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Guide to the Eloise Ellery Papers, 1870-1959 (bulk 1923-1958)

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Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Ellery, Eloise, 1874-1958
Title: Eloise Ellery Papers
Dates: 1870-1959
Bulk Dates: 1923-1958
Quantity: 3.4 cubic ft (1200 items in 17 boxes)
Abstract: Materials relating to the academic work, travel and personal life of Eloise Ellery.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, diaries, manuscripts and typescripts, newspaper clippings, travel documents, legal and financial papers, family papers, photographs, printed materials and miscellaneous items.

Biographical Note

Born in Rochester, NY in 1874, Eloise Ellery (1874 - 1958) was the only child of Frank M. and Mary Alida Alling Ellery. Frank Ellery was a rising member of the Rochester business community. He became Secretary and later trustee of the Security Trust Company in Rochester. Miss Ellery attended the Rochester Free Academy and entered Vassar College as a freshman in 1893. A history student under the tutelage of Vassar's own Lucy Maynard Salmon, Miss Ellery graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar in 1897. That was the beginning of an association which would span her lifetime. Upon graduation from Vassar, she went to Cornell as a Babbott Fellow to do graduate work in history and political science. Fellowships from Vassar, Cornell, and the Association of Collegiate Alumnae allowed Miss Ellery to study at the Sorbonne and do research at the Bibliotheque Nationale from 1899 to 1900. Returning to Vassar in 1900 as an assistant in history, Miss Ellery long remained a vital force in the History Department as well as the College. In 1916, she became a full professor, was department chairman from 1923 to 1932 and retired in 1939 as professor emeritus of history. She served as Secretary of the Faculty from 1910 to 1923.

Miss Ellery traveled extensively -- most notable was a trip taken in 1923-1924. On leave from Vassar, she traveled around the world with her father. Stopping in Shanghai, China to visit a former student, Sophia Chen Zen, '19, Miss Ellery met with prominent leaders of Young China. A typescript written by Zen and included within the Collection records the highlights of this visit.

A vigorous scholar and experienced traveler, Miss Ellery made for a devoted teacher who demanded top quality work from every student. For many years, Miss Ellery taught Renaissance and Reformation, French Revolution and Contemporary Western Europe as a three year-long course. Writing about Ellery's teaching, Helen D. Lockwood, a student and later colleague of Miss Ellery's, wrote "E.E. drew out and expected to be expressed with thoroughness and polish the would capacity of every student whether the specially able and gifted, the sensitive, problem student or the ordinary run."

Innovative in her teaching methods and a devotee of Miss Salmon's philosophy of using primary source materials, Miss Ellery required of all her students a long paper to be done over the whole term. Out of this exercise, Lockwood wrote, "…came the profound inner change in a student's thinking, the toughness and delight of intellectual adventure...."

In a letter to Frank Ellery, Vassar's President MacCracken also spoke of Miss Ellery's teaching: "There is no one among the whole one hundred and twenty-five [faculty] who seems to have the ability to lift students up to the best that is in them and keep them steadily and enthusiastically at work as does your daughter..."

Yet devotion to her students did not end upon their graduation from Vassar. Amusing and constant, Miss Ellery took her role as correspondent seriously. She oftentimes labored over letters, keeping them informative but at the same time safe from censors. Evidence of this can be found in correspondence form Ilse Hecht '29, a former student teaching in East Germany, Sophia Chen Zen '19, teaching in China, and Irene Mott '22, the wife of a High Court judge living in Nagpur, India. She also wrote frequently to Rebecca L. Lowrie '13, a close personal friend and trustee of Vassar.

Outside of teaching, Miss Ellery served as an associate on the staff of Current History from 1921 to 1931, reporting monthly on political developments in Italy, Spain and Portugal. She also wrote many articles for the American Historical Review. Her one book was published in 1915 in a series commemorating Vassar's 50th Anniversary. Expanding her doctoral dissertation into a full-length biography, Miss Ellery published an authoritive work. Brissot de Warville, A Study in the History of the French Revolution was called by one reviewer "the only biography in existence of the Chief of the Girondin party in the French Revolution."

Upon her retirement in 1939, Miss Ellery went to Washington, D.C. for a year to study Spanish literature and to follow Congressional matters. She returned to Poughkeepsie in 1940, and remained a familiar and striking figure on campus until her death in July 1958. She was 84.

In October, 1958, as part of the College's $25,000,000 Development Program, the Eloise Ellery Chair of History was established. The Chair memorialized "her outstanding service to the College as a teacher, scholar and benefactor."

For more biographical information see:

Barbour, Violet. "Memorandum on Professor Eloise Ellery," 1958.

Lockwood, Helen D. "Some Notes on E.E.'s Teaching," 1958

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Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, diaries, manuscripts and typescripts, newspaper clippings, travel documents, legal and financial papers, family papers, photographs, printed materials and miscellaneous items relating to the life and work of Eloise Ellery. There is also significant collection of items which belonged to Frank Ellery.

Correspondence is the largest portion of the papers and consists primarily of letters received from her father Frank Ellery, 1891-1929; from Ilse Hecht on teaching in East Germany, 1947-1957; from Rebecca L. Lowrie, friend and Vassar colleague, about personal and professional issues, 1936-1956; from Irene Mott, wife of a High Court Judge in India, about political situations there, Indian people, and World War II, 1924-1951; from C. Mildred Thompson, friend, colleague, and former Dean of the College, about teaching duties, an education conference in London (1944), professional and social life at the University of Georgia, and teaching in Europe, 1941-1952. There is also correspondence regarding the estate of Mary Frazer, family affairs, and other matters, 1929-1958; as well as a few family and personal letters by Ellery, 1899-1957.

Ellery's diaries include records of daily activities, 1940-1957, health records, 1953-1955, reading and quotation journal, 1919-1956, and grade books, 1926-1939. Manuscripts and printed materials include an account of Ellery's trip to China, 1923-1924, by her former student Sophia Chen Zen; her published articles, 1928-1929; and articles and clippings about Ellery and her father, Frank Ellery, 1897-1929, and his diaries for 1910-1929; and estate papers, receipts, and inventories for Abby M. Alling, Eloise Ellery, and Mary Frazer, 1929-1958.

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This collection is arranged in 9 series. Whenever possible all letters have been dated. Undated letters or fragments from a known correspondent are placed at the end of that file. All unidentified correspondence is at the end of the Correspondence series. Frank Ellery's materials have not been separated, but rather have been placed at the end of the appropriate series.

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Access and Use


This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

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Related Material

  • The Lucy Maynard Salmon and Helen D. Lockwood Collections-both housed in Vassar's Special Collection-contain substantial correspondence between Miss Ellery and these two friends and colleagues.

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Subject Headings


  • Alling, Abby M.
  • Ch'en, Heng-che, 1890-1976.
  • Ellery, Frank.
  • Frazer, Mary.
  • Hecht, Ilse, 1907-
  • Lowrie, Rebecca Lawrence, 1891-1975.
  • Mott, Irene.
  • Thompson, C. Mildred (Clara Mildred), 1881-
  • Zen, Sophia Chen, 1890-1976.


  • University of Georgia.
  • Vassar College--Faculty.


  • Decedents' estates.
  • Education--Europe.
  • Education--Germany (East)
  • Women college teachers.
  • Women--Diaries.
  • World War, 1939-1945.


  • China--Description and travel.
  • Europe--Description and travel.
  • Germany (East)--Description and travel.
  • India--Description and travel.
  • India--Politics and government.

Document Types:

  • Diaries.
  • Photoprints.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, March 2007.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Eloise Ellery Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the estate of Eloise Ellery and from Helen D. Lockwood, 1958.

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Series List

Series I. Correspondence (Boxes 1-4)

Personal Correspondence to Eloise Ellery
Personal Correspondence from Eloise Ellery
Financial and Legal Correspondence to Eloise Ellery
Financial and Legal Correspondence from Eloise Ellery
Correspondence about Eloise Ellery by Others
Frank M. Ellery Correspondence

Series II. Manuscripts and Typescripts (Box 5)

Unpublished Material
Published Material

Series III. Printed Materials (Boxes 5-7)

Addresses and Announcements
Articles Written by Eloise Ellery
Articles Written about Eloise Ellery
Newspaper Clippings

Series IV. Personal Commonplace Books (Boxes 8-15)

Eloise Ellery's Daily Diaries
Record Books and Notes
Frank M. Ellery's Daily Diaries

Series V. Legal Documents (Box 16 and Folder 139, drawer 36 mapcase)

Travel Documents
Letter of Introduction
Library Cards

Series VI. Financial Documents (Box 17)

Series VII. The Ellery Family (Box 17)

Series VIII. Photographs (Box 17)

Series IX. Fragments (Box 17)

Container List


Personal Correspondence to Eloise Ellery
Folder 1.1 Ellery, Frank M., 1891-1928 (25 letters, 1 w/ Xerox)
Folder 1.2 Ellery, Frank M., 1929 (1 poem - 2MS, 2 Xerox)
Folder 1.3 Hecht, Ilse, 1947-1952 (13 letters)
Folder 1.4 Hecht, Ilse, 1953 (9 letters)
Folder 1.5 Hecht, Ilse, 1954-1957 (10 letters, 1 postcard)
Folder 1.6 Lowrie, Rebecca, 1936-1951 (15 letters)
Folder 1.7 Lowrie, Rebecca, 1952-1953 (20 letters)
Folder 1.8 Lowrie, Rebecca, 1954 (19 letters)
Folder 1.9 Lowrie, Rebecca, 1955-1956, n.d. (10 letters)
Folder 1.10 Lowrie, Rebecca I, n.d. (5 Christmas cards)
Folder 1.11 Lowrie, Rebecca II, n.d. (5 Christmas cards, 1 tea mat)
Folder 1.12 Mott, Irene, 1924-1939 (3 letters, 1 Typescript)
Folder 2.13 Mott, Irene, 1942-1951, n.d. (4 letters, 1 Christmas card, with pictures)
Folder 2.14 Otley, Roberta, 1939-1958 (7 letters, 1 note)
Folder 2.15 Thompson, C. Mildred, 1941-1950 (13 letters, 1 postcard)
Folder 2.16 Thompson, C. Mildred, 1952 (6 letters, 2 postcards, 2 c.c.)
Folder 2.17 Thompson, C. Mildred, 1953-1954 (16 letters, 1 postcard)
Folder 2.18 Thompson, C. Mildred, 1955 (12 letters, 2 postcards, 1 c.c.)
Folder 2.19 Thompson, C. Mildred, 1956-1957, n.d. (15 letters, 1 postcard, fragments)
Folder 2.20 "Miss A"- Benet, 1952-1957, n.d. (8 letters, 9 postcards)
Folder 2.21 Blanding-Canda, 1946-1956, n.d. (12 letters, 4 cards, 3 postcards)
Folder 3.22 Clifford-Elsworth, 1951-1957, n.d. (15 letters, 4 cards, 1 postcard)
Folder 3.23 Foster-McClelland, 1939-1958, n.d. (9 letters, 6 cards, 6 postcards)
Folder 3.24 McKnight-Rapin, 1951-1958, n.d. (12 letters)
Folder 3.25 Reed-Zen, 1940-1957, n.d. (9 letters, 4 cards, 3 postcards)
Folder 3.26 Other Family correspondents, 1933-1956, n.d. (9 letters, 3 cards, 2 xeroxed telegrams, 4 announcements)
Personal Correspondence from Eloise Ellery
Folder 3.27 Mother and Father, 1899 (1 letter)
Folder 3.28 Frank M. Ellery, 1957 (3 letters)
Folder 3.29 Others, 1903-1957 (16 letters, 2 postcards)
Financial and Legal Correspondence to Eloise Ellery
Folder 3.30 Letters of receipt from Vassar College, 1933-1940 (12 letters, xerox)
Folder 3.31 Letters re: Salary and Pension, 1929-1939 (7 letters)
Folder 4.32 Letters re: Frazer Estate, 1935-1944 (9 letters)
Folder 4.33 Other financial and legal correspondence, 1933-1954 (5 letters)
Folder 4.34 Other professional correspondence, 1939-1956, n.d. (10 letters)
Financial and Legal Correspondence from Eloise Ellery
Folder 4.35 Letters re: Frazer Estate, 1934-1944 (3 letters, 4 c.c.)
Folder 4.36 Other professional correspondence, 1933-1954, n.d. (6 letters, 3 c.c.)
Correspondence about Eloise Ellery by Others
Folder 4.37 Letters to Dr. Jane Baldwin, 1958 (4 letters)
Folder 4.38 Letters to Helen D. Lockwood, 1958-1959 (11 letters, 1 c.c.)
Folder 4.39 Letters by Helen D. Lockwood, 1958 (11 letters, 1 note)
Folder 4.40 Other correspondence about Eloise Ellery by others, 1946-1958 (7 letters)
Frank M. Ellery Correspondence
Folder 4.41 Letters to Frank Ellery by other than Eloise, 1925-1929 (5 letters - 1 with copy, 1 with Xerox)
Folder 4.42 Letters by Frank Ellery to other than Eloise, 1897-1924 (3 letters)
Folder 4.43 Fragments or unidentified letters, n.d. (1 letter, 3 cards, 3 postcards, 1 envelope)


Unpublished Material
Folder 5.44 Barbour, Violet. "Memorandum on Professor Eloise Ellery," 1958 (10 page TS and draft)
Folder 5.45 Hecht, Ilse, April 20, 1940 (TS, 6 pages)
Folder 5.46 VC History Department. "Memorial minute," Oct. 6, 1958 (TS, 4 pages)
Folder 5.47 Lockwood, Helen D. "Some notes on E.E.'s Teaching," August 28, 1958 (TS, 3 pages)
Folder 5.48 Monnier, Mathilde. "Printemps," n.d. (TS, 8 pages)
Folder 5.49 Zen, Sophia Chen. "Miss E's Trip to China," 1923-1924 (TS, 5 pages w/pics)
Folder 5.50 Zen, Sophia Chen. "Art of Persuading an Absolute Monarch in Chinese History," [ca.1952] (TS 11 pages)
Folder 5.51 Reading Lists, [ca. 1948] (TS, 11 pages)
Folder 5.52 Unidentified literary works, 1850-1958, n.d. (3 items)
Published Material
Folder 5.53 Dunne, Finley Peter "Mr. Dooley...," March 13, 1912 (2 TS, 14 pages)
Folder 5.54 "News from Vassar" notices and drafts, 1958 (2 TS, 6 pages)


Addresses and Announcements
Folder 5.55 Faculty statement to President Taylor, [ca. 1913 - 1914] (TS, 2 pages)
Folder 5.56 Trustees accept resignation of Eloise, [March 1939] (TS, 1 page)
Folder 5.57 Speech given by Adlai Stevenson, June 7, 1954 (TS, 5 pages)
Articles Written by Eloise Ellery
Folder 6.58 Aricles in Current History, 1928-1929 (4 articles)
Articles Written about Eloise Ellery
Folder 6.59 Printed picture dedication, Vassarion, 1913 (2 pages)
Folder 6.60 "Eloise Ellery Chair," Alumnae Magazine, Dec. 1958 (1 page)
Folder 6.61 Guidebook of Geneve, (1 item)
Folder 6.62 Newcomer, Mabel, "You are a Taxpayer," 1939 (1 item)
Folder 6.63 Thompson, C. Mildred. "Carpet-baggers in U.S. Senate" and "Freedman's Bureau in Georgia," 1914-1921 (2 items)
Folder 6.64 Miscellaneous: Goodhart's "British Constitution," M.L. King's "Our Struggle," and the 50th Anniversary Security Trust Company 1942-1956 (3 items)
Newspaper Clippings
Folder 7.65 Articles about Eloise Ellery, 1915-1958 (10 articles)
Folder 7.66 Articles about Frank M. Ellery, 1926-1926, n.d. (21 articles)
Folder 7.67 Articles from Le Figaro, 1952-1953 (3 articles)
Folder 7.68 Ralph McGill Columns, 1952-1953 (3 articles)
Folder 7.69 Articles related to correspondents, 1949-1954, n.d. (8 articles)
Folder 7.70 Editorials, 1937-1954, n.d. (13 articles)
Folder 7.71 News articles, 1928-1955 (3 articles)
Folder 7.72 Obituaries, 1920-1958, n.d. (20 articles)
Folder 7.73 Political cartoons, 1951-1953 (3 cartoons)
Folder 7.74 Book reviews, 1953-1956 (2 articles)
Folder 7.75 Weather reports, [ca. 1924] (8 articles)
Folder 7.76 Electoral Voting reports, 1920-1928 (6 articles)
Folder 7.77 Miscellaneous, 1870-1954, n.d. (20 articles)


Eloise Ellery's Daily Diaries
Folder 8.78 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Dec. 25, 1940-Oct. 4, 1941
Folder 8.79 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1942-April 1, 1942
Folder 8.80 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1943-Nov. 24, 1943
Folder 8.81 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1944-Nov. 29, 1944
Folder 8.82 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1945-Dec. 31, 1945
Folder 8.83 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1946-Dec. 31, 1946
Folder 8.84 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1947-Dec. 31, 1947
Folder 9.85 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1948-Dec. 31, 1948
Folder 9.86 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1949-Dec. 28, 1949
Folder 9.87 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1950-Dec. 31, 1950
Folder 9.88 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1951-Dec. 31, 1951
Folder 9.89 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1952-Dec. 31, 1952
Folder 10.90 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1953-Dec. 31, 1953
Folder 10.91 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1954-Dec. 31, 1954
Folder 10.92 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1955-Jan. 1, 1956.
Folder 10.93 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1956-Nov. 1, 1956
Folder 10.94 Diary of Eloise Ellery, Jan. 1, 1957-Dec. 31, 1957
Record Books and Notes
Folder 11.95 Gradebook, 1926-1927
Folder 11.96 Gradebook, 1948-1939
Folder 11.97 Personal Health Record, 1953-1955
Folder 11.98 Journal of Books read and quotations, 1919-1956
Folder 12.99 Notes from reading I, (116 items)
Folder 12.100 Notes from reading II, (163 items)
Folder 12.101 Notes from reading III, (113 items)
Frank M. Ellery's Daily Diaries
Folder 13.102 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 3, 1910-Dec. 31, 1910
Folder 13.103 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 1, 1920-Dec. 31, 1920
Folder 14.104 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 1, 1923-Dec. 31, 1923
Folder 14.105 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 1, 1924-Dec. 31, 1924
Folder 15.106 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 1, 1928-Dec. 31, 1928
Folder 15.107 Diary of Frank Ellery, Jan. 1, 1929-Feb. 4, 1929
Folder 15.108 Items removed from diaries of Frank Ellery, (13 items)


Travel Documents
Folder 16.109 Itinerary of world tour, March 27, 1923 (4 pages)
Folder 16.110 Contract for tour, July 17, 1923 (7 pages)
Folder 16.111 Mail instructions while on tour, [1923-1924] (3 items)
Folder 16.112 Eloise Ellery's passports, 1923-1930 (3 items)
Folder 16.113 Frank Ellery's passport, 1923 (1 item)
Letter of Introduction
Folder 16.114 Letter from State Department, April 25, 1908 (1 notice w/seal)
Folder 16.115 Letter from President H.N. MacCracken, June 1, 1939 (1 page)
Library Cards
Folder 16.116 Cards from Library of Congress, Bibliotheque Nationale, 1934-1941 (3 cards)
Folder 16.117 Alling, Abby M.: Statement of accounts, [ca. 1929] (7 pages)
Folder 16.118 Alling, Abby M.: Receipt of assets, March 29, 1929 (2 pages)
Folder 16.119 Ellery, Eloise: Drafts of will, legatees, 1944-1955 (6 items)
Folder 16.120 Ellery, Eloise: Notices to executor, 1939-1955 (2 items)
Folder 16.121 Ellery, Eloise: Estate inventories by Helen D. Lockwood, 1958 (19 items)
Folder 16.122 Frazer, Mary, 1934-1944 (3 items)
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Diploma of Mary Alida Alling Rochester Collegiate Institute
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Eloise Ellery Vassar College Diploma, 1897
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Eloise Ellery Diploma Ph. D. Cornell University
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Eloise Ellery "Medalla de Plata..." from Don Antonio Maura y Montaner
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Frank M. Ellery two (2) certificates of admission to the New York State Bar, 20 June 1879, 13 June 1879
Mapcase - Drawer 36 Frank M. Ellery Broadside. Union School Number Ten, 10 April 1862 (photocopy)


Folder 17.123 Statement of investments, 1947 (2 pages)
Folder 17.124 Carnegie Foundation pension plan, [1930] (2 pages)
Folder 17.125 Bills and receipts - Eloise Ellery, 1940-1958 (6 items)
Folder 17.126 Bills and receipts - Frank Ellery, 1928 (1 item)


Folder 17.127 Biographical data Eloise Ellery, 1943-1951 (4 pages)
Folder 17.128 Biographical data Frank Ellery, (1 item)
Folder 17.129 Family trees and drafts, (11 items)
Folder 17.130 Geneology of John Sibley I, (20 pages)
Folder 17.131 Geneology of John Sibley II, (22 pages)


Folder 17.132 Photos of Eloise Ellery's family, including Frank Ellery, (14 photos)
Folder 17.134 Photos relating to Rebecca L. Lowrie, (10 photos)
Folder 17.135 Photos of C. Mildred Thompson, (7 photos)
Folder 17.136 Photos of others, (5 photos)
Folder 17.137 Unidenified photos, (9 photos)


Folder 17.138 Miscellaneous: war rationbook, folder covers with notations in Eloise Ellery's hand, (7 items)

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