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Hope Votes

Hope is a nineteen-year-old pony who’s full name is Concord River Rachel’s Hope. She was the last pony bred by Rachel Page Elliot out of Concord River Kaleigh, a daughter of Lynfields Proud Hope, who was, in turn, the daughter of Texas Hope. Pagey chose Dobh Macduff to be the sire. It doesn’t take many generations back in either pedigree to arrive at ponies who were born at the time suffragists were working in both England and the United States to secure constitutional rights to vote, something both Hope and Susan B. Anthony insist they should have been granted without the need for a constitutional amendment.

When Hope heard about a Vermont group honoring the Amendment with a 5k Suffrage Scramble, she did not hesitate to sign up for the “run” – particularly as the organizers did not require anyone to actually run, just cover the distance in, say, 5 or six days? Since we had only a vague idea what the distance of a ride around the farm was, Hope’s strategy was to do this over a period of several days, making sure we strolled more than three miles, at a pace that permitted us to play the game of Hunt the Bear at the same time. The ‘bear,’ by the way, can be a Monarch butterfly, a turkey hen with poults, or it can be just the hunt for one. We got a lovely yellow sash proclaiming VOTES FOR WOMEN 1920, which we took turns wearing. Sally’s mother took part in the first vote in 1920 and Sally paraded in a 1970 50th anniversary commemoration in New Jersey, so it was only fitting that we two honored the courageous suffragists who overcame many stubborn men’s prejudices to secure the right to vote for everyone, even though it has taken longer to really mean everyone.