Finding Aid to the Louise Sorbier Papers, 1854-1956, MS 2031

Finding aid prepared by California Historical Society staff; revised by Tanya Hollis and Marie Dunlap in 2010.
California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-357-1848
reference@calhist.org
2001, 2010


Title: Louise Sorbier papers
Date (inclusive): 1854-1956
Collection Number: MS 2031
Creator: Sorbier, Louise, 1847-1929
Physical Description: 7 boxes, 1 flat box (4.5 Linear feet)
Repository: California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415-357-1848
reference@calhist.org
URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Comprises correspondence, organizational records, legal documents, bound volumes, newspaper clippings, and ephemera documenting the personal life and official activities of San Francisco suffragist and civic leader Louise Sorbier. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, most of which is addressed to Louise Sorbier. Also contains scattered records of women's and civic improvement organizations in which Sorbier participated, including the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, Woman's Congress Association of the Pacific Coast, California Suffrage Amendment Campaign Association, Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club, and Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association; correspondence addressed to Cecile Sorbier in her role as president of the San Francisco Club; a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the women's suffrage movement in San Francisco in the 1890s; and newspaper clippings, mainly documenting the women's suffrage and cemetery anti-removal campaigns in San Francisco.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the California Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Research Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Louise Sorbier Papers, MS 2031. California Historical Society.

Arrangement

Arranged in three series: Series 1: Papers, 1854-1956; Series 2: Volumes, 1888-1927; Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, 1893-1928. The Papers and Newspaper Clippings series are arranged in chronological order.

Separated Materials

Sorbier family photographs have been transferred to the Photography Collection, shelved in the Portraits Collection.

Biographical Information

Louise Sorbier, née Bacon, was born in 1847 in Paris. She immigrated to San Francisco with her parents as a child. She had three daughters with her husband, Jules Sorbier: Josephine Sorbier (1873-1899), Cecile Sorbier (1875-1952), and Marie Sorbier (1877-1947). She and Jules Sorbier divorced in 1877.
Louise Sorbier was a prominent organizer and member of many women's and civic improvement organizations in San Francisco in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She served as president of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, an organization founded in 1891 to provide women with educational opportunities and vocational training. At the same time, she was active in the women's suffrage movement of the 1890s, serving as president of the Eleventh Amendment Club, and treasurer of the Woman's Congress Association of the Pacific Coast, the California State Suffrage Constitutional Amendment Association, and the Women's Suffrage Association. As an officer of these organizations, Sorbier advocated the amendment of the state constitution to guarantee women's suffrage in California.
In the 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s, Louise Sorbier was active in various civic improvement efforts in San Francisco, including and prominently, the cemetery anti-removal movement. She served as director of the Outdoor Art League, president of the Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association, and vice president of the Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club. Her daughter Cecile followed in her footsteps, serving as president of the San Francisco Club and Memorial Museum, Golden Gate Park Endowment Committee, beginning around 1916. Louise Sorbier died in 1929.

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises correspondence, organizational records, legal documents, bound volumes, newspaper clippings, and ephemera documenting the personal life and official activities of San Francisco suffragist and civic leader Louise Sorbier. Papers (1854-1956) mainly consist of correspondence addressed to Louise Sorbier. Also included are scattered records of women's and civic organizations in which Louise Sorbier participated, including the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, Woman's Congress Association of the Pacific Coast, California Suffrage Amendment Campaign Association, Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club, and Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association; as well as correspondence addressed to Cecile Sorbier in her role as president of the San Francisco Club; Sorbier family wills; other legal documents; and ephemera. Volumes (1888-1927) include a scrapbook of newspaper clippings documenting the women's suffrage movement and its leaders in San Francisco in the 1890s; the constitution and minutes of the Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club; and five volumes of Women's Educational and Industrial Union records, including three ledgers, a membership book, and the Ladies' Finance Committee address book. Newspaper clippings (1893-1928), taken from various San Francisco newspapers, mainly document the women's suffrage and cemetery anti-removal campaigns in San Francisco, including the activities of the Woman's Congress, California State Suffrage Constitutional Amendment Club, Eleventh Amendment Club, Women's Suffrage Association, and Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association.

