Lycoming County is proud to honor the native ladies who labored tirelessly within the Nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to win the best to vote. In March of this yr, this effort was honored by the Pomeroy Basis when a historic signal was positioned within the entrance garden of the YWCA in North Central PA commemorating the ratification of the Nineteenth Modification in 1920.
One such lady was Rebecca Could Cooper Kaprun (1825-1864), who lived in Williamsport for just a few years within the mid-Nineteenth century. She was a feminist, ladies’s suffrage, abolitionist, and spiritualist. She attended the primary ladies’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, 72 years earlier than ladies received the best to vote. She additionally attended the primary Nationwide Ladies’s Rights Conventions in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1850 and 1851. She studied medication on the Ladies’s Medical Faculty in Philadelphia in 1854 and 1855. After solely 4 years from this faculty, the primary medical faculty open to ladies was established.
Initially from upstate New York, Rebecca lived in Williamsport together with her husband, Elias W. Capron (1820-1892), a newspaper writer and printer, and their daughter Evalyn Could (1856-1943). Born into two Quaker households, Rebecca and Elias had progressive views and had been each energetic. They had been captivated with their beliefs, which generally made them discuss overtly and controversially.
He grew up on the subway
Rebecca was born on January 11, 1825 in Williamson, New York, on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Her mother and father, Griffith Morgan Cooper (1791-1864) and Elizabeth Hodgson Cooper (1790-1873), had been activists for the rights of each Native People and African People. Griffith Cooper oversaw a hyperlink on the New York-Canada Underground Railroad. He was a reformer, a mediator with the states of Onondaga and Seneca, and in 1836, he was a missionary to a conservation faculty exterior Buffalo, New York.
Cooper’s home itself was a cease on the subway railroad. A secret room above the household kitchen might disguise ten fugitives. Frederick Douglass typically stayed of their home and would have identified their daughter Rebecca. Elizabeth, higher generally known as Elisa, taught Douglas to learn and write. Right this moment, a New York State Historic Signal commemorating their function stands in entrance of Cooper’s residence.
In 1895, on the time of Douglas’ dying, an article within the Rochester Journal of Democracy and Historical past (February 22, 1895) referred to an event when three males fleeing slavery had been taken to Coopers Home, the place they stayed till they might keep. They put on ladies’s clothes and are despatched to Canada. Douglas referred to Griffith Cooper within the literature and referred to as him “Veteran Indian in addition to African good friend” (North Star, March 3, 1848).
Residing in a utopian society
Elias was born. .
Elias joined the short-lived Fourier Regiment at Sodos Bay on Lake Ontario. Fourier is a philosophy of social reform developed by the French social theorist Charles Fourier, who advocated the transformation of society into self-sufficient and unbiased. “battalions” (The battalions). It was one among a number of utopian societies that emerged within the second quarter of the nineteenth century in northern New York and New England.
He married Rebecca Could Cooper in Souds Bay on June 12, 1844. In response to Quaker custom, we married “by themselves,” The alternate of vows with no clergyman or a justice of the peace. Charles Fourier despised what he claimed had been the outdated and repressive restrictions imposed on ladies by means of what he referred to as “The Barbarian Marriage Custom”. (Underneath Pennsylvania regulation, spouses in the present day can nonetheless legally marry in what is known as a “Self Consolidation License”; They solely want two witnesses to alternate vows.)
Sods Bay society was utterly over by 1846. It’s possible that the Caprons household left someday in 1845, shifting to Rochester after which Auburn, New York.
Journey to Seneca Falls and Past
In 1849, the couple went collectively to Seneca Falls to attend the primary ladies’s rights conference. There, Kaprun was the 96th website of the Declaration of Sentiments, which contained the sensation that every one women and men are created equal.
The Capron household moved throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, staying for a couple of years whereas Capron discovered jobs publishing and printing newspapers. Each husband and spouse had been fascinated by phrenology (the research of the cranium) and Fox Sisters’ methodology of speaking with the lifeless by methods. They had been members of the Auburn Phrenological Society, of which Elias was the corresponding secretary and Rebecca was the registry secretary.
Once they lived in Philadelphia, Rebecca attended lectures on the Feminine Faculty of Drugs. She didn’t full the cycle, in all probability as a result of she gave start to their daughter, Evaline, in October 1856.
The couple’s vast circle of buddies, activists, and reformers included not solely Frederick Douglass, but additionally Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Reality, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abby Ok. Foster, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, and Amelia Bloomer, who struggled for clothes reform. So are ladies’s rights to vote.
Residing in Williamsport
Rebecca and Elias Capron moved to Williamsport round 1862 and arrange a printing and publishing firm. Their residence and enterprise was at 134 West Third Avenue, in “outdated Metropolis.”
Rebecca’s life was reduce quick. She died in 1864 in Williamsport when she was thirty-nine and her daughter was seven; She is buried in Wildwood Cemetery.
In 1867, Frederick Douglass introduced his civil rights marketing campaign to Williamsport when he spoke at Doppler Corridor, on the nook of West Fourth and Pine Streets. It will be fascinating to see if he stayed with Elias.
“Image of Lycoming County” (1939) describes the scene in Williamsport when black suffrage was achieved. “After 32 years of protest and campaigning, blacks lastly received the best to vote in March 1870 when the Fifteenth Modification was ratified. Blacks throughout the state organized celebrations.” In Williamsport, lots of of individuals lined the streets “Watch a procession of 41 wagons and vans, folks holding banners, and uniformed protesters.” The Baltimore Band led the present as a result of Daniel Rebach refused to guide the band below any circumstances. Nevertheless, Repasz historians had been conscious that the Repasz band members had been current on the Appomattox on the time the give up was signed.
Elias Capron was one of many audio system on the ceremony. Among the many different audio system, each African American and white, had been Abraham Abdegraf, president of the First Nationwide Financial institution and chief of the Underground Railroad, and Cornelius and Simon Gilchrist, black males (father and son) who had been each conductive and energetic civil rights leaders.
Elias was at numerous instances the proprietor or writer of West Department Bulletin, Lycoming Gazette, Gazette and Bulletin. Newspapers of the period had been aggressive, arms switched, and editors typically had completely different political beliefs. He has been criticized for his editorial views, together with urging newly suffraged black voters to make use of their suffrage and promote ladies’s rights.
Elias retired in 1871 and based his personal newspaper, The Epitomist, which failed after just a few months. He died in New York Metropolis in 1892.
Evelyn turned a instructor for deaf kids in Philadelphia. After holding numerous educating and different positions, she died in 1943 in New York Metropolis.