Elisabeth Gilman papers
Scope and Contents
Elisabeth Gilman's papers reflect her many public activities. The papers consist of correspondence, speeches, writings, diaries, newspaper clippings, printed material, memorabilia, and photographs.
From 1917 to 1919 Elisabeth volunteered with the YMCA in France. This work is documented in her letters home to her sister Alice and her aunt, Louise Gilman Lane. The letters apparently were returned to Elizabeth after she returned home and are filed with her papers. Elisabeth also wrote several articles about her war work which are included in the papers.
After returning home, Elisabeth became active in progressive later Socialist Party activities. There are letters, speeches, writing, and clippings about her work for the unemployed and especially her forays into politics as a candidate for governor, senator, and mayor of Baltimore on the Socialist Party ticket. Elisabeth's personal life is less well-documented. There are scrapbooks, travel diaries, albums, and an autobiographical sketch which offer some information about her early childhood.
- Creation: 1872-1949
- Gilman, Elisabeth Coit, 1867-1950 (Person)
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This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Elisabeth Gilman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, December 25, 1867. She was the younger daughter of Daniel Coit and Mary (Ketcham) Gilman. Her father was a college professor and the first president of The Johns Hopkins University. Elisabeth's mother died in 1869, and she and her sister Alice were cared for by Daniel's sister, Louise. Elisabeth came to Baltimore to live in 1876 when Daniel C. Gilman was inaugurated president of The Johns Hopkins University. She was educated at home by governesses and later went to boarding school at Springside, Philadelphia. She received her B.S. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1921.
In 1883, Elisabeth traveled with her father to Europe. She and her sister, Alice, spent an extended period of time, 1889- 1890, touring Europe and some areas of the Middle East. During both of these trips, Elisabeth accompanied her father as he inspected social conditions in East London.
After the death of her parents, Elisabeth attempted to carry on a family tradition of social life and welfare work. In 1916, Elisabeth attended a church institute near Boston where Vida Scudder lectured on the Socialist point of view. Later that summer, Elisabeth attended a conference of the League for Industrial Democracy at Sherwood Forest, Maryland where she listened to speakers John Spargo, Harry Laidler, and Mercer Johnston. At this time, Elisabeth decided that she was by conviction, a Socialist.
During World War I, Elisabeth volunteered for service with the YMCA in France, 1917-1919. She worked as a secretary as well as doing canteen work and leave area work. Upon her return to the United States, she worked on the Joint Amnesty Committee for political prisoners and was organizer and treasurer of the West Virginia Miners Relief Committee.
During the 1920s, Elisabeth continued to support, both personally and financially, many progressive activities and associations. She joined the Socialist Party around 1924. She was the unanimous choice of the Socialist Party as candidate for governor of Maryland in 1930. Shortly after accepting the nomination, she left on a fact-finding trip to Russia and for talks with other Socialists in Europe. She traveled with a party of twelve under the direction of Harry Laidler of the League for Industrial Democracy. She returned to the United States and began a rigorous agenda of campaign appearances which were well-covered by the press. Although she was unsuccessful in the governor's race, she ran for mayor of Baltimore in 1935 and for the Senate in 1938.
Miss Gilman continued her efforts in the interests of social justice and did not allow her position in society to compromise her political beliefs. As events in Spain escalated in 1938 and another world war appeared imminent, Miss Gilman adopted the pacifist position and argued for non-intervention by the United States.
Elisabeth Gilman died in 1950.
3 Cubic Feet (4 legal size document boxes, 2 legal half-size document boxes, 2 flat boxes (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches))
Language of Materials
Elisabeth Gilman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, December 25, 1867. She was the younger daughter of Daniel Coit and Mary (Ketcham) Gilman. Her father was a college professor and the first president of The Johns Hopkins University. The papers consist of correspondence, speeches, writings, diaries, newspaper clippings, printed material, memorabilia, and photographs.
The papers (1872-1949) of Elisabeth Gilman (1867-1950) which form this collection are separated into four series: Correspondence, Speeches and Writings, Printed Material, and Personal.
Some of the material was originally cataloged to the stacks and was transferred to the Manuscripts Department, December 1989. Some correspondence and other items were formerly part of the Daniel Coit Gilman Papers MS.0001 and were removed to form MS.0235, December 1989.
The papers were given to the University by Elisabeth Gilman in 1940.
The Accession Numbers are 89-90.33 and 89-90.34.
Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in February 1990, with additional processing by Annie Tang in June 2016.
- Flexner, Abraham, 1866-1959 (Person)
- Gilman, Daniel C. (Daniel Coit), 1831-1908 (Person)
- Coolidge, Susan, 1835-1905 (Person)
- Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891 (Person)
- Howell, William H. (William Henry), 1860-1945 (Person)
- Gilman, Elisabeth Coit, 1867-1950 (Person)
- Lane, Louise Gilman, 1838-1922 (Person)
- Arnold, Matthew, 1822-1888 (Person)
- Addams, Jane, 1860-1935 (Person)
- Gilman, Mary Van Winkler Ketcham, 1869- (Person)
- Wheeler, Alice Gilman (Person)
- Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983 (Person)
- Ramsay, William Mitchell, Sir, 1851-1939 (Person)
- Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968 (Person)
Genre / Form
- albums (books)
- clippings (information artifacts)
- fliers (printed matter)
- leaflets (printed works)
- letters (correspondence)
- photographic prints
- speeches (documents)
- Elisabeth Gilman papers
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA