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Helen Tufts Bailie Papers, 1886-1959
5 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 9

Social reformer and radical. Bailie's extensive journals document her experimentation with anarchism, vegetarianism, companionate marriage and daily life during two World Wars. The collection also documents the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) blacklisting controversies; the ''Red Scare'' of the 1920s; the fight to repeal the Teacher's Loyalty Oath in Massachusetts; and the W.B. Shearer controversy on naval disarmament. Individuals represented in the collection include DAR president, Grace Brosseau; Carrie Chapman Catt; Elaine Goodale Eastman; Florence Luscomb; professor Jeannette Marks; and ACLU secretary Lucille B. Milner. Writings include copies of a novel, a short story, and a play.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Helen Matilda Tufts was born in Newark, New Jersey, January 9, 1874. The family moved to Massachusetts in 1875 and Helen graduated from Cotting High School in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1892. She worked in a printing office where she learned to set type, as a proofreader at the Riverside Press, and did secretarial work at Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston.

In April 1895 Helen met labor organizer, anarchist and writer Helena Born, who became a close and influential friend. It was through Helena's influence that Helen became interested in vegetarianism, socialism, communism, anarchism, dress reform, and Walt Whitman. It was also through Helena that she met William Bailie, who lived in and ran a cooperative vegetarian restaurant with her. In January 1901, Helena Born was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus and died later that month. Helen Tufts and William Bailie lived together from the fall of 1901 and were legally married in October 1908. William Bailie owned and operated a basketweaving business until his retirement in 1946. Their daughter, Helena Isabel was born in 1914. A son Terrill (nicknamed Sonny), born in 1916, died of spinal meningitis at the age of three.

Helen Tufts Bailie joined the Anne Adams Tufts chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1915. In 1927 she discovered that the society's officers maintained lists of "doubtful speakers," which included individuals and organizations such as Mary Woolley, Jane Addams, William Allen White, The National Federation of Women's Clubs, and the American Peace Society. After investigating the blacklists, Bailie made them public in February 1928. In March she wrote a pamphlet entitled "Our Threatened Heritage" protesting the blacklist. The pamphlet was signed by fifteen other DAR members (known as the "Committee on Protest") and distributed nationally. At the annual DAR Congress in Washington, DC, Helen and others continued to press for an explanation of the lists. Helen was charged with disturbing the harmony of the DAR and injuring its reputation, and after a hearing was held to consider the charges, she was promptly expelled. At the following year's DAR Congress, she unsuccessfully appealed for reinstatement. Bailie continued to be active in various causes, including a letter writing campaign to legalize birth control and another in 1935 against legislation requiring Massachusetts teachers to take an oath affirming the United States and state constitutions.

Helen and William Bailie moved to Nantucket in 1947. With Helen's failing eyesight and William's Alzheimer-like symptoms increasing, they moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1954 to live with their daughter Helena and her husband, Walter Jolly. Helen's book Darling Daughter: A Satirical Novel about the DAR blacklists and the "Red Scare" was published in 1956.

William Bailie died at a nursing home in May 1957. Helen Tufts Bailie moved to Miami, Florida, in 1958, and later to Ft. Lauderdale. She died in 1962. Helen Tufts Bailie Papers

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Helen Tufts Bailie Papers consists of two linear feet of journals and other writings; correspondence; miscellaneous clippings, pamphlets and publications. The material documents Helen's life from the time she began her journal in 1886 at age twelve until 1959, when she wrote her last entry at the age of seventy-five.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Helen Tufts Bailie Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Helen Tufts Bailie was introduced to the Sophia Smith Collection by donor, Elaine Goodale Eastman. Bailie donated her papers in 1949 and 1957. The initial donation was transferred from the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan Library. In 1949 Eastman donated additional letters related to the local Northampton Chapter's involvement in the DAR controversy.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 2001.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Series Descriptions
0.75 linear feet

This series consists of typed transcripts of Bailie's journals, which she kept faithfully from 1886 to 1959. They are highly personal. She described them as "a picture of my life, at home and outside. Only to my journals did I reveal my struggles."

The journals also reveal Bailie's social, political and cultural milieu. They document her early experimentation with anarchism; vegetarianism; and companionate marriage and her relationship with William Bailie, as she copes with his marital infidelity, six children from an earlier marriage, and financial difficulties. They also reveal her grief at the time of her young son's death and mark the difficulties she encounters raising her daughter, Helena. The struggles of daily life during World War I and II are also noted, as she includes grocery lists and records the price increases and limited availability of food items.

Entries from the late 1920s document the Daughters of the American Revolution, "Red Menace" scare, and "blacklist" controversies. The journal entries from this time reveal personal difficulties and doubts which are not apparent in Helen's public statements.

Some of the later entries consist solely of letters exchanged between Helen and her daughter Helena, while Helena was an instructor at Wilberforce University in Ohio, They are revealing about Helena's work in the field of sociology, and the relationship between mother and daughter.

Included in this series are photocopies of six photographs (1895-96) of Bailie with friends, particularly Helena Born. The original photographs are located at the Tamiment Library in New York City.

1 linear ft.

