Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962

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Mary Williams Dewson was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Wellesley College in 1897. At the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston) she studied ways to professionalize housework. She was the first head of the parole department (1900-1912) of the Massachusetts State Industrial School for Girls (Lancaster), and worked for a minimum wage in Massachusetts and later with the National Consumers' League. She also worked for woman suffrage, and with the American Red Cross in France, 1917-1919. Believing she could best further social justice by strengthening women's activities in the Democratic Party, she organized women in the party from 1928 to her resignation as head of the Women's Division in 1936; she advised the division until 1941. For futher information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980).

From the description of Papers, 1893-1962 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232006571

Mary Williams Dewson was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Wellesley College in 1897. At the Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston) she studied ways to professionalize housework. She was the first head of the parole department of Massachusetts State Industrial School for Girls (Lancaster), 1900-1912, and worked for a minimum wage in Massachusetts and later with the National Consumers' League. She also worked for woman suffrage, and with the American Red Cross in France, 1917-1919. Believing she could best further social justice by strengthening women's activities in the Democratic Party, she organized women in the party from 1928 to her resignation as head of the Women's Division in 1936; she advised the division until 1941. For further information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980).

From the description of Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1915-1960 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232008792

Social reformer.

Mary Williams Dewson was interested in minimum wage, social security, and women. She was active in Democratic Party politics working on Franklin D. Roosevelt's campaigns and holding several offices in the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee. She was the first woman to serve on the Social Security Board.

From the description of Papers, 1898-1961, 1921-1961 (bulk) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155522564

Mary ("Molly") Williams Dewson was born in Quincy, Mass., to Edward Henry and Elizabeth Weld (Williams) Dewson. With an A.B. degree from Wellesley College (1897), she was hired as secretary of the Domestic Reform Committee of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, Boston. In 1900-1912 she was superintendent of parole at the Massachusetts State Industrial School for Girls, Lancaster; there she met Mary ("Polly") G. Porter (1884-1972), a student at the Boston School for Social Workers. By 1910, they had formed a partnership that was to last 52 years.

Dewson was active in the woman's suffrage movement, and in the National Consumers' League campaign for minimum wage laws for women and children. In the late 1920s, convinced that reforms could best be accomplished through organized political parties, she initiated efforts to increase the number of women active in the Democratic Party.

In 1933, thanks to the influence of Eleanor Roosevelt, a friend and political ally, Dewson was appointed to head the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee. She is credited with securing leadership positions for many women in the Democratic Party and the Roosevelt Administration. In 1937 she was appointed to the Social Security Board, but resigned the following year. She died in Castine, Me., in 1962. For additional biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980), Who Was Who in America (1961-68), and Partner and I: The Life of Molly Dewson, New Deal Politician, by Susan Ware (1987).

From the description of Albums, 1861-1962 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007999

