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COLLECTION Identifier: A-146; M-92

Papers of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, 1900-1961

Correspondence, speeches, etc., of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, educator and founder of the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina.

Dates

  • 1900-1961

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access. Originals are closed; use digital images or microfilm M-92.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Charlotte Hawkins Brown is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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.

Extent

2.84 linear feet ((3+1/2 file boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 4 oversize folders, 2 folio+ folders, 4 reels of microfilm)

This collection provides information about Charlotte Hawkins Brown's life and activities, about Palmer Memorial Institute, and particularly about Brown's continuing struggle to enlarge the school, the financial problems she encountered, and her constant fund-raising efforts.

Series I, Personal and biographical, contains biographical material by Charlotte Hawkins Brown and by others, including an incomplete draft of an unpublished biography of Brown by Ceci Jenkins. There are also speeches (some are excerpts and reports by others) and writings by Brown, certificates, awards and honorary degrees received by Brown, and photographs of her and others. Of her speeches Brown said, "For the most part [they]... are along social lines of uplift and general educational practice" ("The Quest of Culture," 1929, in #14). The writings and speeches included here are mainly about race relations and Negro women and were delivered on such occasions as meetings, anniversaries, memorial services, graduations, and on receiving honors. The series begins with the biographical papers, followed by Brown's speeches and writings, her awards and honors, and photographs.

Series II, Correspondence, contains mainly letters to and from Brown (most Brown letters are typescript carbon copies). Many of those to Brown are letters of congratulation. Much of the correspondence deals with Palmer Memorial Institute: fund-raising, expansion, and events. Dated correspondence (see "Microfilm of Collection") is arranged chronologically. No attempt was made to reconstruct the chronology of the undated letters, which follow the dated correspondence and are arranged in two alphabetical groups: from Brown and to Brown. There is one folder of letters from others to others. An Index of Correspondents follows the inventory. Researchers should refer to this index, as there is also correspondence in the other series, particularly Series III.

Series III, Palmer Memorial Institute, is divided into two sections: Administration and Students, each arranged chronologically. The first contains copies of the charter (1907) and the constitution and by-laws (1908), various Brown reports to the Board of Trustees, reports by the staff to Brown, some financial and fund-raising records, brochures, press releases, programs, scrapbooks and photographs. The second section includes documents about student activities, publications, and essays about Palmer Memorial Institute. Such items as the scrapbooks, photographs, and clippings document both the administration of Palmer Memorial Institute and its students.

BIOGRAPHY

Charlotte Hawkins Brown (June 11, 1883-January 11, 1961) was born in Henderson, North Carolina, the daughter of Caroline Frances Hawkins and Edmund H. Hight. The family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the late 1880's, where Brown attended public schools. During her senior year of high school Alice Freeman Palmer, formerly president of Wellesley College, encouraged her to attend the State Normal School at Salem and provided financial support. In 1901 Brown accepted a job as teacher in a one-room school in rural Sedalia, North Carolina. It was this school that Brown transformed, with the help of many contributors, into an accredited school and junior college and renamed Palmer Memorial Institute. In 1911 Brown married Edward S. Brown, also a teacher; they had no children and were later separated. Brown became a nationally recognized educator and received honorary doctorates from Howard, Tuskegee and other universities. She was active in the National Council of Negro Women, the North Carolina Teachers Association, and many other organizations, and she was the first black woman to serve on the national board of the Young Women's Christian Association. She lectured and wrote about Negro women, education, and race relations. Brown remained president of Palmer Memorial Institute until 1952. She died of heart failure in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1961.

For additional biographical information, see #1-29 in this collection, and the article about Charlotte Hawkins Brown in Notable American Women (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980), which includes a list of additional sources.

ARRANGEMENT

Arranged in three series:
  1. Series I. Personal and biographical, 1900-1961, n.d. #1-29.
  2. Series II. Correspondence, ca. 1902-1948, n.d. #30-55.
  3. Series III. Palmer Memorial Institute, 1907-1951, n.d. #56-76.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 781, 1071, 1096

The papers of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, educator and founder of the Palmer Memorial Institute, were given to the Schlesinger Library by her niece, Maria Cole, in July 1964 and December 1966, and by Wilhelmina M. Crosson, President Emerita, Palmer Memorial Institute, in October 1966. The microfilming of the papers was funded partly by the Friends of the Schlesinger Library and partly by the Historic Sites Section, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

MICROFILM OF THE COLLECTION

  1. Dates and/or other information have been written on some items by a number of people. In organizing the material, the processor accepted dates added by others. All dates and other information added by the processor are in square brackets.
  2. The pages of some items were numbered to aid the microfilmer, the proofreader, and researcher. Blank pages were not numbered.
  3. All reels were proofread by the processor and corrections were made where necessary.
  4. Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film due to such problems as flimsy paper with text showing through, faded and blurred carbon copies, and creased paper. The film was carefully produced and proofread to insure that these items are as legible as possible.
  5. All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. They are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).
  6. Letters of one or more pages with either the salutation or the signature missing, as well as portions of letters, have been marked as fragments.
  7. There are numerous letters with the text on the two inside pages written in two different directions, and some letters that have the final lines of text and the signature on page one. In these cases letters were microfilmed as they appear; pages were not turned and first pages were not refilmed.
  8. Charlotte Hawkins Brown sometimes used the verso of letterhead or of printed pages for carbon copies and some print may show through. These letterhead/printed sides were microfilmed only if they contained text.
  9. Enclosures were microfilmed after letters.
For a list of the contents of A-146, see the inventory that follows. When requesting portions of the collection on microfilm, please use the microfilm number (M-92) and the reel number.
REEL GUIDE
  1. Folders 1-29: M-92, Reel 1
  2. Folders 30-41: M-92, Reel 2
  3. Folders 42-55: M-92, Reel 3
  4. Folder #56-76: M-92, Reel 4

Container list

  1. Box 1: 1-19, 21, 29-31
  2. Box 2: 32-44
  3. Box 3: 45-65
  4. Box 4: 66, 71-76
  5. Box 5: 22o, 23-24, 26o
INDEX OF CORRESPONDENTS Researchers should refer to this index because there is correspondence not only in Series II, but also in Series I and III.

This index includes the names of all writers and recipients. There is one exception: little known persons writing for organizations and as secretaries to individuals are not indexed (unlike the organizations and the employers that are indexed). Information about individuals and subjects is also not indexed.

