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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 684: T-294

Papers of Eunice P. Howe, 1939-1999 (inclusive), 1970-1988 (bulk)


Correspondence, speeches, reports, meeting materials, and audiotapes of Eunice P. Howe, lawyer, government official, consumer affairs advocate, and Republican Party activist.


  • Creation: 1939-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-1988

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Eunice P. Howe 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.


3.96 linear feet ((9 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 2 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 4 audiotapes)

The collection documents Howe's work in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, for the Republican Party, and on various Massachusetts and national commissions concerned with consumer protection. Relatively little personal material is included. The collection includes correspondence; speeches; meeting minutes; audiotapes; and photographs. The bulk of the folder headings were created by the processor; those created by Howe appear in quotation marks.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1939-1999 (#1.1-1.16, FD.1, F+D.1, PD.1-PD.3, T-294.1 - T-294.4), includes biographical information on Howe, dog tags, correspondence, certificates, etc., re: her service in the Naval Reserves, a dismantled scrapbook re: her appointment to and work in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, audiotapes of an interview of Howe, and photographs. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1939-1997 (#1.17-3.6), consists mainly of professional correspondence, with the earliest correspondence primarily concerning Howe's work in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office (#1.17). Later correspondence regards political campaigns; the Equal Rights Amendment and other political issues of concern to Howe; and speaking engagements. Some correspondence re: Howe's work on the Public Utilities Commission is also included. For related material, see Series III. Correspondents include Francis Sargent, Edward Brooke, Margaret Heckler, John Volpe, and other politicians. Other material includes correspondence (#1.21-1.22) re: speaking engagements between 1968 and 1970 and letters from prominent politicians (#1.18-1.19), including George Herbert Walker Bush (#1.18), Nelson Rockefeller (#1.18), and Gerald Ford (#1.18). The series is arranged chronologically.

Series III, PROFESSIONAL, 1941-1945, 1965-1988 (#3.7-9.11), is arranged alphabetically and includes case notes, statements, speeches, and briefs from Howe's work as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts. Much of this material relates to the investigation of Boston's infamous Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire and subsequent trial. The series also includes annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, speeches, press releases, and reports re: Howe's work on numerous councils, commissions, and committees, including the President's Consumer Advisory Council; The Cost of Living Council; the Massachusetts Consumers' Council; the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Secretary's Advisory Committee on Population Affairs; the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction; the Task Force on the Status of Women in Advertising; and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. The series also includes a separate opinion (#8.5) Howe wrote when the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities considered the issue of dual listing and billing of telephone numbers. Reflecting her interest in women's rights, the opinion states that "by offering Dual Billing simultaneously with Dual Listing the inference is permitted that the wife or mother or sister now opting to be listed has an obligation to be jointly liable for the bill. Until working women are adequately compensated for the dual role they bear in today's society, and until homemakers are compensated at all, any such inference works an injustice."

Series IV, POLITICAL ACTIVISM, 1964-1977 (#9.12-10.6), includes correspondence and reports re: Howe's work on the Republican National Committee's Committee on Rules; selecting delegates to represent Massachusetts at the 1972 Republican National Convention; and the Affirmative Action Committee/Grand Old Party, which sought to promote the role of women and minorities in the Republican Party. The series is arranged alphabetically and also includes correspondence and a program re: the National Women's Conference held in Houston in 1977.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


Lawyer, government official, consumer affairs advocate, and Republican Party activist, Eunice Perry (Simm) Howe was born in Belmont, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1918, the oldest child of A. Glenn and Mary Eliza Simm. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1938 and her Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law in 1941, graduating at the top of her class; she also took graduate courses in law at George Washington University in 1943 and 1944, and received a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School in 1985. She married Henry Dunster Howe, a dentist, in 1945; they had two daughters: Eunice (born 1947) and Maryalice (1950-2010). Henry Howe died in 1982 and in 1988 Howe married Henry Bradford Arthur, a professor at Harvard University's Business School; Arthur died in 1994.

In 1941, Howe joined the Massachusetts Attorney General Robert T. Bushnell's office as a law clerk, and in 1942 Attorney General Robert T. Bushnell appointed her Assistant Attorney General, making her the youngest person to hold that office in the history of the state. She left the Attorney General's office in 1944, to join the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy's Casualty Office until 1946. She returned to the Attorney General's office in 1948, serving until 1949 as assistant to the Attorney General and as Counsel to the Division of Employment Security.

She served on numerous Massachusetts commissions and councils, including the Consumers' Council (1965-1974), the Public Utilities Commission (1974-1979), the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (1985-1991), and the Ballot Law Commission (1994-1997). In 1970 she was appointed chair of the President's Consumer Advisory Council, a position she resigned in 1974. She was a member of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Advisory Committee on Population Affairs from 1971 to 1975 and served on a task force on women in public broadcasting from 1974 to 1976. Howe was also active in politics, serving as president of Brookline's Women's Republican Club and chair of the Brookline Republican Town Committee, and as Republican National Committeewoman for Massachusetts (1968-1976). In 1977, she was a member of International Women's Year Coordinating Committee for Massachusetts and delegate-at-large to the National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas. A volunteer or board member for numerous educational, civic, and religious organizations, Howe received the Woman of the Year Award from the Greater Boston Business and Professional Women's Club in 1970.


The collection is arranged in four series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and Personal, 1939-1999 (#1.1-1.16, FD.1, F+D.1, PD.1-PD.3, T-294.1 - T-294.4)
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1939-1997 (#1.17-3.6)
  3. Series III. Professional, 1941-1945, 1965-1988 (#3.7-9.11)
  4. Series IV. Political activism, 1964-1977 (#9.12-10.6)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 99-M180, 99-M181, 2000-M12, 2009-M234

The papers of Eunice P. Howe were given to the Schlesinger Library by Eunice P. Howe between 1999 and 2009.


Donors: Eunice P. Howe

Accession numbers: 99-M180, 99-M181

Processed by: Susan Earle

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to the Schlesinger Library Periodicals Department; consult the library's catalog for holdings:

  1. Data Track: Women, 1974
  2. This is WICS: Newsletter for Women in Community Service, 1979

Processing Information

Processed: June 2011

By: Susan Earle, with the assistance of Camille Torres.

Howe, Eunice P., 1918- . Papers of Papers of Eunice P. Howe, 1939-1999 (inclusive), 1970-1988 (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 a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1957.

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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