Rare Book & Manuscript Library

American College for Girls records, 1880s-1979

Series 1: Records of the Trustees

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Subseries I.1: Woman's Board of Missions

The bulk of the ACG records are those of the trustees. These include the work of their most important committees. The early records beginning in 1890 reflect the sponsorship of the college by the Woman's Board of Missions. Mary Mills Patrick, president, Florence Fensham, dean, and others provide accounts to the board of the work of the college. In the main, these reflect the day-to-day decisions necessary to develop a fledgling institution under less than ideal conditions. Important subjects covered in the early years are Patrick's efforts to secure property rights for a permanent campus, and an imperial Irade to formalize approval of the college by the Sultan. Issuance was announced in April 1895.

As early as 1893, ACG's advisory board raised the issue of separating the college from the Woman's Board of Missions so that it would stand on its own. Those who favored this believed that the college would then have broader appeal when it asked for contributions from denominations other than the Congregationalist-sponsored Woman's Board of Missions.

In addition to the ever-present matters of finances and supplies, a recurrent subject is the recruitment of faculty. Given the distance and slow means of communication between the United States and Turkey, there was necessarily much discussion of the qualifications of prospective teachers and the terms of their contracts.

Box 1 Bound Volume: General correspondence to President Mary Mills Patrick and Dean Florence Fensham from secretaries E. Harriet Stanwood and Abbie Child,, 1900-1905

Box 1 Bound Volume: General correspondence written by Sarah L. Day, treasurer, and Stanwood, secretary., 1905-1908

Box 2 Folder 1 Correspondence Fensham/Child, 1890

Box 2 Folder 2 General correspondence to Child, Ellen Carruth, and J. Augusta Smith (Mrs. Judson), 1890-1892

Box 2 Folder 3 Resignation of Caroline Borden as Secretary of the Corporation,, 1893

Box 2 Folder 4-5 General correspondence to Child, 1894-1895

Box 2 Folder 6 Correspondence to Child and Smith from Patrick and others, 1893;1895

Box 2 Folder 7 Reports to Child and Stanwood from Patrick, 1896

Box 2 Folder 8 General correspondence to Stanwood, 1896

Box 2 Folder 9 Correspondence to Child, Smith from Patrick and others, 1897

Box 2 Folder 10-11 Reports to Child from Patrick, 1898-1900

Box 2 Folder 12 General correspondence to Child, Stanwood and Smith, 1899-1900

Box 2 Folder 13 General correspondence to trustees (most relates to separation of ACG from the Board of Missions and establishment of a medical department),, 1901

Box 2 Folder 14 General correspondence to Child and Stanwood from Patrick and others,, 1902

Box 2 Folder 15 Reports to Stanwood and Smith from Patrick and Fensham, 1903

Box 2 Folder 16 General correspondence to trustees re Fensham's resignation, 1904

Box 2 Folder 17 Reports to Stanwood from Patrick (also includes letter from Robert Thomson to Stanwood re religious status of ACG),, 1904

Box 2 Folder 18 General correspondence to Stanwood (includes resignation 1905 from Day), 1905

Box 2 Folder 19 Reports to Stanwood from Patrick, 1905

Box 2 Folder 19a General correspondence, Woman's Board of Missions, 1906

Box 2 Folder 20 Reports to Stanwood from Patrick, 1906

Box 2 Folder 21 General correspondence to Stanwood, 1906

Box 2 Folder 22 Reports to Stanwood from Patrick (much of the correspondence relates to possible purchase of the Arnavutköy property. Also see land series.),, 1906

Box 2 Folder 23 Correspondence to Stanwood from Roxana Vivian, acting president,, 1907

Subseries I.2: Report and Minutes

Minutes and reports of ACG's Board of Trustees* and its various committees, such as Finance, Nominations, Instruction, and Buildings and Grounds. There are in addition president's and treasurer's reports.

Box 3 Folder 1 Miscellaneous organizational notes re trustees and faculty, 1900s

Box 3 Folder 2 Minutes of the first meeting of the Advisory Committee in New York,, 1904-1906

Box 3 Folder 3 List of original trustees, 1907

Box 3 Folder 4 Secretary's report on the organization of trustees, 1908

Box 3 Folder 5 First Annual Report of the secretary of the trustees, 1909

Box 3 Folder 6 Tribute to the memory of Professor Borden P. Bowne, president of the board,, 1910

Box 3 Folder 7 Acknowledgement of John D. Rockefeller's gift, 1912

Box 3 Folder 8 Minutes of trustees' meetings [A complete set of trustees minutes is in the Vital Documents Series],, 1912

