Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee

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Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee (October 21, 1886 – October 5, 1993) was the first Chinese American woman to register to vote in the United States. She registered to vote on November 8, 1911 in California following the passage of Proposition 4 in California, nine years before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Clara Elizabeth (Yee Miew) Chan was born October 21, 1886, the daughter of the Methodist Rev. Chan Hon Fun (Chan Hon Fan) and Ow Muck Gay. The Rev. Chan Hon Fun was the pastor of the Chinese Community Methodist Church of Oakland in Oakland Chinatown from 1900 to 1909.

She was married to Charles Goodall Lee, the first licensed Chinese American dentist in the United States.

Clara was a founder of the Chinese Women's Jeloab (self reliance) Association.[1]

Clara was born in Portland and died October 5, 1993 in Alameda, California and is interred in Oakland.

See also[edit]


  • Yung, Judy (1995). "Unbound Feet, A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco". University of California Press
  • Armentrout, Eve and Ma, Jeong Huei (1982). "The Chinese of Oakland, Unsung Builders".
  • Wong, William (2004). "Images of America, Oakland's Chinatown". Arcadia Press.
  • "Chinese Weds a White Woman" (regarding Rev. Chan Hon Fan) from The San Francisco Call, February 26, 1901