Skip to main content

Man on quest to restore grandmother's citizenship 87 years after her death

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A Minneapolis man is seeking to re-establish the citizenship of his deceased Minnesota-born grandmother, who was stripped of it nearly 100 years ago by a little-known law, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Elsie Knutson Moren was born in Skibo Township, between Brimson and Embarrass, and lived in the state until she died in 1926, at the age of 35, from complications of child birth, the newspaper reports.

Her grandson Daniel Swalm, while doing some family research in 2008, discovered that the Expatriation Act of 1907 revoked citizenship for women who married an unnaturalized immigrant. Among other indignities, Moren had been unable to vote in 1920 when the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to cast a ballot.

“That really frosts me,” Swalm said.

His grandmother had married Carl Moren in 1914, who immigrated from Sweden in 1911, Swalm wrote in a guest column in the Star Tribune, where he offers more details of her story. The two danced, fell in love, were married and had three kids, he wrote. They lived a quiet life until she died a noncitizen, he said.

One expert tells the News Tribune that tens of thousands of women were divested of their citizenship as a result of the Expatriation Act of 1907. It wasn't until 1940 that Congress scrapped the last bits of the 1907 legislation, Swalm noted.

Now Swalm is appealing to Congress for a posthumous restoration of the women's citizenship, or at the least, an official apology. To increase awareness of his campaign, he created a “Justice for Elsie” Facebook page.

Next Up

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken filling in as guest host of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Franken, a comedian and former Minnesota senator, will perform comedy four nights in a row in Minneapolis following the appearance on the show.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

1 dead, 1 critical after shooting at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis

It's the second killing in a week at the intersection in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.24.22 AM

Teen driver crashes into parked payloader; 16-year-old passenger dies

The crash happened early Saturday morning in Waconia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.10.50 AM

Barrage of gunfire injures boy in Brooklyn Park; vehicles, apartments damaged

Police say they recovered evidence that more than 40 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 9.15.07 AM

Minnesota Wild back away from thin blue line T-shirt giveaway

The giveaway backfired when word of it reached social media.

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

Related

The Edmund Fitzgerald remembered 37 years after wreck

Saturday marks 37 years since the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. A crew of 29 men died in the shipwreck. The freighter carrying taconite traveling from Superior to Detroit made its last contact with a nearby ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, a little after 7 p.m. that fateful day. Minutes later, the ship disappeared from radar screens.

Dupre once again attempts his quest to summit Alaska’s Mount McKinley

Lonnie Dupre of Grand Marais hopes the third time's a charm as he tries to become the first person to reach the top of Alaska's Mount McKinley in January 2013, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Dupre, 51, will begin his solo winter climb in December.