Register of the Mrs. Leland E. Cofer papers

Finding aid prepared by Beaudry R. Allen
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
© 2008, 2015

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.
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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 . 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.


Correspondence, 1904-1956

Scope and Contents note

Contains letters and telegrams received by Cofer from relief organizations, associates, and friends regarding Cofer's charitable activities, achievements, and marriage. Arranged chronologically.
Box-folder 1:1

Letters received, 1904-1956


Fatherless Children of France file, 1914-1930

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence, reports, bulletins, promotional ephemera, and a scrapbook relating to Fatherless Children of France's relief operations, relationship with the auxilliary group La Fraternité Franco-Américaine, and events. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Box-folder 1:2

Annual reports, 1916-1921

Box-folder 1:3

Bulletins, 1918-1920

Box-folder 1:4

Committee minutes, 1918-1920


Correspondence, 1914-1930

Box-folder 1:5-6


Box-folder 1:7


Box-folder 1:8


Box-folder 1:9


Box-folder 1:10


Box-folder 2:1


Box-folder 2:2


Box-folder 2:3

Announcements, flyers, event pamphlets, postcards, and a calendar, 1915-1920

Box-folder 2:4-5

Scrapbook, 1914-1922


Dr. Leland E. Cofer File, 1918-1928

Scope and Contents note

Includes professional correspondence, public health announcements, booklets, and speech drafts surrounding public health initiatives for workers and immigrants in New York City. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Box-folder 2:6

Correspondence, 1918-1928

Box-folder 2:7

Industrial Hygiene Bulletins, 1924-1928

Box-folder 2:8

Industrial Hygiene Series, circa 1920s

Box-folder 3:1

Speech drafts, September 25, 1923

Box-folder 3:2

Printed materials, 1920-1924


Printed matter and ephemera, 1900-1956

Scope and Contents note

Includes ceremonial programs, news-clippings, and ephemera relating to organizations and events Mrs. Leland E. Cofer attended. Arranged by subject.
Box-folder 3:3

French-American Alliance Associations- Institut Français aux États-Unis and France-America Society, 1917-1924

Box-folder 3:4

Italian American Society, 1918-1920

Box-folder 3:5

Russian relief, 1920-1921

Box-folder 3:6

Women's National Club, 1923-1927

Box-folder 3:7

Trooping the Colour, 1931

Box-folder 3:8

Coronation of King George VI souvenirs and invitation, May 1937

Box-folder 3:9

Bundles for Britain organization, 1941

Box-folder 4:1-3/5:1-2

Programs, pamphlets, tickets, invitations, and miscellany of relief organizations and events, 1900-1956

Box-folder 6:1-4

Press mentions of Mrs. Cofer and Fatherless Children of France and oversized programs, 1918-1937


Photographs and postcards, 1917-1945

Scope and Contents note

Contains personal postcards and photographs pertaining to Cofer's family, Fatherless Children of France parade, and Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) relief efforts in World War II. Arranged by format.
Envelope A

Postcards, circa 1916-1918

Envelope B

Fatherless Children of France parade, fairs, and memorial services, 1920-1934

Envelope C

World War II YMCA donation of a tea car to British Forces and Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) Girls, circa 1935-1945

Envelope D-mE

Personal photographs of Mrs. Cofer, family, friends, and events, 1917-1940's

Memorabilia cabinet

Memorabilia, 1915-1924

Scope and Contents note

Contains medals, badges, pins, buttons, and ribbons awarded to Mrs. Cofer.