Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ride for Rights: Inez Milholland

In Ride for Rights, coming February 10th, 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing , Angeline and Adelaide Hanson meet a variety of fascinating women on their ride across the United States. Many of these women are loosely based on fascinating women in history during that time. The real sisters, the Van Burens, mostly likely did not meet these women, but when penning historical fiction, one is allowed to take liberties provided they explain them in Author's Notes. 

In Ride, the sisters find themselves in a jail cell in Dodge City, Kansas...only one woman can save them. Inez. 

Inez smiled Joe’s way. “First, let’s get these young ladies out of here. Mr. Cooper, I’m Mrs. Mulholland, and I am here to represent these very lovely and very wronged young women.” She gestured to the two women standing and looking smugly from behind the bars.
“A woman lawyer?” The sheriff practically spat the words. “Women are to be discreet, chaste keepers at home, good and obedient to their husbands, not running around the world bein’ lawyers and ridin’ motorbikes!”
Inez laughed, and this only seemed to anger the sheriff further. Alan was wondering if the man was about to have a heart malfunction and prepared to run for help if the need arose. Joe was rather hoping the man would have a heart malfunction. Inez just looked calmly at the sheriff and said, “Let’s talk about that, shall we?”

Who was the real Inez? If you've seen the movie Iron Jawed Angels, she was played by the lovely Julia Ormond. She really was involved in the suffrage movement and rode the white horse in the parade. 
She was born in 1866 and grew up in Brooklyn. She became a lawyer, proposed to her husband rather than waiting, and never had children. A woman way ahead of her time. 

In 1916 while the Van Burens were doing their real life ride, Inez was touring the west speaking for women's rights. It's quite possible she was in the vicinity. Sadly, she had poor health, pernicious anemia, and she died that very year. Her last public words were, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" 

A mountain was even named after this amazing woman. Mount Discovery in the Adirondacks was renamed Mount Inez.

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