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Dodge, Jane Gay, 1881-1963. Papers of Jane Gay Dodge, 1861-1951: 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-20.
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Jane Gay Dodge, 1881-1963
Title: Papers of Jane Gay Dodge, 1882-1951
Date(s): 1882-1951
Quantity: .21 linear feet (1/2 file box) plus 2 oversize volumes, 1 reel microfilm M-69)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Mainly two volumes of photographs and letters compiled by E. Jane Gay, who was official photographer on a 1889-1893 expedition to appartian tribal lands among the Winnebagos of Nebraska and the Nez Perces of Idaho.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 51-74
This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Jane Gay Dodge in 1951.

Processing Information:

Re-processed: January 1983
By: Christine C. Marshall

Conditions Governing Access:

Access. Originals closed; use digital images. Volumes 1o-2o are also available on microfilm M-69.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Jane Gay Dodge 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:

Jane Gay Dodge Papers, 1882-1951; item description, dates. A-20, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The bulk of this collection concerns E. Jane Gay, Jane Gay Dodge's aunt. The daughter of Ziba Gay (1796-1864), and Mary (Kennedy) Gay (1798-1873), Gay was born in 1830 in Nashua, New Hampshire. She was educated in New York, where she was a classmate of Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923). She left New York in the 1850s and, with Catherin Melville, opened a school for young ladies in Macon, Georgia, in 1856. When the school closed in 1860, Gay moved to Washington, D.C., where she and Catherin Melville administered a school for young children. From 1861 until the end of the Civil War, Gay worked with Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887); as a result, she came into possession of some of Dix's correspondence, which was eventually passed on to Dodge and is included in this collection. After the Civil War, E. Jane Gay was a tutor to President Andrew Johnson's grandchildren and then worked as a clerk in a deadletter office (1866-1883). Sometime before 1888, Gay renewed her friendship with Alice Cunningham Fletcher and in 1889 accompanied Fletcher when she was made a special agent for the U.S. Department of the Interior to apportion tribal lands among the Winnebagos of Nebraska and the Nez Perces of Idaho. Gay mastered the techniques of photography in the summer of 1888 and consequently was able to serve as official photographer for the expedition (1889-1893). Gay then lived in Washington until 1906, when she and another niece, Emma Jane Gay (1859-1924), visited Europe. During their stay in England, Gay and Emma Jane Gay produced Choup-nit-ki, With the Nez Perce, 2 hand-bound volumes of photographs and letters describing Gay's and Fletcher's work among the Indians and social conditions on the frontier in the late 19th century. Gay decided to remain in Winscombe, Somerset, England, with her friend, Dr. Caroline Sturge, and died there in 1919. For further information about Alice Cunningham Fletcher, see the article in Notable American Women, volume I (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971).


The collection is divided into 2 parts: the first part deals primarily with E. Jane Gay's life while the second part consists of letters to Dorothea Lynde Dix. The first part of the collection contains biographical sketches by Jane Gay Dodge, of E. Jane Gay, and Alice Cunningham Fletcher. The most interesting and informative items in this section are the 2 hand-bound volumes of photographs and copies of letters written by E. Jane Gay and Alice Cunningham Fletcher re: their trip to the Nez Perce Indian territory, where Alice Cunningham Fletcher apportioned land to the Indians. The rest of the collection contains correspondence from Francis La Flesche, the "adopted" son of Alice Cunningham Fletcher, to Jane Gay Dodge and Emma Jane Gay, Jane Gay Dodge's cousin, and letters to Dorothea Lynde Dix from various people.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Idaho--Social conditions
Indians of North America--Government relations--1869-1934
Nebraska -- Social conditions
Nez Percé Indians
Omaha Indians
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Participation, Female
West (U.S.)
Winnebago Indians
Women in science--United States
Atlee, Washington L., 1808-1878
Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867
Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910
Bonaparte, L. M.
Cameron, Simon, 1799-1889
Carpenter, Mary
Corcoran, W. W. (William Wilson), 1798-1888
Cronin, John J.
Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887
Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham), 1838-1923
Gay, E. Jane, 1830-1919
Gay, Emma Jane, 1859-1924
Hay, John, 1838-1905
Hepworth, George H. (George Hughes), 1833-1902
Hooker, Joseph, 1814-1879
Horsford, Eben Norton, 1818-1893
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932
Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice, 1820-1905
Longfellow, William
Nicolay, John G. (John George), 1832-1901
Otis, Sally Foster
Russell, George W.
Seward, Frances Miller
Spinner, Francis Elias, 1802-1890
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874
Thaw, Mary Copley