Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Elizabeth Sophia Bisbee Hunt, 1844-1919
By Maggie Lamy and Kelsey Warner, Undergraduates, Saint Anselm College
Elizabeth Sophia Bisbee was born on April 28, 1844 in Derby, Vermont to David and Sarah Albee Bisbee and was one of eight children. Elizabeth was the granddaughter of Captain Abner Bisbee of Massachusetts who served during the American Revolutionary War. Due to this family connection, Elizabeth was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1870, Elizabeth married Nathan Parker Hunt, a police court judge. Nathan graduated Manchester High School in New Hampshire and Dartmouth College. It is not certain when Elizabeth moved to New Hampshire, as she did live for a period in Baltimore, Maryland. According to the 1880 census, by the time Elizabeth married Nathan, the two lived at 95 Lowell Street in Manchester. Elizabeth and Nathan had three children: Samuel, Agnes, and Sara (also known as Sally). According to the 1940 census, Samuel was born in approximately 1872. Sara was born in October of 1873, and Agnes was born in April of 1876, as reported by the 1900 census.
Samuel Hunt attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1893 with a Bachelor of Arts. Agnes Hunt went to high school in Manchester and attended Smith College where she graduated in 1897 with a Bachelor of Arts. She went on to attend Yale Graduate School where she graduated with a doctorate. Agnes went on to teach in the fields of history in the College for Women at Western Reserve University. Sara Hunt graduated from Manchester High School in 1891 and graduated from Smith College in 1895. She worked as a school teacher at Manchester High School and was married in 1905. All three Hunt children were able to attend college, which suggests that the family was relatively wealthy.
According to the 1900 census, the Hunt family moved to 747 Blodgett Street in Manchester, NH. The family had three live-in domestic helpers. Mary Navero (also known as Mary Travers or Mory Travers) was an Irish immigrant who lived with the family and was a domestic servant. By 1920, Aurelia M. Mayette and Laura E. Mayette also lived with the Hunt family. employed as a house worker and cook, respectively. The family's ability to afford three domestic helpers further suggests that they were relatively wealthy.
Elizabeth Hunt's work with women's suffrage is first documented in letters between 1897 and 1900 from Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Stanton Blatch, and Julia Ward Howe. These letters include Susan B. Anthony's recollections of working with Elizabeth some time before 1900. Elizabeth was elected as Vice President of the New Hampshire Women's Suffrage Association in December 1901 at a convention in Manchester. Mary Chase was the organizer of this convention and Carrie Chapman Catt, the president of the National Woman's Suffrage Association, was a principal speaker. According to her family letters, Elizabeth also worked with the New Hampshire State Federation of Women's Clubs. It is possible that Elizabeth Hunt was also in communication with the suffragist Lucy Stone. Elizabeth's aunt, Dr. Mary Hunt, was the oldest living doctor in 1908 that held a license to practice medicine in New Hampshire. This same Dr. Hunt exchanged letters with Lucy Stone.
Not much is known about the remainder of Elizabeth's life. According to her death certificate, Elizabeth had arteriosclerosis for years that was ultimately the cause of her death, which was also agitated by a fractured femur. Elizabeth Hunt died on September 25, 1919 in Manchester, New Hampshire at the age of seventy-five. She is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester. Her husband Nathan died on April 5, 1931 and is buried in the same grave as Elizabeth. Elizabeth's daughter Agnes is also buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery.
A record of Elizabeth's birth and death dates, as well as overall information about her family, can be found on page 240 under entry number 11630 of the Lineage Book of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume 12, as edited by Ms. Mary Jane Seymour and published in 1896, or at https://books.google.com/books?id=YkgYDbS1-EwC&pg=PA240&lpg=PA240&dq=%22Elizabeth+Bisbee+Hunt%22&source=bl&ots=MZIUmhFhxl&sig=ACfU3U1-av7XP-ZvpAAPYWED_vy3Jc1sjA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIjO_ItuHgAhVo1lkKHZ_fAx0Q6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Elizabeth%20Bisbee%20Hunt%22&f=false. Further information on Elizabeth's involvement with the Daughters of the American Revolution can be found in Ancestry.com's public records section under Daughters of the American Revolution https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=3174&h=4712&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5242.
An additional source about Elizabeth's family can be found in Ancestry.com's “Ancestry Person” section under “David Bisbee” in the “McStravick Family Tree” https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/80396055/person/40523795675/story A record of Samuel Hunt's life can be found in the Dartmouth College 1894 yearbook on page 26 in Ancestry.com's records section https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=1265&h=243206458&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=2442, and in the 1940 census records in Ancestry.com's records section https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=2442&h=77725092&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=4582.
Additional information on Sara Hunt, and the other children's education can be found in Section 3, on page 39 of Dartmouth's The Class of 1866 Records and Memorials, or at https://books.google.com/books?id=wagaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=samuel+parker+hunt&source=bl&ots=am5fQCXsM1&sig=ACfU3U2PXQRhGCn4Dq-znZTuCrX0p0CrMQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNiLeyyY_hAhWM2FkKHSKqCKwQ6AEwCHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=samuel%20parker%20hunt&f=false. Further information regarding Agnes Hunt and her education history is available in Ancestry.com's records section under “Agnes R Hunt,” https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1940usfedcen&indiv=try&h=77725095.
Information regarding the Hunt family addresses and live- in domestic help can be found in various census records in Ancestry.com's census documents sections, https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7884&h=167659344&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=MhW3&_phstart=successSource, https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=7602&h=76815049&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=7884, and https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1880usfedcen&indiv=try&h=44391223.
Records of the marriage between Nathan and Elizabeth can be found in Ancestry.com's marriage records https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=61157&h=3722448&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5241. It can also be found on findagrave.com under “Elizabeth S. ‘Bessie' Bisbee Hunt” https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73139843/elizabeth-s_-hunt.
Information on Elizabeth Hunt's involvement with the suffrage movement can be found in the archives of the New Hampshire Women's Suffrage Association in “A Report of the Annual Meeting” from October of 1907 https://archive.org/stream/abriefhistoryne00assogoog/abriefhistoryne00assogoog_djvu.txt.
A complete inventory of the Hunt Family correspondence can be found in the Asteria college archives at https://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/sophiasmith/mnsss95.html.
Additional information on the death records of the Hunt family can be found in the aforementioned census records as well as in Nathan's death certificate in Ancestry.com's death records, https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=5242&h=596051&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=6742, and in Elizabeth's death certificate in the same death records collection https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/5242/41267_311729-00383?pid=595717&backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/80396055/person/40523795689/gallery&usePUB=true&_phsrc=MhW17&usePUBJs=true.