Jane Hungerford Milbank

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Jane Hungerford Milbank (April 10, 1871 - March 4, 1931) was an American suffragette who organized the Army of Columbians.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born on April 10, 1871 in Sparta, Georgia as Jane Hungerford Henry.[2] She claimed to have posed for artist John La Farge as a young woman, and to have been the model for his "Adoration" and "St. John."[3]

Activism[edit]

Mrs. Milbank was best known for proposing an "Army of Columbians," a military regiment of women, during World War I, complete with a uniform she designed and wore.[4][5] She held weekly training sessions for a handful of recruits, with wooden guns.[6] "My only fear is that they will be too savage warriors," she assured doubters.[7] She also suggested that military training might decrease domestic discord.[8] Her program was formalized by 1915 as the International Order of Military Women, with Milbank presiding.[9][10]

She was also an author and poet, using the name "J. Hungerford Milbank" to publish a collection of miscellaneous short works titled Florence Gardiner Sings [11]. She was a member of the Century Theatre Club for more than twenty years.[12]

Personal life[edit]

She first married Cedric (or Carl) Augustus Erlund in 1893, and had two sons during their marriage, named Cambridge Erlund (b. 1896) and Charles Hungerford Erlund (Milbank) (b. 1901). She married a second time, to Charles Budd Milbank, in 1904. She was widowed when Mr. Milbank died in 1920, and she died on March 4, 1931 in Freeport, Long Island.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brooklyn Musters An Amazon Army. Mrs. General Milbank Is in Command, Though She Doesn't Look in the Least Warlike. Sometimes the Corps Turns Out Five or Six Strong on Good Nights. Home Defense Its Aim". New York Times. May 11, 1915. Retrieved 2010-09-05. ... its General is Mrs. J. Hungerford Milbank of Freeport, Long Island. It is the Army of Columbians and Jane ... 
  2. ^ Passport application from 19 January 1923
  3. ^ Lorinda Munson Bryant, American Pictures and their Painters (John Lane Company 1920): 80-82.
  4. ^ Christopher Capozzola, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen (Oxford University Press 2008): 115-116. ISBN 0199734798
  5. ^ Elaine F. Weiss, Fruits of Victory: The Land Army of America in the Great War (Potomac Books 2008): 13. ISBN 1597972738
  6. ^ "'Army' of 7 Women Trains Its Recruit; General Milbank Complains at Fourteenth Regiment Armory of Too Much Ego," New York Times (May 19, 1915): 4.
  7. ^ Mrs. J. Hungerford Milbank, "Now for an Army of Women Soldiers: The First Women's Regiment Organized to Make its Members Manly and Able to Fight Side by Side with their Husbands, Fathers, Sons and Brothers," Washington Post (February 22, 1914): 37.
  8. ^ "Drill to End Divorce: Many Fair New York 'Soldiers' Now in Awkward Squad," Washington Post (February 14, 1914): 4.
  9. ^ "Co-Education Plan for Military Camp," New York Times (June 13, 1916): 11.
  10. ^ "Mrs. Milbank Hurt by Fall: Steps into Open Elevator Door and Drops Ten Feet," New York Times (August 27, 1915): 9.
  11. ^ J. Hungerford Milbank,Florence Gardiner Sings: Some Thoughts and Some Bridges (Goerck Art Press, 1910)
  12. ^ "Obituaries: Milbank," New York Times (March 7, 1931): 16.
  13. ^ "Jane Hungerford Milbank". New York Times. March 7, 1931. Retrieved 2010-09-05. ... 1931 at her residence 252 West Merrick Road Freeport L. I. Jane Hungerford widow of Charles B. Milbank and mother of Charles H. E. Milbank and Cambridge Erlund ... 
  14. ^ "Necrology: Charles Budd Milbank," in Lewis Effingham de Forest, ed., The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York, Year Book for 1920-1921 (1921): 166.