Charlotte van Cleve with six children
Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark Van Cleve was born in Prairie du Chien in 1819, as her parents traveled west to establish a fort at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, later called Fort Snelling. She moved around the Midwest with her husband, Horatio, and returned with him to Minnesota in 1856. After Horatio returned from the Civil War, Charlotte fought for causes she believed in. She opened the Bethany Home to help women better their lives, was the first woman elected to the Minneapolis school board, and was named an honorary vice president of the National Women's Suffrage Association. The children pictured are likely six of Charlotte's children: Anna, Edward, Elizabeth, Paul, Samuel and Horatio. John (born around 1858-1859) and Carl (born around 1861-1862) are not pictured. This collection is dated around 1861-1862, a few years after the death of 18-year-old Anna van Cleve.