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A-21; M-84; M-59

Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers of Elizabeth Glendower Evans, 1859-1944 (inclusive), : 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-21; M-84; M-59
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937
Title: Papers of Elizabeth Glendower Evans, 1859-1944 (inclusive), 1882-1944 (bulk)
Date(s): 1859-1944
Date(s): 1882-1944
Quantity: 2.42 linear feet (2 cartons, 1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries, correspondence, writings, speeches, notes, photographs, clippings, etc., of social reformer Elizabeth Glendower Evans.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 54-2, 55-76
The papers of Elizabeth Glendower Evans, a prominent social reformer, were given to the Schlesinger Library by her friend, Marion Frankfurter, in 1954 and 1955. The papers were reprocessed and microfilmed under a grant from the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Processing Information:

Reprocessed: July 1982
By: Bert Hartry


Access. Originals closed; use microfilm.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


  • The four diaries and one notebook of this collection (#4-6) were previously microfilmed; the film is available at the Schlesinger Library and is numbered M-59, reel 970, no. M10.
  • Dates and/or other information have been written on some items by a number of people, including Evans. In organizing the material, the processor accepted dates added by others and left undated material that was grouped with dated items where it was. 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 proofreader, and researcher. Blank pages were not numbered.
  • All reels were proofread by the processor and corrections were made where necessary.
  • Some of the material in this collection was difficult to film due to such problems as flimsy paper with text showing through or faded and smudged writing. The film was carefully produced and proofread to insure that these items are as legible as possible
  • All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. Some are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
  • This collection contains many articles by other writers. They were collected by Evans, some probably used as a source material for her own writings. In the case of most articles not about Evans, if the title, name of publication and date are available, only the title page was microfilmed.
  • Many clippings already on microfilm (according to Newspapers in Microform, United States, Library of Congress, 1973) were discarded after microfilm of the collection was completed.
  • Letters of one or more pages with either the salutation or the signature missing, as well as portions of letters, have been marked as fragments.
  • There are numerous letters with the text on the two inside pages written in two different directions, and some letters that have the final lines of text and the signature on page one. In these cases letters were microfilmed as they appear; pages were not turned and the first pages were not refilmed.
  • Evans' secretary, Anna (Bloom) Saval, sometimes used the verso of outdated letterhead or of printed pages for carbon copies and some print may show through. These letterhead/printed side were microfilmed only if they contained text.
  • The same situation applies to some paper Evans used to write drafts. Again, the letterhead/printed page sides were microfilmed only if they contained text.
  • Carbon copies of letters to different recipients sometimes appear on the same sheet (front and back). The processor numbered the sides [1] and [2] to indicate that this is the case.
  • Enclosures were microfilmed after letters.
    For a list of the contents of A-21, see the inventory that follows. First set of numbers are folder numbers, followed by the reel number. When requesting microfilm material, please use the microfilm number and the reel number.
  • A-21 #1-3, 7-25: M-84, reel #1
  • A-21 #26-42: M-84, reel #2
  • A-21 #43-54: M-84, reel #3
  • A-21 #55-69: M-84, reel #4
  • A-21 #70-86: M-84, reel #5
  • A-21 #87-107: M-84, reel #6
  • A-21 #108-120: M-84, reel #7
  • A-21 #121-140: M-84, reel #8
  • A-21 #141-164: M-84, reel #9
  • A-21 #165-180: M-84, reel #10
  • A-21 #181-199: M-84, reel #11
  • A-21 #4-6: M-59, reel 970, no. M10
  • Preferred Citation:

    Elizabeth Glendower Evans Papers, 1859-1944; item description, dates. A-21, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

    Related Material

    In the Jessie Donaldson Hodder papers (A-23) at the Schlesinger Library there are ten folders of Evans material, including correspondence and a diary. There is Evans correspondence in the La Follette Family collection in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.


