Friday, November 24, 2017

INEZ | Her New Roadside Marker in Lewis, NY!


November 24, 2017 – A new marker for Inez Milholland Boissevain has been erected in her childhood home, Lewis, N.Y.

Three cheers for the Pomeroy Foundation for creating this and other physical markers for the women who persevered in campaigning for their right to vote.

The eldest of the three children of John E. Milholland and his wife Jean Torrey Milholland, Inez was born in New York City, in a neighborhood that is now called Brooklyn Heights.

The Lewis newspaper in 1916 supported
changing the name of "Mt Discovery" to
 "Mt Inez". The maps were never changed.
It's not too late to do that.

She spent her summers and other vacations in the huge property that her her father purchased in Lewis, and learned to ride a horse there – a skill that defined the iconic image by which she is best known today.

The mountain on the Milholland property, Mt Discovery, was supposed to have been changed to Mt Inez but the maps haven't reflected the change. It's harder to do that than they thought. The name change would be an even better marker than a roadside sign. Maybe the Pomeroy Foundation can help with that? There are other pointless names in the United States that could be changed to those of neglected American women.

Inez is the only woman in the American suffrage movement who is considered to have given up her life for the cause. She died like a soldier on the battlefield at the age of 30 in 1916, collapsing in October that year while on a grueling speaking tour with her sister Vida, and dying six weeks later in Los Angeles.

I have written a play about Inez. A 15-minute movie about her life was created last year. The connections are being made between the huge ceremony on Christmas Day in her honor and the anger of the  delegation of women to President Wilson the following month that he dissed. 


Buy a large-size durable poster of Inez
 for $30 from Boissevain Books LLC.
The picketing of the White House that started in January 2017 began with the memory of Inez Milholland Boissevain.

This blogsite is filled with recent efforts to recognize her contribition to the gaining of recognition of women's right to vote in New York State and the nation.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SUFFRAGIST SONGS | Valerie diLorenzo

L to R: Amanda Borsack Jones, John Tepper Marlin and
Valerie diLorenzo. A rousing show.
November 19, 2017 – Valerie diLorenzo brought the mostly female crowd to their feet today after she smoothly belted out 15 songs dedicated to votes for women.

The event, titled "Ladies of Liberty", celebrated the 100th anniversary of the right of women to vote being recognized by the male voters and government of the State of New York.

The musical director was Amanda Borsack Jones. An East Hampton native, she accompanied Valerie on the piano, provided occasional background music for the commentary between songs, and sang the alto part for some of the songs.

The full audience at the Southampton Arts Center joined in singing four songs that were included in the program. I thought "The Right of Every Woman" (sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") was especially effective, and also "Claim Our Liberty" (to the tune of "My Country 'Tis of Thee").

Among the series of solos, especially memorable was "You Don't Own Me".

Valerie is a versatile singer and raconteur, comfortable at the microphone. She has sung the national anthem for the Mets for more than 15 seasons. Her list of singing and acting credits is long.

It was a fun evening and after the event I got to spend some time with friends:
  • The Fensterers, musician Janet and singer Victoria, who recently got married.
  • Cathy Peacock, who helped organize the event.
  • Other officers of the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons.
I'm hoping that the last of the one-time competitive friction between the predecessor of the League, NAWSA (the National American Woman Suffrage Association), and the National Woman's Party can be ended. 

I thought The New York Times expressed it well in a contemporary editorial when they said that the "gold pen" of credit for getting the 19th Amendment passed goes to NAWSA and the "silver inkstand" of credit goes to the mostly younger people who created the more activist authority-challenging NWP.

The story of how Woodrow Wilson changed his mind about supporting the Anthony Amendment needs to be told whenever its passage is celebrated.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

INEZ | Interview with Francesca Rheannon

Suffragists confront President Wilson in 1917,
when access to the White House was easier!
This is the anniversary year of the Silent Sentinels from the National Woman's Party who protested in front of the White House.

The daily picketing was precipitated by Wilson's lack of response to memorials presented in January 1917 to the memory of Inez Milholland Boissevain, who died in November 1916.

For Women's Equality Day (August 26) this year, I was interviewed by Francesca Rheannon about my play about Inez – Take Up the Song – in the context of the American suffragist movement that originated in London in 1840.

Francesca interviews writers for airing by NPR stations across the United States, from Ames, Amherst and Anchorage to Viroqua (Wisconsin). Her syndicated program is called Writer's Voice.

Monday, October 23, 2017

BIRTH | Oct. 22 – John Reed

Russian Versions of Reed's Works,
in English and Russian.
October 22, 2017 – This day in 1887 was born in Portland, Oregon, American journalist John Silas “Jack” Reed.

He's best known as the author of Ten Days That Shook the World (1919), his eye-witness account of Russia’s 1917 "October" Revolution.

He is included in this Inez Milholland blog because:
  • He was an older contemporary of Inez's brother John ("Jack") Milholland at Harvard. Both of them tried out for the Harvard football team.
  • He was a part of Inez Milholland's circle of radical feminists and pacifists.
  • His famed trip to Russia in 1917 was financed, according to their friend Max Eastman, through an appeal to Alma Vanderbilt Belmont and others by Inez's widower Eugen Boissevain.
***

Reed was from a wealthy Portland family. His mother, Margaret Green Reed, was the daughter of a man who owned Oregon's first gas works, first pig-iron smelter, and the City of Portland water works.

At Harvard, Reed tried out for football but did not make the team (unlike Inez's brother Jack, who became the team's well-publicized designated drop-kicker). While a student, Reed attended meetings of the Socialist Club headed by Walter Lippman and became an admirer and friend of Lincoln Steffens, the famed muckraker. His favorite professor was English Professor Charles Townsend "Copey" Copeland (1860-1952), who recommended that his students interested in a writing career get involved in real-life gritty working experiences as a way of generating something to write about.

Reed graduated from Harvard in 1910 and after several gritty jobs began in 1913 writing for Max Eastman's anti-war and socialist magazine, The Masses. In 1914 he covered the revolution in Mexico and recorded his impressions in Insurgent Mexico. In 1915 he met the leftist journalist Louise Bryant. He said:
She is coming to New York to get a job with me, I hope. I think she's the first person I ever loved without reservation.
They were married that year. They spent that summer in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, with a group of other writers from Greenwich Village that included Floyd Dell and Theodore Dreiser. Several of them established the Provincetown Theatre Group at the end of a wharf, which inspired another theater on McDougall Street in New York City with the same name. Bryant wrote:
Never were so many people in America who wrote or painted or acted ever thrown together in one place. 
Other writers like Eugene O'Neill and Eugen Boissevain's second wife Edna St. Vincent Millay joined the group in later years.

Arrested often for his coverage of strikes, Reed rapidly became established as a radical leader and helped form the U.S. Communist Party. He covered World War I for Metropolitan magazine and wrote The War in Eastern Europe (1916).

Reed sought money to go to Russia in 1917 to cover what became the Russian Revolution. Eugen Boissevain, now Inez Milholland's widower, spoke with some of their New York City friends, including Alma Vanderbilt Belmont, and, according to Max Eastman, was the key person who put together Reed's funding.

In Russia, Reed befriended Lenin and was an eye-witness to the early days of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Reed wrote back with enthusiastic correspondent reports that generated U.S. headlines.

He returned to to New York and when the U.S. Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party split in 1919, Reed became the leader of the latter. Indicted for sedition (treason), he escaped via Scandinavia to Russia. But in his final years he was disillusioned by the loss of democracy after the Russian Revolution and especially by restrictions on his own travel.

He died in 1920 in a Moscow hospital of scrub typhus, which is associated with poor hygiene and cold weather. He is buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis for Bolshevik heroes, along with Bill Haywood, Chairman of the American Communist Party and a leader of the IWW ("Wobblies") and the Paterson strike, who died in 1928 in Moscow. 

Reed and Haywood are two of only three Americans buried with Soviet heroes (the other is Charles E. Ruthenberg, Cleveland-born co-founder of the Communist Party USA). Russian leaders have seldom expressed admiration for Americans. Usually it is in response to praise in the other direction – other examples that come to mind are Jack London (1876-1916) and Donald J. Trump (1946-present).

Monday, October 2, 2017

WILSON | Oct. 2 – Felled by Stroke

Woodrow Wilson
October 2, 2017 – This day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke.

It happened after he curtailed an 8,000-mile  national tour to promote U.S. membership in the League of Nations. The trip cost Wilson his health.

Wilson's tour had its parallel in the tour that Inez Milholland Boissevain undertook in 1916 to campaign against Wilson for not supporting the Anthony Amendment.

Both Inez and the President suffered constant headaches during their tours. Both finally collapsed – Inez in October 1916 in Los Angeles, Wilson in September 1919 in Pueblo, Colorado.

Both failed in their mission, but contributed to it, and had their health not given out might have seen their goals achieved. Inez failed to defeat Wilson, although the California vote was so close the results were weeks in becoming final – but her death was the inciting incident in the picketing of the White House, and the Anthony Amendment was passed with Wilson's support in 1919, with ratification as the 19th Amendment the following year.

Similarly, Wilson's campaign for membership in a world body was ended by his collapse, but was achieved after his death in 1945, with U.S. membership in the United Nations.

After his collapse, Wilson returned to Washington, but suffered a massive stroke on October 2. Wilson’s wife Edith blamed it on Wilson's Republican Congressional opponents, because they attacked Wilson personally on issues relating to the League of Nations.

Edith kept quiet the extent of Wilson’s incapacitation. While Wilson lay in bed motionless, Edith is reported to have screened his messages, and sometimes signed her husband's name without consulting him.

In her memoirs she said she acted as her husband's steward. Her husband continued to serve as President and partly regained his health, but remained paralyzed on one side. He did not return to his campaign for U.S. membership in the League, and the United States never joined, since Republican Warren Harding was opposed and he was elected President in 1920. Wilson died in 1924.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

VOTES FOR WOMEN | Wilson Supports Anthony Amendment (Sept. 30)

Woodrow Wilson walks past "Silent Sentinels" from
the National Woman's Party.
September 30 – On this day in 1918, President Woodrow supports the "Anthony Amendment", which guarantees women the right to vote.

