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.

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