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Selected Primary Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection
The Sophia Smith Collection's family papers are rich sources on women's suffrage, the abolition of slavery, social reform, education, and travel as well as windows on family life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The families vary in size from large clans to small households and are mostly middle class and from the New England region of the United States. Most of the families feature prominent women who participated in activities both within and outside the home. The collections listed below are open to research according to the guidelines of the Sophia Smith Collection. There are a few collections of family papers that are not listed because they are closed due to donor restrictions.
Ames Family Papers (1812-2004), 60.5 linear ft. (148 boxes)
The papers include genealogical and biographical materials, correspondence, diaries, artwork, writings, research, photographs, and printed materials. The bulk of the collection pertains to Blanche Ames Ames, suffragist, birth control advocate, artist, and inventor; her father, Adelbert Ames who was a Civil War general and Provisional Governor of Mississippi during the Reconstruction era; her husband, Botanist Oakes Ames; and their daughter Pauline Ames Plimpton. Also included are papers of Benjamin Butler, Sarah Hildreth Butler, plus other family members.View Finding Aid
Blake Family Papers (1872-1958), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
The collection contains a small amount of material related to Lillie Devereaux Blake (1833-1913) and her daughter Katherine Devereaux Blake (1858-1950). Lillie D. Blake was a suffragist, writer, women's rights advocate, and president of New York City Woman's Suffrage League. Katherine D. Blake was a pacifist, suffragist, ERA activist, teacher, a leader in the National Education Association, and the New York Chair of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. The Blake Family Papers include correspondence, biographical and printed material, writings (speeches, articles, clippings), and a scrapbook.View Finding Aid
Bodman Family Papers (1687-1980), 24 linear ft. (42 boxes)
The papers cover 10 generations of the Bodman family and are an extremely rich source for the study of U.S. social history. The earliest material (1680s-1830s) documents rural New England life primarily through financial records and legal instruments. Beginning in the 1830s the collection is augmented by family and business correspondence documenting daily life and business ventures in New England and the Midwest. By the 1880s the geographical center of the papers shifts to New York and the Midwest. For the period 1880 to 1920 family correspondence makes up a significant portion of the material, while business and financial records appear in much greater bulk. These materials are supplemented with diaries, memorabilia, photographs, writings, and papers relating to the service during World War I of Herbert Luther Sr. (1880-1958), and Theodora (Dunham) Bodman (1895-1983). The largest portion of the material, 1920 to 1980, is genealogy and family correspondence. In addition, there are diaries, photographs, scrapbooks memorabilia, and personal financial records.View Finding Aid
View portions of the Bodman Family Papers in the online exhibit, Across the Generations: Exploring U.S. History through Family Papers.
Brewster Family Papers (1882-1967), 4.5 linear ft. (10 boxes)
These are the papers of sisters Anna Gertrude Brewster (1869-1967), English teacher, and Mary Kate Brewster (1871-1957), traveler and writer. Anna Gertrude graduated from Smith College in 1893 and taught in Brewster, Massachusetts, and Nashua, New Hampshire, before studying at Oxford University (1906-1907). She then taught English at Northampton (MA) High School (1907-1940) and the Northampton School For Girls. Anna Gertrude's papers consist of personal diaries, family correspondence, and letters from former students. Mary Kate traveled twice to Australia (1893-1896) and to the American West (1920-1921). She was devoted to theatre, particularly to the Academy of Music in Northampton, and wrote several books and plays, some of which were published. Mary Kate's papers include diaries and correspondence from two trips around the world (1893-94 and 1896-97); typescripts of novels and plays; correspondence with family, actors, and actresses of the day; and published articles and theatre memorabilia. The collection also contains materials relating to the Brewster family in general including biographical material, family photographs, diaries, scrapbooks and other memorabilia, correspondence, writings, and the Brewster children's family newspaper (1884-1885).View Finding Aid
Bush-Brown Family Papers (1835-1969), 6.5 linear ft. (14 boxes)
The principal subjects of these papers are: Henry Kirke Bush-Brown (1857-1935), sculptor; Margaret (Lesley) Bush-Brown (1857-1944), painter; and their daughter, Lydia (Bush-Brown) Head (1887-?), artist, designer; also their sons, Harold Bush-Brown (1888-?), Professor of Architecture; and James Bush-Brown (1892-?), landscape architect. The papers include correspondence with Ellen Day Hale and others; diaries; writings; books; original sketches, paintings, and many photos of artwork; a biographical sketch of Margaret Bush-Brown's father, J. Peter Lesley, geologist; and travel correspondence of Lydia Head from Europe.View finding aid
