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Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 308; M-80
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Inez Milholland
Title: Papers of Inez Milholland, 1906-1916
Quantity: 1.04 linear feet (2+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 3 reels microfilm (M-80)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, etc., of Inez Milholland, suffragist, reformer, and lawyer.
Inez Milholland was a lawyer specializing in criminal and divorce practice; she zealously advocated a variety of reform causes, including women's suffrage, abolition of the death penalty, and the rights of working people. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she graduated from Vassar College in 1909, and received an LL.B. degree from New York University in 1912. In July 1913, she married Eugen Jan Boissevain, a New York importer, of Dutch citizenship. The resulting change in her citizenship status threatened to exclude Milholland from law practice, and she quickly became involved in attempts to repeal the offending legislation.Proclaiming herself a Socialist, Milholland joined the Women's Trade Union League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Fabian Society of England. In 1915, as a war correspondent in Italy, she wrote a series of pacifist articles and as a result was expelled by the Italian government late that summer.In 1916, Milholland took part in a garment workers' strike and was instrumental in securing a last-minute reprieve for Charles Stielow, a West Shelby, New York farmer accused of murder and sentenced to be executed in the electric chair.Concurrently, Milholland was becoming increasingly active in the women's suffrage movement. She joined the Congressional Union, and, though suffering from pernicious anemia, undertook a speaking tour of the West in support of suffrage. In September she collapsed during a speech in Los Angeles and died ten weeks later, on November 25, 1916. A memorial service was held by her suffrage associates in Statuary Hall, Washington D.C., on Christmas Day, 1916. She was buried at her parents' estate in Essex County, New York.Some years after Milholland's death, Eugen Jan Boissevain married Edna St. Vincent Millay. This collection was subsequently passed on to Edna St. Vincent Millay's sister, Norma Millay, from whom it was purchased by the Schlesinger Library.
These papers include personal and business correspondence, speeches, articles, class notes, and newsclippings. The personal letters are of particular interest and make up the first half of the collection. They illuminate, often in intimate detail, Milholland's marriage to Eugen Jan Boissevain and her friendships with Max Eastman, Irving E. Robertson, Upton Sinclair, and others.The remainder of the collection reflects Milholland's work as a lawyer and her involvement in various reform causes: the citizenship question, the abolition of capital punishment, the related issues of prison reform and legal aid, and woman's suffrage. The newsclippings at the end of the collection are arranged in an order parallel to the professional papers. A few are about Milholland in particular, but the majority were collected by her and deal with her interests and only indirectly with her work.
- Box 1: folders 2-21
- Box 2: folders 22-36
- Box 3: folders 37-49