Inez Milholland-Boissevain

Birth date: August 6th, 1886

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York

Date of Death: 1916
Inez Millholland
Inez Millholland

Early Life:

o Inez Millholland attended Vassar College and graduated in 1909

o While at school she “was suspended for organizing a women’s suffrage meeting in a cemetery”

o She received her degree,an LL.B. from New York University

o In 1913, she married Eugen Jan Boissevain

o Not too long afterward she joined the Women’s Trade Union League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Fabian Society of England

Start of Career:

o She was a lawyer that specialized in criminal and divorce practice

o She was an advocate for women’s suffrage, abolition of the death penalty, and the rights of working people

o Because she married Eugen, a Dutch citizen, her citizenship changed and she was threatened of being excluded from law practice, but she fought against it

o In 1916, she was instrumental in saving a New York farmer from the sentence of death by electric chair


o In 1913, Inez was asked by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns to be the face of the women’s suffrage movement, to lead them. They asked her to do so because she was a strong, educated, feminine and confident woman.

o So on March 3, 1913, the day of new elected President Woodrow Wilson’s arrival to Washington D.C., Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and other members of the CU joined together to march in a parade for women’s suffrage; Inez was on a white horse wearing white robes and leading the parade down the street.
Inez Milholland Boissevain preparing to lead the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.  1913.
Inez Milholland Boissevain preparing to lead the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. 1913.

o Inez Became the face of the Women’s Suffrage Movement
o As she started to participate more and more in the movement, she began to become an idol for all women.

o Around 1916, she set out to the west to speak and encourage the movement, even though she was not feeling well

o In Los Angeles on November 15, 1916, while giving a speech she collapsed and later died due to her pernicious anemia.

o The women suffragists held a memorial service on Christmas day in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

o Although she did not live to see the passing of the 19th Amendment, she is still known as the face of the Women’s Suffrage Movement