Wednesday, February 27, 2013

INEZ | Her Herald Uniform 1913 (Update Aug. 5, 2016)

1. Alice Paul's idea of Inez Milholland's
1913 costume as the Herald. The trumpet
was a non-starter; hard to handle that and
the horse at the same time.
The Woman Suffrage "Procession" was scheduled on the eve of Woodrow Wilson's first inauguration, on March 2, 1913.

Alice Paul, on behalf of the newly formed Congressional Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), asked Inez to lead the parade.

The Congressional Committee the following month, emboldened by the success of the parade, became the Congressional Union. In 1916 this entity, with significant new funding, became the National Woman's Party.

Alice Paul asked Inez to be a Herald and wear a uniform emblazoned with the three colors of the suffrage movement – gold, white and purple (in heraldic lingo – or, argent and purpure).

These are the colors that Inez is shown wearing on the flyers about the parade.

2. Inez Milholland on "Gray Dawn" (loaned by
Mr. A. D. Addison of Washington) at the
start of the parade. Photo: Library of Congress.
But Inez decided that an all-white–or, in The New York Times account, a pale blue–cloak looked better. Alice Paul was unhappy about it, but what could she do?

The white uniform was a success. The day after the parade, the N Y Times story devoted its early paragraphs to Inez's striking appearance at the head of the parade.

Later in the story, we are told that the event was marred by violence – the D.C. police were unable or unwilling to keep order, and cavalry from Fort Myer, Va. had to be brought in to keep the peace.

The Washington Post called Inez "the most beautiful suffragette" (this source also has a great collection of postcard photos of the parade).

What do you think? Photos of the actual event show Inez like a clothed Lady Godiva – white gown on a white horse.
The iconic poster of Inez, 1923 for the
 "Forward into Light" pageant at
Meadowmount, Lewis, N.Y.

One of those photos served as the image used to create the iconic posthumous portrait of Inez on a horse. For decades until 2011 it hung over the mantelpiece in the Sewall-Belmont House, now renamed the Belmont-Paul National Monument,  in Washington. (The mantelpiece was removed because of chimney leaks.)

The iconic painting was in bad condition and was carefully restored with the assistance of a Committee headed by Al Boissevain and Allegra Milholland.

The poster made from the painting inspired the National Woman's Party picketers and hunger strikers.

When Inez was married in July 1913, the New York Times expressed regret that a Hollander with a French name (Boissevain) had nabbed Milholland, the daughter of a Scotch Irish man (the family name Milholland is an Anglo-Irish transliteration of a Gaelic word meaning Follower of St. Chulann).

The Times described Inez as "the Fairest of the Amazons".

Related Posts: Suffrage Play June 11, 2017 in Vienna, Va.

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