- On July 19 to 20 - 300 people attended The First Convention to Discuss the Civil and Political Rights of Women in Seneca Falls, New York and the attendees isseed the Declaration of Sentiments
- The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War, extending U.S. citizenship to Mexicans living in the newly acquired territories, unless they specifically declared their intention to remain Mexicans.
- Virginia and North Carolina were the last states to eliminate property requirements for voting (with the exception of those convicted of certain crimes in North Carolina).
- Sojourner Truth, a preacher and former slave, gave a speech at a women's rights rally in Akron, Ohio, although not the "Ain't I a Woman" falsely attributed to her.
- October 13, 1857 - The Constitution of the State of Minnesota was ratified by the residents of the Minnesota Territory in a special election - 30,055 for acceptance and 571 for rejection.
- The Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that blacks, free or slave, were not be citizens of the Unites States.
- Mary Jackman Colburn gave a lecture the "Rights and Wrongs of Woman" in Champlin, the first public lecture on women’s rights in Minnesota.
- May 11, 1858 - State of Minnesota admitted into the Union.
- Jane Grey Swisshelm, a St. Cloud journalist, became the first woman to present to the Minnesota House of Representative on “Women and Politics.”
- Five states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) allowed free blacks to vote.
- Southern states seceded from the United States
- Emancipation Proclamation
- April 9, 1865 - General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops, ending the Civil War
- November 1865 - A proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution extending suffrage to all men was defeated by popular vote - 14,651 people against and 12,135 in favor of the amendment
- December 6, 1865 - The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States was ratified
- A Petition for Universal Suffrage 1895, signed by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone, among others, was delivered to Congress.
- January 11, 1866 - Representative Anson R. Hayden presented the first known petition for woman suffrage in the Minnesota House of Representatives for Eva J. Spaulding and others
- The petition made little progress beyond its referral to the joint committee on amendments to the constitution.
- At 11th National Women's Rights Convention, the first since the start of the Civil War, was held in New York City. Lucretia Mott presided over a merger between suffragists and the American Anti-Slavery Association creating the American Equal Rights Association.
- A second proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution extending suffrage to all men was narrowly defeated by popular vote - 28,794 against the amendment and 27,479 for it.
- The 1867 Military Reconstruction Acts required the 10 former Confederate states to adopt constitutions guaranteeing suffrage to African-American men
- Territorial Suffrage Act granted suffrage to African American men in the territories
- Representative Alpheus B. Colton, on behalf of Mary A. Graves, presented a woman suffrage petition with more than 350 signatures to the Minnesota House of Representatives Election Committee
Minnesota male voters approved a Minnesota Constitutional Amendment, by a margin of 56.7 percent to 43.3 percent, extending suffrage to black men, Indian men, and mixed-blooded males over the age of 21.
- July 9, 1868 - 14th Amendment to the US Constitution granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves, was ratified
John W. Menard, a black man, was elected to Congress from Louisiana but barred from taking his seat by white members of Congress.
- Mary Jackman Colburn fromed a suffagist society in Champlin and Sarah Burger Stearns formed a suffragist society of 50 women in Rochester, Minnesota's first two suffragist societies.
- A petition with 605 signatures seeking women’s suffrage the Minnesota House of Representatives was the first to be petition to actually become a bill - House File 91 – the first bill supporting women’s rights in the state of Minnesota.
- February 26, 1869 - Congress passed the 15th Amendment
- May 15, 1969 - The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) founded in New York by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on
- NWSA was a female lead organization which advocated for a constitutional amendment to secure the vote for women, supported a variety of reforms that aimed to make women equal members of society and opposed the Fifteenth Amendment due to its failure to include women.
- Sarah Burger Stearns, who had moved to Duluth, was one of the founding vice presidents.
- Constitution of NWSA
- The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) founded in Boston by by Lucy Stone, Henry Brown Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe.
- AWSA focused solely on the vote to attract as many supporters as possible. AWSA included male leaders, pursued a state-by-state strategy and supported the Fifthteen Amendment.
- December 10, 1869 - Women in Wyoming Territory become the first in the US to be granted full suffrage.
- Indians and people of color in Massachusetts were granted citizenship in the Commonwealth and entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a citizen.
- February 3, 1870 - The 15th Amendment, granting African American men the right to vote, was ratified.
- March 9, 1870 - Minnesota Governor Horace Austin vetoed a constitutional amendment bill which extended suffrage to all citizens, male and female, aged 21 and over, as well as immigrants and Native Americans, who agreed to live by US laws and customs, including the adoption of the English language.
- Governor Austin believed the bill to be unconstitutional as the bill also stated that both men and women who met all necessary qualifications would be permitted to vote on the amendment, although women's votes would be placed in "separate and distinct ballot boxes."
- The Utah Territorial Legislature approved full suffrage for women
- The Naturalization Act excluded Chinese men from citizenship and voting. It also prohibited the wives of Chinese laborers from entering the United States
- The Anti-Suffrage Party was founded. More on anti-suffragism
- Almira W. Anthony (whose husband was a cousin of Susan B. Anthony), Mary Powell Wheeler and Hattie M. White formed a suffragist society in Kasson, Minnesota.
- On November 5, 1872, Susan B Anthony and 7 other women voted in Rochester, New York in the Presidential Election
- Sojourner Truth also tried to vote but was refused a ballot in Battle Creek, Michigan
- On November 18, 1872, Susan B Anthony was arrested for illegal voting.
- She successfully used her arrest and trial to bring attention to woman's suffrage
- The Minnesota Suffrage in School Affairs Amendment, also known as Amendment 2, authorized the Minnesota legislature to grant women suffrage in school affairs
- Susan B. Anthony proposed wording for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment
- “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
- Mary Jackman Colburn elected school director of School District No. 4 in Champlin.
- Minnesota male voters rejected a Minnesota Constitutional Amendment allowing women the right to vote on the “whiskey question.”
- The Susan B. Anthony Amendment was first introduced to the US Congress introduced by Senator A.A. Sargeant of California.
- A 1878 Petition for Woman's Suffrage from African American citizens of Washington DC, including two of Frederick Douglas' children, was delivered to Congress.
- The first state wide suffragist organization, the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA), was founded in Hastings by 14 women, including including Dr. Martha George Ripley (Minneapolis), Harriet Bishop (St Paul) , Sarah Stearns, Dr. Mary Colburn (Champlin) and Julia B. Nelson (Red Wing).
- The Chinese Exclusion Act barred people of Chinese ancestry from becoming American citizens
- Helen E. Gallinger began editing a woman suffrage column in State Temperance Review,
- MWSA organizer L. May Wheeler formed committees for suffrage work in Anoka, Armstrong, Blakely, Brooklyn Center, Champlin, Frontenac, Long Prairie, Long Lake, and Wabashaw.
- MWSA organizer L. May Wheeler formed formed Suffrage Societies in Wayzata, Farmington, Red Wing, Mantorille, Excelsior, Rochford, Lake City, Shakopee, and Jordan
- The Kasson Suffrage Society became an auxiliary of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association
- Women in the Washington territory were granted full voting rights
- The Supreme Court ruled in Elk v. Wilkins that John Elk, a Native American from Nebraska, could not vote.
- On October 13-14, the American Suffrage Association (AWSA) held its seventeenth annual national convention at First Redeemer Church, Minneapolis. More Info
- The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union presented a 1885 Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Petition for Woman's Suffrage to Congress.
- On January 25, the U.S. Senate took the first vote on woman suffrage, where it was defeated 34 to 16, with 25 members absent
- On February 18, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was formed from a merger of National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) with the single goal of obtaining the right to vote for women
- The Indian Naturalization Act required Native Americans to complete an application to gain citizenship
- Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) made it first annual attempt to remove the word "male" from the state's voting requirements - the Minnesota Senate passed the bill but the bill was never voted on by the Minnesota House (Mar 16, 1893 Star Tribune article)
- Women's Day was celebrated at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) began distributing suffragist material at a suffragist booths at the Minnesota State Fair, which they continued every year until passage of the 19th Amendment.
- Minnesota voters approved a Minnesota Constitutional Amendment removing the right to vote from non-Citizens who had filed a Declaration of Intent for citizenship
- Mary Church Terrell helped found the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) which provided Black women a national platform to advocate for woman suffrage and women’s rights causes.
- A new "grandfather clause" by Louisiana legislators disenfranchised African-American men
- Equal Suffrage National Conference held at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis
- October - Carrie Chapman Catt and Susan B. Anthony both hold speeches in Minneapolis
- The Woman Suffrage Club of Minneapolis changed its name to the Political Eqality Club of Minneapolis to avoid name confusion with the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association
- In Montana, a one-year residency requirement effectively disenfranchised those living on Indian reservations because the reservation was not considered part of the state
- The Minnesota Women Vote for Library Boards Constitutional Amendment, granting women the right to vote for and serve on library boards, was passed with 62 percent of the male public voting in favor.
- The Everywoman Suffrage Club for African American women was founded in Minnesota by 25 women, electing Nellie Griswold Francis as president.
- Mary Church Terrell, president of the National Association of Colored Women, spoke at the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D.C about "The Progress of Colored Women"
- The Supreme Court validated Mississippi's literacy test in Williams v. Mississippi
- In Idaho, the right to vote excluded Native Americans who were not taxed, who had not severed their tribal relations and who had not adopted the "habits of civilization".