Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Julie Augusta Michelson (c. 1860-1933)

Written by Noe Tapia, Undergraduate, San Jose State University

Julie Augusta Michelson was born in the early 1860s. Her parents, Samuel and Rosalie Michelson, immigrated from Prussia (now Poland) in 1855. They initially settled in Murphy's Camp, California and then moved to Virginia City, Nevada. Michelson worked as a teacher in Virginia City. After some time, the Michelson family relocated to San Francisco, California where Julie continued to teach. Julie had eight siblings, some of which made a name for themselves by becoming well known across the country. Michelson died on January 6, 1933 in San Francisco.

Michelson became a schoolteacher at a young age. She graduated from the Girls' High School in San Francisco and taught at Lincoln Grammar School in 1890. Michelson was praised as one of the most intelligent and promising teachers. In 1897, Michelson worked at Adam's Cosmopolitan Grammar School and then as the Vice Principal at Pacific Heights School. A few years later in 1901, Michelson was offered the position of Vice Principal of the Burnett School. For reasons unknown, Michelson did not want to transfer schools and asked to remain at Pacific Heights School. Her superiors allowed her to keep her position at Pacific Heights.

For the majority of her life, Julie lived with her younger sister Miriam in San Francisco. Miriam was involved in the women's suffrage movement, but it is not certain if her interest arose from her sister Julie, who also did her part in the movement, or if Julie gained interest through Miriam. The Michelson sisters helped in the 1911 California vote for an amendment by assisting Gail Laughlin who was overseeing the suffrage campaign in San Francisco prior to the 1911.


1.)"Board of Education Makes More Transfers." San Francisco Chronicle. 1 August 1897, 23.

2.)Harper, H. Ida, ed. The History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 5 (New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 50 [LINK].

3.)"Lincoln Grammar." San Francisco Chronicle, 9 February 1890, 12.

4.)"Thinks There Was A Plot." San Francisco Chronicle. 25 July 1901, 12.

5.)U.S. Bureau of the Census, Tenth Census of the United States, 1880.

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