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Mary Baird portrays suffrage leader Ellen Clark Sargent in “An Evening with Ellen”

Ellen Clark Sargent was a prominent suffrage leader and resident of Nevada City, where she founded one of the early West Coast Suffrage organizations in 1869. She worked tirelessly to secure women’s voting rights with her entire family for four decades. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in 2020, the Famous Marching Presidents produced an original play, “An Evening with Ellen,” highlighting Ellen Clark Sargent and the Nineteenth Amendment.

This original work, written by Pamela Biery, is set in an interview format. Actor Mary Baird portrays Ellen Sargent, while Nevada City businessman, Rick Ewald interviews Ellen, from a present-day perspective. Terry Boyer provides the master of ceremonies role, setting the tone for this lively interaction.

Mary Baird portrays Ellen Sargent, with present day interviewer, Rick Ewald

Nevada City California resident Ellen Clark Sargent was a close friend and ally to Susan B. Anthony. Sargent served as both treasurer and secretary of National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA); an organization founded by Susan B. Anthony. Ellen Sargent also was president of the California Woman Suffrage Association and founded the Nevada County Women Suffrage Association. She was a key figure in eventually combining East and West Coast efforts into a unified organization, which later became the League of Women Voters.

Adding to the context of this original, historically accurate work, the video was filmed at the Nevada City Odd Fellows Lodge Temple, where Aaron Sargent, who authored the Nineteenth Amendment, was a founding member in 1863.

Donate to making this project and curriculum materials available free to public, including schools here gf.me/u/x8in5b

Request a password protected link to view this video on Vimeo by emailing pamela[at]pamelab.com


Project Management & Creative Development, Community Outreach and Engagement

January-February: Writing and research, with support from Nevada County Historical Society Research Library.

March: Convert to video production.

April: Arbor Day tree planting in recognition of Ellen Clark Sargent.

May-June: Rehearsals begin. GoFundMe campaign launched.

July: Poster concept and layout.

August: Poster printing and release. Odd Fellows decorate windows on Broad Street. Video production. Famous Marching Presidents Tree Dedication Ceremony.

September: Video complete.

October: Windows on History features Odd Fellows Nineteenth Amendment windows.

December: Video edited for television and film festival format. Inclusion in Women Soaring art exhibit. Plan for educational curriculum development (2021).

Thanks to the Famous Marching Presidents, donors, and the incredible team.