Ethel Eyre Valentine Dreier papers
Scope and Contents
The personal correspondence consists primarily of letters to her husband, H. Edward Dreier, from 1902-38. The early letters describe the daily household activities and concerns of an upper class homemaker, while the later letters describe in limited detail Ethel's work for various social causes. Other correspondence includes letters (1924-55) to Ethel Dreier from Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Alfred E. Smith among others.
Personal papers and writings include manuscript drafts of speeches, reports and meeting agendas, notes, and a description of her solo car trip through 17 states in the summer of 1941. There are also notebooks listing wedding gifts received, and describing gardens at her Long Island home, "Sunken Meadow." Appointment books from 1939-57 briefly note daily activities, as does the travel diary from a European tour with her husband in 1901.
The bulk of professional papers relate to records of the New York state campaign for woman suffrage (1912-17), and records of activities of the Women's City Club of New York (1919-65). Included in the suffrage papers are newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and committee reports on the progress of the woman suffrage movement through the work of the National and New York State Woman Suffrage Associations. Women's City Club of New York records include club calendars, programs, and lists of members. The remainder of the professional papers document Ethel Dreier's work with the Brooklyn Garden Apartments (low cost housing development); the 1937 Fusion Mayoral Campaign to re-elect Fiorello H. LaGuardia; the Garden Club of America; King's Park Central School of Long Island; and Black Mountain College of North Carolina. Included is a scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to her various social and civic activities.
Remaining records document biographical information such as Ethel Dreier's work for her alma mater, Packer Collegiate Institute; and an 80th birthday celebration folder contains congratulatory correspondence and a biographical sketch written by her children.
Dates of Materials
- 1875 - 1966
- Dreier, Ethel Eyre Valentine (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
In 1912 Dreier was named chairman of the Woman Suffrage Party of Brooklyn. Under her leadership its 23 Assembly Districts were organized. When the women of New York state won suffrage in 1917, Brooklyn cast the largest vote for suffrage of any county in the state. For several years after this victory, she continued in a leadership role group as chairman of the Brooklyn League of Women Voters. From 1924 to 1930, and again from 1932 to 1936, Dreier was president of the Women's City Club of New York. She remained honorary president until her death.
Dreier was also active in housing projects for low-income groups as a member of the Brooklyn Committee for Better Housing. In 1928 she was one of the incorporators of the Brooklyn Garden Apartments, the first limited dividend corporation founded under the state housing law. She was also a founder of the Dreier-Offerman Playground, opened in Brooklyn in 1934. In the New York mayoralty campaign of 1937 Dreier was joint chairman of the Fusion Campaign Committee to re-elect Fiorello H. LaGuardia, and chairman of the campaign's Women's Division. She was invited to serve from 1938-40 on the Executive Committee on Women's Participation in the World's Fair, and on the Women's Committee for Brooklyn for Women's Day at the F air. Throughout her career, Dreier was active in the Brooklyn community as a member of the Civitas Club of Brooklyn, the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and vice-president of the Friends of the Brooklyn Public Library. Dreier also spent several years on the advisory council of Black Mountain College in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Her son Theodore was a founder of the school.
In 1941 the Dreiers celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with their first trip to the West Coast. Later that year Ethel set off on a solo car trip through 17 states to catalogue birds and flowers. Also in 1941, the Dreiers moved permanently into their summer home, "Sunken Meadow," in Fort Salonga, Long Island. Ethel became active in the community as a member of the Garden Club, the Board of the Fort Salonga Association, and the Board of Education. Ethel and Edward celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1951 with their children and eight grandchildren. Edward Dreier died in 1955. Ethel Dreier died in December of 1958.
2.75 linear feet (7 containers)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- All Sorts and Conditions of Girls (Organization : Brooklyn)
- Civic improvement -- New York (State) -- New York
- Dreier, Alexander
- Dreier, Ethel
- Dreier, Ethel Eyre Valentine
- Housing -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century
- La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorella Henry), 1882-1947
- Municipal government -- New York (State) -- New York
- New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government -- 1898-1951
- Organization files
- Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn
- Political campaigns -- New York (State)
- Social settlements -- New York (State) -- New York
- Voorhees, Dorothea D.
- Women -- Suffrage
- Women -- Suffrage -- New York (state)
- Women's City Club of New York
- Finding aid to the Ethel Eyre Valentine Dreier papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Elizabeth Duvall, Leslie Fields and Amy Hague.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 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: mnsss127 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2017-07-26T17:48:11-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2019-03-25: Made FA pencil edit changes and updated finding aid.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063