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Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1


Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers, 1879-1937 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

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Collection Overview

Title: Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers, 1879-1937Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates: 1910-1930

Collection Identifier: MS 5087

Primary Creator: O'Reilly, Mary Boyle, 1873-1939

Extent: 57.0 Items. More info below.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically.

Subjects: Irish Americans -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence., Philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence., United States -- Foreign relations -- 20th century -- Sources., War correspondents., Women authors, American -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence., Women journalists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence., Women philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence., World War, 1914-1918 -- Sources.

Languages: English

Abstract

This collection consists of fifty-seven letters documenting the career of philanthropist and World War I correspondent Mary Boyle O’Reilly (1873-1939), daughter of Irish author and Fenian John Boyle O’Reilly. Mary Boyle O’Reilly was a foreign correspondent for the Newspaper Enterprise Association and was at one time a resident of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. The collection’s correspondence, written by such political figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, Thomas Power O'Connor, Hugh Gibson, and Theodore Roosevelt, offers perspectives on foreign affairs during and after World War I. Topics discussed are foreign diplomacy, America’s involvement with the League of Nations, O’Reilly’s publications and commissions, and her father, John Boyle O’Reilly.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains correspondence sent to Mary Boyle O’Reilly from national and international political figures, publishers, fellow journalists and authors, including Laura Elizabeth Howe, Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton, George Bernard Shaw, Frances Parker and Margaret MacGill. O’Reilly also frequently wrote to foreign relation officials, such as Henry Cabot Lodge, chairman of United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who explained why American should avoid participating in the League of Nations.

While the majority of the letters are concerning business matters, such as requests for interviews, they are also personal responses to O’Reilly’s intelligence and character. President Theodore Roosevelt remarked that O’Reilly was a unique entity in spite of her father’s notoriety.

Many letters thank O’Reilly for newspaper clippings; however these clippings are not included in the collection.

Biographical Note

Mary Boyle O’Reilly was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on May 18, 1873. She was the eldest of four daughters. Her father was the Irish nationalist and poet John Boyle O’Reilly, and her mother Mary Smiley (Murphy) O’Reilly was a journalist who wrote under the pseudonym “Agnes Smiley” for the Young Crusader. O’Reilly was educated in Charlestown public schools and the Sacred Heart Convent in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1890 her father, John Boyle O’Reilly died, and in 1897 her mother Mary died at their home in Charlestown.

O’Reilly enrolled at the Gilman School for Girls in 1899 with the intention of entering Radcliffe, but illness prevented her attendance and she took on private tutors. Upon her return in 1901 from travels in Europe she, along with Mrs. Warren M. Hill, Miss Maud M. Rockwell, and Miss Margaret Carey, established the Guild of St Elizabeth. The Guild was a settlement house for children on East Springfield Street in the South End.

O’Reilly belonged to many philanthropic organizations, among them the Tuberculosis Society and the State Conference of Charities. In 1903 she became a member of the examining committee of the Boston Public Library. O’Reilly also served on the board of directors for the Women’s Educational Union.

In 1907 she became Prison Commissioner of Massachusetts and was appointed by Mayor Daniel Whelton as a trustee of the Children’s Institutions. During this time O’Reilly was also frequently lecturing on sociology and writing for a number of journals and newspapers, including Harper’s Magazine and The Boston Globe. In 1910 she achieved notoriety when, disguised as a mill worker, she exposed and brought to an end the so-called “baby farms” of New Hampshire.

She resigned from her position as Prison Commissioner in 1911 at the failure of the State Prison Commission to bring about what she considered necessary reforms. It was around this time that O’Reilly reported on a food cannery workers’ strike in New York, and in 1913 she became a foreign correspondent for The Newspaper Enterprise Association. Following assignments in Mexico and Russia, O’Reilly was placed in charge of the Newspaper Enterprise Association’s London office.

At the beginning of World War I, she entered Belgium disguised as a peasant, and in 1914 was the only English-speaking journalist to witness the burning of Louvain. She was also present in London during the 1915 Zeppelin raids. Eventually, she was imprisoned by the Germans with fellow correspondents Richard Harding Davis, Will Irwin, and Gerald Morgan. The four were released in Holland and the three men returned to London; however O’Reilly chose to return, in disguise, to Belgium.

After the war she maintained contact with royalty, ministers and governments of the allies. Her previous service as Massachusetts Prison Commissioner had placed her in high demand; she made daily trips to prison camps and hospitals in France and England and continued to engage in foreign relief work.

In 1917 O’Reilly returned to New York, and in 1920 she engaged in a number of public speaking engagements regarding her war experience. In 1921 she actively campaigned on behalf of her uncle John R. Murphy, who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Boston, and bought an estate in Marshfield with the intention of regaining her health. A few years later she built a stone cottage in Auburndale, intended as a tribute to her father, where she lived until her death on October 21, 1939 at the age of 66.

O’Reilly’s large collection of books, pamphlets and newspaper clippings on war propaganda were donated to the Boston Public Library, and are a part of the 20th Regiment Collection.

Subject/Index Terms

Irish Americans -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence.
Philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 20th century -- Sources.
War correspondents.
Women authors, American -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence.
Women journalists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence.
Women philanthropists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Correspondence.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Sources.

Administrative Information

Repository: Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

Alternate Extent Statement: 57 letters

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/ Rare Books."

Acquisition Method: Donated to the Boston Public Library by Mary Boyle O’Reilly in 1938.

Related Materials:

O’Donnell, [James E.], 190?, MS Am. 2222

20th Regiment Collection.

O’Reilly, John Boyle, Correspondence.

Preferred Citation: Mary Boyle O’Reilly Papers. MS Acc 624. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

Processing Information: Finding aid written by Heather Mumford, April 2010.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
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Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Artisimovitz, Valdimir. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [Moscow?, 191-?]Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 2: Bernstein, Walter, 1870-1943. A.L.S.  to Mary Boyle O’Reilly; New York, 15 February 1930Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 3: Colby, Bainbridge, 1873-1939. T.L.S.  to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 17 December 1936Add to your cart.
2 s. (2 p.)
Folder 4: Courtney, Leonard Henry Courtney, baron, 1832-1918. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London], 17 April 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (3 p.)
Folder 5: Dall, [Charles Henry Appleton]. A.L.S. to Mr. Niles; Georgetown, D.C., 31 October 1879Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 6: Dmowski, Roman, 1873-1939. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O’Reilly; London, 16 March 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (3 p.)
Folder 7: Doheny, Edward Lawrence, 1875-1939. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O’Reilly; Los Angeles, 14 April 1924Add to your cart.
1s. (1 p.)
Folder 8: Duffy, Francis. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 5 March 1921Add to your cart.
2 s. (2 p.) w/envelope
Folder 9: Forbes-Robertson, Gerturde. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London?], 24 January 1915Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 10: Foss, Eugene Noble, 1858-1939.  T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Boston, 22 November 1911Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 11: Foss, Eugene Noble, 1858-1939.  T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Boston, 12 July 1912Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 12: Gibson, Hugh, 1883-1954. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Boston, 7 February 1921Add to your cart.
2 s. (2p.) w/envelope
Folder 13: Gibson, Hugh, 1883-1954. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Washington, 18 February 1927Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.) w/envelope
Folder 14: Grand, Sarah, pseud., d. 1943. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Tunbridge Wells, Eng., 25 January 1915Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 15: Green, A.S. [Alice Sophia], 1847-1929. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London], n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 16: Guild, Curtis, 186-1915.  T.L.S. to Mary Bolye O'Reilly; Boston, 28 July 1913Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 17: Hinksen, Katharine (Tynan), 1861-1931. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Claremorris, Ire., 16 July 1915Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)3
Folder 18: Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [Boston], 9 December 1899Add to your cart.
1 s. (2  p.)
Folder 19: Irwin, William Henry, 1873-1948. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [New York], 13 February 1924Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 20: Kellog, Paul, U., 1897-1859. T. L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 18 November 1929Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 21: Keppel, Alice, 1868-1947. A.L.S. A.L.s. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Oxon, Eng., n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 22: La Follette, Fola, 1882-1970. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 23: Limerick, Mary A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 20 July 1915Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 24: Lippman, Walter, 1889-1974. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 5 February 1932Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 25: Lipton, Thomas, 1850-1931. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 10 September 1929Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 26: Lipton, Thomas, 1850-1931. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly;Osidge, Southgate, Middlesex, England, 17 April 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 27: Lipton, Thomas, 1850-1931. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 21 August 1918Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 28: Lipton, Thomas, 1848-1931.  T.L.S.  to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 3 April 1919Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 29: Lodge, Henry Cabot,  1850-1924. T. L.S.  to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [Washington, D.C.], 15 March 1919Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 30: Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1924. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Washington, D.C., 5 November 1919Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 31: MacDonald, James Ramsey, 1866-1937.  A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 12 July 1915Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 32: MacDonnell, Anthony Patrick, 1844-1925, baron. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London?], 30 June 1914Add to your cart.
1 s. (3 p.)
Folder 33: MacDonnell, Manning. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 4 February 1930Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 34: Masaryk, Tomás, 1850-1937. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London?], 31 October 1906Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 35: McGill, Margaret, . A.L.S.  to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [London?], 21 March 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (4 p.)
Folder 36: Morgan, James. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Boston, 18 September 1919Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 37: [O'Connor] T.P. ,  T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 27 August 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (1. p.)
Folder 38: O'Connor, T.P.. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 7 August 1929Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 39: Parker, Frances, A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 40: Richards, Laura. A.N.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Gardiner, Maine, 13 March 1935Add to your cart.
1 s. (1  p.)
Folder 41: Richards, Laura. A. N.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Gardiner, Maine, 22 October 1936Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 42: Richards, Laura. A.N.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Gardiner, Maine, [4 March 1937]Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.) w/envelope
Folder 43: Richards, Laura. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Gardiner, Maine, 22 September 1937Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 44: Rideing, William H., 1853-1918.  A.L.S. to Mr. O'Donnell; Boston, 16 April 1900Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 45: Rideing, William H., 1853-1918. A.L.S.  to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [Boston?]., 10 December 1917Add to your cart.
1 s. (3 p.)
Folder 46: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 6 July 1917Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 47: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 14 November 1917Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 48: Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. -. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; New York, 11 December 1917Add to your cart.
1 s. (2 p.)
Folder 49: Russell, George William, 1867-1935.A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Dublin, n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 50: Scollard, Clinton. 1860-1932. MS poem - Night in Summer, n.d.Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 51: Shaw, George Bernard, 1856-1950. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Kenmare, Ire., 11 August 1920Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 52: Sheahan, Henry Beston, 1888-1968. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Boston, 28 March 1921Add to your cart.
3 s. (3 p.) w/envelope
Folder 53: Shorter, Clement King. A. L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 29 June 1916Add to your cart.
1 s (2 p.)
Folder 54: Viscount Bryce. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Sussex, Eng., 21 April 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (3 p.)
Folder 55: Walsh, David Ignatius, 1872-1947. T. L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; Washington, D.c., 18 September 1919Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 56: Walsh, Thomas. T.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; [Washington, D.C.], 5 March 1928Add to your cart.
1 s. (1 p.)
Folder 57: Weil, Georges. A.L.S. to Mary Boyle O'Reilly; London, 16 August 1916Add to your cart.
1 s. (4 p.)

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