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COLLECTION Identifier: A/J7648

Letters to Bertha Howland Jones from Hugh Findlay, 1909-1914


Letters from Hugh Findlay to Bertha Howland Jones documenting their courtship and troubled marriage.


  • Creation: 1909-1914


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Bertha Howland Jones 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.


2 folders

Collection contains letters from Hugh Findlay to Bertha Howland Jones during their courtship and troubled marriage. Early letters are written by Findlay to Jones while he was a student at Clark University and working at Maple Ridge Greenhouses in Rochdale, Massachusetts. Findlay describes his studies and long hours of work at the greenhouse. After his appointment to a teaching position at the New York State School of Agriculture in May 1910, Findlay details experiences in academic life. He also expresses his love for Jones and discusses details regarding their wedding (December 1910). Letters following the marriage, however, document the changing nature of their relationship and contain angry words and recriminations toward Jones, specifically in regard to her being too busy to write to him and her belief that his education has "spoiled" him. In later letters, Findlay acknowledges their separation and expresses remorse and a desire to reconcile. The collection also contains a letter from Hugh Findlay's mother to Jones discussing the upcoming marriage.


Bertha Mabel Howland Jones was born December 22, 1882, to Mary E. Edwards and Dwight Lyman Howland, in Gill, Massachusetts. Jones married landscape architect Hugh Findlay on December 26, 1910. At the time of their marriage, she was working as a music teacher in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The marriage ended in divorce. Jones married Dr. John G. Jones in 1928 and they resided in Agawam, Massachusetts. She died July 1978 in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hugh Findlay was born September 28, 1879 in Ayr, Scotland. He immigrated to the United States as a child and studied at Clark University and Cornell University. He received a BSA from Syracuse University (1916); a MA from Columbia University (1922); and a MLA from Harvard University (1927). Findlay served as Professor of Horticulture and Agricultural Botany at the New York State School of Agriculture and Professor of Horticulture at Syracuse University. In 1925, he joined the faculty of Columbia University, and retired as Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture in 1945. During his career, Findlay developed special gardening tools for people who are blind and was the author of numerous gardening books. After the end of his marriage to Bertha Howland Jones, Findlay married Mabel Lucy Chase in 1916; they had one son, Robert Chase Findlay, in 1920. Hugh Findlay died August 23, 1950, in Marcy, New York.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2020-M114

The letters to Bertha Howland Jones from Hugh Findlay were acquired from Carmen D. Valentino in November 2020.

Processing Information

Processed: November 2021

By: Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library and Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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