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Kelsey (Jeannette G. W.) Family Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Jeannette G. W. Kelsey family papers
    Creator: Kelsey, Jeannette G. Washburn (Jeanette Garr Washburn), 1850-1931
    Identifier/Call Number: mssKelsey
    Physical Description: 5.6 Linear Feet (13 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1851-1948
    Date (bulk): 1865-1930
    Abstract: Papers of Jeannette Garr Washburn Kelsey and her extended family; the papers include Jeannette G. W. Kelsey's memoir; family, social, and business correspondence; volumes, and photographs.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Jeannette G. W. Kelsey family papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased for the Huntington from Carmen D. Valentino by the Library Collectors' Council, January 2020.

    Biographical / Historical

    Jeannette Garr Washburn Kelsey (1850-1931) was born in Wisconsin to Cadwallader Colden Washburn (1818-1882) and Jeannette Garr Washburn (1818-1909). C. C. Washburn was a Governor of Wisconsin from 1872 to 1874, and also a businessman who founded a mill which later became General Mills; after the birth of her two daughters, Jeannette Garr Washburn began to suffer from some form of mental illness and was committed to an asylum in 1852 where she remained until her death in 1909. In June 1869, Jeannette G. W. Washburn married the political economist and journalist Albert Warren Kelsey (1840-1921) in La Crosse, Wisconsin and the couple lived in various places including St. Louis, Missouri, and Madison, Wisconsin; from 1878 to 1882 they traveled extensively in Europe and then returned to the United States and established themselves in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill neighborhood in a house they named "Rauhala." Together the Kelsey's had eight living children: architect Albert Kelsey (1870-1950), lawyer and journalist Charlotte Kelsey Darling (1873-1949), Kate Garr Kelsey (1875-1959), who worked on behalf of Belgian refugees during World War I, peace activist Mary Kelsey (1877-1948), Mabel Washburn Parker (1878-1968), inventor and automobile manufacturer Cadwallader Washburn Kelsey (1880-1970), Ethel Kelsey Wentworth (1882-1964) wife of the art photographer Bertrand H. Wentworth, and Bonnibel Kelsey (1884-1953). Jeannette G. W. Kelsey was a published novelist whose titles include "Clouded Amber," "Weathering the Storm," and "On the Heights;" she died in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, age 80, on January 30, 1931.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of the papers of the Kelsey family of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania from 1851 to 1948; the papers include correspondence, a memoir and a diary, printed volumes, photographs, and ephemera. The voluminous correspondence of Jeannette G. W. Kelsey, her husband, children, extended family, friends, social connections, and business associates covers the literary, intellectual, cultural, political, and business topics of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Subjects covered in the collection are American and British politics; the expatriate community in Europe; family relations; World War I; the Catholic Church; and business affairs. There is a small amount of material related to the businesses and estate of Jeannette's father Cadwallader C. Washburn. Correspondents include, among others, Bessie Rayner Belloc, John Murray Brown, Julia Pitt Byrne, Annie Fields, Fola La Follette, Marie Belloc Lowndes, Ida Vernon, and Cyrus Woodman.

    Processing Information

    The collection was processed by Gayle Richardson in April 2022.


    Organized in the following series: 1. Correspondence; 2. Writings and printed material; 3. Photographs and ephemera.

    Other Finding Aids

    A Kelsey family tree is attached here as a pdf to aid in disambiguating the family members of multiple generations of the Kelsey family who are represented in the collection: Kelsey family tree 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Catholic Church -- United States
    Catholic women
    Expatriate Americans
    Families -- United States
    Female friendship
    Women -- United States -- Social life and customs
    Women authors, American
    World War, 1914-1918
    Great Britain -- Social conditions -- 20th century
    Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 20th century
    United States -- Politics and Government -- 19th century
    United States -- Politics and Government -- 20th century
    United States -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
    United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
    Business papers
    Ephemera -- United States -- 19th century
    Ephemera -- United States -- 20th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century
    Letters (correspondence -- United States -- 20th century
    Memoirs -- United States -- 19th century
    Photographs -- United States
    Belloc, Bessie Rayner, 1829-1925
    Brown, John Murray, 1842-1908
    Byrne, Wm. Pitt, Mrs., 1819-1894
    Darling, Charlotte Kelsey, 1873-1949
    Estabrook, Charlotte Kelsey
    Gilbert, Anne Hartley, 1821-1904
    Kelsey family -- Archives
    Kelsey, Albert, 1870-1950
    Kelsey, Albert H., 1811-1901
    Kelsey, Albert Warren, 1840-1921
    Kelsey, Bonnibel, 1884-1953
    Kelsey, Cadwallader Washburn, 1880-1970
    Kelsey, Charlotte Locke, 1811-1890
    Kelsey, Kate Garr, 1875-1959
    Kelsey, Mary, 1877-1948
    La Follette, Fola, 1882-1970
    Parker, Mabel Washburn, 1878-1968
    Vernon, Ida, 1843-1923
    Washburn, C. C. (Cadwallader Colden), 1818-1882
    Wentworth, Bertrand Hebron, 1868-1953
    Wentworth, Ethel Kelsey, 1882-1964
    Woodman, Cyrus, 1814-1889