There are 631 manuscripts, 525 of which are by Caroline Severance. These include speeches, poetry, essays, articles, notebooks,
commonplace books, miscellaneous notes, and a 347-page unpublished autobiography by Caroline Severance entitled "Own Story."
The majority of the 10,634 pieces of correspondence is made up of family letters; only 232 letters are written by Caroline
Severance. The rest of the correspondence is made up of letters written to Caroline Severance by over 1,700 different authors.
The collection contains 9,007 pieces of ephemera, which is made up of address books, appointment books, brochures, business
papers, greeting cards, legal documents, newspaper clippings, postcards, fliers, brochures, programs, notebooks, photographs,
and financial papers of the family. The manuscripts, correspondence, and ephemera cover the following subjects: African American
women suffrage and clubs, Susan B. Anthony, Jessie Benton Frémont, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Julia Ward Howe, child labor reform,
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Fröbel and the Kindergarten movement, Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Southwest Museum in Los
Angeles, Helen Modjeska, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, dress reform, suffrage, temperance, Unitarianism, women's rights,
women's clubs, and the history, politics and social life of 19th and 20th century Los Angeles, California.
Caroline Maria Seymour Severance, suffragist, reformer, and social activist, was born in Canandaigua, New York in January
1820. She graduated from the Female Seminary of Geneva, New York, in 1835, and in 1840, she married Theodoric Severance; they
had five children, Orson Seymour (born and died in 1841), James Seymour (1842-1936), Julia Long Burrage (born in 1844), Mark
Sibley (1846-1931), and Pierre Clarke (1849-1890). The Severances spent their first fifteen years together in Cleveland, Ohio,
but moved to Boston in 1855 when Theodoric accepted a position with the North Bank of Boston. At the outbreak of the Civil
War the Severances moved to Port Royal, South Carolina, where Theodoric was Collector of Customs. Caroline Severance, who
was actively involved in the abolitionist movement before and during the war, became involved in several reform movements
and was a member of the boards of the Sanitary Commission, the Freedom Bureau, and the New England Hospital for Women and
Children. She also became a supporter of the suffrage movement and in 1866 helped organize the Equal Rights Association with
Susan B. Anthony. In 1868, Caroline Severance founded the New England Women's Club, the first women's club in the United States;
although this fact would later be disputed, she is always referred to as the "Mother of Clubs." She also helped found the
American Woman Suffrage Association with Lucy Stone in 1869.
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission
from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical
property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances,
the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate
curator for further information.