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Guide to the Amelia MacDonald Cutler Papers, 1906-1921

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Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Cutler, Amelia MacDonald, 1882-1947
Title: Amelia MacDonald Cutler Papers
Dates: 1906-1921
Quantity: 0.30 cubic ft (63 items in 1 box)
Abstract: Papers concerning her interest in woman suffrage and including letters from Anna De Baun, John M. Glenn, Norval D. Kemp, Henrietta W. Livermore, Caroline Ruutz-Rees, Anna Howard Shaw, and Vira Boarman Whitehouse, 1908-1917; one letter from Cutler to Livermore, 1916; two letters about Cutler from Carrie Chapman Catt and Norval D. Kemp, 1908-1916; clippings, programs, and other miscellaneous printed matter on suffrage work, 1916-1921; and manuscripts and typescripts by Cutler on rural life and people, 1906-1917.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, clippings, and programs.

Biographical Note

Amelia Shaw Macdonald was born in Delhi, New York on September 28, 1882, the daughter of John Thompson and Catherine Coville MacDonald. Miss MacDonald entered Vassar College with the Class of 1904 and received her degree in 1907. On March 2, 1909, she married Charles Evelyn Cutler, a landscape architect, and the two took up residence in Westport, Connecticut.

Following her graduation from Vassar, Amelia became involved in the woman's suffrage movement. She was a member of the board of the League of Women Voters and acted as an advisor to the National American Woman Suffrage Movement as well as the New York State Commission on Country Life. Amelia was particularly dedicated to the suffrage movement in rural areas, being convinced that the achievement of woman's suffrage in farming communities was essential to the improvement of country life on the whole.

In addition to her suffragist activities, Amelia MacDonald Cutler expressed a keen interest in the restoration of farmhouse and colonial architecture types, with an emphasis on the preservation of historical landmarks that figured in Pre-Revolution days. Her knowledge of historical architecture was once described as being "exhaustive." She was also highly recognized for her contributions to the conservation of Connecticut state forests and wildflower life. She was active in the Westport Garden Club and was elected chairman of the New England Wildflower Preservation Society, a position she would hold until her death on February 16, 1947.

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Scope and Content Note

The Amelia MacDonald Cutler Collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, and printed materials related exclusively to her involvement in the Women's Suffrage Movement. There is no information dealing with her interest in landscape architecutre and historical preservation.

The Collection consists chiefly of correspondence. Letters are arranged alphabetically by author. The 47 letters written to Cutler span from 1908 to 1917, and deal with the various papers and articles that she wrote to improve rural conditions and further the suffrage movement.

A set of 34 letters written between Cutler and Lucy Maynard Salmon (1908-1924) together with 2 letters written by Adelaide Underhill can be found within the Lucy Maynard Salmon Collection at Vassar College. These letters cover a broader range of topics than do those contained within the Cutler Collection, including personal matters, wildflower preservation, and landscape architecture.

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Access and Use


This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

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Subject Headings


  • Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947.
  • De Baun, Anna.
  • Glenn, John M.
  • Kemp, Norval D.
  • Livermore, Henrietta Jackson Wells, b. 1864.
  • Ruutz-Rees, Caroline, 1865-
  • Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919.
  • Whitehouse, Vira Boarman, 1875-1957.


  • Country life.
  • Farm life.
  • Rural women--Social conditions.
  • Women social reformers.
  • Women's rights.
  • Women--Suffrage.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, November 2006.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Amelia MacDonald Cutler Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Updated October 1990.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Amelia MacDonald Cutler.

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Series List





Container List


Letters to Amelia MacDonald Cutler
Folder 1.1 Cutler, Janer (daughter) VC 1934, 1934 (1 letter)
Folder 1.1A DeBaun, Anna, 1915-1917 (3 letters)
Folder 1.2 Glenn, John M., 1908-1909 (3 letters)
Folder 1.3 Kemp, Norval D., 1908-1909 (8 letters)
Folder 1.4 Livermore, Henrietta W., 1916, n.d. (6 letters, 1 w/ draft of reply)
Folder 1.5 Ruutz-Rees, Caroline, 1915 (4 letters)
Folder 1.6 Shaw, Anna Howard, 1915 (3 letters)
Folder 1.7 Whitehouse, Vira Boarman, 1916 (4 letters)
Folder 1.8 Minor correspondence, 1908-1917, n.d. (16 letters)
Letters from Amelia MacDonald Cutler
Folder 1.9 To Henrietta W. Livermore, 1916 (1 letter)
Folder 1.9A To Marie Maples Preson, VC 1900, 1900 (1 letter)
Letters about Amelia MacDonald Cutler
Folder 1.10 Letter from Carrie Chapman Catt to Lucy Maynard Salmon; from Norval D. Kemp to John M. Glenn, 1908-1916 (2 letters)
Folder 1.10A Doctor's excuse for Amelia Cutler, with Cutler's [?] drawing, 1902 (1 item)


Folder 1.11 "Social Conditions Among the Country Folk of New York State," [1906] (TS, 14 p. )
Folder 1.12 "Farm Women and Insanity," [1915] (TS, 6 p. )
Folder 1.13 "Reciprocity with Canada," [ca 1916] (MS, 8 p. )
Folder 1.14 "How to Reach the Rural Voters," [1917] (MS, 18 p. )
Folder 1.15 "How to Reach the Rural Voters," (partial typescript) [1917] (TS, 5 p. )


Folder 1.16 News articles concerning Cutler's suffrage activities (photocopy), 1916, n.d. (3 articles)
Folder 1.17 Miscellaneous printed materials, 1921, n.d. (1 flyer, 2 programs)
Folder 1.17A Cutler Memorial and Genealogical History, 1989


Folder 1.18 Description of documents contained within the Cutler Collection, n.d. (1 item)

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