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MC 422

Tubbs, Lottie Isabella Kerr, 1868-1897. Papers of Lottie Isabella Kerr Tubbs, 1884-1897: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 422
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Tubbs, Lottie Isabella Kerr, 1868-1897
Title: Papers of Lottie Isabella Kerr Tubbs, 1884-1897
Date(s): 1884-1897
Quantity: .83 linear feet (2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 1 folio photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of Lottie Kerr Tubbs, a Methodist Episcopal missionary who served in Mexico and Argentina.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 92-M208
The papers of Lottie Tubbs were given to the Schlesinger Library in 1992 by Marjorie C. Hunter, granddaughter of Lottie Kerr Tubbs, via Ms. Hunter's nephew, John G. Crane.

Processing Information:

Processed: January 1994
By: Ann E. Berman


Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright formerly held by Marjorie C. Hunter is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Lottie Isabella Kerr Tubbs Papers, 1884-1897; item description, dates. MC 422, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Lottie Isabella (Kerr) Tubbs was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, on June 12, 1868. She was orphaned as a teenager. She received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1888, having followed the classical studies program. At the university she began to prepare herself for a career as a missionary in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Immediately after graduation, she married Frank D. Tubbs, who also wanted to be a missionary, and they left to serve the church in Mexico. The Tubbses spent six years in Mexico, primarily at the Theological Seminary in Puebla, where Frank D. Tubbs was an instructor and Lottie Kerr Tubbs taught English and assisted in other activities of the school and church, including the revision of the mission's Spanish hymnal. After a brief return to the United States, in 1894 they went to the theological school recently established by the church near Buenos Aires, Argentina. After three years there, performing similar tasks as in Mexico, Lottie Kerr Tubbs died of typhoid fever, leaving her husband and two young children: Margaret (born 1891) and Agnes (1894). A third, Arthur, had died in 1893 at the age of three.


The collection consists primarily of Lottie's letters to her sisters Myra Kerr Ryan and Estelle Kerr. From the time of her enrollment at Ohio Wesleyan University to her death, Lottie wrote to Myra almost weekly and often to Estelle.
The letters from Ohio Wesleyan provide extensive documentation of her studies, student life, and religious activities. Letters from Mexico give some account of local customs and the activities of the mission, but are primarily concerned with family news, child rearing, and comments on the sisters' news from home. She reports periodically on the activities of the Chautauqua Circle she and other Americans established in Puebla in 1891. Letters written on the birth of her three children include detailed descriptions of her experience of childbirth (See #14, 17, and 23); those written in early 1893 (see #21) describe the illness and death of her son Arthur. Impressions of life in Mexico appear mainly in the context of problems with household help, mail service, customs regulations, and shopping for the necessities of daily life.
Lottie Kerr Tubbs wrote articles about Mexico for several American newspapers and church publications; copies of several of these articles are included in the collection. Letters from both Mexico and Argentina provide information about the organization and functioning of the church's missionary activities in these countries; those from Argentina document major philosophical divisions (in which Frank D. Tubbs was involved) within the missionary hierarchy.
All folder titles were supplied by the processor.

Container list

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Child rearing
Missionaries' spouses
Ohio Wesleyan University--Students
Methodist Episcopal Church--Missions--Argentina
Methodist Episcopal Church--Missions--Mexico