Dames International Scholars Visit Fort Snelling
Dames Support History Day 2019
The annual History Day Contest
, conducted in May 2019, involved more than 5,000 young scholars at regional and state History Day events. The Minnesota society once again awarded prizes for History Day day entries in the area of American Colonial History, and several Minnesota Dames served as volunteer judges.
Minnesota History Day is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society in partnership with the University of Minnesota.
2019 Annual Meeting
May 4 was the 2019 annual meeting of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of Minnesota. In addition to the business meeting, Ruth Stryker-Gordon gave a talk on Sarah T. Colvin, a women’s rights advocate who lived in St. Paul with her physician husband from 1897 until her death in 1949. Ruth fondly remembers visiting the Colvins each Christmas, playing games and receiving presents. In 1943, Sarah wrote her autobiography and Ruth read about Sarah’s participation in the women’s suffrage movement. Sarah was jailed after picketing the White House in 1918 and 1919, and her autobiography details her experience of being “behind locked doors” for the first time, the sound of rats, and the effects of the hunger strikes on her and her fellow captives. None of this was ever spoken of in the years Ruth knew the Colvins. Our group also thanked Ruth for her service as she retires from our board after serving as treasurer and second vice president. See the photo gallery for photos from the meeting.
Spring 2019 program at the Bell Museum
On a rainy Saturday in April, Minnesota Dames toured the new Bell Museum of Natural History
on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. We viewed the restored and relocated historic dioramas originally commissioned by James Ford Bell, learned a few "tricks of the trade" from our tour guides (what do you do when the moose is too tall for the space?), and enjoyed the new interactive features highlighting University of Minnesota professors and citizen science. Thanks go to the outing’s planners. View the photos in our photo gallery
2019 Scholarship Winners Announced!
Scholarship winners of the Colonial Dames Minnesota International Student Scholarship at the University of Minnesota have been announced! Videos and bios are listed here
. Thank you to the Dames scholarship committee for your work!
Dames Scholarship Recipient Wins Award
The University of Minnesota let us know that Dr. Patrick Mendis, Dames scholarship recipient in the 1980s, has won the International Confucius Award. You can read about it here
. The U also maintains a web page that includes the history of the scholarship and alumni profiles - check it out anytime here
. Congratulations, Dr. Mendis!
Lineage Papers Online!
We have been working behind the scenes to bring genealogy resources to our members. Lineage papers for current members are on line in the "Members Only" section of the website. We are adding past members frequently. Check out the "Lineage papers by ancestor" pages where we are just beginning to upload and organize papers by qualifying ancestor - you may find new cousins! History Sketches are also being updated - this month's sketch features Julia Bowen French Metcalf
, Minnesota Dame # 001.
A Ramsey Family Christmas
One of Minnesota’s first Colonial Dames, Marion Ramsey Furness, daughter of Alexander and Anna Ramsey, wrote to her daughter Anita, who was studying in Paris over Christmas 1895. She writes of Anita’s younger siblings Alexander and Laura, and mentions receiving three calendars for Christmas (“so I can keep the run of 1896 in many languages”) and cooking oysters in a chafing dish for Christmas dinner because the servants were off. Marion is a founder of NSCDA-MN. After her husband’s death, Marion and her children lived with her parents in the Alexander Ramsey house. Anita made a provision in her will for the Alexander Ramsey House to be cared for jointly by the Colonial Dames and the Minnesota Historical Society. We have both Anita’s and Laura’s lineage papers, and while Anita went through her mom’s lines to Joseph Kirkbride as her qualifying ancestor, Laura went through her father’s side to Captain Roger Clapp. For the full letter and photos, see Marion Ramsey Furness under History Sketches.
Minnesota Dames Included in U of M Newsletter
The photo and note below was included in the most recent Global U: Spotlight on Teaching, Research and Engagement from the University of Minnesota.
Way to go Meryl, Katharine, and Ann!
For the full issue, click here
Minnesota Dames tour LeDuc House
Minnesota Dames toured the William and Mary LeDuc house
in Hastings for their fall program. Visit our Gallery for photos of our tour. Built between 1862 and 1866, the LeDuc estate's Gothic Revival design was selected by Mary Bronson LeDuc while General William LeDuc was away fighting for the Union in the Civil War. We learned of William and Mary's lives and those of their four children. Several of our Dames remembered Carroll Simmons, the antiques dealer who donated the house for preservation. Despite the chill, it was an enjoyable tour. Thanks go to the group that planned and executed our visit, including carpools. To view photos, click here