- A Powerful Political Influence (1874-1969) -
Nellie Griswold Francis, wife to William T. Francis (the first black to receive a diplomatic appointment), was a strong political influence in her own right. After leaving her job at West Publishing Company in 1914, this Saint Paul activist devoted her energy to securing women's right to vote. No sooner was the 19th amendment passed than Nellie Francis turned her attention to drafting and lobbying for passage of Minnesota's anti-lynching law. Within a year of the infamous Duluth lynchings of 1920, the Minnesota law was passed with little opposition.
Francis's name, along with twenty-four other Minnesota women who contributed their efforts to the women's suffrage movement are commemorated in the Woman Suffrage Memorial Garden on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol.