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Guide to the Blackwell Family Papers, 1845-1976 and undated

Summary

Collection contains primarily correspondence and printed materials. There are also three unidentified and undated black-and-white photographs, along with a few items representing the Livingston family, including a genealogy developed by Helen Thomas Blackwell. The correspondence contains mostly routine letters to Blackwell family members from other family members; including Alice Stone Blackwell, Anna M. Blackwell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Emma Blackwell, Helen Blackwell, Henry B. Blackwell, and Lucy Stone. There are also several postcards mailed to the Woman's Journal regarding subscriptions, address changes and other matters related to publication, or the editor's business acquaintances. There are several printed materials written by Blackwell authors, including "Philosophy of Re-Incarnation" by Anna Blackwell, and "Medicine & Morality," "Scientific Method in Biology," and “Erroneous Method in Medical Education" by Elizabeth Blackwell. However, the series primarily features printed items that were maintained in the Blackwell family library. Also contains a corrected typescript (1940s) of Ishbel Ross' Life of Elizabeth Blackwell along with notes from 1958 on the Elizabeth Blackwell award at Smith College.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11058
Title
Blackwell family papers
Date
1845-1976 and undated
Extent
1.6 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection contains primarily correspondence and printed materials. There are also three unidentified and undated black-and-white photographs, along with a few items representing the Livingston family, including a genealogy developed by Helen Thomas Blackwell. The correspondence contains mostly routine letters to from other family members to Alice Stone Blackwell, Anna M. Blackwell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Emma Blackwell, Helen Blackwell, Henry B. Blackwell, and Lucy Stone. There are also several postcards mailed to the Woman's Journal regarding subscriptions, address changes and other matters related to publication, or the editor's business acquaintances. There are several printed materials written by Blackwell authors, including "Philosophy of Re-Incarnation" by Anna Blackwell, and "Medicine & Morality," "Scientific Method in Biology," and “Erroneous Method in Medical Education" by Elizabeth Blackwell. However, the series primarily features printed items that were maintained in the Blackwell family library. Also contains a corrected typescript (1940s) of Ishbel Ross' Life of Elizabeth Blackwell along with notes from 1958 on the Elizabeth Blackwell award at Smith College.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Arranged into the following series: Correspondence, Photographs, Livingston family papers, Printed Materials, and Manuscripts.

Using These Materials

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Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Blackwell Family Papers, 1845-1976 and undated, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Correspondence, 1845-1969 and undated

Comprises mostly routine correspondence to Blackwell family members from other family members; including Alice Stone Blackwell, Anna M. Blackwell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Emma Blackwell, Helen Blackwell, Henry B. Blackwell, and Lucy Stone. Topics include suffrage meetings, the election of Theodore Roosevelt, reading and other pastimes, and general education. A letter from Henry B. Blackwell mentions inviting Frederick Douglass and his wife, Helen Pitts Douglass (editor of The Alpha, suffragist, feminist, abolitionist) "to some private house, where his color would not be made an objection" written on Office of American Woman Suffrage Association letterhead. There are several postcards mailed to the Woman's Journal regarding subscriptions, address changes and other matters related to publication, or the editor's business acquaintances.

Alice Stone Blackwell, 1892-1909
Box 1
Folder 1
Anna M. Blackwell, 1905-1907
Box 1
Folder 2
Elizabeth Blackwell, 1845 and undated
Box 1
Folder 3
Letter and notes on Irish Home Rule and Gladstone's policies

Material comprises a letter Blackweel wrote to an unidentified gentleman, probably between 1880-1895, following her retirement from the medical profession. During this time, Blackwell was actively involved in many different reform movements, including women’s rights, antivivisection, sanitation, and moral reform. This letter contains Elizabeth Blackwell’s lengthy critique of William Ewart Gladstone’s 1886 Irish Home Rule Bill. Blackwell’s letter begins: ‘Dear Sir, No one desires more strongly than I, that a just system of Irish government should be substituted for the unjust “Castle” system. I therefore profoundly regret that Mr. Gladstone has not been able to see that his present scheme destroys the Imperial Parliament, and insists upon treating the absence of Irish members as a “detail.” I can only hope therefore that the Govt. Bill will be thrown out, and that no member supporting it, will be returned to Parliament.” William Ewart Gladstone, served as Prime Minister four separate times: (1868–1874, 1880–1885, February–July 1886 and 1892–1894). In early 1886, Gladstone proposed Irish Home rule but this was defeated in the House of Commons in July. Four other pages of undated notes on the topic accompany the letter. Includes a transcript for the letter.

