Monday, March 24, 2014

INEZ | Graveyard Meeting, June 1908

Graveyard where Vassar suffragists met. Photo from the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Newsletter.
When Inez Milholland was a student at Vassar, she requested use of the Vassar chapel for a suffrage meeting.

But President James Monroe Taylor forbade it. So the meeting was held at a public graveyard across the street from Vassar.

Taylor was outraged at the "exploitation" of Vassar for political purposes and said he would expel any student who attended.

But word got out and the meeting on June 8, 1908 attracted about 40 Vassar undergraduates, ten alumnae, Harriot Stanton Blatch (Elizabeth Cady Stanton's daughter) - who was organizing the event as part of a trolley ride down the East Coast - and others from outside the Vassar community including two men.

This meeting established the Vassar Votes for Women Club, which continued to meet off-campus under Milholland's leadership.

Her opening remarks at this meeting were in part: "How can we enjoy a comfortable life when young girls are chained to their machines in factories? Sisterhood with other women is more important to me than a Vassar diploma. . . . Only when women vote, will they breathe free." Source:  Boissevain Family Website.

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