Doris Stevens [RG3740.AM]


RG3740.AM:  Doris Stevens, 1888-1963

Papers:  1920-1959
Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska:  Suffragette and Feminist
Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Doris Stevens was born in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, October 26, 1888, to Henry Hendebourck and Caroline (Koopman) Stevens.  She received an A.B. degree from Oberlin College in 1911.  For a short time she was involved in social work and in teaching in Cleveland, Ohio, but the issue of women’s rights soon occupied most of her time.  Stevens was the organizer of the First National Convention of Women Voters and set up at the Pan-American Pacific National Woman’s party in 1916.

In 1917 Miss Stevens spent sixty days in jail for attempting to petition President Woodrow Wilson for woman suffrage.  She served as manager of the National Campaign of Women for Congress, 1924.  While in France in 1928, Stevens was arrested for attempting to present an Equal Rights Treaty to the plenipotentiaries for the Pact of Paris.  As chairman for the Inter-American Commission of Women, 1928-1939, she worked toward the adoption of various equality treaties.  Miss Stevens also served on the council of the National Women’s Party, 1924-1948.  Doris Stevens was also a songwriter and many of her songs were about her childhood in Nebraska.  She died in New York City in 1963.


This collection consists of one small box of manuscript material arranged in three series:  1) Biographical Information; 2) Manuscripts, 1920-1924; and 3) Sheet Music, 1950-1952.  The collection relates primarily to Doris Steven’s role in the suffragette and women’s rights movement.  Material relating to her songwriting career is also included.  Series 1 contains Biographical Information about Doris Steven’s role in the feminist movement.  “An Apostle of Action,” by Winifred Holtby in 1928, and an excerpt from Who’s Who in America, 1958-1959, are included.

Series 2, Manuscripts, include the book, Jailed for Freedom by Doris; Liverwright Publishing Corp., NY, 1920, dealing with the campaign of the militant suffragists of America, 1913-1919.  Also included is a debate between Doris Stevens and Alice Hamilton on “Should Women Have Equal Rights?”, which appeared in The Forum, August 1924.  A bibliography on The Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S., 1848-1970, provides information about two other articles written by Doris Stevens which appeared in The Forum during the 1920s.  Series 3 is comprised of 15 items of sheet music written by Doris Stevens, 1950-1952. 

Note:  See the audio component [RG3740.AU] for several recordings of her music.  See the library for published items by and about Doris Stevens.


Series 1 – Biographical information
Box 1

  1. An Apostle of Action, by Winifred Holtby, 1928
    Who’s Who in America, 1958-1959 (excerpt)

Series 2 – Manuscripts, 1920-1924

  1. Jailed for Freedom, by Doris Stevens, 1920
  2. “Should Women Have Equal Rights?” – a debate between Doris Stevens and Alice Hamilton from The Forum, August 1924
    Bibliography on Women’s Rights Movement, 1948-1970

Series 3 – Sheet music, 1950-1952

  1. Sheet Music, including:
    On the Prairie, 1950, 1951
    I Was Teaching in Nebraska, 1951
    I Loved a Kitten, 1951
    She Was Teaching in Nebraska, 1951
    Bow to the Sunset, 1951
    When Father Made Rootbeer, 1951
    Lake Manawa, 1951
    He was Never Seen Again (or Husband’s Folly), 1952
    My Little Brother, 1952
    Sister Alice, 1952
    Red Peony, 1952
    The Daughter of the Dominic, 1952
    I Tied My Kitty to the Wild Plum Tree, 1952
    Old Ned, 1952
    Permesso, 1952

Subject headings

Hamilton, Alice, 1869-1970
Holtby, Winifred, 1898-1935
Music — Nebraska
Paul, Alice, 1885-1977
Songs — Nebraska
Songwriters — Nebraska
Women — Suffrage

AIF                      12-12-1979
Revised PMC       10-03-1988

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