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M-133, reels D9-25; WRC-Jo

Johnson, Grace A., 1871-1952. Papers of Grace A. Johnson in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1840-1952: 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: M-133, reels D9-25; WRC-Jo
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Johnson, Grace A., 1871-1952
Title: Papers of Grace A. Johnson in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1840-1952
Date(s): 1840-1952
Quantity: 11.42 linear feet (11 cartons, 1 file box) plus 4 folio folders, 4 folio+ folders, 1 folio photograph folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, writings, etc., of Grace A. Johnson, educator, suffragist, civic reformer, and internationalist. These papers are part of the Woman's Rights Collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

These papers of Grace Allen Johnson fill 492 folders and three volumes of the Woman's Rights Collection, which was given to Radcliffe College by Maud Wood Park and others in August 1943 and formed the nucleus of the Women's Archives, later the Schlesinger Library. The material in folders 1-356 of this series was prepared for microfilming in January 1991 by Katherine Kraft. It was microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publication of America project.

Access Restrictions:


Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Grace A. Johnson as well as 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.


Although most items are arranged chronologically within folders, speeches and lectures (many of which are undated, or have several dates) are filmed as grouped, in no particular order. Fragments are marked [frag.].
University Publications of America proofread the film and compiled the name and subject index in the printed guide.
Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film due to such problems as faint or smudged pencil notations, and creased and brittle paper and newsprint. The film was carefully produced to insure that these items are as legible as possible.
All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. They are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
In some cases, Johnson used pins to attach strips of paper together; some pins have been left in place during filming.
A large quantity of printed material (#Jo 357-495) deemed inappropriate for inclusion in the UPA microfilm was transferred to Sub-series I from other series. These printed materials are organized and listed alphabetically by topic in the inventory, and available for research at the Schlesinger Library.

Preferred Citation:

Grace A. Johnson Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1840-1952; item description, dates. WRC-Jo, folder Jo-#. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


Grace Allen Johnson, educator, suffragist, civic reformer, internationalist, and lecturer, was born on September 29, 1871, in Maples, Indiana, the fourth of the five daughters of Elizabeth Harriet (Bennett) and Appleton Howe Fitch, both from New England. Among her sisters was the well-known children's author and illustrator Lucy (Fitch) Perkins. The family lived in Indiana and Michigan, settling for a time in Kalamazoo; they returned to Hopkinton, Massachusetts (ancestral home of the Howe and Fitch families), when Grace was fourteen. She attended public school, graduating in 1890. Her adult life is summarized in the following chronology.
Politically liberal, Johnson was an activist for woman suffrage, for United States participation in the League of Nations (and later the United Nations) and World Court, and for various civic reforms (e.g., initiative and referendum, proportional representation). She defined herself as an educator, lecturing and writing on a wide range of topics including suffrage, the status of women, prohibition, aspects of democracy and government structure, international cooperation, and public speaking techniques. Her husband, a civil engineer, shared her political beliefs; he published numerous pamphlets on political reform.


The collection is arranged in 9 subseries:


