Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: A-13: M-133

Papers of Mary J. Coggeshall, 1880-1911


Correspondence, speeches, articles, etc., of Mary Jane Whitely Coggeshall, suffragist and editor.


  • Creation: 1880-1911

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use microfilm, M-133, reel E10.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall 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.


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder)

This collection, consisting almost entirely of Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall's speeches and writings, is arranged in three sections: Iowa, National American Woman Suffrage Association, and biographical sketches. The bulk of the collection is made up of Iowa material: speeches, responses by Iowa editors to the question of publishing suffrage articles, a history of the Polk County Woman Suffrage Society, a report on the 1904 state convention, and several letters to the editor, as well as clippings about the 1902 state convention, a suffrage poster, and memorabilia. The National American Woman Suffrage Association section consists of speeches at and reports of national conventions by Coggeshall. The two biographical sketches are of Lydia Maria Child and Henry Browne Blackwell. Arrangement within each section and subsection is chronological. Dates in square brackets in the inventory were provided by the processor, in some cases using other sources.

Clippings were discarded after filming.


Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall was born 17 January 1836. She married John Milton Coggeshall and raised three sons and a daughter (Corrine, mother of the donor of this collection). Her husband died in October 1889; her second son, Carl, died in July 1890.

According to Helen Gray, Carrie Chapman Catt called Coggeshall "the mother of woman suffrage in Iowa." She was a founding member of the Polk County (Iowa) Woman Suffrage Society in 1870. She held numerous positions in the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association (IESA) and served three terms as president. She was elected an auditor for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1902 and 1904, attended several National American Woman Suffrage Association conventions, and was a speaker at those held in Washington, D.C. (1904), and Chicago (1907). She also served as editor of The Woman's Standard for its first two years of publication (1886-1888) and its last (1911).

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall died on 22 December 1911.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 48-2, 83-M239

The bulk of the papers of Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall was given to the Schlesinger Library in 1946 by her granddaughter, Helen Coggeshall (Lingenfelter) Gray; additional materials were given to the Library by Helen Gray in 1983. The collection was reprocessed and microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.

Related Materials

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see the Helen Lingenfelter Gray Papers, 1920-1984 (MC 781).

Processing Information

Processed: November 1988

By: Jane E. Ward

Coggeshall, Mary J., 1836-1911. Papers of Mary J. Coggeshall, 1880-1911: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA