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Caroline Maria Seymour Severance Papers, 1861-1920
1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 145

Abstract:
Woman's club leader; women's rights activist; and abolitionist. The Severance Papers include a small amount of biographical material; two photographs of Jesse Benton Fremont; a book about the women's club movement; Caroline Severance's guest book; and a scrapbook kept by Caroline Severance's daughter, Julia Long Severance (Burrage). The guest book and scrapbook include autographs, quotations, notes, correspondence, drawings, photographs, and memorabilia of many notable persons. Louisa May Alcott, A. Bronson Alcott, Catharine Beecher, Alice Stone Blackwell, Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Sarah Grimke, Julia Ward Howe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Booker T. Washington, John Greenleaf Whittier are included, among many others.

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

Caroline Maria Seymour Severance, daughter of a bank officer, was born in Canandaigua, New York in 1820. She graduated as valedictorian from Miss Record's Female Seminary in 1835 at age fifteen and served on the faculty of Auburn Female Seminary. She married Ohio banker Theodore C. Severance in 1840 and settled in Cleveland where, after hearing lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bronson Alcott, she became increasingly committed to social justice and peace. Severance lectured and published on women's rights and participated actively in the abolitionist movement throughout the 1850s. She moved to the Boston area in 1855. While living in Massachusetts she served on the board of New England Hospital; founded the New England Woman's Club with Julia Ward Howe and Ednah D. Cheney, among others, in 1868; and organized the American Association for the Advancement of Women. In 1875 Severance moved again, this time to Los Angeles, where she organized the Los Angeles Women's Club in 1878. Caroline Severance died in 1914 at the age of 95.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Severance Papers include a small amount of biographical material about Caroline Seymour Severance; some correspondence; two photographs of Jesse Benton Fremont; a book about the women's club movement; Caroline Severance's guest book, and a scrapbook kept by Caroline Severance's daughter, Julia Long Severance (Burrage).

The guest book and scrapbook include autographs, quotations, notes, correspondence, drawings, photographs, and memorabilia of many notable abolitionists, woman's rights advocates, and members of the women's club movement. Louisa May Alcott, A. Bronson Alcott, Catharine Beecher, Alice Stone Blackwell, Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Sarah Grimke, Julia Ward Howe, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Booker T. Washington, John Greenleaf Whittier are included, among many others.


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:

Caroline Maria Seymour Severance Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA

History of the Collection

The Caroline Maria Seymour Severance Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1950-53 by Caroline's granddaughter, Caroline S. Burrage.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised in 2002 by Gayla Spaulding, intern.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
Contents (including list of scrapbook contents)


Box 1: folder 1
Curriculum vitae,
1820-1914

Box 1: folder 2
Newspaper clippings,
circa 1945

Box 1: folder 3
Correspondence to Mrs. Parks,
1907-12

Box 1: folder 4
Photographs: Fremont, Jessie Benton (2),
n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
Book: The Mother of Clubs: Caroline M. Seymour Severance; An Estimate and an Appreciation (Ella Giles Ruddy, ed.),
1906

Box 1
Guest book,
1866

Box 1
Julia Long Severance: scrapbook,
circa 1860-1910

Box 1
Note:

[See APPENDIX, Julia Severance Scrapbook Contents]


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.

Subjects
  • Abolitionists--United States--Correspondence
  • Authors, American--20th century--Sources
  • Autographs--Collections
  • New England Women's Club--History
  • Severance, Caroline Maria Seymour, 1820-
  • Severance, Julia
  • Suffragists--United States--Correspondence
  • Women--Societies and clubs--United States--History--Sources


Julia Severance Scrapbook Contents

Autographs--clipped from letters or directly entered into book. Some include quotations, brief notes, or original epigrammatic statements, most are just signatures [? indicates signature is somewhat illegible]. Notable names include:

  • Louisa May Alcott
  • A. Bronson Alcott
  • Catharine Beecher
  • Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher
  • Alice Stone Blackwell
  • Benjamin Butler (with quotation)
  • Lydia Maria Child (with quotation)
  • Frederick Douglass (?)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • J.A. Garfield
  • William Lloyd Garrison (with poem)
  • Ulysses S. Grant
  • Sarah Grimke
  • R.B. Hayes
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes (with poem)
  • Julia Ward Howe
  • L.M. Peabody
  • Lucy Stone
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Thomas Wentworth (with note)
  • John Greenleaf Whittier (with poem)

Handwritten letters (ALS), lengthier notes:

  • May Alcott: ALS Jul 13, 1869
  • Alice Stone Blackwell: ALS July 11, 1910 and Apr 23, 1889
  • Charles F. Brown (pseudonym Artemis Ward?), Vanity Fair: ALS Jun 10, 1861
  • Ambrose Everett Burnside (?): ALS Dec 4, 1861
  • William Claflin: ALS Nov 17, 1866
  • Moncure (?) D. Conway: ALS May (no year)
  • G.W. Curtis: ALS Jan 13, 1866
  • Margaret J. Delano (?): Typed letter, Mar 28, 1912
  • Mary Mapes Dodge: ALS Mar 19, 1886
  • James F. Fields (re: Dickens and Thackeray): ALS Aug 11, 1871
  • Emily Shaw Frorman (?): ALS n.d.
  • E.L. Garrison: ALS Sept 1864
  • William Lloyd Garrison: ALS Nov 18, 1893
  • S.M. Grimke: ALS May 16, 1860
  • James H. Holmes: ALS Christmas 1867 (on reverse of photo which is labeled "John Brown")
  • Grace Greenwood: poem
  • John (?) Long: ALS May 21 1892
  • Mary Mann (wife of Horace Mann): ALS Feb 1 (no year)
  • Nora (?) Perry: ALS Jan 21 1872
  • Wendell Phillips (?): note, Oct 29, 1860
  • Ermine Redesdorff (?) [mother of Richard Mansfield]: letter to Mrs. Long
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (?): ALS May 15, 1863, Secretary of War
  • Lucy Stone: ALS Nov 19, 1889
  • Horatio Stebbins: ALS Oct 26, 1885
  • Gerrit Smith: ALS May 30, 1862
  • Charles Sumner: note, Mar 12, 1860
  • Celia Thaxter: signed poem
  • M. Vassar: ALS Dec 12, 1860 (to C. Severance re; "my contemplated female college")
  • John Weiss ("grandfather"): poem
  • Theodore D. Weld: ALS Aug 24, 1886
  • Kate J. Wiggins (?): ALS Feb 9 (no year)

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