Marvel Cooke

Marvel Cooke

Marvel Cooke, ca. 1950s.

Arrest of Cecelia Regina Gonzaga, 1885

Cecelia Regina Gonzaga, an African American assigned a male sex at birth, lived in St. Paul for four weeks during the summer of 1885. After a police officer arrested her for wearing women’s clothes on August 20, he took her into custody and questioned her at the Ramsey County Courthouse. He released her later the same day, but Gonzaga quickly left the city by train and returned to St. Louis.

Sewing machine used by Nellie Stone Johnson

Sewing machine used by Nellie Stone Johnson

Electric-powered treadle sewing machine used by Nellie Stone Johnson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, at her alterations business. It features a flat wood table and a foot pedal. Johnson was a prominent civil rights activist and union organizer, as well as the first African American elected official in Minneapolis. She opened and operated her own sewing and alterations shop in 1963.

Measuring a prisoner's head

Measuring a prisoner's head

Measuring a prisoner's head (possibly at Minnesota State Prison, Stillwater), ca. 1900.

Mrs. Frank Ochocki and her children

Mrs. Frank Ochocki and her children

Mrs. Frank Ochocki and five of her children working in their garden, Wilno, Minnesota. Undated but ca. 1930s. Immigration History Research Center Archives Photograph Collection, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Ethel Ray Nance

Ethel Ray Nance was living in Moose Lake, Minnesota, when Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie were lynched in Duluth on June 15, 1920. In this audio excerpt, recorded in the 1970s, Nance discusses her reaction to the news of the lynchings.

Split in Two: The Dred Scott Decision—1857

Law Professor Lea Vandervelde (University of Iowa) explains the U.S. Supreme Court's 1857 decision, based in part on the Dred and Harriet Scott's time in Minnesota, and how the decision split the nation in two prior to the outbreak of war in 1861. Richard Josey (Minnesota Historical Society) focuses on the Scotts' time at Fort Snelling from 1836 to 1840.

The Legacy of the Duluth Lynchings

On June 15, 1920, in Duluth, Minnesota, three young black men, falsely accused of raping a white woman, were pulled from their jail cells and lynched by a mob numbering in the thousands. In June 2020, the Minnesota Historical Society marked the centennial of the lynchings with a week of remembrance. In this video, Minnesota historians, authors, and prominent community members share their perspectives about the legacy of the Duluth lynchings.

Group in front of Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial

A group gathers in front of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial in Duluth, at the corner of North Second Avenue and East First Street. Photograph by Flickr user Fibonacci Blue, September 28, 2019.

Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial text

Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial text

Text on the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial in Duluth, at the corner of North Second Avenue and East First Street. Photograph by Flickr user Peter Fleck, November 25, 2007.

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