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COLLECTION Identifier: 69-5--2013-M171; Phon-12; T-92

Papers of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest, 1849-1996

Biographical papers, diaries, photographs, etc., of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest, minister, musician, and author of religious dramas and homilies.

Dates

  • 1849-1996

Language of Materials

Materials in English, French, German, Greek, or Japanese.

Access Restrictions:

Access. The bulk of the collection is open for research. Correspondence with prisoners (#631-632) is closed until January 1, 2032. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest is held by her daughter, Evangeline Booth Demarest. 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

31.94 linear feet ((52 file boxes) plus 2 folio folders, 3 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize photo folder, 6 oversize volumes, audiotapes, 6 phonograph records, 1 object)

The collection consists of biographical data, diaries, correspondence (both family and business), and papers relating to Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest's and her husband Cornelius Agnew Demarest's work in promoting their religious missions and religious writings (including clippings, correspondence, testimonials and sermons). Material was received foldered and in a logical arrangement. Original folder titles were retained as well as original arrangement for most series. Additional material (accession numbers 80-M117--2013-M171) was added to the collection in December 2015. This material is located in Series V (#633-720vo) and Series VI (#Phon-12.1 - Phon-12.6, T-92.1 - T-92.61) .

SERIES I, PERSONAL, FAMILY DATA, AND DIARIES, 1849-1971 (1-22), includes biographical and genealogical material, diaries, baby books, correspondence, etc. Most of the material in this series documents the life of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest and her children, and several Booth-Clibborn family members, and includes birth and death certificates, baby books, family trees, a character analysis, and diaries. Diaries only document small portions of her life over a long span of years. A small amount of material documents Demarest family genealogy. Of particular note are rather detailed children's daily schedules laid out by Demarest for their governess. She takes particular interest in the food they are provided and the regularity of their bowel movements. Original arrangement and folder titles were retained.

SERIES II, CORRESPONDENCE OF VICTORIA BOOTH-CLIBBORN DEMAREST AND CORNELIUS AGNEW DEMAREST, 1895-1970 (#23-206), includes correspondence, clippings, itineraries, photographs, etc. Correspondence is both personal and professional in nature. Personal correspondence includes correspondence between Demarest and her mother, Catherine Booth-Clibborn, and other Booth family members, that reveals a somewhat difficult relationship between the two, often resulting in Demarest's husband writing to his mother-in-law to insist that she discontinue her criticism of Demarest. Also documented in this family correspondence is Frida Booth-Clibborn's struggle with mental illness while under Demarest's care and her later admission into a mental health facility, a topic that caused great disruption in the family. Other personal correspondence regards Demarest's children and their care and includes letters between Demarest and her children's governess regarding their daily schedules (including food they should eat, medication to take, and bowel movements); with her husband regarding their schooling and behavior; with teachers and school administrators regarding grades, behavior, etc.; with her children; and regarding the death of two of her sons, Daniel and Eric. Correspondence between Demarest and her husband, Cornelius Agnew Demarest, is both personal and professional in nature. The couple often corresponded several times per day while Demarest was away on religious missions, regularly professing their love for each other. They also regularly discussed and disagreed over financial issues since their family finances were dependant on her professional work and the money she received through 'thank offerings" from those who attended her ministrations, and from the sale of hymn books, pamphlets, and essays though the family business, the Demarest Book Concern. Other correspondence details Demarest's physical health and mental exhaustion while on missions and reveals difficulties between the two in trying to manage a long-distance relationship; parent their children; and as a result of her husband not being able to secure a permanent position as an organist. Since Demarest's husband acted as her manager, other correspondence between the two involves discussions of the successes or failures of various missions; planning for upcoming missions; the sale of books, pamphlets, and essays; and the writing and publication of books, plays, music, etc. Other correspondence in this series is from admirers who had attended one or more of her missions; other preachers regarding their work; and supporters (both financial and spiritual) of her work. There is considerable overlap in the subjects documented in series II-V. Original folder titles were retained. Arrangement is in rough chronological order.

SERIES III, PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, 1909-1979 (#207-557f), includes correspondence; press releases, publicity, and clippings; sermons and speeches; draft writings; etc., regarding various missions and their planning, promoted by Demarest and her husband, most notably the "America for God Crusade" and the writing and publication of various books, articles, essays, and music related to their work. There is considerable overlap in the subjects documented in series II-V. The series is divided into three subseries: Subseries A, Books, articles and sacred dramas; Subseries B. Missions in the United States and Canada; and Subseries C, Other professional papers.

SUBSERIES A, BOOKS, ARTICLES, AND SACRED DRAMAS, 1919-1977 (#207-222), consists of draft and published books, plays, essays, etc.; correspondence; and publicity. The bulk of this subseries consists of draft and published material written by Demarest. Most of these writings are religious in nature and consists of devotions, essays, books, and plays. While most of Demarest's plays were not published, she often performed them during her various missions over the years. In addition to religious writings, a pamphlet of poems; a biography of her mother entitled Le Marechale (by James Strachan); and a pamphlet entitled Danny Boy, regarding the death of her son Daniel, are also included. Correspondence and publicity in this subseries all relates to the publication of or publicity for these materials. Original folder titles were retained. Series is arranged in rough chronological order.

SUBSERIES B, MISSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, ca.1909-1979 (#223-518), includes testimonial letters and correspondence; contracts; schedules of appearances; clippings, publicity, and press releases; scrapbooks; accounts; and newsletters and church bulletins. Much of the correspondence in this series is between Demarest, her husband, and ministers and/or administrators of various churches, across the United States and in Canada, interested in bringing Demarest to their church for religious services or speeches. Demarest and her husband regularly discussed finances for her missions and the sale of hymn books, pamphlets, and essays though the family business, the Demarest Book Concern in their correspondence. Other correspondence between the two involves discussions of the successes or failures of various missions; planning for upcoming missions; the sale of books, pamphlets, and essays; and the writing and publication of books, plays, music, etc. Other correspondence in this series consist of testimonial letters from admirers who had attended one or more of her missions, praising her for her work; other preachers regarding their work; and supporters (both financial and spiritual) of her work. Of particular note in this series are the constitution, articles of incorporation, minutes, testimonial letters, campaign literature, financial material, etc., for the "America for God Crusade" (1934-1939) inaugurated by Demarest and her husband. The crusade attacked Nazism and Communism as detrimental to religion and rallied Americans to fight against these ideologies. Also included are correspondence, certificate of incorporation, by-laws, etc., for the Greek Village Adoption Plan of Americans (1951-1953) started by Demarest to assist Greek villagers in rebuilding following devastation caused by attacks by Albanians, likely during the Greek Civil War. Publicity, press releases, clippings, etc., documents Demarest's various appearances and includes posters, lobby cards, pamphlets, and circular letters. Original folder titles were retained. Series is arranged in rough chronological order.

SUBSERIES C, OTHER PROFESSIONAL PAPERS, 1909-1978 (#519-557f), consists of correspondence and testimonial letters; publicity pamphlets, flyers and posters; clippings; sermons; etc. Much of the correspondence, clippings, and sermons are related to the topic of women preaching. Testimonial letters similar to those in previous series are also included in this series. Unique to this series are correspondence, articles of incorporation, by-laws, clippings, minutes, speeches, reports, etc., related to the establishment of several units of the World Association of Mothers for Peace, an organization founded by Demarest in 1946 "to pray and work for the abolition of war and to teach their children the way of world peace...". Songbooks and sheet music in this series were composed Demarest, either alone or with her husband, or other Booth or Booth-Clibborn family members, and are religious in nature. Oversized material in this series is comprised of scrapbooks or oversized material removed from folders in other series. Original folder titles were retained. Series is arranged in rough chronological order.

SERIES IV, ADDENDA, 1916-1982 (#558-632), contains family and business correspondence. The bulk of family correspondence consists of letters between Demarest and her husband, children, and her mother. Many letters relate news from the Demarest children while at boarding schools including their grades, activities, and difficulties and successes at school, and include Demarest's occasional complaints about the people they associate themselves with and some of the activities in which they engage. Later letters from her children refer to the children's employment, marriages, etc., and document her son, Arthur's, time in the army during World War II. Letters between Demarest and her husband includes much discussion of (and disagreements over) family financial issues; her physical health and mental exhaustion while on missions; and her need for books for sale and other material for her numerous missions, and reveal difficulties between the two in trying to manage a long-distance relationship; parent their children; and as a result of him not being able to secure a permanent position as an organist. Other letters to friends and family discuss Demarest's successes and failures while on various missions; planning for upcoming missions; the sale of books, pamphlets, and essays; and the writing and publication of books, plays, music, etc. . Material related to several organizations of the Victory Club, "a club of Christian girls living the victorious life and working for salvation and consecration of all girls and young women" established by Demarest in 1916, is also included in this series. This material consists of minutes of the various clubs, regular letters sent by Demarest to support the activities of the club members, membership lists, letters from members, etc. There is considerable overlap in the subjects documented in series II-V. Folders #558-632 were formerly numbered under a different system as #15.1-17.70, but were renumbered to prevent confusion. No folder #17.56 existed in the previous numbering system. Demarest's correspondence with prisoners (#631-632) is closed until January 1, 2032. Original folder titles were retained. Series is arranged in rough chronological order.

