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Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers

Identifier: mss-044

Scope and Content Note

The Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers contain materials documenting her political and legal careers, as well as her personal papers, which include correspondence, school papers, financial papers, writings, and similar materials documenting her life as well as the lives of family members and friends. This collection is arranged into four series: Political Papers, Personal and Family Papers, Legal Papers, and Photographs.

The Political Papers contain the correspondence, Secretary to E. W. Gibson, Sr. Papers, Public Office Papers (which are arranged chronologically by the five offices Consuelo held: City Grand Juror, State’s Attorney, State Senator, Town Representative, and Lieutenant Governor), Vermont Republican Organizations, National Republican Organizations, Elections, Speeches, Subject Files, and Writings from Consuelo’s political career.

The Personal and Family Papers contain the personal and family correspondence, financial records, diaries, school work, ephemera, and other family papers of Consuelo, Henry Albon Bailey, Sarah Manley, and the Northrop, Fletcher, Wallis, Cottrell, Brigham, Ford/Miller, and Ferguson/Bishop families.

The Legal Papers contain the client files, correspondence, financial records, and subject files from Consuelo’s and Albon’s legal practice, both before and after their marriage and legal practice partnership. This series also includes bar certificates, clippings, datebooks, and a few other items.

The Photographs series include all the photographs from the collection. This series is arranged the same way that the collection is arranged: Political photographs, Personal and Family photographs, and Legal photographs. The Unidentified photographs subseries includes those photographs for which neither identity of subject nor identity of context could be determined.


  • Bulk, 1900-1976 1797-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1900 - 1976



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Consuelo Northrop was born in Fairfield, Vermont, October 10, 1899. She attended the Sheldon school through the fifth grade. In the fall of 1910, she, her sisters, and their Mother moved to St. Albans, Vermont, so that they could attend the St. Albans schools, while her Father worked their farm in Fairfield. (For more information about Consuelo’s father, Peter Bent Brigham Northrop, see the Northrop subseries. For more information about her mother, Katherine Fletcher Northrop, see the Fletcher subseries and the Northrop subseries. For more information about her older sister, Mary Northrop Wallis, see the Northrop and Wallis subseries. For more information about her younger sister, Frederika Northrop Sargent, see the Northrop subseries.) Consuelo graduated from St. Albans High School in 1917, at which time she, her sisters, and their Mother moved to Burlington, where she attended the University of Vermont. She graduated in 1921, and taught for one year in the Shelburne School. In the fall of 1922, Consuelo began her law studies at Boston University, graduating with an L.L.B. in 1925. Consuelo returned to Burlington and prepared for the Vermont Bar Exam while working in the legal office of Alfred Sherman. In 1925, she became the first woman to serve as Burlington City Grand Juror. In the fall of 1926, she was elected States Attorney, and served two terms from 1927-31. From 1931-37, she was the personal secretary to Ernest W. Gibson, Sr. At the same time, she served as State Senator from Chittenden County from 1931-33, and later as State Representative for South Burlington 1951-55. In 1953, she became the first Speaker of the House in Vermont who was a woman. In 1953, she was appointed by President Eisenhower to the U.S. Post Office Advisory Board. In 1954, she was elected Lieutenant Governor, the first woman in any state to be elected to this position. (For more information about Consuelo’s political career, see Series A-Political Papers.) Consuelo passed her bar exams in the fall of 1925. She was admitted to the Vermont Supreme Court in 1926, the United States District Court in 1927, United States Supreme Court in 1933 (the first woman from Vermont to be so), and the United States Customs Court in 1942. In 1940, Consuelo married Henry Albon Bailey, who had a legal practice in Burlington. Together they began a legal firm, Bailey & Bailey. However Albon became ill in 1941, was soon diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and Consuelo took over sole responsibility for the firm. Albon died in 1961. (For more information about Henry Albon Bailey, see the H.A. Bailey subseries in Series B-Personal and Family Papers. For more information about Consuelo’s legal career, see Series C-Legal Papers.) Throughout most of her life, Consuelo was active in the Republican Party. She was a member of Town, County, and State Republican Committees. In 1936, she was elected a National Committeewoman from Vermont, a position she held for 37 years until her retirement in 1973. She was elected as a Vermont Delegate to National Conventions, in 1936 and 1944. She was a Presidential Elector twice, in 1956 and 1972. She was elected Vice Chairman of National Committee in 1952, and the Chairman of the Committee on Call at the National Republican Convention in 1960. She served on several committees during her time with the Republican National Committee. (For more information about her work with the Republican Party, see Series A-Political Papers.) After her retirement from the Republican National Committee in 1973, Consuelo worked on her autobiography, Leaves Before the Wind: the Autobiography of Vermont’s Own Daughter, which she finished but did not see published. Consuelo died September 9, 1976.


109.02 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Consuelo Northrop Bailey (1899-1976) was a prominent political figure in Vermont from the 1920s to the 1970s, serving as State's Attorney, State Senator, State Representative, Speaker of the House, Lt. Governor (the first woman to hold such an office in the U.S.), and Republican National Committeewoman. The Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers contain materials documenting Bailey's political and legal careers, as well as her personal papers, which include correspondence, school papers, financial papers, writings, and similar materials documenting her life as well as the lives of family members and friends.


Library Research Annex.

Separated Materials

John H. Stufflebean Scrapbook (1848-1872), small account book, envelope containing the items from his pockets at time of death, and records of the settling of his estate administered by P.B.B. Northrop were removed to the J.H. Stufflebean Papers in Special Collections, University of Vermont, May 12, 2008.

Mauree Pickering Mahin typescript of memoir of life in the American Regular Army with her father and husband (circa 1936) was separated May 12, 2008.

Horace Jepson letter to his wife, Annie Jepson, August 26, 1906, was separated May 12, 2008.

W.E. Beldon ledger (1877-1892), was separated May 12, 2008.

William A. Remele clippings scrapbooks (2)(1878-?, and 1889-1904) were separated May 13, 2008.

Barrack Room Ballads by Rudyard Kipling 4"x3"; Midsummer-Night's Dream by Shakespeare 2 3/4" x 2 1/8"; Hamlet by Shakespeare 2 3/4" x 2 1/8".

Guide to the Consuelo Northrop Bailey Papers
Finding aid prepared by Travis Puller, Francesca Livermore, Selene Colburn, and Sylvia Bugbee
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)