Box 3 Folder 9-12 Minutes of trustees' meetings, 1915-1920

Box 3 Folder 13 Reports and minutes of trustees' meetings kept by Walter B. Walker (bound volume),, 1910-1922

Box 3 Folder 13A Minutes of Committee Meetings, Special Meetings and Trustee Meetings,, 1910-1929

Box 3 Folder 14 "Information in Regard to ACG…Including Trustees, 1916-. Property, Attendance, Curriculum, Faculty and its Training, the Financing of the College, and Future Plans",, 1916-1917

Box 3 Folder 15-16 Correspondence, reports, minutes, 1910-1919

Folder 16 has correspondence from 1919 and 1924

Box 3 Folder 17 Committee meetings, minutes, miscellaneous, 1919

Box 3 Folder 18 Miscellaneous (includes unidentified letters) 1915, 1919, 1915, 1919

Subseries I.3: General Correspondence

The general correspondence files contain many letters from Mary Mills Patrick that are richly detailed, not only for their description of college activities, but also for the information they convey about Istanbul in the early 20th century.

Box 4 Folder 1 Reports to Samuel Darling from Patrick, 1908-1909

Box 4 Folder 2 Reports to Darling from Vivian, 1908-1909

Box 4 Folder 3 Reports to Darling from Patrick and general correspondence, 1910

Box 4 Folder 4 Reports to Darling from Patrick and Eleanor Burns, 1911

Box 4 Folder 5-7 Reports to Darling from Patrick, 1912-1914

Box 4 Folder 8 General correspondence to Darling, 1915

Box 4 Folder 9 Correspondence to Charles Crane from Patrick, 1915

Box 4 Folder 10 Correspondence to Darling from Patrick, 1920

Box 4 Folder 11 General correspondence to Darling, 1920

Box 4 Folder 12 Correspondence to Crane from Patrick, 1921-1924

Box 4 Folder 13 Correspondence to Crane from Kathryn Adams, 1923-1925

Box 4 Folder 14 Correspondence to Grace Dodge from Patrick; includes 1912-1913 letters re medical department and increasing tuition, 1912-1913, 1912-1913, 1912-1913

Box 4 Folder 15 Correspondence to Dodge from Patrick, 1914

Box 4 Folder 16 Grace Dodge; obituary and correspondence re memorial service, 1915

Box 4 Folder 17 General correspondence to Dodge, 1914-1915

Box 4 Folder 18 Correspondence to William Adams Brown, chairman of Search 1915 Committee. Contains description of Adams's qualifications to succeed Patrick, 1915, 1915, 1915

Box 4 Folder 19 Clippings on Bowne, 1906

Box 4 Folder 20 Copy of Henry Morgenthau's letter to Olivia Slocum Sage (Mrs. Russell), 1914

Box 4 Folder 21 General correspondence to trustees, 1915-1923

Box 4 Folder 22 Report to trustees on trip to Turkey and visit to ACG by Albert B. Hart, [undated]

Box 4 Folder 23 Report by Hart on visit to ACG [made between 1900 and 1914], [undated], 1900

Box 4 Folder 24 Reports on visits to various colleges in the Near East [Staub?],, 1920s

Box 4 Folder 25 Report on visit to Turkey by Philip Brown titled, "American Educational Institutions in Turkey",, 1933

Box 4 Folder 26 "Laws for Private Schools," document issued by the Turkish Government,, 1922

Subseries I.4: Papers of Caroline Borden

Caroline Borden was one of the most active of the trustees and her papers fill four boxes documenting her activities on behalf of the college. Her warm friendship with Mary Mills Patrick is reflected in their correspondence, and Patrick writes in considerable detail about life at the college with a sprinkling of comments on the political climate in Istanbul. Many administrative issues are discussed, principally the proposed moving of the campus from Uskudar to Arnavutköy.

Borden's own letters demonstrate her active role in the campaign to secure an act of incorporation for ACG from the Massachusetts legislature. In later years she worked to raise funds for the new campus and was supportive of the college in a variety of ways. Caroline Borden was also interested in preserving the history of ACG. Her papers contain notes and chronologies for her manuscript history of the college which is a separately bound volume in the archives.

