Sunday, October 23, 2016

INEZ | Collapse in LA, 100 Years Ago

Inez Milholland Boissevain on board ship,
probably 1916. Photo L.O.C.
October 23, 2016–This day in 1916 Inez Milholland Boissevain gave her last public speech. The Los Angeles Herald story of Inez's collapse, which ran the next day, Oct. 24 (p. 6), is headlined: "Collapse of Mrs. Inez Milholland Boissevain at Lecture to Delay Campaign". The story continues:

Too ill to lift her head from the pillow following her collapse during a speech at Blanchard Hall last night, Inez Milholland Boissevain, New York suffrage beauty, will be halted in her transcontinental political campaign against the Democratic party. Under the care of her beautiful sister, Miss Vida Milholland, and a doctor, the famous suffragist will remain in Los Angeles for several days, confined to her bed. Although extremely ill and in great pain, Mrs. Boissevaln still championed her cause today.

With a magnificent glory of black hair falling around her white shoulders and over her pillow, dressed in a negligée of sapphire chiffon, she told of the many thrilling experiences she has had under the suffrage banner and what she expects to do in the future. Although she wants the vote more than anything else and her husband, a foreigner, has taken out his first naturalization papers, Mrs. Boissevain will not accept her enfranchisement at his hands.

"I certainly did not wish to lose my citizenship through marriage and I don't want to gain It that way.” she said. “Why should I? So Mr. Boissevain, at my especial request, has not taken out his final papers. He will wait until I can gain my own enfranchisement so that when I get the vote it will he because it is my right and not through his. I would rather wait until we have secured suffrage In New York and I have put through my first bill. That will be to make it a law that no woman loses her citizenship by marrying a foreigner unless she declares her intention of doing so at the time of her marriage. When I am enfranchised this way, by my own right, rny husband will continue the naturalization procedure.

“London suffragists are going to be enfranchised at the end of this war, but they never would have it they had not advertised beforehand what they wanted. We have to advertise. It is for this reason that I have led the New York women in parades, and in campaigns where we wrote 'Votes for Women' in chalk on the sidewalks.

"No London assault of suffragists was ever worse than the way in which the American suffragists were treated in Chicago the day they made their silent demonstration to President Wilson," Mrs. Boissevain declared.

“The London women were ridden down by mounted police and brutally treated. So were the women in Chicago. I have received letters telling me about it, and one woman wrote that she was knocked down and her teeth crushed out. It is horrible."

Mrs. Boissevain has participated in several London suffragette activities, at one time aiding in an attempt to storm Parliament. On that occasion she was saved from arrest and imprisonment by the mounted police, through the aid of a friendly policeman who hid her behind a large statue in a park until the authorities had passed on. “American men are more chivalrous to women than the English are, though,” Mrs. Boissevain concluded, “and if the enfranchised women will only give us a square deal we will win our national amendment soon.”

Related Posts: Eugen Jan Boissevain Bio .

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