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Register of the Mrs. Leland E. Cofer papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Mrs. Leland E. Cofer papers
    Collection Number: 50013
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of the Materials: In English and French
    Physical Description: 5 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized box, 5 envelopes, memorabilia (3.6 linear feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1900-1956 1915-1928
    Date (bulk): 1915-1928
    Abstract: Correspondence, reports, postcards, photographs, printed ephemera and memorabilia relating to the activities of the Fatherless Children of France relief society, during World War I. Includes some papers of Leland E. Cofer, health officer for the Port of New York and assistant surgeon general, United States Public Health Service.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Cofer, Mrs. Leland E.


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mrs. Leland E. Cofer papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1950.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the library catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Mrs. Leland E. Cofer (née Luisita Leland) was an active member of the American Red Cross, and upon the outbreak of World War I, through her philanthropic endeavors helped establish the Fatherless Children of France. The New York City based society provided relief to French children who had lost their fathers to war. The society would match French orphans with American benefactors through funds distributed by La Fraternité Franco-Américaine, which would continue operations after Fatherless Children of France discontinued in 1920. In 1919, she was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur from the French government and Gold Liberty Medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences for distinguished services to humanity. In the same year, she also married Leland E. Cofer, a health officer for the Port of New York and assistant surgeon general of the United States Public Health Service. Cofer continued her philanthropic work with many other relief organizations leading into World War II, most notably including her service as chairman of “Bundles for Britain,” relief organization.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Mrs. Leland E. Cofer papers provide insight into American civilian relief efforts in Europe during World War I, the interwar period, and World War II. The collection focuses on the Fatherless Children of France; but as a prominent New York socialite, Cofer’s papers includes her participation with a wide array of other philanthropic organizations and events pertaining to war relief. All of which are detailed in correspondence, reports, bulletins, programs, flyers, postcards, photographs, printed ephemera, and news-clippings. Additionally, the papers contain separate materials pertaining to her husband, Dr. Leland E. Cofer’s professional activities and public health initiatives in the interwar period.
    The collection is arranged into six groups: Correspondence, Fatherless Children of France, Dr. Leland E. Cofer papers, Printed Matter, Postcards and photographs, and Memorabilia. Correspondence is comprised of personal correspondence, telegrams, and related material received by Mrs. Cofer, which detail her personal achievements, wedding, and philanthropic activities beyond her work with Fatherless Children. There is also a draft of her biography for the Cyclopædia of American Biography. The Fatherless Children of France files are comprised of correspondence, annual reports, bulletins, promotional ephemera, and newspapers describing the society’s relief operations and Mrs. Cofer’s involvement, as well as extensive correspondence from La Fraternité Franco-Américaine. The Dr. Leland E. Cofer file contains reports, writings, and printed matter related to public health, hygiene, workers’ health, immigration, and eugenics during the interwar period.
    As a patron of the arts and many charities in New York City, the bulk of the collection is comprised of Printed matter and ephemera which is consists of magazines, pamphlets, programs, news-clippings and ephemera.The most predominant file is French-American alliance associations, reflecting her enduring personal bond as well as United State’s cultural ties to France. Postcards and Photographs comprises of personal photographs and postcards, some of which were from beneficiary families of the society in France. Lastly, the Memorabilia contains medals, pins, and badges that Cofer acculmulated as a patron and particpant of many charitable organizations.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cofer, Leland Eggleston.
    Fatherless Children of France Society.
    United States. Public Health Service.
    International relief.
    World War, 1914-1918 -- Women -- United States.
    World War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief.
    World War, 1914-1918--France.
    World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief.