Born: 1871, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: 1967, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Education: Wellesley College
Lived: 45 Leighton Road, Wellesley
Buried: Newton Cemetery, Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA, Plot: Sect J Lot 556
Buried alongside: Vida Dutton Scudder
Find A Grave Memorial# 77856459
Vida Dutton Scudder was an American educator, writer, and welfare activist in the social gospel movement. She was one of the most prominent lesbian authors of her time. In 1885, she and Clara French (1863 – October 6, 1888) were the first American women admitted to the graduate program at Oxford, where York Powell, John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoi, George Bernard Shaw and Fabian Socialism influenced her. Scudder and French returned to Boston in 1886. Scudder taught English literature from 1887 at Wellesley College, where she became an associate professor in 1892 and full professor in 1910. French died in 1888 of typhoid fever. From 1919 until her death, Scudder was in a lesbian relationship with Florence Converse, a member of the editorial staff of The Churchman from 1900 to 1908, when she joined the staff of the Atlantic Monthly. In Wellesley, they resided at 45 Leighton Road. Vida died just a month short of her 93 birthday at her home. The informant was Florence Converse. Vita wrote in The Wellesley Magazine, "My last word shall be one of reassurance. I have had a happy life; but I am finding my ninth decade the happiest yet.” They are both buried at Newton Cemetery, Newton, Massachusetts.
Together from 1919 to 1954: 33 years.
Florence Converse (April 30, 1871 – February 1967)
(Julia) Vida Dutton Scudder (December 15, 1861 - October 9, 1954)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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Private, women-focused school founded in 1870 and known for its humanities programs.
Address: 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA (42.29357, -71.30592)
Type: Education facility (open to public)
Phone: +1 781-283-1000
Vida Dutton Scudder taught English literature from 1887 at Wellesley College, where she became an associate professor in 1892 and full professor in 1910. Wellesley College is a private women’s liberal-arts college in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, west of Boston. Founded in 1870, Wellesley is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges. Wellesley is the highest ranking women’s college in the U.S., and one of the top liberal arts colleges, ranking 4th by U.S. News & World Report. The school is also the highest endowed women’s college. For the 2014–15 year admissions cycle, Wellesley admitted 29% of its applicants. The college is known for allowing its students to cross-register at MIT, Babson, Brandeis, and Olin College. It is also a member of a number of exchange programs with other small colleges, including opportunities for students to study a year at Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wesleyan, and Wheaton. Wellesley was founded by Pauline and Henry Fowle Durant, believers in educational opportunity for women. Wellesley was founded with the intention to prepare women for "great conflicts, for vast reforms in social life." Its charter was signed on Mar. 17, 1870, by Massachusetts Governor William Claflin. The original name of the college was the Wellesley Female Seminary; its renaming to Wellesley College was approved by the Massachusetts legislature on March 7, 1873. Wellesley first opened its doors to students on September 8, 1875. The original architecture of the college consisted of one very large building, College Hall, which was approximately 150 metres (490 ft) in length and five stories in height. The architect was Hammatt Billings. From its completion in 1875 until its destruction by fire in 1914, it was both an academic building and residential building. A group of residence halls, known as the Tower Court complex, are located on top of the hill where the old College Hall once stood.
Notable queer alumni and faculty at Wellesley:
• Katharine Anthony (1877-1965), biographer best known for “The Lambs” (1945), a controversial study of the British writers Charles and Mary Lamb. She taught at Wellesley College in 1907.
• Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), full professor of English literature. Bates lived in Wellesley with Katharine Coman at 70 Curve St, Wellesley, MA 02482, historic home built in 1907 by Bates, while she was a professor at Wellesley College. Bates was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the daughter of Congregational pastor William Bates and his wife, Cornelia Frances Lee. She graduated from Wellesley High School in 1874 and from Wellesley College with a B.A. in 1880. Wellesley High School (50 Rice St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481) is a public high school in the affluent town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, educating students on grades 9 through 12. In 2016 it was ranked the 21st best high school in Massachusetts and the 467th best public high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, earning a Gold Medal. The old school building was originally built as a public works project in 1938 during the Great Depression, designed by Perry Shaw and Hepburn and built by M. Spinelli and Sons Co., Inc. The building has been modified with several additions throughout its existence, most recently with a new fitness center. The 1938 building was replaced in 2012 with a brand new state of the art building in the former parking lot.
• Katharine Coman (1857-1915), history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College School Economics department.
• Florence Converse (1871-1967)
• Mary “Molly” Dewson (1874–1962), graduated as a social worker in 1897. She was senior class president and her classmates believed she might one day be elected president of the United States.
• Marion Dickerman (1890-1983), suffragist, educator, vice-principal of the Todhunter School and an intimate of Eleanor Roosevelt.
• Grace Frick (1903-1979), literary scholar and Marguerite Yourcenar’s intimate companion.
• Lilian Wyckoff Johnson (1864-1956), after an early education in private schools, in 1878 was sent to Dayton, Ohio to take refuge during a yellow fever outbreak; while there, she attended the Cooper Academy. Her parents then sent the 15 year old Lilian and her sister to Wellesley College in 1879, with the first two years being spent in preparatory school. However, Lilian had to return home upon the death of her mother in 1883, and was unable to complete her studies.
• Esther Lape (1881-1981), a graduate of Wellesley College, taught English at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona, and Barnard College in New York City. Her life-partner was the scholar and lawyer, Elizabeth Fisher Read, who was Eleanor Roosevelt's personal attorney and financial advisor.
• Jeannette Augustus Marks (1875-1964), English and Theater professor at Mount Holyoke until her retirement in 1941 and Mary Emma Woolley’s companion.
• Julia Vida Dutton Scudder (1861-1954).
• Charlotte Anita Whitney (1867–1955), American women's rights activist, political activist, suffragist, and early Communist Labor Party of America and Communist Party USA organizer in California.
• Mary Emma Woolley (1863–1947), educator, peace activist and women’s suffrage supporter. She was the first female student to attend Brown University and served as the 11th President of Mount Holyoke College from 1900-1937.
Who: (Julia) Vida Dutton Scudder (December 15, 1861 – October 9, 1954)
Vida Dutton Scudder was an educator, writer, and welfare activist in the social gospel movement. In 1885 she and Clara French (1863-1888) were the first American women admitted to the graduate program at Oxford, where she was influenced by York Powell and John Ruskin. While in England she was also influenced by Leo Tolstoi and by George Bernard Shaw and Fabian Socialism. Scudder and French returned to Boston in 1886. French died in 1888 (from typhoid fever, buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY), and from 1919 until her death, Scudder lived with Florence Converse (1871-1967.) Converse graduated from Wellesley College in 1893 and was a member of the editorial staff of the The Churchman from 1900 to 1908, when she joined the staff of the Atlantic Monthly. In Wellesley they resided at 45 Leighton Road. A 6000 square foot single family home with 5 bedrooms built in 1912, it was last sold in 1987 for $460,000. Scudder retired from Wellesley in 1927 and received the title of professor emeritus. She became the first dean of the Summer School of Christian Ethics in 1930 at Wellesley. In 1931 she lectured weekly at the New School for Social Research in New York. She published an autobiography, “On Journey,” in London in 1937, and a collection of essays, “The Privilege of Age,” in New York in 1939. Vida Dutton Scudder died at Wellesley, Massachusetts, on October 10, 1954. Florence Converse and Vida Dutton Scudder are buried side by side at Newton Cemetery (791 Walnut St, Newton Centre, MA 02459).
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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