Box 5 Folder 1-9 Correspondence to Borden from Patrick, 1890-1906

Box 5 Folder 10 Correspondence to Borden from Patrick and Vivian, 1907-1910

Box 5 Folder 11-12 Correspondence to Borden from Patrick, 1908-1910

Box 5 Folder 13-18 Correspondence to Borden from Patrick, 1911-1912

Box 6 Folder 19-24 Correspondence to Borden from Patrick, 1913-1920

Box 6 Folder 25-31 General correspondence to Borden, 1890-1907

Box 6 Folder 32 General correspondence to Borden (includes letters from Vivian),, 1908

Box 6 Folder 33-38 General correspondence to Borden, 1909-1921

Box 7 Folder 39-43 Correspondence to Borden from Susan Olmstead, 1895-1921

Box 7 Folder 44-50 Correspondence to Borden from Ida Prime, 1902-1921

Box 7 Folder 51-52 Correspondence to Borden from William Peet, 1898-1920

Box 7 Folder 53 Correspondence to Borden from Morgenthau, 1914-1916

Box 7 Folder 54-57 Copies of correspondence; general, 1905-1914

Box 7 Folder 57a Correspondence to Borden from Dodge, 1908-1915

Box 8 Folder 58-60 Copies of correspondence; general, 1915-1921

Box 8 Folder 61 Copies of general correspondence to Patrick (from Peet, Ramsay, Borden and others),, 1908-1921

Box 8 Folder 62 Copies of general correspondence to George Plimpton (from Borden, Root, Patrick, Wallace and others),, 1908-1921

Box 8 Folder 63 Copies of Borden's correspondence to Samuel Dutton and Talcott Williams,, 1901-1921

Box 8 Folder 64 Copies of Borden's correspondence to Walter Walker, 1914-1921

Box 8 Folder 65 Copies of Borden's correspondence to Edward Haskell, 1920

Box 8 Folder 66 Borden's summary notes of important events; many notes taken from the record book of Darling, secretary,, 1908-1913

Box 8 Folder 67 Extracts from letters re buildings on campus, 1908

Box 8 Folder 68 Borden's notes for history of ACG, 1889-1920

Box 8 Folder 69 Borden's notes; chronological history, 1907-1917

Box 8 Folder 70 Background information; origin and sketch of ACG prepared by Borden,, 1875-1908

Box 8 Folder 71 Paper by Borden on negotiations for Arnavutköy property. Also, copy of letter from Sir Edwin Pears to U.S. Minister Oscar Straus,, 1908

Box 8 Folder 72 Copies of letters re acquisition of Arnavutköy property, 1908-1910

Box 8a Scrapbook containing clippings, invitations, letters (Appears to belong to Caroline Borden), 1880s-ca.1907 Fragile (Just one item in this box), 1880s-ca.1907

Subseries I.5: Records Relating to Land Acquisition

The acquisition of property for a foreign school was an intricate and difficult process under the Ottoman Empire. In December 1905 a fire completely destroyed Barton Hall. The disaster set in motion an effort to establish a new and larger campus. The process involved attempts to enlist the aid of the U.S. Government, which included a meeting between President Theodore Roosevelt and an American delegation from ACG. Ultimately the Arnavutköy property was purchased and later the Deli Bedros property. The central figure in these efforts was William W. Peet, a trustee of ACG (Boxes 9-10).

Box 9 Folder 1 Notes and outline of events on property acquisition, "Constantinople Controversy",, 1907-1908

Box 9 Folder 2-5 Peet's correspondence re land acquisition, 1907-1908

Box 9 Folder 6-7 Peet's statements (in the form of a detailed account) of the purchase of Arnavutköy property,, 1907-1908

Box 9 Folder 8 Peet's correspondence, 1912

Box 9 Folder 9 "American College for Girls at Constantinople The Story of the Purchase of the Property at Arnautkeuy for the College Site," by Peet (bound ms.),, 1912

Box 9 Folder 10 Correspondence between trustees and Mrs. Alexandrian re purchase of her property,, 1902-1903

Box 9 Folder 11 American College Land Fund in account with Peet, 1904-1910

Box 9 Folder 12-13 Correspondence and memos pertaining to acquisition of land at Arnavutköy,, 1905-1906

Box 10 Folder 14 Correspondence to Borden and trustees from Patrick re acquisition of land at Arnavutköy,, 1907

Box 10 Folder 15 Materials pertaining to acquisition of Arnavutköy property (includes chronology prepared by Borden),, 1907

Box 10 Folder 16 Action of Executive Committee on transfer of Uskudar property. Correspondence to Woman's Mission Board,, 1908-1909

Box 10 Folder 17 Copies of correspondence pertaining to acquisition of Arnavutköy property (includes Patrick's memorial sent to Roosevelt prior to conference),, 1908

Box 10 Folder 18 General correspondence pertaining to land acquisition (includes an account of meeting between Roosevelt and American delegation),, 1908

