Isabel González was a Puerto Rican activist who helped pave the way for Puerto Ricans to be given United States citizenship. As a young unwed pregnant woman, González had her plans to find and marry the father of her unborn child derailed by the United States Treasury Department when she was excluded as an alien "likely to become a public charge" upon her arrival in New York City. González challenged the Government of the United States in the groundbreaking case Gonzales v. Williams. Officially the case was known as Isabella Gonzales, Appellant, v. William Williams, United States Commissioner of Immigration at the Port of New York No. 225, argued December 4, 7, 1903, and decided January 4, 1904. Her case was an appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, filed February 27, 1903, after also having her Writ of Habeas Corpus dismissed.
|Born||May 02, 1882, San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|Died||June 11, 1971, New Jersey|
|Spouse||Juan Francisco Torres (DOB July 13, 1879, DOD April 26, 1962)|
|Relatives||Parents: Severo González and Antonia Dávila of San Juan, Puerto Rico|
Remembered for her involvement in the important 1904 United States Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Williams, Gonzalez played a key role in securing United States citizenship rights for her fellow Puerto Ricans.
She began her series of court battles after arriving pregnant at Ellis Island, New York, in 1902, to join her fiance in the mainland United States.
While seeking American citizenship, she wrote numerous influential letters to the New York Times.
The child of Antonia and Severo Gonzalez, she grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her first marriage, which ended with her husband's death, resulted in one child; her second marriage, to Juan Francisco Torres, lasted five decades and produced four children.
Thirteen years after Gonzalez's case was tried in federal court, the Jones-Shafroth Act, which guaranteed United States citizenship to all Puerto Rican citizens, was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
- History of women in Puerto Rico - The recorded history of women in Puerto Rico can trace its roots back to the era of the Taíno, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, who inhabited the island that they called "Boriken" before the arrival of Spaniards.
- Insular Cases - The Insular Cases are a series of opinions by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1901, about the status of U.S. territories acquired in the Spanish–American War, and the periods shortly thereafter.
- Puerto Rican activists
Latest information about Isabel González updated on June 14 2021.