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MC 187

Stokes, Caroline Phelps, 1854-1909. Papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1866-1927: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe College
September 1973

© 1973 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 187
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Caroline (1854-1909) and Olivia (1847-1927) Phelps Stokes
Title: Papers, 1866-1927
Quantity: 1 box, 1 folio+ folder, 1 folio folder
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, travel journals, etc., of Caroline Phelps Stokes and Olivia Egleston Phelps Stokes, daughters from a wealthy and religious New York City family.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1973

Acquisition Information:

Accession number: 1042
The papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in July, 1966 by Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr.

Preferred citation for publication:

Caroline Phelps Stokes Papers of Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes, 1854-1927; item description, dates. MC 187, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Caroline and Olivia Phelps Stokes were sisters, born in New York City to wealthy, religiously zealous parents. They devoted their lives to Christian works through philanthropy, contributing to charitable, religious, and educational institutions, as well as to individuals in need. Caroline and Olivia were especially concerned with the problems of blacks, both in America and Africa, and gave generously to funds for schools and better housing. Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Hampton Institute in Virginia were among the beneficiaries. Caroline bequeathed her estate to the establishment of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, to be used for improved housing, and education for minority students. After Caroline's death, Olivia contributed to Negro education through the Fund.


This collection consists of letters of appreciation from individuals and institutions which benefited from the sisters' generosity; letters and other documents associated with the Ansonia Library in Connecticut, built by the sisters in memory of their father, James Stokes, and maternal grandfather, Anson Greene Phelps; letters from Olivia to Caroline; and various writings of Caroline, including her travel journals upon which Travels of a Lady's Maid, published anonymously in 1908, was based.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library. See also Caroline Phelps Stokes Papers, 1892-1927 (MC 188).


Additional catalog entries

Abbott, Lyman, 1835-1922
Ansonia Library
Berkshire Industrial Farm
Dwight, Rev. Timothy, 1828-1916
Travels of a Lady's Maid
Tuskegee Institute
Washington, Margaret I.