Friday, November 25, 2016

Inez Milholland Boissevain, Suffragist, lawyer, dies on this day in 1916

Inez Milholland Boissevain, a truly remarkable personality, died on this day in 1916.

Milholland was thirty years old at the time of her death.  She was born into a wealthy family in which her father had been involved in many progressive causes of the era.  She graduated from Vassar in 1909 with the intent to pursue a career in law, which she did do. Receiving rejections from many of the schools she applied to, she graduated from New York University School of Law in 1912.  She was admitted to the bar in 1912 and went to work for Osborne, Lamb, and Garvan where she handled criminal and divorce cases.

She was involved in many of the causes of the era, including obtaining the vote for women and the cause of African Americans.  A pacifist, she traveled to Italy early in World War One to report on the war but was not allowed to travel to the front.

She married Eugen Jan Boissevain in 1913, after knowing him for only a month. The marriage cost her citizenship as Boissevain was Dutch and the law at the time attributed a woman's citizenship to her spouse.  She nonetheless campaigned for the right of women to vote in the United States. She fell ill on a speaking tour in 1916 and died on this day of pernicious anemia.

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