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Kate Upson Clark papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00034

Scope and Contents

The Kate Upson Clark Papers include diaries, correspondence, published and unpublished writings (including notes, articles, lectures, and poems), biographical material and memorabilia. Correspondence from and to family, friends, and students includes intimate letters (1914-22) to her sister, Mary Upson Avery, covering personal, family, occupational, and financial matters, and including references to her activities as a Trustee of Wheaton College, persons of varying importance met through lecture engagements, and glimpses into the careers of her sons, Charles Upson and John Kirkland Clark. Her unpublished manuscript, "The Affair of William Strickland & Co.," is an account of charges of "Abolitionist connivance" brought by the booksellers' business in Mobile, Alabama in which her father Edwin Upson, a native of Connecticut, was an associate. Other writings include composition books (1862-67); diaries she kept as an adolescent and young woman (1862-68, 1888); and extensive notes on a European trip (1923-25).

Dates of Materials

  • 1862 - 1935


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use with following restrictions on access: Acc.#2017S-022 closed due to the fragility of the material.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished works by Kate Upson Clark are in the public domain. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Clark, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

Catherine (Kate) Pickens Upson was born in Alabama in 1851, to Edwin Upson and Priscilla Maxwell. She was raised in Charlemont, Massachusetts and graduated from Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College), Norton, Mass., in 1869. In 1874, she married Edward P. Clark, and they had three sons, Charles, John and George. She contributed articles and columns to periodicals including Godey's Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Christian Herald, Harper's and various children's magazines. She was editor of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, Good Cheer Magazine, and eventually the New York Evening Post. She published several books (mostly children's), short stories, and a novel.

After her husband's death in 1903, Kate Clark lectured extensively throughout U.S. on popular, cultural, literary, and political subjects including suffrage. She resided in New York City and was active in the suffrage and temperance movements, and founded the Brooklyn's Women's Republican Club. She taught courses on lecturing at Columbia University and was a trustee of Wheaton College from 1907 until her death in 1935.

[See also Clark Family Tree in reading room]


1.875 linear feet (3 containers)


Editor, Trustee, Wheaton College, Suffragist, Journalist, Poet. Papers include diaries; correspondence with family and friends, manuscripts, lectures, biographical material and memorabilia. Her unpublished manuscript of "The Affair of William Strickland & Co.," is an account of charges of "Abolitionist connivance" brought against her father, Edwin Upson.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Kate Upson Clark Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by her son, Charles Upson Clark, circa 1950 and 1961.

Related Material

Additional papers are housed in the Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections, Norton, Mass.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised by Margaret Jessup, 2005.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. The following changes were made in this collection: Accession 2017-S-0022, Box 1 renumbered as Box 3


Kate Upson Clark papers
Finding Aid
Jennifer Smar
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:13-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063