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Sylvia Wright papers, 1934-1980
Wright, Sylvia, 1911-
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 431-433  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Wright, Sylvia, 1911-
Title : Sylvia Wright papers, 1934-1980 1944-1947.
Physical Description : 1.25 linear feet.
Summary :

The bulk of the collection consists of Sylvia Wright's papers while representing the town of Rupert in the Vermont General Assembly for three legislative sessions, 1945 to 1947, during the administrations of Mortimer Proctor and Ernest Gibson. Papers relating to her political life and her personal life are also included, as well as documentation of her CIA career. The material contains many annotations by the creator of the collection, including a handwritten statement about her Vermont career.

The first series treats the subject of Mrs. Wright's political career, including her run for office, her political life as legislator in the Republican Party, and her dealings with colleagues. The materials consist primarily of correspondence, news clippings, and official papers. Of particular interest are documents from the Republican primary election in Rupert, Vermont; a resolution introduced by Rep. Wright in the Vermont House to not give women preference in choice of seats in the chamber; and notes on Rupert town used by Wright for the 1945 and 1946 town meetings. A group of newspaper articles characterizing the political scene in Vermont from 1944 to 1947 are found in this series.

The second series documents Mrs. Wright's work on the House Institutions and Education committees, and on Governor Mortimer Proctor's Advisory Art Committee (1945-1946). Of particular interest is Gov. Proctor's message to the General Assembly in Special Session, and a collection of weekly legislative reports written by Mrs. Wright for the Granville (New York) Sentinel newspaper. Another group contains notes and

The third series consists of documents relating to the women's and educational advocacy organizations Wright represented before and during her tenure in the legislature. The copious correspondence, position statements, notes, legislative reports, organizational information, texts of speeches, news clippings, and studies illustrate Mrs. Wright's energetic participation in these organizations to promote her education and welfare agendas.

The fourth series contains personal information on Sylvia Wright, including her curriculum vitae, her CIA personnel file, and several documents from various stages of her post-Vermont life.

Biographical or historical data :

Sylvia Allen Beckman was born on May 11, 1911, in Naperville, Illinois, the youngest daughter of Bernard C. and May (Ballou) Beckman. Sylvia graduated with a bachelor's degree from Wells College in Aurora, New York, in 1933, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa (1951). After attending London School of Economics to study international relations in 1933 and 1934, she returned to the States.

In September 1935 Sylvia Beckman married Norman B. Wright (1901-1971) of Chicago, Illinois, son of Frank G. and Kathryn Wright. The couple settled on a farm in Rupert, Vermont, in June 1940. Norman, an artist and dairy farmer, was a founder of the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont, for which Sylvia served as clerk. From 1946 to 1947 Mrs. Wright served on Gov. Mortimer Proctor's Art Advisory Committee, assigned to assess the state's art holdings.

Mrs. Wright acted as legislative liaison for the Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Vermont League of Women Voters, the Vermont Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Vermont Conference of Social Welfare during the period of 1944 to 1947. She also served as regional vice president of the National Council on State Legislation (1945-1946), and as member of the Vermont Joint Legislative Council (1944-1947).

In 1944 Sylvia Wright ran for office and was elected on the Republican ticket as Rupert town representative to the Vermont House of Representatives; she was reelected in 1946. Following her election to the General Assembly, Sylvia Wright served on the House Committee on Institutions as its clerk (1945-1946). In 1945 Wright was appointed member of the Public Welfare Survey committee. In 1946 Rep. Wright was appointed by governor-elect Ernest Gibson to serve on an unprecedented pre-inauguration advisory committee to study "education and the normal school." In June 1947 Rep. Wright resigned her seat in the General Assembly.

Sylvia and Norman Wright were divorced in August of 1947. In 1948 Sylvia Wright moved to the Washington, DC area where she married Robert Warner on August 24, 1950. While living in Washington, Sylvia Warner worked at the CIA in various capacities from 1949 until at least 1955, and possibly thereafter. She began as an Information and Editorial Specialist and progressed to Intelligence Officer.

Personal Subject : Wright, Sylvia, 1911-
Corporate Subject : Vermont. General Assembly. House of Representatives.
Vermont. Governor's Advisory Art Committee.
Republican Party Vt. : 1854-
Vermont Women's Joint Legislative Council.
National Council on State Legislation
Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers.
Vermont League of Women Voters.
Vermont Federation of Women's Clubs.
National Order of Women Legislators U.S.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency Employees.
Subject Term : Women Political activity Vermont.
Education Political aspects Vermont.
Women's rights Vermont.
Geographic Term : Vermont Politics and government 20th century.
Rupert (Vt.) Politics and government 20th century.
Genre/Form : Letters Correspondence.
Occupation : Women legislators
Added Author : Noble, Ralph, 1899-1972.
Fisher, John R., 1883-1959.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.