Guide to the Grace Hutchins Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Hutchins, Grace, 1885-
Title: Grace Hutchins papers
Dates: 1902-1968 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet (10 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 625
Summary: Grace Hutchins (1885-1969) was a Communist and radical labor economist who lived and worked in New York City with her partner, Anna Rochester. For several years in the 1920s, they shared a communal home in New York with several other women. Together, Hutchins and Rochester founded the Labor Research Association in 1927. The collection contains correspondence, literary manuscripts, genealogical materials, and photographs; much of the materials relate to Hutchins’ labor work, her international travels, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, and the Whittaker Chambers case.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Labor reformer and Communist intellectual Grace Hutchins was born in Boston in 1885 to Susan and Edward Hutchins. She was a descendent of colonial ancestry and the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1898, her parents took her on a trip around the world when she was just 14 years old. After attending Bryn Mawr College, Grace pursued missionary teaching at St. Hilda’s school in China (which she became the principal of during the 1916-1917 school year).

In 1926, Hutchins traveled the world again but this time with her partner Anna Rochester. Together they investigated the situation of women and the status of socialism in other countries. Soon after returning in 1927, Hutchins was one of the women arrested for demonstrating against the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Grace Hutchins was a radical labor economist and proved this through her life’s work. She worked as an investigator for the Bureaus of Women in Industry and helped found the Labor Research Association in 1927. She was the editor of the Labor Fact Book and ran for state office on the communist party ticket in 1936 and 1938.

Hutchins was active in the labor movement for forty years. During this time, she wrote three books that had a great impact, Jesus Christ and the World Today , Women Who Work and Labor and Silk. Besides these three best sellers, she also published multitudes of articles and pamphlets regarding women, children and capitalism in the United States and abroad.

In 1920, Hutchins spent two years living in a community house with five other women. One of these women was Anna Rochester with whom Grace would continue to live for the rest of her life. Together they worked and traveled and dedicated their lives to social justice. According to Janet Lee (Hutchins’ and Rochester’s biographer), Hutchins and Rochester “were a part of [a] cohort of women whose commitment to social activism was integrated with their lesbian orientation.”

Hutchins died in 1969, cared for until the end by long time friend and secretary of the LRA, Bob Dunn.

Source: Lee, Janet. Comrades and Partners: The Shared Lives of Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000.

Content Description

The Grace Hutchins Papers contains extensive materials documenting the life of Hutchins and her partner, Anna Rochester. Included is material on her family lineage; legal records documenting the birth and death of Hutchins; documents relating to the Community House in New York City, which Hutchins shared with Rochester and other women in the 1920s; records of her travels in 1889, 1916 and 1926; material relating to her published work, including book reviews, articles, letters to the editor, pamphlets ( Japan’s Drive for Conquest, Japan Wars on the U.S., The Truth about the Liberty League, Youth in Industry, Children Under Capitalism, Wages and Profits in Wartime, What Every Woman Wants, Billionaire Corporations), and books ( Women Who Work, Jesus Christ and the World Today, Labor and Silk); and correspondence with friends and colleagues spanning several decades. Also included is documentation relating to the Whittaker Chambers case.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Grace Hutchins Papers, Ax 625, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Biographical Materials; Series II. Correspondence; Series III. Literary Works; Series IV. Travel Records; Series V. Whittaker Chambers Case; and Series VI. Photographs. Series I. Biographical Materials is organized into the following subseries: Series I. Subseries A. Personal Records; and Series I. Subseries B. Genealogy. Series II. Correspondence is organized into the following subseries: Series II, Subseries A. Incoming; Series II, Subseries B. Outgoing; and Series II, Subseries C. Bob Dunn. Series III. Literary Works is organized into the following subseries: Series III, Subseries A. Short Works; and Series III, Subseries B. Books.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Biographical Materials
Subseries A: Personal records
1 1 Juvenilia (school records)
1 2 Juvenilia (school records)
1 3 Membership records
1 4 Notebook [about books read and personal goals relative to daily life]
1 5 Work with the Bureau of Women in Industry 1927
1 6 Publications featuring Grace Hutchins
1 7 Publications featuring Grace Hutchins
1 8 Publications featuring Grace Hutchins
1 9 Obituaries and remembrances about Grace Hutchins 1969
1 10 Correspondence about Hutchins’ death 1969
1 11 Remembrance of Edward Hutchins 1929
1 12 Correspondence about the death of Edward Hutchins 1929
1 13 Legal documents concerning Edward Hutchins’ estate
1 14 Legal documents concerning Edward Hutchins’ estate
1 15 Remembrance of Susan Hutchins 1942
1 16 Correspondence concerning the death of Susan Hutchins 1942
1 17 Correspondence concerning the estate of Susan Hutchins 1942-1943
1 18 Correspondence concerning the death of Edward Hutchins
1 19 Miscellaneous information on Henry Hutchins
1 20 Original newspaper articles about the Hutchins family members
2 1 Susan Hutchins’ membership certificate to the Society of Colonial Dames January 12, 1914
2 2 Grace Hutchins’ diploma from Bryn Mawr College June 6, 1907
Subseries B: Genealogy
3 1 Paternal Records (Hutchins lineage)
3 2 Maternal Records (Hurd lineage)
3 3 Maternal Records (Hurd lineage)
3 4 Maternal Records (Hurd lineage)
3 5 Research on maternal lineage
3 6 Research on maternal lineage
3 7 Research on maternal ancestry (Edwards)
3 8 Colonial ancestry
3 9 Correspondence 1902-1943

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Series II:  Correspondence
Subseries A: Incoming
4 1 Berman, Louise R.
Notes concerning contributions being made. Good luck wishes and admiration of Grace.
4 2 Bliss, Marian
Concerned letter over Grace’s recent lack of communication with friends.
May 12, 1968
4 3 Bloor, Ella R.
Also referred to as “mother” by her comrades. Letters are a mix of personal sentiments and political organizing and debriefing.
1939-1944 and undated
4 4 Carey, Margaret Reeve
Reminiscent of college and times spent together in the past at Cape Rosier.
4 5 Chappell, Winifred
Letter regarding the details of her financial agreement with Grace and the Labor Research Association.
June 13, 1941
4 6 Cleghorn, Sarah (Sally)
Letter of her journey into death, the current war and her lack of knowledge about communism.
February 22, 1950-July 5, 1952
4 7 Crist, Judith
Letter on behalf of The Herald Tribune, thanking Grace for her letter.
April 2, 1956
4 8 Curtis, Martha
Thanks Grace for her letters and clippings.
4 9 De Leon, Solon
Letter regarding his new ranch home and suggestions on Grace’s writing.
April 3, 1933
4 10 Dunn, Robert
One undated note about his mother’s death and a letter regarding work being done with the Labor Research Association.
August 18, 1939 and undated
4 11 Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley
Writing of her release from the house of detention.
February 15, 1953
4 12 Gailer, Bessie (Miss Gailer’s School)
Report of Jonathan Hutchins’ behavior in Nursery group.
January 17, 1950
4 13 Goodrich, Madeleine
Reply message regarding the common love and friendship of Caro.
January 9, 1942
4 14 Hawkins, Alice Martin
Letter concerning the purchase of a new watch.
July 2, year unknown
4 15 Helen [no last name]
Two letters. The first regarding a luncheon hosted by Grace. The second addressing Grace’s illness and how she must take care of herself.
February 11, 1932 and undated
4 16 Hurd, Harold to Susan Hutchins
Letter written to Susan Hutchins regarding Grace’s unpatriotic character. Goes into depth of the selfishness and ignorance of Grace’s involvement with communism.
August 20, 1927
4 17 Hutchins, Edward [father]—personal matters
Personal letters involving the health of mother and family celebrations.
4 18 Hutchins, Edward [father]—financial matters
Business letters dealing with money and investments.
1924 and 1925
4 19 Hutchins, Henry [brother]
Series of letters mostly addressing family matters but also brief sections concerning work and politics.
1932-1952 and undated
4 20 Hutchins, Susan [mother]
Series of correspondence between Grace and her mother concerning everyday life and missing each other.
1927-1942 and undated
4 21 International Publishers Association
One letter thanking Grace for her contribution to the Alexander Trachtenburg Memorial Fund and a second letter affirming her as a trustee.
4 22 Lamont, Margaret
Letter regarding the death of common friend Elinor.
June 17, 1941
4 23 McGrath, Edith
Letters concerning the lack of correspondence from Grace, while on vacation and in New York.
August 17, 1968 and undated
4 24 Meigs, Cornelia
Letter regarding the Bryn Mawr reunion.
June 30, 1956
4 25 Murdock, Anna C.
Letter written to Lucie, regarding great friendship from both her and Anna.
October 30, year unknown
4 26 O’Connor, Tom, re: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Sacco and Vanzetti
Three letters concerning the life and memory of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn from the Committee for the Vindication of Sacco and Vanzetti.
October 1964
4 27 Olkhina, Genia
Letter regarding the late Stefanson, and about Genia’s recent travels.
March 6, 1966
4 28 Parks, Ellen S.
Letter regarding the death of Grace’s brother and the loyalty of her friendship.
4 29 Porter, Polly
Two letters regarding the weather and life during old age.
July 26, 1966-February 8, 1967
4 30 Rice, Edith
Note regarding both Grace’s illness and recovery.
March 4, 1968
4 31 Roberts, Dorothy
Writing about Mrs. Root’s deep love and appreciation of Grace.
February 1916
4 32 Rochester, Anna
Letter regarding Marian Hutchins pressuring her into lunch. Anna wants reassurance that Grace isn’t “dressing up her spirits” so that she will not worry about her.
December 17, year unknown
4 33 Rochester, Anna
Anna misses Grace as she is recovering away from home.
October 1957
4 34 Rochester, Anna
Letter regarding what is going on at the Labor Research Association.
February 17, year unknown
4 35 Rochester, Anna
Letter written as Anna travels to Baltimore, apologizing for taking Grace for granted.
April 11, year unknown
4 36 Rochester, Anna
Letter leaving all of Anna’s belongings to Grace upon her death.
August 3, 1931
4 37 Rochester, Anna
Letter regarding the article Grace wrote on women in the USSR as well as other Labor Research Association business.
4 38 Rochester, Anna
An update on the current happenings as she awaits Grace’s return.
January 5, year unknown
4 39 Rochester, Anna
Halloween message for Grace.
4 40 Rochester, Anna
‘To my alter ego’, letter written from a camping trip at back log camp. Includes discussion with Susan B. Anthony as well as other women.
August 30, 1929
4 41 Rochester, Anna
Notes from a missed meeting and Anna’s apologies for leaving in a rush.
September 15, 1937
4 42 Rochester, Anna
Letter to Grace who is working at Penobscot Bay regarding the day’s activities.
July 26, 1939
4 43 Rochester, Anna
The news from Queens, regarding the poor treatment of sick workers.
February 27, 1941
4 44 Rochester, Anna
Letters from the Dodge Hotel in Washington. Speaking of her plans while away and of when she will return.
February 13, 1939
4 45 Rochester, Anna
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Anna is having trouble getting hold of Grace.
4 46 Rochester, Anna
Three letters, Grace is away getting her eye examined, she is missed beyond words. Anna is very worried about what “one week” entails.
October 28, year unknown
4 47 Rochester, Anna
Letter regarding their codependence on each other as well as Anna being self-critical.
4 48 Rochester, Anna
Letter regarding the condition of Lucie after her operation.
April 11, year unknown
4 49 Rochester, Anna
Figures on farm labor as well as some personal sentiments.
November 13, 1939
4 50 Rochester, Anna
Anna missing Grace who is away for 47 days, speaks of reading and passing spare time.
November 5, 1941
4 51 Rochester, Anna
A short note of loving greetings.
4 52 Rochester, Anna
Six poems written for Grace by Anna.
1939, 1953 and undated
4 53 Rogers, Elizabeth
Letter about current writing projects and regarding a children’s library helping provide underprivileged children with literature. The letter is gossipy in nature.
February 25, 1964
4 54 Roosevelt, Eleanor [to “Molly”]
Letter to Molly regarding the care of Mr. Browder.
April 17, 1941
4 55 Roots, Logan H.
Letters convincing her to do and later thanking Grace for her missionary work. Much attention paid to God in his writing.
4 56 Seidenberg & Co.
Letter offering Grace a job.
December 9, 1920
4 57 Shepard, Edna
Short note thanking Grace for her friendship and trying to catch up.
4 58 Speed, Mary C.
Christmas card with a quote incorrectly cited and a letter apologizing for the mistake.
January 22, 1940
4 59 Strobell, Mrs. C.L.
Letter thanking Grace and Anna for a wonderful evening the night before.
January 19, 1940
4 60 Strong, Anna Louise
New Years greetings card.
December 20, 1965
4 61 Tayler, Ivan E.
Letter thanking Grace for her letter and for a lecture that she did at Howard University.
April 6, 1949
4 62 Thayer, Ellen
Postcard praising Grace’s speech.
4 63 Ward, Harry E.
Letter addressing the reasons that Winifred Chappell left the Methodist Federation of Social Service as well as what she contributed while at the organization.
June 3, 1941
4 64 Woodruff, Susan
Letter thanking Grace for her hospitality as well as notice and will of Susan’s death.
1940, 1953
4 65 Unknown Authors 1915-1957
Subseries B: Outgoing
4 66 Hutchins, Susan (mother)
Writing home to tell her parents of the move she is making and that she will come and visit as long as they promise not to talk about the things they disagree about, such as labor in Russia, her haircut and her relationship with Anna.
4 67 Hutchins, Susan (mother)
Letters written when Susan is sick away from home. Mostly just discusses the weather and what Grace and her brothers are up to and what they have been eating.
4 68 Allen, Devere (?)
Offers her thoughts on the budget and comments on Alice’s resignation.
December 25, 1924
4 69 Rochester, Anna
Graces writes letters while traveling to visit her parents. Once there she writes that the visit is not so bad.
July 1927
4 70 Hutchins, Susan (mother)
Letter regarding her and Anna settling into their apartment, doing their studies and about the hired help they have working for them. Second letter telling her mother about the job she has received working for the New York State Department of Labor.
August 1927
4 71 Hutchins, Susan (mother)
Letters regarding the Civil Service exam that Grace must take to ensure her employment with the Department of Labor. Note also thanks mother for the birthday gift she sent and tells her of their upcoming visitors and Anna’s current projects.
September 4, 1927
4 72 Rochester, Anna
Letter from the road, reminding Anna of the tasks she must do and sending her love.
February 27, 1941
4 73 Rochester, Anna
September 1942
4 74 Rochester, Anna
For a love that deepens through the years, Christmas love to Anna.
December 1942
4 75 Rochester, Anna
Letter telling Anna what she has been reading on the train and sending her love.
October 8, 1945
4 76 Rochester, Anna
A concerned letter about the amount of work that Anna is doing and the lack of relaxation. Next, Grace suggests certain things that Anna should do to make herself feel less anxious and worried.
November 3, 1948
4 77 Rochester, Anna
Four letters expressing how much she appreciates all that Anna does for her and that there could never be a better partner.
Subseries C: Bob Dunn
4 78 Received by Bob Dunn
Letters thanking Bob for letting Grace’s friends know of her condition and thanking him for taking such good care of her. (letters from Ellen Thayer, Mary Porter and Ruth Eleanor).
4 79 Sent by Bob Dunn
Letters to Francis Bliss, Anna Mundelein, Edith Rice, Ellen Thayer, and Mary Porter acknowledging the letters they had sent to Grace and letting the women know of her condition.

