120 Years Ago: Susan B. Anthony on Tamalpias
During Construction of the Tavern of Tamalpais, ca. Sept. 1896 Martin / Jennings collection
Almost as soon as the last spike was driven on August 18, 1896, construction began on the Tavern of Tamalpais.
During construction, Susan B. Anthony spoke before women from the California Women's Suffrage League and the Pacific Coast Women's Press Association, all guests of the directors of the Scenic Railway at East Peak, Sept. 16, 1896. *Note nicely dressed ladies at Tavern during construction.
Newspaper stories below disagree on the dates but the rest matches. Story text accompanies the clippings.
Sausalito News, September 19, 1896
Susan B. Anthony was a guest of Tamalpais Scenic Railway, Wednesday, September 16, 1896. She spoke before two women's groups at the summit. She was on a campaign tour supporting an amendment to the California constitution allowing women the right to vote.
Ms. Anthony is mentioned twice on this page. Second story reports enthusiastic crowd in Tomales. "about 500 people gathered to hear Susan B. Anthony and C. C. Stephens of San Francisco talk on woman sufferage and for McKinley." (See "Enthusiastic Republicans.")
Topeka State Journal - September 26, 1896 page 10, col. 3
September 25, 1896, Topeka State Journal
UP MOUNT TAMALPAIS -- Susan B. Anthony Cheered As the Moses of America
San Francisco, Sept. 25.– The Tamalpais Railroad company, under the arrangement of Mrs. Lovell White, yesterday entertained the Pacific Coast Women's Press association and the Woman Suffrage committee on a trip to the top of Mount Tamalpais. The ladies, some 65 in number, left Sausalito ferry at 1:45. They were met by Mrs. White at Mill Valley. Then commenced the long, steep ascent of the mountain.
The day was perfect and as turn after turn was made on the winding road and new beauties of the landscape were exposed many were the exclamations of delight and pleasure from the enthusiastic guests. Once as the velvet hills of lower Tamalpais were revealed to view, the ladies burst out with "Praise God, from Whom all Blessings Flow!" in loud voice.
The summit was reached a little after 4:30 and after a few minutes of rest and wandering on the very peak of the mountain the programme of the afternoon was inaugurated in the unfinished shed of the station house of the new railway. Mr. Sargent introduced Susan B. Anthony as the first speaker. The veteran of the suffrage movement directed her remarks to the workmen about the unfinished building, saying the women present had heard all her arguments, but that they would be new to these men.
"Under the old regime," she said, "the government of this country was in violation of the principle of equality in regard to men as well as women. No man could vote unless he had money. Then the government became a white male aristocracy. Next the qualification 'white' was struck out by national fire and the government became a male aristocracy. Now the sex line has been abolished in three states, and we are working to abolish it here. Nature has done everything she can for California. If all men vote the adjective 'male' out the women here will have equal chances with the men. This will be the best possible advertisement for California. I will bring the best emigrants here. You will have climate, soil, gold and silver. When you have complete liberty you will have everything. When the 3d of November comes I expect every man of you to write 'yes' after the sixth amendment before he does anything else."
Mrs. William Keith gave the following address:
"Moses went up from the planes of Moab into the mountain of Mebo, to the top of the Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord said unto him: "This is the land. I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither."
"But as it is written, 'there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, so, in like manner, for long years to come, it will be told, there arose not a prophet since in America like unto Susan B. Anthony.' "
After many expressions of thanks for the delightful excursion they had enjoyed, the party left the summit, just as the sun was sinking in a blaze of glory in the west. As the car passed the workmen's station the men cheered and waved their handkerchiefs for Miss Anthony. ###