Women's Trade Union League and Its Leaders Reel Listing Anderson, Mary

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Reel: 32
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

June 1929 - March 1930

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; MDR takes on a new responsibility during the period of this reel, as a member of the planning committee of the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, and then as a member of its Committee on Vocational Guidance and Child Labor. Letters from Ray Lyman Wilbur, Grace Abbott, Louise de Koven Bowen, Mary McDowell, Congressman Morris Sheppard, and others pertain to Conference matters. As an offshoot, MDR also participates in the Florida Health Council. Otherwise, her interests continue much as before: the YWCA, local, regional, and national; her Chinsegut Hill estate and its new outpost, a cottage on the Gulf Coast, named Bimini's Isle after her current family nickname. An increasing number of speaking and social engagements take her to other central Florida cities, now accessible by good roads. A letter to Henrietta Roelofs (Mar. 28, 1930) gives a detailed report on the varied and extensive program of her local YWCA. Raymond Robins still spends most of his time on the road, but during one of his Chinsegut sojourns he delivers an address on prohibition in St. Petersburg that holds a large crowd enthralled. MDR's life so far seems untouched by the depression, although letters in early 1930 from James Mullenbach and Amy G. Maher describe severe unemployment in Chicago and Toledo.There are fewer letters than usual from MDR's most faithful WTUL correspondents, Elisabeth Christman and Mary Anderson, but Agnes Nestor continues her reports from Chicago, and several letters from Rose Schneiderman suggest a somewhat warmer bond with MDR than in the past. The League's involvement in the current Southern textile strikes is mentioned, but without much detail; Matilda Lindsay gives on-the-spot leadership, with assistance from Elisabeth Christman, who makes at least one trip through the area. MDR's friendship with President Hoover helps win the Women's Bureau an extra appropriation to investigate the health of women workers in industry (MDR to Hoover, Aug. 7, 1929; Mary Anderson to MDR, Oct. 30, 1929).The reel includes several letters each from Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy W. Peabody, and Alice Thacher Post; two each from Jane Addams and Stella Franklin; and single letters from John B. Andrews, President Hoover, Mrs. Hoover, Florence Kelley, Paul U. Kellogg, S.O. Levinson, the English labor leader Kate Manicom, Harriet Monroe, and Harriet Taylor Upton. A letter from Mary McDowell expresses her growing interest in interracial work.

Reel: 33
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

April - December 1930

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; MDR's continued interest in the YWCA is seen in correspondence with Florida leaders and with Eleanor Copenhaven and Henrietta Roelofs of the national office. She describes recent activities of her local YWCA in a letter to Roelofs of Dec. 1, 1930. She is delighted when her sister Mary is elected to the YWCA's national board in May. Other activities of these months are a party in celebration of the Robinses' 25th wedding anniversary, held at the Edward Dreiers' Long Island home (see MDR's description in a letter to Anne Mullenbach, Oct. 17, and related material on Reel 1), a long summer sojourn at Southwest Harbor, Maine, with Mary Dreier, during which she receives frequent letters from Lisa von Borowsky and from Florida friends; and the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, which meets in November. By the end of 1930 the Robinses have begun to feel the pinch of the depression, as income from their investments declines.There is less WTUL correspondence here than on previous reels: one letter from Agnes Nestor (which includes a description of her work on the Governor's Commission on Unemployment and Relief), one from Rose Schneiderman, and two letters plus several telegrams from Elisabeth Christman. By vote of the 1929 national convention, the League's national headquarters moves in May to Washington, a shift which MDR regards as a mistake. In response to an urgent call in July from Schneiderman, MDR attends an executive board meeting held to discuss the League's Southern campaign. That campaign meets a severe test in the prolonged strike of textile workers in Danville, Virginia. Letters in September from Elisabeth Christman and Francis J. Gorman of the United Textile Workers describe the strike. As conditions worsen, MDR telegraphs President Hoover asking him to receive a committee representing the strikers (he steers them instead to the Secretary of Labor) and ships off relief supplies through her local YWCA.Mary Anderson's letters on this reel make little reference to WTUL matters but include her estimate of the significance of the 1930 elections. Mary McDowell (Apr. 7) describes her visit to Atlanta University and her dinner with John Hope. Katherine Dreier (Apr. 14-16) gives an account of her successful sponsorship in Germany of performances by the dancer Ted Shawn and exhibits of paintings by Dorothea Dreier and Walter Shirlaw. Anna W. Ickes comments on her work in the Illinois legislature and gives her impressions of Ruth Hanna McCormick (Apr. 26, Nov. 6). Other correspondents include Grace Abbott, Jane Addams, Mollie Ray Carroll, and Stella Franklin.

