Kate Beaton from Mabou, Cape Breton creates Google Doodle of Henrietta Edwards, Canadian Suffragette

Posted by Dorothy Lander



Henrietta Edwards Google cartoon Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton chose Henrietta Edwards as the suffragette for her Google Doodle over the  Nellie McClung, rulilng out McClung because of her support for eugenics.   I question that Henrietta Muir Edwards is a “well-known” suffragette, certainly not as well known as Nellie McClung.   I am glad to see the other Persons among the Famous Five to have their moment in Canadian women’s history, but as Henrietta Edwards was not the popular writer and orator that Nellie McClung was, do we even know what controversial issues she might have supported at this time in history?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Edwards

Henrietta Edwards is mot often associated with the creation of Canada’s first YWCAs in Montreal and with Lady Aberdeen the establishment of the Victorian Order of Nurses.  In 1981, Edwards was the focus of three commemorative postage stamps, including this one with First Nations encampments in the background, which would suggest that she did not subscribe to eugenics.

Henrietta Edwards postage stamp


In her day, Henrietta was known an artist and used her artwork to finance the first Canadian magazine for working women, entitled Women’s Work in Canada, which she edited with her sister Amelia. At the request of the Canadian government, she painted a set of 12 china dishes for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.  Each china bowl depicted seasonal Ottawa scenes painted on an oyster shell.

Henrietta Edwards china bowls 1893

In 1883 she became an honourary member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, a dubious honour, as the Academy was open only to men.

I expect Henrietta Edwards was chosen for the Doodle because she was born 165 years ago on December 18, 2014.  The others of the Famous Five in the Persons Case are Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby.

Nellie McClung’s quote  is the most often quoted among the Famous Five: “Never retract, never explain, never apologize – get the thing done and let them howl.”

~ by artpoped on December 19, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: