Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

 Back to top

Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association

Creator: 
  • Cite
  • Share
  • Correct
  • Comment
  • Print
Women waiting in line to vote in an election (probably for a school board) in a downtown Minneapolis precinct c.1908.

Women waiting in line to vote in an election (probably for a school board) in a downtown Minneapolis precinct, c.1908.

From 1881 to 1920, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) struggled to secure women's right to vote. Its members organized marches, wrote petitions and letters, gathered signatures, gave speeches, and published pamphlets and broadsheets to force the Minnesota Legislature to recognize their right to vote. Due to their efforts, the Legislature approved the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919.

In the 1870s, many women across Minnesota organized local women's suffrage groups. In 1875, the Minnesota legislature recognized women's right to vote in school board elections. However, many women wanted to vote in all elections. Seeing the need for a statewide agency, fourteen women formed the MWSA. Among the founders were Harriet Bishop and Sarah Burger Stearns. Stearns became the organization's first president. By 1882, the MWSA had grown to two hundred members. In 1885, MWSA president Martha Ripley convinced the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) to hold their annual meeting in Minnesota.This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.

In 1893, the MWSA convinced the Minnesota Senate to take up women's suffrage. President Julia Bullard Nelson worked with Ignatius Donnelly, a Populist state senator. The Populists regularly supported a women's suffrage plank. Nelson herself was a Populist school superintendent candidate in 1894. Nelson and Donnelly initially sought the vote for women in municipal elections. However, the Senate went further. Its members voted to remove the word "male" from the state's voting requirements. The bill passed thirty-two to nineteen. However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.

After the failure of the 1893 amendment, the movement continued. However, the MWSA was unable to build on its earlier success. The MWSA and its ally, the Political Equality Club, placed women's suffrage before the state legislature every session. Each time, the bill either died in committee or was defeated.

During the 1910s, the movement picked up momentum again. In 1914, Clara Ueland organized a parade through Minneapolis of over two thousand suffrage supporters. Ueland became MWSA president that same year. This event gave the movement renewed attention. During this period, the MWSA had to contend with a rival organization, a Minnesota branch of the National Women's Party (NWP). The NWP was more radical than the MWSA. It was much more likely to take direct action, such as hunger strikes, than the MWSA. Even though they disagreed on tactics, the two organizations often worked together.

By 1919, thirty thousand women across the state officially belonged to local suffrage associations. They joined the MWSA, the NWP, and other organizations. Their numbers and continued activities convinced lawmakers to act. In 1919, the Minnesota legislature recognized women's right to vote in presidential elections. The same year, the legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment. It did not take effect until 1920, however, when the required two-thirds of the states approved it. With their right to vote secured, the MWSA became the Minnesota League of Women of Voters. On the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol is a memorial to the MWSA.

  • Cite
  • Share
  • Correct
  • Comment
  • Print
© Minnesota Historical Society
  • Bibliography
  • Related Resources

M508
The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association Records, 1894–1923
Manuscript Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00756.xml
Description: Correspondence, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, record books, and other materials that the MWSA and other organizations used to promote woman suffrage

Hurd, Ethel Edgerton. Woman Suffrage in Minnesota: A Record of the Activities in its Behalf since 1847. Minneapolis: Inland Press, 1916.

Lief, Julia Wiech. "A Woman of Purpose: Julia B. Nelson." Minnesota History 47, no. 4 (Winter 1981): 302–314.
http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/47/v47i08p302-314.pdf

Stuhler, Barbara. "Organizing for the Vote: Leaders of Minnesota's Woman Suffrage Movement," Minnesota History 54, no. 3 (Fall 1995):290–303.
http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/54/v54i07p290-303.pdf

Ziebarth, Marilyn. "MHS Collections: Woman's Rights Movements." Minnesota History 42, no. 2 (Summer 1971): 225–230.
http://collections.mnhs.org/mnhistorymagazine/articles/42/v42i06p225-230.pdf

"The Minnesota Legislature: A Day of Debate: The Woman Suffragists Capture the Day." Minneapolis Tribune, March 16, 1893.

"Women Won: The Suffrage Bill Passes the Senate Easily." Minneapolis Tribune, March 22, 1893.

"A Killing: Closing Hours of the Bill Passing Session of the Legislature: Woman Suffrage and Anti-Pool Room Bills Go Down to Death Together." Minneapolis Tribune, April 18, 1893.

"Women to March in Silence for Suffrage." Minneapolis Tribune, May 1, 1914.

"Men Urge Citizens to Join Suffrage Parade." Minneapolis Tribune, May 1, 1914.

"Paraders Place Equal Suffrage on a New Plane." Minneapolis Tribune, May 3, 1914.

"Suffrage Parade an Impressive Spectacle." Minneapolis Tribune, May 3, 1914.

Related Images

Women waiting in line to vote in an election (probably for a school board) in a downtown Minneapolis precinct c.1908.
Women waiting in line to vote in an election (probably for a school board) in a downtown Minneapolis precinct c.1908.
Julia B. Nelson
Julia B. Nelson
Women suffrage meeting at Rice park, St. Paul.
Women suffrage meeting at Rice park, St. Paul.
Clara Ueland
Clara Ueland

Turning Point

On May 2, 1914, over two thousand women march through Minneapolis and St. Paul in a parade organized by Clara Ueland. The event demonstrates the marchers’ commitment and organizational capacity to male lawmakers.

Chronology

1875

Voters approve a state constitutional amendment that allows women to vote in school board elections. This is the first law in Minnesota that allowed women to vote in any capacity.

1881

Fourteen women gather in Hastings to form the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association.

1885

The annual convention of the American Woman Suffrage Association is held in Minneapolis. This event brings both local and national attention to the Minnesota organization.

1893

The MWSA nearly convinces the state legislature to pass a woman's suffrage amendment.

1914

A large parade in the Twin Cities brings attention to the MWSA's cause.

1919

The Minnesota legislature approves the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

1920

With the right to vote secured, the MWSA reforms as the Minnesota League of Women Voters.









  

Comments

These govt grants are used to cover the many necessary fees for starting a Federally Skilled Health Center in any state in the country. These scholarships where manufactured by law. <b><a href="http://www.myhealthcenter.net/">myhealthcenter</a></b> <br><br>
This uncomplicated veg mozerella wrap is the foremost and trendy approach to make your sons or daughters eat fruit and vegetables. This home-made encapsulate is abundant in nutrients and lacking in fat along with sodium written content. Healthy for all those ages. <b><a href="http://www.veghealth.net/">veghealth</a></b> <br><br>
With the normal lifetime cover increasing steadily you will find there's growing target maintaining a new youthful visual appeal. The time frame for most of this focus will be your body's skin color. Skin will be the largest organ on the body along with requires extensive care. <b><a href="http://www.dailyhealthtrends.net/">dailyhealthtrends</a></b> <br><br>

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
https://www.rebelmouse.com/whatmensecretlywantreview/
rebelmouse.com/whatmensecretlywantreview

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.designerkidsandbaby.co.uk
personalised baby gifts

The MWSA and its ally, the Political Equality Club, placed women's suffrage before the state legislature every session. Each time, the bill either died in committee or was defeated.
http://www.roketingilizce.com
ingilizce eğitim seti

Samira Laser Clinic in Scarborough: Permanent Hair Removal for Men and Women
Samira Laser Clinic in Scarborough should be your only choice for laser hair removal. Our precision equipment carefully removes your hair while keeping your skin soft and glowing. We specialize in laser hair removal, facials and microdermabrasion. We also perform waxing and sell laser hair removal machines!
http://www.samiralaserclinic.com
laser clinic scarborough

this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://awesomebooking.com
cheap travel

You have raised a paramount issue..thanks for sharing..i might want to peruse more present issues from this blog..keep posting..
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/fat-diminisher-system-review-does-wesley-virgins-program-really-work-408008.php

