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Libbey, Mrs. Richard Henry.

Archive of material from Mrs. Richard Henry Libbey, Newport, Maine (one black binder).


[Suffrage] Libbey [a.k.a. Leibbey], Clara M. and Richard Henry. Manuscript archive. (Newport, ME): Ca. 1880-1910.
An archive of about 24 manuscripts and 7 pieces of printed ephemera belonging to Clara M. Libbey (or Leibbey, nee Davis), a woman's suffrage activist and prominent leader of the Grange movement, a fraternal organization of American farmers, during the late 19th century. The collection includes about 12 manuscript addresses given by Libbey at Grange meetings in Newport, Maine, several of which feature her debates arguing in favor of woman's suffrage and for the cause of "equal and exact rights" for all men and women. Also included are presentations outlining the history and guiding principles of the Grange movement, and various meeting reports from when she served as Deputy for the Penobscot Pomona (the Maine State Grange). Clara's  husband, Richard Libbey, was also an important Grange leader. They founded the local Sebasticook Grange (No. 306) in 1889, and both were pioneers in developing new techniques for large scale commercial fruit farming.
The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, generally known as The Grange, was founded in 1867 to unify and advocate for American farmers and rural life. It quickly became a powerful, non-partisan political force and an important social hub in most American towns and rural communities. From the beginning the movement recognized "the equality of the two sexes" and played an important part in the national struggle for Woman's suffrage. Susan B. Anthony's last public appearance was at the National Grange Convention in 1903.
Most of the collection's manuscripts were written for meetings held at the Sebasticook Grange. According to a local history, both Clara and Richard spent months visiting area farmers in their horse and buggy to organize the group. Richard served as the First Master of the Grange, and a meeting hall was established where Libbey served as overseer of the group's social activities, educational programs, and meetings. Among the manuscripts of the early assembly meetings she writes: "Let us remember that the Grange, our noble order, at its organization, stepped out well to the front of all existing general laws, and admitted woman to a place of equal honor, privileges, and power. Here she has the free, untrammeled use of the ballot." In an annual report she expresses her pleasure at having added "two new Granges to the number in this County, Good Cheer Grange at North Bradford with thirty-two Charter Members, and Charleston Grange at Charleston with thirty-four Charter Members." Among the manuscripts are two detailed presentations by Richard and Clara respectively, on the cultivation and preservation of fruits, and two literary works either written or copied by friends. Among the printed ephemera are Clara Libbey's personal copies of four Grange manuals printed from 1888-1909, a printed proof copy of one of her articles, and a Boston newspaper clipping from 1895 reporting on a meeting of the New England Woman Suffrage Association.
A compelling collection of over 30 items, overall very good or better, that provides a rare glimpse into the political and social activities of this Maine Grange activist. A detailed list follows:
I. Manuscripts
Primarily working drafts of Clara Leibbey's Grange speeches and meeting reports.
1. [MS address]: The "Opening" and "Closing" arguments of an address before a meeting of the Grange, in support of woman's rights and full suffrage. [Opening]: "The question presented for our consideration is one of great importance and requires careful and impartial thought. It concerns privileges claimed by one half [of] our citizens, and by them denied to the other half." [Closing]: "let us remember that the grange, our noble order, at its organization, stepped out well to the front of all existing general laws, and admitted woman to a place of equal honor, privileges, and power. Here she has the free, untrammeled use of the ballot." 8pp. in manuscript (ink), written on four ruled octavo sheets.
2. [MS address]: "The question that we are to consider is but one element in the great subject of Woman's Rights: a subject that for a quarter of a century has been cussed & discussed by its foes & friends, yet which will not down at the at the bidding of any part, church, or social clique."10pp. in manuscript (ink), written on ten ruled octavo sheets.
3. [MS presentation]: "My essay is a continuation of my last, the subject being the early history of the Grange" A history of the founding principles and growth of the Grange. 5pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on five ruled octavo sheets.
4. [MS address with additional drafts]: An "Address of Welcome" to the Maine State Grange "on this our 21 Anniversary, and it gives me great pleasure on behalf of Penobscot Pomona to greet you here today will you pardon the remark from a woman, a representative of the Sisters who are supposed to know but little about the business concerns of life, but who have their ears open at all times, and their mouths occasionally about the Agricultural interests of our Country not being cared for by our representatives in Congress (And if I mistake not these noble representatives were elected by the ballots of the brothers.) is it setting this intelligent Body too hard a task when we welcome you to the earnest consideration of this subject. (If so pass it over to the sisters, with the ballot, and we will try to settle it.)" 6pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on six ruled sheets of a large octavo notepad, which has an additional 9pp. of manuscript drafts of speeches (in pencil and ink), Signed: "Clara M. Leibbey, Deputy for Penobscot-Co."
5. [MS notes]: Various notes and quotes. 4pp. in manuscript (ink and pencil), written on one ruled octavo bifolium. Signed: "Mrs. R.H. Leibbey, March 21, 1880."