Reel: 34
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

January - July 1931

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; Two topics of the last reel carry over onto this one: the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection and the hard-fought textile workers' strike in Danville, Virginia. President Hoover appoints MDR to a continuing committee to carry forward the work of the Conference, about which she corresponds with H.E. Barnard and others. She also participates in Florida undertakings inspired by the Conference and speaks at the State Conference of Social Work. Already concerned with public health needs in her home county, she spends much of the summer of 1931 in the North trying to raise funds to build a hospital and community health center in Brooksville. The Danville strike, conducted from the WTUL's national office in Washington, comes to a precarious settlement in January. Letters from Elisabeth Christman and Mary Anderson describe in some detail the League's role and the negotiations leading to the settlement; letters from Matilda Lindsay, Irma Hochstein, and Rose Schneiderman also touch on the strike. Still pursuing its Southern project, the WTUL in March 1931 holds a Southern Industrial Conference at Greensboro, North Carolina, with the aim of building public support for unionization. MDR reluctantly leaves her Florida concerns to attend and address the conference, as does Raymond Robins. Letters from Christman, Lindsay, and Hochstein touch on these and other League matters, including strong pressure on Elisabeth Christman from the Secretary of Labor to accept a post in his department (she declines) and her attendance at a conference of the International Labor Organization in Geneva. Mary Anderson, also planning to attend, is at the last moment barred by the State Department because of a publicity release implying that she would be representing the government at this agency of the League of Nations, then unrecognized by the United States. Agnes Nestor continues her occasional reports from Chicago.In her own affairs, MDR continues to direct her local YWCA and to receive a steady flow of guests at Chinsegut, among them Grace Abbott of the Children's Bureau and Dr. Howard A. Kelly of Johns Hopkins, whom she had met some years before while raising funds for a Baltimore strike. With the collapse of the Florida citrus market, MDR sells her extensive crop directly to friends in the North. Her ties with Rollins College, where her nephew Theodore is now teaching, strengthen. The college awards her an honorary degree in February and later makes her a trustee. In April, when drastic stock market losses threaten their ability to meet the expenses of their estate, the Robinses offer it as a gift to Rollins, but the trustees decide against the plan.In other correspondence, Lucy Randolph Mason in a series of letters reports on the activities of the newly founded Southern Council on Women and Children in Industry. Lucy W. Peabody discusses a proposed commission of women to draw up a report on the enforcement of prohibition, and Daniel A. Poling writes of the cross-country speaking campaign planned by the Allied Forces for Prohibition, with Raymond Robins as a participant. A letter from Anna W. Ickes (Jan. 9) comments further about Ruth Hanna McCormick. There are single letters on the reel from Grace Abbott, Mollie Ray Carroll, Stella Franklin, Frank P. Graham, O. Latham Hatcher, Alice Henry, Harold Ickes, Paul U. Kellogg, Ruth Bryan Owen, and Mary Van Kleeck.

Reel: 35
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

August 1931 - February 1932

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; Uppermost in MDR's concerns during the period of this reel is the future of Chinsegut. Once Rollins College has decided not to take the estate, the Robinses offer it to the federal government. (The plan gives them lifetime tenure of their hilltop house and grounds.) Raymond Robins, visiting Washington in late summer, wins the approval of President Hoover and other key officials (see Hoover's letter to MDR, Sept. 10, and Robins' letters on Reel 60), but a prolonged period follows of correspondence and visits from Department of Agriculture experts as details of the transfer are worked out. Further stock market losses in September seriously undermine the Robinses' finances and make them eager to complete the transfer before another year's taxes come due. Since both MDR and her husband are involved in the negotiations, letters to both are included and interfiled on this reel.Preoccupied with Chinsegut affairs, MDR does not attend the October 1931 meeting of the WTUL's national executive board, although Mary Dreier, who does, implies that she should have. At the request of Elisabeth Christman, MDR writes an article for Life and Labor Bulletin on the unemployment crisis, but withdraws it when Christman proposes changes. The episode is symptomatic of a broader disagreement over the question of unemployment relief, a question discussed at some length on this reel. Christman and Mary Dreier (who is actively working for a state unemployment insurance law) see no solution but federal aid. MDR opposes a "dole" and favors state action and a voluntarist approach through community cooperation. In other WTUL correspondence, letters from Dreier in January describe the serious impact of the deepening depression on the National WTUL's finances. Besides frequent letters from Christman, there are several from Matilda Lindsay, two from Agnes Nestor, and one from Rose Schneiderman.Within her own community, MDR secures county and school public health nurses, supporting them partly from her own funds, partly from funds raised in her unsuccessful attempt to found a local hospital. She also gathers information on county nursing elsewhere, as from Dr. L. Rosa H. Gantt in North Carolina. MDR's nephew John C. Dreier sends a series of letters describing his travels in Russia. Katherine Dreier (Feb. 17, 1932) writes of the dancer Ted Shawn, whose work she is aiding. James Mullenbach (Feb. 14) describes the unemployment-relief crisis in Chicago and the shaky condition of Hart, Schaffner & Marx and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. Other correspondents on the reel include Nancy Astor, Anna W. Ickes, Daniel A. Poling, and Henrietta Roelofs of the YWCA (two letters each); and, in single letters, Jane Addams, Louise de Koven Bowen, Alice Henry, Dwight W. Morrow, and Mary Rozet Smith.

Reel: 36
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

March - September 1932

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; Chinsegut Hill, the Robinses' Florida estate, is formally deeded to the United States on Apr. 9, 1932. Public announcement of the gift brings a rush of visitors and many letters. Subsequent correspondence on the reel, particularly with Dr. Albert F. Woods, the Department of Agriculture official having immediate oversight of the project, details some of the changes that follow as the government begins to convert the estate into a wildlife refuge and agricultural experiment station. Meanwhile MDR continues her community and social activities. A high point is the two weeks' visit of Jane Addams and her companion Mary Rozet Smith, culminating in a reception at Chinsegut that draws 497 guests (March 1932). This visit establishes a new warmth of friendship between MDR and Addams, as seen in the latter's four letters on this reel.On her way north in June to visit her sister in Maine, MDR spends two days as a White House guest of the Hoovers. (The reel includes two personal letters from the President and two from Mrs. Hoover.) Letters in the summer and fall from F.B. Coogler, John Patterson, and S.O. Levinson indicate her growing involvement in the affairs of the First National Bank of Brooksville, Florida, which she and her husband are helping to keep afloat during the depression. A severe blow descends upon MDR in early September when Raymond Robins, bound for a White House appointment in Washington, disappears after checking out from the City Club in New York. His recent nationwide campaign for enforcement of the prohibition laws prompts speculation that he may have been kidnapped or killed by gangsters involved in the liquor traffic. Material in the Robinses' personal correspondence (see Reel 61) suggests that there was some basis for such fears.Elisabeth Christman continues to keep MDR posted on affairs of the WTUL. As her letters and others by Mary Anderson and Mary Dreier suggest, financing the League's operations is becoming increasingly difficult. In a letter of May 31, Christman describes in concrete detail how unemployment is affecting working women in New York and how the New York League is providing them with art and dressmaking classes. A letter from Rose Schneiderman also touches on the New York WTUL's program, and Agnes Nestor in two letters reports on the Chicago League. MDR in her letters to Elisabeth Christman gives her own ideas about what the League should be doing: working with women's groups and boards of education to set up classes for the unemployed, and publishing human stories about particular working girls to gain public support and funding.In other letters, Mary Dreier mentions her lobbying work for a state unemployment insurance bill and describes the religious program of the Oxford Group, led by Frank Buchman, in which their niece Antoinette Dreier Stearly and her husband are involved. Stella Franklin writes of the difficulties of pursuing a literary career in Australia. The reel also includes one or two letters each from Alice Henry, Hamilton Holt, Howard A. Kelly, Mary McDowell, James Mullenbach, Elizabeth Robins, Fred B. Smith, and Lea D. Taylor.

Reel: 37
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

October 1932 - February 1933

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; Raymond Robins' eleven-week disappearance, his discovery in a small North Carolina town, an apparent victim of amnesia, his return to Chinsegut, and his subsequent recovery dominate this reel. Correspondence on the first part of the reel is almost entirely with members of the family. It suggests the major roles played by Edward and John Dreier, MDR's brother and nephew, in cooperating with police and other officials during the search, the active support of President Hoover and members of the administration, and MDR's strong faith, voiced in letters to her sister Mary, that Robins is alive and will return. During the period of his recovery, the correspondence includes some letters to Robins as well as to MDR.Around the turn of the year, material on the reel broadens. There is correspondence with Department of Agriculture officials about trees and shrubs, fencing, and fire protection on the Chinsegut experiment station. MDR writes in December to President Hoover to press the station's needs; Hoover replies warmly and invites MDR and her husband for a White House visit in February. Affairs of the Brooksville bank continue to involve MDR, who enlists the aid of S.O. Levinson, Chicago lawyer and founder of the outlawry of war movement, in dealing with them. Only a handful of letters concern the WTUL: two from Elisabeth Christman and several by MDR to her, one urging that the League endorse Frances Perkins for Secretary of Labor (she herself writes to Franklin D. Roosevelt to urge the appointment), another voicing her current enthusiasm for the back-to-the-land movement, which seeks to get city families into secure country homes where they can grow food for their own subsistence. Mary Dreier in January becomes executive secretary of the New York Conference for Unemployment Insurance Legislation, along with her volunteer work for the YWCA and as chairman of the industrial committee of the Women's City Club. Other correspondents on the reel include Mary Anderson, Alice Henry, Elizabeth Robins, and, in single letters, Charles R. Crane, Lou Henry Hoover, Mary McDowell, Mary L. Morrisson (who recalls their suffrage and reform days in Chicago), and Mary Rozet Smith.

Reel: 38
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

March - December 1933

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; MDR's life resumes much of its earlier pattern on this reel. She is busy once more with the Hernando County YWCA and concerned with the natural beauty of Chinsegut. Her deep distress when the government superintendent decides in May to cut down the large pines she has long cherished in the pastureland near the entrance to the estate is mitigated in December when an Agriculture Department agent arrives to plan new plantings on the hilltop. There is considerable correspondence about these and other matters pertaining to Chinsegut, including the first wiring of the Robins home for electricity. Raymond Robins, his recovery complete, sails in April for a visit to Russia to gain material for a new lecture tour. The American recognition of Russia he has long urged takes place in November; Mary Dreier describes a dinner honoring the event, at which he speaks.Two other matters in which MDR is involved bulk large on this reel. One is the Brooksville bank, of which she is elected vice president in March. Correspondence throughout the reel reflects her work with S.O. Levinson to tighten the bank's loan policies, cut its salaries, and secure support from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. A letter from Levinson to Gibbs Lyons of the Treasury Department (Dec. 22) details the extent to which the Robinses had committed their own funds to keep the bank afloat. MDR is also deeply involved in a faculty revolt at Rollins College. One of the insurgents, as early as March, is her nephew Theodore Dreier, whose letters chronicle the developing crisis. MDR as a Rollins trustee seeks to mediate the conflict during the spring and summer, and when her efforts fail she resigns; Theodore Dreier that fall is one of the leaders in the founding of Black Mountain College. Material on these developments can be found in letters by MDR, Theodore Dreier, his wife Barbara, and Ethel Dreier.Mary Dreier's life, as seen in her letters on this reel, takes a new turn with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She attends his inauguration as a member of the inner circle, along with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook. In June the Roosevelts stop off on their way to Campobello to visit Mary Dreier at her summer home in Maine, anchoring the presidential yacht offshore. Mary Dreier in April is called by Secretary of Labor Perkins to a conference of labor leaders and economists in Washington. She is appointed to the state Advisory Board for the Minimum Wage and to the Regional Labor Board for the NRA. She is also, at a March meeting of the national executive board, elected vice president of the WTUL. In a September letter she indicates that the New York League is "booming." Mary Anderson's letters on this reel give some details of WTUL affairs, but other material is sparse: two letters from Elisabeth Christman (her relations with MDR temporarily cooled by disagreement over pension payments to Alice Henry) and one from Agnes Nestor. Other correspondents on the reel include Alice Henry, James Mullenbach, Elizabeth Robins, and, in one or two letters each, Jane Addams, Louise de Koven Bowen, Herbert Hoover, Paul U. Kellogg, Fred B. Smith, and Mary Rozet Smith.

