Fathers, Daughters and Feminism: Shades of John and Inez Milholland and That “Flighty” “Homewrecker” Mary Wollstonecraft

John Milholland

October 8, 2017

The Huffington Post today featured a new photo portrait project of fathers and daughters talking feminism. Of all the routes to support for women’s suffrage I encountered in my research—men recruited to the cause by the passions of their wives, mothers, sisters, and lovers—only one involved the route of daughter to father. That would be Inez Milholland and her father, John, a member in good standing of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage.

Inez Milholland Boissevain

John Milholland makes several cameo appearances in The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote. His name appears in the alphabetical listing of the first 150 members of the New York State Men’s League.

And that spring of 1910, on May 24, Milholland was tapped as toastmaster for a dinner at the National Arts Club, co-sponsored by both the Quaint Club and the Twilight Club. In the course of the evening, a charged debate erupted over the importance of the English writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft

Editors at the New York Times were so amused they published this headline:

THE SUFFRAGE CAUSE INVADES THE MEN’S CLUBS

Warm Debate at Quaint Club’s

Feast Over the Merits of Mary Wollstonecraft

SOME THOUGHT HER FLIGHTY

One Speaker Declares the Early Advo-

cate of Women’s Rights was a

Home-Wrecker 

Here’s the full text:

 

 

National History Day contestants, please read this before you contact me.

The Suffragents won the Gold Medal in US History in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was a finalist for the 2018 Sally and Morris Lasky Prize, presented by the Center for Political History.  See Summer Camp Newsletters” and Facebook posts from book-related appearances. Reviews, notices, and articles about my books are under their titles here. My articles are here.

2019 Calendar:
January 29:
Exhibition Opening Remarks: “Women Get the Vote: A Historic Look at the Nineteenth Amendment,“New York Society Library. February 23: Public Values in Conflict with Animal Agribusiness Practices,” UCLA Law School, Los Angeles.  March 13: The Suffragents,” Scarsdale Woman’s Club, Scarsdale NY. March 24: League of Women Voters, Albany County at the Bethlehem (NY) Public LibraryMarch 25:Judges, Lawyers, and Women’s Suffrage: Recognizing the Men Who Stood with Women on the Front Lines,” Gender Fairness Committee of the Third Judicial District, CLE, NY State Courts at SUNY Albany Law School, Albany NY. May 15: “The Republican Suffragents,” National Women’s Republican Club, New York City. August 7: “From Emma Goldman to the Marketplace of Ideas: Marking the 100th Anniversary of Free Speech at the Supreme Court,.” AEJMC, Toronto.