Folder 1
Emma Blackwell, 1904-1917
Box 1
Folder 4
Helen Blackwell (Mrs. Howard L. Blackwell), 1934-1969 and undated
Box 1
Folder 5
Henry B. Blackwell, 1888
Box 1
Folder 6
Lucy Stone, 1888-1893
Box 1
Folder 7
The Woman's Journal or editor Agnes E. Ryan, 1911-1913
Box 1
Folder 8
Other letters, 1885-1919 and undated
Box 1
Folder 9

2. Photographs, undated

0.1 Linear Feet

Contains three uncaptioned black-and-white photographs. Two are cabinet cards. Images feature two unidentified women, a baby, and a dog.

Photographs, undated
Box 1
Folder 10

3. Livingston family papers, 1934-1976 and undated

0.1 Linear Feet

Contains a 1972 Livingston family genealogy created by Helen T. Blackwell along with an undated article on the disputed authorship of "'twas the Night Before Christmas," possibly written my Major Henry Livingston Also includes original poetry by Jeannie Livingston Hubbard Denig, 1934-1976.

Genealogy and article, 1972 and undated
Box 1
Folder 11
Poetry by Jeannie Livingston Hubbard Denig, 1934-1976
Box 1
Folder 12

4. Printed material, 1847-1958 and undated

0.4 Linear Feet

Series comprises a few printed materials written by Blackwell authors, including "Philosophy of Re-Incarnation" by Anna Blackwell, and "Medicine & Morality," "Scientific Method in Biology," and Erroneous Method in Medical Education" by Elizabeth Blackwell. However, the series primarily features printed items that were maintained in the Blackwell family library. Also contains a corrected typescript (1940s) of Ishbel Ross' Life of Elizabeth Blackwell along with notes from 1958 on the Elizabeth Blackwell award at Smith College.

Blackwell family authors: Anna Blackwell, 1869
Box 2
Folder 1
Blackwell family authors: Elizabeth Blackwell, 1881-1898
Box 2
Folder 2
Blackwell family owned, 1847-1902 and undated
Box 2
Folder 3
Blackwell family owned, 1867
Box 2
Folder 4
Elizabeth Blackwell award, 1958
Box 2
Folder 5
Corrected typescript, Life of Elizabeth Blackwell, by Ishbel Ross, 1940s
Box 2
Folder 6
 

Historical Note

Samuel Blackwell, a sugar refiner and lay preacher, emigrated to the United States from England in 1832, with his wife Hannah (Lane), eight children, and a governess. Their youngest child was born in New York City; they moved to Newark, N.J., then to Cincinnati, Ohio. Of the nine children, three are represented in this collection, Anna Blackwell, the poet, translator, and journalist; Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), the pioneering physician; and Henry B. Blackwell (1825-1909), an editor, journalist, and businessman. Also represented is his wife, suffragist Lucy Stone, and their daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell. In addition, there are materials from Lucy's niece, Emma Stone Lawrence, who eventually married George Washington Blackwell, another of the nine children of Samuel and Hannah Blackwell. There are items from their daughter, Anna M. Blackwell, who went on to marry Charles Belden, librarian of the Massachusetts State Library, in 1908, as well as from Helen Thomas Blackwell, who married Anna’s brother, Howard.


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Provenance

The Blackwell Family Papers, 1845-1976 and undated, were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, September 2015.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2015-0050-LUBMSS123, 2015-0050-LUBMSS124, 2015-0050-LUBMSS125, 2015-0050-LUBMSS126, 2015-0050-LUBMSS490, 2015-0050-LUBMSS491, 2015-0050-LUBMSS492, 2015-0050-LUBMSS493, 2015-0050-LUBMSS494, 2015-0050-LUBMSS532, 2015-0050-LUBMSS533, 2015-0050-LUBMSS533, 2015-0050-LUBMSS535, 2015-0050-LUBMSS537, 2015-0050-LUBMSS538, 2015-0050-LUBMSS539, 2015-0050-LUBMSS540, 2015-0050-LUBMSS541, 2015-0050-LUBMSS542, 2015-0050-LUBMSS543, 2015-0050-LUBMSS544, 2015-0050-LUBMSS545, and main 7065.