“We believe that we are on the last stretch of the road to the attainment of political freedom for women.”
Clara Ueland, in a letter to members of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, August 30, 1918
Clara Ueland joined the suffrage movement after her daughter Elsa inspired her to do so. Before becoming a suffrage leader, Clara Ueland was an advocate for kindergartens and infant welfare. A mother of eight, she was a progressive parent. She resisted traditional gender roles for her children and taught them to become informed citizens.
Clara Ueland used her social connections to organize, fund, and streamline Minnesota’s woman suffrage movement. After founding the Equal Suffrage Association of Minneapolis in 1913, she was elected president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) in 1914. Ueland believed in organizing by political districts. This was a tactic championed by Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1915 to 1920.
Ueland’s prowess as a leader earned her great respect among her peers. With strategy and tact, she helped steer Minnesota suffragists through the final hurdles to passing the 19th Amendment. After its passage, Ueland oversaw the transition of the MWSA to the Minnesota League of Women Voters.