In addition to correspondence and other papers about a variety of issues, this series includes numerous lectures and speeches by Grace A. Johnson. It also documents her extensive involvement with the suffrage movement; work on behalf of prohibition; lobbying and other educational efforts to encourage U.S. participation in the League of Nations (and later the United Nations) and World Court; and attempts to make the government of Massachusetts and Cambridge more democratic. Aside from one folder of biographical information, and the autobiographical reminiscences "Recollections of the Suffrage Campaigns of 1907-1920" (#Jo 5), there is little of a personal nature, and nothing about Johnson's family life.
In reprocessing this series, the processor assumed that the existing filing system was Johnson's and/or Edna Stantial's, and rearranged papers only where necessary, with one overarching exception: because printed material not directly relevant to Johnson (i.e., not by or about her, and not essential to her work) or to women's organizations or issues (narrowly defined) was deemed to be inappropriate for inclusion in the UPA microfilm project, the processor removed most such publications and arranged them in one alphabetical sequence in Sub-series I. Most are from Sub-series F or H, with additional folders from others. Some of the publications are heavily annotated, but the annotations are not substantive. These printed materials are available for research at the Schlesinger Library.
Although a part of the Woman's Rights Collection, this series is numbered separately; each file unit is preceded by the letters Jo (for Johnson). The printed guide includes a name and subject index compiled by UPA.
Subseries A, Personal and biographical (#Jo 1-5), contains one folder of biographical information, a few letters exchanged with family members, two photographs, correspondence with Radcliffe College about the Woman's Rights Collection, and reminiscences (see above).
Subseries B, Courses taught, lectures, writings, and speeches (#Jo 6-141), is arranged in three main overlapping groups. The original designation of "course," "lecture," or "speech" was presumably assigned by Johnson or Edna Stantial. Many of the lectures, with their accompanying notes and outlines, were given to classes in the Garland School of Homemaking and Wheelock Kindergarten Training School. Johnson also spoke before a wide variety of organizations. "Speeches" are often indistinguishable from "lectures," and include topics relevant to other sub-series (e.g., suffrage or prohibition).
The subgroup "lectures" contains reference material, related correspondence, notes, and outlines in addition to lectures. Johnson reused and recombined her lectures many times over many years. Although she numbered pages, the rearrangements have left lectures with "missing" pages, which may actually appear in other folders. The lectures are arranged alphabetically using Johnson's headings; the date given is the earliest one appearing on the document.
The "lectures" section is followed by one folder of articles by Johnson, and two folders of correspondence, scripts, and other materials relating to the "Gallant American Women" radio series produced by the United States Office of Education and NBC.
The subgroup "speeches" includes correspondence about Johnson's speaking engagements (most on behalf of the League of Nations Association), clippings, and a large body of speeches by Johnson, arranged alphabetically by topic. Many of the speeches are not dated, and have been left as found. Papers from volumes dismantled for filming have also been left in their original order. Some of the folders include Johnson's notes on readings and on talks by others, as well as other reference material. Speeches are filmed before other papers in a folder.
Subseries C, Correspondence (#Jo 142-156), contains letters, invitations, and enclosures of a more general nature that were apparently filed separately by Johnson, although some pertain to other sub-series. The subseries is divided into two parts: an alphabetical sequence of correspondents for whom there are at least four items, and a chronological sequence containing the remainder of the general correspondence. Listed correspondents also appear in other sub-series; see printed guide for index.
Subseries D, Suffrage and women's political participation (#Jo 157-232), contains papers from various national and Massachusetts suffrage organizations, the Progressive Party (PP) campaign of 1912, the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Massachusetts and of Cambridge, and the Woman's Centennial Congress (WCC) of 1940. The papers pertaining to suffrage organizations and the PP are arranged alphabetically by name of organization, and are followed by a general suffrage section, the League of Women Voters, and the Woman's Centennial Congress.
The Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government papers mainly document Johnson's work on A Citizen's Guide, a manual on Massachusetts government in 1919. The Cambridge Political Equality Association papers contain correspondence and statements about an internal controversy in 1911 over the renomination of recording secretary Edna Spencer, as well as reports (1896-1916), constitutions, membership and officer lists, and an analysis of the Cambridge suffrage vote in 1915.
There is one folder each for the College Equal Suffrage League of Boston, the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, and the Framingham Equal Suffrage League.
The Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) papers include reports and notes about various meetings and activities, 1914-1916; general correspondence, 1914-1918; correspondence, reports, and canvassing information relating to the Middlesex County conferences of the suffrage campaign chairmen, 1914-1915; correspondence, surveys, and publicity for the Victory Parade of 1915; correspondence re: the effect of Johnson's speech at Camp Devens (Ayer, Massachusetts); correspondence re: a mass meeting at the Boston Opera House in 1918; membership lists for the Cambridge Division Men's Council and Council of One Hundred, 1919; notes and printed material about Sen. John Weeks, 1918; and printed materials by and about MWSA.
One folder of National American Woman Suffrage Association correspondence, 1905-1919, includes the 1916 report of the Massachusetts Congressional Committee, Johnson's NAWSA honor roll certificate, and printed material by NAWSA.
Papers relating to the Progressive Party campaign of 1912 are included in this sub-series because of the Party's strong support for woman's suffrage. They consist of correspondence, minutes of the Massachusetts delegation, membership lists, notes, a photograph of the Massachusetts delegates, convention programs and related campaign material, published items by and about the PP, and correspondence with the National Roosevelt League.
A treasurer's book for ca. 1912-1919 provides the only documentation in this series of the Woman Suffrage Party of Cambridge. There is one folder of additional records in the Woman Suffrage Party series of WRC (WRC #1103).
The general suffrage section contains correspondence and other items the relation of which to a specific organization is not known. Also included are numerous clippings about suffrage, and one folder of printed anti-suffrage material.
The one folder of Boston League of Women Voters (LWV) papers includes correspondence and printed material, 1920-1926, as well as the 1926 edition of the Manual for Massachusetts Voters.
The papers pertaining to the League of Women Voters of Cambridge focus mainly on Johnson's work for "Plan E," which provides for a system of government by a city council elected at large by proportional representation. The four folders for the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts consist mainly of correspondence, programs, and related papers about the League's School of Politics (offered jointly with Radcliffe College), one folder of League of Women Voters publications, a small amount of general correspondence, and a certificate honoring Massachusetts women, including Johnson.
Subseries E, Prohibition (#Jo 233-249), contains correspondence, notes, reports, and publications of the Women's National Committee for Law Enforcement (WNCLE) and its affiliate, the Massachusetts Woman's Committee for Law Enforcement, as well as publications by other organizations and numerous clippings. For Johnson's anecdotal report of her Congressional testimony against repeal of the 18th Amendment, see #Jo 124 in Sub-series B.
Subseries F, International (#Jo 250-311), consists of papers from organizations devoted to international cooperation and understanding and world peace in which Johnson was active. The largest segment pertains to the League of Nations; its successor, the United Nations; and the Permanent Court of International Justice, popularly known as the World Court. Papers of other organizations, arranged alphabetically, follow. Most official publications have been moved to Subseries I.
This subseries documents Johnson's work on behalf of the League of Free Nations Association, the Massachusetts Committee of One Hundred of the Women's Non-Partisan Committee for the League of Nations, the League of Nations Non-Partisan Association, and their successors: the League of Nations Association (LNA) and its Massachusetts branch, particularly its education committee (known also as "educational" committee), of which Johnson was chairman, and the United Nations Association, formed April 15, 1943. Included are minutes; agendas; reports; correspondence documenting the LNA's lobbying efforts and its internal difficulties, particularly over financing of the education committee's work; correspondence, memoranda, and programs for the model assemblies and dramas; correspondence re: Courtenay Crocker's campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate; and clippings.
Johnson's dramatizations of the League's actions with regard to China and Japan during 1931-1933 are also here, as well as her correspondence with Sir Herbert Ames, who helped write the 1933 version, The Case of China and Japan Before the League of Nations..... This was a continuation of The Dispute Between China and Japan over Manchuria..., written and performed in 1932. Drafts with only minor variations were not filmed.
The World Court folders contain correspondence about Johnson's map, designed to educate the public on World Court membership and interventions, and about various other educational and lobbying efforts directed towards United States participation in the World Court.
Other organizations or events related to international understanding and world peace are arranged alphabetically. A few of these are noted below.
The group organizing the Armistice Day Parade of November 11, 1925, variously known as the Armistice Day Committee or the Armistice Day Peace Parade, is represented by correspondence, memos, and leaflets.
The Jessie Woodrow Sayre Scholarship Foundation was established in 1934 as a memorial to Jessie Woodrow Sayre (also known as Jessie Wilson Sayre), daughter of Woodrow Wilson and advocate of international cooperation. There is one folder of correspondence, memos, and leaflets.
Johnson's work as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Division of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation (1921-1922) is documented by correspondence, financial records, invitations, etc. The foundation was established for the purpose of honoring Woodrow Wilson, and "recognizing and stimulating meritorious service to democracy, public welfare, liberal thought or peace through justice."
Johnson's attendance at the fourth congress of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1924 is documented in #Jo 297-298. Included are her descriptions of delegates, notes on proceedings, brief notes exchanged with Jane Addams, and the Report of the Fourth Congress.
Subseries G, Other political campaigns and issues (#Jo 312-328), is a relatively small section containing papers about Johnson's activities in organizations or campaigns not related to those already described above (subseries D-F). Divided into two subgroups, Massachusetts and national, it includes a few papers about political campaigns, and of the Massachusetts section of the National Civic Federation League and various other organizations. There are only two folders of papers of the Massachusetts Single Tax League, even though Johnson's husband, Lewis Jerome Johnson, served as president, and Johnson was a member of the advisory board and the executive committee.
Subseries H, Subject file (#Jo 329-355), is essentially a reference file, and has been weeded substantially: all printed material not pertaining to Johnson (i.e., by or about her or her husband) or women's issues has been transferred to Subseries I and not filmed. The remaining relevant file units contain printed material and/or notes by Johnson on the various subjects; there is little correspondence in this sub-series. Headings are those of Johnson and/or Edna Stantial.
Subseries I, Printed material not filmed (#Jo 357-495), contains publications by the United States and Massachusetts governments, League of Nations, United Nations, World Court, and various other agencies and organizations, as well as political and scientific journals, tear-sheets, pamphlets, leaflets, clippings, etc., all removed from preceding sub-series. Publications by the Committee on Militarism in Education are in #Jo 378-380. Many items are annotated by Johnson. Most of the publications are generally available; the processor is not aware of any unique or rare items in this sub-series. This material has not been filmed as part of the UPA project, but is available for research at the Schlesinger Library.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Adult education
Boston (Mass.)--Politics and government
Cambridge (Mass.)--Politics and government
Civic leaders
Civic improvement
Forums (Discussion and debate)
International courts
International relations
Lectures and lecturing.
Massachusetts--Politics and government
News of Spain
Peace--Societies, etc.
Progressivism (United States politics)
Prohibition--Societies, etc.
United States--Politics and government--20th century
Woman's Centennial Congress (1940 : New York, N.Y.)
Women and peace
Women jurors
Women--Legal status, laws, etc.
Women--Suffrage--Caricatures and cartoons
Women--Suffrage--United States
Abrams, Kate Trenholm
Adams, Marian Stanwood
Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
Allen, Mary Ware
American Association for International Conciliation
American Woman's Republic
Ames, Blanche
Ames, Herbert Brown, Sir, 1863-1954
Andrews, Fannie Fern, 1867-1950
Anti-Mosquito Association of Massachusetts
Armstrong, Irene
Baker, Newton Diehl, 1871-1937
Bates, Katharine Lee, 1859-1929
Beach, L. A.
Beale, Joseph Henry, 1861-1943
Belden, Charles Francis Dorr, 1870-1931
Bénézet, Louis Paul, 1878-1961
Biggerstaff, Knight, 1906-2001
Bird, Anna Child, 1856-1942
Birdsall, Clara E.
Birtwell, Mary L.
Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government
Boston University
Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950
Blakeslee, George Hubbard, 1871-1954
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941
Brewer, John M. (John Marks), 1877-1950
Cambridge Political Equality Association
Capper, Arthur, 1865-1951
Carpenter, Alice, 1875-
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947
Choate, Robert Burnett, 1898-1963
Clinchy, Everett R. (Everett Ross), 1896-1986
College Equal Suffrage League of Boston (Mass.)
Committee on Militarism in Education (U.S.)
Comstock, Ada Louise
Comstock, Alexander Barr, 1886-1956
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (U.S.)
Cox, Floyd B.
Crocker, Courtenay
Cronkhite, Bernice Brown, 1893-1983
Curtis, Francis G.
De Mille, William C. (William Churchill), 1878-1955
Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947
Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962
du Pont, Zara
Duncan, Robert F.
Eichelberger, Clark M. (Clark Mell), 1986-1980
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926
Eliot, Samuel A. (Samuel Atkins), 1862-1950
Elliott, Martha Helen
Fassett, Edith
Fenn, Roger C.
Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958
Fisher, Irving, 1867-1947
Fisk, Amelia Worthington, 1890-1975
Forbes, Rose Dabney, 1864-1947
Foreign Policy Association
Framingham (Mass.) Equal Suffrage League
Fuller, Alvan Tufts, 1878-1958
Garland School of Homemaking (Boston, Mass.)
Garrity, Helen B.
Gorham, Kate Foster, 1860-1940
Gurney, Claire Hubbard, 1861-1949
Haertlein, Albert, 1895-1960
Halladay, Ethel Lorenz
Hansl, Eva Elise vom Baur, 1889-1978
Harvard University. Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics--Faculty
Hauser, Elizabeth J.
Hearne, Julian G., 1904-1995
Hearne, Lydia
Henderson, Christine L.
Hobbs, Conrad
Hodder, Jessie Donaldson, 1867-1931
Holmes, Alice Marion
Holt, Hamilton, 1972-1951
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
Hopkins, Marguerite S.
Hsieh, Tehyi
Hudson, Manley O. (Manley Ottmer), 1886-1960
Hulbert, Winifred
International Council of Women
Jessie Woodrow Sayre Scholarship Foundation
Johnson, Alice Williams, 1870-
Johnson, Lewis Jerome, 1867-1952
Kalijarvi, Thorsten V. (Thorsten Valentine), 1897-1980
Kallen, Horace Meyer, 1882-1974
Kitchelt, Florence Ledyard Cross, 1974-1961
Lape, Esther Everett
Lawrence, David
League of Nations Association (U.S.)
League of Nations
League of Nations Association. Massachusetts
League of Nations Society in Canada
League of Nations Union
League of Women Voters of Boston
League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
League of Women Voters of Cambridge
Leonard, Gertrude Halladay, 1868-1919
Lewis, David J. (David John), 1869-1952
Lippmann, Walter, 1889-1974
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1902-1985
Lowell, Lucy
Luce, Robert, 1862-1946
Macneil, Sayre, 1886-1961
Marsh, David L.
Massachusetts Citizens Committee on the World Court
Massachusetts. Department of Education. Division of Continuing Education
Massachusetts Peace Council
Massachusetts Peace Films Council
Massachusetts Single Tax League
Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association
Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. Cambridge Division. Men's Council
Massachusetts Woman's Committee for Law Enforcement
Mather, Kirtley F. (Kirtley Fletcher), 1888-1978
McArtney, Janet E.
McCord, David Thompson Watson, 1897-1997
McCoy, Frank Ross, 1874-1954
McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945
McDonald, James G. (James Grover), 1886-1964
Miller, Helen Clarkson
Milliken, Samuel
Moore, John Bassett, 1860-1947
Moors, John F.
Morgan, Ann
Mowatt, Sarah A.
Murdoch, Marion, 1853-
Nash, Philip Curtis, 1890-1947
National American Woman Suffrage Association
National Civic Federation. Massachusetts Section
National Council for Adult Civic Education
National Council for Prevention of War (U.S.)
National Roosevelt League
National Woman's Party
New England Institute of International Relations
Nichols, Alice, 1905-1969
Nichols, Charles E.
Noland, Anna Dunn
Nutter, George Read, 1863-1937
O'Brien, Terence
Paine, George L.
Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955
Parker, George Howard, 1864-1955
Parker, Lois D.
Parker, Louise M. (Louise Merritt), 1868-1954
Paul, Alice, 1885-1977
Peabody, Jeannette B.
Peabody, Josephine Preston, 1874-1922
Peabody, Lucy (McGill) Waterbury, 1861-1949
Peace Films Foundation (N.Y.)
Pendleton, Ellen F. (Ellen Fitz), 1864-1936
Permanent Court of International Justice
Peters, Andrew James, 1872-1938
Pinkham, Wenona Osborne, 1882-1930
Piper, Elizabeth Bridge, 1883-1970
Post, Alice Thacher, 1853-1947
Progressive Club of Cambridge (Mass.)
Progressive Party (1912)
Progressive Party (Founded 1912). National Convention, 1st, Chicago, 1912
Ritter, Elizabeth, 1875-
Ritter, Woldemar
Robins, Margaret Dreier
Rugg, Sarah Pomeroy
Sayre, Francis Bowes, 1885-1972
Sayre, Jessie Woodrow
Schain, Josephine, 1886-1972
Scudder, Vida Dutton, 1861-1954
Seasongood, Murray, 1878-1983
Seavey, Warren Abner, 1880-1966
Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960
Shapley, Harlow, 1885-1972
Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919
Short, William H. (William Harrison), 1868-1935
Simpson, Clifford O.
Smith, Lillian H. E.
Spencer, Edna Lawrence
Stanford, Neal A.
Stantial, Edna Lamprey
Stimson, Henry L. (Henry Lewis), 1867-1950
Strong, Charles Howard, 1865-1949
Sturgis, S. Warren
Taussig, F. W. (Frank William), 1859-1940
Thomas, Frances A.
Tillinghast, Anna Churchill Moulton, 1874-1951
Tokalji, Bela. LinkTyler, H. W. (Harry Walter), 1863-1938
United Nations Association
United States. Department of the Interior. Office of Education. Manchester (N.H.) Public Forums
Upton, Harriet Taylor
Walsh, David I. (David Ignatius), 1872-1947
Wambaugh, Sarah, 1882-1955
Washburn, Charles G. (Charles Grenfill), 1857-1928
Weeks, John W. (John Wingate), 1860-1926
Wheelock, Lucy
Wheelock School
White, True Worthy, Mrs.
White, William Allen, 1868-1944
Whitehouse, Florence
Wild, Payson Sibley, 1905-1998
Willard, Mabel Caldwell
Wilson, George Grafton, 1863-1951
Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924
Winant, John Gilbert, 1889-1947
Woman Suffrage Party of Cambridge (Mass.)
Woman's National Committee for Law Enforcement
Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace
Women's Art Society of Montreal
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Woodrow Wilson Foundation
Woolley, Mary Emma, 1863-1947
World Peace Foundation
Young, Rose, -1941