Susan H. Douglas: She Collected the Stuff of American Politicking


Susan Barsy

Presidential portrait tray from the Susan Douglas Collection at Cornell University Their heads on a platter: Presidential portrait tray.  Susan H. Douglas Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library.

Susan Havey Douglas (1901-1962) was an affluent stay-at-home wife and mother whose husband, Damon G., ran a successful commercial construction firm in New Jersey.  Susan, a native of Yonkers, NY, had dropped out of college to marry her husband.  Damon was a graduate of Cornell, where he had studied engineering.

'William H Harrison and Reform' Portrait Textile from the campaign of 1840 (Courtesy Cornell University Library via the Commons on Flickr) ‘William H Harrison and Reform’: A piece of fabric incorporating political images from the ‘Log Cabin’ campaign of 1840. Susan H Douglas Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library.

The Douglas’s children were Damon Jr., and two daughters, Sally and Susan.  The latter died of a streptococcus infection and spinal meningitis at the age of seven, a heartbreaking loss occurring in 1936.

GOP elephant bank from the 1900 presidential campaign.  Susan H Douglas Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library. GOP elephant bank from the 1900 presidential campaign. Susan H Douglas Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library.

Mr Douglas…

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