The impact of women's political activity throughout American history has been the focus of increasing scholarly attention over the past two decades. For the most part, however, the scholarship has been grounded on national leaders and on national women's organizations. This new series of microfilm publications, Grassroots Women's Organizations, expands the research possibilities in American women's history through the selection of well-chosen organizational records on local women's organizations from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association Records, 1894_1923
Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association Records, 1894_1923 traces the suffrage movement_s advance into the mainstream of statewide issues and its ultimate triumph in 1919 when the Minnesota state legislature ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The collection of Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) records sheds light on how suffragists overcame their political and organizational weaknesses, learned ways to bring the suffrage issue into prominence across the state, and exploited new technology for the cause. With automobiles they were able to distribute their literature more rapidly and more widely, even in the remotest areas. Signs on cars advertised "Votes for Women." They used the media, embarking on cross-country promotional auto tours; sponsoring parades, rallies, and aerial shows by women stunt pilots; and touring the country on suffrage trains.
The collection reveals the diverse techniques for organizing suffrage groups throughout the states and the attitudes of politicians, suffrage workers, and local townspeople toward suffrage issues.