Helen Hamilton Gardener photograph collection, circa 1900-1910
Collector and possible photographer:
Gardener, Helen H (Helen Hamilton) 1853-1925
circa 1160 lantern slides
circa 300 negatives : nitrate
15 copy negatives : glass
14 prints : silver gelatin
Helen Hamilton Gardener (1853-1925), born Alice Chenoweth in Virginia in 1853, was an author, feminist, and public official. Educated at the Cincinnati (Ohio) Normal School (graduated 1873), Chenoweth moved with her first husband, Charles S. Smart, to New York City in 1880. There, Chenoweth studied biology at Columbia University, lectured on sociology at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and came into contact with the theories of freethinker Robert G. Ingersoll. Chenoweth published her own lectures on freethinking in Men, Women, and Gods, and Other Lectures (1885), at which point she adopted the name Helen Hamilton Gardener. Gardener's feminism came to fruition in 1888, when she refuted the claim that the female brain was inferior to men's in her article "Sex in Brain," joining the struggle for equal rights for women. In 1902, Gardener married her second husband, Lieutenant Colonel Selden Allen Day, a Civil War veteran who organized the first battalion of the Puerto Rican regiment under US control. The couple embarked on a five-year worldwide tour in July 1902, finally settling in Washington, DC. Gardener served as the National American Women Suffrage Association's vice president (1917) and its chief liaison to the Wilson Administration during the passage of the nineteenth amendment. President Wilson then appointed her to the US Civil Service Commission, the highest federal position held by a woman at the time.
Photographs collected and made by Helen Hamilton Gardener, probably during a world cruise following her husband's retirement from active duty in Puerto Rico in July 1902. The photographs document people, activities, cities, and tourist sites in Japan, China, Egypt, France, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere. Gardener's lecture notes and a clipping from the Porto Rico Review, 1910, are available with the collection. Lantern slides in the collection were probably used in Gardener's later lectures in the United States.
Photo lot 98, Helen Hamilton Gardener photograph collection, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Description and travel
NAA Photo Lot 98
USNM ACC 90351
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing