Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
.63 linear feet ((1 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 photograph folder)
Materials are arranged alphabetically. Some names found in the correspondence are difficult to read. Names that appear in brackets were interpreted by the archivist and may not reflect correct spelling. Individuals indicated as "boyfriend" are men whose letters have a romantic tone or who are referred to as "daddy," a 1920s slang term for a boyfriend or lover, especially one who is rich.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.
Saxon worked in New York City in domestic service. She lived in Far Rockaway, Queens, as well as in Harlem. While in Harlem she boarded with two friends of the family, Lottie and Arthur Washington. Around 1927 she was a housekeeper for doctor Eleanor Bertine, one of the first Jungian analysts in the United States and a founder of the New York Association for Analytical Psychology. While working in New York City, Hortense Carter Saxon sent money, clothing, and other goods to support her mother, who was the primary caretaker of her son until the 1930s. She also supported her young cousin Roland Ellis, who boarded with her mother in Hartford, Connecticut. Hortense Carter Saxon's aunt Annie Cannon also lived with Bettie Carter intermittently and helped take care of Howard and Roland.
Saxon kept in contact with friends and relatives from both her side and Robert A. Saxon's side of the family. Throughout the 1920s, Hortense Carter Saxon maintained romantic relationships with multiple men, some of whom were married. Around 1930, she married Robert Saxon and moved to Queens, with their son, Howard. Hortense Carter Saxon eventually returned to Hartford, Connecticut, and lived the rest of her life there. In a 1986 newspaper article she is described as "a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends." In Hartford, Connecticut, she was a member of St. Monica's Episcopal Church and their Ladies Auxiliary. She was also a member of Trellis Temple No. 663, Improved Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks of The World, and served as president of their Purple Cross Unit. She died on February 24, 1989.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Hortense Carter Saxon were acquired by the Schlesinger Library in April 2005 from Dan Casavant Rare Books.
By: Jehan Sinclair, with assistance from Margaret Dalton.
- Adultery--New York (State)
- African American children
- African American families--Connecticut
- African American women household employees
- African American women--Connecticut
- African American women--New York (State)
- African Americans--Social life and customs--20th century
- Courtship--New York (State)
- Dating (Social customs)--New York (State)
- Harlem (New York, N.Y.)--Social life and customs--20th century
- Working class African Americans--United States
- Saxon, Hortense, 1902-1989. Papers of Hortense Saxon, 1922-1929: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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