Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932

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Florence Kelley was an activist, lawyer, and sociologist who worked at the vanguard of urban and social reform movements in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and headed the National Consumers' League for thirty-four years.

From the description of Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932 (bulk 1881-1932). (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 85856966

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 Papers, 1900-1965 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 5. Correspondence, 1925-1930. [microform] Cornell University Library
creatorOf Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932, 1881-1932 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Stantial, Edna Lamprey. Papers, 1836-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Florence Kelley collection, 1894-1981. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
referencedIn Groat, George Gorham, b. 1871. Autograph note from George Gorham Groat to: [Hugh Fullerton]. Wellesley College
referencedIn Papers, 1901-1988 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Wiley, Anna Kelton, 1877-1964. Papers, 1893-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Goldmark, Josephine Clara, 1877-1950. Papers of Josephine Clara and Pauline Dorothea Goldmark, 1886-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1893-1962 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Solomon, Maida H. (Maida Herman), 1891-1988. Papers, 1901-1988 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association Records, 1839-1961, (bulk 1890-1930) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf National Consumers' League. Records, 1922-1931. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
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 Alexander Jeffrey McKelway Papers, 1814-1942, (bulk 1900-1918) 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 Alger, George William, 1872-. The reminiscences of George W. Alger, 1951-1952 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Women's Joint Congressional Committee. Records of the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, 1920-1970 (bulk 1920-1953). Library of Congress
referencedIn Lillian D. Wald Papers, 1889-1957 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 (inclusive), 1890-1930 (bulk), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Papers, (inclusive), (bulk), 1805-1938, 1900-1938 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers, 1859-1944 (inclusive), 1882-1944 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. Papers, 1918-1960 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1851-1958 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn O'Sullivan, Mary Kenney, 1864-1943. Papers, 1892-1943 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Women's Joint Congressional Committee Records, 1920-1970, (bulk 1920-1953) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 2, part b. Correspondence (H-M), 1910-1915. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Papers, 1900-1943 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940. Lillian D. Wald Papers, 1889-1957. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935. Papers, 1846-1961 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Socialist Party (U.S.) New York (N.Y.) Letter Books, Bulk, 1911-1914, 1907-1914, (Bulk 1911-1914) Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Totenberg, Amy, 1950-. Women reformers from the settlement movement, 1889-1925. Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1818-1974
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, b. 1862. Series VI of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869-1945 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn National Consumers' League files, 1904-1955. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
referencedIn Brown, Dorothy Kirchwey. Additional papers, 1857-1976 (inclusive), 1912-1971 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974. Papers, 1900-1965 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Consumers' League of Massachusetts. Records, 1891-1955 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. Papers, 1889-1934 (inclusive), 1923-1934 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. Florence Kelley papers, 1836-1932 (bulk 1881-1932). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. Hull House scrapbook. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Rand School of Social Science, Dept. of Labor Research records, 1916-1923 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Papers, 1869-1945 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
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 Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Records, 1891-1955 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932. Letter, 1926. Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1859 (1882-1944) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Albums, 1861-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Hamilton family. Papers, 1818-1976 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Kelley family. Kelley family papers, 1681-1936. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Socialist Party (U.S.). Local New York. Letter books, 1907-1914, 1911-1914 (bulk). Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
referencedIn National Consumers' League. National Consumers' League files, 1904-1955. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Papers, 1846-1961 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Albums, ca., 1861-1962 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Manny, Frank Addison, 1868-1954. Frank Addison Manny papers, 1890-1955. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Frank Manny papers, 1890-1955 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 4. Correspondence, 1920-1925. [microform]. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Klaiss, Mathilda M. Mathilda M. Klaiss papers, 1929-1935. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn National American Woman Suffrage Association. National American Woman Suffrage Association records, 1839-1961 bulk (1890-1930). Library of Congress
referencedIn Kelley family. Papers, 1681-1936, [microform]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1893-1962 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 1, part b. Correspondence (I-W), 1905-1910. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson). Papers, 1911-1974 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Laidlaw, H. B. (Harriet Burton), b. 1874. Papers: Series V-VII, 1906-1947 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1886-1962 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Ely, Richard Theodore, 1854-1943. Papers, 1812-1963 (bulk 1882-1939). Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
referencedIn Brooks, John Graham, 1846-1938. Papers, 1845-1938 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Kelley, Nicholas, 1885-1965. Nicholas Kelley papers, 1823-1967, bulk (1862-1967). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Blaine, Anita McCormick. Correspondence and papers, 1828-1958. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
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
associatedWith Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCullouch, 1862-1945 person
associatedWith CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN, 1860-1935 person
associatedWith Consumers' League of Massachusetts. corporateBody
associatedWith Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. person
associatedWith 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 Harriet Wright (Burton) Laidlaw, 1873-1949 person
associatedWith Hicks, Margaret. person
associatedWith Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Hull-House (Social settlement : Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
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
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
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Illinois--Chicago
United States
Chicago (Ill.)
Subject
Quakers
Labor laws and legislation--United States
Child labor
African Americans--Employment
Feminists--Political activity
Women's rights
Social settlements
Child labor--Law and legislation
Working class--United States
Feminists--United States--Political activity
Social legislation
Working class
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Labor laws and legislation
Occupation
Lawyers
Pacifists
Sociologists
Social reformers
Socialists
Function

Person

Birth 1859-09-12

Death 1932-02-17

Information

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