[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.PEAB:pea00032View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
993.21; 994-22

Day, Caroline Bond, 1889-1948. Papers of Caroline Bond Day, bulk, 1918-1931: A Finding Aid

Peabody Museum Archives
Harvard University

[link]

©2008 The President and Fellows of Harvard College


1994, rev. 1996, 2008. Last update 2016 August 30

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Peabody Museum Archives, Harvard University
Call No.: 993-21; 994-22
Location: Peabody Museum Archives
Title: Day, Caroline Bond, 1889-1948. Papers of Caroline Bond Day, bulk, 1918-1931
Creator: Caroline Bond Day
Quantity: 32 linear feet (16 boxes; 10 flat file drawers )
Abstract: The papers reflect Caroline Bond Day's interest in sociological and anthropological research of cross-cultural families, culminating in her publication, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States. The papers contain significant information relating to family life, housing, occupations, salaries, religious affiliations, education, special interests, and political activities. The Papers also include materials CBD collected to aid in her research, such as news clippings, pamphlets, books, and manuscripts by other researchers. Included is a speech given by Earnest A. Hooton to Howard University students in 1929.

Processed by:

Staff of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology with the support of a 1993 National Endowment for the Humanites grant.
1991-1996

Acquisition Information:

993-21; 994-22
These papers were received by the Peabody Museum shortly after Day completed her master's thesis with Harvard anthropologist Earnest A. Hooton.
1932

Access Restrictions:

Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions:

Unrestricted.

Biographical Sketch

Caroline Stewart Bond Day (CBD) was born on November 18, 1889, in Montgomery, Alabama, to Georgia and Moses Stewart. The Stewart family lived in Boston for several years. After CBD's father's death, her mother moved the family to Tuskegee, Alabama; there Georgia Stewart taught school and married John Percy Bond, a life insurance company executive. CBD adopted her stepfather's last name. Georgia and John Bond had two children together, a daughter, Wenonah Bond Logan, and a son, Jack Bond.
CBD was introduced to the field of anthropology in a class at Radcliffe taught by Earnest A. Hooton. During her senior year, she began collecting the physiological and sociological information on 'mixed' families which would lead to her publication A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States (1932). In her Radcliffe yearbook and alumna record, CBD listed social service work, not anthropology, as her ultimate career goal.
Following graduation from Radcliffe, CBD was employed by a variety of institutions. In 1919, she worked briefly in New York City in relief and support services for black soldiers and their families, and also served as student secretary of the National Board of the YWCA. Later that year, she moved to Waco, Texas, where she taught English at Paul Quinn College and Prairie View College in Houston, Texas. In March of 1920, Caroline Bond married Aaron Day (AD), a chemistry teacher at Prairie View College. AD had graduated from Prairie View in 1919, and served overseas during World War I. After his marriage, AD joined the National Benefit Life Insurance Company as a salesman. CBD's stepfather was also employed in this company. Because of AD's frequent promotions in the life insurance business, the Days moved several times during the next two decades. In 1922, they lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where CBD began teaching English and drama at her alma mater, Atlanta University. She remained there until 1929. During this period, she also published some essays and short stories, including the clearly autobiographical tale "The Pink Hat" (Sollors).
The research that CBD began with Hooton in her senior year at Radcliffe (1919) was "continued only in her spare time" over the next thirteen years. In 1927, when Hooton received a grant from the Bureau of International Research (BIR) of Harvard University and Radcliffe College, CBD received funds to support her research. While working in Hooton's lab, CBD collected and analyzed physiological and sociological information on 346 families, with the help of her half-sister, Wenonah Bond. This information was compiled in the 1928 manuscript "Preliminary Notes on Sociological Data for Negro-White Crosses." CBD took a leave from the project because of exhaustion and a rheumatic heart condition, and returned to Atlanta University for the 1928-29 school year. She again taught English and was said to have given the first class in anthropology ever offered at Atlanta University. With a graduate fellowship from the BIR, CBD returned to Radcliffe in late 1929 to complete her study, which culminated in the award of the Master of Arts degree in 1930
CBD's thesis was prepared for publication in the 1932 Harvard African Studies series Varia Africana. In 1930, the Days moved to Washington, D.C., where CBD taught and did social work. About this time, she befriended a young boy, Bernard (b. 1926) whom the Days adopted (although not legally). Bernard took their name as his own, becoming Bernard Aaron Day. From 1930 to 1933, CBD taught English at Howard University. In 1934, she became director of a settlement house in Washington, D.C., and AD joined the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. In 1937, CBD was appointed general secretary of the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the Washington, D.C., YWCA.
In late 1939, the Day family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where AD was promoted to the head office of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. CBD taught English and drama at North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University), but was forced to resign due to recurrent illness. Apart from some unpublished writings and occasional brief teaching assignments, the rest of CBD's life was devoted to, among other things, "gardening, specializing in the Hawaiian hybiscus [sic]." She read voraciously and participated in Durham's active club life. Although a stroke (with ensuing paralysis of an arm) hampered CBD's bridge-playing, a friend fashioned a stand for her out of plywood to help in dealing cards. On May 5, 1948, CBD died of cardiac complications. Her husband retired from North Carolina Mutual in 1960, two years after being elected Vice President and Agency Director. AD died in 1963.

Sources:

Scope and Content Note

The Papers reflect CBD's research interests between 1918 and 1931, and also represent some of the issues which engaged E.A. Hooton in the field of physical anthropology. The documents cover the period from 1890 to 1931; however, the bulk of the material dates from 1918 to 1931. The collection occupies 16 boxes and 10 flat file drawers. Included are correspondence; anthropometry for ms; questionnaires; tables; guides for taking measurements; family histories; genealogical charts, with corresponding photographic negatives and prints, and hair samples; and manuscripts for her publication, A Study of Some Negro-White Families in the United States. The Papers also include materials CBD collected to aid in her research, such as news clippings, pamphlets, books, and manuscripts by other researchers. Included is a speech given by to Howard University students in 1929.
The intent of the study, according to CBD, was to develop a "cross-section of life among colored people of mixed blood in this country." The categories which CBD identified in her study were Negro, Indian, and White. She gathered sociological and genealogical data from at least 346 families, including 1,385 individuals born after 1860 and living in the East and in the South. CBD conducted interviews with families in Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other cities. The majority of the photographs in the collection are copies of originals sent to CBD, which she returned. Although CBD never completed the sociological and genealogical aspects of the study to her satisfaction, the papers contain significant information relating to family life, housing, occupations and salaries, religious affiliations, education, special interests, and political activities. Unfortunately, there are no interview notes included in the Papers. Variations in names observed throughout the finding aid are attributable to discrepancies and inconsistencies in the data itself. For example, the name "Braithwaite" appears on a questionnaire as "Braithwaite" and on a genealogical chart as "Branthwaite." Variations also occur for married women. Errors of transcription occur on the index cards, charts, correspondence, and forms, and no effort has been made to establish consistency or uniformity. Bracketed information indicates alternative spellings, married names, or other plausible variations.
The ordering of the series reflects CBD's working methodology, and the tools she used in compiling her book. The series include:
In 1994, Caroline's niece Adele Logan Alexander, generously donated a photograph of CBD (c. 1897), and two of her Radcliffe yearbooks (1917, 1919) to the PM Archives. These items were added to the CBD Papers, although they are a separate accession (994-72).

Related Peabody Museum Collections

Inventory:


pea00032