Biographical Sketch of Alice Cramer Clement

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Alice Cramer Clement, 1872-1963

By Sophie van den Elzen, PhD Candidate at Utrecht University

Alice Doris Cramer was born in 1871 in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Catherine Roofson and Densmore Cramer. She studied music at the University of Michigan from 1889 to 1893. In July 1895 she married Willard Kimball Clement, who had obtained his doctorate in classics from University of Michigan in 1892. While Willard taught at Northwestern University, until 1903, Alice was an instructor in vocal music at Stevens Point Normal School and regularly performed. Willard filed for divorce in 1908, citing that Alice had left him in 1906 and moved to Yonkers, N.Y. Alice was praised for her vocal talents and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Willard's friends deemed her departure "another case of the artistic temperament yearning for a career." Alice worked as a vocal teacher and supervisor of music in Rochester public schools in 1904-1907. She died in Chula Vista, CA, in 1963.

The earliest known mentions of Alice's suffrage activity occur in 1912, when the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle announces one of her public speeches on suffrage, and mentions her as the president of the Rochester Political Equality Club (later reorganized into the Monroe County Woman Suffrage Party), in which capacity she attended the Albany State Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1913 she became chairman of the 7th of the 12 campaign districts of New York State in the campaign for the woman suffrage amendment. She headed the first Rochester suffrage parade in 1915. Besides hosting and lecturing both for suffragists and anti-suffragists, Alice was also charged with tasks like devising the program for the suffrage school and organizing the convention of February 1914. She attended the National Woman Suffrage Party convention in Atlantic City in Sep 1916. In 1917, she became the executive secretary for the state headquarters of the Woman Suffrage Party in New York. Late 1917 she became the first vice-president of the Federation of Women's Clubs.

She became active in community and political work after suffrage. In 1927 she served as the Chair and Executive Secretary of the Helen Probst Abbott Committee to get her elected councilman of the East District. In 1938, Alice was chairman of the legislative committee of the Monroe County League of Women Voters and acted as a spokesperson for the media on issues such as the political spoils system. She was reported to be active for the League of Women Voters in 1938.

Alice was not shy to talk to the press, and gave lectures such as "The Patriotism of Woman: Is it Worthy of Expression at the Ballot Box?" (1913) and "Why We Carry On the Woman Suffrage Campaign as a War Measure"(1917). Most of the reports on her activities can be found in the Democrat and Chronicle, which frequently quoted her.

Besides being an avid lecturer and organizer, Alice engaged in debates surrounding music pedagogy both in her teaching practice and in lectures and articles. She donated various musical items to University of Michigan. She also agitated against alcoholism and war, and appears to have made a donation to NAACP's The Crisis in 1934. Alice was reported to have become a suffragist "as a result of her comprehensive education and her experience as a teacher and leader" ("Planning")

Portrait of Alice C. Clement, printed in Commercial Advertiser: Woman Suffrage Edition Tuesday March 16 1915 42.52

Mrs. Alice C. Clement. "Planning Suffrage School." Democrat and Chronicle 29 Jan 1914, p.18. www.newspapers.com/image/135796511/ accessed 17 April 2017

"Well Known Novelist to Come under City Club's Sponsorship" Democrat and Chronicle, 30 Oct 1927, p 48. www.newspapers.com/image/135325706/ accessed 13 April 2017

"Mrs Alice G. Clement [. . .] is the chairman of the City Planning Committee of the Women's City Club, which is co-operating with the Civic Housekeeping in sponsoring the lecture of Miss Zona Gale next Saturday (photo by Moser)"

"To New York Conference." Democrat and Chronicle 5 Jan 1914, p. 18 www.newspapers.com/image/135791780/ accessed 17 April 2017.

"Prof. M'Gill Scores Ban on Vote Aid." Democrat and Chronicle 5 Nov 1938, p. 13. www.newspapers.com/image/135836960/ accessed 14 April 2017.

Suffragist Carries on Voting at 81" Democrat and Chronicle, 3 Nov 1948 p 19 www.newspapers.com/image/136228340/ accessed 13 April 2017

"Pageant Planned: Women's Clubs to Celebrate 50th Year." Democrat and Chronicle. 12 Nov 1948, p31. www.newspapers.com/image/136229618

"Campaigners for Votes for Women." Democrat and Chronicle Jun 18 1913, p. 15. www.newspapers.com/image/135736778/ accessed 13 April 2017

