Emily Newell Blair (1877-1951) was a suffragist, feminist, Democratic party official, and writer. Active in the Missouri women's suffrage movement, Blair eventually became a prominent figure in feminist activism. Blair was also a member of the Democratic Party and became first vice-president of that organization. While holding this position, she organized more than 2,000 Democratic Women's Clubs, helped found the Woman's National Democratic Club, established regional training programs for women party workers, and prepared a variety of publications. In 1935, Blair was appointed to the Consumer's Advisory Board and later served as chief of the women's interest section of the war department's public relations bureau.
The Emily Newell Blair Papers, 1785-1972 is a collection of Blair's personal, professional, and family correspondence; published and unpublished writings by and about Blair; diaries; speeches; personal and family memorabilia; and clippings. In addition, material relating to Blair's family history is included. This collection is arranged by document type, then by family member, then chronologically within four series: correspondence, writings, memorabilia, and clippings.
This collection is particularly valuable for the study of feminism and women's suffrage in the early twentieth century as it traces the emergence of women as politicians in the Democratic Party. It is also an important resource for research in the history of women and the family in the early twentieth century. It provides materials that reveal intersections in women's roles in their public and private spheres. The issues of feminism and women's suffrage are prominent, not only in Emily Newell Blair's public experience as an author and a woman in politics, but also in her private roles as wife and mother.
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