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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 207

Papers of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, 1890-1959

Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, volunteer civic service worker.

Dates

  • 1890-1959

Language of Materials

Materials in English and Italian.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis 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

2.09 linear feet ((5 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 3 oversize items)

When deposited in the Library, the papers in the Rosa Levis collection were in scrapbooks. They have been removed and placed in folders for preservation purposes, and rearranged topically. Although this collection contains correspondence and printed material concerning Levis' personal life, her husband's business and fencing career, and her suffrage and war-related activities, the bulk of the papers documents her involvement in social, political, and religious women's organizations, in Boston's Italian community, and in the Republican Party. She founded the Chatterbox Club with her daughter Lydia (1919) and the League of the Sacred Heart Church of North Square (1936); was organizing secretary of the Women's Italian Club (1916); was first president of the Women's Columbus Republican Club (1943); and helped to establish the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Italian Clubs (1947), in addition to membership in many other organizations. She worked to have Italian taught in Boston high schools, and to help Italian immigrants adjust to life in America while retaining pride in their heritage. Politically active from the time she became the "first woman of Italian extraction to register as a Republican," Levis served as a committeewoman from the 7th Suffolk Senatorial District, a member of the Republican State Committee, Vice President of the Republican City Committee, Chairman of Ward 15, and a delegate to Republican state and national conventions. She was an energetic campaigner, and her papers include many letters of gratitude from victorious Republican office-seekers, as well as letters from prominent suffragists. She remained active in politics and club work until her death on January 15, 1959 at the age of eighty-two.

The collection is arranged by subjects, some of which overlap. For example, material relating to World War I may be found under "Suffrage and related activity," and "Italian community," as well as "War-related work." The arrangement is chronological within each subject, with the exception of "Clubs," where the arrangement is alphabetical. An index of correspondents is located at the end of the inventory.

BIOGRAPHY

Rosa Marie Levis was born March 17, 1878 on Hull Street in the North End of Boston. Her parents, Giovanni and Theresa Finocchietti, were recent emigrés from Genoa, Italy. In her teens, while still a student at the Hancock School, Levis began her long career of volunteer civic service, interpreting for doctors in the Hull Street Medical Center. In 1897 she married Albert Warren Levis, a Florentine sculptor and fencer who had come to the United States to help design a bronze door for the Chicago Exposition. They had six children, three boys and three girls; the family lived in the North End until 1914, when they moved to Dorchester. Levis was proud of her early advocacy (1910) of woman suffrage, claiming to be the first Italian-American suffragist in Massachusetts. During World War I she participated, with other suffragists, in the sale of Liberty Bonds, and in programs for food conservation and for Americanization of Italian immigrants. In addition, she worked with Boston Italians rolling bandages and assembling supply kits for Italian-American soldiers. She again sold war bonds in World War II, and aided in the organization of relief programs for a war-devastated Italy.

SUMMARY OF INVENTORY

  1. Series I. Personal. Folders 1-11, volumes 1 and 2.
  2. Series II. Family. Folders 12-23.
  3. Series III. Clubs and organizations. Folders 24-74.
  4. Series IV. Italian community. Folders 75-90.
  5. Series V. Political activity. Folders 91-109.
  6. Series VI. Suffrage and related activity. Folders 110-119.
  7. Series VII. War-related work. Folders 120-129.
  8. ___A. World War I. Folders 120-123.
  9. ___B. World War II. Folders 124-128.
  10. Series VIII. Benefits, memorial funds, and fund-raising. Folders 130-137.
  11. Series IX. Miscellaneous. Folders 138-147.
  12. Series X. Oversize.
  13. ___A. 2 "Votes for Women" banners.
  14. ___B. 1 metal "Victory" sign from suffrage campaign.
  15. ___C. Oversize folder 1o.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 1188

The papers of Rosa Marie Levis were deposited in the Schlesinger Library by Albert Warren Levis, Jr. in July 1967.

SEPARATION RECORD

The following items have been removed from the collection and added to Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Woman's Journal, Vol. XLIV, 1913, Nos. 37-39, 41, 49, 51
  2. Woman's Journal, Vol. XLV, 1914, No. 38
  3. Woman's Journal, Vol. XLVI, 1915, No. 3
  4. The Woman Citizen, Vol. I, No. 1, 5, no number (April 20, 1918): 1917-1918
  5. The Woman Citizen, Vol. III, Nos. 11, 17, 33, 43, 47, 50: 1918-1919
  6. The Woman Citizen, Vol. IV, Nos. 8, 9, 20, 30: 1919-1920
  7. The Woman Citizen, Vol. V, Nos. 4, 13, 25, 27, 28: 1920
  8. Boston Daily Globe article, "President Wilson Battles Sen. Lodge for League of Nations or Nothing, Gets Nothing," from American Past series, May 19, 1948, page 21.
  9. Ladies Home Journal article, "Woman's Place in Politics," concerning Viscountess Astor, M.P., February 1935, page 5 ff.
  10. Religious pictures from calendars, n.d.
  11. Policewoman's International Bulletin, Vol. III, No. 33, October 1927 and No. 34, November-December 1927.

CONTAINER LIST

  1. Box 1: 1-14, volumes 1 and 2
  2. Box 2: 15-44
  3. Box 3: 45-74
  4. Box 4: 75-109
  5. Box 5: 110-147
INDEX OF CORRESPONDENTS
  1. Adkins, Bertha S. - 95
  2. Andrews, Fannie Fern - 29, 63
  3. Bagley, Grace - 92
  4. Bradford, Robert - 94
  5. Bricker, John W. - 94
  6. Bushnell, Robert - 93
  7. Butler, William M. - 92
  8. Cahill, Horace T. - 93, 94
  9. Clark, Josephine E. - 94
  10. Coe, Evelyn Peverley - Vol. 1, 110
  11. Coolidge, Arthur - 94
  12. Coolidge, Helen - 4
  13. Curley, James - 4, Vol. 1, 77, 92
  14. Di Prizio, Fr. Ubaldus - 2
  15. Donnaruma, James V. - 63
  16. Eisenhower, Dwight David - 95
  17. Freschi, John J. - 77
  18. Fuller, Alvan T. - 4, 92, 93
  19. Furbush, Richard - 95
  20. Green, Marie - 32
  21. Herter, Christian - 1, 86, 94, 95
  22. Hoover, Lou Henry - 92
  23. Hosmer, Clara B. - 4, Vol. 1, 92, 120
  24. Hynes, John B. - 94
  25. Italian War Relief Fund of America - 120
  26. Kimball, May Dickinson - 46
  27. Lavers, Carolyn - 94
  28. Liberty Loan Committee of New England - 121, Vol. 1
  29. Lodge, Henry Cabot, Jr. - 93, 95
  30. McCormack, John W. - 93
  31. Mahoney, Mary - 137
  32. Mair, Elizabeth B. - 137
  33. Martin, Joseph, Jr. - 93
  34. Musco, Louis - 83
  35. Nevin, Frances - 92
  36. New England Italian War Relief Fund - 120
  37. Nourse, Annie Endicott - 62
  38. O'Brien, Thomas C. - 92
  39. Page, Mary Hutcheson - 110
  40. Park, Maud Wood - Vol. 1
  41. Peters, Andrew J. - Vol. 1
  42. Quirk, Hilda Hedstrom - 4, 92, 133
  43. Rowell, George B. - 94
  44. Saltonstall, Leverett - 4, 93, 95
  45. Sawtelle, John - 95
  46. Schofield, Lemuel B. - 93
  47. Shulman, Sadie Lipner - 92
  48. Smith, Mabel J. - 46
  49. Stantial, Edna L. - 133
  50. Storrow, Helen - 132
  51. Tague, Peter - 92
  52. Tillinghast, Anna - Vol. 1, 92
  53. Tobin, Maurice J. - 93
  54. Volpe, John A. - 95
  55. Walsh, David I. - 92, 93
  56. Weedy(?), Margaret - 95
  57. Weeks, Sinclair - 1, 93
  58. Whittier, Sumnet G. - 84, 95
  59. Willkie, Wendell - 93
  60. Wolcott, Edith Prescott - 1, 63

Processing Information

Processed: November 1974

By: Katherine Gray Kraft
Link to catalog
Title
Levis, Rosa Marie Finocchietti, 1878-1959. Papers of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, 1890-1959: A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00703

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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