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COLLECTION Identifier: SC 146.1

Papers of Eleanor Stabler Brooks, 1917-1985

These addenda to the Eleanor Stabler Brooks collection consist of correspondence and other materials pertaining to the Brook and Morse families. The majority of the letters are from Margaret Brooks Morse to her mother, Eleanor Stabler Brooks.

Dates

  • 1917-1985

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Eleanor Stabler Brooks 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.

Extent

3.34 linear feet (8 file boxes)

These addenda to the Brooks family collection (SC 146) consist of correspondence and other materials pertaining to the Morse and Brooks families.

Series I, Margaret Brooks Morse and Philip Weber Morse, (#1.1-7.9), includes miscellaneous biographical material about Margaret Brooks Morse and Morse family correspondence. Letters from Margaret Brooks Morse (#1.6-6.5) are largely to her parents, siblings, and other family and describe student life at Radcliffe (#1.9-1.11), married and family life, and her career in social work. Margaret Brooks Morse's letters (#2.5, 5.10, and 5.12) and Philip Weber Morse's letters (#6.7) relate to his wartime service in a United States Navy submarine. Also included are letters from Margaret Brooks Morse to other family, such as her Uncle Howard Parker, professor of Zoology at Harvard University and her grandmother. There are also letters from family and Radcliffe friends (#7.6-7.7) to Margaret Brooks Morse and Philip Weber Morse. Letters from her parents, Eleanor Stabler Brooks and Charles Franklin Brooks to Margaret Brooks Morse are found in Series II.

Series II, Brooks Family, (#8.1-8.7), includes letters from Charles Franklin Brooks and Eleanor Stabler Brooks to Margaret Brooks Morse and Philip Weber Morse. Also in this series are letters from Margaret Brooks Morse's children to their grandparents Eleanor and Charles and from other family and friends to Eleanor Stabler Brooks and her husband, Charles Franklin Brooks.

Series III, Anna Bunker Stabler, (#8.8-8.11), includes her letters to family documenting the trip around the world she took in 1924 and other correspondence between ABS and her sister, Eleanor Stabler Brooks.

BIOGRAPHY

Margaret Brooks Morse was born October 23, 1917 in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Eleanor Stabler Brooks and Charles Franklin Brooks, and was the second of their seven children. She attended Radcliffe College (A.B. 1938) where she studied English Literature and the classics, and was a member and president of the Radcliffe Choral Society.

After graduating Margaret Brooks Morse spent ten weeks bicycling around England and Europe, including Nazi Germany. Upon her return, she enrolled in Simmons College of Social Work and earned an A.M. (1940). She was employed as a medical social worker (1940-1941) at New Haven Hospital in New Haven. In 1941 she married Philip (Pete) Weber Morse (Harvard 1938), and relocated to Cleveland, Ohio where she worked as a medical social worker at university hospitals in Cleveland. During Philip Weber Morse's wartime service in the Navy, Margaret Brooks Morse temporarily relocated to New York City where she gave birth to Philip Morse (March 19, 1943). She moved later to Cambridge to be close to her family.

On Philip Weber Morse's return in 1945, the family moved to Elnora, New York where he worked for General Electric in Schenectady and served on the Elnora school board. Margaret Brooks Morse, who suffered a miscarriage in 1944, gave birth to their daughter, Eleanor Lincoln, on July 11, 1946. She returned to work part time as a discussion leader in the department of Adult Education (1948-1949). On May 19, 1951 their third child, Alan was born.

In 1957, Philip Weber Morse left his job at General Electric and joined Magnethermic, a competing firm. As a result, the family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, and then to nearby Poland. Margaret Brooks Morse became the director of the First Unitarian Church Choir in Youngstown (1959-1960).

Philip Weber Morse was let go from Magnethermic and began work for Weatherhead Co. as the district sales manager for New England, eventually becoming the director of marketing services. The family relocated in 1961 to Cleveland Heights and then to the city of Cleveland.

Margaret Brooks Morse taught communication skills to first and second year medical students at Western Reserve University and coordinated the Women's Counseling and Counselor training at the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland. She was active in the National Peace and Social Welfare Committee of the National Association of Social Workers and founder of a childbirth education center in Cleveland. Then, in 1963 Margaret Brooks Morse was dismissed from her post at Western Reserve University; students protested on her behalf and she filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination. Additionally, the same year, she studied in a Ph.D. program at the Western Reserve School of Applied Sciences (later Case Western Reserve University) but did not complete her degree.

A political activist throughout her life, Margaret Brooks Morse protested against the Vietnam War. In 1982 on Philip Weber Morse's retirement they moved to Falmouth, Maine, where she joined the Peace Education Committee of the Maine Chapter of NASW (National Association of Social Workers), an educational and legislative action group), and worked for a nuclear freeze and for nuclear disarmament. After a visit to the Soviet Union (1985), she spoke at more than 40 area schools about her experiences and helped banish stereotypes of Russian and Slavic cultures. As a result she was named Maine Social Worker of the Year.

Margaret Brooks Morse was also involved with the American Association of University Women and her local Radcliffe alumnae club. An accomplished musician she sang, conducted, and played several instruments including piano and violin.

Margaret Brooks Morse died December 31, 1997 at the age of 80.

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in three series:
  1. Series I. Margaret Brooks Morse and Philip Weber Morse
  2. Series II. Brooks Family
  3. Series III. Anna Bunker Stabler

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R2006-2

These papers were given to the Radcliffe Archives by Eleanor Morse in February, 2006.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Eleanor Stabler Brooks papers, 1903-1983 (SC 128) and Eleanor Stabler Brooks papers, 1910-1959 (SC 146).

Processing Information

Processed: July, 2006

By: Lindsay M. Skay
Link to catalog
Title
Brooks, Eleanor Stabler, 1892-1986. Papers of Eleanor Stabler Brooks, 1917-1985: A Finding Aid
Author
Radcliffe College Archives, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00397

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.

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