Who is Rosalie Jones?

Who is Rosalie Jones?

Who is Rosalie Jones?

The story behind the woman featured on New York State’s
‘I Voted’ Sticker

This Election Day there’s a new “I Voted” sticker if you live in New York State. Spearheaded by the Women’s Suffrage Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the people voted for their preferred suffragette to honor 100 years of a woman’s right to vote. The winner and woman seen on the sticker is Rosalie Jones.

According to Staten Island Museum archivist Gabriella Leone, “Rosalie Jones is a fascinating figure – they actually called her General Rosalie Jones, as she led the ‘Suffrage Army,’ a group pioneering votes for women activists who travelled with Jones to gain press attention and spread awareness for the cause.”

In December 1912 Jones led women on a 13 day suffrage pilgrimage from NYC to Albany and in February began a 200 mile, 20 day journey from New York City to Washington DC to meet with 5,000 fellow suffragists marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to fight for the right to vote. Lesser known is Rosalie Jones’ reputation as the ‘Pioneer Air Pilgrim.’ In May 1913, during the opening ceremony of The Flying Carnival of the Aeronautical Society at Oakwood Heights in Staten Island, NY, Jones was the first suffragist to take to the air for the cause. Jones flew over the carnival in a biplane and “bombed” the crowds with suffrage leaflets.

As reported in the New York Times in 1913, “Gen. Rosalie did not show a sign of fear as she took her seat in the biplane, seized a steel rod, the only thing to hold to, with her left hand, had her skirts tied down with a little piece of blue string, and, with a bunch of yellow Vote-for-Women leaflets in her right hand, nodded a smiling good-bye to the crowd below.”
Full article here.

This new technique paved the way for other seminal leaflet “bombings.” Lucy Burns dropped leaflets in Seattle, which is said to have helped win the vote to establish what was said to be the world’s first women’s political party – the National Woman’s Party. Suffragists Mrs. John Blair and pilot Leda Richberg-Hornsby also planned to drop leaflets onto President Wilson’s yacht in December, 1916, however they crash-landed in the marsh off of Oakwood Beach. No one was seriously hurt.

“We’re thrilled that the public voted to give Rosalie Jones attention for her unique role in the suffrage movement,” stated Janice Monger, Staten Island Museum’s President and CEO. “Hers and other remarkable stories will form the core of an exhibition Staten Island Museum is developing to mark the centennial of women’s right to vote in the United States.” The exhibition will open in late 2019.