Joanna Carver Colcord

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Joanna Carver Colcord
Joanna Carver Colcord.jpg
Born(1882-03-18)March 18, 1882
Southwest Pacific Ocean
DiedApril 8, 1960(1960-04-08) (aged 78)
Burial placeElmwood Cemetery, Searsport, Maine[1]
OccupationSocial worker
Spouse(s)Frank J. Bruno (married 1950)[2]
  • Lincoln Alden Colcord (father)
  • Jane Colcord (mother)

Joanna Carver Colcord (March 18, 1882 – April 8, 1960) was pioneering social worker, and author.[2] Born at sea, she was also notable for publishing texts on the language, work songs, and sea shanties of American seamen during the early 20th century.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Both of Colcord's parents, Jane French (Sweetser) and Captain Lincoln Alden Colcord, came from Maine families with generations-long traditions of life on and around the sea.[2][3] Lincoln Colcord delivered his daughter Joanna on board his sailing ship, the Charlotte A. Littlefield, in the southwest Pacific near New Caledonia.[2][4] Aside from time spent on shore at Penobscot Bay or in Searsport, Maine,[2] Joanna and her younger brother, Lincoln Ross Colcord, spent most of their childhood at sea.[3]

Education and early career[edit]

Jane Colcord tutored her children at sea,[2] and Joanna's high school education was by correspondence course.[3] Beginning in 1902,[3] Joanna studied at the University of Maine, receiving her B.S. in chemistry in 1906 and M.S. in biological chemistry in 1909.[2]

Colcord was unsatisfied with the positions available to her in applied chemistry,[3] and a former teacher suggested she consider social service.[2] In 1910–1911, she studied social work at the New York School of Philanthropy,[2] later known as the New York School of Social Work.[5]

Career in social work[edit]

New York Charity Organization Society, American Red Cross, Minnesota Family Welfare Association, Russel Sage Foundation

Late life[edit]

Health problems, including circulatory problems and diabetes, forced Colcord to retire in 1944. In November 1950, she married longtime friend and colleague Frank J. Bruno, a professor of applied sociology at Washington University in St. Louis who had become a widower several months before. After Bruno's death in 1955, Colcord moved to Lebanon, Indiana to live with her stepson. She died there in 1960 from a stroke.[2]


Social work[edit]

  • Colcord, Joanna C. (1919). Broken Homes: A Study of Family Desertion and its Social Treatment. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 1347284 – via Internet Archive.
  • ——; Mann, Ruth Z.S., eds. (1930). The Long View: Papers and Addresses by Mary E. Richmond. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 954737057 – via Internet Archive.
  • —— (1930). Community Planning in Unemployment Emergencies. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 981447781.
  • —— (1931). Setting Up a Program of Work Relief. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 2868553.
  • ——; Johnston, Mary (1933). Community Programs for Subsistence Gardens. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 1720398.
  • —— (1936). Cash Relief. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 502857.
  • —— (1939). Your Community: Its Provisions for Health, Education, Safety, and Welfare. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. OCLC 718442590.

Life at sea[edit]

  • Colcord, Joanna C. (1924). Roll and Go: Songs of American Sailormen. Introduction by Lincoln Colcord. London: Heath Cranton Ltd. OCLC 21050785.
  • —— (1938) [1924]. Songs of American Sailormen. Introduction by Lincoln Colcord (enlarged and revised ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. OCLC 946498851.
  • —— (July 1942). "Domestic Life on American Sailing Ships". American Neptune. 2 (3): 193–202.
  • —— (1945). Sea Language Comes Ashore. New York: Cornell Maritime Press. OCLC 1034773.


  1. ^ "Joanna Carver Colcord Bruno (18 Mar 1882–8 Apr 1960)". Find A Grave. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chambers, Clarke A. (1980). "Colcord, Joanna Carver". In Sicherman, Barbara; Green, Carol Hurd; Kantrov, Ilene; Walker, Harriette (eds.). Notable American Women: The Modern Period. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 155–157. ISBN 0-674-62733-4. OCLC 834112895 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gordon, Linda (2011). "Joanna Carver Colcord (March 18, 1882 – April 8, 1960) — Social work administrator and professional leader". Social Welfare History Project. Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Malloy, Mary (2000). "Colcord, Joanna Carver". Searchable Sea Literature. Williams-Mystic: The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College & Mystic Seaport. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "In Memoriam: Joanna Carver Colcord 1883-1960". Social Service Review. 34 (2): 233. June 1960. doi:10.1086/640855.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]