The House had approved the amendment, but the Senate had not.

The 15th Amendment had already prohibited denial of the vote for reasons of race, color or servitude:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 
It does not mention gender; in fact neither women nor gender are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution until the 19th amendment. The Constitution (Article I, section 2) provides that members of the House of Representatives are elected in each state by those qualified to vote for their state legislature’s lower (or “most numerous”) house. This standard was changed by the 15th, 17th, 19th (the Anthony Amendment), 24th and 27th Amendments.

Wilson had refused to support the proposed Anthony Amendment at a meeting in January 1917 with a delegation of several hundred women from the National Woman's Party. They went to see him at the White House in the name of the late Inez Milholland, for whom a huge memorial service had been held on Christmas Day 1916.

Immediately after that January meeting, at which Wilson patronized the delegation and refused to support the Anthony Amendment, the White House was picketed by activists from the National Woman's Party. Many suffragists who supported the National Woman's Party, including the leader of the National Woman's Party, Alice Paul, were opposed to U.S. participation in the war in Europe and were not deterred from their picketing by the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917.

The protests grew in defiance until several van loads of women were arrested, jailed and eventually taken to the Occaquan workhouse in Lorton, Virginia. There the Pankhurst-trained suffragettes went on a hunger strike.

Wilson said he was shocked to hear about the force-feeding. He agreed to support passage of the amendment in the Senate. He attributed his change in sentiment to the women from the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) who helped with the war effort:
[W]e have made partners of the women in this war… Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?
The bill failed to pass in the Senate despite Wilson's support. But the following year, in 1919,  Congress passed the 19th Amendment.  The last state to achieve the two-thirds ratification was Tennessee in August 1920.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

INEZ | Suffragents

I don't like the subtitle. Unflattering for
women, demeaning to men.
There's a new book out, on "The Suffragents".

Get it? Suffrage-gents, or Suffrage-agents.


It is about the men who helped women get the Anthony Amendment passed. 


Men like... Inez's friend Max Eastman, her father John E. Milholland, and her husband Eugen Boissevain.

I wrote about this topic two years ago, and I noted that the motives of some Harvard Law School students who were seeking to bring suffragists to speak were questioned. 

So the subtitle is: "How Women Used Men to get the Vote." What I knew about the men's leagues for suffrage did not square with this subtitle.


The author spoke recently in East Hampton, and I bought the book, intending to write a long and enthusiastic review here. At the time, I thought the subtitle was a mistake. "How Women Used Men?"

Having heard the author talk, having bought and read the book and having asked myself whether I have overreacted... I can't abide the subtitle. It
 makes women into manipulators and men into robots without real feelings. It is not the reality I see from reading documents from the period, especially letters to and from Inez Milholland Boissevain. She and her husband make me proud to be a human being. This book does not.👎

INEZ | Remembering Her in the Adirondacks

June 2017 – An Adirondacks area PBS station interviewed Martha Wheelock, who produced a 15-minute movie about Inez Milholland Boissevain.

Some clips from the Wheelock movie are included.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDryxdQB7As.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

MT INEZ | Mt Discover Inez?

From The Elizabethtown Post, Dec. 7, 1916.
In late 1916 the citizens of Elizabethtown or Lewis or both decided to rename Mt Discovery after Inez Milholland Boissevain.

The Name-Change Approved

1. The Name of Mount Inez Was Announced in a Four-Column Article in The Elizabethtown Post, December 7, 1916. The newspaper says, with some finality:
The highest mountain on Meadowmount (the Milholland farm/estate) is "Old Discovery" from the summit of which is obtained a wonderful view of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, and vast sweep towards Canada. It stands an outpost of the ranges like Mount Shasta in relation to the Sierra Nevadas. Hereafter its name will be "Mount Inez," a fitting monument of nature for her nose love for the mountains was only equalled by her love for the sea.
Not content with this fine tribute, the newspaper editorializes further:
Inez Milholland-Boissevain [sic, unique use of hyphen with Inez's name] will have a monument made by the hand of man but she has one already fashioned by God in Nature and in changing the name "Discovery" – which means little to this generation whatever significance it ever possessed – to "Mount Inez" something has been done in the right direction that we believe all our people will approve and unanimously carry out.
2. The Decision is Noted in an Inez Biography. The plan to change the name of the mountain from "Discovery" to "Inez" is noted at the end of the long entry (pp. 188-190) by Paul S. Boyer in Notable American Women, 1607-1951.


3. The Republican Party Announced It. According to Andrea Anesi, Archivist for the Adirondack History Museum, which is operated by the Essex County Historical Society, an article from the Essex County Republican of August 1, 1924 reported on the pageant to be held in Inez’s honor “at Meadowmount on Mount Inez.” 

4. The Plan Was Noted in 1984. In the editorial below from the Valley News, September 12, 1984, the news should have gone forth to the people who keep track of names. 

The Name Change Was Not Implemented


Before: An 1897 Map Showing Mt Discovery
Alas, the approval process seems to have happened, but the "carry out" part has not. 

