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Martha Foote Crow Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: May 1990 rev.

Biographical History

Martha Foote Crow, educator and writer, was born in 1854 in Sackets Harbor, New York, the daughter of the Reverend John B. and Mary Pendexter (Stilphen) Foote. She received a Ph.D. in 1885 from Syracuse University. In 1884 she married archaeologist John M. Crow, who died in 1891.

Mrs. Crow served on the faculty of Ives Seminary, Waynesburg College, and Wellesley College, becoming principal of Grinnell College in 1884. In 1891 she became assistant professor of English literature at the University of Chicago, and in 1900 was appointed dean of women at Northwestern University.

In addition to lecturing before many scholarly societies, Crow was an active member of the Browning Society, the League of American Pen Women, the Poetry Society of America, and the General Foundation of Women's Clubs. Among her published works are Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles (1896), The World Above (1905), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1907), Harriet Beecher Stowe, a Biography (1913), The American Country Girl (1915), Lafayette (1916), and Christ in the Poetry of Today (1917).

Mrs. Crow's home was in Chicago, Illinois, where she died on January 1, 1924.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Martha Foote Crow Papers comprise Biographical material, Correspondence, Writings, and Memorabilia of the American educator, lecturer, and author. Spanning the years 1885 to 1921, the Correspondence-Subject file (Boxes 1-2) is arranged alphabetically and includes family letters as well as literary correspondence (Katharine Bates, Anna Hempstead Branch, Amelia Josephine Burr, Grace Hazard Conkling, Edwin Markham, Harriet Monroe, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Sara Teasdale, Elinor Wylie). In addition, there is a sizable collection of organizational correspondence including that of Alpha Phi, the Colorado Federation of Women's Clubs, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the League of American Pen Women, the National Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the Poetry Society of America. Perhaps the most interesting of the organizational correspondence refers to the expulsion of George Sylvester Viereck from the Poetry Society of America.

Writings (Boxes 3-7) include (for a given title) any combination of background information, typescript manuscripts, production material, publicity, and reviews of various of Martha Foote Crow's books including Christ in the Poetry of Today, Elizabethan Sonnet Cycles, "Enigma" (unpublished), and Lafayette. Also included are the typescript manuscripts for a number of Crow's essays, which range in subject from poetry to education and women's issues. The bulk of the Writings are Crow's lecture notes, which have been arranged by topic and include Bible history, Robert Browning, chirography, drama, George Meredith, and the character of the 19th century.

Memorabilia (Box 8) includes miscellaneous clippings (newspaper clippings which refer to Crow have been placed with biographical material in Box 1), photographs, and the writings of others, some of which are poetic tributes to Crow.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Bates, Katharine Lee, 1859-1929.
Branch, Anna Hempstead, 1875-1937.
Conkling, Grace Hazard, 1878-1958.
Crow, Martha Foote, 1854-1924.
Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940.
Monroe, Harriet, 1860-1936.
Teasdale, Sara, 1884-1933.
Wylie, Elinor, 1885-1928.

Corporate Bodies

Alpha Phi.
General Federation of Women's Clubs.
League of American Pen Women.
National Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Poetry Society of America.


American poetry -- 20th century.
American poetry -- Women authors.
Educators -- United States.
Lecturers -- United States.
Poetry, Modern -- 20th century.
Poets, American -- Correspondence.
Women authors, American.
Women educators -- United States.
Women poets, American -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Martha Foote Crow Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Elizabeth Foote, 1932.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-Subject file