This series is divided into three subseries: The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Red Scare, Disarmament and The Teachers Oath.

The bulk of Bailie's professional papers relate to the DAR "blacklist" controversy and the "Red Scare" of the mid to late 1920s. Because the two issues are intertwined, they have been combined into one subseries. This subseries includes correspondence, articles, clippings, pamphlets, press releases, DAR documents and records of the charges against Bailie, her protest writings, and information about other organizations involved. The articles and pamphlets (1925-29) reflect both sides of the controversy and contain articles by Carrie Chapman Catt.

The correspondence in this subseries, arranged alphabetically by sender, is both personal and professional, and is primarily a record of Bailie's fight against the DAR "blacklists" and policies during the mid to late 1920s. It also contains public and private letters received by Bailie that both supported and protested her position. There are also third party letters which were most likely forwarded to Bailie. Noted correspondents include Grace G. Brosseau (President General of National DAR, 1925-28) and Florence Luscomb (1928).

The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Red Scare subseries contains publications from a number of organizations involved in this controversy, both those on the "blacklist" and patriotic organizations in support of the DAR. They include American Peace Society, Better America Federation, American Vigilant Intelligence Federation, Key Men Of America, Lusk Committee, Massachusetts Public Interest League, National Defense Life Insurance Company, National Save Our Schools Committee, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

The second subseries records Bailie's interest in a controversy regarding naval propagandist, William B. Shearer and naval disarmament (1927-30). Shearer who was investigated by the Senate was hired by shipbuilding companies to attend the Geneva armament conference, ostensibly to argue against limitation of naval armament. It includes articles, correspondence and published materials.

The remainder of the series relates to Helen's fight for repeal of the Teacher's Loyalty Oath law in Massachusetts from 1935 to 1937. It consists of clippings, pamphlets and correspondence. Among names included are Jeannette Marks (Professor at Mount Holyoke College) and Lucille B. Milner (Secretary of American Civil Liberties Union).

.25 linear ft.

This series consists of speeches (1928, n.d.); Darling Daughter: A Satirical Novel (1956); "Fata Morgana," a short story (1939); and "Buttermilk," a play (n.d.) by Bailie. It also includes Whitman's Ideal Democracy And Other Writings by Helena Born, edited by Helen Tufts Bailie (1902)

Contents List



Box 1: folder 1-22

Box 2: folder 1-23



Box 2: folder 24

Daughters of the American Revolution and the Red Scare


DAR publications

Box 3: folder 1
Blacklist controversy: DAR vs. Helen Tufts Bailie

Blacklists of people and organizations

Box 3: folder 2

Box 3: folder 3
Blacklist party

Box 3: folder 4

Box 3: folder 5

Memorandum of procedures

Box 3: folder 6
Notes and miscellaneous material

Box 3: folder 7

Box 3: folder 8

Box 3: folder 9
Clippings, articles and pamphlets

Helen Tufts Bailie

Box 3: folder 10

Box 3: folder 11-12
"An Open Letter to the DAR" by Carrie Chapman Catt

Box 3: folder 13
Investigations and protests

Box 3: folder 14
Committee of Protest: petitions and protests from chapters

Box 3: folder 15
Press releases, statements and internal memos

Box 3: folder 16


Box 4: folder 1
Adams, Florence G.

Box 4: folder 2
Brosseau, Grace H

Box 4: folder 3
Macfarland, Mary Perly

Box 4: folder 4
Patten, Jeanie M. Coyle

Box 4: folder 5
Pember, Agnes Cushing

Box 4: folder 6
Roy, Eleanor Patterson

Box 4: folder 7
Letters to the editor

Box 4: folder 8
Articles and pamphlets

Box 4: folder 9

Box 4: folder 10-11
William B. Shearer disarmament controversy

Box 4: folder 12
Teachers' Oath


Box 5: folder 1

Box 5: folder 2

Box 5: folder 3

1928, n.d.

Box 5: folder 4
Writings by Helen Tufts Bailie

Darling Daughter: A Satirical Novel

Box 5: folder 5
"Fata Morgana"

Box 5: folder 6

Box 5: folder 7
Whitman's Ideal Democracy And Other Writings by Helena Born, edited by Helen Tufts Bailie

Box 5: folder 8

Miscellaneous printed material about DAR and the Red Scare
1929, n.d.

Flat File

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Radicalism--United States--History--Sources
  • Anti-communist movements--Massachusetts--History--Sources
  • Bailie, Helen Tufts, 1874-1962
  • Born, Helena, 1860-1901
  • Boston (Mass.)--Intellectual life--19th century
  • Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Brosseau, Grace Lincoln Hall, 1872-
  • Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947
  • Daughters of the American Revolution--History--Sources
  • Eastman, Elaine Goodale, 1863-1953
  • Free love--United States--History--Sources
  • Loyalty oaths--United States--Massachusetts--History
  • Luscomb, Florence, 1887-
  • Marks, Jeannette Augustus, 1875-1964
  • Milner, Lucille Bernheimer, 1888-
  • Shearer, William Baldwin, 1874-
  • World War, 1914-1918--Women--United States--Personal narratives
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States--Personal narratives

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