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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 702

Papers of Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus, 1833-2001


Personal papers of Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus, philanthropist and activist for global peace, document her relationships with her parents and husband, international travel, and household management. Also contains diaries, correspondence, photographs, and genealogical records pertaining to the Benedict and Wurts families.


  • 1833-2001

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the typewritten manuscript "Grandmother Remembers" by Margaret DeWitt Andrus (#19.1) is held by Anne Andrus Grady during her lifetime.

Copyright in all other papers created by Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus 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.


11.59 linear feet ((19 file boxes, 4 folio boxes) plus 4 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 42 photograph folders, 1 folio photograph folder, 3 folio+ photograph folders, 2 objects)
The papers of Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus include correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, diaries, and documents relating to her husband, parents, family, education, travel, political activism, and philanthropic activities. Research strengths of the collection include genealogies for the Wurts and Benedict families, travel albums and diaries, and household management from the early twentieth century.

After Andrus' death in 2000, her niece-by-marriage, Anne Andrus Grady, a historian and daughter of E. Cowles Andrus' twin brother, went through her papers and possessions to prepare them to be donated to the Schlesinger Library. Grady carefully annotated the majority of the collection on small loose sheets of paper. When duplicate information was not found with the photograph or document, these notes were retained. Several letters from notable people were photocopied and the originals were not donated with the collection. Folder titles, created by the archivist, were based on Anne Andrus Grady's descriptions.

For the annotations and notes, Grady used the following abbreviations: MJWA (Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus); MJW (Miriam Jay Wurts before her marriage in 1933); ECA (Dr. Edwin Cowles "Coke" Andrus); PJW (Pierre Jay Wurts); EMBW (Edith Maud Benedict Wurts); EMB (Edith Maud Benedict before her marriage in 1902). Although in her annotations and notes, Anne Andrus Grady differentiated between Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus and Edith Maud Benedict Wurts' maiden names and married names, in this finding aid they are referred to by their married name regardless of the date.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1909-2001 (#1.1-9.9, 20FB.1-20FB.3, F+D.1, OD.1, PD.1-PD.10, PD.43f+-PD.44f+), includes awards; clippings; wills; diaries and engagement calendars; passports; scrapbooks, and materials regarding Andrus' education, husband, health, household, possessions, residence, travel, and wedding. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1926-1995 (#9.10-13.2, PD.11-PD.14), includes correspondence between Miriam and E. Cowles "Coke" Andrus, and letters from college friends, early boyfriends, and family members. Often when either Miriam or Coke were traveling on their own, they would write each other goodbye letters to later be found in luggage, coat pockets, or at the breakfast table. The hand-delivered letters from Coke to Miriam were found integrated with his mailed letters. Letters sent by mail have postmark dates added in brackets by the archivist. The hand-delivered letters from Miriam to Coke were found separated from the mailed letters and, in the finding aid, are called "notes" (#11.11-11.15). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series III, POLITICAL ACTIVISM, 1927-1985 (#13.3-15.1, PD.40-PD.41), includes correspondence, meeting minutes, clippings, and speeches documenting the volunteer work Andrus did for political activist groups that promoted world peace such as the Baltimore League of Women Voters, Draft Eisenhower movement, International Christian University, United World Federalists, and World Federalist Movement. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, FAMILY, 1833-1979 (#15.2-19.13, 20FB.4v-23FB.6, F+D.2-F+D.4, PD.15v-PD.39, PD.42f, PD.45f+, PD.46v, Mem.1-Mem.2), includes correspondence, photographs, diaries, clippings, and writings regarding Andrus' parents and family histories.

Subseries A, Edith Maud Benedict and Pierre Jay Wurts, 1869-1977 (#15.2-18.10, 20FB.4v-23FB.6, F+D.2-F+D.3, PD.15v-PD.31, PD.42f, PD.45f+, Mem.1), includes Christmas cards, correspondence, diaries and engagement calendars, photographs, photograph albums, travel albums, wills, and writings regarding Andrus' parents and their residence at 244 Cedar Street, Englewood, New Jersey (named "Weiyoh"). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Andrus, Benedict, and Wurts families, 1833-1979 (#19.1-19.13, F+D.4, PD.32-PD.39, PD.46v, Mem.2), includes materials relating to Margaret DeWitt Andrus (E. Cowles Andrus' mother); Sarah Babcock Benedict (maternal grandmother); Mary Augusta Weed Benedict (maternal great-grandmother on her father's side); Florence Wurts (paternal cousin); and Laura Jay Wurts (paternal grandmother). The subseries also includes materials relating to the Jay Cemetery in Rye, New York, where only descendants of John Jay, first Supreme Court Justice of the United States, are allowed to be buried. Folders are arranged alphabetically.

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 [*].


Born November 26, 1909, in New York City, the only child of Edith Maud Benedict and Pierre Jay Wurts, Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. Her father, Pierre Jay (1869-1953), a manufacturer in the milk industry, was the youngest son of Charles Pemberton and Laura Jay Wurts (the great-granddaughter of the first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay). Her mother, Edith (1872-1963) grew up in an elite New York City family, the third child of James and Sarah Babcock Benedict. Miriam studied international relations and world governments at Vassar College (1931) and took courses in international law at Columbia University (1931-1932 ). She received an M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University in 1934.

Miriam met her future husband, Dr. Edwin Cowles "Coke" Andrus (1896-1978), while on holiday at the Bar BC Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in August 1932. They were engaged by December 1932 and married on June 10, 1933. The couple immediately moved to Baltimore, as Andrus, a noted cardiologist, was Assistant Dean at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. He later served a term as President of the American Heart Association from 1954 to 1955, and in 1963 he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to chair the Second National Conference on Cardiovascular Disease.

Over the course of her marriage, Andrus ran a large household, maintained close ties with her parents in Englewood, and traveled extensively on her own and with her husband. During the World War II period, she volunteered with several local political activist groups promoting world peace, including the Baltimore League of Women Voters, the Draft Eisenhower movement, International Christian University, the United World Federalists, and the World Federalist Movement.

After her husband's death in 1978, Andrus focused her energy on establishing scholarships and collegiate funds, donating monies, and sorting through her family's history. She died from complications of cerebral vascular disease in her home at 209 Highfield Road, Baltimore, Maryland, on February 6, 2000.


The collection is arranged in four series:
  1. Series I. Biographical and personal, 1909-2001 (#1.1-9.9, 20FB.1-20FB.3, F+D.1, OD.1, PD.1-PD.10, PD.43f+-PD.44f+)
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1926-1995 (#9.10-13.2, PD.11-PD.14)
  3. Series III. Political activism, 1927-1985 (#13.3-15.1, PD.40-PD.41)
  4. Series IV. Family, 1833-1979 (#15.2-19.13, 20FB.4v-23FB.6, F+D.2-F+D.4, PD.15v-PD.39, PD.42f, PD.45f+, PD.46v, Mem.1-Mem.2)
  5. ___Subseries A. Edith Maud Benedict and Pierre Jay Wurts, 1869-1977 (#15.2-18.10, 20FB.4v-23FB.6, F+D.2-F+D.3, PD.15v-PD.31, PD.42f, PD.45f+ , Mem.1)
  6. ___Subseries B. Andrus, Benedict, and Wurts families, 1833-1979 (#19.1-19.13, F+D.4, PD.32-PD.39, PD.46v, Mem.2)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2009-M122

The papers of Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus were given to the Schlesinger Library by her niece, Anne Andrus Grady, in 2009.


Donor: Anne Andrus Grady

Accession number: 2009-M122

Processed by: Jessica Tanny

The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to Harvard University's Widener Library and Baker Business Library:
  1. Several volumes on John Jay and his descendants
  2. Jay Family of New York genealogy and index transcribed by Mary Rutherfurd Jay
  3. Several monographs of Wurts, Benedict, Prime, and Clarksons family genealogies
The following item has been removed from the collection and transferred to the New-York Historical Society:
  1. New York State Militia commission for Charles Wardell to become "First Lieutenant of the second troop of horse-artillery attached to the third regiment of the first brigade of Artillery" dated June 29, 1813.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2012

By: Jessica Tanny, with assistance from Suzanna Calev.
Link to catalog
Andrus, Miriam Jay Wurts, 1909-2000. Papers of Miriam Jay Wurts Andrus, 1833-2001: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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