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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller's attention to working-class women

Unlike other monetary contributors, Rockefeller expressed real concern for the labor conditions of working class women.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
The fund raisers who thought we were too liberal. A lot of that is documented with some of these women. One who was a great supporter was Mrs Rockefeller, the mother of all of them. They had several women like that in the Y that just stood up for labor.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
They stood up for labor.
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Oh, of course.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
That's interesting. The Rockefellers don't have a reputation for standing up for labor. Was she unusual from the family? Was she different from the men?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
All the men? I'm speaking of the mother of all these. She was an Aldrich, wasn't she. Well, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller did a great deal to help the YW. But goodness, I don't know when she died.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Were they mainly contributing money?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Oh no, Mrs Rockefeller was very active. I remember, she had me come over and speak, you know, down at the modern museum about labor conditions, well, conditions of the working girl. Oh no, she really worked. The YW had about six women. . . I'll try to get that book from my neighbor. It's called Six Famous Women, or something. You tell me when you have to go and I'll get my neighbor in, who is a disciplined research worker. She would know. Well, the mother of Mrs Lawrence Rockefeller, Mrs French, was another one who was very liberal. I don't know how liberal Mary French Rockefeller is. She's still very active in the Y but mostly the foreign. . . .
MARY FREDERICKSON:
So they were actively involved in helping set up programs and that sort of thing?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
You mean for working girls?
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Right. I mean they didn't just give money.
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Oh no. They didactually work. They made speeches and supported it.