Sources

Michigan County Marriages, 1820-1940. FamilySearch, familysearch.org/tree/person/KZWS-71X/details accessed 12 April 2017; Cramer, Alice. Alumnae Survey Database, University of Michigan. bentley.umich.edu/legacy-support/um/voices/voices_search.php?id=628 accessed 13 April 2017; "Appointments Talked Over By the School Board." Democrat and Chronicle 1 Jun 1904, p13. www.newspapers.com/image/135349661/?terms=alice%2Bc.%2Bclement accessed 14 April 2017; "As Women See Patriotism" Democrat and Chronicle 2 Jul 1913, p.19 www.newspapers.com/image/135737294/ accessed 14 April 2017; "Scatterers of Sunshine Coming: International Association to Meet Here in May." Democrat and Chronicle. 4 Apr 1912, p17. www.newspapers.com/image/135944916/ accessed 14 April 2017; "In Memoriam." The Phi Beta Kappa Key 5.5, October 1923. www.jstor.org/stable/4291392 accessed 13 April 2017; The Rochester Historical Society: Publication Fund Series Vol.3. Rochester Historical Society. Rochester: The Society, 1924. Google Books.; Digitized Scrapbooks: Biography of Women. Vol.4. Historic Scrapbooks Collection www.libraryweb.org/~digitized/scrapbooks/biography_of_women/ accessed 14 April 2017; "Divorce Proceedings." Stevens Point Daily Journal 27 Jan. 1908. Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/251062699/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Husband Jarred Artistic Temperaments, So She Left." Saint Louis Post-Dispatch 25 Jan 1908, Newspapers.Com, www.newspapers.com/image/138902955/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Suffrage Club Meets To-day." Democrat and Chronicle 5 Nov 1912, p.16 www.newspapers.com/image/135695435/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Mixed Emotions Aroused Here by Suffragettes." Democrat and Chronicle 6 May 1913, p.18. www.newspapers.com/image/135735909/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Organizing for Equal Suffrage." D and C 31 Aug 1913, p.26. www.newspapers.com/image/135759022/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Second District Suffrage Heads: Mrs. Alice C. Clement is Elected Leader." Democrat and Chronicle 6 Sep 1913, p.16. www.newspapers.com/image/135762148/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Planning Suffrage School." Democrat and Chronicle 29 Jan 1914, p.18. www.newspapers.com/image/135796511/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Women Restless? They Are: And it is Well That They Are, Says Mrs. Alice Clement." Democrat and Chronicle 28 Jan 1915, p. 11. www.newspapers.com/image/135293899/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Will Discuss Red Cross." Democrat and Chronicle 30 Jul 1916, p24. www.newspapers.com/image/135326657/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Suffrage Leader to Direct State Force." Democrat and Chronicle 16 Aug 1917, p. 14. www.newspapers.com/image/135345998/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Saving in Operating City Garbage Plant." Democrat and Chronicle 29 Dec 1917, p.12 www.newspapers.com/image/135353587/ accessed 13 April 2017; "An Army of Peace." International Woman Suffrage Vol. 1 (1 Oct 1914), p.177. Reprinted by Taylor and Franics, 2003. Ed. Sybil Oldfield. Google Books. https://books.google.nl/books?id=UTWZNdE-7BAC; "Deaths." Michigan Alumnus, LXX.5 Feb 1964 p167. Google Books. books.google.nl/books?id=LvPhAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false; "Spoils Threat Held Likely in Present Form." Democrat and Chronicle 1 Mar 1938. www.newspapers.com/image/135805462/ accessed 13 April 2017; "City Club Women Elect To-morrow." Democrat and Chronicle 16 May 1926, p49. www.newspapers.com/image/135134692/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Actress Speaks for Suffragists." Democrat and Chronicle 6 Nov 1912, p 11 www.newspapers.com/image/135695535/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Suffragist Carries on Voting at 81" Democrat and Chronicle, 3 Nov 1948 p 19 www.newspapers.com/image/136228340/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Putting Suffrage on the Map of New York State." The Irvington Gazette 24 Jul 1914. Historical Newspapers http://news.hrvh.org/veridian/cgi-bin/senylrc accessed 13 April 2017; "Well Known Novelist to Come under City Club's Sponsorship" Democrat and Chronicle, 30 Oct 1927, p 48. www.newspapers.com/image/135325706/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Group to Back Mrs. Abbott for Post in Council." Democrat and Chronicle 2 Apr 1927, p. 19. www.newspapers.com/image/135301852/ accessed 13 April 2017; "Normal Notes." Stevens Point Daily Journal 12 Nov 1902, p1. www.newspapers.com/image/250575264/ accessed 13 April 2017; "An Early Plan for Symphony Study." Democrat and Chronicle 22 Oct 1944 p. 60 www.newspapers.com/image/136371586/ accessed 13 April 2017; "They Remember Carried Petitions." Democrat and Chronicle 29 Apr 1945, p. 19 www.newspapers.com/image/135419799/ accessed 13 April 2017; The President's Report for 1940-1941. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1941. Google Books. https://books.google.nl/books?id=qBPiAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false accessed 14 April 2017; Proceedings of the Board of Regents. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1948. Google Books. https://books.google.nl/books?id=I0gXAQAAMAAJ accessed 13 April 2017; "Thank you!" The Crisis, 41.12 (Dec 1934), p. 377. Google Books. books.google.nl/books?id=DFgEAAAAMBAJ accessed 15 April 2017; "Campaigners for Votes for Women." Democrat and Chronicle Jun 18 1913, p. 15. www.newspapers.com/image/135736778/ accessed 13 April 2017; McKelvey, Blake. "Woman's Rights in Rochester: A Century of Progress." Rochester History, Vol.10, no. 2 and 3 (Jul 1948), p. 1-24. Libraryweb. www.libraryweb.org/~rochhist/v10_1948/v10i2-3.pdf; Keene, James A. A History of Music Education in the United States. 2nd ed. Glenbridge Publishing, 2008.

back to top