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Cynthia Grant Tucker papers

 Collection
Identifier: IWA1182

Scope and Contents

The Cynthia Grant Tucker papers measure 10 linear inches and span from the 1970s to the 1990s. The papers are divided into three series: Mary Collson (1973-1994), Mary Safford (1983-1994), and Eleanor Gordon (1978-1994).

The Mary Collson series (1973-1994) includes one copy of “A Woman’s Ministry,” and two copies of “A Healer in Harm’s Way,” both of which were written by Cynthia Grant Tucker and cover the topic of Mary Collson’s life and involvement in the Unitarian Church. This series also includes Tucker’s correspondence relating to her research of Collson and her writing process. Some of Collson’s writings are in this series, including her autobiography, as are some photocopies of documents pertaining to Collson’s life. Photocopies of Collson’s correspondence with Edward Meeman and Jane Addams from 1903 to 1952 are also included in this series. These photocopies have some of Tucker’s annotations and research notes on them. Collson’s letters to Meeman touch upon a variety of topics, including sex-psychology, her feelings towards her separation from Christian Science, socialism, and racial discrimination within the Christian Science church. The research papers presented within this series were primarily for Tucker’s research for "A Woman’s Ministry: Mary Collson’s Search for Reform as a Unitarian Minister, a Hull House Social Worker, and a Christian Science Practitioner," that is referred to within this series as either, "The Story of Mary Collson (1870-1953): Frontier Minister, Settlement Worker, Christian Science Practitioner," or as, "A March to a Different Drummer." It must be noted that all photocopies within this series are not allowed to be photocopied due to their rights belonging to other archives.

The Mary Safford series (1983-1994) consists of Tucker’s correspondence revolving around her research of Safford and photocopies of documents relating to Reverend Mary Safford’s life. Photocopies and transcriptions of Safford’s correspondence with various male ministers of the Unitarian church and with her family from 1875 to 1926 are also included within this series. Tucker’s annotations and research notes can be found on these photocopies. Safford’s correspondence with Reverend Saint John displays some of the disagreements and friction that occurred amongst the ministers of the church as her letters do not hide her dislike of him. Nearly half of the correspondence found within this series consists of Safford’s correspondence with her mother, Louisa Safford. The book that Tucker applied this research to is not specified within this series, but it can be assumed that some of this research went towards Tucker’s book, "Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Ministries of the Frontier, 1880-1930," that was published in 1990, as well as her book, "Healer in Harm’s Way: Mary Collson, A Clergywoman in Christian Science," that was published in 1994. All transcribed letters found within this series were transcribed by Kay Stein in 1991. It must be noted that all photocopies within this series cannot be photocopied due to their rights belonging to other archives.

The Eleanor Gordon series (1978-1994) includes photocopies relating to Reverend Eleanor Gordon’s life and photocopies of Gordon’s correspondence from 1885 to 1938 with Reverend Jenkins Lloyd Jones and Reverend Samuel Eliot, both of whom were also ministers of the Unitarian church. Tucker’s annotations and research notes can be found throughout the series. Gordon’s correspondence with Jones displays Gordon’s distress over the negative feelings occurring amongst the community of Unitarian ministers. These letters especially display her frustration with the some of the male ministers, such as Reverend Samuel Eliot, who objected to the church’s acceptance of female ministers. The book that Tucker applied this research to is not specified within this series, but it can be assumed that some of this research went towards Tucker’s book, "Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Ministries of the Frontier, 1880-1930," that was published in 1990, as well as her book, "Healer in Harm’s Way: Mary Collson, A Clergywoman in Christian Science," that was published in 1994. It must be noted that all photocopies within this series cannot be photocopied due to their rights belonging to other archives.

Dates

  • (1973-1994)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research. 

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa. 

Biographical / Historical

Cynthia Grant Tucker was born and raised in New York City. Tucker received her PhD from the University of Iowa in 1967. She was a main driver of the creation of the University of Memphis’ Women’s Studies program. Tucker was also a major force in creating a curriculum at the University of Memphis that included more written works by women. She currently holds a position as an English professor at the University of Memphis, as well as holding a position as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Universalist History. Tucker focuses on showcasing women’s writings and women’s history. Her published works include: "Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Ministers of the Frontier, 1880-1930," "Kate Freeman Clark: A Painter Rediscovered," "Spirited Threads: A Fabric Artist’s Passion for Life: The Art and Writings of Patricia Roberts Cline," "No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Liberal World," "Healer in Harm’s Way: Mary Collson, A Clergywoman in Christian Science," and "A Woman’s Ministry: Mary Collson’s Search for Reform as a Unitarian Minister, Hull House Social Worker, and a Christian Science Practitioner." (Biographical information for Cynthia Grant Tucker was found on the Women of Achievement Organization website)

Extent

10.00 linear inches

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Research materials and correspondence of a historian of the Unitarian church’s female ministers in Iowa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1547) were donated by Cynthia Grant Tucker in 2018.

Related Materials

Adele Fuchs papers:

Adele Fuchs was close friends with this community of women ministers and was also a point of research for Cynthia Grant Tucker. Fuchs’ papers include a large amount of correspondence between her and Safford.

Professional Women’s League (Des Moines, Iowa) records:

Mary Safford was heavily involved in this organization.

Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission records
Title
Cynthia Grant Tucker papers 
Author
Bailey Petersen
Date
2018
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

Contact:
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5068
319-335-5900 (Fax)