1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Witherby Family Papers

 Family of Narragansett, R.I. and Solvay, N.Y.

 Papers, 1915-2000. Bulk, 1928-1930.

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 483 sg 56

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, October 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Dorothy Hazard (1887-1970) was the daughter of Frederick R. Hazard and Dora G. (Segdwick) Hazard of Solvay, N.Y. Her grandfather was Rowland Hazard II of Peace Dale. She graduated from Wellesley College (where her aunt Caroline Hazard was president) in 1908. She married Edwin C. Witherby (1878-1919) in 1912, and they had three children: Constance Witherby (1913-1929), Thomas H. Witherby (1915-1991) and Frederick R.H. "Eric" Witherby (b.1917). After Edwin Witherby's death, Dorothy remarried in 1923 to Stephen Foster Hunt (1880-1962), an executive with the Nicholson File Company in Rhode Island. The family resided in Providence and Narragansett, and had one more child, Deborah (Hunt) Philbrick (1925-1980). Dorothy became deeply involved in a wide variety of causes in Providence, including the mayor's advisory committee on recreation, and the Providence World Affairs Council. She was most closely associated with the Urban League of Rhode Island, which she helped organize in 1939 and later served as president for five years. She was also a painter and an active member of the Providence Art Club.

            Constance Witherby (1913-1929), daughter of Dorothy, attended the private Lincoln School in Providence, and was a talented poet. She spent the summer of 1929 vacationing in Switzerland with the family of her mother's cousin Isaac Peace Hazard II (b.1883). Toward the end of the summer, she became ill with an apparent common cold. Although she had been in good health for all of her short life, she died on August 30 after a brief illness from what the Swiss physicians diagnosed as a heart attack. She was buried in Saas Fee, Switzerland. The following year, her mother collected her poems and had them printed in a limited edition for Constance's friends and family as Sunshine and Stardust. The family also donated the land for a park on Waterman Street in Providence, with a statue in Constance's memory. The statue is presently located on Blackstone Boulevard, south of Butler Hospital.


"Mrs. S.F. Hunt Dies; Urban League Leader," Providence Journal, July 4, 1970, p.11.

[Witherby, Frederick R.H.] The Descendants of Rowland Gibson Hazard: Revised Edition, October 1993 (typescript at Rhode Island Historical Society Library)

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Scope and content:

            Constance Witherby is the central figure in this collection. Her essays, correspondence and memorabilia are all represented. There are, however, very few of the original drafts of her poems that were later published.

            The collection also includes eight folders of papers relating to her mother Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt, but the bulk of them relate to Constance's final illness and the publication of her poems. There are almost no papers relating to Dorothy's long involvement in the Urban League and other organizations, other than passing mention in her obituary. There is one long typed letter from her to "M & T" (presumably her son Thomas and his wife Marianne) dated February 25, 1950, discussing Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to her home. Roosevelt visited by invitation of the Providence World Affairs Council, and a large reception was held at the Hunt's house in Providence.

            A folder of Thomas C. Witherby's papers can also be found in the collection, including a "babybook" documenting his growth from infancy; a poem; and four letters from family members (including the aforementioned 1950 letter discussing Eleanor Roosevelt).

            The collection also includes peripheral material relating to Dora G. (Sedgwick) Hazard, Edwin C. Witherby, Judson B. Witherby and other family members.

              Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt's extensive files relating to the Urban League can be found in the Special Collections of the Rhode Island College library.

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            These papers were given by Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt to her grand-daughter Constance B. Witherby (daughter of Thomas). They were donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society by Constance B. Witherby in 1999. Frederick R.H. Witherby donated his own reminiscences of his sister Constance in 2001.

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Processing note:

            This collection is part of the Hazard Family Papers, which were processed with support from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Beinecke Foundation, and the extended Hazard Family.

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Dora G. (Sedgwick) Hazard. Widow of Frederick R. Hazard; mother of Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt.

Box 1, folder 1. Letters received, 1929-1932. Regarding granddaughter Constance Witherby's death and collected poetry.


Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt (1887-1970). Daughter of Frederick R. and Dora (Sedgwick) Hazard; mother of Constance Witherby.

Box 1, folder 2. Letters received, August 30 and September 1, 1929, re final illness of daughter Constance.

Box 1, folder 3. Letters of condolence re daughter, September 1929

Box 1, folder 4. Letters of condolence re daughter, October 1929 - January 1930

Box 1, folder 5. Letters of condolence re daughter, undated

Box 1, folder 6. Letters received, 1929-1960

Box 1, folder 7. Letters from mother, undated

Box 1, folder 8. List of recipients of Constance's collected poetry, 1930

Box 1, folder 9. Miscellaneous, 1929-1970:

                                    Three poems, 1929-1930

                                    Copy of letter to William D. Miller, 1930 (original at Brown University)

Advertising circular for Piercefield development in Solvay, N.Y., with photographs of homes of Mrs. Frederick Hazard and Mrs. Foster Hunt, undated.

                                    List of birthdays and anniversaries of friends and families, 1872-1970

                                    Will codicil and memoranda, 1952-1963

                                    Obituary and memorial service, 1970


Constance Witherby (1913-1929). Daughter of Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt.

Box 1, folder 10. Essays and prose, 1921-1927

Box 1, folder 11. Essays and prose, 1928-1929 and undated

Box 1, folder 12. Letters received, 1928-1929

Box 1, folder 13. Letters received, undated

Box 1, folder 14. Letters to parents, 1926-1929

Box 1, folder 15. Letters to cousin Peter H. Knapp, 1929 (typescripts)

Box 1, folder 16. Letters to miscellaneous, 1929 and undated

Box 1, folder 17. Prose fragments, undated

Box 1, folder 18. Theme book covers, undated

Box 1, folder 19. Verse, 1920-1929 and undated

Box 1, folder 19a. "A Remembrance: Constance Witherby," by Frederick R.H. Witherby, 2000

Box 1, folder 20. Miscellaneous, 1922-1926 and undated:

                                    Report card, Lincoln School, 1926

                                    Lock of hair dated 1922

                                    Page from address book

                                    Undated memoranda and ephemera

Edwin C. Witherby (1878-1917). First husband of Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt.

Box 1, folder 21. Estate records, 1938

Judson B. Witherby. Presumed to be the brother of Edwin C. Witherby.

Box 1, folder 22. Estate records, 1960

Thomas C. Witherby (1915-1991). Son of Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) Hunt.

Box 1, folder 23. Miscellaneous, 1915-1959:

                                    Poem, "Ninth Avenue", undated

                                    Log of childhood growth and ailments, 1915-1938

                                    Certificate from Gordon School, 1925

                                    Letter to brother Eric, 1928

                                    Letters from mother, 1947, 1950, 1958


Box 1, folder 24.

            Banquet menu signed by friends of Steve Foster Hunt, undated

            Unidentified postcard to Candace Stone, 1929

            Four printed poems of Caroline Hazard, 1943

            Article on Alice Winsor Hunt, 1962

            Estate document of Frederick R. Hazard Jr., 1964

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Hazard, Dora G. (Sedgwick)

Hazard, Isaac P. "Peace" (1883- )

Hunt, Dorothy (Hazard) (Witherby) (1887-1970)

Lincoln School (Providence, R.I.)

Poetry - Rhode Island

Providence World Affairs Council

Roosevelt, Eleanor (Roosevelt) (1884-1962)

Switzerland - Description and travel

Witherby, Constance (1913-1929)

Witherby, Frederick R.H. (1917- )

Witherby, Thomas C. (1915-1991)

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