Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson

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Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson (1872–1959) was an American author and suffragist.[1][2] In 1900 she published her first book, A Woman Tenderfoot, which described her trip on horseback through the Rocky Mountains.[2] In 1907 she published the book Nimrod's Wife, a true hunting and travel book set in the Western United States.[3][4] She later organized and directed a women's motor unit to aid soldiers in France during the first World War.[1] During the 1920s and 1930s she visited China, Egypt, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Japan, and South America, and she wrote four books about her travels: A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt (1923), Chinese Lanterns (1924), Yes, Lady Saheb (1925), and Poison Arrows (1938).[1][5] She also wrote The Singing Traveler (1947), a collection of poems about mysticism and eastern religions.[5]

As a suffragist, she served as vice-president and later president of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, from 1910 to 1920.[5] She also worked for women's causes by serving as president of the National League of American Pen Women (1926-1928 and 1930-1932), during which time the number of branches of that organization doubled, and serving as chair of letters of the National Council of Women of the United States (1933-1938).[5] As chair she established the Biblioteca Femina, a collection of volumes by women from all over the world, which was later donated to the Northwestern University Library.[5] She also helped organize an international conference of women writers at the Century of Progress Exposition held in Chicago in 1933, and was a member of the International Council of Women, the Society of Woman Geographers, and the Women's National Republican Club.[5]

Grace was the wife of Ernest Thompson Seton, one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America, and conflicts arose with the Boy Scouts about her suffrage activities and his British citizenship. The citizenship issue arose partly because of his high position within BSA, and because the federal charter James E. West was attempting to obtain for the BSA required its board members to be United States citizens. Ernest drafted his written resignation on January 29, 1915, but he did not send it to BSA until May.[6] Grace had married Ernest in 1896; she separated from him by the late 1920s, and they divorced in 1935.[2] Her daughter Anya Seton, also an author, was born in 1904.[1][7]

Grace also belonged to Pen and Brush.[5] She served as president of Pen and Brush from 1898 to 1939.[5]

Some of her papers are held in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, and some are held at Smith College in the Sophia Smith Collection.[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson Papers, 1903-1940: Biographical and Historical Note". 1959-03-19. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Seton-Thompson, Grace Gallatin. Papers of Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson, 1860s-1993: A Finding Aid". Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  3. ^ Contributor. "Details - Nimrod's wife, by Grace Gallatin Seton ... pictures by Walter King Stone and Ernest Thompson Seton. - Biodiversity Heritage Library". Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  4. ^ Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson (1907). Nimrod's Wife. Doubleday, Page & company. pp. 5–. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Seton-Thompson, Grace Gallatin Alternative names. "Seton-Thompson, Grace Gallatin". Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  6. ^ Scott, David C. (June 2006). "Ernest Thompson Seton and BSA — The Partnership Collapse of 1915". International Scouting Collectors Association. 6 (2): 10–16. 
  7. ^ Moser, Margaret (2006-09-29). "Love in the Time of 'Green Darkness': Don't judge Anya Seton's reissued biofics by their romance and bad covers - Books". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Notable American Women: The Modern Period (1980). Edited by Barbara Sicherman and Carol Hurd Green. ISBN 978-0674627338

External links[edit]