Sunday, August 7, 2016

INEZ LTRS | Oct. 3, 1916–Letter, EJB to IMB Letter (PG13) Updated Oct 30, 2016)

Harmon, N.Y. Eugen and Inez. That might be Jude,
their dog. The little girl is probably related to Max
Eastman, who had previously moved to Harmon.
Photo in collection of JT Marlin.
Inez Milholland Boissevain collapsed in Los Angeles while speaking to a suffragist rally on Oct. 23, 1916.

Her husband Eugen Jan Boissevain was in New York City while Inez was on tour with her sister Vida in the western states, where women voted. 

Inez was seeking to persuade them not to vote for Woodrow Wilson because he did not support the Anthony Amendment.

Eugen appears to have written at least 11 letters to Inez between Oct. 3 and Oct. 20, 1916. When he heard of her collapse and hospitalization he went west to be with her. She died on Nov. 25, 1916. Her eulogist Maud Younger described Inez as dying "like a soldier, on the battlefield".

The dates of Eugen's letters in October 1916 are as follows, with tentative identification of their order.

The original letters are sometimes undated, which means the dates are guesswork based on clues in the letters themselves. The date on this letter seems to be October 3, but that doesn't match the calendar of Inez's trip because she didn't get to Cheyenne Wyoming that early.

Green line=main Union Pacific Railway (UPRR). Red line=
Utah & Northern Railway, which connects Salt Lake City with Butte
and Helena, Mont. and became part of UPRR. Thanks to Spellerweb.
3 (11th last)
9? (10th last)
11 (9th last)
15 (8th last)
16 (7th last)
16 (6th)
17 (5th)
17 (4th)
18 (3rd)
19 (2nd)
20 (last)

EJB to IMB (PG-13), Dated Oct.  3, Postmarked Oct. 10  [1 of 11 letters in October]

Exporters & Importers
27 William Street, New York

[Superscript:] I am very happy. have had a gloriously jolly week-end.–Love me. – Love me strong and hard and passionately. – And come back soon. – Rangy [one of Inez's nicknames for Eugen].

My white skinned, long limbed lover,

I have just had dinner, have brought Mrs. Chipais home, and am sitting at the big round table. Jude [the dog] is playing around. I am dreadfully excited, sexually – I long for you. I close my eyes and I see your glorious, voluptuous body. I smell your white, warm, clinging perfume.

John [Jan Boissevain, his younger brother?] said yesterday that everytime he comes into our room he felt like raping someone, that the perfume of the room, & everything went to his head. Bless the boy!

I just had your letter written on the train to Cheyenne [Wyoming; this calls into question the date]. Your visit to the doctor excited me terribly [she had described his examination of her in taunting terms], but all the same I would like to beat his quasi-scientific head and hands. I am so happy that you went to a Dr., Nan [Eugen's most common nickname for Inez].–And I hope he is right. Please do not smoke. [She had complained of throat problems. Eugen imported tobacco from Turkey before he switched to importing coffee from Java.] – We'll go to another doctor together and fix you up. – You poor darling, having this dirty tonsils bothering you. But I am so madly glad that you are alright down there. [The doctor had said there was no reason she couldn't have a child.]

Darling Nan,–I have a lot to say about all kinds of things, but I'm only going to say things you know already, but things I want to say. And this is the only paper I can find in the house. [He had started to write to his mother, Emily Heloïse MacDonnell Boissevain, the previous month, and crossed it out.] – I love you excitedly, wickedly. – I want you. – I keep making exciting pictures about you, and about all the things I want to do to you, and am going to do. I want to kiss you all over. I have not kissed you, your beautiful naked body half enough. I want to play with you, love you, and 69, and O Nan, dear, I want you so.

I have slept now for 3 nights I'm so excited now. I don't want to sleep any more. I want you back, I want to tear your clothes off, and hold you naked in my arms. – Be careful about your body. Look after it. Look after it for me, it's mine, all mine. – I'm looking after mine. I'm gathering and accumulating a dangerous amount of passion when I see you again. Keep your body strong and clean for your lover, your passionate, hungry lover.

I want you, I want your nubile white long limbed lover's-body. I want you so badly, so madly. I kiss you, dear, I kiss you. I love you. Always yours, Eugen.

Related Posts: Oct. 23–Inez Collapses in LA

Newspaper stories along the route:

  • “Beauty Contest to Be Part of the Great Suffrage Parade,” Laramie Republican, February 1, 1913, 2.
  • “Cheyenne Woman Routs Speaker of Sex Party,” Sunday State Leader, October 8, 1916, 1.
  • “Dawn Mist of Montana in Parade,” Weekly Boomerang, February 27, 1913, 4.
  • “Death of Miss Inez Milholland Boissevain,” Rock Springs Miner, December 2, 1916, 6.
  • “Extension Phones for Mrs. Boissevain’s Talk,” Wyoming Tribune, November 4, 1916, 1.
  • “Famous Woman Spoke at Pocatello,” Kemmerer Republican, October 13, 1916, 1.
  • “Memorial for Inez Milholland Boissevain,” Park County Enterprise, December 27, 1916, 4.
  • “Memorial to Mrs. Boissevain,” Kemmerer Republican, December 29, 1916.
  • “Miss Inez Milholland: Equal Suffrage Advocate Is Made the Heroine of a Novel,” Laramie Republican, November 11, 1911, 5.
  • “Noted Beauty Coming,” Laramie Republican, October 4, 1916, 8.
  • “Rioting Mars the Suffrage Parade,” Laramie Boomerang, March 4, 1913, 1.
  • “Sing Sing Inmates Honor Suffragist,” Laramie Daily Boomerang, December 7, 1916, 1.
  • “Successful Meeting at Plains Hotel,” Laramie Republican, 11 Oct 1916, 6.
  • “Washington’s Discourtesy to Women,” Wyoming Semi-Weekly Tribune, March 11, 1913, 6.
  • “Washington City’s Insult to Women,” Wyoming Semi-Weekly Tribune, March 11, 1913, 6.
  • “Women Outline Political Views,” Kemmerer Republican, October 27, 1916.
  • “Women Unfurl Their First Battle Flag,” Laramie Daily Boomerang, December 7, 1916, 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment