Inez Milholland Boissevain was an American suffragist born in New York. She received an early education, which she then continued to pursue through college where she studied law. There, she also began her journey in the women’s suffrage movement by giving a number of speeches and becoming a member of multiple clubs and societies during and long after college. She aspired to educate people of the growing movement and to also encourage women like herself to vote with their newly earned rights. An image of her sitting on a white horse soon became the face of the movement and her accomplishments left an impact on women across the nation.
Inez Milholland spoke mainly for women’s right to vote and publicly supported the women’s suffrage movement. She began public speaking for the suffrage movement at Vassar, her first college. During this time, she arranged her first speech at a cemetery because the school would not let her speak on campus. This is what soon led to her growing passion for public speaking and her participation as a suffragist in the women’s suffrage movement. She was involved in many extracurricular activities at her schools including the debate team, plays, sports, and the Socialist Club. She played tennis, basketball, track, and hockey, and she also set a throwing record for basketball. From Vassar, she went to New York University Law School and continued to pursue her aspiration to become a lawyer. She soon became a member of the Political Equality League, the Women’s Trade Union League, the Women’s Political Union, and a few other groups of activists who fought for equal rights. In 1912, Milholland led a vast group of women down Pennsylvania Avenue while riding a white horse. Her appearance on the white horse became a classic image of the movement that inspired people everywhere, and she was referred to as the “American Joan of Arc”.
Milholland not only spoke in front of the public, but she wrote multiple articles for magazines on women’s rights as well. This helped to communicate the suffrage movement to more people throughout the nation. In 1916, she campaigned to encourage women residing in states with women’s suffrage to vote. During this campaign, she traveled west across the country and gave public speeches to states that had granted women’s right to vote. She collapsed during a speech in Los Angeles later that year, and passed away only two months later.
Inez Milholland’s voice was heard by women and people across the nation. She helped to develop the women’s suffrage movement by leading women and advocating the suffrage movement. She was not afraid to communicate her opinions and concerns about the working conditions and the rights of women to the public. Inez Milholland Boissevain’s voice and efforts as a suffragist to extend the publicity of the suffrage movement and fight for the equal rights of women to vote left a lasting influence on women across America.