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Series III:  Literary Works
Subseries A: Short Works
5 1 Articles 1926-1964
5 2 Book Reviews 1939-1959 and undated
5 3 Letters to the Editor 1944-1961
5 4 Poems
5 5 Miscellaneous articles 1938-1941
5 6 Collected poetry
5 7 Drafts of articles
5 8 Original newsprint-Articles
5 9 Original newsprint-Book Reviews
5 10 Original newsprint-Letters to the Editor
Subseries B: Books
6 1 Correspondence, re: Jesus Christ and the World Today 1922
6 2 Correspondence, re: Labor and Silk 1929 and undated
6 3 Correspondence, re: Women Who Work 1933-1953
6 4 Reviews of Jesus Christ and the World Today
6 5 Reviews of Labor and Silk
6 6 Reviews of Women Who Work
6 7 Reviews of Women Who Work
6 8 Partial drafts of Jesus Christ and the World Today
6 9 Partial drafts of Women Who Work
6 10 Original newsprint reviews of Jesus Christ and the World Today
6 11 Original newsprint reviews of Labor and Silk
6 12 Original newsprint reviews of Women Who Work

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Series IV:  Travels records
7 1 Letters of Travel 1898-1899
7 2 Teaching Abroad—correspondence, ephemera about St. Hilda’s School 1916
7 3 Teaching Abroad—St. Hilda’s School Notes ca. 1913-1916
7 4 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Travel Journal [1 of 4] 1926-1927
7 5 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Travel Journal [2 of 4] 1926-1927
7 6 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Travel Journal [3 of 4] 1926-1927
7 7 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Travel Journal [4 of 4] 1926-1927
7 8 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Pamphlets of Travels 1926-1927
7 9 Collected articles 1926-1927
7 10 Draft of letters 1926-1927
7 11 Grace Hutchins’ and Anna Rochester’s Joint Travel letters 1926-1927

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Series V:  Whittaker Chambers Case
8 1 Articles by Chambers
8 2 Reviews for Chambers’ books
8 3 Article on Chambers December 15, 1942
8 4 Article on Chambers Case 1942
8 5 Article on Chambers Case
8 6 Article on Questioning Chambers’ Sanity November 28, 1964
8 7 Articles on Rejecting Chambers 1952
8 8 Article on Grace’s Story December 15, 1948
8 9 Grace Hutchins’ letters to the Editor re: Chambers Book 1952
8 10 Grace Hutchins’ statements re: Chambers Book 1952
8 11 Incoming Correspondence re: Chambers Book 1952-1953
8 12 Outgoing Correspondence re: Chambers Book 1949-1952

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Series VI:  Photographs
9 1 Hutchins and unidentified student, Bryn Mawr undated
9 2 Canoe trip picnic, Grace Hutchins on right 1908
9 3 Canoe trip up the Bagaduce 1908
9 4 Hutchins [?] with puppy 1909
9 5 Hutchins in 1910 1910
9 6 Studio portrait of Grace and unidentified female friend 1911
9 7 Studio portrait of Grace and unidentified female friend 1911
9 8 Grace with five other women (tennis group) 1919
9 9 Grace Hutchins 1927
9 10 Grace Hutchins 1927
9 11 Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester in China 1927
9 12 Grace Hutchins ca. 1935
9 13 Grace Hutchins 1935
9 14 Grace Hutchins at an event at Madison Square Garden November 2, 1936
9 15 Grace Hutchins speaking at an event at Madison Square Garden November 2, 1936
9 16 Grace Hutchins 1953
9 17 Grace Hutchins on porch with other people undated
9 18 Grace Hutchins and unidentified woman on porch of cabin undated
9 19 Grace Hutchins [for The Worker] undated
9 20 Grace Hutchins in old age undated
9 21 Elizabeth Gurley Flynn undated
9 22 Two men paddling a canoe [Grace Hutchins not in picture] 1908
9 23 Unidentified man in garden 1909
9 24 Aunt Susan and unidentified woman 1920
9 25 Group of women undated
9 26 Unidentified Asian women undated
9 27 Women in boat and on dock undated
9 28 Browne Henry undated
9 29 Two male tennis players 1920
9 30 Unidentified old man undated
9 31 Unidentified old man undated
10 1 Album

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  • Personal Names :
  • Chambers, Whittaker
  • Hutchins, Grace, 1885---Archives
  • Hutchins, Grace, 1885---Travel
  • Rochester, Anna
  • Rochester, Anna--Travel
  • Sacco, Nicola, 1891-1927
  • Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 1888-1927
  • Corporate Names :
  • Labor Research Association (U.S.)
  • Subject Terms :
  • American literature--20th century
  • Communal living--New York
  • Lesbian activists--New York
  • Women authors, American--Political and social views
  • Women communists--New York
  • Women labor leaders--New York
  • Women social reformers--New York
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Genealogies
    • Photographs

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