girls.[23]

In 1918, when the suffrage movement organized the Women's Overseas Hospitals in France, Gertrude Foster Brown became Director-General,[4][24] serving in France.[25] Seventy-four women staff were sent over from the United States to the hospital.[10]

Brown helped to found the National League of Women Voters, serving as chairperson of the group that drafted its organizational plan. "Simple, direct, workable, it blazed a wide trail free of difficulties."[26][10] Brown was commended enthusiastically for her efforts.[26]

She also was involved in the New York Woman's City Club.[4] From 1921 to 1931, Brown was general manager of The Woman's Journal, renamed The Woman Citizen. Founded in 1870 by Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell, the journal was published until 1931 and the Great Depression.[4]

The Browns traveled in Europe and North Africa during the 1930s.[4] Gertrude Foster Brown became a vocal supporter of the League of Nations.[27] During World War II, she was active in the Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace. In 1945, she represented the committee at the founding United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, California.[28]

Among her papers is an autobiographical account of her life, Suffrage and Music: My First Eighty Years.[4]

Later life

The Browns had no children.[4] Raymond Brown died on April 30, 1944 at their New York apartment at 1883 Imperial Flats—Nos. 55-57 East 76th Street.[8] He had been nursed during his illness by his wife.[4] Gertrude continued to live in the apartment, and organized a chamber music group that played there.[8] Gertrude died on March 1, 1956 in Westport, Connecticut.[29]

See also


  1. ^ a b Brown, Gertrude Foster (1918). Your vote and how to use it. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 78. Retrieved 2 November 2016. The National Amendment for Woman Suffrage: An amendment to the Federal Constitution is pending which provides that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex. While New York State has given the vote to its women, this permission does not extend beyond its borders.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Gertrude Foster (1918). Your vote and how to use it. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. verso. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Brown, Gertrude Foster, 1867-1956. Papers of Gertrude Foster Brown, 1822-1978 (inclusive), 1910-1949 (bulk): A Finding Aid".
  4. ^ a b c d "Brown, Gertrude Foster, 1867-1956. Additional papers of Gertrude Foster Brown, 1732-1956 (inclusive), 1815-1956 (bulk): A Finding Aid".
  5. ^ "Miss Foster returns from Europe". The Musical Courier (493). July 31, 1889. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Brown, Gertrude Foster". Who's who in New York. Who's who publications, Incorporated. 7: 134. 1918. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d "The 1883 Imperial Flats -- Nos. 55-57 East 76th Street". Daytonian in Manhattan. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  8. ^ "Woman Suffrage Study Club". Harvard Library. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Hannan, Caryn; Herman, Jennifer L. (2008). Illinois biographical dictionary (2008-2009 ed.). Hamburg, MI: State History Publications. pp. 95–96. ISBN 1878592602. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Marching in the parade". The Woman Voter. 8 (5): 24. May 1917.
  11. ^ "How it feels to be the husband of a suffragette". Friends' Intelligencer. 72: 622. September 25, 1915. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  12. ^ Chapman, Mary; Mills, Angela (2011). Treacherous texts : U.S. suffrage literature, 1846-1946. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0813549590.
  13. ^ a b c ""Your Vote and How to Use It"". The Oregon Daily Journal. Portland, Oregon. March 17, 1918. p. 52. Your Vote and How to Use It is the title of the book by Mrs. Raymond Brown, published by the Harpers. Your Vote and How to Use It answers all the questions which women who are to use the vote for the first time are asking. Mrs. Raymond Brown is one of the most active and important woman suffrage leaders and is chairman of organisation of state forces of the New York state Woman Suffrage party.
  14. ^ "Fine lecture at suffrage meeting". Scarsdale Inquirer (11). 2-3. 14 March 1917. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  15. ^ Goodier, Susan (2013). No Votes for Women : The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 71–72, 113–116. ISBN 978-0252078989. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  16. ^ Harvey, Anna L. (1998). Votes without leverage : women in American electoral politics, 1920-1970 (1st ed.). Cambridge, MA.: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 75–77. ISBN 0521597439. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Women Win the Right to Vote in New York State". New York Rediscovered. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  18. ^ Blackwell, Alice Stone, ed. (May 24, 1919). "Your vote and how to use it". The Woman Citizen. 3. p. 1135. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  19. ^ a b Brown, Gertrude Foster (1918). "Preface". Your vote and how to use it. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. xix. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  20. ^ a b Lima, Agnes de (July 13, 1918). "Book Reviews". The Survey. 40: 428. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  21. ^ Brown, Kathryn (2010). The Education of the Woman Citizen, 1917-1918. Bowling Green, Ohio: State University, Ohio LINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. pp. 2–4, 43–49. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Girl Scouts and the Women's Movement". Girl Scouts University. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  23. ^ "The Contributor's Column". The Bookman. 55. Dodd, Mead and Company. 1922. p. 719. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  24. ^ "CHEERFUL TO LAST WRITES THE SURGEON OF WINIFRED FAIRFAX WARDER. Comforting Letters Received by Parents Wrote Them Day Before She Died". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 12: 101–103. April 1919. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Board of the National League of Women Voters". The Woman Citizen. 4 (32). February 28, 1920. pp. 919, 925. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  26. ^ Brown, Gertrude Foster (July 30, 1921). "A letter to the President". The Woman Citizen (6). pp. 12–13. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  27. ^ Lanset, Andy (March 8, 2016). "Listen to a 101-Year-Old Clarion Call for Women's Suffrage Preserved in Shellac". NYPR Archives and Preservation. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  28. ^ "GERTRUDE BROWN, SUFFRAGIST, DIES; A Founder of Women Voters Unit Was Concert Pianist, Teacher and Editor Impetus to Efforts Studied Music in Europe". The New York Times. March 3, 1956. p. 19. Retrieved 31 October 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 April 2018, at 05:25
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