Harris, Lily

Collection Overview:

Title: Lilly Harris Collection

Dates: (1880-1907)

Bulk Dates: (1903-1907)

Creator: Lilly Harris

Accession/Call Numbers: DAL.MS.032

Repository: Drew Archival Library

Quantity: 1 box, 5 books

Language: English

 

Administrative Information:

Access Restrictions: The Lilly Harris Collection is open to researchers. There are no restricted materials in the collection

Acquisition Information: The collection was accessioned in 1993 as L93.4.  It was donated by Dorothy Wentworth who had received it from Gershom Bradford.

Administrative Note:

Related Collection: Lilly Harris lived with the Laurence Bradford family (Bradford Family Collection).

Preferred form of citation: DAL.MS.032, Lilly Harris Collection in the Drew Archival Library.

Finding Aid Prepared By: Colleen Leddie; October 2010.  Carolyn Ravenscroft, October. 2010.

 

Scope and Content:

The collection contains 61 items, including 32 letters sent to Lilly Harris from friends and family primarily during the years of 1903-1907 both in Massachusetts and out of state. The collection consists of letters, insurance documents, invitations, short story books and a pocket bible, and some writings and poetry by Lilly Harris. The letters sent to Lilly during this time period provide researchers with information regarding where she spent much of her time and who she was keeping in touch with, and also a better understanding of the life of a young African-American woman living on the South Shore of Massachusetts in the early 20th century.

Biographical Information:

Lilly Harris (also spelled Lily) was a young African-American girl raised by the Laurence and Hattie Bradford during the late 19th century. She was born about 1884 in Washington, DC.  Her father was Washington Lewis who later lived in Maryland. According to the notes of former Duxbury Town Historian, Dorothy Wentworth, Lilly was brought from Washington, D.C. by Hattie Bradford to live and work in the Bradford’s Duxbury home.  In the 1900 US Census she is listed as a 16 year old “servant.”  She attended the Millbrook School with the Bradford sons. When not at her home in Duxbury she received multiple letters addressed to areas in Plymouth, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, where she would work and spend time with family and friends. Nothing is known of her later life.

Organization:

The collection is organized into 4 series.

Series I – Correspondence (1903-1907)

Series II – Photographs (c. 18

Series III – Ephemera

Series IV –Books (1884-1907)

Series List:

 

Series I – Correspondence (1903-1907)

 

Folder 1:  Letters to Lilly Harris from Mabel and Ebba (1903-1905); 5 items

  1. Cora Willburn (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Warren, RI), Dec. 2, 1903.
  2. Kathryn (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (NY, NY), Feb. 14, 1904.
  3. Priscilla (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (NY, NY), Feb. 24, 1904.
  4. Mabel White (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Duxbury), December 22, 1904.
  5. Irene (So. Duxbury, MA) to Lilly Harris (Plymouth, MA), Feb. 22, 1905.

Folder 2: Letters to Lilly Harris (June – Oct. 1906); 7 items

  1. Floss (Plymouth, MA) to Lilly Harris (Philadelphia, PA), June 16, 1906.
  2. Blanch (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Philadelphia, PA), June 30, 1906.
  3. Mrs. Samuel J. Lee (Plymouth, MA) to Lilly Harris (Philadelphia, PA) Jul. 29, 1906.
  4. Maud Currier (Roxbury, MA) to Lilly Harris (Philadelphia, PA), Sept. 8, 1906.
  5. Helen Bradley (Boston, MA) to Lilly Harris (Philadelphia, PA), Sept. 30, 1906.
  6. Irma Lee (Plymouth, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Oct. 7, 1906.

Folder 3: Letters to Lilly Harris (Nov. – Dec. 1906); 8 items

  1. Selina (Philadelphia, PA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Nov. 11, 1906.
  2. Selina (Philadephia, PA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Nov. 25, 1906.
  3. Susie Ellis (Duxbury, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 6, 1906.
  4. Blanche (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 8, 1906.
  5. H. H. Bradford (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 8, 1907.
  6. Selina (Philadelphia, PA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 20, 1906
  7. Gershom Bradfrord (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 25, 1906.
  8. Blanche (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Dec. 28, 1906.

Folder 4: Letters to Lilly Harris (1907); 15 items.

  1. Floss (Plymouth, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Jan. 1, 1907.
  2. Irma Lee (Plymouth, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Jan. 9, 1907.
  3. Lena (Philadelphia, PA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA) Jan. 26, 1907.
  4. Blanche (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Feb. 9, 1907.
  5. Lena (Washington, DC) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), June 5, 1907.
  6. Mamie E. Thompson (Boston, MA) to Lilly Harris (Duxbury), Aug. 6, 1907.
  7. Ebba (Boston) to Lilly Harris (South Duxbury), August 6, 1907.
  8. Marie Cooper (Boston, MA) to Lilly Harris (Duxbury, MA), Aug. 6, 1907.
  9. Marie Cooper (Boston, MA) to Lilly Harris (Duxbury, MA), Aug. 29, 1907.
  10. Washington Harris (Baltimore, MD) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Oct. 9, 1907.
  11. Mrs. Hobrone (NY, NY) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Nov. 17, 1907.
  12. H. H. Bradford (Millbrook, MA) to Lilly Harris (Boston, MA), Nov. 29, 1907.
  13. Ebba (Boston) to Lilly Harris (Boston), n.d.
  14. Two envelopes postmarked 1907.

Folder 5: Metropolitan Life Insurance Correspondence (1907)

Series II: Photographs (c. 1880-1900); 2 items.

  1. Tintype of two young girls, one seated on a large toy horse.  One of the girls is possibly Lilly Harris (c. 1890-1900).  Unknown photographer.
  2. Miniature photograph of house and girl (c. 1870-1900).  Photographer: F. J. Walsh, No. 353 Perry Street, Trenton, NJ

Series III: Ephemera

Folder 1: Cards

Floral invitation and greeting cards

Folder 2: Invitations; 6 items.

Invitations to parties, receptions, dinners, dances and graduations.

Folder 3: Poems and Obituary

2 short poems written by Lilly Harris and obituary of Hattie Phipps’ sister.

3 thoughts on “Harris, Lily

  1. Is the book “The Story of Lillie Harris” listed below by Dixie Clifton Miller connected to the same Lillie Harrie the you have on this website?

    Alabama Authors is proudly hosted by The University of Alabama University Libraries

    Publication:
    The Story of Lillie Harris. Northport, Ala.; American Southern, 1965.

    Author: MILLER, DIXIE CLIFTON
    Biography:
    Reporter. Born– Cedar Bluff, Ala. Parents– William Milton and Leila (Tatum) Clifton. Married– Dewey Frank Miller, Sr., 1924. Children– Four. Education– Cedar Bluff High School, 1924; University Center, Gadsden. Employed as a reporter, correspondent, feature writer, Gadsden Times; feature writer, The Summerville News, The Fort Payne Times Journal; reporter, feature writer, The Cherokee County Herald; correspondent, Birmingham News. Member– Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Bluff Garden Club; Cherokee County Historical Society, Cedar Bluff Woman’s Club, Business and Professional Women’s Club.

    Source:
    Mrs. Dixie C. Miller, Cedar Bluff, Ala.

  2. Lillie Harris was my Great grandmother my number is 248-697-1854. I been trying to retrieve her book for awhile which is titled “the story of lillie harris”

    • I am unfamiliar with the book, The Story of Lillie Harris. It is not in the collection at the Drew Archives. It would be a wonderful connection, however, if they are the same person. Do you know if the book references time in Duxbury, MA?

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