1. The Maps Don't Show It. Now, 100 years later, and while most of Inez's 20th-century contemporary biographies indicate the name change took place the maps don't show it.
After (100 Years Later): Google Map, 2017
shows it now called... Mt Discovery.

The Milholland farm included Mt Discovery. The name may have come from the discovery of iron in the Adirondacks in 1826, but that story is about David Henderson on a higher mountain in the Adirondacks. The relevance of the story is that when Henderson died the name of the place where he died was changed to Calamity Pond...

2. In 1916, I reminded the people of Lewis, Elizabethtown and Essex County that it was time to "carry out" the name change. 

3. The Granddaughter of Harriot Stanton Blatch, Speaking in East Hampton This Week, Noted the Omission. Coline Jenkins was with her daughter Elizabeth Jenkins. Coline went on from her talk in East Hampton to Lewis, New York.

Next Steps

1. Keeping Both Names? "Mt Discovery Inez"? I suggested "Mt Discover Inez." It ought to be easier to amend a name if the old name is incorporated.

2. Ultimately, the decision-maker is the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) in the U.S. Geological Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Click on the link – GNIS still shows the name as Mount Discovery and nothing about Inez.

Either way, I ask you: HOW LONG, ESSEX COUNTY, MUST AMERICANS WAIT FOR THE NAME CHANGE?






Sunday, June 25, 2017

NY SUFFRAGE | Centennial, June-Nov 2017 (Updated Aug 7, 2017)

Historical marker of the home of May Groot
Manson, East Hampton suffragist. Unveiled,
 June 2017.
Women won the right to vote in New York State in November 1917.

That was three years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the vote in national elections.

Nationally, anti-suffragists warned that when a woman received the right to vote,
''Political gossip would cause her to neglect the home, forget to mend our clothes and burn the biscuits.''
New York State became a pivotal state in the national suffrage campaign. Women who had never dealt with larger units than missionary societies, literary clubs or cake sales were given territory with 16,000 or more voters and ordered to reach every one of these men.

Much of the activity centered on New York City, which was the home of suffragist leaders like Inez Milholland, Crystal Eastman, Harriot Stanton Blatch and Alva Vanderbilt Belmont.

Marker. Photo by JT Marlin, June 25, 2017.
East Hampton in August 1913 was the site of a suffrage rally, starting in front of the home of suffrage leader May Groot Manson on Main Street, across from First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton.

Westchester County was a hotbed of suffrage activists, who enrolled 20,000 women in 102 suffragist clubs. The cause brought Social Register ("Blue Book") women together with women workers in trade unions and homemakers in modest homes to work under a common banner.

Westchester County's four Assembly Districts were led by a suffragist leader — Mrs. Arthur Livermore of Yonkers, Mrs. Leigh French of New Rochelle, Mrs. Marshall Backon of Tarrytown and Adelaide Goan of Katonah. The State League of Women Voters was opened to male members, and men composed about 10 percent of the county group.

New Rochelle was the home of Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association. Following the state success in passing votes for women in 1917, Mrs. Catt organized the New York State League of Women Voters, saying:
''What are we going to do? We know nothing about politics. We've got the vote. Now we must learn to use it.''
Famed Portrait by Sargent of May
Groot Manson. It was a house gift
 from the painter.
Scarborough was home to Narcissa Cox Vanderlip who became the first president of the Woman's Suffrage party (later called the New York State League of Women Voters). She agreed to organize volunteers to take a "military census" of able-bodied men in the county. She surveyed 320,000 residents and saved taxpayers thousands of dollars. The New York Sun said in 1917:
''One of the common reproaches against suffragettes is that they are not interested in anything but getting the vote. The Woman's Suffrage Party is disproving the accusation.''
White Plains was the site of a project begun by S. J. Russell, a leader of the White Plains suffrage association. In 1914, Russell organized a ''baby-checking'' service to encourage women to exercise the vote they had won in local town and village elections.

SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL  EVENTS 2017

JUNE

June 29 (Thursday) One Woman, One Vote at the Adirondack History Museum, Lewis, Essex County, N.Y. Lewis is the birthplace of Inez Milholland.


JULY

New Yorker Inez Milholland Boissevain,
well portrayed in a reading of "Take Up
 the Song" at the Westwood  Country Club,
Vienna, Virginia in June. The black-tie
event raised $20,000 for the Turning
Point Suffrage Memorial.
July 4 (Tuesday), 10 a.m. Parade in Southampton. Parade forms at 9 a.m. Wear white, and “Votes for Women” sashes ($10 donation). To sign up, email Judi Roth at rothhandj@ yahoo.com or Arlene Hinkemeyer at ahinkemeyer@ optonline.net.

July 13 (Thursday), 11 a.m. Southampton Historical Museum and Rogers Memorial Library present Natalie Naylor’s PowerPoint talk on “Winning Votes for Women,” about L.I. suffrage leaders. Southampton Historical Museum, 17 Meeting House Lane. Dr. Naylor, a retired Hofstra professor, is president of the Nassau County Historical Society.

July 16 (Sunday). Afternoon Tea, Talk and Tour, celebrating Mary Louise Booth. Yaphank Historical Society, 469 Main Street, Yaphank, NY 11980, (631) 924-0146.

AUGUST 

August 24 (Thursday), 2-4 p.m. Re-creation of August 1913 suffrage rally in East Hampton, starting in front of the home of suffrage leader May Groot Manson on Main Street, across from First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton. Wear white or period dress, “Votes for Women” sashes, and choose to be one of the prominent women/men who marched in 1913 (names recorded in 1917 E.H. Star article). Rally ends with program and refreshments at E.H. Library. Buy your sash for $10 donation, email ahinkemeyer@optonline.net to sign up. Hamptons 100th Anniversary.

OCTOBER

October 19 (Thursday), 6 p.m. East Hampton Library, Tom Twomey Lecture Series, talk by Antonia Petrash and Arlene Hinkemeyer, on Long Island and South Fork suffrage leaders. Moderated by Judith Hope, hosted by Brooke Kroeger. Includes historical exhibit, student presentation, and reception.

October 21 (Saturday), 12 Noon. Rally at the Nassau County Legislative Bldg.

NOVEMBER

November 4 Votes for Women exhibition opens at The New York State Museum in Albany, NY. The six-panel traveling exhibition will be on view at venues throughout NY State: Albany City Hall, Clinton Historical Society, Cortland County Historical Society, Eastville Community Historical Society, Geneva Historical Society, Katonah Village Library, Lorenzo State Historic Site, National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, New York State Fair, Niagara County Historical Society, The History Center, and the Seneca Falls Historical Society

November 19 (Sunday), 3 p.m. Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton Historical Museum and SAC, a Suffrage Musical Revue!, directed by Valerie di Lorenzo, at Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, refreshments, $10.

Sources: http://suffragecentennials.com, http://longislandwomansuffrage.comThe New York Times, 1917. The New York Sun, April 29, 1917

Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention . The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender

Sunday, June 4, 2017

PULITZER CENTENNIAL | June 4, First Awards Include Suffragist Bio

June 4, 2017 — On this day in 1917, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded from a $250,000 fund left to Columbia University by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. His will also launched the University's journalism school. He specified: 
"four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships.” 
The prizes were awarded after his death. Nowadays they are awarded every April.

The prize for biography went to Laura Elizabeth Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, who wrote about  their mother, the 19th-century writer and suffragist Julia Ward Howe, at a time when women were picketing the White House on behalf of the Anthony Amendment. Howe was an abolitionist and suffragist best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

The other three awardees in 1917 were:
  • Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the United States from 1902 to 1925, for history: With Americans of Past and Present Days. 
  • Herbert B. Swope of the New York World won the prize for journalism. In his acceptance remarks, he said: 
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula of failure — which is try to please everybody.”
  • The New York Tribune for its editorials on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

19TH AMENDMENT | Credit for Success, Pen and Inkstand

Gold pen awarded to NAWSA after the
 Senate passed the Anthony Amendment.
A gold pen looms large in the final days of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which recognized the right of all adult American women to vote in elections.

After the passage of the Anthony Amendment in the Senate, a gold pen used in signing the law was awarded to NAWSA. This became a source of irritation to the National Woman's Party, which was originally an offshoot of NAWSA but became independent.

After the August 26, 1920 signing of the ratification of the 19th Amendment by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, he said that the pen he used to sign off on the ratification, as is required under the Constitution, was a standard steel pen, not a gold one.

The New York Times editorial suggested that two rival suffrage organizations, jockeying to take credit, both deserved credit. So while the gold pen may have gone to NAWSA, a silver inkstand should go to the National Woman's Party. A detailed analysis by the Library of Congress of the final days before President Woodrow Wilson changed his mind about supporting the Anthony Amendment shows that the initiatives were constantly emanating from the National Woman's Party, at great personal cost to the activists. It would be a great injustice to minimize the role of the activists, just as it would also be unfair to ignore the long years of patient lobbying undertaken by NAWSA.

Colby suggests that the pen he used to sign the certification of the 19th Amendment would end up in the Smithsonian. I don't know if this happened.

But the gold pen used in the signing of the Senate's approval of what had been called the Anthony Amendment is indeed at the Smithsonian. It  is part of the Women's History Collections, Political Collections of the Division of Social History in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

STRENGTH | Male and Female

Princess Josephine Confronts the Dragon.
The following review of Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, by Kate Paice (ill. by Brigid Marlin), was recently posted on Goodreads. I am reposting here because it addresses an issue that has been raised before on this blog — how did Eugen Boissevain capture the heart of both Inez Milholland and Edna St Vincent Millay? I believe it is because he showed a form of strength that was manly but not macho. What follows is by my niece Marguerite Marlin:

Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon speaks to an interesting childhood point of contemplation of mine about the value of boldness and how it can be channelled in ways that are fair and socially valuable. I became aware of it through my aunt Brigid, who makes her living as a fantastic artist (her imaginative illustrations add quite a bit of wonder and charm to the captivating story).

In the book, a young child princess encounters her first major challenge when a dragon is depriving her kingdom of colour through its colour-based appetite. The princess faces the dragon head-on, but what occurs is less of an epic St. George-style showdown than a wise display of conflict resolution, diplomacy, and a version of innovative public policymaking in a fantasy world where a dragon might be among the potential stakeholders in a consultation process.

Her approach reminded me of what counselor Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD recommended in his classic 1998 book Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: that we dispose of enemy images in order to encourage empathy – which in turn leads to conflict resolution. As with many children’s stories, the power structure of the setting is monarchical – meaning that Josephine’s will can be done in a much more centralized fashion than a president of a republic or a royal head of a modern constitutional monarchy.

[Side note: I have often wondered about the balance of reasons why old-style monarchies persist as models of power relations in children’s stories, as I suspect it is some combination of 1. Simplicity of structure and 2. A deep-seated nostalgia for a pre-industrial era where the relative lack of opportunity for social mobility also brought with it some relief from troubling modern anxieties about maintaining or increasing one’s unstable place in society].

In any case, the feudal monarchies of yore persist as the preferred context for children’s books, and this appeal is increasingly relevant – as it appears more and more that it may not be limited to the storybook world. Global politics is increasingly rife with actors fed up with the stickiness of political systems where change is restrained by the need to harmonize positions with political tradition, with special interest relations, with the political order, and in general with the various categories of other people who share the reins of power.

But is this “boldness” constructive? Besides the issue of whether one person or family truly be trusted to know and act upon the interests of the people, populist leaders often build their political base by purporting to act against certain people in order to work for others. The result is alternately failure of the approach (since it is difficult to entirely override the interests of a group large enough to figure into popular political discourse) or in worse cases, gradual dehumanization and grave mistreatment of the demonized group/s.

Princess Josephine, while she has all the power to act against the fearsome yet likely socially marginalized dragon, opts instead to show the qualities of an enlightened monarch for whom peaceful coexistence of peoples and species is paramount. She weighs the options of action that can be most mutually beneficial to her kingdom, and critically assigns important value to the wants and needs of the dragon.

Returning to my own contemplation of this dynamic as a child: I recall one time having stayed up past my bedtime and ventured out to the kitchen or some other place in the house; my father heard me from his study and declared disapprovingly that I was a “bold girl.” I took that as a great compliment at the time, even if I had some idea that it was not meant as one – at that moment I had styled myself in the image of the warrior Queen Maeve or Joan of Arc. There would be much to support that interpretation today, as the boldness of little girls has been leveraged to further goals of women’s advances into male-dominated industries or encourage girls and women to receive education at a global level.

However, reminders that more than boldness is required for socially valuable leadership are more important than ever for all children and adults. The inimitable Mr. Rogers unsurprisingly had a profound way of expressing this point: He said that “Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It's something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength and other words--like aggression and even violence. Real strength is neither male nor female; but is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that any human being can possess” (The World According to Mr. Rogers, 2003: 161).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

INEZ | Centennial Suffrage Events, June-July 2017

Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916)
June 1-Oct. 9, 2017. An exhibit at the Adirondack History Museum on Adirondack Suffragists including Inez is open all summer until October 9. It is the 100th anniversary year of women winning the right to vote in New York State.

June 11, 2017 — The Turning Point Suffrage Memorial Committee will sponsor a dinner + reading of Take Up the Song, a play by her great-nephew John Tepper Marlin, at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va., near the Washington, D.C. suburb of Tyson's Corner, which is a shopping center on the Metro's Silver Line. It is the 100th Anniversary year of  the beginning of picketing against President Wilson for opposing the Anthony Amendment. (The following year, 1918, he spoke in favor of the Amendment. In 1919 it was passed by the House and Senate. In 1920 it was ratified by the last state to give reach the required two-thirds.)

June 22, 2017 — Margaret Bartley and Gerry Zahavi will speak about "Votes for Women" at the Adirondack History Museum, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Inez  was born in Lewis, N.Y., near Elizabethtown. It is the 100th Anniversary year of the meeting of President Wilson with women bearing memorials of the death of Inez Milholland.


June 29, 2017 — Showing of One Woman, One Vote at the Adirondack History Museum.


Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender


Friday, May 19, 2017

INEZ | Centennial Suffrage Events, May-June 2017

Inez Milholland Boissevain
May 21, 2017 — University of Arizona journalism professor Linda Lumsden will speak about her book, Inez, a biography of suffragist Inez Milholland on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on C-SPAN2.

June 11, 2017 — The Turning Point Suffrage Memorial Committee will sponsor a dinner + reading of Take Up the Song, a play by her great-nephew John Tepper Marlin, at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va., near Washington, D.C. It is close to the shopping center and metro stop Tyson's Corner. Black tie/suffrage costume optional.

June 22, 2017 — Margaret Bartley and Gerry Zahavi will speak about "Votes for Women" at the Adirondack History Museum, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Inez  was born in Lewis, N.Y., near Elizabethtown. An exhibit at the Museum on Adirondack Suffragists including Inez is open all summer from May 27 to October 9.

June 29, 2017 — Showing of One Woman, One Vote at Adirondack History Museum

Related Posts on Inez Milholland. Her Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender

Monday, May 8, 2017

WW2 | V-E Day, May 8, 1945

 Celebrations in UK of V-E Day. Painting by
Unknown British Artist.

D-Day was the code name for the Normandy Landing, in June 1944. It was the beginning of the liberation of France and the rest of Europe.

V-E Day, Victory in Europe, did not take place until nearly eleven months later,  on May 8, when the Nazis capitulated.

Many memorials were observed in 2014 to celebrate  the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and honor those who lost their lives in that year. Alice and I were in Normandy that year.

The winter of 1944-45 was a famine for the occupied Dutch as the Nazis diverted what food there was to their own troops.

In 2015, the 70th anniversary of V-E Day was celebrated on May 8-9 (the Germans surrendered to the Soviets a day later). Here are some my posts from the celebrations of the anniversaries in 2014 and 2015.

Monuments Unveiled to 14 Airmen (Laval, June 6, 2014)
Willem van Stockum’s Last Letter Home
Omaha Beach
Total Allied Deaths in France, World War II
Vaufleury Cemetery - Forgotten Graves in another part of the cemetery
Vaufleury Cemetery - Ceremonies, 2014
My Third Visit to My Uncle’s Grave
Memorial Visit to Normandy, Laval
70th Anniversary of “A Soldier’s Creed” 
10 It’s 70 Years After D-Day in Normandy June 6, 1944
11 RAF No. 10 Squadron to Celebrate Its 100th Anniversary in 2015
12 V-E Day May 7-8, 1945 - UN Remembrance Days

Sunday, May 7, 2017

INEZ | Get This Durable Enlarged Poster

The "Forward into Light" Poster.
The original Inez Milholland Boissevain poster was made for the 1923 pageant in Lewis, N.Y., where Inez was born. 

It celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 1913 march on Washington.

This march will again be celebrated on June 11, 2017 with a play, "Take Up the Song," at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va.


To recognize the event, Boissevain Books has prepared a more durable version of the original poster, in a larger size.


This poster travels well and looks terrific. It is shipped rolled up in a strong cardboard tube.

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The Brennan Center at NYU ordered two of them and said: "Thank you for the terrific posters. They are really well done, and we look forward to hanging one of them in a place of honor at the Brennan Center."
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Order here via credit card. Just $30 per poster plus the USPS cost of shipping.
boissevainbooks.com/collections/poster.

Related Posts on Inez MilhollandHer Engagement to Guglielmo Marconi . Short Biopic on Inez .  June 11 Play Featuring Inez Milholland . Edna St Vincent Millay  Centennial of Christmas Day Memorial to Inez . Seneca Falls Convention .  The 1913 and 2013 Marches on Washington .  Inez Led the 1913 Parade . Eugen Boissevain, Tough and Tender

Saturday, April 22, 2017

ESCAPING THE NAZIS | The "Engelandvaarders"

De Knipoog ("The Wink of
an Eye") by Mily Weisglas.
Apr 23, 2017 — My second cousin Charles Boissevain of Leidschendam wrote yesterday about his April 19 visit to the Dutch WW 2 Resistance Museum in Amsterdam, the Verzetsmuseum. I have visited the museum and have written about it

The meeting was to talk about the Engelandvaarders (literally, “England sailers”). After the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, they sealed the borders of the Netherlands with land patrols on the German and Belgian borders, bunkers on the shoreline, and marine patrols of the North Sea. 

About 1,700 Engelandvaarders made it to England. The most dramatic escapes were by boat, but the majority of escapees, says Charles, traveled via Switzerland or Spain;  some even escaped via Sweden. Of these escapees, the great majority, nearly 1,400 people (mostly men), went on to serve in the Allied armed forces or the Dutch government in exile. 

For their Engelandvaart, many were awarded the Dutch Bronze Cross (BK) or Cross of Merit (KV) for bravery. The BK was usually for those who crossed the North Sea, which was more challenging; it is the third-highest Dutch decoration for bravery. The KV was usually for those who went by land via Sweden, Switzerland or Spain; it is the fourth-highest decoration for bravery.

An Engelandvaarders Museum has recently been created in a WW2 bunker in Noordwijk, the thin strip of high-priced coastal land on the North Sea just west of Lisse, where my mother's father was born and where tulips are on display at the Keukenhof. Noordijk is also the resting place of Saint Jerome and Maria Montessori, and where lived such other notables as Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud and entrepreneur Alfred “Freddy” Heineken. 

The principal founders of the Engelandvaarders Museum were Eddy Jonker, who crossed the North Sea in 1943 and became an RAF pilot, and historian Jos Teunissen, Board member of Erfgoed Leidschendam. A key partner in this effort was Pauline van Till, with whom Charles Boissevain has spoken several times.

(Apr 24, 2017: Pauline has written to me to say that Eddy Jonker, now 96, still comes to the Museum every few weeks. Jos Teunissen and Pauline are involved in the museum in some way every day, in person or by phone. Open now for 19 months, the Museum has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors.)
Sierk Plantinga spoke first at the Verzetsmuseum about how the Engelandvaarders escaped and the many and dangerous problems they had. He also spoke about how often things went wrong and the would-be escapees were captured, which usually meant immediate execution or delayed execution via deportation to the death camps.

The people who escaped included many Jewish refugees from the Nazis, but also Resistance workers who had been unmasked and were being hunted down, or pilots from the Allied Air Forces who survived their crash landings. Charles Boissevain noted that his father Robert Lucas “Bob” Boissevain (1895-1945) very likely was involved in these escapes, although he told his family nothing, to protect them, and did not survive the war to tell his tale.

Mily Kaufmann Weisglas (1923-) told the group how many problems there were for those who tried to escape Holland. 

She described how she and her parents and brother planned their escape. She was helped by a young man, Max Weisglas, with whom she was a student at the Amsterdams Lyceum. 

Another classmate of hers was our cousin Charles,  son of Menso Boissevain (brother of Bob who was the father of Charles from Leidschendam).  This Charles escaped during the war to Switzerland and then to London. 

(I knew well Menso's daughter Sacha, who died on Valentine's Day in 2009. Sacha headed the KLM flight attendants' union and upon retirement received a lifetime ticket to travel on KLM on a space-available basis. She used this ticket to visit the Marlin family frequently in Montreal, Washington, D.C. and then Berkhamsted, England).

Sadly, Mily's father was caught by a traitor at the Swiss border and she never saw him again.

Mily in 2015 at age 92 published a book (in Dutch) about her escape from Holland that Charles says he has read and found very interesting. It is titled Knipoog ("Wink of an Eye") because once, as an attractive 19-year old girl, she gave a wink of her eye to a German soldier, who then turned his back to her to allow her to escape. 

She married Max Weisglas and their son Frans, born August 8, 1946, later became Chairman of the Dutch House of Representatives (Voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer).

Hans Nieuwenhuijzen was also at the Verzetsmuseum meeting. Like Charles (and my eldest sister Olga), he was born in 1934. His father was in the Resistance together with Walraven "Wally" van Hall, about whom a Dutch film is being made. Wally and his brother Gijs robbed the Dutch National Bank for an enormous amount of money without being discovered and caught, perhaps the largest bank robbery in history. One way they did it was to print up counterfeit money, substitute it for bills in the bank vault, and take out real money for distribution to Resistance workers and onderduikers (literally "under-duckers" or "under-divers") such as Jewish refugees.

Wally and the father of Hans and others were caught in January 1945 and they were shot on February 12. They are buried at the Honorary Cemetery (Eerebegraafplaats) in Overveen/Bloemendaal. Charles and I visited the graves together in 2015.

Hans knew Charles Boissevain’s uncle Jan “Canada” Boissevain and his aunt Mies and their five children were living at Corellistraat 6, base of the deadly CS6 armed-Resistance unit. He knew how their sons Janka and Gi (caught working for CS6 on Oct 1, 1943 and shot by the Nazis) tried to escape to England on a home-made boat in the summer of 1940. At the Waddensea, just west of Friesland, they were caught by the Germans. Fortunately, a relative,  (his mother was a Boissevain) uncle Tom de Booy, worked for the Dutch Boat Rescue Society at the place where Janka and Gi arrived as prisoners. Uncle Tom told the Germans, laughing loudly, that this was just a students' joke, that the boys had a bet that they could reach one of the Wadden islands on their home-made boat. Now they had lost the bet, and would have to pay for a lot of beer for their friends. The Germans saw this was plausible and they let Janka and Gi free.

Caubo and Yad Vashem. Charles also met two friends (one of them 88, living now in Utah) with whom he had tried to convince the Yad Vashem Authorities in Israel to give a Yad Vashem Award to several people who  deserved it. Some did receive the award from the Israeli ambassador. But the award has been refused to Jean Caubo

Caubo met trains in Paris from Holland. With his help some 800 Jewish refugees and others hunted by the Nazis escaped to Switzerland or Spain, until Caubo himself was betrayed and died at the hands of the Nazis. 

Charles believes that Caubo’s failure to receive a Yad Vashem award is an injustice. Caubo has been honored posthumously by the French, the British, the American and the Dutch governments, but not by Yad Vashem, despite support from many rabbis, in Holland and Israel, and many political and diplomatic leaders.

Charles is persistent. He managed to get a war monument built in his home town of Leidschendam. He originally proposed this on May 3, 1999 to the Leidschendam Community Council, the Gemeenteraad. The Council rejected the proposal unanimously, but eventually Charles prevailed and it was built. More than 500 names of Jewish victims, Resistance heroes, soldiers and others are on the monument, and every year on May 4 a memorial ceremony is held there.

Charles Boissevain says he spends his time with his three "adorable" granddaughters — 5, 3 and almost 2 — and goes to concerts, this being a tradition going back at least to our mutual great-grandfather Charles of the Handelsblad, who campaigned for the creation of the Concertgebouw and whose son and son-in-law are recognized on the wall of the Concertgebouw as directors. 

Charles swims in the North Sea, which in March is still cold, 8°C (46°F). The icy water would not have dissuaded him from swimming to England; what did it was Britain voting for Brexit, he says.