From the beginning of the nation’s history, women struggled to find a voice in the political process. As Abigail Adams famously wrote to her husband while he was serving in the Continental Congress, “Remember the ladies. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” The women’s suffrage movement in the United States was formally organized in 1848 at the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. Two national suffrage groups—the American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association, which merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890—were eventually established, as well as state and city chapters.
The women of Minnesota joined the suffrage fight soon after. In the 1860s they began petitioning the state legislature to give women the vote and saw some success in 1875 when they were granted the right to vote in school elections. The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association was established in 1881. The Minnesota legislature granted women the right to vote in presidential elections in 1919 and later that year, on September 8, it became the fifteenth state to ratify the 19th Amendment.