Emily Pierson papers, 1939-1994  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Pierson, Emily
Emily Pierson papers
1939-1994 (inclusive)
1950-1970 (bulk)
1.38 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Collection Number
4180 (Accession No. 4180-005)
Papers of a physician, teacher, suffragette and world traveler who was Anna Louise Strong's friend
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Physician and suffragist Emily Miller Pierson (1881-1971) was born in Connecticut. Pierson graduated from Vassar College in 1907 and later received an MA in English from Columbia University. Following her graduation, she taught English to high school and college students for a number of years. Pierson was an activist in the women’s suffrage movement and in 1909 became a Connecticut state organizer for the movement. After the adoption of the 19th amendment in 1920, Pierson began studying at the Yale School of Medicine. She graduated with an MD in 1924 and established a medical practice that lasted for 40 years. In the 1930s, Pierson studied at the Institute of Socialism in Moscow, USSR. Additionally, she traveled to China in the late 1950s and early 1960s to visit her long-time friend and fellow activist Anna Louise Strong.


Special To the New York Times. “Dr. Emily Pierson, Early Suffragette.” The New York Times, January 26, 1971. https://www.nytimes.com/1971/01/26/archives/dr-l-pierson-early-suffragette.html.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Emily Pierson Papers include correspondence, publications by Anna Louise Strong, notes, photographs, film, brochures, and other materials that document Pierson’s life as an activist and her interest in the Communist movements in China and the USSR. Pierson’s correspondents include Anna Louise Strong, Rewi Alley, and Harrison E. Salisbury. Of note is Pierson’s travel diary, ephemera, and a small collection of photographs relating to her 1958 and 1962 visits to the People's Republic of China.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Anna Louise Strong's rights transferred to Libraries. Quotation permitted for Pierson's writings.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Biographical materials about Emily Pierson written by her daughter Anne Pierson Tobey and about Anna Louise Strong approximately 1940-1990
1/2-11 Correspondence from Harrison E. Salisbury, Anna Louise Strong, and others to Emily Pierson 1947-1969
1/12-17 Correspondence from Emily Pierson to Anna Louise Strong and others 1951-1969
2/1-6 Speeches and writings by Anna Louise Strong about China, the USSR, and communism approximately 1939-1962
2/7-15 Publications by Anna Louise Strong
Publications include "Inside North Korea," "Letter from China," "The Stalin Era," "Today" volumes I and II, "When Serfs Stood up in Tibet," and "Why do Chinese 'refugees' 'escape' to Hong Kong?"
approximately 1950-1965
3/1-3 Pierson's notes and research materials about her travels to China and the USSR and about the medical field undated
3/4-5 Travel diary, notes, pamphlets, and brochures from trip to China approximately 1961-1962
3/6 Photographs of Anna Louise Strong and Emily Pierson in China and other locations undated
3/7 16 mm film of Anna Louise Strong taken in Cromwell, Connecticut with a description of the film written by Anne Tobey undated, 1994
3/8 Travel itineraries, lists of newspaper articles sent to Strong, and list of items Strong left at Pierson's house in Cromwell, Connecticut approximately 1950-1968
3/9 Ephemera
Cards with artwork and a quote by Mao Zedong; brochure from the American Russian Institute; map of China; flier advocating for the end of US military intervention in Korea; articles about manufacturing in China; press release from the US Progressive Party; newsletters from the Connecticut Volunteers for Civil Rights; fliers from the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee; and issues of the periodical "China Reconstructs"
approximately 1950-1960, 1980
3/10 Newspaper clippings primarily about China, the USSR, and Anna Louise Strong approximately 1948-1970
3/11-13 Correspondence between Emily Pierson and Rewi Alley regarding China; and Alley's speeches and writings about China approximately 1960-1970
3/14 Phonodisc recordings of Michael Loring performing "Great Day" and "There's Magic in that Ballot" for the Henry Wallace presidential campaign 1948

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Journalism--United States
  • Women journalists--United States
  • Women physicians--United States
  • Personal Names :
  • Alley, Rewi, 1897-1987
  • Pierson, Emily--Archives
  • Salisbury, Harrison E. (Harrison Evans), 1908-1993
  • Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970
  • Wallace, Henry Agard, 1888-1965
  • Geographical Names :
  • China--Description and travel
  • China--Politics and government--1912-1949

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)