North Dakota Suffragists: Marie Bottineau Baldwin

The mission of the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee (NDWSCC), an affiliate of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, is to encourage and coordinate woman suffrage centennial activities throughout the state from January 2019 through 2020, while recognizing the growing presence of women in the public arena after 1920.  We will acknowledge the continuing struggle to include peoples of all racial, cultural and ethnic identities in our democracy.

As part of that work, NDWSCC members–and others across the United States–are researching and writing about the women and men who contributed to the woman suffrage movement. Today we would like to highlight one of those women, Marie Bottineau Baldwin.

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Baldwin, Marie Bottineau.

Born in Pembina in 1863 to Jean Baptiste Bottineau and Margaret Renville.  As an enrolled member of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Marie grew up at Pembina and Turtle Mountain.  She attended schools in Minneapolis and St. Joseph’s College for Ladies in Winnipeg.  She clerked in her father’s law office in Washington, D.C. until 1904 when President Roosevelt appointed her to the Department of Education in Office of Indian Affairs. In 1914, she earned a law degree from Washington School of Law.  After 1911, she embraced the traditions of her heritage and the suffrage movement. She marched with women lawyers in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.  In 1914, she and other suffragists met with President Wilson.

In addition to her suffrage work, Baldwin worked throughout her life for Native American rights. She actively embraced traditional Native dress and culture at a time of forced assimilation.  Baldwin sought to educate people about women’s traditional political rights in Native society.  She worked in the Indian Office in Washington, D.C., until she retired for health reasons in 1932.  She died in Los Angeles in 1952.

 

 

Sources:

Washington Times Sept. 16, 1911 & Feb. 23,1917

Wahpeton Times Sept. 23, 1915

Evening Star, August 12, 1914, Dec. 4, 1910, & Sept. 16, 1911

Forest City Press, Dec. .28, 1911

National Park Service, “Mary Louise Bottineau Baldwin,” https://www.nps.gov/people/marie-louise-bottineau-baldwin.htm. Accessed 7/24/19.

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