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Elizabeth Page Harris papers

Call Number: MS 771

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Page Harris Papers primarily document the life and career of Elizabeth Merwin Page Harris, elder daughter of Alfred Rider and Elizabeth Merwin Roe Page. The papers also contain correspondence and other materials concerning numerous Burton, Harris, Page, Roe, and Schauffler relatives. The papers span the dates 1808-1978, but the bulk of the material covers the years 1907-1969. Marjorie Page Schauffler, younger sister of Elizabeth Page Harris, and her children, Elizabeth Dudley Schauffler Lyman, Peter Page Schauffler, and Richard Manvel Schauffler, donated the papers to Yale University in December 1975, January 1983, and January 1985. Significant related material can be found in the Roe Family Papers (MS 774), Page Family Papers (MS 772), and Schauffler Family Papers (MS 1389).

The Elizabeth Page Harris Papers are the fourth of five related family collections, the others being the Wickham Family Papers, Roe Family Papers, Page Family Papers, and Schauffler Family Papers. In order to make certain that correspondence to and from the same family members is kept together, a hierarchical system of arrangement for these collections is used. For example, Elizabeth Page Harris' correspondence with her parents is in the Page Family Papers and her mother's brother and sister and their spouses is housed in the Roe Family Papers.

The collection has seven series and an addition. Series I, Correspondence, fills twenty-eight boxes and contains the personal, professional, and business correspondence of Elizabeth Page Harris, usually called Bee. There is also some correspondence of Herbert Taylor Harris and a small quantity of postcards and letters to Elizabeth's cousin, Theodora Kellogg. Series II, Family Papers, consists of a variety of papers primarily concerning Elizabeth Page Harris. Also included are papers of Herbert Taylor Harris, Theodora Kellogg, and small quantities of materials concerning other relatives. Materials documenting Bee's volunteer work with the International Grenfell Association are found in Series III. The next series has sixteen boxes of papers concerning the American Friends Service Committee, the Society of Friends, the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and concludes with materials on other organizations with which she was involved. Series V contains copies of published and unpublished writings of Elizabeth Page and Series VI holds a variety of printed works owned by her and Theodora Kellogg. Series VII consists of photographs and the collection concludes with a one box Addition.

Series I, Correspondence, contains chronologically arranged correspondence. The series has correspondence with hundreds of people on a variety of personal and business subjects. Major types of correspondents include family members, friends, editors and publishers, fans, sources for research information, business and legal advisors, and social and political activists.

Bee Page's correspondence with her parents is found in the Page Family Papers and letters with her Aunt Mary, Uncle Joseph, cousin Henry Roe Cloud, and their spouses are located in the Roe Family Papers. The Elizabeth Page Harris Papers contain a significant quantity of correspondence both of her own family and that of her husband Herbert Taylor Harris. Important family correspondents from the time of Bee's youth through her volunteer work with the Grenfell mission are her younger sister Marjorie who married Bennet Fellows Schauffler in 1920; grandmother Angeline Rider Page; great-uncle Richard Price Rider; and cousins Helen P. Downe, Theodora Kellogg, and Caroline Marsh Roe. From 1927-1931 Bee Page worked as a secretary in the office of Drs. Chester E. and Herbert Taylor Harris in Basin, Wyoming, during which time she researched and wrote Wagons West, published in 1930. Herbert Taylor Harris, called Bert, had married Bee's second cousin Caroline Robertson Burton, called Bun. Correspondence, therefore, with the Burtons and Harrises commences at this time, except for a handful of earlier letters to and from Herbert Taylor Harris,1904-1921. Major correspondents are Anna Robertson Burton, Frank W. Burton, Chester E. Harris, Van Harris, Frances Josephine (Jode) Harris, Herbert Taylor Harris, Cornelia Robertson Burton Harris, and Herbert Burton Harris. Later correspondents include Robert Burton, Ruth E. Burton, Lorle Kempe Burton, Herbert Kempe Harris, and cousins Stuart R. and Edna Tompkins. To gain an understanding of family relationships, please see the Burton and Harris family charts. The publication of Wagons West which was the story of the life of great-uncle Henry Page and the gold rush days, publication of the best seller The Tree of Liberty (1939), the growth of the Schauffler children, and the illness and death of Bee's mother in September 1943 brought forth a new wave of Roe and Page family correspondence. Correspondents include Wilhelmina Caldwell, Irene Roe Kincaide, Reese Kincaide, Minnie Van Zoeren Kincaide, Pauline Roe Lee, John B. Page, Elizabeth Lambertson Pratt, Henry Wickham Quinan, Caroline Clark Roe, James Roe Stevenson, James P. Willits, Nathalie Willits, Mary Stuart Roe Zeigler, and several Schaufflers.

The lives, careers, sickness, and death of family members are constantly discussed. Elizabeth Page had a strong sense of family loyalty and dedicated major portions of her life to caring for her aged mother and husband. After the film rights to The Tree of Liberty were sold in 1939, she purchased annuities for three elderly relatives -- Caroline Marsh Roe, Nellie Roe Stevenson, and Nathalie Willits and, when she was away from elderly loved ones, she wrote them almost every day. Other subjects of discussion include the history of the Page and Rider families, material needed for Wagons West 1927-1929; the worsening of the depression in Wyoming 1931-1932; the reasons why Quaker nephew Peter Page Schauffler decided not to seek conscientious objector status in World War II (Box 10, folder 249 and Box 11, folder 268); and Burton Harris' financial difficulties in the late 1950's.

The collection contains a much larger number of letters with friends. Correspondence with childhood friends Hope Avery and Edith A. Merritt continued on and off for more than fifty years. Close friendships were established with Vassar classmates, World War I Y.M.C.A. workers, Grenfell Association volunteers, neighbors in Wyoming, California, and Vermont, friends of her parents, and many others.

Vassar College class of 1912 correspondents include Charlotte Brate, Mary Connell Bray, Elinor Prudden (Pruddy) Burns, Alice K. (Bunny) Burrowes, Helen D. Lockwood, and Mary. MacNaughton (Mary Mac) Tillinghast. The two most important were Alice Burrowes, Bee's college roommate, and Helen D. Lockwood, who later became a professor at Vassar. Edith Tallant and Elizabeth K. (Happy) Van der Veer were Y.M.C.A. canteen workers at the Genicart, France embarkation center and Philip Sheridan Burns was a soldier stationed there. Dorothy Stirling was active in the Grenfell Association.

Elizabeth Page remained single until her sixty-sixth year. Her male friends and correspondents included the following individuals. The first was Arthur Brokaw, a young missionary stationed at Colony, Oklahoma who died in the fall of 1905. The second was Cyril Snider, a New York City businessman, whose correspondence runs 1907-1911. Cyril, however, always made certain that their relationship remained platonic. Next came Clarence O. Keeter whom Bee met when she was a canteen worker with the Vassar Y.M.C.A. unit in Genicart, France. A love poem written by Keeter (Box 42, folder 910), a handful of diary entries referring to him (Box 54, folder 1174), a single unmailed letter bearing several dates beginning with September 2, 1919, and some references to Keeter in letters of others between November 1919 and June 1920 exist in the series. When Bee worked for the Harrises in Basin, Wyoming 1927-1931, she fell in love with Bert, who was married to her second cousin. Little direct evidence for their relationship exists in the correspondence. A letter from Bert on April 22, 1931, another from her minister friend Henry A. Vruwink in December 1932, and a third from sister Marnie on May 23, 1933 provide some hints. Much stronger evidence is found in several 1933 letters of Marnie to husband Ben Schauffler in the Schauffler Family Papers. After his wife's death in early 1953, Bert wrote almost 150 letters to Bee before their December, 1954 marriage. The Addition (Box 128) contains seventeen letters from Bee to Bert written between March and July 1953 and Series I has five letters written in 1954. Additional information on Elizabeth's romantic involvements can be found in reminiscences composed by niece Elizabeth (Jing) Schauffler Lyman (Box 30, folder 729).

Series I houses a great deal of correspondence documenting Elizabeth Page's writing career and publishing practices in the mid-twentieth century. Bee's publisher was Farrar and Rinehart, now Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Major correspondents are the publishers, John Farrar and Stanley M. Rinehart, Jr.; editors L. H. Christie, J. King Gordon, and John Selby; and staff members, Marguerite J. Reese and Adelaide Sherer. Publication of The Tree of Liberty in 1939 led Bee to hire Rosalie Stewart, a Hollywood agent, who was responsible for selling movie rights to the book, and the William B. Feakins agency, for a 1940 lecture tour. Wild Horses and Gold (1932) was based upon the reminiscences of Byron F. Wickwire of Basin, Wyoming, the character of "Kansas Gilbert" in the book. Her research of the Edmonton trail and the Yukon gold rush led to correspondence with several Canadian librarians and historians, the most important being E. L. Hill, John E. Lundy, and E. S. Robinson. Her interest in writing a biography of Jefferson formed the basis for another set of correspondents, among them H. James Eckenrode, Virginia B. Haugwout, Clayton Torrence, and Maude H. Woodfin. Although Elizabeth Page was author of some reputation, she did not correspond with any major literary figures. Her most important literary correspondents, all of whom were also close friends, included Sarah N. Cleghorn, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Bradford Smith, Edith Tallant, and Anne Walters. The series also contains a large volume of fan mail, most generated by The Tree of Liberty.

Business and legal correspondence is also found in Series I. The family lawyers were Harding Johnson and Edward C. O. Thomas of New York City. Charlotte Neely of Pomona, California was executrix of the estate of Mary Wickham Roe 1941-1942. Lawyer correspondents from Basin, Wyoming were John O. Callahan and Wilbur O. Henderson. Sydney J. Meacham was Bee's Manchester, Vermont lawyer and he assisted in settling her estate. (See Box 34, folders 809-811.) Banker correspondents included Victor M. Salvator of the Corn Exchange Bank in New York City; A. C. Meloney and Rose H. Brown of the State Security Bank of Basin, Wyoming; and Earle E. Storrs of The Factory Point National Bank of Manchester, Vermont.

Somewhere between 1939-1941 Elizabeth Page joined the Society of Friends. and for the rest of her life was active in pacifist causes. Most of the documentation for this aspect of her life is found in Series IV, Organizations and Causes, although some material is also found scattered throughout the general correspondence, particularly between the years 1940-1950. Her pacifist convictions, however, never waned and in November, 1968 she informed the President that she was refusing to pay the recently imposed income tax surcharge necessitated by the expenses of the Vietnam War. American Friends Service Committee and Quaker correspondents found in Series I include Elsie and John Dorland, George F. Howell, Susan A. Howell, Mary Hoxie Jones, Patrick Lloyd, Ida Polin, Dorothy Runk, Anna Spakler, and Mary Williams. During and after World II, Bee Page assisted European refugees and letters from Lore Rose David, Marie Dubosson, Ruth and and Walter Fales, Melanie Gaertner, Zora Kussevich, Irene Lurié, and Elise Rosenthal document this concern. The series also contains five 1943-1944 letters of Vernon Nash, one of the leaders of Federal Union, Inc.

Most of the correspondence revolves around such subjects as family life, Elizabeth Page's writing career, business and legal matters, and the causes with which she was concerned. The series also contains, however, small groups of letters on a wide variety of other subjects. For example, missionary work among the Oklahoma Indians and developments at Mohonk Lodge are discussed in a small number of 1904-1908 letters and in the later correspondence of Irene Roe Kincaide, Reese Kincaide, and Minnie Van Zoeren Kincaide. Hope Avery was in Munich, Germany in August, 1914 when World War I began and her letters of August 18 and September 8, 1914 provide a fascinating look at the beginning of the war from a pro-German perspective. Letters of Martha Warren Beckwith, Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf, and Maud Karpeles 1928-1930 concern their search for Newfoundland folk songs. Four letters of Ernest de Burgh, a friend of the Harrises, describe Australian reaction to war in 1939 and 1941.

The series provides excellent documentation of the life of Elizabeth Page Harris from the time she began teaching at Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts in 1914 to her final illness and death in 1969. Researchers, however, should also examine the Roe, Page, and Schauffler Family Papers for additional relevant information. Persons interested in the lives, careers, and attachments of single women in the first half of the twentieth century will find the correspondence particularly rewarding. Bee was a woman who suffered from ill health most of her adult life and her efforts in seeking a career while not neglecting her elderly relatives is well documented. The correspondence ends with condolence letters and the fruitless attempts of sister Marjorie Page Schauffler and Mary Hogg to secure publication for Heritage and Challenge.

Series II houses twenty-eight boxes of alphabetically arranged Family Papers. Except for some papers of Herbert Taylor Harris (Boxes 40-41, folders 878-903), Theodora Kellogg (Box 42, folders 911-926), Caroline M. Roe (Box 47, folders 1059-1061), and single folders on several others, all material concerns Elizabeth Page Harris.

The Biographical section (Box 30, folders 719-731) has a copy of a 1940 lecture "Has This Plan for Peace a Chance?" (folder 719), biographical notes, death instructions, obituaries, wills and an interesting appreciation of Elizabeth Page Harris by Elizabeth Schauffler Lyman written in 1975. The Childhood years section includes a variety of high school notes, early writings, and other juvenilia. Bee's graduate work at Columbia University is documented by notes from history classes taught by Charles A. Beard, William A. Dunning, Herbert L. Osgood, James Harvey Robinson, and James T. Shotwell. Unlike many of her relatives, Bee was not an avid diarist, although some 1905 diary notes describe missionary activities in Colony, Oklahoma. A later diary entry, dated April 9, 1906 notes that she had the opportunity to read some 1849 letters written by Uncle Henry Page to his wife (See Box 33, folders 789-791), For additional 1933 diary notes and writing exercises, see Box 108, folder 2202. The Estate papers contain correspondence, primarily of Sydney J. Meacham and Marnie Schauffler; lists of expenses, gifts, and contributions; and inventories of Bee's estate. The files for Finances include bank records, lists of charitable contributions, cash journals, and thirteen folders of correspondence, investment analyses, trust agreements, and other papers pertaining to the Elizabeth P. Harris Trust established in 1963.

The Professional files house book and film contracts, papers of writers' organizations, royalty statements, speaking notes, and other papers. The Vassar College material (Boxes 50-53, folders 1113-1148) includes class of 1912 papers, notes from classes, publications, and an interesting scrapbook which contains notes, invitations, photographs, programs, and a few letters. Ten 1908-1910 letters, however, were removed from the scrapbook and placed in Series I. The World War I files include a variety of pamphlets, photographs, and other papers. A 1919 diary (Box 54, folder 1174) in which Clarence Keeter is mentioned on twenty-three occasions between January 7 and June 28, 1919 and newsletters from Vassar and Walnut Hill School containing letters from Elizabeth Page (Box 56, folders 1211-1212) are of particular interest.

Series III, Grenfell Association, has fourteen boxes of papers that document the volunteer work of Elizabeth Page with the International Grenfell Association. It consists of almost four boxes of correspondence and more than ten boxes of health records, notebooks, note cards, photographs, printed works, and other papers.

From 1921-1925 Elizabeth Page served as a volunteer for the International Grenfell Association in Newfoundland, Canada. She worked successfully to improve the educational, employment, and nutritional needs of the residents of the White Bay area. Bee and other unpaid volunteers spent much of their time in such isolated hamlets as Brown's Cove, Bear Cove, Sop's Island, and Wild Cove. Excellent summaries of their achievements can be found in a November 29, 1921 letter; a December 15, 1926 report; and a 1940 radio interview (Box 66, folder 1461). The staff of the Grenfell Association was so impressed by Bee's drive and organization that in 1926 she was offered a paid position as Executive Secretary of the Staff Selection Committee and Industrial Secretary in charge of sales and promotion of products made along the coast. Illness prevented her from taking the post.

Major correspondents consist of officers and employees of the International Grenfell Association, Grenfell Association of America, Inc., and New England Grenfell Association; officials of other Newfoundland organizations concerned with the welfare of the poorly educated and underemployed; Grenfell volunteers and others interested in supporting its work; and a handful of natives of the White Bay area. Elizabeth corresponded with Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell and Lady Anne Elizabeth Grenfell and such other Grenfell officers and employees as Alice A. Blackburn, Catherine E. Cleveland, Agnes Corsa, Elizabeth Criswell, Ethel Current Bridges, Dr. Charles S. Curtis, Harriot P. Houghteling Curtis, E. M. LeMessurier, Marion R, Moseley, Ethel Gordon Muir, Olive Owen, Grace Hamilton Parker, Dr. Charles E. Parsons, Margaret E. Seaman, Dorothy Stirling, and Alfred A. Whitman. Counted among the Grenfell volunteers, several of whom were Vassar students, were Hope Avery, L. Hall (Bart) Bartlett, Mary F. Card, Florence (Fliss) Clothier, Mary Coggeshall, Edith Tallant, and B. Violet (Vi) Walter. The series also contains correspondence with supporters of Grenfell Association work in the United States, including Mary MacNaughton Tillinghast and Henry A. Vruwink. White Bay correspondents include Henry and Martha Jane Langford, Patrick Lewis, Margaret L. Quigley, and Sarah Anne Langford Warford. Lady Elsie G. Allardyce was the wife of the governor and honorary president of NONIA, W.W. Blackall was Superintendent of the Department of Education for the Church of England in Newfoundland, and T. V. Hartnett was treasurer of the Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association (NONIA).

In addition to correspondence, the papers contain health records, notebooks, note cards, and records of the White Bay Unit, material of value to those interested in family life and economic conditions in White Bay during the 1920's. Also included are photographs, a photo album, lantern slides; and glass negatives of Newfoundland; a variety of printed works; and informal logs for the "Briar Cliff" (1922) and "Amber Jack" (1923-1924).

Series IV, Organizations and Causes, is divided into four subsections: American Friends Service Committee (Boxes 71-77), Society of Friends (Boxes 77-79), Japanese Relocation (Boxes 79-81), and Other Causes (Boxes 82-86).

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) papers consist of twenty-three folders of alphabetically arranged correspondence and a large quantity of circular letters, minutes, newsletters, pamphlets, publications, reports, and other papers of general AFSC interest, the Executive Board, Regional Offices, the Civilian Public Service Section, Foreign Service Section, and Peace Section. Papers of the Foreign Service Section comprise about two-thirds of all AFSC material.

Elizabeth Page probably became interested in the AFSC because her sister Marnie was employed in the main Philadelphia office. During World War II she was concerned with the organization's refugee work. Beginning in December, 1945 Bee worked for two years for the International Centers Subcommittee, Foreign Service Section of the AFSC and for several years thereafter was a member of an advisory Centers Subcommittee. Walter Fales was the most important refugee correspondent. AFSC correspondents include Julia E. Branson, Agnes Gallagher, Margaret E. Jones, Marie Hoxie Jones, Margaret McNees, Marjorie Page Schauffler, Guy, W. Solt, Allen J. White, and Mary Williams.

Following the correspondence are a series of general AFSC annual reports, bulletins, newsletters, pamphlets, etc. The Regional Offices section features thirteen folders of papers of the Southern California Branch of the AFSC. For additional material, see Japanese, Relocation, Box 80, folders 1736-1739. Alternative service for conscientious objectors during World War II was provided through the Civilian Public Service Section (Box 73, folders 1562-1571). For additional conscientious objector material, see Box 83, folders 1809-1817. A great deal of the Foreign Service Section material consists of area reports, circular letters, and other reports documenting the plight of displaced persons and dismal economic conditions in Europe after the war. They also provide insight into the Communist takeovers of China, Hungary, and Poland. Events in China, for example, are discussed in Box 74, folder 1589 and in the letters of Lucy M. Burt and Ralph Lapwood. The difficulty of life in postwar Germany is described in the circular letters of Roland Bainton and Douglas Steere. Documentation for Elizabeth Page's International Centers Subcommittee service is found under the heading European trip (Box 76, folders 1640-1646).

The more formal involvement of Elizabeth Page with the Quaker movement is found in the subsection for Society of Friends. It consists of correspondence, minutes of meetings, newsletters, publications, and reports concerning Quaker meetings, Friends lobbying efforts, Quaker education, and the activities of other Quaker organizations. The Orange Grove Monthly Meeting files, particularly the correspondence, provide the most complete information on Bee's early involvement in the Society of Friends. Correspondents include Hugh Anderson, Elsie Dorland, George F. Howell, clerk of the meeting, Susan A. Howell, and Patrick Lloyd.

Material on the forced removal and incarceration of California Japanese Americans in World War II is found in the Japanese American Incarceration subsection (Boxes 79-82). Elizabeth Page, a member of both the Pasadena Committee for Fair Play and the Interracial Relations Committee of the Pacific Coast Branch of the AFSC, opposed this panicky response to Pearl Harbor and through correspondence and acts of kindness sought to alleviate the plight of the Nisei. Important Japanese American correspondents between 1942-1945 included Nobu T. Kawai, president of the Pasadena Chapter of the Japanese Americans Citizens League, and such ordinary people as Yoneko Hashimoto, Yumiji Higashi, Akiko Taketa, Mary Uemoto, and Ruth Watanabe. The subsection also contains an interesting selection of Nisei newsletters and newspapers, the most important being the Gila News-Courier published in Rivers, Arizona; Heart Mountain Sentinel from Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Pacific Citizen published in Salt Lake City, Utah; The Poston "Press Bulletin" from Poston, Arizona; and the Tulare News from Tulare, California.

The final subsection, Other Causes, contains papers of additional pacifist and internationalist organizations. Among the many such organizations were the American Civil Liberties Union, the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, Federal Union Inc., the Fellowship of Reconciliation, National Service Board for Religious Objectors, the Socialist Party, and the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. Bee was a founding member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a member in long standing of the Socialist Party, and belonged to several conscientious onjector organizations. The largest quantity of material concerns the Federal Union, Inc., movement (Boxes 83-84, folders 1819-1844). Originally called Inter-Democracy Federal Unionists, the organization was established to promote the internationalist ideals of Clarence K. Streit, author of Union Now; A Proposal for a Federal Union of the Democracies of the North Atlantic. Elizabeth Page became a member of the Council of Advisors of Federal Union, Inc. in December, 1939 and lectured on behalf of the organization in 1940. In January 1941, however, she resigned from the Advisory Board because she believed that it had become an organization devoted to entering the war on the side of Great Britain. Prominent Federal Unionist correspondents are Rita Carlin, Gordon Mannerstedt, Vernon Nash, Lee Shippey, Clarence K. Streit, and Anne Walters.

The writings of Elizabeth Page, both published and unpublished, are contained in Series V, Boxes 87-108. Alphabetically arranged book length manuscripts take up more than twenty boxes. The final box and one-half in the series consists of two book reviews and drafts of short stories and other writings.

Elizabeth Page's earliest writings are located in Family Papers. See Box 32, folders 769-775 and Box 53, folders 1155-1156. Her first serious writings date from the 1914-1915 era and consist of a Colombia University M.A. thesis, "Immigration to the American Colonies Between 1690-1765"; a semiautobiographical account of a trip to the West Coast written by Elizabeth Page and Caroline Marsh Roe, "The Trail of the Grafters"; and a draft of In Camp and Tepee. This latter work was published in 1915 and Bee's mother was listed as its author, although in the preface Bee is virtually given joint author credit. Copies of In Camp and Tepee are found in the Page Family Papers (Box 12, folder 231).

Wagons West (1930), Elizabeth Page's first published book, was closely followed by Wild Horses and Gold (1932). For these and later works, the material is arranged in the following order. First comes an outline or synopsis; followed by chronologically arranged drafts of manuscripts, and then by such things as notes, publicity, and reviews. As one might expect, The Tree of Liberty (1939) takes up the most space in Series V. Included are three drafts and a portion of a fourth earlier one; a copy of the Literary Guild version of the book and four foreign language editions; announcements, best seller lists, and publicity; and an extensive file of American and British reviews. Some enthusiastic reviewers characterized The Tree of Liberty as the great American novel. The front page review in The New York Times Book Review of February 26, 1939 was written by the eminent historian, Henry Steele Commager, and the book was on the best seller list for most of the year. Scripts, programs, publicity, reviews, and other papers for "The Howards of Virginia" are also included. After the sale of movie rights to The Tree of Liberty, Elizabeth Page served as a script writer for two movies, "The Dark Command" and "Dawn's Early Light". "The Dark Command" was released in 1940, but "Dawn's Early Light", a historical drama on the life of Alexander Hamilton which featured such memorable lines as, "After you're dead, who's going to remember what's in The Federalist", was never filmed. The series also contains manuscripts and other papers of Heritage and Challenge, Elizabeth Page's unpublished life of Thomas Jefferson.

Writings concludes with two 1934 book reviews and manuscript drafts of short stories and other writings. It appears that only one short story, "Reversed Revenge" (Box 107, folders 2211-2213), was ever published.

Series VI, Printed Works, contains alphabetically arranged Books (Boxes 109-112, folders 2223-2244) and Shorter Works (Boxes 112-116, folders 2250-2330). Most belonged to Elizabeth Page Harris, but some came from the library of Theodora Kellogg. The series includes a copy of Burton Harris' John Colter: His Years in the Rockies (1952).

The final series, Photographs, is divided into four alphabetically arranged parts: People, Places, Albums, and Oversize. Three photo albums and eleven folders of photographs belonged to Theodora Kellogg. Following the Oversize material is a folio of photographs, diplomas, pages of newspapers, and other papers.

Box 128 houses an Addition to the Elizabeth Page Harris Papers. It primarily contains postcards, but also includes some letters of Elizabeth Page Harris and Herbert Taylor Harris from the 1950's.


  • 1808-1978


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marjorie Page Schauffler in 1975, Elizabeth Schauffler Lyman in 1983, and Elizabeth Schauffler Lyman, Peter Page Schauffler, and Richard Manuel Schauffler in 1985.


Arranged in eight series: I. Correspondence, 1895-1973. II. Family Papers, 1808-1978. III. Grenfell Association, 1921-1969. IV. Organizations and Causes, 1916-1968. V. Writings, 1914-1971. VI. Printed Works, 1881-1959. VII. Photographs, 1892-1967. VIII. Addition, 1903-1968.


53.25 Linear Feet (128 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers contain correspondence, family papers, writings, printed works, photoprints, and other materials documenting the life and career of Elizabeth Page Harris. The Harris Papers have extensive material on such subjects as family life, single women, publishers and publishing, voluntarism, the International Grenfell Association, American Friends Service Committee, the Society of Friends, Japanese American incarceration, and pacifism.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Merwin Page Harris, author, graduated from Vassar College (1912) and received an M.A. from Columbia University (1914). She was a teacher (1914-1916), Y.M.C.A. worker during World War I, and an International Grenfell Association volunteer (1921-1925) and secretary (1927-1931). Elizabeth Page wrote four books, including the 1939 best seller, The Tree of Liberty.

Elizabeth Page sold the film rights for The Tree of Liberty to Columbia Pictures in 1939 for $55,000. The resulting movie, starring Cary Grant and Martha Scott, was called "The Howards of Virginia" (1940). A final book, Wilderness Adventure, which the author characterized as a "penny dreadful", was published in 1946. For most of the last thirty years of her life, Elizabeth Page devoted her writing energies to a monumental two volume life of Thomas Jefferson titled Heritage and Challenge. The first volume of this labor of love concerned Jefferson's Virginia between the years 1612-1739 and the second volume covered his life to 1766. The work suffered from what one editor considered "iffiness" and what others called conjecture and creative fiction. Occupying a neverland between scholarly biography and historical fiction, the manuscript was rejected by commercial publishers and university presses.

During World War II, Elizabeth Page became active in Quaker and pacifist causes. She was a member of the Orange Grove Monthly Meeting in Pasadena, California, was concerned with the refugee work of the American Friends Service Committee, and served in the Philadelphia office of the Committee at the International Centers Subcommittee, Foreign Service Section 1945-1947. In 1940 she was on the Council of Advisors and served as lecturer for Federal Union, Inc., originally called Inter-Democracy Federal Unionists.

After her mother's death in Sierra Madre, California in September 1943, she moved to the family home in Manchester, Vermont, where she resided for much of the rest of her life. She married Dr. Herbert Taylor Harris (1879-1960) of Basin, Wyoming in December 1954 and died on March 11, 1969 in Oaxaca, Mexico of "lymphatic leukemia" from which she had suffered for fifteen years.

Additional biographical information can be found in Series II of the Elizabeth Page Harris Papers (Box 30, folders 719-31).

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in 2020 to address outdated or harmful descriptive language. During that revision, description was changed in the summary, scope and contents note for the collection, scope and contents notes of Series IV, and in folder titles. References to Japanese-American "relocation," "evacuation," and "internment" during World War II were removed and replaced with community recommended and currently accepted terminology in 2020, such as "Japanese American incarceration." Previous versions of this finding aid may be available. Please contact Manuscripts and Archives for details. If you have questions or comments about these revisions, please contact Manuscripts and Archives or the Archival and Manuscript Description Committee. For more information on reparative archival description at Yale, see Yale’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Guide to the Elizabeth Page Harris Papers
Under Revision
by Bruce P. Stark and Diane J. Ducharme
January 1986
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • April 2021: Finding aid revised to replace outdated or harmful descriptive language. See the processing note for more information.

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