Archival and Investigative Materials

From Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz -- Online Notes For The Book

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These are the main archival collections and personal interviews that support major parts of the text. Single uses of letters or papers are cited in the endnotes and not repeated here. See e.g. Foltz’s letter of congratulations to Mary McHenry upon her graduation from Hastings mentioned in Chapter Two and cited as Letter from Clara Foltz to Mary McHenry (June 1, 1882) (on file with the Keith-Pond Collection, Bancroft Library, University of California).



Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley

  • Laura Gordon Papers, Stein Collection. Letters Gordon received during the 1870s and early 1880s, mostly from woman suffrage figures (including two from Susan B. Anthony). In 1878-79, Clara Foltz wrote Gordon at length twice. Sarah Knox, David Terry, and Charles Ringgold also corresponded with Gordon in this period.
  • Henry D. Cogswell Papers (15 letters from Foltz to Cogswell between 1883-85). In the “Foltz” file are many of Cogswell’s own notes and copies of his letters as well. One such note lists the dates of frequent visits of C.E. Gunn to Clara Foltz saying he usually came on Sunday afternoon and left on Monday morning.
  • Robert W. Waterman Papers. Waterman, elected as Lieutenant Governor of California in 1886, acceded to Governor after the death of Washington Bartlett who died after serving only one year in office. Foltz wrote Waterman seven letters, all during the period of his governorship. She seems to have had a personal friendship with Waterman even though he was a Republican and she had campaigned for Democrat Bartlett. See e. g. Foltz to Waterman, April 23, 1890 asking for a personal loan. Waterman refused to run for the governorship in 1890 and returned to his ranching operations in San Diego. He died in 1891 so he may have known that he was terminally ill when he refused to run again.

Special Collections, Stanford University, Stanford, California

  • Stephen White Papers (five letters from Foltz to White between 1889-1890). White was the leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and ultimately the first native son of California to be U.S. Senator.

Huntington Library, San Merino, Califonria

  • Clara Bewick Colby Papers (on file at Huntington Library, San Merino, California) (four letters from Foltz: 1904, 1907, 1908 and 1909). Colby was the editor of the Women’s Tribune, a paper largely allied with the National Woman Suffrage Association. See Martha M. Solomon, A Voice of Their Own: The Woman Suffrage Press, 1840-1910 (1991).
  • Clara Foltz, Scrapbook (on file at Huntington Library, Una Winter Collection). The scrapbook covers the years 1910-1930 and has several hundred newspaper articles in it, many from a clipping service. They are not pasted in very well so the names and dates of the newspapers are not always clear. In her autobiographical column, Struggles and Triumphs of a Woman Lawyer, Foltz wrote of “the dozen or more scrap books that lumber my study” and hoped that “an inquisitive biographer” would write her story. Struggles, March, 1918. This is the only scrapbook to survive; it is in a collection of suffrage ephemera given by Una Winter, a Progressive suffragist. The only indication of provenance is that it was purchased from an L.A. bookstore for five dollars in 1957. It seems likely that someone bought the scrapbook at the auction of Foltz’s library after her death, perhaps choosing this one because it starts with the year suffrage was won.
  • Clara Foltz, Brief on the Constitutionality of Woman Suffrage, 126 Pamphlets 1880 (submitted to the 1880 legislature) (on file at the Huntington Library). Foltz submitted the same brief in 1883, which is on file in California State Library, Sacramento, California.
  • Laura Gordon, Brief on the Constitutionality of Woman suffrage, 126 Pamphlets 1880 (submitted to the 1880 legislature) (on file at the Huntington Library, San Merino, California).
  • Mary Emily Foy Collection; Foy Family papers. Communications from Foltz to Foy, notice of the law lectures in Foy’s office and suffrage campaigns.

UCLA Special Collections

  • Katherine Phillips Edson Collection (on file at Special Collections, UCLA) includes correspondence of Katherine Edson with Hiram Johnson and other prominent progressives mentioning Foltz.

California State Library

  • In addition to its collection of nineteenth century newspapers, most on microfilm, the library has a card catalog listing dozens of newspaper stories about Foltz and her friends and allies. This is especially important because few of the newspapers are indexed.

Court records

The California State Archives in Sacramento, California has the briefs and records, including full trial transcripts in some cases and designated records in others, for Foltz’s cases in the California Supreme Court.

  • Foltz v. Hoge, 54 Cal. 28 (1879)
  • Foltz v. Cogswell, 86 Cal. 542, 25 P. 60, 61 (Cal. 1890)
  • Phelps v. Cogswell, 70 Cal. 201 (Cal. 1886)
  • People v. Wells, 100 Cal. 459, 34 P. 1078 (Cal. 1893)
  • White v. White, 82 Cal. 427 (Cal. 1890)
  • People v. Morrow, 60 Cal. 142 (1882)
  • People v. Mess, 3 P. 670; 65 Cal. 174 (1884)
  • Court Records, San Jose Superior Court Archives, (on file at the San Jose Superior Archives in San Jose, California) (complaint for divorce, answer, decree in Foltz v. Foltz (1879))
  • Court Records, Colorado (on file in court archives, District Court, El Paso City, Colorado ) (complaint, answer, cross-claim, order, and decree in Richard Johnson Bolles v. Julia Sherman Bolles (June 11-12, 1895))
  • National Archives: Records of Military Service: Jeremiah D. Foltz (on file with the National Archives, Washington D.C.)
  • Invalid Pension applications filed by Jeremiah D. Foltz May 7, 1883, Dec. 18, 1885
  • Two applications for widow’s pension by Kate Foltz (including divorce decree from Clara Foltz; marriage certificate to Katie McKernon). Filed Oct. 27, 1890; Dec. 26, 1891


  • July 22, 1987: Interview with Gloria Shortridge, daughter of Charles Shortridge and Delmas Martin in San Raphael, California
  • August 22, 1989: Letter from Truman Toland, great grandson of Clara Foltz, to Barbara Babcock (describing Clara Foltz and his interactions with her)
  • August 8, 1989: Memo to the file after Barbara Allen Babacock's telephone interview with William Gridley Toland
  • June 27, 1990: Memo to the file after Barbara Allen Babacock's telephone Interview with Geraldine Dumont
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