The Margaret Sanger Papers


Pinchot, Gertrude Minturn (1872-1939)

Philanthropist and birth control advocate. Married Amos R. E. Pinchot (1900; divorced 1918), two children. A wealthy socialite from a prominent New York family of Progressive Republicans, Pinchot was a suffragist and member of the National Woman's Party. An early advocate of birth control, she helped support William Sanger and his children during Margaret Sanger's 1915 exile in Europe. A member of the National Birth Control League, Pinchot organized the Committee of 100, a group of wealthy and influential women who supported Margaret Sanger during her 1916 trial for opening the Brownsville clinic. She also persuaded the governor of New York to grant an early release to Margaret Sanger's sister, Ethel Byrne, when the latter, also imprisoned for her participation in the Brownsville clinic, went on a hunger strike. Pinchot helped support the Birth Control Review, the new monthly Sanger launched in 1917, and provided the funds that enabled Sanger to publish Family Limitation in Polish and Lithuanian. During the 1920s, Pinchot served on the Executive Committee and as Treasurer of the Committee of Maternal Health, a group of physicians organized by Robert Latou Dickinson committed to studying the effectiveness of contraceptive techniques and insuring medical control over the dispensation of contraceptives.
References: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America (1992); Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography (1938)