Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MILHOLLAND | 5B. Men's Leagues for Woman Suffrage, 1911-1913 [1]

The Men's League for Woman Suffrage Marches,
Probably in 1912 in New York City (police
were scarce in the D.C. parade in 1913.)
In 1913 there was a "Men's League for Woman Suffrage" with its own organization and officers. Max Eastman was one of the founders.

Chapters were formed in states around the country. The active membership included Inez's father John E. Milholland, a newspaperman turned businessman who had editorialized on Votes for Women in the New York Tribune. 

The "men's groups for woman suffrage" had their own place in the lineup of the 1913 Washington parade.

Most of the half-million people on the sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue in 2013 were men, who were described as coming to look over the young women in the parade.

Young suffragettes from the women's colleges were featured in the newspapers and gave the Votes for Women movement some glamor that it lacked during the two last decades of the 19th century, when aging Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were maneuvering to keep alive and effective the movement they had started.

There were some men's groups for woman suffrage in the colleges, but they do not seem to have been very active, at least not as of 1911, as may be judged by the following letter in the Harvard Crimson that year, by third-year Harvard Law student A. S. Olmstead: 
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Mr. E. Kerper, in yesterday's CRIMSON, asks the officers of the Harvard Men's League for Woman Suffrage, who the League is, that it uses the name of Harvard? The answer to his questions follow.
The League, when organized, consisted of seven men, and now contains 53 undergraduates and five graduate vice-presidents, of whom three are members of the Faculty. Just what bearing the size of the League has on its status is not clear; for whenever even a few students are gathered together for any cause, academic, social, political, athletic or literary, their petitions for the use of College buildings have hitherto been granted. But if numbers is the test of the status of a society as a Harvard organization, then this League has as good if not better claim to the use of the name "Harvard" than most undergraduate organizations.
Neither is it obvious what bearing the attendance at Mrs. Kelley's lecture has on whether the League should be granted a hall for Mrs. Pankhurst. As a matter of fact, relevant or irrelevant, from 80 to 100 members of the University attended that lecture. The 30 which Mr. Kerper refers to, apparently, is the number as quoted in the Boston papers, which joined the League at that time. The number, more accurately, is 28.
Finally Mr. Kerper wants to know "whether the League was not formed by a few men for the sole purpose of having some suffrage speakers appear here this fall." The answer is, omitting the words "not", "sole", and "this fall", yes. A complete statement of the objects of the League is on file with the Student Council. A. S. OLMSTEAD 3L. President Harvard Men's League for Woman Suffrage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BOISSEVAIN | C. Walking 20th C. Amsterdam (Updated May 25, 2016)

Walking Tour. Boissevain-Related Sites. Start (or end, since lines are
 shorter after 6 pm) at the Anne Frank House (0 and B), go to the
City entrance (1), the underground paper Het Parool (2 and M),
the meeting place for CS6 (3), the Algemeen Handelsblad (4, near N),
NIOD (5 and letter O), a Hiding Place (6), the Pierson Museum (7)
and a Theater (8) that is now an NL Hotel.
The Boissevain Foundation has decided on a date for a 2016 Boissevain Family Reunion–April 16-17. They are avoiding Easter and also the vacation time for school children, when transportation is difficult.

Charles Boissevain has asked me to notify U.S. and Canadian family members. I have done that by posting here and on Facebook. I also have a few email addresses I have sent notices to.

The late Tice (Matthijs) Boissevain had a mailing list for the reunion in Boissevain, Manitoba, which I attended.

More information on the Reunion is available here.

Other posts on Amsterdam:
Herengracht Tour .
Keizersgracht Tour and the Golden Bend

Sunday, July 19, 2015

SENECA FALLS | First Day, July 19

July 19–This day in 1848 the Seneca Falls Convention opened, convened because of the meeting of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived there, and Lucretia Mott, who was a visiting preacher for the Quakers.

Stanton and Mott had met eight years before in London, when both accompanied their husbands to an Abolitionist conference. They were told to sit in the balcony and keep quiet.

They seethed for eight years as Stanton raised her three sons and Mott honed her speaking skills at Quaker meetings.

The 150th anniversary of the convention was celebrated in several places in 1998. The best-attended of the celebrations appears to have been in the Geva Theater in Rochester, the nearest big city to Seneca Falls.

The theater, which holds 550 people, was filled. There was a standing ovation for the show, which featured a pageant showing how the spark of the convention lit the fire of woman suffrage that eventually spread across the United States. Roberta Wallace played the part of Inez Milholland. The three-term Mayor of Rochester, Bill Johnson, played the part of Frederick Douglass, who championed votes for women until after the Civil War. It then came down to a choice between universal male suffrage and votes for white women, and Douglass chose universal male suffrage. It took until 1920 for women to get the vote.

Back in 1848, there was no record of women voting in public elections that Elizabeth Stanton was aware of. (Actually women voted in some colonies and states. They voted in some New England town meetings before 1776.  Women owning property could vote in New Jersey for many years starting in 1776.  The Kingdom of Hawaii had universal suffrage starting in 1840, but years later it was cut back to male property-owners.)

When Elizabeth Cady Stanton suggested that women should seek the vote as one of their demands, Lucretia Mott responded: "Lizzie, thee will make us ridiculous."

Douglass disagreed. He was one of 40 men who showed up at the convention on the first day, July 19, despite the specific notation in the announcement that the first day was "exclusively for women". Men were admitted but were told they could not speak on the first day. Douglass spoke anyway, arguing that women should seek the vote because without the vote they would never have any power to redress violations of whatever rights they might claim.

Related Posts: Turning Point Suffrage Memorial . 100th anniversary of the 1913 March on Washington . June 11, 2017, Play Featuring Suffrage Leaders

Saturday, July 11, 2015

MILHOLLAND | 5C. Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington [5]

The characters of Mary Ovington (L) and Dr. W.
E. B. Du Bois, in the February production of a new
 play by Clare Coss.
At a recent fundraiser for Carolyn Maloney and Rebecca Seawright at the home of Mitch Draizin in Sag Harbor, I spoke with Clare Coss, a playwright who in February had her new play "Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington" produced at the Castillo Theater in New York.

I was unable to attend her play because I was in Europe visiting relatives.

When I spoke with Clare Coss I reminded her that I had written a play about Inez Milholland that was produced as a staged reading in her birthplace, Lewis, N.Y. as well as at City Hall and the Springs Presbyterian Church.

We had talked about Inez's father, John E. Milholland, who was one of the founding Board members of the NAACP – he was the founding Treasurer.

He had gotten to know Mary Ovington from his board work with the NAACP and the two of them had an affair – from all that I have read, her only affair and possibly his as well.

Clare told me that there is a reference in her play to the affair with John Milholland. She sent me a copy of her play and I have verified that he is in it!