“General” Rosalie Jones and the Suffrage Hikes

Rosalie Gardiner Jones, a member of a wealthy family and the daughter of an ardent anti-suffragist, led a march from Manhattan to Albany to meet with New York State governor William Sulzer, a supporter of the suffrage movement. About 200 marchers left the city on December 16, 1912, marching 170 miles through bitterly cold, but typical New York winter weather, with the first “pilgrims” arriving in Albany on December 28. Emma Bugbee, a reporter for the New York Tribune, was one of a few women reporters who marched with the hikers to get the story. Her career, like that of other women reporters, would benefit from her reporting on the woman suffrage movement, although she rather shocked the Tribune managing editor when she suggested the trip. All along the route, local women arranged meetings. Bugbee somehow found telephones, still very rare, especially in rural areas, to use to submit her reports each night. When police and a corps of fifes and drums escorted them into Albany, spectators, eager to shake hands with “General” Jones, made it difficult to keep their formation.

Rosalie Jones, Ida Craft and a group of suffrage hikers marched from Manhattan to Albany from December 16-28, 1912. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

“General” Rosalie Jones. Jones led a hike of a group of suffragists from New York to Washington to ask President Wilson's aid for woman suffrage, as well as the march on Albany. Courtesy of Library of Congress.