Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 731

Papers of Ludy Moorhead, 1926-2011


Correspondence, scrapbooks, and writings of Lucy Moorhead, hostess and author of a guide to entertaining in Washington, D.C.


  • 1926-2011

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. #24.1v is closed until digitized.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the unpublished papers created by Lucy Moorhead is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in the published work of Lucy Moorhead is held by Lucy Moorhead, and upon her death, copyright in the published work will be held by Moorhead's daughter, Perrin Grayson. Written permission of Lucy Moorhead is required for the publication of quotations during her lifetime. 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. Portions of the collection may be reproduced on the internet for educational and research purposes. Upon Moorhead's death, reproductions of unpublished work may be made for deposit for research use in other libraries.


12.26 linear feet ((24 file boxes) plus 1 folio box, 1 folio+ box, 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder, 29 photograph folders, 2 folio photograph folders, 1 supersize photograph folder)
The collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, writings, and photographs documenting the life of Lucy Moorhead. Most of the material arrived at the library unfoldered; material was sorted and placed in folders by the processor, and folder titles were created by the processor.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL, 1926-2010 (#1.1-5.5, 24.1v, 25FB.1v, 26F+B.1-26F+B.6, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1, OD.1, SD.1), contains biographical and personal information about Lucy Moorhead, her husband, William Moorhead, and their children. The series is arranged with three biographical folders first followed by an alphabetical arrangement of personal information. These folders include Lucy Moorhead's Congressional identification card, information about the Moorheads Georgetown home, and printed material from William Moorhead's memorial service. A biographical folder on members of the Galpin and Moorhead families contains biographical information about the Moorhead children and members of the extended family, such as an obituary for Moorhead's mother, Stephanie Galpin, daughter Perrin's wedding announcement, and programs from events attended at her grandchildren's schools.

Folders regarding Moorhead's education include report cards from elementary school, as well as a draft and printed version of her short story, "Fanny Finds the Opera," written while a student at the Shipley School. Moorhead's early interest in writing is also documented in autobiographical stories from high school and college, as well as articles written for the Pine Bark, the Perry Mansfield Camp newsletter.

Moorhead's young adult years are also documented by several scrapbooks, which cover the years 1943 through 1948. The scrapbooks provide a picture of Moorhead's busy social life in high school, college, and as a young married woman. They contain invitations, pins, programs, and matchbooks from various events; photographs from trips and summer vacations at Watch Hill, Rhode Island and East River, Connecticut; correspondence with family and friends; clippings regarding current events, particularly World War II and her father's involvement in food relief; and engagement announcements with accompanying invitations. The scrapbooks also document the birth of her first child, William Moorhead, III. They contain photographs of the baby, congratulatory letters, and progress reports from their pediatrician. The scrapbooks are extremely brittle and some have been disbound; due to fragility #24.1v is closed until digitized.

After the election of William Moorhead to Congress, Lucy Moorhead became an active participant in Washington's social scene. Her busy social life is documented by her diaries from this period, as well as two dinner party planners which contain guest lists, menus, and seating charts from events hosted by the Moorheads. Moorhead's diaries are pocket size and contain very brief entries regarding appointments; similar information is recorded on her calendars. There are also programs and menus from various social and political events, including presidential inaugurations, many annotated by Moorhead. In addition, there are two folders of clippings about Moorhead, many from the society pages covering parties and fashion. There are also clippings about Moorhead's efforts to show Pittsburgh area artists in her husband's office, and her work coordinating decorations for one of President Johnson's inaugural balls. A lifelong horseback rider, this series also contains printed material regarding her participation in fox hunting in Virginia. There is some overlap with Series II, correspondence: see scrapbooks contained in this series for correspondence with family and friends; see Series II for menus, seating cards, and programs from events which have been clipped to the event's invitation.

Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1933-2011, n.d. (#5.6-21.9, PD.1-PD.12f), contains correspondence among Lucy and William Moorhead and family and friends. The bulk of the series consists of letters and invitations sent to Lucy Moorhead and her husband, William Moorhead. In some cases, Moorhead clipped programs, seating cards, and menus from the event to the invitations, and these can be found in this series. Most letters are brief and reference parties or gifts given by Moorhead. Some prominent correspondents have been highlighted in the folder titles, including Letitia Baldridge and Nancy Bush Ellis (friends from Vassar College), George and Barbara Bush, Joseph and Susan Mary Alsop, and Katharine Graham. The series also contains correspondence between Lucy Moorhead and her parents, Perrin and Stephanie Galpin, as well as her siblings, children, and grandchildren.

Some letters were bundled together by subject and these groupings have been retained, including invitations from the 1960s, Christmas cards from government officials, and Moorhead family Christmas cards. In addition, there is a folder of letters to William Moorhead from his colleagues and friends. There is some overlap with Series I and III. See Series I for early correspondence with family and friends contained in Moorhead's scrapbooks, and Series III for correspondence with publishers and friends regarding Moorhead's writing. Folders are arranged alphabetically by recipient of letter or subject of the correspondence.

Series III, WRITINGS, 1957-2005, n.d. (#22.1-23.7, PD.13), contains drafts of short stories and novels, correspondence with publishers, and book reviews and publicity material for Moorhead's book Entertaining in Washington. There are also drafts of Moorhead's novel Dolly Appleton, self-published by Moorhead. In addition, the series also contains autobiographical essays, possibly written for Moorhead's self-published memoir, In the Town and In the Country: Washington and Virginia. The series is arranged alphabetically.

Series IV, PHOTOGRAPHS, 1929-2005, n.d. (#PD.14-PD.29), contains portraits of Lucy Moorhead and photographs from her childhood, including two panoramic photographs of students at the Shipley School. For more photographs of Lucy Moorhead taken during her high school and college years, see the scrapbooks in Series I. There are photographs of Moorhead's family, including sister Anne "Penny" and her father, Perrin Galpin, traveling with Herbert Hoover. There are portraits of Lucy and William Moorhead as a couple and with their children and grandchildren, including a photograph of William Moorhead with two of his children and President Lyndon Johnson. The scrapbooks in Series I contain more photographs of Lucy and William Moorhead as well as baby pictures of William Moorhead, III. There are also photographs of Lucy riding and showing horses. In addition, there are several formal and informal portraits of Lucy Moorhead with friends, including President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush taken during visits to the White House. More photographs of Moorhead's family and friends can be found in Series II, Correspondence. The folders are arranged chronologically.

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 [*].


Washington (D.C.) hostess and wife of Pennsylvania Congressman William Moorhead, Lucy (Galpin) Moorhead was born in 1926 in New York City and grew up in Pelham Manor, New York. Daughter of Stephanie Kellogg English and Perrin Comstock Galpin, she was the youngest of three children. Her father, Perrin Galpin, was president of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation and an aide to President Herbert Hoover; he worked with Hoover on food relief following World War I, and traveled with the former president to complete a world-wide food survey after World War II.

Moorhead was educated at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and at Vassar College (B.A. 1946). Following graduation in 1946, she married William Moorhead, Jr., a graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and Yale University (B.A. 1944) who had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. William Moorhead attended Harvard Law School, and upon graduation in 1949, the Moorheads returned to Pittsburgh where Moorhead. practiced law and served as the assistant solicitor of Pittsburgh (1954-1957) and as member of the Allegheny County Housing Authority (1956-1958). He was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Congress in 1958 and represented Pittsburgh for eleven terms until his retirement in 1981. William Moorhead died from lung cancer in 1987.

Lucy and William Moorhead had four children: William (b.1947), Lucy Perrin "Penny" (b.1950), Stephen (b.1952), and James (b.1954). The Moorhead family lived in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Georgetown, as well as Palmerstone, their farm near Middleburg, Virginia, where Lucy, an accomplished equestrian, participated in fox hunting and showed horses. She also enjoyed painting and took art classes at American University, and was a founder and trustee of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art. She was a practicing Episcopalian and member of Christ Church in Georgetown. As an eminent political hostess, Lucy Moorhead was an astute observer of the social and political scenes in Washington, D.C. She published Entertaining in Washington (1978), Dolly Appleton: A Washington Novel (2004), and a memoir, In the Town and in the Country: Washington and Virginia (2004). As of 2012, Lucy Moorhead was living in Westwood, Massachusetts.


The collection is arranged in four series:
  1. Series I. Biographical and Personal, 1926-2010 (#1.1-5.5, 24.1v, 25FB.1v, 26F+B.1-26F+B.6, FD.1-FD.2, F+D.1, OD.1, SD.1)
  2. Series II. Correspondence, 1933-2011, n.d. (#5.6-21.9, PD.1-PD.12f)
  3. Series III. Writings, 1957-2005, n.d. (#22.1-23.7, PD.13)
  4. Series IV. Photographs, 1929-2005, n.d. (#PD.14-PD.29)

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2006-M80, 2011-M58, 2013-M185

The papers of Lucy Moorhead were given to the library by Lucy Moorhead in 2006, 2011, and 2013.


Donors: Lucy Moorhead

Accession number: 2006-M80

Processed by: Paula Aloisio

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library Book Collection:
  1. Moorhead, Lucy. 2004. Dolly Appleton: a novel. Landover, MD: Corporate Press.
  2. Moorhead, Lucy. 2004. In the town and in the country: Washington and Virginia. Landover, MD: Corporate Press.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2013

By: Paula Aloisio with assistance from Samuel Bauer.
Link to catalog
Moorhead, Lucy. Papers of Lucy Moorhead, 1926-2011: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647