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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 452

Papers of Amy P. Row, 1934-1992


Correspondence, writings, photographs, etc., of Amy P. Row, missionary and volunteer at the Reformatory for Women in Framingham, Mass.


  • 1934-1992

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Amy P. Row 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.


.83 linear feet ((2 file boxes) plus 2 photograph folders)

This collection contains Row's passport, and other documents; personal and financial correspondence; writings, clippings, and sketches, most concerning the Framingham Reformatory for Women Art Center; issues of "Harmony News," the Framingham Reformatory for Women newsletter; and drafts of other writings, including "Clipped Wings," a fictional account of one woman's prison experience.


Amy P. Row was born in Cornwall, England, on March 7, 1884. She had one brother and one sister; her father founded the Home for Indian Seamen in London. Row was educated at Bella Vista College, and around 1909 left a position at the East London Children's Hospital to travel for five years through Norway, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, Tasmania, Canada, and New Zealand. She spent two years in New Zealand as a missionary with Reverend Fred H. Spencer of the British and Foreign Bible Society, working with the Maori. Row came to the United States as a nanny, working for Edith Wilson Sayre (daughter of Woodrow Wilson), among others. As part of her interest in foreign students, Row founded International House in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1924, and headed it for a year.

In 1931, Row returned to England for a visit, and there met Gandhi, who was visiting a mutual friend, Muriel Lester, who ran a settlement house, Kingsley Hall, in east London. According to a clipping from the Boston Transcript, Row also worked at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology that same year; this, however, MIT was not able to confirm.

Row began teaching art at the Framingham Reformatory for Women, in Framingham, Mass., first as a volunteer for 16 months, and then in 1933 as a paid staff member. She worked until 1940, when her job was eliminated due to a loss of state funding. Row's own paintings were exhibited in the Concord Library in 1973.

The donor of the papers met Row at the Thoreau Nursing Home in Concord, Mass., in the early 1970s. Row was living at the Walden Nursing Home when she died on January 6, 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 91-M103, 92-M126

The papers of Amy P. Row were given to the Schlesinger Library by Row's friend, Jane Montgomery Brooks, in June 1991 and July 1992.


  1. Box 1: 1-20
  2. Box 2: 21-33

Processing Information

Processed: April 1998

By: Kelley Gove

Row, Amy P., 1884-1977. Papers of Amy P. Row, 1934-1992: 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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