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A-74; M-136

White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943. Papers of Sue Shelton White, 1898-1963 (inclusive), 1909-1963 (bulk): 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

Call No.: A-74; M-136
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943
Title: Papers of Sue Shelton White, 1898-1963 (inclusive), 1909-1963 (bulk)
Date(s): 1898-1963
Date(s): 1909-1963
Quantity: 1.67 linear feet (4 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Papers of Sue Shelton White, suffragist, lawyer, government official, and active Democrat.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 59-32
The papers of Sue Shelton White were given to the Schlesinger Library in 1959 by her friend, Florence A. Armstrong. The collection was reprocessed and microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: July 1988
By: Bert Hartry

Access Restrictions:

Access. Closed; use microfilm (M-136, reels A12-14; A-74).


  • All dates and other information added by the processor are in square brackets.
  • The pages of some items were numbered to aid the microfilmer, the proofreaders, and researchers. These numbers are in square brackets.
  • All reels were proofread by the filmer and/or the processor and corrections made where necessary.
  • Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film, due to such problems as faded or blurred carbon copies on flimsy, colored paper. The film was carefully produced to insure that these items are as legible as possible.
  • The reverse sides of outdated letterhead were sometimes used by SSW for carbon copies; print may show through. The letterhead sides were filmed only if they are not represented elsewhere in the collection, or if they contain unique text.
  • All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. They are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
  • Preferred Citation:

    Sue Shelton White Papers, 1898-1963; item description, dates. A-74, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

    Related Material:

    There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see The Florence A. Armstrong papers (A-120).


    Sue Shelton White, suffragist, lawyer, government official, and active Democrat, was born on May 25, 1887, in Henderson, Tennessee, the second of three children of James Shelton White and Mary Calista (Swain) White. Her father, a lawyer and Methodist minister, died when she was nine. When her mother died four years later, White went to live with an aunt. When she was sixteen she took a teacher training course at Georgie Robertson Christian College and the following year (1904-1905) attended West Tennessee Business College.
    From the time of her first job, as a stenographer in Jackson, Tennessee, until her death in 1943, White held a variety of paid positions and was active in the woman suffrage movement and the Democratic Party. This busy life is reflected in the following chronology.
    More biographical information is available in this collection. See also the article in Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), which includes a list of additional sources.


    The collection is arranged in two series:


    This collection has been divided into two series: Personal and biographical, and Professional and volunteer activities.
    The papers provide information about White's professional and volunteer activities; southern women; the woman suffrage campaign in Tennessee and nationally; the friction between the National Woman's Party and the National American Woman Suffrage Association; the office of Senator Kenneth D. McKellar (Democrat, Tennessee); organizing of women in the Democratic Party; consumer advocacy in the New Deal era: under the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the National Emergency Council (NEC), and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA); and about White's attempts to win promotion in Sen. McKellar's office and on the Social Security Board. There is little information about White's childhood, adolescence, education, or her work as a stenographer and court reporter.
    Series I, Personal and biographical, includes, in the following order: recollections of White by others, correspondence (personal, business, and financial), photographs, and family papers.
    Series II, Professional and volunteer activities, includes correspondence, White writings and speeches, petitions, reports, receipts, clippings, programs, invitations, lists, etc. It is arranged chronologically by subject or organization, and within each of these categories: suffrage, Tennessee (including Sen. Kenneth D. McKellar), Democratic Party, writing and editing, Business and Professional Women's Clubs, National Woman's Party, Southern Women's Jefferson Educational Association, and New Deal agencies. With the exception of book reviews, White's writings and speeches are in the sections to which they pertain. Some of the enclosures referred to in the correspondence are either missing or have become separated.
    The material in the New Deal agencies section (NRA, NEC, AAA, #41-53o) is arranged chronologically. No attempt was made to divide it by agency as their consumer activities were coordinated. Social Security Board material is in a separate folder (#54).
    Most clippings were discarded after microfilming.

    Container List


    This index includes the names of selected writers (including organizations) and recipients. Information about individuals and subjects is not indexed. Key: No symbol = Writer * = Writer and recipient = Recipient The numbers refer to folders.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Civil service
    Consumer protection
    Military offenses
    Southern States--Politics and government--1865-1950
    Southern States--Race relations
    Tennessee--Politics and government--1865-1950
    Women--Legal status, laws, etc.--Tennessee
    Women--Southern states
    Women--Suffrage--United States
    Women--Political activity
    Women in the civil service
    Anderson, Hu C.
    Armstrong, Florence A. (Florence Arzelia), 1884-1962
    Blair, Emily Newell, 1877-1951
    Boeckel, Florence (Brewer), 1885-
    Business and Profesional Women's Smith League
    Caraway, Hattie Wyatt, 1878-1950
    Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947
    Democratic National Committee (U.S.)
    Democratic Party (Tenn.)
    Democratic Party (U.S.)
    Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962
    Douglas, Paul H. (Paul Howard), 1892-1976
    Elliott, Harriet Wiseman, 1884-1947
    Howorth, Lucy Somerville, 1895-1997
    Hull, Cordell, 1871-1955
    International Woman Suffrage Alliance
    Jacobs, Pattie Ruffner, 1875-1935
    Laughlin, Gail, 1868-1952
    McKellar, Kenneth Douglas, 1869-1957
    McLean, John T--Pardon
    McMillin, Benton, 1845-1933
    National American Woman Suffrage Association
    National Emergency Council (U.S.)
    National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
    National Woman's Party
    Owen, Ruth Bryan, 1885-1954
    Paul, Alice, 1885-1977
    Reyher, Rebecca Hourwich, 1897-1987
    Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
    Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
    Ross, Nellie Tayloe, 1876-1977
    Rumsey, Mary Harriman, 1881-1934
    Schiller, Lucy White
    Schneiderman, Rose, 1882-1972
    Smith, Jane Norman, 1874-1953
    Southern Women's Jefferson Educational Association
    Swing, Betty Gram, 1893-1969
    Swing, Raymond Gram, 1887-1968
    Tate, Jack Bernard, 1902-1968
    Tennessee Commission for the Blind
    United States. Agricultural Adjustment Administration
    United States. Civil Service Commission
    United States. Council of National Defense. Woman's Committee
    United States. National Recovery Administration
    United States. Social Security Board--Officials and employees--Promotions
    Vernon, Mabel, 1883-1975
    Walker, Frank Comerford, 1886-1959
    White, Marshall K.
    Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924