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COLLECTION Identifier: A-77: M-35

Papers of the Blackwell family, 1784-1944 (inclusive), 1832-1939 (bulk)


Chiefly papers of Congregational minister Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, as well as papers and photographs of other family members.


  • Creation: 1784-1944
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1832-1939

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals are closed; use digital images. Or, use microfilm M-35.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Papers created by the Blackwell family are in the public domain. 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.


2.71 linear feet ((6 file boxes, 1 half file box) plus 7 folders of photographs, 1 folio+ folder)

This collection of Blackwell family papers contains correspondence, writings, of Congregational minister Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell, as well as papers and photographs of other Blackwell family members. It is arranged in three series.

Series I. ANTOINETTE LOUISA (BROWN) BLACKWELL (1825-1921), 1846-1921, (#1-58, 121f+), includes a typescript of "Antoinette Brown Blackwell, The First Woman Minister," dictated by Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell to Mrs. Claude U. Gilson; other partial biographies and writings; and correspondence. A complete version of Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell's autobiography can be found in #3-10; #12-14 (given by the Suffrage Archives) contain only the forward and chapters 1-8. The correspondence includes letters of Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell to family members and friends, but consists mainly of letters to her from friends (Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gerrit Smith, et al.).

Series II. FAMILY PAPERS, 1784-1948, (#59-113), contains correspondence between the family members named above as well as the five daughters of Antoinette and Samuel Blackwell. There are also journals of Anna Blackwell, 1880-1885, and of Emily Blackwell, 1850-1866; the diaries of Samuel Blackwell, 1835-1837, 1840-1852; the memoirs of Dr. William B. Brown (brother of Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell), written in 1902; and miscellaneous papers on the work of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.

Series III, PHOTOGRAPHS, ca.1900-ca.1935, (#114-120), includes portraits of Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Lucy Stone, and others, and pictures of suffrage parades. The photographs were microfilmed not with A-77 but with the Library's photograph collection. The photographs are also digitized and available online.


The most prominent members of the Blackwell family were Elizabeth (1821-1910) and Emily (1826-1910), among the earliest woman doctors and founders of the New York Infirmary and College for Women; their brother Henry Browne Blackwell (1825-1909), his wife Lucy Stone (1818-1893), and their daughter Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950), known for their leading roles in the abolition, woman suffrage, and prohibition movements; and their sister-in-law Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell (1825-1921), wife of Samuel Charles Blackwell (1823-1901), the first woman ordained as a minister in the United States and an active speaker on behalf of abolition, woman's rights, and prohibition.


The collection is arranged in number series:

  1. Series I. Antoinette Louisa (Brown) Blackwell (1825-1921), 1846-1921 (#1-58, 121f+)
  2. Series II. Family Papers, 1784-1948 (#59-113)
  3. Series III. Photographs, ca.1900-ca.1935 (#114-120)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 35, 299, 558, 70-9

The Blackwell family papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1959, January 1963, and February 1970 by Ethel Blackwell (Jones) Whidden, and in April 1961 by the Suffrage Archives.


The papers of the Blackwell Family have been microfilmed; a positive film copy is available for the use of readers. The original manuscripts are closed to research.

For a description of the contents of the collection, see the Inventory (pages 4-10). The following list indicates the folder numbers and which reels they appear on. Please refer to this folder and reel information as you use the Inventory. When requesting microfilmed material, please use the microfilm number, M-35, and the reel number.

  1. Folders 1-13: M-35, Reel 1
  2. Folders 14-55: M-35, Reel 2
  3. Folders 56-87: M-35, Reel 3
  4. Folders 88v.-113: M-35, Reel 4

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Blackwell family Papers, 1832-1981 (MC 411), Blackwell family Papers, 1835-1963 (A-145), Blackwell family Additional papers, 1851-1972 (MC 715), Alice Stone Blackwell Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1885-1950 (WRC 17-21), Edna Lamprey Stantial Papers, 1836-1985 (MC 733); Papers of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1909-1945, undated (A/B632a1a); Papers of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1909-1945, undated (A/B632a1b); Papers of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1940, undated (A/B632a1c); Letters of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1888-1913, undated (A/B632a1d); Letter of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1921, undated (A/B632a1e); Letter of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1893, undated (A/B632a1f); Letters of Alice Stone Blackwell, 1905 (A/B632a1g); Letters of Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, 1871-1913 (A/B632a3); Letters of Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, 1890-1894 (A/B632a3a); Papers of Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, 1842-1921 (A/B632a3b); Anna Blackwell Letter, 1893 June 28 (A/B632a2); Elizabeth Blackwell Letters, 1857-1900 (A/B632e1a); Elizabeth Blackwell Signature, undated (A/B632e1b); Elizabeth Blackwell Papers, undated (A/B632e1c); Henry Browne Blackwell Letters, 1869-1892 (A/B632h); and Henry Browne Blackwell Letter, 1979 June 30 (A/B632h2).

Container List

  1. Box 1: Folders 1-9
  2. Box 2: Folders 11-19
  3. Box 3: Folders 20-50
  4. Box 4: Folders 51-71
  5. Box 5: Folders 72-88v
  6. Box 6: Folders 89v-102
  7. Box 7: Folders 103-113

Processing Information

Re-processed: May 1979

By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Blackwell family. Papers of the Blackwell family, 1784-1944 (inclusive), 1832-1939 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Digitization of this collection in 2014 was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Record Commission.

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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