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A-145; M-37

Blackwell family. Papers of the Blackwell family, 1835-1963: 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

Digitization of this collection in 2014 and 2015 was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Record Commission.

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: A-145; M-37
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Blackwell family
Title: Papers of the Blackwell family,1835-1963
Date(s): 1835-1963
Quantity: 4.8 linear feet (11+1/2 file boxes) plus 3 folio+ folders, 2 oversize folders, 43 photograph folders, 2 ambrotypes, 9 daguerreotypes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, photographs, etc., of Blackwell family members, primarily the physician Elizabeth Blackwell, her daughter Katharine Kitty Barry Blackwell, and suffragist Alice Stone Blackwell.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 863
These Blackwell family papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in February 1965 by Howard Lane Blackwell; they were re-processed and microfilmed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-24669=76-987).

Processing Information:

Re-processed: May 1979
By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use digital images. Or, use microfilm M-37.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Papers created by the Blackwell family are in the public domain. 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.


The papers of the Blackwell Family have been microfilmed; a positive film copy is available for the use of readers. The Original manuscripts are closed to research.
For a description of the contents of the collection, see the Inventory (pages 4-20). The following list indicates the folder numbers and which reels they appear on. Please refer to this folder and reel information as you use the Inventory. When requesting microfilmed material, please use the microfilm number, M-37, and the reel number.
  • Folders 1-31v: reel 1
  • Folders 32-52: reel 2
  • Folders 53-88: reel 3
  • Folders 89-134: reel 4
  • Folders 135-165: reel 5
  • Folders 166-202: reel 6
  • Folders 203-230: reel 7
  • Folders 231-262: reel 8
  • Preferred Citation:

    Blackwell family Papers, 1835-1963; item description, dates. A-145, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

    Related Material:

    There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Blackwell family Papers, 1784-1944 (A-77), Blackwell family Papers, 1832-1981 (MC 411), Blackwell family Additional papers, 1851-1972 (MC 715), Alice Stone Blackwell Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1885-1950 (WRC 17-21), and Edna Lamprey Stantial Papers, 1836-1985 (MC 733).


    The most influential members of the Blackwell family were Elizabeth (1821-1910) and Emily (1826-1910), among the earliest woman doctors and founders of the New York Infirmary and College of Women; their brother Henry Browne Blackwell (1825-1909), his wife Lucy Stone (1818-1893), and their daughter Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950), known for their leading roles in the abolition, woman suffrage, and prohibition movements; and their sister-in-law Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell (1825-1921), wife of Samuel Charles Blackwell (1823-1901), the first woman ordained as a minister in the United States and an active speaker on behalf of abolition, woman's rights, and prohibition.


    The collection is arranged in five series:


    While this collection includes papers of many members of the Blackwell family, the largest single groups of papers are those of Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), her adopted daughter Katharine (Kitty) Barry Blackwell (1848-1936), and her niece Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950). The papers include correspondence, diaries and reminiscences, biographical and other writings, photographs and daguerreotypes, and memorabilia.
    Series I, Samuel Blackwell (1790-1838), 1835-1837, n.d. (#2-5), contains documents written by Samuel Blackwell. Two folders contain letters and notes on abolition.
    Series II, Children of Samuel and Hannah (Lane) Blackwell, 1847-1963 (#6-141), contains correspondence, diaries, writings, and biographical material of Samuel and Hannah Blackwell's eight children: Anna (1816-1900), Marian (1818-1897), Elizabeth (1821-1910), Samuel Charles (1823-1901), Henry Browne (1825-1909), Emily (1826-1910), Sarah Ellen (1828-1901), George Washington (1832-1912). It also contains documents relating to Samuel Charles Blackwell's wife Antoinette (Brown) Blackwell, Henry Browne Blackwell's wife Lucy Stone, and George Washington Blackwell's wife Emma Blackwell. The series is arranged in eight subseries.
    Subseries A, Anna Blackwell (1816-1900), 1850-1900 (#6-14), contains Anna Blackwell's published writings, letters she sent to her siblings, letters from British friend Edward K. Blyth, and an obituary.
    Subseries B, Marian Blackwell (1818-1897), 1848-1897 (#7-8), includes letters to her brother Henry and her niece Kitty, as well as a death certificate.
    Subseries C, Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), 1847-1963 (#17-91), includes correspondence with family and friends, financial documents and receipts, diaries and sketchbooks, and printed material by and about Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States. Family correspondence included in this subseries is letters Elizabeth sent to family members. For letters Elizabeth Blackwell received from other family members, see those family members's individual subseries.
    Subseries D, Samuel Charles Blackwell (1823-1901) and Antoinette (Brown) Blackwell (1825-1921), 1850-1921 (#92-98), contains the couple's letters to family members, as well as newsclippings on Antoinette Blackwell's death.
    Subseries E, Henry Browne Blackwell (1825-1909) and Lucy Stone (1818-1893), 1846-1927 (#99-114), contains Henry Browne Blackwell's writings and correspondence and a few of Lucy Stone's letters.
    Subseries F, Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), 1852-1910 (#115-121), contains a biographical sketch of Dr. Blackwell by her niece Alice Stone Blackwell, as well as correspondence, primarily with family. Emily Blackwell earned a medical degree in 1854 from Case Western Reserve University, the third woman to earn such a degree in the United States.
    Subseries G, Sarah Ellen Blackwell (1828-1901), 1847-1897 (#122v-123), contains her diary and some family letters.
    Subseries H, George Washington Blackwell (1832-1912) and Emma Stone (Lawrence) Blackwell (1851-1920), 1855-1918 (#124-141), includes family letters and Emma Stone Blackwell's letters from friends. Emma Stone (Lawrence) Blackwell was the niece of Lucy Stone before she married George Washington Blackwell, Stone's youngest brother-in-law.
    Series III, Third generation Blackwells, 1873-1950 (#142-249), contains correspondence, financial records, and writings belonging to the children of the Blackwell siblings in Series II. The bulk of the material in this series relates to Elizabeth Blackwell's adopted daughter Katharine (Kitty) Barry Blackwell (1848-1936), and Henry Blackwell and Lucy Stone's daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950). The series is arranged in ten subseries.
    Subseries A, Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950), 1873-1950 (#142-174), includes correspondence, writings, and clipings. Alice Stone Blackwell was the only child of Henry Browne Blackwell and wife Lucy Stone, and she inherited her parents' publishing venture (Woman's Journal) as well as their activist bent.
    Subseries B, Katharine (Kitty) Barry Blackwell (1848-1936), 1877-1934 (#175-226), includes diaries, financial records, and correspondence of Elizabeth Blackwell's adopted daughter.
    Subseries C, Ethel (Blackwell) Robinson, 1907-1932 (#227-229), contains letters Ethel Blackwell Robinson wrote the her sister and cousins. Ethel, the daughter of Samuel Charles Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, married Alfred Brookes Robinson and had two sons, Brookes and Horace.
    Subseries D, Agnes (Blackwell) Jones, 1891-1933 (#230), contains letters from Agnes to her cousins and aunt Emma Stone Blackwell. Agnes Blackwell Jones was the daughter of Samuel Charles Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell. She married S. Tom Jones and had two children, Blackwell Jones and Ethel (Jones) Whidden.
    Subseries E, Grace Blackwell, 1881-1902 (#231), contains letters Grace wrote to her aunts and cousin. Grace Blackwell was a daughter of Samuel Charles Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell.
    Subseries F, Edith Blackwell, MD, 1882-1901 (#232), contains letter Edith wrote to her mother, aunt, and cousin. Edith was a daughter of Samuel Charles Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, and followed her aunts Elizabeth and Emily into the medical profession.
    Subseries G, Florence (Blackwell) Mayhew, 1873-1922 (#233-237), contains letters Florence Mayhew wrote to family members. Florence was a daughter of Samuel Charles Blackwell and Antoinette Brown Blackwell. She married Elliot Mayhew, a Martha's Vineyard merchant; they adopted a son Walter.
    Subseries H, Anna Marian (Blackwell) Belden, 1910-1931, n.d. (#238-240), contains her school essays, a notebook, and letters she wrote to her cousin Kitty. Anna Blackwell Belden was a daughter of George Washington Blackwell and Emma Stone Lawrence Blackwell. Anna married Charles E.D. Belden, and they had four children: Elizabeth Blackwell, Lawrence Putnam, Charles Hastings, and Alison.
    Subseries I, Howard Lane Blackwell, 1891-1933 (#241-247), contains letters Howard wrote to his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also includes his wedding invitation and birth announcement of a son, and a letter Howard received from his grandmother. Howard Lane Blackwell was a son of George Washington Blackwell and Emma Stone Lawrence Blackwell. He attended Harvard College and lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He married Helen Electra Thomas, they had three sons: George H., John Thomas, and Howard Lane, Jr.
    Subseries J, Reynold and Elizabeth Rogers, 1905-1929, n.d. (#248-249), contains correspondence. Reynold Rogers was married to Elizabeth ("Lizzie"), and they had a son, Meyric Reynold Rogers (1893-1972). This subseries contains letters Reynold and Lizzie Rogers wrote to Alice Stone Blackwell and Kitty Barry Blackwell, and a letter from Reynold to Elizabeth.
    Series IV, Family Christmas annuals and miscellaneous papers, 1844-1849, n.d. (#250-262), includes Blackwell family Christmas booklets, which include stories, poetry, doggerel, drawings, and are meant to recount the family happenings the previous year. Also included are handwritten stories and other scraps where the author has not been identified.
    Series V. Photographs, 1856-1928 (#263-317), includes portraits of Blackwell family members and friends, as well as pictures of various Blackwell houses in Massachusetts and England. The photographs are arranged with Blackwell family members first, followed by Blackwell homes, then friends and distant family. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are listed last. They were microfilmed with the Library's photograph collection and not with A-145. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Family records
    Woman's Journal
    Women in science
    Women--Legal status, laws, etc.
    Women physicians
    Women social reformers
    Women's rights
    Blavatsky, H. P. (Helena Petrovna), 1831-1891
    Blackwell, Henry Browne, 1825-1909
    Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950
    Blackwell, Anna, active 1875-1876
    Blackwell, Antoinette Louisa Brown, 1825-1921
    Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910
    Blackwell, Emily, 1826-1910
    Blackwell, Kitty Barry, 1848-1936
    Garrett, Mary Elizabeth, 1854-1915
    Hooker, Isabella Beecher, 1822-1907
    Jex-Blake, Sophia, 1849-1912
    Lawrence, Sarah Witt Stone
    Mosher, Eliza Maria, 1846-1928
    Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893
    Willard, Frances E. (Frances Elizabeth), 1839-1898
    Zakrzewska, Marie E. (Marie Elizabeth), 1829-1902
    New York Infirmary for Women and Children