Box 10 Folder 19-20 Correspondence re negotiations between U.S. and Turkey for purchase of Arnavutköyproperty,, 1908-1912

Box 10 Folder 21 Correspondence to Patrick and Dutton from Peet re Greek claim to Arnavutköy property,, 1912-1914

Box 10 Folder 22 Alexandrian file: correspondence re claim on college property,, 1922-1925

Box 10 Folder 23-24 Correspondence re Musurus Property, Arnavutkoy, 1917-1946

Box 10 Folder 25 Correspondence re property tax and war damage claims, 1913-1938

Box 10 Folder 26 Correspondence and memos re "Tract A" property, Arnavutkoy, 1922-1933

Box 10 Folder 27 Correspondence re property (Arnavutkoy) connected with college,, 1920-1930

Subseries I.6: The Committee on Instruction, 1905-1924

In the absence of extensive faculty records, the trustees' Committee on Instruction has useful material including various proposals to expand the curriculum by adding an education department, a medical department, and an agricultural program. There is considerable correspondence concerning the hiring of teachers, courses offered, and the scholarly propensities of the faculty.

Samuel Train Dutton of Columbia University served as chairman from 1903-1919. After his death, his successor was Talcott Williams, also of Columbia. Both men carried on an extensive correspondence with Mary Patrick and each played a significant role in the other activities of the Board of Trustees.

Box 11 Folder 1-16 Correspondence Patrick/Dutton, 1903-1919

Box 11 Folder 17-18 Correspondence to Dutton from Borden and Hart Borden, 1910-1912

Box 12 Folder 19-22 General correspondence to Dutton from Borden, 1914-1917

Box 12 Folder 23-24 General correspondence to Dutton, 1911-1919

Box 12 Folder 25-27 General correspondence to Williams, 1917-1922

Box 12 Folder 28-30 Correspondence to Williams from Patrick, 1912-1924

Box 12 Folder 31-34 Correspondence to Williams from Olmstead, 1919-1924

Box 12 Folder 35 Reports prepared by Williams, 1917-1923

Box 12 Folder 36 Report to Williams (includes alumnae list), 1922

Subseries I.7: The Committee on Finance, 1907-1933

The Committee on Finance was under the direction of George Plimpton from 1907-1932. In addition to the usual financial records there is correspondence that details the difficulties involved in keeping the college open during World War I. Patrick pays tribute to the efforts of U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau in helping the College cope with wartime pressures. Also included here is Patrick's postwar article entitled "Fourteen reasons for an American Mandatory over Turkey."

Box 13 Folder 1 Correspondence to George Plimpton, chairman of the Committee on Finance from Patrick,, 1907-1912

Box 13 Folder 2 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick and Borden, 1909-1912

Box 13 Folder 3-7 Correspondence to Plimpton from Patrick, 1913

Box 13 Folder 8 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick, 1914-1919

Box 13 Folder 9 Correspondence to Plimpton from Patrick, 1920

Box 13 Folder 10 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick, 1920

Box 13 Folder 11-12 Correspondence to Plimpton from Patrick, 1921-1922

Box 13 Folder 13 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick, 1921

Box 13 Folder 14 Correspondence to Plimpton from Patrick, 1923

Box 13 Folder 15 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick, 1923

Box 13 Folder 16-17 Correspondence to Plimpton from Patrick, 192-1933

Box 13 Folder 18 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence to Patrick, 1930-1933

Box 13 Folder 19-22 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1905-1914

Box 13 Folder 23-24 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1907-1914

Box 14 Folder 25 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1915

Box 14 Folder 26 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1915

Box 14 Folder 27 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1916

Box 14 Folder 28 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1916

Box 14 Folder 29-33 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1917-1919

Box 14 Folder 34 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1919

Box 14 Folder 35 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1920

Box 14 Folder 36 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1920

Box 14 Folder 37 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1921

Box 14 Folder 38 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1921

Box 14 Folder 39 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1922

Box 14 Folder 40 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1923

Box 14 Folder 41 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1923-1924

Box 14 Folder 42 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1924-1925

Box 14 Folder 43 Correspondence Plimpton/Adams, 1924-1930

Box 14 Folder 44 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1927

Box 14 Folder 45 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1930

Box 14 Folder 46 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1930

Box 14 Folder 47 General correspondence to Plimpton, 1932

Box 14 Folder 48 Copies of Plimpton's correspondence, 1932

Box 14 Folder 49 Correspondence Plimpton/Staub, 1932

Subseries I.8: The Building Committee, 1908-1921

Designs and layouts for buildings at the Arnavutköy campus can be found in these records. The chairmen of this committee, Albert Wiley and later Walter B. Walker, each made occasional visits to Istanbul allowing them to view the results of their committee's labors. There is an address by Walker at the dedication of Gould Hall.

