Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Doggie Disease and Diagnostic Tale - Addison's the Great Dissembler


We're going to the beach for one whole day! Luckily the weather is going to comply. According to the forecast, the sun will come out the hour we get to Maine, and clouds will float in the moment we leave.

Thank you, Mother Nature, I needed that!

We are going to the seashore for just one day because of our dog, Chloe, a Standard Poodle has a rare disease, Addison's, recently diagnosed - and diagnosed at great expense, I might add.

We can't afford a longer holiday and besides we need to get a dog-sitter for her.

Not that I am complaining.

We got Chloe  about a year ago on April 29, 2014 from Animatch, a local animal shelter.

The caregivers had taken her to the vet a week before, where she got all the usual shots and was de-wormed and de-flea ed  just like a common stray, although she had come from a comfortable home.

Chloe wasn't well last year, either. She was sneezing and wheezing and on antibiotics, with a swollen gland on her neck.

They warned us the dog might be very, very ill. Or it could just be a case of her immune system tanking at the shelter.

Chloe was only 2 years old.

But the dog recovered immediately and soon gained about 9 pounds, going from 51 to 60. We kept  her.

Chloe is a nice, well-behaved, somewhat dominant female dog, who apparently had never run wild. She soon learned to love the great outdoors, racing through the woods on her daily sojourns with my husband and me.

Chloe's papers revealed she was from a puppy farm of sorts, unlike our last (much prettier) Standard Poodle who had been from a diligent local breeder.

Chloe enjoyed her  first year in our leafy ex-burb, taking morning walks with my husband and Mr. Darcy, our much lazier 6 year old labrador mix, even during this brutal winter.

May, 2015. Cold Winter! Ice on the river even in shirt sleeve weather.


This year, in early June my husband took Chloe for her spring check up and pills. She got the Lepto vaccine.

And then her mood simply tanked.

 She just  stopped eating.

For a week or so I could entice her with 'new' brands of food and even home-made meatballs,  but soon she wanted nothing at all to eat. She'd just mouth the food, lazily, and let it slip from her lips onto the carpet.

"She sounds depressed," my son said over the phone.

Chloe still seemed perky enough to me, outside of mealtime, still chasing chipmunks in the backyard, but we brought her back to the vet after 10 days.

My husband explained that she was pooping a little but that her stool was very hard and black. And that she was always biting her tail.

Chloe was given a blood and urine test and lyme disease and lepto test. The vet pushed down on the dog's spine and said it was tender.

She sent us home with some anti-inflammatories for the dog.

The next day all tests came back negative. Our vet said there was nothing more she could do at the moment. She said to call her back in a five days, as she was going to be away.

But Chloe got weaker and sicker fast, so we brought her to The Cornwall Animal Hospital.

The young vet said Chloe was very dehydrated with pale gums. They kept her for a day for IV hydration and performed all the same tests again with the same negative result.

They, then, tested her for intestinal blockage, with barium ultra sound and X Ray. No blockage.

Chloe perked up with the water fix and we took her home with 3 different pills, an antacid, an anti-nausea pill and an antibiotic - and special canned digestive dog food.

The vet told me if this course of action didn't work,then the prognosis was dire.

Chloe was fine for a day and dropped down again...very low, this time. She was stretching all the time. She looked at us in a clueless way. At night, on my bed, I could feel her shiver as if she were cold. And she might have had a seizure. I don't know as I was half asleep

We took her back to the Cornwall clinic.  A senior vet listened to all the symptoms and said Chloe might have Addison's, a 'rare' disease, a deficiency of the adrenal glands, more common in Standard Poodles and one that is quite treatable.

 The dog didn't have the classic symptoms, vomiting and raised blood potassium, but Addison's was a tricky disease. Only 20% of Addison's dogs will suffer from  tarry stools, like Chloe. The shivering was a clue, though.

(The average vet sees only one case of Addison's a year.)

He wanted to do a definitive test involving the pituitary gland. Very expensive. We said, "No." 2,000 dollars was our limit.

He then suggested she stay in the hospital for a day, get re-hydrated and be given steroids and two blood tests, one before and one after. "If the tests show a difference in 'whatever' levels, that is pretty well proof she has Addison's."

"And if she has Addison's, she'll be fine tomorrow, " the vet added.  And she was fine! And she's been fine ever since, with her six pills a day that she sometimes spits out on the floor. Bad dog! (Hopefully, she can be weaned from said pills that make her drink and pee a lot and can't be good for her in the long term.)

Good Night Sweet Princess. Well, almost.

I've been reading up on Addison's, a disease made famous by John F. Kennedy, but much more common in canines.

It is a disease with varying symptoms, say, like Lupus, so hard to diagnose. I have since read it is possible that Addison's is not that rare in dogs at all, just under-diagnosed.

For instance, Chloe never vomited or had diarrhea. She was severely constipated, though, and likely had been mildly constipated ever since we got her.

Misdiagnosed, maybe, or perhaps pet-owners just run out of  money for further testing - once the more common blood and urine tests are completed and come out negative.

Just like we were about to do.

