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:


Warm Debate at Quaint Club’s

Feast Over the Merits of Mary Wollstonecraft


One Speaker Declares the Early Advo-

cate of Women’s Rights was a


Here’s the full text:



NHD contestants: Please read this.

Upcoming events 2018: March 20: UN Bookshop  March 25: NEW DATE: League of Women Voters of Westchester Champagne Fundraiser April 22: Nassau County Historical Society  at the Jericho Public LibraryApril 29: St. George’s School. May 12: East Hampton Library’s Tom Twomey Series (interviewing NYTimes media columnist, Jim RutenbergMay 20: Women’s Suffrage and NYC: A Centennial Celebration Symposium: Bronx Historical Society and Woodlawn Cemetery  June 14: Roosevelt Island Historical Society. July 7 East Hampton Library’s Tom Twomey Series (hosting with Sara Davison the garden author and expert Charlotte M. Frieze) : August 4: Shelter Island Historical Society.

The Suffragents in the news: Reviews of the book .  . . Notices and articles about the Suffragents . . . Brooke’s articles in various publications . . .The Suffragents on Facebook . . .  and Brooke’s “Summer Camp Newsletters,”  the photo-laden logs I post right after events.