Norman Dann reveals the suffragette in Elizabeth Smith Miller at the OPL April 26

Leading advocates for a woman’s suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Anne Fitzhugh Miller (l.) and her mother Elizabeth Smith Miller (r.) pose at the Miller estate, Lochland, on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y.,​ around 1909. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

As part of the OPL’s 2017 Centennial Celebration of Women’s Suffrage in N.Y.S., historian Dr. Norman K. Dann will be giving a lively talk on Elizabeth Smith Miller, Gerrit Smith’s daughter and in her own right co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association and the inventor of “bloomers,” at Oneida Public Library on Wednesday, April 26, at 7:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) followed her reformist father as a supporter of abolition, temperance and economic and legal equality for women, but she became more radical in espousing women’s equality in politics in the company of her cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her good friend Susan B. Anthony. In time, Miller became an outspoken promoter of woman suffrage and along with Stanton, Anthony, Lucretia Mott and Matilda Joslyn Gage founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869.

Dann will also bring out Miller’s reforms in dress and housekeeping. She, not Amelia Bloomer, was the inventor of “bloomers,” based on the baggy trousers and short skirts of the Turks. Surprisingly, perhaps, she was also the author of a popular cookbook and housekeeping manual, “In the Kitchen” (1875).

Dann, professor emeritus of Morrisville State College, is the author of the recently published Log Cabin Book “Ballots, Bloomers and Marmalade: The Life of Elizabeth Smith Miller.” He is also the author of several other books concerning the Smith Family of Peterboro, N.Y.: “Greene Smith and the WildLife” (2015), “Cousins of Reform: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Gerrit Smith” (2012), “Whatever It Takes: The Antislavery Movement and the Tactics of Gerrit Smith” (2011), “Practical Dreamer: A Biography of Gerrit Smith” (2009) and “When We Get to Heaven: Runaway Slaves on the Road to Peterboro” (2008).

Dann is a founder and member of the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro, a steward of the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark and an active member of Peterboro Area Historical Society, the Peterboro Civil War Weekend Committee and the Smithfield Community Association.

Copies of Dann’s “Ballots, Bloomers and Marmalade” will be available for sale and signing by the author.

Dann’s upcoming lecture, the second in a series of special programs in the OPL’s 2017 Centennial Celebration of Women’s Suffrage in N.Y.S., is free and open to all. For more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 315-363-3050.

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