FYI dog owners.. Addison's occurs in other breeds and mutts,too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Austen, Wharton and Virginia Mayo across the 20th Century


Austen, Wharton and Virginia Mayo compared through the century, at least the mentions in books. Mayo and her plays were extremely popular in the early part of the century. The Lux Theatre (Radio) featured Polly of the Circus in the 1930's. Austen and Wharton are favorites today.

As I was going through the March, 1914 Montreal newspapers, looking for more information about the Municipal Elections of the time that will figure in my next ebook Service and Disservice, the follow up to Furies Cross the Mersey, both ebooks about the Suffragists of Montreal  pre and during WWI, I came across an interesting article.

The Book Column in the Montreal Daily Mail discusses Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Now, as I have written on this blog, that novel wasn't quite as well-known back then as it is today.

This google ngrams above and below suggests as much - and suggests mentions in books peaked in the 1960's.




 I wondered what the column's author,  Pendennis , had to say- and yes, the columnist (a woman or man?) managed to use his/her critique of Austen's books to diss the woman suffrage movement.

Of course, she did!

She did this by admiring the way Elizabeth turned down Mrs. Collins' marriage proposal. "Respectfully." sic.

Lizzie's use of restraint when replying to Collins' proposal meant she was a kind, well-bred girl and not a ball -busting bitch like modern 1910 women. (OK, my words.)

The fact that the Bennett family's fate was in the hands of the silly man didn't play a role in her mode of rejection, apparently, or the fact that he was a comical idiot and not worth the effort of a good put-down.

Remember, Elizabeth said really mean things to Darcy. "I had not known you _ days and I realized your were the last person I could ever marry." Ouch!

The author of the column says to conclude, "It would be interesting to find a man these days who would propose in such a way to a progressive suffrage seeking daughter of Eve in Montreal and it would be more interesting to read the language where she would mutilate his masculine proud."



Read about Polly of the Circus as compared to Anne of Green Gables here.on another post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Municipal Election Graft, Corruption and Opportunism...La Plus Ca Change.



A reporter I knew who covered a city beat for a smallish newspaper once told me civic corruption, even in littler cities, is all about land... and money, because land is money.

He would have been interested in the story I am writing, tentatively called Service and Disservice, about the 1914-1917 period in Montreal.

The Montreal Municipal elections of 1914  focused on two issues, an impending Tramways Deal (and wherever the trams went, land prices increased) and a "Pure" Water Issue.  For some righteous people, it was all about providing quality services to the tax-paying citizen - and 'purifying' City Hall along with the water supply.

 For others, businessmen both English and French,  it was all about making a bundle in the process.

The tramways deal, a 40 year contract, was said to be worth a billion dollars to certain people, who knows who, likely Hugh Graham of the Montreal Star, or so his rivals claimed.

Graham  is accused of having bought off all kinds of politicians, in Quebec and in Montreal. He also is accused of monopolizing the Montreal media by buying more and more newspapers.



My story Service and Disservice will peak at the 1917  Conscription Crisis, but the characters will be social reforming suffragists as well as  City Hall officials. Well, my grandfather will make an appearance, for sure.

My first ebook about the era, Furies Cross the Mersey, is about the British Invasion of Militant suffragists to Montreal in 1912/13.

A main character in it is Miss Carrie Derick, VP of the National Council of Women, Past-President of the Montreal Council of Women, President of the newly formed Montreal Suffrage Association.

Derick figures big in the 1914 civic elections. She gives multiple talks, One talk is showcased in all the papers: "A Woman Speaks about the Elections."

Carrie Derick, stumping for Stephens, promised that ALL women will vote for him. (Not quite getting the concept, I guess.) The Montreal Suffrage Association executive voted to support candidates who were for women suffrage, whatever else their platforms.)

In these articles, Derick's many affiliations are not mentioned just the fact that she is a prof at McGill. Hmm. The Montreal Council of Women's social hygiene program turned off the French and La Fédération St. Jean Baptiste (the French equivalent) was not active in this 1914 election, as they had been since 1904.

My grandfather, Jules Crepeau, Second Assistant City Clerk, is also in all the Montreal newspapers at the EXACT same time. In very late March, 2014, he is caught in a bribery sting by one Edward Beck, intrepid reporter, who employed Burns Detectives from New York with 'detectaphones.'

In his article, Beck called my grandfather a grafter, go-between in Quebec City, and a manipulator who played both sides of civic government, the aldermen and the Executive Committee.



An article from the 1937 Montreal Gazette claims that my grandfather's real job was 'to teach aldermen their jobs" and he went gray doing it.

My grandfather was related to the Forget's through his mom. (Well, so am I.) From La Patrie.

Lookie here: from Toronto World


The timing of this bribe is most suspicious.The 1914 election was held a few days later. In the 1910 and 1912 elections, where 'reformers' won, a 'graft-free' City Hall was the slogan of the day.

Beck accused my grandfather of exacting tribute from lowly day-workers for the city.

I guess they were going with this winning 'beat the grafters' formula in 1914 as well.


Whatever, my grandfather managed to get off, suing Beck for 25,000 dollars, but being awarded only 100 dollars by The Court.

 Alderman Mederic Martin, a clownish candidate with no real organization behind him and no newspaper support, won a surprising victory over the 'pure-government-minded'  Citizen-Committee approved Col. George Stephens, who loudly proclaimed in his speeches that he was not in anyone's pocket.

A French newspaper, Le Pays, claimed that it was the English newspapers that made Mederic, by putting him down so much, ridiculing him so much, making the average man identify with him.

One newspaper suggested Martin was an ape aspiring to higher things. His campaign consisted of throwing his calling card with Vote Mederic Martin onto a table at City Hall in front of reporters.

Read this Coolopolis bit.

(Martin had claimed, after going AWOL on a visit to the Quebec Premiere, that he had been drugged by the opposition.)

Mederic Martin went on to be Mayor Montreal for a long time,  although after 1921 the position was mostly ceremonial.

 My grandfather rose to be Director of City Services, a post created in 1921 to ensure an equitable distribution of city funds across the districts.

He had a memory like a steel trap. Everything happening at City Hall passed by his desk. Put two and two together.

Mederic Martin would lose the 1928 civic election to Camillien Houde, another Man of the People. Houde would, then, in 1930, kick out my grandfather, but not before my Grandpapa negotiated a huge life pension of 8,000 dollars a year.

That's all in Milk and Water, about "Prohibition Era" Montreal, where there was no prohibition.

 Above, Mederic Martin and Aldermen, fishing trip.  My family photo. My grandfather in white hat with black band beside Mayor Martin in cap, center. Below. Mederic Martin toasting David the Prince of Wales in 1927, at reception on Mount Royal. The Prince enjoyed partying with Mayor Martin, apparently.


 George Stephens, head of Harbour Commission and Edward Beck, reporter, formerly of the Herald. When Hugh Graham purchased the Herald in 1913, Beck was kicked out as Editor (or left on his own volition.) He started his own tabloid, Beck's Weekly, devoted to cleaning up Montreal City Hall. 

That paper lasted only one? issue, the March 28, 1914 issue  where he smeared my grandfather. 

Graham apparently made it impossible for Beck to get newsprint for his new tabloid.  The Daily Mail printed Beck's sexy stories as did the Toronto World, and quite gleefully too. 

The Toronto World reprinted some parts of it verbatim. Beck called City Hall 'a sink hole of corruption.' He was a talented over-the-top writer who should  have penned Crime Novels, I think.


Here's an interesting summary of affairs in Montreal, written in a newswire story from Toronto and printed in a Pittsburg paper. This is in January of 1914, when Edward Beck of the Montreal Herald caught three alderman in a similar bribery scandal.



I think Beck wrote this too. He's the one who caught the aldermen in the bribe, but his newspaper, the Herald wouldn't print it, (having been bought by Hugh Graham) so he quit and brought the story to the Mail.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Llama Burgers and Ebooks and Sick Poodles.


Google Street View of Bank of Montreal, Cornwall and Truffles Burger Bar Pitt Street.

Rossmore Fire from a postcard





Today my husband and I got up early to drive to Cornwall to bring our big poodle to the St. Lawrence Animal Hospital there.

Our regular vet in Van Kleek Hill is away and besides, our dog is very ill and she was in need of help.

There goes my vacation to Ogunquit!

Anyway, our appointment was at 10:30 but the vet wanted to do another round of  blood and urine analyses. Chloe, the pet in question, hasn't been eating right for weeks.

She asked us to leave the dog there and come back at 1.pm. So we did.

And to kill time we went to a burger place down the street. A high-end burger place called Truffles; fine except that we were both looked like bums.





Here's the exotic part of the menu. Llama burgers, kangaroo burgers, boar burgers, camel burgers. Well, I had the lamb. (I've recently eaten kangaroo and alligator. I can't possibly eat llama. There's an alpaca farm near by house and I pass the adorable creatures twice a day.)

Funny how we eat some animals (most of them) but spend a fortune keeping others alive. It's decadent, I think, but the Pet Industrial Complex is very good for the economy.

Last week, I bought some hamburger for meatballs for the sick dog, hoping they'd entice her to eat.  I noticed that the grocery store was also selling horseburger. Imagine! I told my son, the chef, who said that the horses they  use aren't old nags, but young animals raised for meat. And in horsey country! Yikes!

Years ago, my father bought a can of Alpo horse meat and was going to give it to our family dog. I kicked up such a fuss, he threw it out. Or pretended to, anyway.

To be honest, I would like to be a vegetarian and I am most days. I do burgers for my husband.

Anyway I  broke my 4 month weight loss diet too this lunchtime but, hey, I was depressed. Depressed about the sick dog, slowing starving to death, and depressed about the  cost of tests for said sick dog, even in Ontario, where vets are WAY cheaper than in my suburban neck of the woods.

That's why we drove to Cornwall  on a day my husband has to work.

As I was eating away at my big fat garlicky baaah baaah black sheep burger, I thought of something more dark and depressing. I told my husband, "I think we are eating right next to the site of the Rossmore Hotel, where your Great Aunt Edie's boyfriend died in a fire in April, 1910.

The Bank of Montreal, next door, is on the old Rossmore site, I know.

How weird."

Edith and Charlie, 1909

 I've written about the Rossmore Fire and Edith Nicholson's sad loss. Her boyfriend,Charles Gagne, a Bank of Montreal clerk, ironically, died in a stairwell there in the middle of the night. The couple wasn't officially engaged, but there was 'an understanding.'

It's all in Diary of a Confirmed Spinster my e-book, where I play around with some facts a bit and turn it into a murder mystery of sorts.

I snapped a picture of a plaque on the Bank of Montreal Building, erected in the 1930's I think. The plaque, put there in 1989, commemorates the site of the original Presbyterian Church in Cornwall.



Edith was a Presbyterian and Charlie, a French Canadian, had converted to that religion. He implied  so in a letter to Edith from Cornwall the day before the fire.

He told her he spent most of his off-time in the Presbyterian Church, which by 1910 had moved to around the corner. I guess that's the kind of thing a guy tells a girl in 1910.

The Rossmore Hotel, popular with salesmen, had a glitzy bar, apparently. She wouldn't have wanted to know he spent all his spare time there.

Funny, I found Charlie's death certificate on Ancestry, ca. His mother buried him as a Roman Catholic.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Evil Montreal City Hall?



On March 30, 1914 Carrie Derick became 'the first woman to appear on a local platform during a civic election' in her hometown of Montreal.

I know because it says so in the Daily Mail.

Other people spoke, including Sir Ames, but Derick's speech got the headline.

It is very amusing to me.

Derick's many affiliations are not mentioned in the article, although also on the dais where members of the Montreal Council of Women, including Dr. Ritchie England, the President.

Their affiliation is not mentioned either. They are just ladies presiding...

And yet the same newspaper features a grand advertisement for a Montreal Council of Women meeting on the elections.



So unfolded the messy politics of Montreal in 1914.

Derick, at the time was President of the Montreal Suffrage Association; Past-President of the Montreal Council of Women; and Vice President Education of the National Council of Women. She was also a full professor of Botany at McGill, a bit of a courtesy position.

Read all about it in Furies Cross the Mersey, about the British Invasion of Suffragettes to Montreal in 1912/13.

The newly formed Montreal Suffrage Association had recently voted at an Executive meeting, a rather messy meeting, to support candidates who supported women suffrage, whatever their politics. After all, that was their mandate.

Anyway, in 1917, the Montreal Council of Women's President, Ritchie England, would get into hot water, supporting Laurier's party and not Borden's Union government. England was not in favour of conscription like most of the other Canadian suffragists in the East.

At that time, Miss Carrie Derick did a lot of damage control in the press, publishing a press release that claimed that the Montreal Council of Women is non-partisan... that their involvement in the civic elections was about good governance and not about politics.

Ahem.

In this speech in March, 1915, Carrie Derick swore that EVERY woman voting in the elections (unmarried women with property could vote)would vote for Stephens.

Not quite getting the concept, I guess.

Another speaker suggested that Mederic Martin, the opponent running for Mayor, was evil. Well, he spelled it out.



In 1910, the Montreal Council of Women, along with the French Federation St Jean Baptist, worked tirelessly to get out the spinster vote and a Reform Ticket was, indeed, elected, along with Mayor John Gerin, 'the last English Mayor of Montreal' before Applebaum's recent stint.

The thinking goes, women wanted social reform because they cared about family, except that it was single women who got to vote in municipal elections. Single women, on the English side, tended to be equal rights suffragists, for obvious reasons. They usually worked and wanted to be valued for this work. Of course, a woman property owner probably didn't have to work. (My head is spinning.)

The Montreal Local Council of Women was over the moon with the result - and the women used this happy event to propel themselves big time into the local and national woman suffrage movements, but not without some controversy, spinning off the Montreal Suffrage Association in March, 1913.

In 1912, they didn't enjoy such pleasing results in the municipal election and in this 1914 election they lost out big time. Mederic Martin, won as Mayor. The Citizen's (Reform) Committee lost.

La Fédération St. Jean Baptiste had bowed out of this election.  I can only guess why.

Alderman Mederic Martin, the man of the people, got in as Mayor - and he'd stay there for a long while.  According to Le Pays, a French newspaper, he got in because the English press ridiculed him so much, the average voter was touched, seeing Martin more as an 'everyman' and their pal.

But a few days before this article appeared in the Daily Mail, my grandfather, Jules Crepeau, the Assistant City Clerk, was caught in a bribery sting by a local reporter, Edward Beck. (No doubt, this was timed to sway he election.)

This unfolding scandal wasn't mentioned at the Carrie Derick election meeting, apparently. Or was it?  My sequel to Furies Cross the Mersey, Service and Disservice, will cover all this messy business, but focus on the 1917 Conscription Election.


Grandpapa  got off here, and served with Martin through the 1920's as Director of Municipal Services, a huge post, until he was forced out by new Mayor Camillien Houde, another "man of the people."

The Greatest Cause of ALL: Human Liberty



Miss Barbara Wylie, militant suffragette, a character in my ebook Furies Cross the Mersey, came to Canada in 1912 to stir up trouble - and got nowhere.

Not for lack of trying.

She arrived in Montreal September 28th, having alerted the English newspapers - and this after Prime Minister Borden had banned any suffragettes from coming to Canada!

When asked by a reporter about a recent incident in England, where a suffragette had hurled an axe at their Prime Minister Asquith, she replied, "If it had hit him in the head it might have knocked some sense into him."

She got away with saying this as she was, ah, so very pretty and lady-like. Indeed, the Montreal reporters had almost missed her, expecting a true battle-ax to detrain and instead being met with a tall, slim, elegant young woman. Oh, my.

I know about this Miss Wylie, because Edith Nicholson of Threshold Girl left behind a news clipping from the Montreal Witness.


Here it is.



But the other Montreal papers also covered her visit extensively. The Montreal Standard devoted an editorial to Miss Wylie, an editorial to which she replied. Her reply was printed with a loud headline, too.

Miss Wylie spoke on November 4th, at the Montreal YMCA, hosted by the Montreal Council of Women prompting an editorial in the Standard. That speech is re-purposed in Furies Cross the Mersey.

As soon as Barbara Wylie arrived in Montreal she made herself conspicuous by sending a Letter to the Editor of the Gazette, in reply to an article dissing the militant suffragettes.

Here it is under the headline "Violence will continue until the ballot is secured, says Miss Wylie."

The militant suffragettes, like Miss Wylie, were often well-bred, well-dressed, well-spoken women, but women who dared behave like men and, historians suggest, this is what really appalled the establishment.

 In this letter to the Editor, Wylie states as much.

History has proven that many suffragettes, despite their sex and social standing, were tortured and beaten inside and out of jail - just to make an example of them.


"In the issue of today in the course of your leader, Women and Votes, you say that many people would doubt that the world would be better governed if women had votes, since women as well as men are prone to error and and do wrong.

Nothing, I think disproves this, since to err is human and not simply manly or womanly. But because some limp, must be all be lame?

Let the best men and the best women cooperate to help those poor lame dogs over their stiles.

Then I think you have forgotten a very large portion of the globe when you claim that the presence of women in the political arena is  an unknown quantity.

In Australia, in New Zealand, in six states in American, in Norway and Finland, the effect of their presence is most advantageously felt. There they use their influence directly and openly.

In countries where women's influence is of the underground kind, the influence is not so good.

Then you complain that the statements of suffragettes is erroneous and we complain when we are sent to jail for breaking windows.

We have never complained of being sent to prison. Our only complaint is when we are denied the treatment which is our due as political prisoners.

We carry on behind bars the same fight for political equality with men that we will never cease go wage until victory is ours.

A man, you go on to say, in the same circumstances, destroying property is punished and the police know how to handle him if he resists arrest.

We have resisted arrest, and the young men who, at a recent by-election in Wales, who broke windows wholesale all over town, had no occasion to do so, and the police excused their behavior as the result of the excitement of an election.

You say the law deals with male criminals more severely than it does with members of the opposite sex.

Recently, Mr. Thomas Mann was tried to inciting soldiers to mutiny. He was provided with a chair outside his dock during the trial.

He was sentenced to six month imprisonment but was released after a month.

Two syndicalists, also charged with sedition, were sentenced to six months hard labour, but were released after four weeks.
Miss Barbara Wylie from Votes For Women Magazine.


Mrs. Pankhurst, Mr and Mrs. Pethwick Lawrence and Mrs. Tuke charged with inciting violence, were not given chairs in the docket but were huddled into it although Mrs. Tuke was dangerously ill.

The jury recommended them to extreme leniency, owing to their purity of motive, but the judge sentenced them to nine months imprisonment.

They had to be released at the end of one month, owing to the government's inability to break their spirit, or force them to accept anything less than first class treatment for their comrades, as well as themselves.

When men resort to violence, you go on to say, in any cause, the forces of law and order are set to work to oppress them.

During a riot in Belfast a few weeks ago, revolvers were used, and 100 people injured. No arrests were made.

During the strike riots recently in Great Britain the soldiers fired volleys into the mob and some were killed, you say.

The soldiers fired one volley, I think, and Mr. McKenna refused to allow them out during the dock strikes.

And herein lies the difference between the treatment of men who are militants and the women who are fighting for the greatest cause of all, human liberty.

The men's grievances are redressed. Witness the minimum wage bill hustled through Parliament in four days during the miners' strike and the reforms in India after the men threw bombs in order to bring attention to their wrongs.

Whereas those of the women remain un-redressed, and although the women are punished with greater severity than the men, their just claim for equal suffrage remains unsatisfied.

Since politicians are inaccessible to reason and argument, as we have proved during the last 45 years, there remains to women the one weapon that has never failed to secure the extension of the franchise to men, that is violence.

Repugnant as it is to women's feeling to use violence, we will continue to do so until justice is done to us. "

Barbara Wylie,
Montreal, October, 1912.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Liberation Deferred, Carole Bacchi and Mrs. Hammond Bullock, Forgotten Suffragette.



Here's to Mrs. Hammond Bullock, Montreal suffragist totally forgotten by history.

She isn't even mentioned in Carole Bacchi's thorough and comprehensive thesis Liberation Deferred, about the English Canadian Suffrage Movement, the McGill thesis that was published as a book in 1980 and that has become the definitive book on the Canadian Woman Suffrage Movement, so definitive no one  has bothered to write anything more on the subject.

At least, until now. I've written Furies Cross the Mersey.