6. [MS draft]: "Things that I have seen" 2pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on two ruled octavo sheets.
7.  [MS essay]: "Grange Character Building" 3pp. in manuscript (ink), written on two ruled octavo sheets.
8. [MS address]: A draft for a Maine Grange contest: "Second night of the Contest" 2pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on two ruled quarto sheets.
9. [MS address]: A draft for another Maine Grange contest. 2pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on two ruled quarto sheets.
10. [MS address]: Draft and notes, on the history of the Grange. 3pp. in manuscript (pencil), written on two ruled quarto sheets.
11. [MS report]: Meeting report: "Sebasticook Grange, Newport, held one of its largest and best sessions at its last meeting. A question of vital interest to the community and state was discussed, viz: "Resolved; that high license is more conducive to temperance than the prohibitory law as now enforced." 2pp. in manuscript (ink), written on two ruled octavo sheets.
12. [MS report]: Meeting report: held at the Sebasticook Grange, relating to new members and other local Granges. 1 page in manuscript (ink), written on one ruled quarto sheet.
13. [MS report]: Meeting report: "Third Annual Report I have had the pleasure of adding two new Granges to the number in this County Good Cheer Grange at North Bradford with thirty-two Charter Members; and Charleston Grange at Charleston with thirty-four Charter Members. Both these Granges are made up of the right kind of Materia.l"
14. (LEIBBEY, Clara). [MS report]: Meeting report: "Penobscot Pomona [Maine State Grange] met with Independent Grange of Bradford Center on July 29. Owing to pressing work in the harvest field but few were in attendance, about 100, but the meeting was one of much interest and profit. A paper of great interest on "The raising of small fruits" was read by Bro. R.H. Leibbey of Hillside Fruit Farm, Newport."
15. (Libbey, Richard). [MS paper]: "The Cultivation of Small Fruits" 14pp. in manuscript (ink, with pencil annotations), written on fourteen ruled quarto sheets.
16. (Libbey, Richard). [MS paper]: Additional MS, re: [The Cultivation of Small Fruits]: "Plums, Gooseberry, Blackberry, etc. 13pp. in manuscript (ink), written on thirteen octavo sheets of stationary.
17. [Two MS documents with envelope]: Sent to Richard H. Leibbey: "Fair Woman's Plea [and] "A Grange Building" Sent by H.H. Osgood from the Charleston Grange, Maine to R.H. Leibbey, Esq." with a pencil note on the envelope: "Grange character building and fair Woman's plea." 4pp. in manuscript (ink), written on two ruled octavo sheets; envelope with postmark.
18. [MS document with envelope]: Sent to Clara Leibbey: Newport, Me. Aug. 22, 1894: "It has given your correspondent great pleasure to welcome to her house Worthy Lecturer Prof. W.W. Stetson ..." 2pp. in manuscript (ink), written on two ruled octavo sheets; envelope with postmark addressed to: "Mrs. R.H. Leibbey," and with an ink note: "For publication."
19. [MS report]: Records the presentation "at a recent meeting of Sebasticook Grange" of a: framed life size crayon portrait of Past Master R.H. Leibbey the First Master of the Grange. 1 page in manuscript (ink), written on one ruled quarto sheet, dated: June 27, 1894.
20. (Sarah J. Ross). [MS document]: A tribute to: "To Mr. & Mrs. Richard Henry Leibbey, on their twenty-fifth anniversary." 3pp. in manuscript (ink), written on three ruled quarto sheets bound with a cloth tie.
21. Jenkins, Joshua. [MS story]: "How we hunted a mouse." A complete handwritten story, Signed: "Joshua Jenkins, Apr. 7th, 1892." 8pp. in manuscript (ink), written on eight ruled octavo sheets of stationary bound with cloth tie. Published in several anthologies, including: One Hundred Choice Selections in Poetry and Prose, Issue 12. Philadelphia: P. Garrett & Co., 1890.
22. (Mary Elizabeth Hurd). [MS play]: A complete handwritten copy of: "Cent-Any-All Centennial." 20pp. in manuscript (ink), written on five ruled quarto bifolium sheets, Signed: "Mary Elizabeth Hurd." First published as: "Cent-Any-All Centennial" a charade in three acts by Emma E. Brewster. Mary Elizabeth Hurd (b. 1843 in Danbury) married John Huntington Brewster and had four children.
23. [MS document]: "Descriptive Phrases," "Answers", "Riddles," etc. 8pp. in manuscript (ink), written on four ruled quarto sheets.
24. [MS note]: Pencil note on one clay-coated quarto sheet.
II. Printed Pamphlets and Ephemera
All by Clara Libbey unless otherwise noted.
1. [Newspaper clipping]: "Young Suffragists. Traditional Woman's Rights Advocate, No More. Pretty Young College Girls Ask for Right to Ballot. Second Day's Sessions of N. E. [New England] Woman Suffrage Ass'n." Boston Journal, May 29, 1895.
2. Manual of Subordinate Granges of the Patrons of Husbandry. Tenth edition. Philadelphia: George S. Ferguson Co., 1909. Publisher's cloth boards. 88pp. Signed: "Clara M. Leibbey Sebasticook Grange No. 306."
3. Two Page Proofs: "Preserving and Canning Fruit. Address given by Mrs. R.H. Libbey, Newport, at Pomological Meeting, Norway, Nov. 13." Both measure 25" x 5", with pencil annotations.
4. STETSON, W.W. A Course of Reading for Patrons. 4pp. (bifolium) Auburn, Maine, 1894. Note: No copies in OCLC.
5. WHITEHEAD, Mortimer. The Origin and Progress of the Grange, containing "Declaration of Purposes," P. of H., illustrated with cuts of the Founders and Leading Men of the Order. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Patrons' Paint Works, (1888). Stapled wrappers. [32]pp., with a 16pp. publisher's advertising insert tipped into this copy. Note: OCLC locates only one copy.
6. Private Instructions to Officers and Members of the Patrons of Husbandry in Degree Work and Paraphernalia. Mechanicsburg, PA.: Farmers' Friend Print, 1889. 20pp. Stitched wrappers. Note: No copies in OCLC.
7. [Printed Ticket]. Union Council, No. 39, U. F., of Dover and Foxcroft. Entertainment and Ball, at Central Hall, Dover, Thursday Eve., Feb. 10, 1887. Complimentary to: "Charles Osborne" (in manuscript), with embossed envelope.

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