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn National Consumers' League. National Consumers' League records, 1882-1986 (bulk 1920-1950). Library of Congress
referencedIn Mulliner, Maurine. Papers, 1940-1976 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Wolfe, Carolyn, b. 1890. Letters, 1934-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Woman's Rights Collection (WRC) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Somerville, Nellie Nugent, 1863-1952. Somerville and Howorth family Additional papers, 1850-1983 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. Papers, 1797-1963 (inclusive), 1897-1963 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Roosevelt family. Papers donated by the children of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, [ca. 1686]-1959. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn National Consumers' League Records, 1882-1986, (bulk 1920-1950) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Correspondence, 1860-1979. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Hickok, Lorena A. Papers, 1913-1962. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn West, Helen Hunt, 1892-1963. Papers, 1917-1964 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Somerville, Nellie Nugent, 1863-1952. Somerville and Howorth family papers, 1850-1983 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson). Papers, 1911-1974 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965. Papers, 1937-1961 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Democratic National Committee (U.S.). Women's Division. Papers, 1932-1944. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Dear Democratic leader : just one vote. What difference can it possibly make? ... / Mary W. Dewson. Connecticut State Library, CSL
referencedIn Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1870-1960 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943. Papers, 1898-1963 (inclusive), 1909-1963 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1914-1985 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. Materials on the equal rights amendment 1940-1954 from the President's official file 120A, equal rights for women [microform] : the papers of Eleanor Roosevelt, Samuel I. Rosenman, Mary Dewson, Harley Kilgore, and the Democratic National Committee Women's Division. University of Wyoming, William R. Coe Library
referencedIn Kerr, Harriet Allen. Letters, 1937-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Elliott, Harriet Wiseman, 1884-1947. Harriet W. Elliott papers, 1900-1947. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries, UNCG University Libraries
referencedIn Stebbins, Lucy Ward. Papers, 1928-1953 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Mann, Rowena Morse, 1870-1958. Papers, 1878-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1850-1974 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers, 1923-1951 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1840-1952 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. Papers, 1870-1978 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Curtis family. Papers, 1797-1991 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1915-1960 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Winslow, Mary N. (Mary Nelson). Papers, 1923-1951 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1833, 1884-1972 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers, 1878-1958 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962. Papers, 1933-1959 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Matthews, Annabel, 1883-1960. Papers, 1880-1960 (inclusive), 1901-1960 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1859 (1882-1944) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Edwards, India. Letters, 1947-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1898, 1909-1963 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Miller, Emma Guffey, 1874-1970. Papers: Series I-II, 1833-1975 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-. Papers, 1856-1987 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1898-1975 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers, 1917-1964 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers, 1797(1897-1963) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. Papers, 1859-1944 (inclusive), 1882-1944 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1880, 1901-1960 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Stantial, Edna Lamprey. Papers, 1836-1958 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Roosevelt, James, 1907-1991. Papers, 1933-1967. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1898-1961, 1921-1961 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Johnson, Grace A., 1871-1952. Papers: Subseries A-E, 1840-1952 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Vieillot, Marie-Therese, 1888-1985. Papers, 1914-1985 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Albums, 1861-1962 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Papers, 1856-1987 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939. person
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associatedWith Beyer, Clara M. (Clara Mortenson) person
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associatedWith Consumers' League of New York City. corporateBody
associatedWith Curtis family. family
associatedWith Curtis, Margaret, 1883-1965. person
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associatedWith Democratic National Committee (U.S.). Women's Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Democratic Party (Me.) corporateBody
associatedWith Democratic Party (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth), 1875-1963. person
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associatedWith Edwards, India. person
associatedWith Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. person
associatedWith ELIZABETH GLENDOWER (GARDINER) EVANS, 1856-1937 person
associatedWith Elliott, Harriet Wiseman, 1884-1947. person
associatedWith Emma (Guffey) Miller, 1874-1970 person
associatedWith Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. person
associatedWith Farley, James Aloysius, 1888- person
associatedWith Florence Hope Luscomb, 1887-1985 person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Furman, Bess, 1894-1969. person
associatedWith Fuster, Marie E. person
associatedWith Grace Allen (Fitch) Johnson, 1871-1952 person
associatedWith Helen Hunt West, 1892-1963 person
associatedWith Hickok, Lorena A. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Hoffman, Anna Rosenberg, 1902-1983. person
associatedWith Howe, Louis McHenry, 1871-1936. person
associatedWith Hurst, Fannie, 1889-1968. person
associatedWith International Social Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Grace A., 1871-1952. person
associatedWith Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932. person
associatedWith Kendall, Elizabeth Kimball, 1865-1952. person
associatedWith Kerr, Harriet Allen. person
associatedWith Lehman, Herbert H. (Herbert Henry), 1878-1963. person
associatedWith Louchheim, Katie, 1903- person
associatedWith Luscomb, Florence, 1887- person
associatedWith Mann, Rowena Morse, 1870-1958. person
associatedWith Marie-Thérèse Vieillot, c. 1888-1985 person
associatedWith MARTHA MAY ELIOT, 1891-1978 person
associatedWith MARY ELISABETH DREIER, 1875-1963 person
associatedWith Matthews, Annabel, 1883-1960. person
associatedWith Maud May (Wood) Park, 1871-1955 person
associatedWith McAllister, Dorothy S. person
associatedWith Miller, Emma Guffey, 1874-1970. person
associatedWith Mulliner, Maurine. person
associatedWith Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996. person
associatedWith National Consumers' League. corporateBody
associatedWith Norton, Mary Teresa, 1875-1959. person
associatedWith O'Brien, Lawrence F. person
associatedWith Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. person
associatedWith Peirce, Waldo, 1884-1970. person
associatedWith Perkins, Frances. person
associatedWith Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Porter, Mary Gurley, 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Putnam, Elizabeth Cabot, b. 1836. person
associatedWith Reed, Stanley Forman, 1884-1980. person
associatedWith Richmond, Mary Ellen, 1861-1928. person
associatedWith Roche, Josephine A. (Josephine Aspinwall), 1886-1976. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962. person
associatedWith Roosevelt family. family
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, James, 1907-1991. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
associatedWith Rowena (Morse) Mann, 1870-1958 person
associatedWith Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, 1917- person
associatedWith Smith, Alfred Emanuel, 1873-1944. person
associatedWith SOMERVILLE-HOWORTH FAMILY family
associatedWith Somerville, Nellie Nugent, 1863-1952. person
associatedWith Stantial, Edna Lamprey. person
associatedWith State Industrial School for Girls (Lancaster, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Stebbins, Lucy Ward. person
associatedWith Stebbins, Lucy Ward, 1880- person
associatedWith Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965. person
associatedWith SUE SHELTON WHITE, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Tillett, Gladys Avery, 1897- person
associatedWith Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972. person
associatedWith Tully, Grace G. person
associatedWith United States. Committee on Economic Security. Advisory Council. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Social Security Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Social Security Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Kleeck, Mary, 1883- person
associatedWith Vieillot, Marie-Therese, 1888-1985. person
associatedWith Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Wellesley College. corporateBody
associatedWith West, Helen Hunt, 1892-1963. person
associatedWith White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943. person
associatedWith Williams, Elizabeth Weld, 1836-1912. person
associatedWith Winslow, Mary N. (Mary Nelson) person
associatedWith Wolfe, Carolyn, b. 1890. person
associatedWith Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Woolley, Mary Emma, 1863-1947. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Maine
France
United States
Castine (Me.)
United States
Balkan Peninsula
United States
Boston (Mass.)
Massachusetts
Europe
Europe
United States
United States
Subject
Voyages and travels
Elections
Political parties
Dogs--Photographs
Friendship
Juvenile delinquency
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
minimum wage
Women's rights
Women travelers
Politics, Practical
Campaign literature, 1936--Democratic
Single women
Equal rights amendments
Women--Employment
Social security
Consumer protection
Pay equity
Christmas cards
Legislation
Women--Diaries
World War, 1914-1918--War work--Red Cross
Women--Education (Higher)
Age discrimination
Refugees--Photographs
Companionate marriage
Women--Suffrage
World War, 1914-1918--Women
Women--Political activity
Women political activists
Lesbians
Economic security
Women
Presidents--1936
New Deal, 1933-1939
Occupation
Lecturers
Women social reformers
Function

Person

Birth 1874

Death 1962

Information

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