Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932

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Florence Kelley (A.B., Cornell, 1882) was born in Philadelphia. In 1884 she married Lazare Wischnewetzky; they had three children. In 1891 Kelley divorced him, reclaimed her maiden name, and became a resident of Chicago's Hull-House. In 1892 the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics hired her to investigate the "sweating" system in the garment industry and the federal commissioner of labor asked her to participate in a survey of city slums. Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld later appointed her chief factory inspector. She earned her law degree at Northwestern in 1894 and in May 1899 became General Secretary of the National Consumers' League. In 1909 she helped organize the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and in 1919 was a founding member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. For additional biographical information, see Notable American Women, 1607-1950 (1971).

From the description of Papers, 1889-1934 (inclusive), 1923-1934 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007315

Florence Kelley was a prominent Progressive-Era social reformer known for her advocacy of protective legislation on behalf of working women and children. She was born in 1859, the daughter of William Darrah Kelley, U.S. Congressman from Philadelphia, and his second wife Caroline Bonsall. Kelley graduated from Cornell University in 1882 and pursued graduate study in law and government at the University of Zurich in 1883. While in Europe she began translating the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and began a long-standing correspondence with Engels. In 1884 she married Polish socialist Lazare Wischnewetzky. The couple moved to New York City, but divorced in 1891. Kelley took their three young children, Nicholas (1885-1965), Margaret (1886-1905) and John (1888-1968) with her to Chicago where she began living and working at Jane Addams' Hull House.

During her years of work in the settlement house movement in Chicago, Kelley participated in the documentation of urban poverty, was appointed Chief Factory Inspector by Illinois Governor John P. Altgeld, and obtained a law degree from Northwestern University. In 1899 she returned to New York to assume the leadership of the National Consumers League, an organization created to harness the purchasing power of the public to support firms with good labor practices and boycott others. She remained with the organization for over thirty years.

Kelley's strong Quaker background influenced her pacifist opposition to the U.S. entry into World War I, a stance for which she faced persistent public attack. Her continued efforts on behalf of public health and welfare helped create the Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921, authorizing federal aid to states in order to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal and child health care.

Kelley lived near Gramercy Park in New York City and also kept a home in Naskeag, Brooklin, Maine. She died in 1932.