SERIES V, ADDENDA (80-M117--2013-M171), 1890-1996 (#633-720vo), includes biographical material; clippings; correspondence; photographs and photograph albums; scrapbooks; publicity flyers, posters, etc.; sermons; sheet music; speeches and writings, etc. The bulk of this series consists of sermons, speeches, sheet music, and writings. Most sermons are in outline form with only a small number existing in full text. These were sermons that were given many times by Demarest and a number of them are known by alternate titles which are identified in the folder title). Demarest's speeches are religious in nature ranging in topics from the effects of Communism and Nazism on religion to evangelism. Most sheet music was composed by Demarest either alone or with her husband or by other Booth and Booth-Clibborn family members. Later sheet music was composed by Demarest with her daughter Evangeline. Some of the songs continued to be published by Evangeline Demarest's estate after her death in 1989. Much of Demarest's writings are religious in nature and include several regarding the effects of Communism on religion, as well as articles on women crusaders and women in the home and church. Other writings include an unpublished autobiography entitled "I Walked with Splendor" which may have been initially based on "Letters from Italy," a series of printed letters sent by Demarest to her followers during her time in Italy in the 1960s; published and unpublished religious plays including King David, My Son Jesus, and "The Empty House"; and a number of devotional pamphlets published and distributed by the Demarest Book Concern. Also included in this series is a small amount of correspondence between Arizona death row inmate, Paul Jordan, and Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest in which he discusses his incarceration and "conversion" while in prison. Included in this correspondence are letters written by Demarest on behalf of Jordan in an effort to get his death sentence commuted. These folders are closed until January 1, 2032. There is considerable overlap in the subjects documented in series II-V. Original folder titles were retained. Series is arranged alphabetically.

SERIES VI. AUDIO, 1946-1983 (#Phon-12.1 - Phon-12.6, T-92.1 - T-92.61), includes audiocassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, and phonograph records. Most of the series consists of audio recordings of Demarest's music, sermons, and dramatic readings. The music is religious in nature, includes solos and duets, and most include Demarest singing and playing piano, sometimes accompanied by her daughter, Evangeline, who was an opera singer. Several recordings are of Demarest dictating letters or sharing reminiscences of her early missions for her daughter Evangeline. Other recordings consist of Demarest performing dramatic readings of some of her works, including "My Son Jesus" and "The Empty House"; reading several of her sermons at various churches; and being interviewed on radio or television. Also included are recordings of speeches, songs, and a radio interview of Demarest done as part of her work for the World Association of Mothers for Peace. The series is arranged by format and chronologically therein. Titles were supplied by the archivist.

BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest was born into a family of evangelists; she was the granddaughter of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, and the daughter of Catherine Booth-Clibborn who pioneered the Salvation Army in France. Born as Victoire Booth-Clibborn to Catherine Booth-Clibborn and Arthur Clibborn in France in 1890, she was one of ten children. Educated in Europe, she graduated from the Paris Conservatory of Music. Following her move to the United States, she established Victory Clubs, clubs for "Christian girls living the victorious life and working for salvation and consecration of all girls and young women." She married Cornelius Agnew Demarest in 1918. The couple had two sons (John and Cornelius) from a previous marriage of Cornelius Agnew Demarest, and six children of their own: Victoria, Eric (who died in infancy), Daniel, Arthur, David, and Catherine (who used her middle name, Evangeline). Demarest had also been given charge of her sister, Frida, who suffered from mental illness throughout her life and who was eventually institutionalized for a number of years before she died.

Demarest led religious revivals in the United States and Canada with her husband (an organist) serving as manager and accompanist. Demarest inaugurated the "America Pro Deo Crusade" in 1934, which later changed its name to the "America for God Crusade". The crusade attacked Nazism and Communism as detrimental to religion and rallied Americans to fight against these ideologies. The crusade was discontinued by 1939. Demarest also preached to women on love, marriage and motherhood, and founded the World Association of Mothers for Peace in 1946. Demarest made a number of trips to Europe following World War II, most notably to Greece in 1951, where a number of villages had been destroyed in conflicts with Albania likely as part of the Greek Civil War. She began a campaign to have Americans "adopt" Greek villages to provide aid. It is unclear how successful this effort was. Demarest was ordained a minister in the Congregational Church in 1949. Demarest was also a talented musician, writing music and lyrics for a number of hymns throughout her lifetime and authoring several religious dramas and homilies. She died in 1982 due to congestive heart failure.

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in six series:
  1. I. Personal, family data and diaries, 1849-1971 (#1-22)
  2. II. Correspondence of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest and Cornelius Agnew Demarest, 1895-1970 (#23-206)
  3. III. Professional papers, 1909-1979 (#207-557f)
  4. ___A. Books, articles, and sacred dramas, 1919-1977 (#207-222)
  5. ___B. Missions in the United States and Canada, ca.1909-1979 (#223-518)
  6. ___C. Other professional papers, 1909-1978 (#519-557f)
  7. IV. Addenda, 1916-1982 (#558-632)
  8. V. Addenda, (80-M117--2013-M171), 1890-1996 (#633-720vo)
  9. VI. Audio, 1946-1983 (Phon-12.1 - Phon-12.6, T-92.1 - T-92.61)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 69-5, 70-120, 76-57, 77-M 151, 78-M113, 79-M31, 79-M133. Accession numbers: 80-M117, 80-M148, 80-M201, 81-M105, 82-M101, 82-M139, 90-M10, 2007-M53, 2012-M39, 2012-M231, 2013-M171 were added to the collection in October 2015.

The papers of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest were given to the Schlesinger Library by Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest and her estate between October 1969 and May 1982, by Paul Jordan in July 1982, and by the estate of Evangeline Demarest between January 1990 and October 2013.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors:

Accession number: 80-M117--2013-M171

Processed by: Mark Vassar

The following newsletters have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library printed materials division pending curator review:
  1. Pax et Libertas, 1966, 1968
  2. The Peace Call, 1961-1965
  3. The Union Signal, 1932
  4. The Woman's Pulpit, 1925-1956
The following books have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library printed materials division pending curator review:
  1. The Astronomy of Holiness, by Arthur Booth-Clibborn (1896)
  2. Wings of Praise (hymnal), by Arthur and Catherine Booth-Clibborn (ca.1920)

CONTAINER LIST

  1. Box 1: 1-17
  2. Box 2: 18-25
  3. Box 3: 26-31, 33-41
  4. Box 4: 42-48
  5. Box 5: 49-55
  6. Box 6: 55a-63
  7. Box 7: 64-78
  8. Box 8: 79-93
  9. Box 9: 94-110
  10. Box 10: 111-120
  11. Box 11: 121-135
  12. Box 12: 136-147
  13. Box 13: 148-160
  14. Box 14: 161-170
  15. Box 15: 171-185
  16. Box 16: 186, 188-205
  17. Box 17: 207-212a
  18. Box 18: 212b-218
  19. Box 19: 219-229
  20. Box 20: 230-239a
  21. Box 21: 240-254
  22. Box 22: 255-274
  23. Box 23: 275-282
  24. Box 24: 283-306
  25. Box 25: 306a-320
  26. Box 26: 321-331
  27. Box 27: 332-339
  28. Box 28: 340-348
  29. Box 29: 349-363
  30. Box 30: 364-391
  31. Box 31: 392-405
  32. Box 32: 406-423
  33. Box 33: 424-439
  34. Box 34: 440-457
  35. Box 35: 458-481
  36. Box 36: 482-503
  37. Box 37: 504-522
  38. Box 38: 523-535
  39. Box 39: 536-549, 552a, 559-564
  40. Box 40: 565-576
  41. Box 41: 577-584
  42. Box 42: 585-593
  43. Box 43: 594-599
  44. Box 44: 600-609
  45. Box 45: 610-616
  46. Box 46: 617-629
  47. Box 47: 630-651
  48. Box 48: 652-674
  49. Box 49: 675-690
  50. Box 50: 691-701
  51. Box 51: 702-710
  52. Box 52: 711-719
  53. Box 53: 551vo
  54. Box 54: 552vo
  55. Box 55: 555vo
  56. Box 56: 556vo
  57. Box 57: 643o
  58. Box 58: 720vo

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: February 1980

By: Jane S. Knowles

Updated and additional material added: December 2015

By: Mark Vassar with the assistance of Brett Freiberger and Dan Bullman
Link to catalog
Title
Demarest, Victoria Booth-Clibborn. Papers of Victoria Booth-Clibborn Demarest, 1849-1996: A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00549

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.

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