Grace Hutchins papers , 1902-1968

Overview of the Collection

Hutchins, Grace, 1885-1969
Grace Hutchins papers
1902-1968 (inclusive)
3.5 linear feet, (10 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 625
Grace Hutchins (1885-1969) was a Communist and radical labor economist who lived and worked in New York City with her partner, Anna Rochester. For several years in the 1920s, they shared a communal home in New York with several other women. Together, Hutchins and Rochester founded the Labor Research Association in 1927. The collection contains correspondence, literary manuscripts, genealogical materials, and photographs; much of the materials relate to Hutchins' labor work, her international travels, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, and the Whittaker Chambers case.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

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Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Labor reformer and Communist intellectual Grace Hutchins was born in Boston in 1885 to Susan and Edward Hutchins. She was a descendent of colonial ancestry and the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1898, her parents took her on a trip around the world when she was just 14 years old. After attending Bryn Mawr College, Grace pursued missionary teaching at St. Hilda's school in China (which she became the principal of during the 1916-1917 school year).

In 1926, Hutchins traveled the world again but this time with her partner Anna Rochester. Together they investigated the situation of women and the status of socialism in other countries. Soon after returning in 1927, Hutchins was one of the women arrested for demonstrating against the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Grace Hutchins was a radical labor economist and proved this through her life's work. She worked as an investigator for the Bureaus of Women in Industry and helped found the Labor Research Association in 1927. She was the editor of the Labor Fact Book and ran for state office on the communist party ticket in 1936 and 1938.

Hutchins was active in the labor movement for forty years. During this time, she wrote three books that had a great impact, Jesus Christ and the World Today , Women Who Work and Labor and Silk. Besides these three best sellers, she also published multitudes of articles and pamphlets regarding women, children and capitalism in the United States and abroad.

In 1920, Hutchins spent two years living in a community house with five other women. One of these women was Anna Rochester with whom Grace would continue to live for the rest of her life. Together they worked and traveled and dedicated their lives to social justice. According to Janet Lee (Hutchins' and Rochester's biographer), Hutchins and Rochester "were a part of [a] cohort of women whose commitment to social activism was integrated with their lesbian orientation."

Hutchins died in 1969, cared for until the end by long time friend and secretary of the LRA, Bob Dunn.

Source: Lee, Janet. Comrades and Partners: The Shared Lives of Grace Hutchins and Anna Rochester. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Grace Hutchins Papers contains extensive materials documenting the life of Hutchins and her partner, Anna Rochester. Included is material on her family lineage; legal records documenting the birth and death of Hutchins; documents relating to the Community House in New York City, which Hutchins shared with Rochester and other women in the 1920s; records of her travels in 1889, 1916 and 1926; material relating to her published work, including book reviews, articles, letters to the editor, pamphlets ( Japan's Drive for Conquest, Japan Wars on the U.S., The Truth about the Liberty League, Youth in Industry, Children Under Capitalism, Wages and Profits in Wartime, What Every Woman Wants, Billionaire Corporations), and books ( Women Who Work, Jesus Christ and the World Today, Labor and Silk); and correspondence with friends and colleagues spanning several decades. Also included is documentation relating to the Whittaker Chambers case.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • American literature--20th century
  • Communal living--New York (State)
  • Lesbian activists--New York (State)
  • Women authors, American--Political and social views
  • Women communists--New York (State)
  • Women labor leaders--New York (State)
  • Women social reformers--New York (State)

Personal Names

  • Chambers, Whittaker
  • Rochester, Anna
  • Rochester, Anna
  • Sacco, Nicola, 1891-1927
  • Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 1888-1927

Corporate Names

  • Labor Research Association (U.S.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Genealogies (histories)
  • Photographs