Helen MacMartin Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Helen MacMartin Papers contain materials related to her tenure as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Progressive Party of Vermont, from 1948 to 1953, as well as her correspondence, from about 1945 to 1975, and clippings, newsletters, correspondence, and other materials concerning the many social concerns, groups, and organizations with which she was involved over the course of her life. These subjects (extent about 10 linear feet) include: the Champlain Peace Council, NAACP, ACLU, Women Strike for Peace, medical care for the aged, Women’s International Democratic Federation, civil rights and race relations, William H. Melish, Corliss Lamont, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and protests of McCarthyism, the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), the McCarran Act, and nuclear proliferation, and many more social concerns. There are a few materials that relate to her personal life, such as her guardianship of MacGregor and Margaret MacMartin, and her employment and application files. There are a few photographs. These files are arranged alphabetically by subject of type of record, and reflect MacMartin’s own arrangement.
MacMartin’s Correspondence (extent about 6 linear inches) includes letters from Marjory Collins, Myrtle Lane, and Virginia Naeve, all members of Women Strike for Peace and fellow activists on civil liberties, civil rights, and anti-nuclear proliferation issues. There is some correspondence, mostly of a brief and official nature with Senators George Aiken and Winston Prouty and Representative Robert Stafford. Other well-known correspondents include: Curtis MacDougall (a scholar of the Progressive Party), Rockwell Kent, Hayden Carruth, and William Meyer. Her many letters to the editor for the Burlington Free Press are included in her correspondence. MacMartin’s Correspondence is arranged first alphabetically by correspondent and then the general correspondence is arranged chronologically.
The Progressive Party Papers (extent about 10 linear inches) contain financial and business records of the Progressive Party of Vermont as related to MacMartin’s position as Secretary-Treasurer. These include receipts and invoices, bank statements, expenses, Meeting minutes, Newsletters, Lists of members, printed materials, and other types of records of the party. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject or type of record.
- Progressive Party (U.S.: 1948)—Vermont (Organization)
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.
Helen MacMartin was born 22 April 1891 in Brooklyn, New York, to Daniel and Carrie (Page) Hawthorn. She attended William Smith College, graduating in 1913. That year she also married James MacGregor MacMartin. Helen moved to Vermont in 1926. In 1936, she began working in the U.S. Employment Service in Vermont after completing graduate work in Simmons College’s School of Social Work. Helen resigned from her position in 1948 in order to take the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the Progressive Party of Vermont. She worked on the campaign to elect Henry Wallace as President in 1948. After the Vermont Progressive Party dissolved, in 1953(?), Helen continued to work with local, national, and international organizations that promoted peace, civil liberties, civil rights, and an end to nuclear proliferation. She lived mainly in Burlington, Vermont, and was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. In the Spring of 1965, MacMartin traveled to London, in order to protest nuclear proliferation at a meeting of NATO. She died in Berlin, Vermont, 3 November 1987.
5.71 Linear Feet (4 cartons, 2 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Helen MacMartin Papers contain materials related to her tenure as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Progressive Party of Vermont, from 1948 to 1953, as well as her correspondence, from about 1945 to 1975, and clippings, newsletters, correspondence, and other materials concerning the many social concerns, groups, and organizations with which she was involved over the course of her life. She was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1891, lived most of her life in Burlington, VT, and died in Berlin, VT, in 1987.
Library Research Annex; contact email@example.com for access.
Separated Materials note
Many of the printed materials (serials, monographs, and pamphlets), related to many of the social and political activism of Helen MacMartin have been removed from this collection to a collection of its own within UVM Library Special Collections, entitled the Helen MacMartin Collection of Political Printed Materials.
- Guide to the Helen MacMartin Papers
- Travis Puller
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Language of description note