Alva Smith was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1853 and died in Paris, France, in 1933. She was educated in France. In 1875, she married William Kissam Vanderbilt (grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt), and had three children: Consuelo, William K. Jr., and Harold Stirling. They divorced in 1895.
In 1896, she married Oliver H. P. Belmont, who died in 1908. After his death, Alva Belmont threw herself into the cause of woman's suffrage. She founded the "Political Equality Association", sponsored lectures, dances and concerts, and wrote and produced a suffrage operetta. In 1914, she joined the Congressional Union (later the National Woman's Party). She was referred to as the "Bengal Tiger".
In 1998, Erik Per Overbey donated these items to Special Collections.Scope and Contents
This collection contains 9 items in 9 file folders that reveal the life of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, snippets regarding the Smith family, and the Vanderbilt family during the later part of the 19th century, and the first part of the 20th century.
Overview | Complete Finding Aid (pdf)
Special Collections | Heard Library | Vanderbilt University
Copyright © Special Collections, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt
Last modified: April 10, 2008
For more information, contact us at: < >