Key: No symbol = Writer; * = Writer and Recipient; + = Recipient

The numbers refer to folders.
INDEX OF CORRESPONDENTS
  1. Adams, Theresa L. 43*
  2. d'Albere - (Lake)?, V. 49
  3. Alden, Elizabeth (?) 37
  4. Alderman, A.H. 40+, 41+, 43+
  5. Alderman, B.C.S. 40*
  6. Allyn, Jennie 39
  7. Allyn, Louise H. 66
  8. A.M.E. Church, Durham, N.C. 41
  9. American Missionary Association 41, 42, 60
  10. Andrew, R.B. 31
  11. Anthony, Susan B. II 17
  12. Archer, Federick 43
  13. Austin, Charles B. 66
  14. Atkins, S.G. 66
  15. Baldwin, Maria Louise 33, 42
  16. Banker, Elizabeth C. 42
  17. Banner, C.W., Dr. 48
  18. Barrett, C.A. 66
  19. Bartlett (?), Nelson S. 41, 42
  20. Bartol, Mrs. 42
  21. Barton, George H. 37
  22. Barton, Harry 60
  23. Bean, Cora 43
  24. Beasley, R.F. 41
  25. Beittel, A.D. 48
  26. Belcher, May B. 46, 47
  27. Bess - (?), S. 46
  28. Bethune, Albert and Margaret 48
  29. Bethune, Mary McLeod 39, 41, 42, 45, 49, 66, 67
  30. Bianchi, B.A. 49
  31. Biddle University, Charlotte, N.C. 41
  32. Binford, Raymond 48, 66, 67
  33. Blake, Marian (?) 39
  34. Blanchard, Ferdinand Q. 66, 67
  35. Blanchard, Sarah H. 41
  36. Bond, Mary Louise 48
  37. Bourne, John S.R. 41
  38. Boyer, Charles H. 66 Bray, C.A. 33, 35, 39*, 51
  39. Brewer, Edward M. 41
  40. Briggs, Howard A.M. 42
  41. Bright, J.S. 30, 33, 35, 36+, 37, 38*, 39, 45, 51, 67
  42. Brighthelmstone (?) Club 51
  43. Brooks, Fanny 38
  44. Brooks, Louise Winsor 37, 39, 40+, 41*, 42+, 43+, 44
  45. Broughton, J. Melville 48
  46. Brown, Alice F. 35
  47. Brown, Charlotte Hawkins 30+-35+, 36*-39*, 40+, 41*-44*, 45+, 46*, 47+, 48*, 49*, 50, 51+-54+, 60+, 61, 66+-68+, 72
  48. Brown, Mary E. 44
  49. Brown, Mr. & Mrs. P.R. 48
  50. Burdick, Mabel G. 37
  51. Burke, J.W. 39
  52. Burroughs, Nannie H. 41,66
  53. Buttrick, Wallace 42+, 43+
  54. Cady, George L. 66
  55. Calkins, Raymond 35+
  56. Carlisle, L.L. 36
  57. Carlson, Laurinda R. 48
  58. Carroll, Lillian G. 43
  59. Caswell, Caroline M. 42
  60. Cater, Eunice H. 49
  61. Chalfant, Isabel 52
  62. Chase, Barbara 52
  63. Chisholm, Frank P. 67
  64. Choate, Miss 43
  65. Clark, Beatrice A. 42
  66. Clarke, Jane Leland 39
  67. Clemens, Cyril 21
  68. Close, Caroline 32, 36, 52
  69. Cogswell, Theodora Bates 42
  70. Coltrane & Cunningham 60
  71. Comfelt, Una S. 33-36, 38-40, 44, 45, 52, 55, 66, 67
  72. Comstock, Ada L. 66, 67
  73. Comstock, Mrs. William O. 37
  74. Conant, James B. 66
  75. Cone, Ceasar 33
  76. Cone, Mrs. Ceasar 39, 42
  77. Cone, Clarence C. 35
  78. Cone, Jeanette 43
  79. Cone, Julius W. 41
  80. Cook, Mrs. Ansel G. 42
  81. Cotton, J.A. 66
  82. Cox, Clara I. 41
  83. Cox, Jacob D., Jr. 43
  84. Cozart, L.S. 66, 67
  85. Crosthwait, Mrs. M.L. 44
  86. Cushing, Florence M. 41
  87. Daniel, Robert P. 67
  88. Darling, Effie McN. 44
  89. Davage, M.S. 66
  90. Davis, Belle 61 Davis, E.J. 42
  91. Davis, Hilda A. 66, 67
  92. Day, Rev. William Horace 66, 67
  93. Deering, Grace L. 30-33, 36, 38-40, 53
  94. de Gersdorff, Carl A. 42, 53
  95. Delano, Leydia M. 53
  96. Delaware Citizens Association 48*
  97. De Priest, Oscar 46, 66
  98. Dewson, Maria Forbush 36, 39
  99. Dillard, Hardy C. 48+
  100. Dillard, James H. 38, 41, 43, 45, 46+, 47+, 53, 67
  101. Doster, Dennis S. 49
  102. Douglas, Elizabeth P. 37, 39, 43
  103. Du Bois, W.E.B. 42
  104. Dudley, James B. 39, 41*
  105. Dunham, Elizabeth ? 36
  106. Durkee, J. Stanley 39
  107. Earl, R.M. 49
  108. Eastman, Eva S. 45
  109. Eddy, Miss S.J. 44
  110. Efland, M.P. 44+
  111. Ehringhaus, John C. 46, 66
  112. Eliot, Charles William 36*, 38, 42
  113. Eliot, Charles William II 66
  114. Eliot, Samuel A. 45, 46*, 47, 49, 66
  115. Elliot, Harriet 48
  116. Ely, Joseph Buell 46, 66
  117. Ernst, Mrs. James C. 41+
  118. Ervin, Clyde A. 48
  119. Farnam, Henry W. 42
  120. Farpley, Lucille Cleo 66
  121. Felix (?) Marion C. 40
  122. Fiske, Mrs. C.M. 36
  123. Fitz, Mrs. M. Scott, 53
  124. Forbes, Mrs. Waldo E. 66
  125. Foster, Laura G. 45
  126. Frances E. Willard Settlement 42
  127. Fraser, Edna 49
  128. French, Mary M.A. 43
  129. Fry, Charles 33
  130. Gallagher, Buell G. 47
  131. Gandy, John M. 67
  132. Gary, Judge Elbert H. 43
  133. Gimbel, Elinor S. 17
  134. Glover, Ola 41*, 44+
  135. Gobbel, Luther L. 48
  136. Godbey, Earle 48+
  137. Goreleigh, Mr. & Mrs. Rex 48
  138. Gould, Edgar H. 67
  139. Gove, Anna M. 39
  140. Graham, Frank 46*, 47, 63+, 66, 67
  141. Grew, Jane N. 37, 39
  142. Grinnell, Harold 35+
  143. Grinnell, Mary R. 30-38, 39*, 40, 41, 43, 45, 53
  144. Grossley, R.S. 66
  145. Grubbs, O. L. 42
  146. Guthrie, Frances A. 32, 33, 42, 45, 53
  147. Hammond, Mrs. John Henry 54
  148. Hancock, Gordon B. 48
  149. Handy, Ruth 49+
  150. Handy, William C. 49
  151. Hanlon, Ralph 66
  152. Hare, Nan Cox 47
  153. Harlow, S. Ralph 46, 47
  154. Harris, Nelson H. 67
  155. Harris, Mrs. 61+
  156. Hart, M.S. 37
  157. Hathaway, E.R. 37
  158. Hawley, Ellen M. 42
  159. Haynes, Jessie M. 49
  160. Hayes, Roland W. 36, 41, 45
  161. Hazard, Caroline 66
  162. Heathfield, Laura I 40+, 41, 43, 44
  163. Hemenway, Clara 34, 36, 39
  164. Henling (?), Elizabeth L. 36
  165. Hibbert, Susan L. 35
  166. Higginson, Mrs. 42
  167. Hills, Ada Ayer 37
  168. Hobgood, Frank P., Jr. 44*, 45, 46*, 54
  169. Hoey, Clyde R. 48, 49*, 67
  170. Holcolmbe, Mr. & Mrs. James 48
  171. Holland, Annie W. 41
  172. Holloway, Dr. H.M. 66+
  173. Holsey, Albon L. 49
  174. Holt, Bessie G. 43+
  175. Hope, John 47
  176. Horton, Mildred (McAfee) 49, 67
  177. Howe, Annie L. 35
  178. Howell, S.A. 41*
  179. Hoyt, Emma J. 42
  180. Hubert, Benjamin F. 47, 66
  181. Hughes, Langston 49
  182. Hunt, H.A. 66
  183. Hutchins, William J. 46
  184. Indiana Avenue School 41
  185. The Inter-Racial Committee 44
  186. Ireland, Mr. & Mrs. C.H. 39, 47
  187. Jackson, W.C. 43, 46, 48, 67
  188. Jacobs, May 40
  189. Jannings, Mrs. Oliver G. 42, 43
  190. Jeffress, E.B. 48
  191. Jenkins, Ceci R. 49+, 72
  192. Jennings, Mrs. 39, 42, 43
  193. Johnson, George A. 66
  194. Johnson, James Weldon 46, 66
  195. Johnson, John H. 49+
  196. Johnson, (?) W. 46
  197. Jones, David Dallas 47, 66, 67
  198. Jones, Helen S. 43
  199. Jones, Thomas E. 66
  200. Jordon, Elizabeth 49
  201. Kay, Mary P. 30, 39
  202. Kimball, David T. 30
  203. Kimball, Helen F. 30-33, 35, 36, 43
  204. King, Grace B. 54
  205. King, Huger S. 48
  206. Knuckles, W.H. 41
  207. Knudsen, Christine 49
  208. Kup, Robert Porter 40
  209. L.J. Mutty Company 38
  210. Ladies Friendly Society 37
  211. Ladies Grand Army of the Republic 53
  212. Laird, Jessie C. 46*, 66
  213. Lang, John A. 48
  214. Larkins, J.R. 49
  215. Latimer, Mr. & Mrs. George D. 43
  216. Lee, S.E. 41
  217. Lingle, Walter L. 66
  218. Locke, Mary S. 49
  219. Loeb, Max 50+
  220. Long, Thomas A. 73
  221. Loring, Mrs. M.C. 43
  222. Love, James Lee 49
  223. Love, Martha E. 54
  224. Low, Seth 36*
  225. Lowe, W.E. 43+
  226. McEachin, I.B. 49
  227. MacFadden, E.H. 42, 44
  228. McIver, Charles Duncan 30
  229. McIver, Lula Martin 41, 44, 48+, 61
  230. McKinney, T.E. 66
  231. Macmahons, Elizabeth W. 35, 44+, 46, 54, 68
  232. McRae, J.A. 41
  233. Marks, Jeannette 47
  234. Martin, J.T. 48
  235. Mason, Charles A. 42
  236. Mason, Elizabeth A. 44
  237. Mason, Vivian Carter 49
  238. Mead, Walter S. 42
  239. Means, Abbey F. 42
  240. Merriam, Cleffe (?) 41
  241. Merrill, Harry W. 41
  242. Meyer, D.D. 42
  243. Miller, Kelly 37, 66
  244. Milner, Ernestine C. & Clyde A. 48, 67
  245. Mitchell, John W. 66
  246. Mitchell, M. Frances 49
  247. Montague, Donald J. 63
  248. Moore, L.B. 41
  249. Moors, Ethel P. 42
  250. Myers, Charles F. 46
  251. Nash, Frank King 37, 54
  252. The National Training School for Women & Girls, Inc., see Burroughs, Nannie H.
  253. Neilson, William Allan 67
  254. Nelson, William S. 66
  255. Newbold, N.C. 66, 67
  256. N.C. Federation of Women's Clubs, see Cox, Clara J.
  257. Norton, A.O. 45+
  258. Nowell, Laura H. 39, 43, 44
  259. Osgood, Robert B. 41
  260. Ovington, Mary White 46, 66
  261. Palmer, Frederic 38, 66
  262. Palmer, Frederic Jr. 41, 46, 47, 67
  263. Palmer, George Herbert 34, 36, 38-40, 43
  264. Palmer, Mary Towle 36, 37, 41
  265. Palmer Memorial Institute Students 44+
  266. Park, Grace Burtt 37
  267. Peabody, George Foster 43
  268. Pearson, W.G. 48
  269. Pendleton, Ellen Fitz 66
  270. Perkins, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Nelson 67
  271. Pickens, William 66
  272. Pierce, Otis N. 30
  273. Piper, Mr. 41+
  274. Preyer, William Y. 48
  275. Price, Mary 49
  276. Randolph, Virginia E. (?) 32
  277. Read, Florence M. 66
  278. Reed, Emily Putnam 41, 42, 54
  279. Reynolds-Johnson, Mrs. R.J. 44+
  280. Rhees, Rush 66
  281. Rich, William T. 36
  282. Richardson, Elizabeth M. 42
  283. Richardson, H. Smith 40, 41
  284. Richardson, Mrs. L. 48
  285. Ricks, W. Edward 66
  286. Rivera, Dr. E.M. 66
  287. Roberts, Ruth Logan 49
  288. Robeson, Edna G. 49
  289. Rockefeller, Mrs. J.D. Jr. 47
  290. Rodgers, Louise W. 37
  291. Roosevelt, Eleanor & Franklin 66, 67
  292. Roosevelt, Sara (Mrs. James, Sr.) 47, 66, 67
  293. Rosenwald, Julius 36, 37*, 39*
  294. Rounds, Louise G. 66 S
  295. age, E.C. 39+
  296. Sampson, L.S. 42, 54
  297. Sargent, H.O. 66
  298. Sato, Grace 42
  299. Schieffelin, M.L. 35, 41, 49
  300. Schneiderman, Rose 17
  301. Seabrook, J.W. 66
  302. Sears, Mrs. 42
  303. Shakelford, F.H. 54
  304. Shapiro, Joseph G. 47
  305. Shapleigh, Frances H. 54
  306. Shepard, James E. 44, 66
  307. Simmons, Elizabeth R. 41, 42
  308. Simmons, S.B. 66
  309. Sims, R. (?) P. 66
  310. Slowe, Lucy D. 67
  311. Smith, Charles S. 38
  312. Smith, Emory B. 37
  313. Smith, E.L. 35+
  314. Smith, L.E. 67
  315. Smith, Lucy M. 43
  316. Smith, W. Eugene 66
  317. Smith, Wilbert B. 49
  318. Snow, Mrs. Edgar 17
  319. Spaulding, C.C. 42, 49*, 66
  320. Sprague, Dr. F.P. 42
  321. Stevens, Ada C. Gates 41
  322. Stevens, Lena M. 44
  323. Stewart, Charles E. 66
  324. Stone, Betty L. 42, 49
  325. Stone, Carrie M. 39*, 40, 41, 43*, 44*, 45, 46, 48, 49, 54
  326. Stone, Galen L. 39*, 40, 41*, 42-44
  327. Storrow, E.R. 39
  328. Suggs, D.C. 43, 44
  329. Summerell, Jane 66
  330. Talbert, Mary B. 37, 41
  331. Talmage, Charles 37
  332. Tapley, Alice P. 36, 43, 44
  333. Tarpley, J.A. 66
  334. Thomas, Roy H. 66
  335. Thwing, Charles F. 66
  336. Tingley, S.H. 39
  337. Tinnin, Mary I. 43
  338. Trent, W.J. 66
  339. Trigg, H.L. 66
  340. Tripp, Mr. and Mrs. E.B. 54
  341. Trumbull, Frank 39, 40, 41
  342. Tunsel (?), Florence G. 42
  343. Turner, J. Clyde 67
  344. Twombly, John (?) 39, 49
  345. Van Wagenen Beulah Clark 49
  346. Vaughan, Benton H. 42
  347. Vickery, Annie L. 36, 37, 39, 41-44, 54, 66
  348. Vosburgh, (?) B. 42
  349. Wadsworth, A.F. 55
  350. Walcott, M.G. 39
  351. Walker, C.J., Mme. 36, 37, 40
  352. Walker, Maggie L. 37, 41
  353. Waring, Mary F. 66
  354. Washington, Booker T. 35, 68
  355. Washington, Margaret James (Murray) 35, 36+, 37, 39
  356. Waugh, Elsie 49
  357. West, Grace L. 66, 67
  358. Whaley, Ruth W. 49
  359. Wharton, Edward P. 37, 39, 41+, 42+, 44, 45, 55+
  360. Wheeler, Leonora 44
  361. Wilkinson, Mrs. Garnet C. 47
  362. Wilkinson, Marion 41, 45, 48
  363. Willcox, William G. 36, 39, 43
  364. Williams, Miss 45+
  365. Williams, Ollabelle 38+
  366. Williams, Sadie 49+
  367. Wills, J. Norman 42
  368. Willson, Alice B. 43
  369. Winn, Cordella 66
  370. Winslow, Henry J. 43
  371. Winsor, Robert (?) 39
  372. Woelfla, Caroline 54
  373. Woolley, Mary E. 66, 67
  374. Work, Monroe N. 33

Processing Information

Reprocessed: April 1984

By: Bert Hartry
Link to catalog
Title
Brown, Charlotte Hawkins, 1883-1961. Papers of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, 1900-1961: A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00160

Repository Details

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