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COLLECTION Identifier: 1441--81-M120

Papers of Frances Squire Potter, 1879-1923


Plays, stories, speeches, etc., of Frances Boardman Squire Potter, writer, educator, and lecturer.


  • 1879-1923

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Frances Squire Potter 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.


2 linear feet ((2 cartons) plus 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize volume, 1 daguerreotype)

These addenda consist of speeches, plays, essays, and other writings of Frances Potter, correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, and manuscript and printed sheet music, some by Frances Potter. Frances Potter's notebooks for her literature courses at the University of Minnesota, owned by her family in 1981, will probably be given to the University of Minnesota.


Frances Boardman (Squire) Potter was a writer, educator and lecturer on literary, social, feminist and industrial subjects. She was the daughter of Truman H. and Grace A. Squire, born in Elmira, New York. In 1887, she graduated from Elmira College, one of the first women's colleges in the United States. She married Winfield Scott Potter, a metallurgist, in 1891; they had four children: Agnes Squire, 1892 Mark Louis, 1893; Grace Eleanor, 1895; Truman Squire, 1897.

After the separation from her husband in 1899, Frances Boardman (Squire) Potter became first a school teacher and in 1900 joined the staff of the Literature Department at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She spent a sabbatical at Cambridge University, England (1905-1906), studying early English literature. She was accompanied by her friend Mary Gray Peck and her children.

In 1904, she published the play "Germelshausen" in collaboration with Mary Gray Peck and Carl Schlenker. In 1905, Little, Brown and Co. published her novel The Ballingtons. She also published The Common School Spelling Book.

In 1909, she left Minneapolis and joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association as corresponding secretary in New York.

After leaving National American Woman Suffrage Association she joined the Women's Trade Union League and the General Federation of Women's Clubs as a national lecturer. She also became the Chairman of the Department of Literature and Library Extension in the General Federation of Women's Clubs. She joined the Socialist Party in 1910 and was a lecturer on the staff of the University Lecturers' Association. She died on March 25, 1914, after a long illness.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1441, 81-M120

These papers of Frances Squire Potter were given to the Schlesinger Library by her granddaughter, Frances Dickinson Potter, in September 1968 and May 1981.


  1. Box 1: 1-17
  2. Box 2: 18-33v

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: September 1981

By: Rina Auerbach

Potter, Frances Squire, 1867-1914. Papers of Frances Squire Potter, 1879-1923: 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.

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