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social sciences

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Kellor, Frances Alice (1873-1952)  
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According to Florence Allen, the first female to sit on a state Supreme Court bench, Kellor's analysis of the League of Nations led to the prominence of the World Court in the United Nations charter.

In 1926 Kellor co-founded the American Arbitration Association (AAA). As with earlier organizations she founded, such as the National Urban League, she formed it by merging her organization with others. And, as with several other organizations, she served as the AAA's Vice-President under the titular leadership of a male President.

Sponsor Message.

Kellor served as the Vice President of the AAA for the rest of her life. The AAA currently has thirty-four offices and arbitrates more than 200,000 disputes a year.

In her final writing on immigrants, Kellor denounced Americanization for its prejudice and launched the idea of the "International Human Being." Dovetailing with her arbitration work, she argued for international treaties to protect migratory workers.

The multicultural and international view of society Kellor promoted aimed at a world in which all persons, regardless of cultural backgrounds and beliefs, would be welcome and have financial and political access. Kellor's promoting political participation and social justice as cornerstones of American identity may be her most profound contribution.

Kellor died on January 4, 1952. Upon Kellor's death, she was eulogized by many luminaries including Thomas J. Watson of IBM.

More personally, Mary Dreier, who survived Kellor by nine years, received many letters expressing condolences and admiration for the two women's special friendship of 47 years.

John Press

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literature >> Overview:  Romantic Friendship: Female

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, intimate, exclusive, and often erotic romantic friendships between women were largely perceived as normal and socially acceptable.

social sciences >> Overview:  Settlement House Movement

It is significant for glbtq history that a number of the women volunteers in the settlement house movement--which flourished at the turn of the twentieth century--formed close, lasting relationships with one another while living and working together.

social sciences >> Overview:  Social Work

Since the 1990s, Social Work has slowly become a more glbtq-friendly profession.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sociology

As an academic field, sociology has only recently begun to examine sexuality, and members of the profession are divided over glbtq concerns.

arts >> Overview:  Sports: Lesbian

Although lesbians and athletics have long been identified with each other, lesbian athletes, despite great achievements, still face numerous obstacles.

social sciences >> Overview:  Women's Suffrage Movement

Women whom we would identify as lesbian or bisexual led the American movement for women's right to vote and hold political office.

social sciences >> Addams, Jane

American reformer, social worker, peace activist, and Nobel Laureate Jane Addams is remembered as the founder of Hull House in Chicago, but her involvement in same-sex relationships has consistently been hidden or minimized by biographers.

social sciences >> Boston Marriages

Boston marriages--romantic unions between women that were usually monogamous but not necessarily sexual--flourished in the late nineteenth-century between women who tended to be college-educated, feminist, financially independent, and career-minded.

social sciences >> Roosevelt, Eleanor

An important advocate for the poor and oppressed and one of the most influential women in the world, Eleanor Roosevelt had throughout her life strong attachments to women, some of them probably resulting in sexual intimacy.

social sciences >> Wald, Lillian

Lillian Wald, an American public health nurse and social reformer, is the model of a Victorian-era lesbian active in the settlement house movement.


Dudley, Gertrude, and Frances Kellor. Athletic Games in the Education of Women. New York: Henry Holt, 1909.

Kellor, Frances. Experimental Sociology: Descriptive and Analytic. New York: MacMillan, 1901.

_____. The Federal Administration and the Alien: A Supplement to Immigration and the Future. New York: George H. Doran, 1921.

_____. Immigration and the Future.... New York: George H. Doran, 1920.

_____. Out of Work: A Study of Unemployment. New York: G.P. Putnam's and Sons / The Knickerbocker Press, 1915.

_____. Out of Work: A Study of Employment Agencies: Their Treatment of the Unemployed, and Their Influence Upon Homes and Business. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904.

_____, and Antonia Hatvany. Security against War. 2 vols. New York: MacMillan. 1924.

_____. Straight America: A Call to National Service. New York: MacMillan, 1916.

Faderman, Lillian. To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America--A History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Fitzpatrick, Ellen. Endless Crusade: Women Social Scientists and Progressive Reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Hartmann, Edward. The Movement to Americanize the Immigrant. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948.

Lombroso, Cesare. The Female Offender. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895.

Press, John. Founding Mother: Frances Kellor and the Creation of Modern America. New York City: Social Books, 2012.


    Citation Information
    Author: Press, John  
    Entry Title: Kellor, Frances Alice  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2012  
    Date Last Updated December 15, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2012 glbtq, Inc.  


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