Seton-Thompson, Grace Gallatin

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1872
Death 1959

Biographical notes:

Flyer for the First International Book Exhibit assembled for the International Conclave of Women Writers, 1933

Grace Gallatin was born in Sacramento, California on January 28, 1872. In 1888 she began writing articles for San Francisco newspapers under the pen name of Dorothy Dodge, and in 1892 graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute, in Brooklyn, NY. She married Ernest Thompson Seton in 1896, a founder of the Boy Scouts of America. Their daughter Ann (known as 'Anya') was born in 1904. Active for women's rights, Grace Seton served as vice president and president of the Connecticut Woman's Suffrage Association (1910-20), was president of Pen and Brush (1898-1939), and with her husband, helped to organize the Girl Pioneers (later the Camp Fire Girls) in 1910. During World War I, she organized and directed a women's motor unit to aid soldiers in France. She was President of the National League of Pen Women from 1926 to 1928 and from 1930 to 1932. She helped organize an international conference of women writers at the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933 and arranged an exhibit of 3,000 books by women, which later became the core of the Biblioteca Femina at Northwestern University. In the 1920s and 1930s Seton visited Japan, China, Indochina, Hawaii, Egypt and Latin American and later wrote books about her travels, including A Woman Tenderfoot (1900) and A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt (1923), Chinese Lanterns (1924), Yes, Lady Saheb (1925). Seton divorced in 1935. In the 1940s she followed Yogananda, traveling to his ashrams. She died in Palm Beach, Florida, March 19, 1959.

From the guide to the Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson Papers MS 143., 1903-1940, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Author; Feminist; Suffragist.

Born Grace Gallatin, Sacramento, CA, 1872; graduated Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 1892; married Ernest Thompson Seton 1896, founder of the Boy Scouts of America; daughter Ann (or 'Anya') was born 1904. Published A Woman Tenderfoot (1900) re: hunting and outdoor life in the Western U.S., and with husband, helped to organize the Girl Pioneers (Camp Fire Girls), 1910. During WWI, organized and directed women's motor unit to aid soldiers in France. She traveled extensively in 1920s and 30s, to remote areas of the China, the Far East, Indochina, Hawaii, Egypt and Latin America, and published several books about her travels, including A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt (1923), Chinese Lanterns (1924), Yes, Lady Saheb (1925). Was President of Pen and Brush (1898-1939); President of the National League of Pen Women (1926-28 and 1930-32); helped organize international conference of women writers at the Century of Progress Exposition (Chicago, 1933), and arranged exhibit of 3,000 books by women, which later became the core of the Biblioteca Femina at Northwestern University. Was also active in women's rights as member of the International Council of Women, National Council of Women, and as vice president and president of the Connecticut Woman's Suffrage Association (1910-20). She died in 1959.

From the description of Papers, 1903-1940. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 50121328

Author, feminist, and committeewoman, Grace (Gallatin) Seton was born in Sacramento, Calif., and graduated from the Packer Collegiate Institute in New York City in 1892. During a trip to Europe in 1894, she met Ernest Thompson Seton, a naturalist and writer. They married in 1896 and had one child, a daughter Ann, nicknamed Anya, who became a well-known writer. Seton frequently accompanied her husband on camping trips, and in 1900 published her first book, A Woman Tenderfoot, describing a trip on horseback through the Rockies. She was instrumental in organizing a woman's motor unit in France during World War I, bringing food and other aid to soldiers. By the late 1920's, Seton had separated from her husband; they were divorced in 1935.

An active committeewoman and ardent suffragist, Seton served as vice-president and later president of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association (1910-1920). She was president of the National League of American Pen Women (1926-1928 and 1930-1932), doubling the number of branches of that organization. As chair of letters of the National Council of Women (1933-1938), she established the Biblioteca Femina, a collection of 2,000 volumes by women from all over the world. The collection was later donated to the Northwestern University Library. She also belonged to the Women's National Republican Club, Pen and Brush, the Society of Woman Geographers, and other organizations.

Seton traveled widely during the 1920s and 1930s, visiting remote parts of Japan, China, Egypt, India, South America, and Indochina, and wrote five books about her adventures, including A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt (1923) and Poison Arrows (1938). Captivated by mysticism and eastern religions, she published The Singing Traveler (1947), a collection of poems expressing these beliefs. She died in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1959. For further biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980).

From the description of Papers, 1878-1989 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232006837

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Subjects:

  • Voyages and travels
  • Women authors
  • Divorce
  • Women authors, American--20th century--Sources
  • Women hunters--History--20th century--Sources
  • Women--Suffrage--Songs and music
  • Camping
  • Feminists--United States--History--20th century
  • Women travelers--History--20th century--Sources
  • Feminists--History--20th century
  • Women--Suffrage
  • Spiritual life
  • Love-letters

Occupations:

  • Authors

Places:

  • China (as recorded)
  • Indonesia (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • Egypt (as recorded)
  • Indonesia (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)