The traveling champion of the women’s rights movement, Susan B. Anthony, was recognized by two trademarks: her red shawl and her alligator “purse.” You can see the famous alligator bag she carried across the United States and to Europe when you visit the Susan B. Anthony House at 17 Madison Street in Rochester, NY. You may recognize this children’s jump-rope rhyme that was recorded by the press when Anthony was campaigning for suffrage in California:
Miss Lulu had a baby, she called him tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub, so see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water! He ate up all the soap!
He tried to swallow the bathtub, but it wouldn’t go down his throat!!
Call for the doctor!
Call for the nurse!
Call for the lady with the alligator purse!
“Mumps!” said the doctor. “Measles!” said the nurse.
“Vote!!” said the lady with the alligator purse!!
Anthony used her alligator bag more like a briefcase or backpack than like a purse. In it, she carried her speeches and pamphlets, a copy of the transcript from her 1873 trial in which she was found guilty for having voted “illegally” in the 1872 federal election. What would be the most important item for you to carry in your alligator bag?