Saturday, May 24, 2008

The most Beautiful Suffragette

Her last public words were, "Mr. President how long must women wait for liberty?"

[suhf-rij] –noun the right to vote in a political election.

Women in history have always held a great curiosity for me, from Cleopatra to Indira Ghandi. The first time I came upon the famous image of Inez Milholland, I was completely captivated; not only by her physical loveliness, but also by the quiet strength and dignity she exuded. In 1913, this delicate beauty astride a white horse catapulted the Suffrage movement to the front pages, eclipsing Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.

Her family was well known in New York City, her father John Milholland was a newspaper editorialist and a reformer with the NAACP. She was a Vassar graduate and earned a law degree from New York City Law school. Yes, brains and beauty! Starting a vigorous speaking tour across 12 states, she ignited audiences with her emotional and eloquent speeches. Suffering from pernicious anemia, she ignored warnings from her doctor about keeping such a grueling schedule. In Los Angeles, in 1916 she collapsed while giving a speech, dying a few weeks later, November 25th 1916. The 19th Amendment was ratified in April of 1920, giving women the right to vote, four years after her death.

I was just a teenager when I first read her story and I became fascinated with the whole Suffrage movement. I remember seeing a Jay Leno show some years ago, where he was asking women in the street if they would vote for Women’s Suffrage. I was appalled that so many women had no idea what it meant. And it makes me wonder if more young women were exposed to the story of Inez Milholland, she would again ignite a nation

copyright Sherry Obsheatz

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Wordcrafter said...

Lovely to read this White Rose, remindsme of someone close to me, in another country, another time (later than Milholland, But long before I was born) she had also been very active in the suffragette movement. Yes, and I am also fascinated by women in history, particularly in other eras, when it was far more difficult to assert ones voice.

White Rose said...

I think I have such a strong curiosity, because it is almost a hidden history. It is like finding a secret treasure. History was written predominately by men and for a woman to stand out in this tapestry of time, she must have been extraordinary indeed!

texasblu said...

I hadn't heard of her before. Mine is Lizzie Stanton. Great women, all of them! :)