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/spartagen-xt-testosterone-booster-review-does-it-really-work-405285.php

this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.vbrservers.com.br/ 
dedicated server

this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.moveontario.org/
toronto movers

the National Women's Party (NWP). The NWP was more radical than the MWSA. It was much more likely to take direct action, such as hunger strikes, than the MWSA. Even though they disagreed on tactics, the two organizations often worked together.
http://www.ciuohecampus.com/
online learning

his change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://authentichustle.com/
Hip Hop Media Sites

The amounts that we award our winners,” said Jenine Lepera Izzi, the foundation’s chair. “We hope that the prizes will help them focus on their work and also bring attention to their writing..http://www.mylimousines.ca/toronto/ontario/wedding/limousines/

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.theairplaneman.com/
airplane

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.dr-huz.org
Inspirational Leaders of India

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.winjobs.ca/full-time-jobs-in-winnipeg.php
Full-time job in Winnipeg

this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.mylimousines.ca/toronto/ontario/wedding/limousines/
Toronto Wedding Limousine

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.vbrservers.com.br/
dedicated server

I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon…
http://usaattorneyblog.com/
Best Attorney Blog

I have bookmarked your website because this site contains valuable information in it. I am really happy with articles quality and presentation. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site.
http://bestgaragedoorrepaircompanyca.org/
Garage Door Repair Company CA

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.dr-huz.org
Inspirational Leaders of India

the National Women's Party (NWP). The NWP was more radical than the MWSA. It was much more likely to take direct action, such as hunger strikes, than the MWSA. Even though they disagreed on tactics, the two organizations often worked together.
http://www.mnopedia.org/group/minnesota-woman-suffrage-association

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
<a title="http://www.tractariauto247.ro/" href="http://www.tractari bucuresti pret">http://www.tractariauto247.ro/</a>

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.vividsaaga.com
Wedding photographers in Hyderabad

This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
<a title="buy instagram followers cheap" href="http://www.99medias.com/buy-instagram-followers-likes/">buy instagram followers cheap</a>

I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. http://zomerfeesten.eu/mold-remediation-to-improve-the-health-of-your-pets/

This post is very simple to read and appreciate without leaving any details out. Great work! You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog.http://www.wtrf.com/story/29656555/lovetraction-lines-review-does-simone-myers-program-work

.This national event demonstrated the importance of the MWSA. It also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.sportsbetcapping.com
Free nfl picks

You ought to basically fantastic not to mention solid advice, which means notice:
https://www.rebelmouse.com/memoryhealerprogramreviews/

t also drew the attention of Minnesota's male lawmakers.The MWSA eventually became a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which formed in 1890.
http://www.usedsmartmobiles.com
android mobiles

Very nice blog and articles. I am realy very happy to visit your blog. Now I am found which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.
http://bluetoothreceiptprinter.tumblr.com
Bluetooth Receipt Printer

Make the most of mainly premium substances - you will find him or her for:
http://venusfactoreviews.co/fighter-abs-review/

this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.heavenlyyorkies.net
biewer terrier breeder

E-liquid Vape shop The Vaping E-liquid and e-juice Super Store. E-liquid flavors and Vape liquid for all.
http://e-liquidvapeshop.com/
e-liquid for sale

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.
http://venusfactoreviews.co/ed-miracle-review/

However, the MWSA was unable to build on its earlier success. The MWSA and its ally, the Political Equality Club, placed women's suffrage before the state legislature every session. Each time, the bill either died in committee or was defeated.
http://tube247.net
free

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
https://www.world-like-home.com/
study abroad

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
https://Job2grow.com
Job 

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://Job2grow.com
Job 

However, this change did not pass the House. That chamber did not have time to take it up before the legislative session ended. Even if it had passed the House, however, the voters of Minnesota would have had to approve it before it became law.
http://www.trapworld.com
WORLD

Trying to say much appreciated won't simply be sufficient, for the fantasti c clarity in your written work. I will right away get your rss channel to stay educated of any redesigns.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ed-miracle-shake-review-shake-153300648.html