Abbott family papers
1881-1922 (bulk 1912-1922)
Bessie Abbott, an aspiring vocalist from Long Beach, California, was born to Tracy and Linnie Abbott ca. 1887. Bessie married Stanley Howland sometime before 1907 and, in 1912, moved to Brooklyn to study voice; she became acquainted with local notables such as Irving Berlin. During a 1913 trip to Washington, D.C., to see Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, Bessie injured her hand, igniting an insurance dispute that she later dropped. After a brief return to California in 1914, Bessie left for Hawaii, where her musical career continued to progress. Returning again to California, Bessie focused more on instruction and on the business aspects of her career. During the early part of the 1920s, Bessie spent time traveling around Hawaii, the Philippines, and southeast Asia, visiting her brother Will and sister-in-law Nita.