Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: 84-M183--85-M100

Biographical essays of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, l975-ca.l978


Photocopies of biographies of approximately 100 women who lived in the United States in the 17th through the early 20th centuries of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, a social service, genealogical, and historical organization.


  • l975-l978

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the biographical essays created by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America is held by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. 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.


1 linear feet ((1 carton) plus 1 folio folder)

This collection consists of biographies of women who lived in the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries. The biographies were compiled and written by their descendants, all of them members of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. The essays in this collection are photocopies; the originals are at the Library of Congress.

The biographies, of approximately one hundred women, illustrate patterns of American settlement: in the New England colonies, on Southern plantations, and in pioneer settlements on the frontier. Most of the women were of English or Scottish stock and were members of affluent and influential families. Extracts of diaries and letters provide vivid descriptions of domestic activities and of the material conditions of daily life. Among the most prominent women represented are Abigail (Smith) Adams (see #24), Sarah (Pierrepont) Edwards (#31), Deborah (Sampson) Gannett (#24), Sarah Josepha Hale (#44), Juliette (Gordon) Low (#13), Pocahontas (#13), Mercy (Otis) Warren (#24), Martha (Dandridge) Washington (#1), and Phillis Wheatley (#24).

Each biography is filed under the state chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America to which the author (not the subject) belongs; most folders therefore contain biographies of women from various states. Forty one state chapters of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America and one in the District of Columbia are represented by authors; forty one states and the District of Columbia are represented in the biographies.


The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America is a social, service, genealogical, and historical organization founded in 1892.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 84-M183, 85-M100

These biographical essays of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America were given to the Schlesinger Library by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in October 1984.


States in capital letters in this index are those in which the subjects of biographies lived. The states listed following these are those in which the biographers live; each of the latter states is represented by a folder in this collection.

  1. ALABAMA Alabama
  2. ARKANSAS Arkansas
  3. CALIFORNIA California, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma
  4. COLORADO Colorado
  5. CONNECTICUT Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas
  6. DELAWARE Delaware
  7. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA District of Columbia, Massachusetts
  8. FLORIDA Florida, Georgia
  9. GEORGIA Georgia, Tennessee
  10. ILLINOIS Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma
  11. INDIANA Indiana
  12. IOWA Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts
  13. KANSAS Kansas, Oklahoma
  14. KENTUCKY Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas
  15. LOUISIANA Louisiana, Texas
  16. MAINE Maine
  17. MARYLAND Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina
  18. MASSACHUSETTS California, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont
  19. MICHIGAN Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin
  20. MINNESOTA Minnesota
  21. MISSISSIPPI Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts
  22. MISSOURI Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas
  23. NEBRASKA District of Columbia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma
  24. NEW HAMPSHIRE New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Texas
  25. NEW JERSEY California, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
  26. NEW YORK Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont
  27. NORTH CAROLINA Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas
  28. OHIO Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio
  29. OKLAHOMA Oklahoma
  30. OREGON Oregon
  31. PENNSYLVANIA Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
  32. RHODE ISLAND Delaware, Rhode Island
  33. SOUTH CAROLINA Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
  34. SOUTH DAKOTA Louisiana
  35. TENNESSEE Indiana, Tennessee, Texas
  36. TEXAS Texas
  37. VERMONT Oklahoma, Vermont
  38. VIRGINIA Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
  39. WASHINGTON Oregon, Washington
  40. WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia
  41. WISCONSIN Illinois, Wisconsin
  42. WYOMING Illinois, Massachusetts, Wyoming

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: February and June 1985

By: Cecilia V. Estolano, Bert Hartry, Elizabeth H. Wang

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Biographical essays of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1975-ca.1978
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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA