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Livingston-Fulton family papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00147

Scope and Contents

The papers consist mainly of correspondence and material pertaining to Edith Livingston Crary Smith's writings. From 1920 to 1938, she wrote every day to her daughter, Katharine "Watty" Smith Stevens. The letters refer to family matters and personal musings, as well as to Smith's writing process and both her own and Watty's efforts to market their work. In addition, Alpheus Dutton Smith wrote almost daily when he and Smith were apart. His letters include commentary on the political and moral issues of the day, as well as discussion of personal and domestic concerns. The typescripts of Smith's writings reveal much about how she edited and revised her work, and about the writing process in general. Much of the material is annotated and in many cases includes several different versions of the same piece. Smith used her given name for serious work and the following pseudonyms for material which she considered to be less serious: Louise Chamberlayne, Daphne Deane, Stella Knight, Mrs. Livingston, Marjorie March, Wanda Moore, Marion Oakes, A. Singer, and Livingston Smith.

Also included in the papers is material supplied by Smith's granddaughter, Barbara Stevens Weeks, who provided extensive information about the family, particularly regarding the correspondents and the people referred to in the letters. She also researched Smith's published writings, furnishing virtually all bibliographic information.

Dates of Materials

  • 1874-1939
  • Majority of material found within 1920-1939

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished materials created by Livingston-Fulton family members in the papers. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Edith Livingston Crary Roberts Smith was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on March 24, 1874 to Rev. Robert Fulton Crary and Agnes Boyd Van Kleeck. She attended Lyndon Hall in Poughkeepsie and subsequently taught there before marrying Charles Henry Van Braam Roberts on June 3, 1896. They had four children: Charles Van Braam Roberts (died in infancy), Edith "Toots" Livingston Roberts, Katharine "Watty" Bruce Roberts, and Richard "Wops" Brook Roberts. Mary van Kleeck, whose papers are also housed in the Sophia Smith Collection, was Smith's first cousin.

Smith's talent as a writer was apparent early on, and she published her first poem in 1892. According to her granddaughter, Smith began writing in earnest in 1902 or 1903 in order to leave an unhappy marriage and support her three surviving children. Although she regained some measure of financial security when she married Alpheus Dutton Smith circa 1903 (he legally adopted her children), she continued to write for twenty-five years, until poor health curtailed her ability to do so in the last decade of her life. She primarily wrote poetry, "pot boiler" short stories, and household advice columns for such publications as American Home Monthly, Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, House Beautiful, Ladies' Home Journal, Munsey's Magazine, The North American Review and Women's Home Companion.

In addition to freelance writing, Smith also worked for a time under Dr. Richard Cabot in the social services department of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her experience there led her to write a series of related articles, most notably "Unmarried Mothers: One Big Job for the Feminist Movement," published in Harper's in 1913.

Edith Livingston Smith died on October 24, 1938 en route from Florida to New York on board the S.S. Shawnee. She was buried at sea.

Extent

6 boxes (2.4 linear feet)

Overview

Collection consists primarily of the papers of Edith Livingston Crary Smith (1874-1938), author and poet. They document family matters and commentary on political and moral issues of the day. Material includes transcripts and other material pertaining to Smith's writings; also diaries and correspondence with her daughter, Katharine Smith Stevens and husband, Alpheus Dutton Smith.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into four series:
  1. I. Biographical
  2. II. Diaries
  3. III. Correspondence
  4. IV. Writings
  5. Oversize Materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Barbara Stevens Weeks donated the Edith Livingston Smith Papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1979, adding to them in 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 1997.
Title
Livingston-Fulton family papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Burd Schlessinger
Date
2003
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss63 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:23-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063