Index

This index is derived from a list of added entries in the legacy finding aid for the Louise Sorbier papers. Names and subject headings are unauthorized. Dates, when available, indicate the dates of the materials in which names or topics are referenced.
Alemany, Joseph Sadoc July 21, 1879, October 17, 1882
Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club, San Francisco 1909-1927
California Patriotic League, San Francisco
California State Woman Suffrage Educational Association
Cameron, George Toland 1925-1926
Cameron, Helen (DeYoung) 1921, 1928
Catholic Church, San Francisco
Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association, San Francisco 1915-
Cemetery Protective Organization, San Francisco
Church and social problems - Catholic Church
Democratic Party, San Francisco 1932
DeYoung, Michael Henri 1921-1924
DeYoung Museum, San Francisco 1921-1928
French in San Francisco
French Mutual Benevolent Society, San Francisco 1877
Gayley, Charles Mills October 1, 1901
Girls High School, San Francisco 1895
Gleeson, Richard A.
Gordon, Laura deForce, ALS 1895 (Folder 3)
Hibernia Savings and Loan Society, San Francisco December 29, 1877
Huntington, Collis P. October 17, 1898
Japanese in San Francisco 1914
Johnson, Hiram W. September 12, 1923
Martinache, N.J. 1877
Mitchell, Ruth Comfort 1920
Montgomery, George 1879-1900
Native Daughters of the Golden West, Grand Parlor 1916
Odd Fellows Cemetery Association, San Francisco 1907-1915
Patigian, Haig October 11, 1924
Ramm, Charles A. September 22, 1899
Regan, Dora July 21, 1879, October 17, 1882
Richardson, Friend W. September 22, 1926
Richmond District, San Francisco 1909-1927
Robinson, Elmer 1948
Rolph, James March 14, 1923, January 30, 1926, January 7, 1926
Roullier, Albert 1931
Roullier, Emile Victor 1901
Samuels, D. Dry Goods, San Francisco 1874
San Francisco Club
San Francisco Savings Union 1882
Shaw, Anna Howard Folder 25
Shortridge, Samuel M. December 2, 1920
Sorbier, Cecile Marie
Sorbier, Josephine Marie
Sorbier, Jules Edmond
Tourny, George 1925-1926
Van Wyck and Cushing 1874
Women's Congress Association, San Francisco 1896
Women's Educational and Industrial Union

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Sorbier, Cecile Marie, 1875-1952
Societies--California--San Francisco.
Women civic leaders--California--San Francisco.
Women--California--San Francisco.
Women--Societies and clubs.
Women--Suffrage.
Clippings.
Scrapbooks.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Cecile M. Sorbier Estate through Mr. George H. Cabaniss, Jr. November 1952.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by California Historical Society staff; additions processed by Marie Dunlap in 2010.

 

Series 1:  Papers 1854-1956

Extent: 5.0 boxes

Scope and Contents

Documents the personal lives and civic activities of Louise Sorbier and her daughter Cecile Sorbier. Includes correspondence, mostly addressed to Louise Sorbier; scattered records of women's and civic organizations in which Louise and Cecile Sorbier participated; legal documents; and ephemera.
Papers spanning the years 1854 to 1899 include letters to Louise Sorbier, in English and French, as well as scattered records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, Woman's Congress Association of the Pacific Coast, and California Suffrage Amendment Campaign Association.
Papers spanning the years 1900 to 1921 include letters to Louise and Cecile Sorbier, as well as scattered records of the Arguello Boulevard Improvement Association and Cemetery Beautification and Anti-Removal Association. The bulk of the correspondence addressed to Cecile Sorbier concerns her work as president of the San Francisco Club and Memorial Museum, Golden Gate Park Endowment Committee.
Legal documents include the wills of Louise Sorbier and her daughters, Cecile and Marie Sorbier.
Box 1, Folder 1

1854-1889

Box 1, Folder 2

1890-1894

Scope and Contents

Includes the annual report of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1888-1889, and the constitution and by-laws of the Woman's Congress Association of the Pacific, 1894.
Box 1, Folder 3

1895

Box 1, Folder 4

1896-1897

Scope and Contents

Includes annual reports of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, 1896-1897 and 1897-1898.
Box 1, Folder 4A

Women's Suffrage Vote 1896

Box 1, Folder 5

1898-1899

Box 1, Folder 6

1900-1906

Box 2, Folder 7

1907-1909

Box 2, Folder 8

1910

Box 2, Folder 9

1911

Scope and Contents

Includes minutes of the Depositors Mutual Aid and No Fee Association of the California Safe Deposit and Trust Company.
Box 2, Folder 10

1912 January-June

Box 2, Folder 11

1912 July-December

Box 2, Folder 12

1913 January-March

Scope and Contents

Includes handwritten copy of the constitution of the Cemetery Protective Association and Handbook of the California Legislature.
Box 3, Folder 13

1913 April-December

Box 3, Folder 14

1914 January-July

Scope and Contents

Includes report of the Committee appointed by the Conference of Cemetery Protectors to Interview Mayor Rolph.
Box 3, Folder 15

1914 August-December

Box 3, Folder 16

1915 January-April

Scope and Contents

Includes Handbook of the California Legislature.
Box 3, Folder 17

1915 May-December

Box 4, Folder 18

1916

Box 4, Folder 19

1917

Scope and Contents

Includes minutes of the Cemetery Protective Association.
Box 4, Folder 20

1918-1919

Box 4, Folder 21

1920

Box 4, Folder 22

1921

Box 5, Folder 23

1922-1948

Box 5, Folder 24

Family wills 1926-1956

Scope and Contents

Includes the wills of Christine Breon (1926), Louise Sorbier (1928), Gaston Bacon(1929), and Cecile Sorbier (1949).
Box 5, Folder 25-26

undated

 

Series 2:  Volumes 1888-1927

Extent: 10.0 volumes

Scope and Contents

Comprises ten bound volumes of notes, newspaper clippings, and records documenting Louise Sorbier's personal life and official activities. Volume one, a scrapbook of clippings from various San Francisco newspapers, includes articles about the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, Woman's Congress, and other women's suffrage organizations in San Francisco and California in the 1890s. Also included are biographical sketches and portraits of Sorbier herself, Anna H. Shaw, Sarah B. Cooper, Susan B. Anthony, Charlotte Perkins Stetson, and other prominent suffragists. Volume two comprises the constitution and minutes of the Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club (formerly the First Avenue Improvement Club), of which Sorbier served as vice president. Volumes three, four, and five consist of Sorbier's calligraphy and French notebook, address book, and personal expenses and address book, respectively. Volumes six, seven, eight, nine, and ten are records of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, of which Sorbier served as president. These include three ledgers (volumes six, seven, and eight): educational courses and union accounts, 1890-1902, which lists the organization's courses and instructors; lunch room and cooking school accounts, 1889-1892; and the treasurer's ledger, 1888-1902. Volumes nine and ten are the membership book and Ladies Finance Committee address book of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, respectively.
Oversize Box 1

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings 1893-1897

Scope and Contents

Includes a detailed index of women's names found in Louise Sorbier's scrapbook.

Processing Information

Pages from Louise Sorbier's scrapbook have been removed from their original binding and encapsulated in mylar.
Box 6, Folder 1

Arguello Boulevard Improvement Club Constitution and Minutes 1909-1927

Box 6, Folder 2

Calligraphy and French notes undated

Box 6, Folder 3

Address book undated

Box 6, Folder 4

Personal expenses and address book 1874

 

Subseries 2.1:  Women's Educational and Industrial Union records 1894-1902

Extent: 5.0 volumes
Box 6, Folder 5

Ledgers 1888-1902

Extent: 3.0 volumes

Scope and Contents

Ledgers include accounts of classes taught by the Women's Educational and Industrial Union.
Box 6, Folder 6

Membership book 1894-1899

Box 6, Folder 7

Ladies Finance Committee address book undated

 

Series 3:  Newspaper Clippings 1893-1928 Bulk, 1898-1921

Extent: 1.0 box

Scope and Contents

Taken from the San Francisco Call, Chronicle, Examiner, Monitor, Post, Daily News, Fillmore District News, Mission Enterprise, and other San Francisco newspapers, clippings in this series document the activities of many of the women's suffrage and civic improvement organizations in which Louise Sorbier participated, including and prominently, the Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association.
Newspaper clippings published between 1893 and 1898 primarily concern the women's suffrage movement in San Francisco, including the activities of the Woman's Congress, California State Suffrage Constitutional Amendment Club, Eleventh Amendment Club, and Women's Suffrage Association. Also included are clippings about Susan B. Anthony, Anna Shaw, and P.C. Yorke ("Father Yorke").
Newspaper clippings published between 1912 and 1921 primarily concern cemetery anti-removal efforts in San Francisco, especially the activities of the Cemetery Beautifying and Anti-Removal Association, founded in 1915 with Sorbier as president. Also included are clippings about Mount Saint Joseph's Orphanage (1911), the California Safe Deposit and Trust lawsuit (1912), and the Outdoor Art League (1904-1916).
Box 7, Folder 1

1893-1894

Box 7, Folder 2

1895-1898

Box 7, Folder 3

Outdoor Art League 1904-1916

Box 7, Folder 4

1907-1910

Box 7, Folder 5

1911

Box 7, Folder 6

1912-1913

Box 7, Folder 7

1914

Box 7, Folder 8

1915-1917

Box 7, Folder 9

1918-1920

Box 7, Folder 10

1921

Box 7, Folder 11

1924-1928

Box 7, Folder 12

Undated