    Donors: Marion Frankfurter
    Accession numbers: 54-2, 55-76
    Processed by: Bert Hartry
    The following items were transferred to the Schlesinger Library Book Division, 1955:
    The following item was transferred to the City of Birmingham Public Libraries Department, Reference Library, June 1985


    Elizabeth Glendower Evans (February 28, 1856 - December 12, 1937), was born Elizabeth Gardiner in New Rochelle, New York, the fourth of five children of Edward and Sophia Harrison (Mifflin) Gardiner. Evans' father died when she was three years old and, as she writes in her "Memoir," "We were imported to Boston by my father's father, William Howard Gardiner, where we grew up as poor relations of a very aristocratic family." After two years in Brookline Mrs. Gardiner moved her family into Boston. Evans attended private schools; in her teens, "Going to church became my one interest." She attended Trinity Church, where she was inspired by the teachings of Phillips Brooks. Evans taught Sunday school and planned to become a missionary until, in 1877, she met Glendower Evans, then a student at Harvard College and a close friend of William James. They were married in 1882, after Glendower Evans had finished Harvard Law School and entered a Boston law firm.
    Their marriage was brief because Glendower Evans died suddenly in 1886. During these four years, according to Evans' "Memoir," the "doors were always open to the friends he made. In those days I don't think I ever talked at all. I used to sit by the fire and listen and listen...." The friends she listened to included Louis Brandeis and William James, but it was her husband who had the greatest influence on Evans. From their first meeting he encouraged her to read more widely; literature, politics, social issues, and public service were the major topics of his letters and their discussions. After Glendower Evans' death Evans added his name to hers and, as the following chronology shows, dedicated her life to studying social conditions and helping others.
    Evans was extremely generous with the money she inherited, often sacrificing her own needs to help both individuals and the causes she supported. She died in 1937 at the age of 81 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
    More biographical material is available in this collection (see Series I for Evans' "Memoir," diaries, articles, and tributes by others). See also the article in Notable American Women (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), which includes a list of additional sources.


    The collection is arranged in four series:


    This collection contains Evans' "Memoirs," diaries, correspondence, writings, speeches, notes, photographs of her and others, and clippings by and about her and by and about other people and subjects. The correspondence series contains more than 2,000 letters to Evans, the largest number from the families of Alice and Louis D. Brandeis, Alice and William James, Jessie D. Hodder, Katherine Bruce Glasier, and from Dickinson Sergeant Miller and the children of Belle and Robert La Follette. Most letters by Evans are carbon copies she retained. The previous arrangement of A-21 included a folder called "Precious Letters." The letters had been marked "precious" by Evans. Because there were many other letters marked "precious" throughout the collection, in the present arrangement they have been placed in the most appropriate folders.
    The papers provide information about the Gardiner family and Evans' childhood; Glendower Evans; her travels; her many friends and colleagues; her interest in philosophy, current events and socialism; her friendships with Sacco and Vanzetti; and most of the social work and reform activities listed in the above chronology. Evans corresponded with both Sacco and Vanzetti during the seven years they spent in prison, but none of these letters are found in this collection. Some were published in The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti, edited by Marion D. Frankfurter and Gardener Jackson (New York, 1928).
    Series I, Personal and biographical (#1-25), includes the "Memoirs," diaries, photographs, miscellaneous personal papers, files on special occasions, and articles about Evans. The correspondence in the special occasions section is arranged alphabetically, with Evans', reply, if any, immediately following the individual's letter.
    Series II, Correspondence (#26-140), is arranged alphabetically; each correspondent (person or organization) is listed in the Inventory. Multiple letters from one source are in chronological order. Includes letters to and/or from, and in a few cases about the correspondent named. Only the number of letters, postcards and telegrams from named person/organization is indicated in parentheses. Evans letters are scattered throughout. Researchers should see the Inventory for further explanation and refer to the Index of Correspondents, as there is correspondence in all four series.
    The Writings (#141-192) in Series III by Evans are arranged in five categories: general, letters to the editor, speeches, book reviews, and biographical articles. The biographical articles are in alphabetical order; the others are chronological within each category. Many printed articles in this and other series that were in poor condition or were already available on microfilm were discarded after microfilming.
    Series IV, Subject file (#193-199), is arranged chronologically.


    Researchers should refer to this index because there is correspondence not only in series II, but also in Series I, III and IV.
    This index includes the names of all writers and recipients, both individuals and organizations, of letters. There are two exceptions. Little known persons writing for organizations are not indexed (though the organizations are), and most greeting cards, telegrams and calling cards are not indexed. Information about individuals and subjects is also not indexed. Evans is not included as a writer; her letters appear throughout the collection. In cases where married couples wrote both jointly and separately each person was indexed.
    Key: No symbol = Writer; * = Writer and recipient; + = Recipient

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Capital punishment
    Child labor--Law and legislation
    Europe--Description and travel
    Families--19th century--History
    Freedom of speech
    Germany--Politics and government--20th century
    Labor unions
    Old age pensions
    Physician and patient
    Prison reformers
    Social reformers
    Socialism--Great Britain
    Strikes and lockouts--Massachusetts--Lawrence
    United States--Politics and government--19th century
    United States--Politics and government--20th century
    Working class--Massachusetts
    Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
    Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union
    American Civil Liberties Union
    Atlantic monthly
    Baldwin, Roger N. (Roger Nash), 1884-1981
    Balch, Emily Greene, 1867-1961
    Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958
    Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950
    Bondfield, Margaret
    Brandeis, Alice Goldmark, 1866-1945
    Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941
    Brooks, John Graham, 1846-1938
    Brown, Dorothy Kirchwey, 1888-1981
    Brown, Herman LaRue, 1883-1969
    Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959
    Cabot, Ella Lyman
    Cabot, Lucy. LinkCabot, Philip, 1872-1941
    Cabot, Richard C. (Richard Clarke), 1868-1939
    Carey, Arthur Astor, 1857-1923
    Civil Liberties Committee of Massachusetts
    Codman, Katherine Putnam Bowditch
    Cohn, Fannia M., 1888-1962
    Deland, Margaret Wade Campbell, 1857-1945
    Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962
    Dudley, Helena Stuart, 1858-1932
    Ehrmann, Sara R., 1895-1993
    Elliot, Mary
    Elmore, Jane
    Ely, Joseph Buell, 1881-1956
    Felicani, Aldino, 1891-1967
    Filene, E. A. (Edward Albert), 1860-1937
    Ford Hall Forum
    Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965
    Frankfurter, Marion Denman
    Gardner family
    Gardiner, J. Pennington
    Gilbert, Susan Brandeis, 1893-1975
    Glasier, Katherine Bruce
    Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950
    Goldmark, Susan. LinkGrady, Alice, 1873-1934
    Greene, Rosalind Huidekoper, 1885-1975
    Hale, Richard Walden, 1871-1943
    Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970
    Hill, Arthur D., 1869-1947
    Hodder, Jessie Donaldson, 1870-1931
    Holmes, John Haynes, 1879-1964
    Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr., 1841-1935
    Holt, Florence Taber
    Huntington, Catharine Sargent, 1886-1987
    Industrial Aid Society
    James, Alice Howe Gibbens
    James, Henry, 1879-1947
    James, William, 1842-1910
    Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932
    Kittredge, Mabel Hyde, 1867-1955
    La Follette family
    La Follette, Fola, 1882-1970
    Lee, Margaret Cabot, 1866-1920
    Livingstone, Alice
    Lowell, Josephine Shaw, 1843-1905
    Lurie, Reuben L.
    Luscomb, Florence, 1887-1985
    Lyman, Arthur T., 1894-
    Lyman, Susan Channing Cabot
    MacDonald, James Ramsay, 1866-1937
    Massachusetts. Department of Correction
    Massachusetts. Department of Mental Diseases
    Massachusetts State Reform Schools
    Mead, Lucia True Ames, 1856-1936
    Miller, Dickinson Sergeant, 1868-1963
    Mirabehn, 1892-1982
    Moors, Ethel
    Morse, Frances Rollins, 1850-1928
    Murray, Mary, Lady, -1956
    Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967
    Niles, David K., 1892-1952
    O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney, 1864-1943
    Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965
    Porter, Margaret
    Putnam, Elizabeth Cabot, 1836-1922
    Putnam family
    Raushenbush, Elizabeth Brandeis
    Roehrer, Joseph
    Rogers, Annette Perkins, 1841-1920
    Sacco, Nicola, 1891-1927
    Saval, Anna Bloom
    Sayre, Francis Bowes, 1885-1972
    Sayre, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, 1887-1933
    Scudder, Vida Dutton, 1861-1954
    Springfield Republican
    Stantial, Edna Lamprey
    Storrow, Helen Osborne, 1864-1944
    Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968
    Thompson, William Goodrich, 1864-1935
    Toynbee, Rosalind
    Unwin family
    Van Waters, Miriam, 1887-1974
    Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 1888-1927
    Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949
    Voluntary Defenders Committee
    Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940
    Webb, Beatrice, 1858-1943
    Wehle, Louis B. (Louis Brandeis), 1880-1959
    Whitman, Sarah Wyman, 1842-1904
    Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924
    Winslow, Gertrude
    Winter, Ella, 1898-1980