Box 15 Folder 1 Summary Report, "Action of the Trustees in the Matter of Layout and Buildings",, 1908-1910

Box 15 Folder 2 Correspondence to Charles Rutan from Patrick, 1908-1909

Box 15 Folder 3-4 General correspondence to Albert Wiley, chairman, Building Committee,, 1911-1914

Box 15 Folder 5-15 General correspondence Walker, 1914-1920

Box 16 Folder 16-20 General correspondence Walker, 1920-1921

Box 16 Folder 20a Correspondence to Walker re Otis Elevator, 1921

Box 16 Folder 21 Address by Walker "On the Occasion of the Dedication of the Administration Building" (Gould Hall), [no date]

Box 16 Folder 22 Miscellaneous correspondence re Building Committee, 1909-1912

Box 16 Folder 23 Building Committee Record Book (Bound volume with minutes and reports),, 1914-1921

Box 16a Folder 24 Reports and minutes of Building Committee's meetings (bound volume),, 1910-1913

Box 16a Folder 25 Building Committee reports, 1913-1916

Box 16a Folder 26 Building Committee; miscellaneous correspondence (includes estimates of building costs),, 1910-1914

Subseries I.9: The Committee on Medical Education

The attempt to establish a medical school forms a particularly interesting chapter in the pioneering efforts of ACG. The suffering produced by World War I highlighted the need for modern medical facilities and under Mary Patrick's leadership, funds were raised to build and equip a medical school for women in 1923. But the cost of operating the facility combined with the new government regulations reserving professional education to Turkish institutions compelled the closing of the medical school in 1924. The records of the Committee on Medical Education reflect the dream and the initial implementation of that vision. The chairman of the committee was Edward Haskell who served from 1919-1924.

Box 16a Folder 27 Committee on Medical Education; minutes of Medical Committee, 1818-1922

Box 16a Folder 28 Estimated budget, Bingham Medical Building, 1922-1923

Box 16a Folder 29-30 Miscellaneous correspondence re expenses, 1922-1923

Box 16a Folder 31 Reports issued by the Medical Committee, 1919-1924

Box 16a Folder 32 Report of the Medical Department for the second semester, 19231-1924

Box 16a Folder 33 Medical Department; general, includes student transcripts, 1920-1923

Box 16a Folder 34 Committee on Medical Education; includes publications re American Hospital,, 1920

Box 16a Folder 35-37 Committee on Medical Education; includes correspondence re the American Hospital, reports of the American School for Nurses, and summary data for in-patient and out-patient departments,, 1920-1922

Box 17 Folder 38-42 Correspondence Haskell/Olmstead, 1919-1922

Box 17 Folder 43-46 Correspondence Haskell/Olmstead, 1923-1924

Box 17 Folder 47-50 General correspondence to Haskell, 1919-1922

Box 18 Folder 51-54 Correspondence between Olmstead and Lester Briggle, assistant treasurer,, 1923-1924

Box 18 Folder 55 Correspondence to Haskell from Alden R. Hoover, 1919-1923

Box 18 Folder 56-59 General correspondence to Haskell, 1922-1923

Box 18 Folder 60 American Red Cross; copies of Livingston Ferrand's correspondence; chairman, Central Committee,, 1920

Box 18 Folder 61 Correspondence to Haskell from Harold Keyes, secretary, Committee on Medical Education,, 1919-1923

Box 18 Folder 62 General correspondence to Keyes, 1920-1923

Box 18 Folder 63 Copies of Haskell's correspondence to Hoover, 1920-1921

Box 18 Folder 64 Copies of Hoover's correspondence, 1920-1921

Box 18 Folder 65 Correspondence to Haskell from William Bingham, 1920-1923

Box 18 Folder 66 Copies of Haskell's correspondence to Bingham, 1919-1923

Box 18 Folder 67 General correspondence to Bingham, 1920-1923

Box 18 Folder 68 Copies of Haskell's general correspondence, 1919-1923

Box 18 Folder 69-70 Copies of Haskell's correspondence to Patrick, 1919-1923

Subseries I.10: General

Jane Page: correspondence regarding the merger proposal of ACG and RC

Box 18 Folder 71 Jane Page: correspondence re merger proposal of ACG and RC Boards of Trustees and endowment funds,, 1956-1958