Scope and arrangement
The papers of Carrie Clinton (Lane) Chapman Catt (1859-1947) reflect her life's work on behalf of human rights, particularly the right of woman to vote, and world peace. The collection spans 1887-1947 and includes general correspondence; organizational papers; plays, addresses, and articles; photographs; printed material; and scrapbooks. Different types of material cover different periods in Catt's life, with the exception of her public addresses and writings, which form the largest single type of material and run from 1887-1947.
The Carrie Chapman Catt papers are arranged in five series:
The majority of letters document Catt's efforts on behalf of world peace during the 1920s and 1930s, and include correspondence with peace organizers, members of the scholarly community, and various religious and women's groups. Letters from this period also reflect Catt's powerful sense of justice. There is a draft of her article attacking the DAR for circulating pamphlets accusing Jane Addams and others of being Bolsheviks, correspondence on behalf of a family who believed their son had been denied acceptance to medical school because he was Jewish, and correspondence with peace activists who believed tales of Nazi atrocities were exaggerated to bring the U. S. into the war. Letters regarding woman suffrage fall into two main categories - a small collection of correspondence with Presidents and other famous people reflecting Mrs. Catt's efforts on behalf of suffrage, and a large collection of letters from the late 1930s and 1940s related to the history of the suffrage movement. Included in the latter are letters from Catt soliciting books and photographs for a gift to the Library of Congress; letters to Catt from suffragists and their relatives, and letters from biographers asking questions. Correspondence with Earl Conrad, Harriet Tubman's biographer, falls into this category and is quite extensive, considering that Catt said she had never heard of Tubman. Scattered throughout the correspondence series are letters from acquaintances and admirers. There are no letters from members of Catt's family, and few from close friends.
Catt's writings include speeches, articles, a skit, and a pageant. The speeches, 1887-1947, are arranged chronologically, with undated speeches at the end. Included are addresses made before congressional committees, commencement audiences, at suffrage festivals, conferences on the cause and cure of war, and in acceptance of awards. Catt was an excellent speaker, and this collection contains some 80 speeches ranging from autograph drafts to printed conference proceedings. The articles and notes in the collection are undated and arranged in alphabetical order.
The photographs include an album of pictures taken on Catt's 1923 trip to the Panama Canal and three photographs of costumed cast members of "Mars Takes a Sabbatical," 1933.
Includes biographical material clipped from journals and newspapers, and microfilm copies of two scrapbooks, one labeled "personal" dealing with Catt's activities, and the other documenting woman suffrage, 1916-1917. The original scrapbooks were discarded after filming.