You are browsing the archive for Emma Guy Cromwell.

by Syle

Overcoming Politics

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Political history

After reading Rebecca Hanly’s article on Cromwell and Flannery (“Emma Guy Cromwell and Mary Elliott Flannery: Pioneers for Women in Kentucky Politics,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 99, Summer 2001, pp. 287-301) it made me stop to think about, not only how much the accomplished, but how much they had to continue to overcome throughout their successful careers and lives. To me it seems like after becoming the first two women to be elected into high political office, they would have been able to gain some respect. While to some people they might have, they never stopped having to overcome objectors, and those that as Hanly put it “not ready for women in public office”. Yet this never stopped them from achieving their goals, which shows how courageous and strong of women they really were. No matter how great of a feat they overcame, it seemed there was just another obstacle waiting for them. Flanery for example became the first woman elected to the southern state legislature, an amazing accomplishment, and was received with comments like “Flanery’s victory was mostly a feat of heredity”. This seemed to only push her harder though and make her even stronger. Not everybody was against it however, and she was named “as a possible candidate for the speakership of the lower house”. To me this shows that although Flanery (as well as Cromwell) were up against what seemed to be impossible odds at times, women were gaining political power due to the courage and leadership shown by women like Flanery and Cromwell. I do not believe they did it for themselves either, but more for all women to gain the respect that they deserved. Flanery shows this when she said “All I want to do is serve my constituents in the manner in which they wished to be served”.  While overcoming so much throughout their careers, these two women were very influential to women all over and for their rights.

by bmwexl2

Becoming the First in Woman’s Politics

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Political history

Mary Elliott Flanery

Mary Elliott Flanery

From the research one does on the topic of woman’s suffrage and women in the 20th century it is easy to spot a number of amazing figures.  For example, Emma Guy Cromwell and Mary Elliott Flanery — both women were firsts in holding public office.  Although it was an amazing stride for women, it is truly hard for us today to grasp what it took and what it was like to be there.

Emma Guy Cromwell, Kentuckiana Digital Library

Emma Guy Cromwell

Rebecca S. Hanly’s article, “Emma Guy Cromwell and Mary Elliott Flanery: Pioneers for Women in Kentucky Politics” gives us a little more insight to what being the first really meant. Hanly points out in the article, “Most people simply were not ready for women in public office. Even leaders of the woman’s suffrage movement were ambivalent about the issue.”  These thoughts make the feats of these women in my opinion even more impressive.

This is the definition of a true pioneer. To be able to push through and persevere when even the people fighting on your side with you aren’t truly sure that the ultimate goal you are setting out for, is indeed the right thing.  In my life as I am sure in many others I have let others words change my thoughts and actions.

In psychology there is a study where a person is put in a room with a group of people (the control) who will all raise their hand for the wrong answer on purpose to sway the lone individual.  Although the person knows his answer is right, because everyone is telling him otherwise he goes along with the pack in choosing the wrong answer.

I feel that this goes along with what might have been going on in these two’s minds.  They knew what they were doing was right, but they had been told otherwise for so long and so repeatedly that it would have been easy to give up and believe that they indeed did not belong in politics.

Resource: Rebecca S. Hanly, “Emma Guy Cromwell and Mary Elliott Flannery: Pioneers for Women in Kentucky Politics,” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 99 (Summer 2001), 287‐301.

by becca

Emma Guy Cromwell as pioneer for women in KY

September 13, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Political history

This website gives many facts about Emma Guy Cromwell’s life, including what she accomplished in her lifetime. It also has a great quote for her:

“Time has softened but has not dimmed this grief and I have found a panacea in hard work, and filled my life with duty and my heart with thought for others.”

This is a great description of her because she worked diligently to achieve a name for herself in Kentucky politics and paved the way for all women who would hold future offices in the state. She was spot on when she said that she filled her lifer with duty and her heart with thought for others because in doing all her work for woman’s rights she was trying to improve her own life as well as every other woman. Thanks to her we have many more opportunities and equal rights as everyone else that we might not have had if Cromwell had not stood up for what she believed in.

The fact that she held so many different positions in Kentucky politics really shows that she was not only focused on one subject dealing with the rights of woman, but that she wanted to improve all aspects of the subject as she possibly could. Thankfully, Cromwell wrote Cromwell’s Compendium of Parliamentary Law and an autobiography so we can continue to reflect upon all the ideas and beliefs that she held and forge forward with the rights of women, not only in the state of Kentucky, but everywhere else in the United States also.

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