Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 926

Papers of Wenona Osborne Pinkham, 1893-1934


Photographs, biographical information, writings, and correspondence (including courtship letters) of suffragist, reformer, and lobbyist Wenona Osborne Pinkham.


  • Creation: 1893-1934

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Wenona Osborne Pinkham 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.


.63 linear feet ((1+1/2 file boxes) plus 3 photograph folders, 1 folio folder)

These papers of Wenona Osborne Pinkham include photographs of Wenona and her siblings, daughter, and others; biographical information and clippings about her; a run of courtship letters from Henry to Wenona detailing his attempts to convince her mother to let him marry Wenona; other correspondence; letters of sympathy upon her sudden death; and writings by Wenona Pinkham.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Suffragist, reformer, and lobbyist Wenona Osborne Pinkham was born September 4, 1882. When she was five, her parents traveled to eastern Colorado in a prairie schooner accompanied by two horses and a cow, settling in a sod house. Her father, a teacher, wished to try his hand at farming. Following several years of deprivation, the family moved to a small town where her father secured a post as principal. Later she graduated from the public schools in Denver and from the University of Denver where she received a BA in 1910. She taught in the Denver public schools and was a founder and president of the North Side Neighborhood House in Denver. In 1911 she married Henry W. Pinkham, a Unitarian minister and socialist, and they moved to Boston, Massachusetts. As state chair for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, 1913-1915, Pinkham spoke to audiences as an example of a woman voter, since Colorado had granted women suffrage years before. In 1917, she became executive secretary of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government and remained in this position when the organization became the Boston League of Women Voters. In late 1922 she left the league and became associate executive secretary of the Massachusetts Civic League, which promoted social welfare legislation and such issues as paying prisoners for their work. From 1923 until her sudden death in 1930, Pinkham served as the Massachusetts Civic League's executive secretary. Pinkham was also a member of the American Association of Social Workers, the Consumers' League of Massachusetts, the Women's City Club, and the Women's Trade Union League. Her only child, Louisa Catherine, was born in 1915.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 98-M32, 98-M116, 98-M141

These papers of Wenona Osborne Pinkham were given to the Schlesinger Library by her daughter Louisa Pinkham Howe and her granddaughter Cathy Holt between February and August 1998. Some biographical material about Pinkham was removed from the Additional papers of Florence Luscomb (MC 625).

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Wenona Osborne Pinkham in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1918-1930 (WRC 1026-1029 ), and Papers of Louisa Pinkham Howe, 1931-1998 (98-M140).

Processing Information

Processed: November 2017

By: Anne Engelhart

Pinkham, Wenona Osborne, 1882-1930. Papers of Wenona Osborne Pinkham, 1893-1934: A Finding Aid
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