Well, no books have been written, but there have been a few academic papers published on the subject.Tara Brookfield's Divided by the Ballot Box, for one.

In her book, Carole Bacchi states that there were two suffrage organizations in Montreal, the Montreal Suffrage Association and the Equal Suffrage League, and she says the ESL started in 1910 (with a question mark).

The Equal Suffrage League  was launched in December 1913 by Caroline Kenney, sister of British militant Annie Kenney. It was the Provincial Franchise Association that was around in 1910, led by Mrs. H. Bullock.

I actually make a mention of Bullock in Threshold Girl, my story about a college girl in 1910 Montreal.

The lady was a bit of a bull-ock in a china shop type of suffragette. In 1910 she stormed the City Hall meeting of Robertson's Royal Commission on Technical Training and Industrial Education, demanding that women be allowed to attend technical school, a very Equal Rights thing.

 Carrie Derick's very bad 1912 year is featured in Furies Cross the Mersey, about the British Invasion of militant suffragettes to Canada in 1912/13.

What Bullock might not have known is that the French Canadians were wary of men going to technical school, let alone women. It would disrupt their guild system.

The Montreal Suffrage Association were in favour of women attending technical school. They just didn't push for the issue very much.

Bullock is listed in 1914 as the Quebec Representative of Flora Macdonald Denison's National Suffrage Association, started by Augusta Stowe Gullen.

The Montreal Suffrage Association considered joining the NSA  in October 1913, but declined, joining  Mrs. Hamilton's rival national organization, instead 6 months later, just when Toronto Suffragists rose up and deposed Denison for being too dis-organized, dictatorial and militant.

(Actually, Denison was too Equal Rights oriented and too Working Class.)

Indeed, Carrie Derick and Julia Parker Drummond became marquee members of Constance Hamilton's National Equal Franchise League.

Denison smeared Julia Parker Drummond in a March 1914 speech, saying she is just a figure-head and not a real suffrage worker.

True, but not a thing to say to win brownie points with anyone in Montreal.

If you read only the summary of Carole Bacchi's thesis, it is all explained: how the Equal Rights Suffragists, who started the Canadian movement in Toronto, were pushed out by the Social Reform Suffragists who were all about traditional family (ie Protestant) values. Hence the title of her book, Liberation Deferred, a bit clumsy for a title, I  think, but also bang on.

People like Carrie Derick, head of the Montreal Suffrage Association, put their Equal Rights sentiments aside and played politics in order to stay in the Canadian suffrage game.

Derick was a cagey woman, a McGill Professor  who wanted women's work valued, but she was also big into eugenics and a VERY influential social reformer.

Derick also spoke to  Robertson's Royal Commission, at Macdonald College in 1911, saying a woman's work meant as much to her as to a man.

She didn't push for technical schools for women, although she likely wanted to.

She knew Robertson was a conservative who wanted the 'restless new women' of the 1910 era pushed back into the kitchen.

His Royal Commission's final recommendation in 1913 was to create domestic science programs for girls, so that middle class girls would learn to be good home-makers and poor girls could train to be able domestic servants and not go to work in factories.






Saturday, June 13, 2015

Harpies, Gorgons and Revolutionaries

This interview with the militant suffragettes was printed in the March 14, 1914 Montreal Le Pays, at at time when Mrs. Pankhurst's suffragette movement in England was at its most controversial - and violent - and just six months before an infinitely more violent event, WWI, broke out. 

I've translated the article off the top of my head. 

I have written a great deal about what the English Quebec and Canadian newspapers had to say about the militant suffragettes in England. Read Furies Cross the Mersey, about the British Militant's Invasion of Montreal in 1912/13.

Pankhurst's name often made it into the French papers in Montreal, but the suffrage issue wasn't big on the French side. (Easy to see why when the vote in Montreal was tied up with Protestant values, even eugenics.)  Here's a rare French interview.

Pic. Pankurst and Carrie Derick, Montreal's suffrage leader. Mrs. Pankhurst came to Montreal  to speak in December, 1911  as a guest of the very English, very Protestant Montreal Council of Women. According to Thérèse Casgrain's 1970 autobiography, word on the French street regarding Mrs. Pankhurst was very negative.

In the middle of the Royal Kingsway artery rises a veritable palace on whose roof flies the green, white and (RED?)purple flag that the suffragettes have chosen as their emblem. 

Here are the headquarters of the Women’s Social and Political Union, those militants created by Emmeline Pankhurst who trust only that violent methods and revolutionary procedures will assure them success in their cause.

I was curious to see these women, whom the anti-feminists have described as Harpies and Gorgons, in their home.

In the absence of Mrs. Pankhurst who was arrested just today and who hasn’t come around to the Association in a while, I talked for a bit with Mrs. Dacie Fox, Secretary of the WSPU, a woman, I am told, of  courage, industry and intelligence.

This charming woman greeted me amiably in the Grand Salon surrounded by a battalion of typists each as pretty and charming as the next.

She responded to all the questions I asked.

How do you justify the acts your agents have committed? Hurting innocent bystanders and destroying private property?

In war there are no innocents. And there’s no respect for property. The English showed us this in the Boer War. They took old men, women and children and parked them in Concentration Camps. They burned their fields and killed their livestock. 

These are the acts of war. What are the little acts of the suffragettes when compared to these?

Then you are at war with the government?
Yes, we declared so in 1906. Plus it’s not with good grace that we are going to be given our rights. We will have to take them by force.

It’s guerrilla warfare you are doing?

Yes.

Is the discipline strict in your army? 

Must ever militant perform whatever she is told to do?

Each of us is free to do what she wants, but like in any army, the way is shown to us by the general, Mrs. Pankhurst.

In the eyes of the law, she is the only one responsible for what acts her troops do. She’s taken all responsibility and been five times to jail for it. Each time she went on a hunger strike. Each time she was released at death’s door.

But thanks to the Cat and Mouse Act instituted in 1913, she can be jailed over and over again by the Justice System. They did it again today. They are killing her slowly. Isn’t that barbaric?

The French women like to think that the English are perfect gentlemen. They should come  and  live over here in the Cat and Mouse regime.

Mrs. Pankhurst isn’t letting herself fall to pieces with the threat of death hanging over here. She is a great woman and her name will go down in history.

A few days ago she promised to give a speech from the window  of a friend’s house where she was imprisoned. She kept her word.

A police agent said, “I dare you to come down here.”

She did, but as soon as she came down the police arrested the wrong woman. They were forced to let the woman go.

Why do the police tolerate these revolutionary activities in this house?

They came down upon us a year ago and arrested the woman who was secretary then. She spent 12 months in prison.

You are courageous then?

Not at all I am doing my duty.

You are preaching anarchy?

No revolution. I hate war but there’s no other way to go to get our due. 

In France, you say insurrection is the best way to counter oppression. We are practicing what you preach. That is why you sympathize with our movement.
….



Friday, June 12, 2015

It's complicated



It's strange. It's peculiar. Or, perhaps, it is just fate.

In March, 1913, when Toronto equal rights Suffragist/ette Flora Macdonald Denison (my favourite suffragette) was having her VERY BAD TIME, in truth, being kicked out as President of  the Canadian Suffrage Association, my grandfather, Jules Crepeau of Montreal City Hall was also in a big fat STEW, accused of taking a bribe and being caught on 'detectaphone'.

I've been poring over the online newspapers for that time and for every article about Flora McD Denison, there's one about my grandfather, the Assistant City Clerk.

And, the weirdest part is, their problems are not entirely unconnected.

I guess I must write about this story. It's written in the cards.

Now, why would a Toronto-based suffrage story and a Montreal City Hall story come together in March 1913?

Well, it's complicated, as they say. Very complicated.

It has to do with an intrepid Montreal crime reporter, Edward Beck who set my grandfather up using Burns detectives from New York.

It has to do with the Toronto World, Denison's pro-woman suffrage newspaper,  loving to print stories about Montreal corruption.

It has to do with  the municipal elections of 1914, where Mederic Martin was to be elected for the first time.

 It has to do with a 40 year Montreal Tramways Deal and  the anti-City Hall, social reformer suffragists  of the Montreal Suffrage Association, who were courted by Beck and then got into a tiff with him over money.


All things are connected, as Chief Seattle famously said.

You bet.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nell, Caroline and Annie Kenney, 3 suffragettes, 2 Montrealers

Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, the most famous suffragettes after Emmeline Pankhurst.

I'm watching Team Canada play in the Women's World Cup Soccer right now, as I troll the newspaper archives for more info about the suffragists/ettes of Canada for my next ebook, Service and Disservice, the follow up to Furies Cross the Mersey. Both books are about the suffragists/ettes of Canada, especially of Montreal and Toronto.

  Gee, Canada has had three great scoring chances!

Funny, earlier this afternoon, I was treadmilling and watching the China/Netherlands match on TSN.

 At half time they aired a nice piece about a woman soccer pioneer in Canada (from McGill). The piece opened with a bit about women suffrage. "About 100 years ago Canadian women got the vote, but they weren't allowed to run until much later." Something like that. Cute lede.

They showed a picture of Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst, that iconic one that's all over the Internet. The one at top.

I guess they couldn't find a pic of Canadian suffragists. Only one exists. Here it is, from the Toronto World. Next time use this one, TSN.



Oddly, just a few minutes ago I found some brand new information about the Montreal Suffragists, the subject of my ebook Furies Cross the Mersey.

I discovered that Nell Kenney was an active Suffragette in 1908 in England! She spoke at events in  Nottingham and Leicester.

Nell is the oldest sister of Annie (the famous  "working class" suffragette) and she moved to Montreal in 1909 and married Frank Randall Clarke, a former Daily Mail journalist and photographer.

I have their Montreal marriage certificate. I wonder why the couple married here and not back home in Britain. They first lived in Verdun and then moved to St. Lambert.

Many pictures of Nell can be found  in the Frank Randall Clarke's collection at the McCord Museum. Indeed, there is a pic of about 5 Kenney sisters in their Lancashire textile mill aprons.

Clarke took many photographs of visiting Royalty (Prince of Wales and Duke of Kent in their very fine threads) and also of the homeless men of Montreal during the Depression.

And Clarke and his wife took a cross-Canada tour in the 1920's for CP Railways and someone wrote her Master's Thesis on this. So if you want to see a picture of Nell, look here.


My ebook Furies Cross the Mersey has a scene with Nell and Caroline, another Kenney sister, who came to Montreal in late 1912  to live with her sister and stayed until 1915, working as a teacher and living on her own on Ste. Famille Street.

In December, 1913, Caroline founded the Montreal Equal Suffrage League, a very short-lived organization. I've written extensively about Caroline on this blog.

I've found four mentions of her in the Montreal newspapers of the era, one where she is founding the ESL and three others from 1914 where she is presiding over meetings. No mention of sister Nell, though.

I haven't checked the old Montreal Heralds, though.

But I never knew  Nell was such a tried-and-true suffragette. Indeed, she met her husband when he tried to save her from the police at an Asquith speech which she disrupted.

In 1912, she had two young babies, so no time for activism.



No Class-talk please, We're Canadian

Canada's delegation in the Washington 1913 parade, a picture from the Toronto World. According to Constance Hamilton of the Toronto Equal Franchise League,  all the Toronto Newspapers supported suffrage. The magazine Votes for Women in England claimed that only the Toronto World supported the suffragette movement.   The Toronto Sunday World had lots of photos, useful when supporting suffragettes because the movement was very theatrical.

Read Furies Cross the Mersey, about the British Invasion of Militant Suffragettes to Canada in 1912/13.


The story goes that Mrs. Flora Macdonald Denison was kicked out as leader of the Canadian Suffrage Association in May, 1914 due to her support of Emmeline Pankhurst.

(The official reason was that her organization came up short when it came to governance.)

I suspect Denison's support of Miss Sylvia Pankurst was more the reason.

Denison's demotion wasn't so much about supporting the militants in Britain, but about supporting the working class militants in Britain.

In August, 1913, Denison visited London, as a guest of Miss Barbara Wylie, the suffragette who had visited Canada the year before.

Denison was to give a speech and Emmeline Pankhurst was determined to attend it, even though she would be arrested.

Later the same day, Wylie took her to East End London to attend a working class meeting where Sylvia P., weak from hunger-striking, was speaker.

Denison wrote about these events in her column for the  Toronto Sunday World..

Then, on December 1, perhaps in response to criticism of her support of working class suffragists in her August column, Denison dissed some of her fellows, calling them hypocrites. (See below.)

Ouch and Touché.

Canada's movement shunned the lower working classes, who existed merely to be made better 'purer' people through social engineering. Middle-class women who were working were also kept out of the Canadian suffrage movement. These unmarried women were too 'excitable'  and ' restless' and in need of guidance and protection when working in the big, bad city.

Read Threshold Girl, about Flora, Marion and Edith Nicholson in sinful Montreal in 1910.

To join the Montreal Suffrage Association, for instance, a person had to be nominated by a member of the Executive and approved by all the Executive. Imagine!

The MSA's executive was made up of female college-pioneers of McGill, McGill professors and Clergyman. Clergymen, especially, detested the young militant women.


This was in Denison's December 1, 1913 column. By February other Toronto suffragists were actively seeking her post as President of the National Suffrage Association.

By March the controversy was in full swing.  That month, Denison  most eloquently defended her position in a Toronto Sun article, calling Mrs. Pankhurst the greatest woman she has ever known, but to no avail.

In the US, the large marches including working women of all classes.
Clerks, stenographers, telephone operators...and domestic servants....(Eugene Register)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sex and the Suffragettes


Here's a picture of the Canadian (see Toronto) delegation at the March 15, 1913 suffrage parade in Washington D.C.

I write about it in Furies Cross the Mersey, about the British Invasion of Militant Suffragettes to Montreal in 1912/13. In my book, I have two young students dare to mount a parade in Montreal.

These Canadian women are the leaders of the Toronto/Canadian movement, matrons all. Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Constance Hamilton and Flora McD Denison, etc. Well, Mrs. Denison's young niece was in the parade, too and at the front.

Flora Macdonald Lapham, the only 'young' Canadian suffrage marcher.

Canadian suffrage leaders did all they could to keep young 'excitable' women out of the local movement. You can read all about it in my book Furies Cross the Mersey. 

And NO PARADES were mounted in Canada. Ours was a peaceful letter writing and deputation campaign led by clergymen and society matrons and female college pioneers from the 1800's.

So it goes.

The Americans had parades, two HUGE ones in fact in early 1913. The first was in Washington in March and the second in New York City in May. Tens of thousands of people participated, including a wide spectrum of women from textile workers to Wellesley students.

Both parades were led by New York lawyer, Inez Milholland, described in all the newspapers as 'the most beautiful suffragette.'


The Most Beautiful Suffragette - Inez Milholland

According to a Pittsburg paper, organizers of the NY parade wanted every woman to wear a special suffrage bonnet, but "French" fashion was everywhere making it 'a real feminine gathering.'



Here are some clips from American newspapers, promoting the Washington parade. The key point: Suffragists are not stuffy old women but beautiful young women!

A 'bevy of beauties' in Washington parade.


Branding the Washington parade as a political fashion show. Why not? Suffrage news was often published in the newspapers beside fashion news or theatre news.  Farmer on left, society woman on right. Costume was a term used for outfit in those days.


Dawn Mist?