Buried alongside: Mary Ellicott Arnold
Mary Ellicott Arnold was an American social activist, teacher and writer best known for In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, the memoir she wrote with Mabel Reed on their experiences as Bureau of Indian Affairs employees, 1908–1909. A native of Staten Island, New York, Arnold moved at an early age to Somerville, New Jersey where she began her childhood friendship with Mabel Reed, a companionship that later matured into a life partnership. Arnold studied business at Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, and agriculture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. As young women, Arnold and Reed devoted five years (1901–1906) to farming a fifty-five acre plot. They next gained experience as urban organizers in New York City. Their employer, City and Suburban Homes Company, was a philanthropic organization building affordable, decent housing for the working poor. After that Arnold and Reed accepted positions as so-called field matrons on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in the Klamath River Valley of Northern California. Arnold and Reed lacked the social and racial prejudices of the era. Although the Bureau of Indian Affairs expected them to enforce white cultural values, they instead accepted Karok nation practices and established a close working friendship with Essie, a native woman with three husbands. They were eager, Arnold said, not to be “ladies—the kind who have Sunday schools, and never say a bad word, and rustle around in a lot of silk petticoats”.
Together from (around) 1894 to 1963: 69 years.
Mabel Reed (1876–1963)
Mary Ellicott Arnold (April 23, 1876 – May 23, 1968)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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At Providence Friends Meeting Cemetery (105 N Providence Rd, Media, PA 19063) are buried Mary Ellicott Arnold (1876–1968) and Mabel Reed (1876–1963). Arnold, American social activist, teacher and writer, is best known for “In the Land of the Grasshopper Song,” the memoir she wrote with her lifetime companion Mabel Reed on their experiences as Bureau of Indian Affairs employees, 1908–1909.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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