From the guide to the Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932, 1881-1932, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Socialist Party (U.S.). Local New York. Letter books, 1907-1914, 1911-1914 (bulk). Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Solomon, Maida H. (Maida Herman), 1891-1988. Papers, 1901-1988 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Laidlaw, Harriet Burton, 1873-1949. Papers, 1851-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney, 1864-1943. Papers, 1892-1943 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Kelley family. Kelley family papers, 1681-1936. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers in the Mary Earhart Dillon collection, 1869-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Stantial, Edna Lamprey. Papers, 1836-1958 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Alexander Jeffrey McKelway Papers, 1814-1942, (bulk 1900-1918) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Klaiss, Mathilda M. Mathilda M. Klaiss papers, 1929-1935. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Consumers' League of Massachusetts. Records, 1891-1955 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part b. Correspondence (H-M), 1910-1915. [microform] Cornell University Library
creatorOf Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940. Lillian D. Wald Papers, 1889-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers of John Graham Brooks, 1805-1938 (bulk 1900-1938) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932, 1881-1932 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Florence Kelley collection, 1894-1981. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
creatorOf Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932, 1881-1932 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Butler, Jessee H. Suffragists. California State University, Long Beach
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association. National American Woman Suffrage Association records, 1839-1961 bulk (1890-1930). Library of Congress
referencedIn National Consumers' League. National Consumers' League files, 1904-1955. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Papers of the Hamilton family, 1818-1974 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Totenberg, Amy, 1950-. Women reformers from the settlement movement, 1889-1925. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers of Molly Dewson, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Alger, George William, 1872-. The reminiscences of George W. Alger, 1951-1952 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932. Letter, 1926. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Women's Joint Congressional Committee. Records of the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, 1920-1970 (bulk 1920-1953). Library of Congress
referencedIn Blaine, Anita McCormick. Correspondence and papers, 1828-1958. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association. National American Woman Suffrage Association records, 1839-1961 (inclusive), 1890-1930 (bulk), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Wiley, Anna Kelton, 1877-1964. Papers, 1893-1962 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1900-1943 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950. Papers of Josephine Clara and Pauline Dorothea Goldmark, 1886-1962 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Albums, ca., 1861-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Community Service Society Archives, 1842-1995. The Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers, 1859-1944 (inclusive), 1882-1944 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
creatorOf Kelley, Nicholas, 1885-1965. Nicholas Kelley papers, 1823-1967, bulk (1862-1967). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Zechariah Chafee papers, 1898-1957 Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1886-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Lillian D. Wald Papers, 1889-1957 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Papers of Jeannette Rankin, 1879-1976 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Brown, Dorothy Kirchwey. Additional papers, 1857-1976 (inclusive), 1912-1971 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Richard T. Ely papers, 1812-1963 (bulk 1882-1939) Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association. National American Woman Suffrage Association records, 1839-1961 (inclusive), 1890-1930 (bulk), [microform]. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hamilton Library
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 4. Correspondence, 1920-1925. [microform]. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Brown, Herman LaRue. Herman LaRue Brown papers. 1890-1969 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Socialist Party (U.S.) New York (N.Y.) Letter Books, Bulk, 1911-1914, 1907-1914, (Bulk 1911-1914) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 5. Correspondence, 1925-1930. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Albums, 1861-1962 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Laidlaw, H. B. (Harriet Burton), b. 1874. Papers: Series V-VII, 1906-1947 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Groat, George Gorham, b. 1871. Autograph note from George Gorham Groat to: [Hugh Fullerton]. Wellesley College
referencedIn Rand School of Social Science, Dept. of Labor Research records, 1916-1923 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Papers, 1818-1974
creatorOf Rand School of Social Science. Dept. of Labor Research. Rand School of Social Science, Dept. of Labor Research records, 1916-1923. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn National Consumers' League files, 1904-1955. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
referencedIn Manny, Frank Addison, 1868-1954. Papers, 1890-1955 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers, 1859-1944 (bulk: 1882-1944) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records, 1891-1955 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Vol. XVII (ff. 294). 1898-March 1900.Joseph Perry, Secretary, Spanish Atrocities Committee; not J Perry, of the London Cabdrivers' Trade Union: Letter to J. Burns: 1898.COUNTY OF London: Correspondence and papers of J. Burns as L.C.C. representative ... British Library
creatorOf Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. Papers, 1889-1934 (inclusive), 1923-1934 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf National Consumers' League. Records, 1922-1931. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Arthur Twining Hadley, president of Yale University, records, 1899-1921 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Brooks, John Graham, 1846-1938. Papers of John Graham Brooks, 1845-1938 (bulk 1900-1938). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. Papers, 1846-1961 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1901-1988 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Manny, Frank Addison, 1868-1954. Frank Addison Manny papers, 1890-1955. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Papers, 1846-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. Hull House scrapbook. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Community Service Society. Archives, 1842-1995. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson). Papers of Clara Mortenson Beyer, 1911-1974 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Records on Microfilm, 1905-1910 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1900-1965 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Women's Joint Congressional Committee Records, 1920-1970, (bulk 1920-1953) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. Papers, 1918-1960 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Kelley family. Papers, 1681-1936, [microform]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association Records, 1839-1961, (bulk 1890-1930) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn New York (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities. Suspected radical propaganda file, [ca. 1890-1919]. New York State Archives
referencedIn White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974. Papers, 1900-1965 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith Alger, George William, 1872- person
associatedWith American Association for Labor Legislation. corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. person
associatedWith Anna Kelton Wiley, 1877-1964 person
associatedWith Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) person
associatedWith Blaine, Anita McCormick. person
associatedWith Blatch, Harriot Stanton, 1856-1940. person
associatedWith Brooks, John Graham, 1846-1938. person
associatedWith Brown, Dorothy Kirchwey. person
correspondedWith Brown, Herman LaRue, 1883-1969 person
associatedWith Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCullouch, 1862-1945 person
associatedWith Chafee, Zechariah, 1885-1957 person
associatedWith CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, 1860-1935 person
associatedWith Community Service Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Consumers' League of Massachusetts. corporateBody
associatedWith Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. person
associatedWith ELIZABETH GLENDOWER (GARDINER) EVANS, 1856-1937 person
correspondedWith ELIZABETH GLENDOWER (GARDINER) EVANS, 1856-1937 person
associatedWith Ely, Richard Theodore, 1854-1943. person
associatedWith Engels, Friedrich, 1820-1895. person
associatedWith Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. person
associatedWith Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950. person
associatedWith Goldmark, Pauline Dorothea, 1874-1962 person
associatedWith Groat, George Gorham, b. 1871. person
associatedWith Hamilton family. family
associatedWith HAMILTON FAMILY family
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Harriet Wright (Burton) Laidlaw, 1873-1949 person
associatedWith Hicks, Margaret. person
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hull-House (Social settlement : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
correspondedWith JEANNETTE RANKIN, 1880-1973 person
associatedWith John Graham Brooks, 1846-1938 person
associatedWith Josephine Clara Goldmark person
associatedWith Kelley, Augusta Maverick person
associatedWith Kelley, Augusta Maverick. person
associatedWith Kelley, Caroline Bonsall. person
associatedWith Kelley family. family
associatedWith Kelley family. family
associatedWith Kelley, John Bartram person
associatedWith Kelley, John Bartram. person
associatedWith Kelley, Margaret Dana person
associatedWith Kelley, Margaret Dana. person
associatedWith Kelley, Nicholas, 1885-1965. person
associatedWith Kelley, William D. (William Darrah), 1814-1890. person
associatedWith Kelly family family
associatedWith Kelly family. family
associatedWith Klaiss, Mathilda M. person
associatedWith Laidlaw, H. B. (Harriet Burton), b. 1874. person
associatedWith Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932. person
associatedWith Lloyd, Henry Demarest, 1847-1903. person
associatedWith Lloyd, Lola Maverick, 1875-1944. person
associatedWith Manny, Frank Addison, 1868-1954. person
associatedWith Mary (Kenney) O'Sullivan, 1864-1943 person
associatedWith MARY (MOLLY) WILLIAMS DEWSON, 1874-1962 person
associatedWith McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, b. 1862. person
correspondedWith McKelway, Alexander Jeffrey, 1866-1918 person
correspondedWith National American Woman Suffrage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National Consumers' League. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney, 1864-1943. person
associatedWith Pugh family family
associatedWith Pugh family. family
associatedWith Rand School of Social Science. Dept. of Labor Research. corporateBody
associatedWith Socialist Party of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Socialist Party (U.S.). Local New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Solomon, Maida H. (Maida Herman), 1891-1988. person
associatedWith Stantial, Edna Lamprey. person
associatedWith Totenberg, Amy, 1950- person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940. person
associatedWith White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974. person
associatedWith Wiley, Anna Kelton, 1877-1964. person
associatedWith Women's Joint Congressional Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. President's Office. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Illinois--Chicago
Chicago (Ill.)
London, county of, England
Subject
Working class
Labor laws and legislation
African Americans--Employment
Labor laws and legislation--United States
Child labor--Law and legislation
Social settlements
Feminists--United States--Political activity
Working class--United States
Quakers
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Social legislation
Feminists--Political activity
Child labor
Women's rights
Occupation
Social reformers
Lawyers
Pacifists
Socialists
Sociologists
Function

Person

Birth 1859-09-12

Death 1932-02-17

Female

Americans

Information

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