Inez Milholland was involved in the women’s rights movement on the local level when as a college student she agitated about voting rights and earned the ire of the Vassar College President in the Hudson Valley. As a law student, Inez continued with her organizing and high profile involvement. That’s when she met Edna Kearns, and they filled a train car with others heading to a suffrage convention in Washington, DC.
MORE AMERICANS HAVE HEARD OF INEZ MILHOLLAND THAN EVER BEFORE
Inez shows up in “An Unfinished Revolution: Edna Buckman Kearns and the Struggle for Women’s Rights” as a topic for discussion when Marguerite Kearns is headed south to Philadelphia to visit her grandfather, Wilmer Kearns, on a snowy winter Hudson Valley day during the 1970s. Although she never met Inez Milholland, the topic of Inez as the US suffrage martyr became an awkward topic to discuss with a couple with whom she shared a thruway restaurant table.
THE US SUFFRAGE MARTYR IS THE TOPIC OF CONVERSATION DECADES AFTER HER DEATH
For the couple from Florida, it’s the first time they’ve heard that someone like Milholland gave her life for women’s voting rights. It became an awkward and revealing moment, one of many in the memoir about being the granddaughter of Edna and Wilmer Kearns, suffrage activists.
The Inez Milholland anecdote is one of many in the memoir and family history by Kearns, now in the publishing pipeline for 2021. Find out more by checking with Suffrage Wagon News Channel, SuffrageWagon.org.
Take note of the June 12, 2020 program about the Milholland diaries at Ticonderoga Historical Society in upstate New York. “My Rebellious Thoughts: Readings from the Milholland Diaries” at 7 p.m., Hancock House Ticonderoga Historical Society. Seating: 60
Suffragist Inez Milholland is highly regarded in the history of the Lake Champlain region. Her father John E. Milholland (1860-1925) is recognized as an important figure of the Progressive Era, working not only for women’s suffrage, but helping found the NAACP, working for Irish freedom, and exposing government corruption as a journalist and publisher of the Ticonderoga Sentinel newspaper. Public reading of excerpts from John Milholland’s diaries and writings will help listeners appreciate and understand more about this complex man, his influence on his famous daughter, and his larger contributions to our society.
If you are planning a 2020 suffrage centennial event, order the Earth Mama CD and have music as part of your program. “Standing on the Shoulders” is one such selection. There are videos available on YouTube that combine some of the Earth Mama selections with images. Do and search and you’ll see what I mean.
Once the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution is underway, don’t be surprised to see Inez Milholland’s name, image, and life featured more than ever! We’ve already seen the image and story of Inez in dramatic re-enactments, books, videos, and more. Artist Meneese Wall is preparing a book that should be published before August 26, 2020 that highlights her graphic women’s suffrage series and features some of the movers and shakers of the movement, such as Inez.
You’ll be hearing more about this work in the future. Inez Milholland will be included in a chapter in Wall’s upcoming book about the 1913 women’s rights parade in Washington, DC. Her illustrations have been featured in digital formats, publications of general circulation, in prints and in lists of resources. Stay tuned!
Let’s keep the attention on the early women’s rights movement alive and active after 2020. We’ve been promoting the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment this year, 2020, for years. This blog on Inez Milholland was launched in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the death of Inez, our suffrage martyr. We are determined to keep the memory of Inez alive during 2020 and thereafter.
March is Women’s History Month when organizations are looking for special programs, and Inez Milholland is a perfect candidate. In addition to the many artists, writers, historians, and others featuring her, there’s a 15 minute film produced by Wild West Women, and much more.
Start with checking out the Women’s History Alliance, formerly the National Women’s History Project, that did the initial lobbying and organization for March as Women’s History Month. The organization publishes and distributes a monthly email with lists of birthdays of activists and important historic figures. There’s a shop with books and fantastic memorabilia, perfect for gifts, school programs, and organizational fundraisers and events.
Inez Milholland has been featured on the digital resource, Suffrage and the Media, a database and resource site created by members of the American Journalism Historians Association. The team includes the editors and several editorial board members of the academic journal, American Journalism: a journal of media history. On this site, there are video links to short synopses of new research. Suffrage and the Media was launched in June 2017 and includes direct access to primary and secondary sources or, when restrictions prevent display—information about where and how to locate and obtain them.
The site serves a diverse group of users, from middle schoolers to life-long learners to academic researchers and scholars. Planned are book reviews and links to past reviews, interviews with authors in various media formats, and other special features. The site’s resources are being expanded continually throughout 2020.
Inez Milholland and her horse in the 1913 women’s rights parade in Washington, DC is showing up in many graphics, as illustrations, and as content during 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. Here are some examples, including a book for young people by Kristen Gillibrand, The Bold and the Brave. Artist and illustrator Meneese Wall includes Inez Milholland in her series of artwork honoring suffrage activists (top right). The Library of Congress has some terrific images of Inez in its Bain Collection. There is now a national web site for the National Women’s Centennial Commission, plus more digital resources that highlight the early women’s rights movement.
Inez Milholland’s centennial web site has been updated. That’s where you’ll find out news about how a sculptor in Colorado has a sample statue of Inez on a horse. Take a look at the centennial platform.
Did you know about the mountain in upstate New York that has been named for Inez?
Are you following the many events and celebrations during 2020 celebrating the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution? Follow SuffrageCentennials.com
The 2020 suffrage centennial celebrates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, and there are many events and observances scheduled for this year.
Numerous volunteers and women’s rights buffs have been busy behind the scenes for years to bring the thousands of activists out of obscurity. And finally it has happened. The suffrage memorial stamp issued by the US Postal Service is a forever stamp, an important addition to the higher profile of this period of activism. Advocates wrote to the US Postal Service over the past few years to suggest a stamp series. Inez Milholland would have been included—a strong visual image.
The US Postal Service, however, issued a more generic and a single stamp. We tried. Here’s the stamp issued for 2020. Ask at your post office for some for your collection.