Cheney Family Papers (1836-1904), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Mary (Bushnell) Cheney (?- 22 Jun 1917) married Frank Woodbridge Cheney (5 Jun 1832-26 May 1909) in 1863. They had 12 children. Frank worked in silk manufacturing and travelled to China and elsewhere. He was also a lieutenant colonel in the Civil War. They lived in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Keene Valley, New York. The Cheney Family Papers include family letters edited by Eileen Learned, typed and bound with illustrations (copyright 1988).View finding aid
Clark-Warner Family Papers (1834-77), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Asel and Clarissa Warner Clark (d. 1876) and their five children resided in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The papers include correspondence of two generations of this nineteenth century family. The major components are the courtship letters of Asel Clark and Clarissa Warner, circa 1834 to 1835; other letters received by Clarissa (Warner) Clark at this time and in later years; and correspondence of their children, from 1862 to 1877.View Finding Aid
Dunham Family Papers (1814-1951), 20 linear ft. (56 boxes)
The collection represents four generations of the Dunham, Parker, Kellogg, and Dows families, from the 1850s to the 1950s. It includes correspondence, writings, medical research, family histories, genealogies, scrapbooks, diaries, commonplace books, financial records, minutes, reports, legal documents, artwork, photographs, and memorabilia. The collection documents the medical education, research, and professional activities of doctors Carroll Dunham (1828-1877) and Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr. (1860-1922) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; financial activities of Edward Kellogg Dunham Jr. (1901-1951) in early 20th century New York City; World War I medical and volunteer work of women, including Mary Dows Dunham (1865-1936), and her daughter Theodora Dunham Bodman (1895-1983); creative writings including family "magazines;" artwork; numerous photographs and negatives of family, friends, Mount Desert Island (Maine), and the northeast coast (1910s-1940s); and travel correspondence, diaries, and photographs of Europe, Egypt, the western U.S., and Panama, dating from 1855 to 1940.View Finding Aid
View portions of the Dunham Family Papers in the online exhibit, Across the Generations.
Eastman-Goodale-Dayton Family Papers (1861-2010), 6.5 linear ft. (17 boxes)
The principal family members represented in the papers are sisters Elaine Goodale [Eastman] (1863-1953), writer and teacher; Dora Read Goodale (1839-1910), writer, poet, and director of Uplands Sanitarium in Tennessee; Rose Sterling Goodale [Dayton] (1870 -1965), writer and poet; their mother Deborah Read Goodale (1839-1910), teacher and writer; and their father Henry S. Goodale (1836 -1906), teacher, farmer, and writer. The family resided in the Southern Berkshires near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. There is a substantial amount of writings and correspondence of sisters Dora Read Goodale and Elaine Goodale Eastman who were writers from early childhood and achieved wide renown as child-prodigies. They published three books of poetry between 1878 and 1881. The bulk of the papers are those of Elaine Goodale Eastman and include correspondence, writings, photographs and organizations related to Indians of North America. The collection also includes published writings of Elaine’s husband Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman (1858 -1939), a Santee Sioux, who was a physician at the Pine Ridge Agency school where she taught. Of particular interest are photographs of South Dakota in the 1890s, particularly of the Pine Ridge Agency, Native Americans, and the Wounded Knee massacre by American troops.View Finding Aid
Garrison Family Papers (1694-2003), 165.75 linear ft. (302 boxes)
The Garrison Family Papers contain thousands of primary sources that document the family's involvement in politics, business, art, literature, religion, education, and most of the major reform movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The bulk of the material dates from 1830 to 1950. Extensive correspondence, diaries, clippings, articles, speeches, photographs, memorabilia, and a wide variety of printed materials trace the activities of the Garrison, Coffin, Mott, and Wright families and their friends and associates in England, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York, among other places. Although there are letters and other documents relating to abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), the largest part of the material relates to his son, William Lloyd Garrison (1838-1909), Ellen Wright Garrison (1840-1931), and their descendents. The papers are an especially important source on women's rights because they include the correspondence of Martha Coffin Wright (1806-1875) with other leaders of the movement. Major correspondents on the abolition of slavery, women's rights, and other reforms include Susan B. Anthony, Alice Stone Blackwell, Henry B. Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy Conant, Kate Daniel, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Henry George, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst, Theodore Parker, Wendell Phillips, Parker Pillsbury, Louis Prang, Caroline Severance, Anna Howard Shaw, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Booker T. Washington, Theodore Dwight Weld, Frances E. Willard and Marie Zakrzewska. The collection is also a fine source for social history as it documents four generations over two centuries.View Finding Aid
View portions of the Garrison Family Papers in the online exhibit, Across the Generations.
Grant Family Papers (1778-1913), 2.25 linear ft. (5 boxes)
The collection is comprised of the papers of Elijah Grant (1782-1867), his wife Elizabeth Phelps Grant (1784-1866), their children, and the descendents of the eldest son, Elijah Phelps Grant (1809-1875). The correspondence consists mainly of letters exchanged within the family from the 1830s to the 1860s, including letters of Zilpah Polly Grant Banister (1794-1874), Elijah Grant's sister and founder of the Adams Female Seminary in Derry, New Hampshire, to her nephews Marcus (b.1827) and John (1822-1878) after she had retired from Ipswich Female Seminary and married. Correspondence of other family members relates to such topics as the maintenance of the original Connecticut homestead, banking in Canton, Ohio, and the starting of businesses in Nebraska and Illinois. In addition to correspondence, the collection contains financial records, account books, diaries, a few photographs, compositions, and legal papers. Notebooks, lectures, essays, and newspaper articles by Elijah Phelps Grant span the period from his college days at Yale to old age. One of his college notebooks contains transcriptions of letters describing the death of his sister Mary Zilpah Grant Burgess (1811-1842) who died of cholera in India where she and her husband were missionaries.View finding aidSee also Grant Family Papers at the Five College Archives Digital Access Project.
Hale Family Papers (1787-1988), 61.25 linear ft. (143 boxes)
The collection documents four generations of Hales and their Everett, Westcott, Gilman, Hooker, Stowe, Perkins, and Beecher relatives. Topics include nineteenth century American popular culture; travel in Europe, Egypt, Palestine, Mexico, Jamaica, and the U.S.; artists, literary figures, intellectuals and social reformers in New England. Family members most prominently represented are the Reverend Enoch Hale (1753-1837); Boston editor and entrepreneur Nathan Hale (1784-1863) and his wife, author and columnist Sarah Preston Everett Hale (1796-1866); author Lucretia Peabody Hale (1820-1900); author and social reformer Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909); politician and diplomat Charles Hale (1831-1882); artist, author, and lecturer Susan Hale (1833-1910); artist and art teacher Ellen Day Hale (1854-1940); artist, writer, art historian and teacher Philip Leslie Hale (1865-1931) and his wife, artist Lilian Westcott Hale (1880-1963). The Sophia Smith Collection also has the papers of author Nancy Hale (1908- ).View Finding Aid
View portions of the Hale Family Papers in the online exhibit, Across the Generations.
Hitchcock Family Papers (1841-1968), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Louise St. John Hitchcock (1841-1938), her husband Rufus Clark Hitchcock (1835-1894), and their son Alfred M. Hitchcock (1868-1941) are the primary family members represented in these papers. The papers include autobiographies of Rufus Clark Hitchcock and Louise St. John Hitchcock; a journal (1866) of Rufus Clark Hitchcock's travels in Massachusetts as a bookseller and descriptions of his birthplace Chittenden, Vermont; a family journal (1876-1890) with entries by various family members, containing genealogical records of the Farr, Hitchcock, and St. John families, and concerning life in various places including Keene, New Hampshire, and New Orleans, Louisiana; essays entitled "Simsbury Folks," by Alfred M. Hitchcock (son of Rufus C. and Louise); and photographs of Rufus Clark Hitchcock.View Finding Aid
Hudson Family Papers (1825-65), .5 linear ft. (1 box)
The collection relates primarily to physician, abolitionist, and social reformer Erasmus Darwin Hudson (1806-1880). His correspondence (1825-65) to and from family and friends includes commentary on anti-slavery and Civil War era events and personalities. His wife, Martha Turner Hudson (1806-1887), and sons Erasmus Darwin, Jr. (1843-1887), and Daniel Wyatt are also represented in the collection.View finding aid
Hunt Family Papers (1841-1903), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
This small collection consists of one box of correspondence, biographical materials, and records pertaining to Dr. Mary Olive Hunt's (1819-1908) training and career as a physician in Manchester, New Hampshire, from the 1860s to the 1890s. Correspondence of suffragist Elizabeth Bisbee Hunt includes letters from Susan B. Anthony, Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Dudley Warner, and Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne).View Finding Aid
Peabody Family Papers (1820-53), 1 linear ft. (4 boxes)
The collection focuses on three sisters: Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804-1894), Transcendentalist, teacher, author, abolitionist and educational reformer; Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (1806-1887), married to educator Horace Mann; and Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871), artist and writer, married to author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The collection consists primarily of letters from the Peabody sisters to their friend Maria Chase, of Salem, Massachusetts, describing their intellectual pursuits and social activities in Massachusetts, from 1820 to 1853.View Finding Aid
Pearce Family Papers (1880-1962), 1 linear ft. (3 boxes)
The collection represents the extended Pearce/Brown family members involved in education in under-served areas in the rural United States and missionary and education work in the Middle East, from the 1880s to the 1930s. The collection includes biographical and genealogical information; correspondence (1892-1962); photographs; a scrapbook; a travel diary from a European trip (1953); and writings (1911-53). Pamphlets and reports relating to the Sidon Female Seminary (Syria) are of particular interest.View finding aid
Southworth-Dickinson Family Papers (1792-2005), 78.5 linear ft. (157 boxes)
The Southworth-Dickinson Family Papers include letters, diaries, photographs, diaries, correspondence, autobiographical writings, and financial papers of the Southworth and Dickinson families of Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as the related Shepard, Boltwood, Thurston, Caffee, Deane, and Browne families. They document middle- and upper-class life in Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine, New York, and California. 19th century papers discuss such pivotal events in American history as the abolitionist movement and the Civil War. There are also significant items concerning the events surrounding the Spanish-American War and World War I. Family members also discuss travels to England, Italy, France, Germany, the Middle-East, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and the South Pacific. Also of interest are business records of the family owned paper mill in Western Massachusetts, and the papers of Alice. H. Southworth and her life partner Anna Jenks in the early and mid 20th century.View finding aid
Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers (1812-1982), 1.25 linear ft. (4 boxes)
The collection contains biographical material and correspondence representing three generations, plus writings and artwork of Caroline Sturgis Tappan, her sister Ellen Sturgis Hooper, and her daughter Mary Aspinwall Tappan. The Sturgis sisters were minor Transcendentalist poets whose work was occasionally published in The Dial. About two thirds of the collection consists of correspondence with family and friends. Notable correspondents include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne, William James, Lydia Maria Child, and William Ellery Channing. There are also drawings and watercolors by Caroline Sturgis Tappan; manuscripts of poems by Caroline Sturgis Tappan and Ellen Hooper; a published catalog of Caroline Sturgis Tappan's European travel photos; and correspondence pertaining to the transfer of the Tanglewood estate to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.View Finding Aid
Upton Family Papers (1853-1937), 2.5 linear ft. (7 boxes)
The collection consists of biographical material, club records, correspondence, diaries, memorabilia, photographs, and writings. Included are correspondence, diaries, and notes by Cornelia (Babcock) Upton (1854-1941) which document her extensive travels and contact with missionaries in a variety of locations including America, Hawaii, Alaska, Africa, and the Far East (1876-1927). Cornelia's daughters', Margaret and Eleanor Upton, papers include documents of the "Quier Kyds" (1897-1900), a children's club in Providence, Rhode Island, to which they belonged; and Eleanor's line-a-day diaries (1896-1920, 1924-26) and her dissertation, Guide to Sources of English History, 1603-1660.View finding aid
Wead Family Papers (1862-1936), .25 linear ft. (1 box)
The collection consists primarily of correspondence received by Mary Wead in the course of her work with the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War. Correspondents include Louisa Lee Schuyler, leader in 19th century welfare work; author Amy Lowell; and Letitia Campbell of the Freedman's Union Commission. There is a small amount of correspondence to other Wead family members, from 1911 to 1936.View Finding Aid
Weston-Allen Family Papers (1848-1985), .5 linear ft. (1 box)
The majority of the collection is correspondence, documenting the courtship and marriage of Grace Weston Allen and Walter Allen. The collection includes letters exchanged between Grace and Walter before and after their marriage and letters from other family members to Allen during his service as paymaster in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. A published version of the Weston-Allen letters: Ten Years A-Courting: Letters of Walter Allen and Grace Weston, 1856-1868, as well as photographs and biographical materials, are also included in the collection.View Finding Aid
The Families Collection (1853-1980), .75 Linear ft. (2 boxes)
This is a small collection of mostly printed materials addressing a range of topics such as homemakers, housework, marriage, unwed mothers, and divorce. Types of materials include articles, bibliographies, books, greeting cards, leaflets, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, reports, and course syllabi. Documents from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries include Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1907 article on motherhood and a 1928 article entitled “Yashee: Motherhood and Babyhood in Soviet Russia.” The collection also documents changes in American family structures and norms that resulted from cultural and socio-economic forces of the 1960s and 1970s.View Finding Aid.
For secondary sources, see the Browsing and Reference collections in the Special Collections Reading Room.
(Note: The SSC is actively collecting the papers and oral histories of women and the records of their organizations. Please see the complete list of collections or contact us for updated information on our holdings.)