Bingham, Millicent Todd, 1880-1968

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Millicent Todd Bingham, geographer, author, and editor of Emily Dickinson's poems and letters, was born February 5, 1880, in Washington, D.C. Her father, David Peck Todd, was a professor of astronomy at Amherst College from 1881 to 1917. Her mother, Mabel (Loomis) Todd, was a noted lecturer and author who, with Thomas Wentworth Higginson, first edited the poems and letters of her Amherst neighbor, Emily Dickinson. (Note: for biographical information about David Peck Todd and Mabel Loomis Todd, see the registers for their papers, MSS Groups 496B and 496C.)

Millicent Todd attended private schools in Amherst and Boston and in 1902 graduated from Vassar College. She was an instructor of French at Vassar (1902-1904) and at Wellesley College (1906-1907). In 1905-1906, she studied at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, and in 1909-1910 at the University of Berlin. Her interest in geography developed from travels to remote parts of the world, when she accompanied her father on astronomical expeditions to the Dutch East Indies (1901), Tripoli (1905), Chile and Peru (1907), and Kiev, Russia (1914). In 1916, she began graduate studies in geography and geology at Radcliffe College, Harvard University, receiving the M.A. degree in 1917 and the Ph.D. in 1923.

In 1918-1919 she worked at a YMCA canteen at a hospital in Angers, France, and lectured on geography to American soldiers at the University of Grenoble, under the U.S. Army Education Corps. At the same time, she studied geography under Raoul Blanchard at Grenoble. In 1928-1929, she returned to teaching at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College. Her writings on geography include: Peru, a Land of Contrasts (1914); "An Investigation of Geographic Controls in Peru" (Ph.D. dissertation, 1923); "La Floride du Sud-est et la Ville de Miami" (1932), and "Miami, a Study in Urban Geography" (1948). In addition, she translated Raoul Blanchard's Geography of France (1919), and Vidal de la Blache's Principles of Human Geography (1926).

While in France during World War I, Millicent Todd became engaged to Joe C. Thomas, a soldier who later broke the engagement. On December 4, 1920, she married Walter VanDyke Bingham, a psychologist whom she had met several years earlier. Bingham was born October 20, 1880. He graduated from Beloit College in 1901, received the M.A. degree from Harvard in 1907 and the Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1908. From 1915 to 1924, he was professor of psychology and head of the division of applied psychology at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Bingham directed the Personnel Research Federation from 1924 to 1934 and served with the Army's Committee on classification of personnel during both world wars. He wrote several books on psychology and industrial (employment) psychology.

After her return from an international geographical congress in Paris in 1931, Millicent Todd Bingham was asked by her mother to open a chest containing manuscript poems and letters written by Emily Dickinson. For over thirty years, Mabel Loomis Todd had been prevented from publishing these papers by legal controversies with Dickinson relatives. She urged Millicent to publish the remaining poems and letters. Soon after her mother's death in 1932, Mrs. Bingham reluctantly abandoned her career in geography to begin what became a personal crusade to publish Emily Dickinson's manuscripts and to bolster Mabel Loomis Todd's reputation as the person most responsible for bringing Emily Dickinson's poetry to public attention. In 1945, she edited Bolts of Melody, a collection of 600 previously unpublished poems, and published Ancestors' Brocades, a narrative describing the controversy between Mabel Loomis Todd and the Dickinson family over publication rights to the poems. In 1950, Mrs. Bingham herself became embroiled in legal battles when her publisher, Harper and Brothers, clashed with Harvard University over ownership of the Dickinson publication rights. This controversy delayed publication of Emily Dickinson's Home, a collection of family letters, until 1955. Meanwhile, by special agreement with Harvard, she published Emily Dickinson - A Revelation (1954), containing some of Dickinson's previously unpublished letters.

Despite her preoccupation with Emily Dickinson's work, Millicent Todd Bingham sustained her prevailing interest in geography, becoming involved in a number of conservation and natural history activities. In 1935, she established the Todd Wildlife Sanctuary in memory of her mother, with family property on Hog Island, Muscongus Bay, Maine. The sanctuary was administered by the National Audubon Society, which established on the island its first camp for the instruction of adults in principles of conservation. Mrs. Bingham officially donated the Todd Wildlife Sanctuary to the National Audubon Society in 1960, One year later she presented the Mabel Loomis Todd Forest, located on Mount Orient in Pelham, Massachusetts, to Amherst College. The forest was dedicated to her mother, who had purchased the eighty-seven acre tract in 1909 to preserve it from commercial exploitation.

In addition to her writings on geography, Emily Dickinson, and conservation, Millicent Todd Bingham wrote numerous articles on travel, solar eclipses, family and friends. Her books include The Life of Mary S. Stearns (1909), Eben Jenks Loomis (1913), and Mabel Loomis Todd, Her Contributions to the Town of Amherst (1935). She received honorary degrees from Dickinson College in 1952, and from Amherst College in 1957.

After her husband's death on July 7, 1952, Mrs. Bingham established the Walter VanDyke Bingham Memorial Lectures in psychology, given at various universities in the United States and England. She spent much of her remaining years seeking to ensure the historical reputations of her family, including Eben Jenks Loomis, Mahlon Loomis, John Wilder, David Peck Todd, Mabel Loomis Todd, and herself. Millicent Todd Bingham died December 1, 1968, in Washington, D.C., at the age of eighty-eight.

From the guide to the Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson collection, 1853-1960. Yale University Library
creatorOf Bingham, Millicent Todd, 1880-1968. Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Todd, David P. (David Peck), 1855-1939. David Peck Todd papers, 1862-1939 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977. Correspondence, 1938-1950. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Mabel Loomis Todd papers, 1863-1948 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Todd, Mabel Loomis, 1856-1932. Mabel Loomis Todd papers, 1863-1948 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson collection, 1833-1957. Amherst College Library
referencedIn Pohl, Josephine Pollitt. Papers relating to Emily Dickinson, [ca. 1932 - ca. 1950] Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Katharine Edith Brand Papers MS 248., 1881-1988, 1965-1980 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Brand, Katharine Edith. Katharine Edith Brand Papers, 1881-1988 (bulk 1965-80). Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Hillyer, Robert, 1895-1961. Papers, 1725-1961. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Sewall, Richard Benson. Richard Benson Sewall papers, 1870-1984 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Todd, David P. (David Peck), 1855-1939. David Peck Todd papers, 1862-1939 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson papers, 1847-1956. Library of Congress
creatorOf Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson papers, 1844-1891 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Carpenter, Margaret Haley. Papers of Margaret Haley Carpenter [manuscript], 1898-1985, bulk 1953-1985. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Todd-Bingham picture collection, 1837-1966 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Bingham, Millicent Todd, 1880-1968. TLS, 1946 Feb. 6, Washington, D.C., to Johanna Gottlieb, New York, N.Y. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Emily Dickinson Collection, 1840-2005, 1850-1955 Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
creatorOf Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson collection, 1853-1960. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Correspondence, 1860-1979. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Todd-Bingham memorabilia collection, 1832-1962 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Robert Hillyer Papers, 1906-1962 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Todd family. Todd-Bingham picture collection, 1837-1966 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Rogers Memorial Collection: Henry Munroe Rogers papers, 1812-1937 (inclusive), 1862-1937 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Todd-Bingham memorabilia collection, 1832-1962 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Anderson, Charles Roberts, 1902-1999. Charles Roberts Anderson papers, 1955-1984. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Todd, Mabel Loomis, 1856-1932. Mabel Loomis Todd letters, 1932. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries, UNCG University Libraries
referencedIn Amy Lowell correspondence, 1883-1927 (inclusive), 1910-1925 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Todd, Mabel Loomis, 1856-1932. Mabel Loomis Todd papers, 1863-1948 (inclusive) Yale University Library
referencedIn Carlton and Territa A. Lowenberg, Collection on Dickinson, 1825-1991 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
referencedIn David Peck Todd papers, 1862-1939 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anderson, Charles Roberts, 1902-1999. person
associatedWith Anderson, Harriet. person
associatedWith Anderson, Harriet. person
associatedWith Angell, James Rowland, 1869-1949. person
associatedWith Berryman, Clifford Kennedy, 1869- person
associatedWith Bingham, Walter Van Dyke, 1880-1952. person
associatedWith Brand, Katharine Edith person
associatedWith Brand, Katharine Edith. person
associatedWith Brand, Katharine Edith. person
associatedWith Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925. person
associatedWith Cable, George Washington, 1844-1925. person
associatedWith Canby, Henry Seidel, 1878-1961. person
associatedWith Carpenter, Margaret Haley. person
associatedWith Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. person
associatedWith Ciardi, John, 1916-1986. person
associatedWith Commager, Henry Steele, 1902-1998. person
associatedWith De Voto, Bernard Augustine, 1897-1955. person
associatedWith Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 person
associatedWith Ferguson, Leonard. person
associatedWith Ferguson, Leonard. person
associatedWith Flanders, Ralph Edward, 1880- person
associatedWith Freeman, Dorothy. person
associatedWith Freeman, Dorothy. person
associatedWith Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. person
associatedWith Gillies, Florence. person
associatedWith Gillies, Florence. person
associatedWith Gottlieb, Johanna, person
associatedWith Grosvenor, Gilbert Hovey, 1875-1966. person
associatedWith Harding, Walter. person
associatedWith Harding, Walter. person
associatedWith Harvard University. corporateBody
associatedWith Herrick, Phillip. person
associatedWith Herrick, Phillip. person
associatedWith Hillyer, Robert, 1895-1961. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. person
associatedWith Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920. person
associatedWith Hunt, Norman. person
associatedWith Hunt, Norman. person
associatedWith James, Ellen S. Curtiss. person
associatedWith James, Ellen S. Curtiss. person
associatedWith Kohn, John S. Van E. person
associatedWith Kohn, John S. Van E. person
associatedWith Loomis, Eben Jenks, 1828-1912. person
associatedWith Loomis, Elisha Scott, 1852- person
associatedWith Loomis, George. person
associatedWith Loomis, George. person
associatedWith Loomis, George C. person
associatedWith Loomis, George C. person
associatedWith Loomis, Harriet E. B. person
associatedWith Loomis, Harriet E.B. person
associatedWith Loomis, Katherine. person
associatedWith Loomis, Katherine. person
associatedWith Loomis, Mary Alden Wilder, 1831-1910. person
associatedWith Loomis, Sarah E. person
associatedWith Loomis, Sarah E. person
associatedWith Loṕez Aldana, Ferrando, Pres. of Peru, 1784-1841. person
associatedWith Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925. person
associatedWith Lowenberg, Carlton person
associatedWith Lowenberg, Territa A. person
associatedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. person
associatedWith Marquand, John Phillips, 1893-1960. person
associatedWith Marsh, Othniel Charles, 1831-1899. person
associatedWith Mead, Margaret, 1901- person
associatedWith Milinowski, Marta, 1885- person
associatedWith Monnier, Mathilde. person
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Munson, Marguerite. person
associatedWith Munson, Marguerite. person
associatedWith Noble, Mabel Stearns. person
associatedWith Noble, Mabel Stearns. person
associatedWith Palmer, Alice Elvira Freeman, 1855-1902. person
associatedWith Palmer, Frederick, 1873- person
associatedWith Palmer, Frederick, 1873- person
associatedWith Palmer, George Herbert, 1842-1933. person
associatedWith Palmer, Helen. person
associatedWith Palmer, Helen. person
associatedWith Palmer, Mary. person
associatedWith Palmer, Mary. person
associatedWith Perkins, Frances, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Pezet, A. Washington. person
associatedWith Pezet, A. Washington. person
associatedWith Pezet, Federico Alfonso. person
associatedWith Pezet, Frederico Alfonso. person
associatedWith Plimpton, Calvin Hastings, 1918- person
associatedWith Pohl, Josephine Pollitt. person
associatedWith Rogers, Henry Munroe, 1839-1937 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
associatedWith Ruihley, G.R. person
associatedWith Russell, Ada, 1879- person
associatedWith Sawyer, Elizabeth C. person
associatedWith Sawyer, Elizabeth C. person
associatedWith Semple, Ellen Churchill, 1863-1932. person
associatedWith Sewall, Richard Benson. person
associatedWith Smith, Margaret Chase, 1898- person
associatedWith Society of Women Geographers. corporateBody
associatedWith Stearns, Alfred Ernest, 1871-1949. person
associatedWith Stearns, Arthur French, 1864- person
associatedWith Stearns, Mary E. person
associatedWith Thomas, Joe C. person
associatedWith Thomas, Joe C. person
associatedWith Todd, David P. (David Peck), 1855-1939. person
associatedWith Todd family family
associatedWith Todd family. family
associatedWith Todd, Mabel Loomis, 1856-1932. person
associatedWith Todd, Rhoda Peck. person
associatedWith Todd, Rhoda Peck. person
associatedWith Toynbee, Arnold Joseph, 1889-1975. person
associatedWith Udall, Stewart L., 1920- person
associatedWith Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977. person
associatedWith Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950. person
associatedWith Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972. person
associatedWith Vassar College. corporateBody
associatedWith Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845- person
associatedWith Ward, Robert De Courcy, 1867-1931. person
associatedWith Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. person
associatedWith Watson, John Broadus, 1878- person
associatedWith White, William Allen, 1868-1944. person
associatedWith Whitman, Charles Seymour, 1868- person
associatedWith Wickersham, George Woodward, 1858- person
associatedWith Wilbur, Richard, 1921- person
associatedWith Willard, Mabel Caldwell. person
associatedWith Williams, Talcott, 1849-1928. person
associatedWith Wright, Helen, 1914- person
associatedWith Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876- person
associatedWith Young, Stark, 1881-1963. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Southeast Asia
Europe
Amherst (Mass.)
Europe
Soviet Union
Asia, Southeastern
Paris (France)
Maine
Gaspé (Québec)
Paris (France)
Latin America
Berlin (Germany)
Miami (Fla.)
Miami (Fla.)
New Mexico
New Mexico
United States
Berlin (Germany)
Maine
Latin America.
Amherst (Mass.)
Soviet Union
Gaspé (Québec)
Subject
Women
Women--Education
Conservation of natural resources
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives
Editions
Universities and colleges--United States
Literature--History and criticism
Women--United States
Students
Geography
Publishers' bindings
Environmental protection
Psychology, Industrial
Universities and colleges
Occupation
Geographers
Function

Person

Birth 1880

Death 1968

Americans

French,

Spanish; Castilian,

English

Information

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