Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1183

Papers of Gretchen Schuyler, 1917-2005 (inclusive), 1942-1945 (bulk)


Papers of Gretchen Schuyler, member of the American Red Cross Clubmobile and professor of physical education at Boston University.


  • Creation: 1917-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1942-1945


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Gretchen Schuyler 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.


.63 linear feet ((1 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 supersize box, 4 photograph folders)

The papers of Gretchen Schuyler include correspondence, photographs, clippings, and memorabilia from her time as a Red Cross Clubmobiler during World War II. Also included are clippings, resumes, certificates and awards, and other materials documenting Schuyler's life after the war.


Gretchen Schuyler was born June 12, 1911, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Colonel Philip Lansing and Gertrude (Alger) Schuyler. She spent a large majority of her youth and young adulthood in Scituate, and later Marshfield, Massachusetts.

She graduated in 1931 from Sargent College, Boston University, where she excelled in nine different sports; an award in her honor is given annually to the top woman student and athlete at Boston University In 1935 she became a member of the first United States Women's Lacrosse team. Known for her versatility, Schuyler's positions included midfield (1935-1939 teams), first home (crease attack) for the 1946 team, and goalie for the 1948 team; she was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1994. She also was a reserve on the United States Women's Field Hockey team, and was the first woman inducted into the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame (1978).

Schuyler worked as a teacher (and eventually became head of her department) at the Cathedral School of Saint Mary's (Garden City, New York), and later taught at the Chapin School (New York City), where one of her pupils was Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. She earned her Master of Arts in 1940 from Columbia University.

During World War II, Schuyler served for three years with the American Red Cross in England, Germany, France, and Belgium. As Captain of a Clubmobile Service unit with 32 women and 18 vehicles attached to the General Patton's 3rd Army (VIIIth Corps), she and her unit were trapped in Bastogne when it was under German attack. They are credited with caring for the soldiers, and evacuating five truckloads of G.I. Christmas mail that was scheduled to be incinerated when the Germans encircled the city. Schuyler received commendation letters from United States Army Generals Omar Bradley and Troy H. Middleton, and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery by President Harry S. Truman.

After the war, Schuyler returned to Sargent College as professor of physical education, retiring in 1973 after 25 years of teaching. She moved to Bradford, New Hampshire, in 1980. In the winter of 2002, she passed away at New London Hospital (New Hampshire).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2005-M150, 2006-M174

The papers of Gretchen Schuyler were given to the Schlesinger Library by Conrad Wright in November 2005 and by Colleen McCarthy-Thomas, Gretchen Schuyler's niece, in September 2006.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2024

By: Johanna Carll

Schuyler, Gretchen, 1911-2002. Papers of Gretchen Schuyler, 1917-2005 (inclusive), 1942-1945 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Alice Jeannette Ward Fund.

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