Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Caroline Maria Seymour Severance Papers
mssSeverance papers  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
This collection contains the papers of American suffragist, reformer, and social activist Caroline Severance (1820-1914) and includes manuscripts, correspondence, and ephemera covering the following subjects: African American women suffrage and clubs, Susan B. Anthony, Jessie Benton Frémont, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Julia Ward Howe, child labor reform, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Fröbel and the Kindergarten movement, Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, Helen Modjeska, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, dress reform, suffrage, temperance, Unitarianism, women's rights, women's clubs, and the history, politics and social life of 19th and 20th century Los Angeles, California.
Caroline Maria Seymour Severance, suffragist, reformer, and social activist, was born in Canandaigua, New York, in January 1820. She graduated from the Female Seminary of Geneva, New York, in 1835, and in 1840, she married Theodoric Severance; they had five children, Orson Seymour (born and died in 1841), James Seymour (1842-1936), Julia Long Burrage (born in 1844), Mark Sibley (1846-1931), and Pierre Clarke (1849-1890). The Severances spent their first fifteen years together in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to Boston in 1855 when Theodoric accepted a position with the North Bank of Boston. At the outbreak of the Civil War the Severances moved to Port Royal, South Carolina, where Theodoric was Collector of Customs. Caroline Severance, who was actively involved in the abolitionist movement before and during the war, became involved in several reform movements and was a member of the boards of the Sanitary Commission, the Freedom Bureau, and the New England Hospital for Women and Children. She also became a supporter of the suffrage movement and in 1866 helped organize the Equal Rights Association with Susan B. Anthony. In 1868, Caroline Severance founded the New England Women's Club, the first women's club in the United States; although this fact would later be disputed, she is always referred to as the "Mother of Clubs." She also helped found the American Woman Suffrage Association with Lucy Stone in 1869.
20,473 items 107 boxes
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.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.