Today would be a good day to contemplate Figure1 and to remember Inez Milholland. Milholland was a leader of the American Suffrage movement. On March 3, 1913, Milholland donned white kid boots and a white cape, climbed onto a white horse and led the then largest women’s march in American history, approximately 5,000 people. This rally helped win passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the vote. Yesterday’s prejudices are always condemned. The prejudices of today, we do not recognize as prejudices. So this image isn’t really quaint and amusing but profoundly meaningful.
Do I need to say that onlookers, including the police, hurled insults and threats at the marchers, tripping the women as they marched? In the end, over a hundred women were hospitalized. And what of President-elect Woodrow Wilson? He was to be inaugurated the next day and took side streets to avoid the event.
As for the photograph, there can be no doubt of Ms. Milholland’s intent. She was liberty leading the charge on a white charger; so full of classical meaning and symbolism. She was visually recalling the words of Abraham Lincoln.
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”