As a result of federal legislation in 1907, American-born women lost their citizenship when they married alien men. Derivative citizenship resulted in thousands of Minnesota women becoming aliens in their own country. Digital tools and databases are making it easier to learn who these women were. Scholars to date have focused on American women who married German nationals because all enemy aliens—including American-born women married to alien men from Germany and its allies—had to register with the federal government. Thus, there is a clear paper trail. Such a trail exists in Minnesota, too, because of a unique 1918 order that required all aliens (and not just enemy aliens) to register in the state. In this presentation, Lori Ann Lahlum explores the expatriation of American-born women in Minnesota who married aliens and the ways in which we can reclaim their stories.
Free and open to the public