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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 378: M-133, reels E29-34

Papers of Catharine Waugh McCulloch, 1877-1983


Correspondence, speeches, articles, etc., of Catharine Waugh McCulloch, suffragist and lawyer.


  • Creation: 1877-1983

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use microfilm (M-133, reels E29-34) or digital images.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Catharine Waugh McCulloch 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.


2.5 linear feet ((6 file boxes) plus 1 folio photo folder, 2 folio+ folders, 2 oversize folders, 1 supersize folder)

The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence, and of speeches, statements, and articles by Catharine Waugh McCulloch; also included are photographs of McCulloch, genealogical information, articles about McCulloch, and McCulloch's scrapbooks. The collection is divided into two series: personal and professional.

Series I, Personal papers, documents McCulloch's family life and features letters from Frank Hathorn McCulloch to McCulloch from the years just before and just after their marriage. For articles and clippings about McCulloch, see #73-83 in Series II.

Series II, Professional papers, consists primarily of correspondence, speeches, and articles, many of which detail McCulloch's work in Illinois politics; of particular interest are letters (1906) from prominent Chicago businessmen in response to McCulloch's inquiry regarding their views on woman suffrage, and a notebook kept by McCulloch when she served as foreman of a grand jury investigating election fraud in 1940-1941.

Also included in this series are six scrapbooks. Three (#65v-67v) contain McCulloch's reminiscences about a number of suffragists and a few anti-suffragists, as well as the temperance movement (66v). The other three (#88-90) contain clippings documenting McCulloch's suffrage work and some of her legal work, and include information about other topics, such as temperance, anti-suffrage, and her family; these three volumes suffered severe water damage. These volumes include printed material, correspondence, and articles, and originally contained clippings.

Occasional annotations in the hand of McCulloch's son Frank appear throughout the collection. Most clippings were discarded after microfilming.


The only daughter of Susan (Gouger) and Abraham Miller Waugh, Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCulloch was born near Ransomville, New York, on June 4, 1862. Five years later, the family moved to a farm near New Milford, Illinois, where she attended the village school and nearby Rockford Female Seminary, graduating in 1882. In 1885 she enrolled in the Union College of Law in Chicago, and upon completion of the course was admitted to the Illinois bar. McCulloch took further study at Rockford Seminary and in 1888, having written a thesis entitled "Woman's Wages," was awarded both a B.A. and an M.A. In 1890 she married Frank Hathorn McCulloch, a fellow law student with whom she then practiced law. They had four children.

As legislative superintendent of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association (1890-1912), McCulloch was extremely active in the movement for women's rights, seeking state legislation permitting woman suffrage in presidential and local elections not constitutionally limited to male voters, a bill which passed in 1913. She was also instrumental in the passage of Illinois legislation granting women equal rights in the guardianship of their children (1901), and raising the legal age of consent for women from fourteen to sixteen (1905). She served as legal adviser (1904-ca.1911) and as first vice-president (1910-1911) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

McCulloch died of cancer on April 20, 1945. For further biographical information, see Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971).

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 85-M217, 85-M249, 86-M206, 87-M18, 88-M200, 90-M25

The papers of Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCulloch were given to the Schlesinger Library by her sons, Frank W. and Hathorn W. McCulloch, in October and November 1985, October 1986, January 1987, December 1988, and February 1990. The collection was reprocessed and prepared for microfilming in June 1990 by Kim Brookes and Anne Engelhart. It was microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.


All dates and other information added by the processor are in square brackets.

The pages of some items were numbered to aid the microfilmer, the proofreaders, and researchers. These numbers are in square brackets.

The film was proofread by University Publications of America.

The reverse sides of outdated letterhead and form letters were sometimes used by Catharine Waugh McCulloch for drafts or notes; print may show through. The letterhead/printed sides were filmed only if they are not represented elsewhere in the collection, or if they contain unique text.

Many loose clippings were mounted by the processor.

Some of the material in the collection was difficult to film due to such problems as flimsy paper with text showing through, faded or smudged writing, faint pencil notations, or creased and brittle paper. The film was carefully produced to insure that these items are as legible as possible.

Most clippings were discarded after microfilming.

All photographs were microfilmed with the collection. Some are also available on the microfilm of the Schlesinger Library photograph collection (M-54).

Letters of one or more pages with either the salutation or the signature missing, as well as portions of letters, have been marked as fragments.

Catharine Waugh McCulloch used printed books as scrapbooks (see #88-91). Although most material was removed from the pages, the text of the books is sometimes visible in the background. Incomplete clippings in #88 and 91 were marked as fragments, but the large number of incomplete clippings in #90 precluded such marking. Some pages in these scrapbooks were illegible due to water damage; these pages were not filmed.

Loose items found in volumes that obviously belonged where they were found were filmed there. Other loose items were filmed at the end of the volume in which they were found.

In some cases, only the pertinent page(s) of magazines and other multiple-paged items were filmed, with the title page where necessary to establish name and date of publication.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Catharine Waugh McCulloch in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869-1945 (A-68, Series VI).


Donor: Frank W. and Hathorn W. McCulloch

Accession numbers: 85-M217, 85-M249, 86-M206, 87-M18

Processed by: Anne Engelhart

The following items have been removed from the collection and are available at the Chicago Historical Society:

  1. Articles and pamphlets by Catharine Waugh McCulloch


Key: No symbol=Writer

*=Writer and recipient


  1. Addams, Jane 24(, 28, 29, 31
  2. Allen, Florence Ellinwood 31
  3. Anthony, Lucy Elmina 31(
  4. Arthur, Clara B. (Peters) 27, 28
  5. Avery, Rachel (Foster) 27, 46v
  6. Babcock, Elnora Monroe 25
  7. Bartlett, Adolphus Clay 25
  8. Blackwell, Alice Stone 21, 27, 29, 45v
  9. Blackwell, Henry Browne 26, 45v
  10. Blankenburg, Lucretia (Longshore) 26
  11. Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston 32
  12. Brown, Olympia 22, 24(, 45v
  13. Brown, William Liston 25
  14. Butler, Edward Burgess 25
  15. Carlin, Nellie 29
  16. Cartwright, James Henry 24
  17. Catt, Carrie (Lane) Chapman 21, 22, 23, 31, 45v, 46v
  18. Clay, Laura 27(, 46v
  19. Cole, George E. 26
  20. Crane, Richard Teller 25
  21. Crossett, Ella Hawley 26
  22. Darrow, Clarence S. 25
  23. Dever, William Emmett 30*
  24. Dixon, George William 27
  25. Douglas, Emily (Taft) 32
  26. Dunne, Edward Fitzsimons 27, 29(
  27. Easley, Ralph Montgomery 30
  28. Evald, Emmy (Carlsson) 31
  29. Friedman, Herbert Jacob 32
  30. Garrison, William Lloyd, Jr. 26, 27, 46v
  31. Gordon, Kate M. 22
  32. Gregory, Stephen Strong 24
  33. Gulliver, Julia H. 30
  34. Harbert, Elizabeth Morrison (Boynton) 22, 46v
  35. Harper, Ida Husted 28
  36. Heckman, Wallace 24, 25
  37. Henrotin, Ellen (Martin) 24, 26(
  38. Hodgart, Marion S. 31
  39. Holmes, Mary E. 22, 23, 31(, 46v Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCulloch
  40. Holly, William H. 32
  41. Howard, Earl Dean 32
  42. Hulbert, Edmund Daniel 25
  43. Hurley, Edward Nash 30*
  44. Jandus, Cyril R. 27(
  45. Jones, Walter Clyde 27
  46. Ketcham, Emily B. 26
  47. Krighel, Henrietta 29
  48. Lapp, John A. 32
  49. Levere, William C. 28
  50. Lewis, James Hamilton 28
  51. Nestor, Agnes 32
  52. Onahan, William James 25
  53. Pallen, Conde Benoist 30(
  54. Payne, John Barton 24
  55. Perkins, Frances 31
  56. Poffenbarger, Livia Nye (Simpson) 29
  57. Post, Louis Freeland 27, 33
  58. Prussing, Eugene Ernst 24
  59. Robins, Margaret (Dreier) 26, 29
  60. Sanders, Maude McIlvain 27
  61. Shaw, Anna Howard 26, 28, 29, 33, 45v
  62. Sherwin, Belle 33
  63. Slosson, Edwin Emery 27
  64. Smith, Henry Justin 27
  65. Smith, Ida B. Wise 31
  66. Smith, Julia (Holmes) Abbott 22, 23
  67. Stewart, Ella Jane (Seass) 23, 24, 27, 33
  68. Talbert, Joseph Truitt 25
  69. Taylor, Graham 26, 27
  70. Taylor, Lea Demarest 32
  71. Upton, Harriet (Taylor) 27, 28, 46v
  72. Watkins, Minnie A. 33
  73. Wooden, Iva G. 26, 27, 46v
  74. Women's Bar Association of Illinois 29


  1. Box 1: folders 3-15
  2. Box 2: folders 16-33
  3. Box 3: folders 34-46
  4. Box 4: folders 47-56v
  5. Box 5: folders 57-67v
  6. Box 6: folders 68-69, 71-73, 76, 79-88, 90-93

Processing Information

Processed: March 1987

By: Anne Engelhart

McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers of Catharine Waugh McCulloch, 1877-1983: 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.

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