Smith, Erasmus

Erasmus Smith Collection


Collection Overview:
Title: Erasmus Smith Collection
Dates: 1877-1922
Creator: Smith family
Call number: DAL.SMS.091
Repository: Drew Archival Library
Quantity: 1 folder
Language: English
Related collection: Smith McLaughlin Family Collection

Administrative Information
Access Restriction: the collection is open to researchers
Acquisition Information: Accession number DAL.2011.015
Preferred form of citation: DAL.SMS.091, Erasmus Smith Collection at the Drew Archival Library of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society
Finding Aid prepared by: Carolyn Ravenscroft, July 2015

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of four postal cards written by Erastus “Race” Smith to his parents, Judith Winsor (McLaughlin) Smith and Sylvanus Smith of East Boston, MA between 1877-1884. Also included are a letter to Erasmus and his wife, Lucy, from his mother (1889), a post card to Nathaniel “Nat” Young, Jr. from Zilpha Drew (1922) and an internment order from Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury.

Biographical Information:

Erasmus “Race” Smith (b. 1858) was the son of Sylvanus Smith and Judith Winsor McLaughlin (1821-1921). He was born in Pembroke, MA but spent much of his youth in East Boston where his father was shipbuilder. He went to sea in 1877 and many of his letter are found in the Smith McLaughlin Family Collection at the Drew Archival Library. He married Lucinda C. Summers in 1884. Together they had five children.

Zilpha Drew Smith (1852-1926) was an older sister of Erasmus Smith. Zilpha Drew Smith, a social worker and educator, was involved in many aspects of social welfare in Boston from 1872-1918. She served as the Head Registrar and General Secretary of the Associated Charities, a city wide network of charity organizations in Boston, from its founding in 1879 to 1903. She was active in the National Conference of Charities and Correction. In 1888 she, along with Charles W. Birtwell, formed the Monday Evening Club, a discussion group for social workers. In 1904 she became the Assistant Director of the Boston School for Social Workers (later Simmons College, School of Social Work). Along with her mother she was a suffragette. She is buried in Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury.