Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Esther Moses (Hollander), 1899-1969
By Sara Patterson, undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park
Esther Moses was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1899 to German-Jewish parents, Bernard Moses and Bertha Manko Moses. Her father was a salesperson who actively participated in community affairs, while her mother stayed at home and looked after the family. She has one older sister, Dr. Bessie Moses, who was a gynecologist and obstetrician who advocated for birth control policies. Bessie recalled the family as "rigid" and "aristocratic." For example, their parents opposed Bessie going to medical school, but fully supported Esther's desire for a career in education. Esther Moses later married Walter Hollander, an advertising manager. During their marriage, they had two sons, Bernard M. Hollander and Dr. Walter Hollander Jr. She also welcomed six grandchildren.
In 1915, Esther Moses graduated from Wester High School and went on to attend Goucher College. When just a freshman in college, Moses became active in the suffrage movement. She attended the first regular meeting of the newly formed Goucher Chapter of the National College Equal Suffrage League, along with 250 other members, in 1916. At this meeting, the league discussed how college women could assist with the general suffrage movement. Moses reported her findings from the national suffrage convention that had just been held recently in Washington.
In May of 1919, the Baltimore City Committee of the Woman Suffrage League of Maryland met to elect officers and Esther Moses was elected treasurer for the group. During this meeting, she was also selected as a delegate of the Second Legislative District to attend the annual convention of the Woman Suffrage League. Around this same time, delegates of the Maryland Suffrage League raised $2,100 in order to fund the expenses for the preliminary campaign for the ratification of Maryland. Moses contributed $100 of the amount raised. She graduated from Goucher College with a degree in teaching and education in 1919.
After Esther Moses married Walter Hollander in 1921, she maintained an active presence in public affairs. In May 1922, she attended the Pan-American Conference of Women in Baltimore at the invitation of the National League of Women Voters. South American women came to discuss social and political activities that may be of interest to women. These women highlighted that even though there are a lot of organizations interested in improving the conditions of children and women, state involvement was needed to make progress. At this conference, a permanent organization of American women for the Pan-American Conference of Women was formed. Hollander was elected treasurer for the new organization.
In 1924 she won a $100 prize in a contest sponsored by the Baltimore Evening Sun. Responding to prompt to describe the difference between political parties with an epigram, Hollander's winning submission was: "A Republican is a person who thinks a Democratic administration is bad for business. A Democrat is a person who thinks a Republican administration is bad for business. Both are right." Later, Esther Hollander gained experience in editing and publicity. She was an assistant to the industrial editor of Survey, which was a social welfare magazine published in New York City. She was also the director of publicity for the Associated Jewish Charities. Hollander occupied her time with volunteer work. In the early 1930s, she was a volunteer worker with the Baltimore Emergency Relief Commission. She also used her time as a volunteer worker with a number of social services and agencies. During World War II, she volunteered as a nurse's aide at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hollander became a member of the Baltimore City School Board from 1939 to 1948. During her time on the board, she had a particular interest in black children in the Baltimore city public schools.
Esther Moses Hollander passed away in Baltimore in June 1969 at age 70 from a long illness.
Portrait of Esther Moses Hollander. Published in The World's Work XLVIII. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page, and Company, 1924, p. 246.
Benjamin, Paul L. "Social Organization." The Survey, vol. 48, Survey Associates, p. 253.
Blackwell, Alice Stone. The Woman Citizen. Vol. 3, Leslie Woman Suffrage Commission, 1918.
"Laugh Causes His Arrest." The Baltimore Sun, Jan 07, 1916, pp. 9. ProQuest.
Moses, Bessie L. Contraception as a Therapeutic Measure. Baltimore: The Williams and Wilkins Company, 1936.
Morton, Lauren. "Bessie Moses (1893-1965)." Bessie Moses, MSA SC 3520-13582, Maryland State Archives, 2005, accessed online at msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc3500/sc3520/013500/013582/html/13582bio. html.
"Mrs. Hollander Dies at Age 70." The Baltimore Sun, Jun 01, 1969, pp. 19. ProQuest.
"Ratification Keynote of Suff Convention." Baltimore Evening Sun, 10 Jun 1919, p. 28. Accessed online at www.newspapers.com/clip/41905844/mrs-esther-moses-1/.
"SUFFRAGE DELEGATES ELECTED: WOMEN SELECTED BY LEAGUE TO ATTEND CONVENTION." The Baltimore Sun, May 06, 1919, pp. 5. ProQuest.
"The Independent Voter's Opinion of Parties." The World's Work XLVIII. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page, and Company, 1924, p. 246.