University of Connecticut. Center for Oral History. The political activities of the
first generation of fully enfranchised Connecticut women, 1920-1945, oral history
transcripts, 1980-1982: 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
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 362
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: University of Connecticut. Center for Oral History
Title: The political activities of the first generation of fully enfranchised Connecticut
women, 1920-1945, oral history transcripts, 1980-1982
Quantity: .63 linear feet (1+1/2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Interview transcripts and data sheets with biographical information from Political
Women in Connecticut project, sponsored by the Center for Oral History and the Women's
Studies Program at the University of Connecticut.
Accession number: 84-M206
These transcripts of interviews were purchased by the Schlesinger Library in November
1984 from the University of Connecticut through Randall Jimerson, Director of Historical
Manuscripts and Archives at the university.
Processed: January 1985
By: Anne Engelhart, Eva Schlesinger
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the political activities of the first generation of fully
enfranchised Connecticut women, 1920-1945, oral history transcripts is held by the
Center for Oral History, University of Connecticut.
Copying. Permission to reproduce any parts of these transcripts must be obtained in
writing from the director of the Center for Oral History, University of Connecticut.
The political activities of the first generation of fully enfranchised Connecticut
women, 1920-1945, oral history transcripts, 1980-1982; item description, dates. MC
362, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge,
In 1980-1982, the Center for Oral History and the Women's Studies Program at the University
of Connecticut carried on an oral history project, funded by a grant from the Connecticut
Humanities Council, on political women in Connecticut. Joyce Pendery and Carole Nichols
conducted the twenty-one interviews; Betty Seaver was the transcriber. The project
concentrated on women who had been active in political office and/or community service
between 1920 and 1945.
This collection contains photocopies of all twenty-one transcripts; the originals
are in the Historical Manuscripts and Archives Division at the University of Connecticut
Library. Each interview describes the interviewee's education, family, and political
activities. Each folder also contains data sheets on the interviewee, giving age,
place of birth, places of residence, parents' background, occupations, memberships
in organizations, and other information.
- 1. Blood, Virginia L. Virginia L. Blood worked on the Arrangements Committee for the
1940 Republican National Convention, was elected to the General Assembly in 1942 and
1944, and was House chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee in 1944. Since
1953, she has volunteered for the March of Dimes.
- 2. Biglow, Marilyn Yeaw. A graduate of Smith College, Marilyn Yeaw Biglow founded the
Old Lyme League of Women Voters in 1929 and was a member of the League's state board.
She served as president of the Old Lyme Congregational Church Council and of the Visiting
- 3. Brown, Emily Sophie. Emily Sophie Brown graduated from Wellesley College, and was
an active suffragist. Elected to the General Assembly in 1920, she served until 1922.
She was a member of the League of Women Voters and the Order of Women Legislators
and served on the Republican Town Committee of Naugatuck.
- 4. Bryant, Josephine E. Josephine E. Bryant participated in the suffrage movement and
was a member of the League of Women Voters. Elected to the General Assembly in 1928,
she was also a member of businesswomen's organizations in Hartford.
- 5. Cook, Edith Valet. Edith Valet Cook was director of the Connecticut Child Welfare
Association from 1920 to 1971; a member of the League of Women Voters, she also had
her own law practice in New Haven and was a member of the American Association of
- 6. Dadourian, Ruth McIntire. In 1919-1920 Ruth McIntire Dadourian was on the board of
the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association and helped to establish the Connecticut
League of Women Voters. During the New Deal, she was supervisor of the Division of
Women's and Professional Projects of the Works Progress Administration in Connecticut.
- 7. Green, Helen A. Elected to the General Assembly in 1924, Helen A. Green was a member
of Republican women's groups and was active in Granby town politics.
- 8. Kamenski, Stephanie R. Stephanie R. Kamenski served as treasurer of the Berlin Republican
- 9. Kitchel, Helen Binney. Helen Binney Kitchel was a community leader and a member of
the General Assembly in the 1930s. She worked for health and environmental protection
in Old Greenwich and was a member of the League of Women Voters.
- 10. Lee, Percy Maxim. Percy Maxim Lee was president of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut
from 1941 to 1949 and of the League of Women Voters of the United States from 1950
- 11. Little, Eleanor H. Eleanor H. Little was a social worker, and an industrial engineer;
she worked for the Connecticut Unemployment and Relief Commission, 1930-1937. A member
of the League of Women Voters, she was elected to the General Assembly in 1941 and
- 12. McCoy, Laura Belle Reed. Laura Belle Reed McCoy founded the first minority Girl Scout
troop in the United States. She was a nurse and, in 1940, a member of the New Haven
Board of Aldermen.
