06 November 2011

Inez Milholland - Martyr of the Women's Suffrage Movement

Inez Milholland [1886-1916]: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she grew up in a wealthy family. She attended Vassar College, where she was once suspended for organizing a women's rights meeting. The president of Vassar had forbidden suffrage meetings, but Milholland and others held regular "classes" on the issue, along with large protests and petitions.

She led the Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, the day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, March 3, 1913, looking like Joan of Arc, draped in white robes and riding a huge white horse.

In 1916, she went on a tour in the West, speaking for women's rights. During a speech in Los Angeles that September she suddenly collapsed. Ten weeks later, on November 25, 1916, she died at the age of 30. She died from conditions arising from Pernicious Anaemia. Her last public words were, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" She was known as the martyr of the Women's Suffrage movement.

King Henry by Douglas Galbraith:
Fictionalized role she played aboard Henry Ford’s pre-WWI Peace Ship.

Iron Jawed Angels, 2004:
From 1912 to 1920, a group of fiery young suffragettes led by Alice Paul [Hilary Swank] and Lucy Burns [Frances O-Connor] band together to wheedle the United States into adapting a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Along the way, they incur the wrath of President Woodrow Wilson [Bob Gunton] and anger other suffragette leaders [Anjelica Huston and Lois Smith]. Directed by Katja von Garnier.

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