The Catholic University of America

Margaret Richards Millar

An inventory of the Margaret Richards Millar Papers at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: lib-archives@cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The Catholic University of America, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Margaret Richards Millar, 1858-1947
Title: Margaret Richards Millar Papers
Dates: 1915(1918-1930)1940
Extent: 1.25 linear feet; 1 box
Abstract: This collection consists of correspondence, clippings, a diary, and photographs, and memorabilia highlighting the work of Mrs. Margaret Millar and the National Catholic War Council "Women Workers" in France immediately following the First World War.
Collection Number: 407
Language: English, French

Biographical Note

Margaret Richards Millar was born in 1858 in Vermont to Jonas DeForest Richards and Harriet Bartlett Jarvis. The second of three children and the only daughter, Millar came from a distinguished New England family line, which includes descent from the Mayflower era and a maternal grandfather, William Jarvis, who served as Jefferson's and Madison's envoy to Spain and Portugal. Her father, a New England Congregationalist pastor, decided late in life to move the family to the American South. Immediately following the end of the Civil War in 1865, the family relocated to Alabama, having purchased a cotton plantation in Wilcox County. Both Millar's father and older brother and future Wyoming state governor, DeForest Richards, became involved in county and state politics, with the former serving in the State Legislature (1867-1872) and as interim president of the University of Alabama (1869-1870) and the latter as county sheriff and treasurer.

Margaret was educated at home and ultimately obtained a degree from the Bradford Academy in Massachusetts in 1880. By that point, her family had relocated to the American West, settling in the Nebraska panhandle and the Wyoming Territory. Marrying Stocks Millar, a Scottish immigrant educated at the University of St. Andrews, she spent her married life on the Wyoming plains, where she developed a reputation as a hostess for army personnel stationed in the Territory. At this time, her younger brother, Bartlett Richards, became a prominent cattle baron near Chadron, Nebraska, ultimately running afoul of federal land law and being imprisoned under Theodore Roosevelt.

When her husband passed away in 1890, she spent the next several years in France and Germany with their three children. In 1896, she converted to Catholicism alongside her son, future Jesuit Morehouse F. X. Millar (later collaborator with John A. Ryan). In 1918, as a representative of the American Bureau of Education, she was sent to France to recruit French women to attend college in the United States. Shortly thereafter, she was sent back to France as a representative of the Committee on Special War Activities of the National Catholic War Council (NCWC), in order to organize and supervise service clubs for American soldiers. She would open the Etoile Service Club in Paris that same year. In 1919, she was sent as the only American Catholic delegate to the Women's Peace Conference in Switzerland, serving alongside Jane Addams.

In October 1919, Millar was unexpectedly recalled to the United States by Rev. John Burke, head of the NCWC. This recall, following complaints by some of the women she supervised, led to protests by the majority of the service club staff and members of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. While Millar appreciated the support, she did not return to Paris, but remained in Texas the following year, helping to organize the first conference of the National Council of Catholic Women, held in 1920.

An active member of the NCCW and NCWC for the remaining years of her life, Millar passed away in 1947.

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Scope and Contents

The Margaret Richards Millar Papers spans the years 1915(1918-1930)1940 and reflects on the work of Mrs. Millar, the National Catholic War Council (NCWC), and the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW). It includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, photographs, a diary, and military memorabilia. The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1915(1919-1920)1920, is arranged chronologically. It consists of a variety of handwritten letters and telegrams concerning the work of the NCWC women in Paris. The bulk of the documentation concerns Millar's recall to the United States, including farewell letters and protests from fellow NCWC staff and military officials.

Series 2, Diary, 1918, consists of Millar's personal diary, highlighting the journey to France and early work in the field.

Series 3, Publications, 1915(1919-1920)1920, is arranged chronologically by publication. This series contains newspaper clippings, post-war pamphlets, and scrapbooks collected by Millar.

Series 4, Photographs, 1918-1930, includes images of Millar during the post-war years, as well as into the 1930s. There are also postcard booklets showing images of post-war France.

Series 5, Memorabilia, 1915(1919-1920)1950, contains items Millar collected during her time overseas, including dog tags and her NCWC patch, as well as the accordion satchel her papers were kept in after her death.

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Arrangement

The Margaret Richards Millar Papers consist of:

 






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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Penelope House Shelter in Mobile, Alabama found the materials in a box of donated books. They donated the collection to the American Catholic History Research Center in 2016.

Processing Information

Processing and EAD markup completed in 2016 by Shane MacDonald.

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Related Material

Executive Department/Office of the General Secretary (OGS). Records. 1905(1919-1972)2001. 290 feet; 232 boxes.

National Catholic War Council. Records. 1891(1917-1935)1956. 135 feet; 110 boxes.

National Council of Catholic Women. 1919-2000. 144 feet; 220 boxes.

John Burke Papers at the Paulist Archives in New York City, NY.

Richards Family Papers at the University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Burke, John
Millar, Margaret Richards

Organizations:
National Catholic War Council
National Council of Catholic Women

Places:
Chicago (IL)
Paris (France)
Washington (DC)

Subjects:
First World War
National Catholic War Council
National Council of Catholic Women
Service Clubs


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Bibliography

MacDonald, Shane. '"Mother" Miller's Mission - Catholic Women's Service in World War I,' The Archivist's Nook, September 7, 2017.

Shepherd, William John. 'For God and Country - American Catholics in the World War,' The Archivist's Nook, November 11, 2015.

Shepherd, William John. 'For God and Country,' Potomac Catholic Heritage, XXV, Winter 2014, 3-7.

Slawson, Douglas J. The Foundation and First Decade of the National Catholic Welfare Council. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1992.

 

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Correspondence, 1915(1919-1920)1920 1 Box
Series 1 is arranged chronologically and concerns Millar's post-war work in Europe and involvement in the NCCW in the United States.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence (1) 1915(1919-1920)1920
        Documents
  2 Correspondence (2) 1915(1919-1920)1920
        Documents
  3 Correspondence (3) 1915(1919-1920)1920
        Documents
  4 Correspondence (4) 1915(1919-1920)1920
        Documents
                       
Series 2: Diary, 1918 1 Box
Series 2 holds Millar's diary and its original binder.
Box Folder
1 5 Diary 1918
        Document
  6 Diary Binder 1918
        Original binder has rust damage.
                       
Series 3: Publications, 1915(1919-1920)1920 1 Box
Series 3 is arranged chronologically and contains newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and official reports.
Box Folder
1 7 Invitations/Clippings 1918-1923
        Documents
  8 Reports on Conditions of Morale in the AEF 1919
        Document
  9 National Council of Catholic Women 1920
        Documents
  10 Clifton, Vol. 1, No. 2, Overseas Number 1920
        Document
  11 "Union des Femmes de France" Battlefield and Cemetery Guidebook 1920
        Document
  12 Reports on Uniforms of Women Worn During the War 1922
        Document
                       
Series 4: Photographs, 1918-1930 1 Box
Series 4 includes photos and postcards of Millar, NCWC work, and post-war France.
Box Folder
1 13 Photographs ca. 1919-ca. 1930
        Photographs
  14 Postcards ca. 1919
  15 Postcards 1920-1922
        Postcards
                       
Series 5: Memorabilia, 1915(1919-1920)1940 1 Box
Series 5 contains items collected by Millar during her time overseas, as well as the satchel her papers were stored in post-war.
Box Folder
1 16 Dog Tags 1918
        Dog Tags
  17 Hair Pin and Braid ca. 1919
        Hair Pin and Braid
  18 National Catholic War Council Patch ca. 1919
        Patch
  19 Accordion File Satchel ca. 1940

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1915(1919-1920)1920

Series 2: Diary, 1918

Series 3: Publications, 1915(1919-1920)1920

Series 4: Photographs, 1918-1930

Series 5: Memorabilia, 1915(1919-1920)1940

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