- 13. Morrison, Margaret Nordhoff. Margaret Nordhoff Morrison was a delegate to the National
Council for the Prevention of War, an organization founded and directed by Carrie
Chapman Catt. In New Haven, she was a member of the League of Women Voters, the American
Friends Service Committee, and the Socialist Party.
- 14. Parmelee, Alice Emmons. Elected to the General Assembly in 1942 and 1952, Alice Emmons
Parmelee also participated in East Hartland town politics, serving on the Republican
Town Committee and on the board of education.
- 15. Purtell, Edna Mary. Edna Mary Purtell was a suffragist who also worked for the elimination
of sweatshops and child labor in the tobacco industry. She was active as a speaker
for Robert LaFollette and the Progressive Party in the 1924 campaign. In 1979 she
was given the Susan B. Anthony award by the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women's
Clubs, which she had led in the 1930s.
- 16. Rockefeller, Nancy Carnegie. Nancy Carnegie Rockeffer was active in programs relating
to care and housing for the elderly, and organized projects relating to children and
health: birth control clinics, a children's shelter, and a daycare center.
- 17. Rostow, Celia Duhan. Celia Duhan Rostow was a New Haven socialist who participated
in the League of Women Voters, the Jewish Community Council, the NAACP, and in local
- 18. Rylander, Isabel Curtin. Isabel Curtin Rylander was active in many Republican committees:
finance, town, and state central. She also served in the General Assembly for eight
terms beginning in 1940, and as tax collector and registrar of voters for Litchfield.
- 19. Standish, Hilda Crosby. An outspoken advocate of birth control and sex education,
Hilda Crosby Standish earned her M.D. at Cornell, trained in obstetrics in China,
and worked at the Hartford Maternal Health Center, an illegal birth control clinic.
- 20. Sullivan, Hazel Thrall. Hazel Thrall Sullivan was elected to the General Assembly
in 1944 and 1946. A graduate of Smith College, she was a member of the League of Women
Voters and the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women's Clubs.
- 21. Woodhouse, Chase Going. Chase Goin Woodhouse was professor of economics at Smith College,
the Women's College of the University of North Carolina, and Connecticut College.
While in Connecticut, she was active on the New London Democratic Town Committee.
She served as Secretary of State of Connecticut, 1940-1942, and as United States Representative
from the second district in Connecticut, 1944-1946 and 1948-1950.
Birth control clinics
Connecticut--Politics and government
New Deal, 1933-1939
United States--Politics and government--1919-1933
United States -- Politics and government--1933-1945
American Association of University Women
American Friends Service Committee
Biglow, Marian Yeaw
Blood, Virginia L.
Brown, Emily Sophie
Bryant, Josephine E.
Business and Professional Women's Club (New Haven, Conn.)
Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947
Connecticut Child Welfare Association
Cook, Edith Valet, 1892-1992
Cornell University. Medical College
Dadourian, Ruth McIntire, 1891-1983
Democratic National Committee (U.S.)
Dixwell House (New Haven, Conn.)
Federation of Democratic Women's Clubs (Conn.)
Girl Scouts of the United States of America
Green, Helen A.
Health Systems Agency of Eastern Connecticut
Jewish Community Council (New Haven, Conn.)
Kamenski, Stephanie R.
Kitchel, Helen Binney, 1890-1990
League of Women Voters of Connecticut
League of Women Voters (U.S.)
Lee, Percy Maxim, 1906-2002
Licensed Practical Nurses Association (Conn.)
Little, Eleanor H. (Eleanor Howell), 1885-1986
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
McCoy, Laura Belle Reed
Morrison, Margaret Nordhoff
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Council for Prevention of War (U.S.)
National Urban League
Order of Women Legislators (Conn.)
Nichols, Carole, interviewer
Pendery, Joyce S., 1930- interviewer
Purtell, Edna Mary
Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Rockefeller, Nancy Carnegie
Rostow, Celia Duhan
Rylander, Isabel Curtin
Socialist Party (Conn.)
Standish, Hilda Crosby
Sullivan, Hazel Thrall, 1915-2000
Twentieth Century Club (New Haven, Conn.)
University of Connecticut. Women's Studies Program
University of North Carolina. Woman's College
Woodhouse, Chase Going, 1890-1984