Anna Garlin was a feminist, minister, educator, pacifist, and writer who dedicated her life to social reform. In 1869, Spencer began her career as a writer for the Providence Journal. As a young woman, she also began a teaching career that would see her rise from a public school teacher to lecturer at such institutions as the University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, and Columbia University. Spencer became the first female minister in Rhode Island, pastoring the Bell Street Chapel in Providence.
Spencer was involved with many prominent groups in the feminist and pacifist community. She was a founding member of the Women's Peace Party, first chair of the national board of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and served on the executive committee of the National Peace and Arbitration Congress. She was also the president of the Rhode Island Equal Suffrage Association and the National Council of Women.
The Anna Garlin Spencer Papers includes correspondence, writings, and biographical and family material. Correspondents included Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Frederick Douglass, and Lucia Ames Mead.
Number of reels: 5