Reel: 39
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

January - December 1934

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; MDR during 1934 sustains a high level of activity. She entertains many visitors at Chinsegut, both personal friends and Agriculture Department specialists; the federal government's policies toward her former estate at times rouse her objections. Within the Brooksville community, she continues to direct the YWCA and its bookshop and to wrestle with the problems of the First National Bank, with long-range aid from S.O. Levinson; in January she organizes with great success the county's President's Birthday Ball, part of a nationwide effort to raise funds to combat polio. Her involvement with the WTUL remains minimal. Mary Dreier, now acting president of the New York League while Rose Schneiderman holds a Washington post in the NRA, refers briefly in her letters to WTUL affairs, including a disagreement between the League and her own New York Conference for Unemployment Insurance over which of two bills currently before the legislature should be supported. The reel includes two letters from Schneiderman, two from Agnes Nestor, several from Mary Anderson, and one from Mollie Dowd, a new national board member. There are no letters here from Elisabeth Christman, although MDR replies to one such letter in September, when she declines the chairmanship of a WTUL committee to aid striking textile workers in the South.In other letters, Theodore Dreier sends occasional reports on the progress of Black Mountain College. MDR's other nephew, John Dreier, describes the Washington atmosphere of early 1934 as seen from his post in the Department of the Interior. Annie-Kate Gilbert of the national office of the YWCA notes (May 18) the strong emphasis on "trade unionism and the rights of Negro workers" in the industrial section of the YWCA's national convention. Anne Mellen of Chicago sends word of Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith. Other correspondents include Louise de Koven Bowen, Elizabeth Robins, Fred B. Smith, and, in single letters, Jane Addams, Dr. Richard C. Cabot, Alice Henry, Lou Henry Hoover, Anna W. Ickes, and James Mullenbach.

Reel: 40
Robins, Margaret Dreier.

Margaret Dreier Robins Correspondence.

January - October 1935

Collection I: Margaret Dreier Robins Papers, University of Florida Libraries; Her Chinsegut home and the surrounding agricultural experiment station remain MDR's principal focus of interest during most of this reel. She is pleased by the opening in June of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp to work on the woodlands; but delays in the completion of farm buildings and roads and the demotion and then dismissal of Dr. E.W. Sheets, the Agriculture Department official with whom the Robinses have had the closest bond, suggest a possible coolness toward the project in Washington, a coolness which Raymond Robins seeks to remedy. (Sheets' own account of his demotion can be found on Reel 6.) These concerns keep MDR at Chinsegut throughout the summer, preventing her usual sojourn in Maine. The reel contains a few letters about the Brooksville bank, whose affairs seem now to have stabilized, and two regarding the county Red Cross chapter, of which MDR is chairman. She and Raymond Robins visit Chicago in June to speak at memorial services for their old friend James Mullenbach, long a key figure in the arbitration machinery set up under the trade agreement with the clothing firm of Hart, Schaffner & Marx. MDR enjoys renewing old Chicago acquaintances, particularly with Ethel S. Dummer; the reel includes several letters from Dummer, and MDR describes Dummer's work at some length in a letter to Mary Dreier (June 27). The lives of both Robinses undergo a sharp change in late September when Raymond, while pruning a tree behind their home, falls twenty-five feet to the ground and suffers injuries which leave his legs largely paralyzed. The last part of the reel contains many letters of sympathy and concern from relatives and friends, including Fred B. Smith, Elizabeth Robins, Mary McDowell, Graham Taylor, John Fitzpatrick, Lillian Wald, Howard A. Kelly, and Hermann HagedornAffairs of the WTUL are touched upon in letters from MDR's usual correspondents: Mary Anderson (six letters), Agnes Nestor (five), Elisabeth Christman (four), and Rose Schneiderman (one). One of Nestor's letters (Sept. 25) reports an encouraging growth of interest in the League among younger trade union women. One Christman letter (Oct. 7) includes a good budget of national WTUL news; another (Oct. 31) describes at length the AF of L convention at which the issue of industrial unionism was debated, including the first fight between John L. Lewis and William L. Hutcheson of the carpenters. Letters from Mary Dreier report agreement among the WTUL officers to postpone the national convention originally scheduled for 1935, and suggest (Mar. 26) Mary Winslow as a candidate for president, to replace Rose Schneiderman, who has not been able to give the job any of her time. Mary Dreier also reports the final passage of a state unemployment insurance bill and describes some of the work of the state minimum wage board, to which she was appointed in April. Five letters on the reel from Louise de Koven Bowen deal at length with Jane Addams' death and funeral, Hull House affairs, and current politics. Theodore Dreier's letters include a few items about Black Mountain College. Other correspondents on the reel include Mary McDowell, Harold L. Ickes, the botanist John K. Small, and the missionary Ida S. Scudder (one letter).

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