|First place certificate|
Inez Milholland, Suffragist- pillow
What could be more American that the vote? Our entire system of government, and way of life, is predicated on our right to participate in the democratic Republic our patriots help found 239 years ago. Unfortunately, our founding fathers did not “Remember the Ladies” as Abigail Adams requested, and many disenfranchised Americans would have to fight their own revolution in order to gain the vote.
One American who took up the cause for woman suffrage was Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916). A native New Yorker, raised in the Adirondack, New York City, and England (where she learned at the knee of Emmeline Pankhurst and her Women’s Social and Political Union), Inez arranged an impromptu suffrage event in a cemetery near Vassar College when the school refused to allow Harriot Stanton Blatch the curtesy of speaking about suffrage on campus. In 1913 she became the face of the movement when she led the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. Her untimely death from pernicious anemia in November of 1916 solidified Milholland Boissevain as a martyr for the cause.
Women in New York would not win the vote until 1917. Nationally, it would take another three years, culminating in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in August 1920.
Milholland Boissevain also worked for peace in Europe during World War I, working tirelessly on behalf of the soldiers, women, and children. She was a war correspondent until her pacifist views caused her removal from Italy.
My original embroidery design uses my own handwriting as the font for Inez’s name, and the words “Suffragist” and “Pacifist”. My embroidered portrait technique is used to recreate a well-known image of Milholland Boissevain. I chose yellow and purple because they were the official colors of Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party, of which Milholland Boissevain was a staunch supporter.
I choose to Celebrate America! Exploring Our American Heritage by using my right to vote in every election, honoring all of the people who fought, whether they were patriots during the Revolution, Abolitionists during the Civil War, suffragists during the 72 year fight for “Votes for Women”, or the citizens who marched to end voting restrictions.
|Inez Milholland, Suffragist, Pacifist- embroidered portrait pillow|
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