The Laurence Barrett family papers consist primarily of 113 letters written between Laurence Nexsen Barrett, his siblings, and his parents during World War II, while Laurence Barrett served in the United States Navy aboard the submarine chaser USS PC-1176
. Barrent wrote about his work as a mail censor, family news, financial matters, fellow sailors, shipboard life, reflections on the U.S. Navy and the war, visits to French and English towns, and other subjects. The collection contains 18 editions of The Hillcote Herald, a newsletter named after the Barrett family home at Katonah, New York, contains poetry, news on local sports, family updates, and other content. Eighty five snapshot photographs and other images, along with 13 printed items complete the papers.
The Laurence Barrett family papers consist primarily of 113 letters written between Laurence Nexsen Barrett, his siblings, and his parents during World War II, while Laurence Barrett served in the United States Navy aboard the submarine chaser USS PC-1176. Barrent wrote about his work as a mail censor, family news, financial matters, fellow sailors, shipboard life, reflections on the U.S. Navy and the war, visits to French and English towns, and other subjects. The collection contains 18 editions of The Hillcote Herald, a newsletter named after the Barrett family home at Katonah, New York, contains poetry, news on local sports, family updates, and other content. Eighty five snapshot photographs and other images, along with 13 printed items complete the papers.
Correspondence: Though most of the material originated from members of the Barrett family, Laurence received mail from several acquaintances from his prewar educational endeavors. The letters of the 1930s through 1941 are largely incoming letters to Laurence N. Barrett regarding his empoyment at the Berkshire School (Sheffield, Massachusetts), his 1939 trip to Great Britain on board the SS Transylvania, family updates from their Hillcote home in Katonah, New York, the marriage of his brother Roberston to Margaret B. Sloat, and other matters. The papers contain 35 pages of largely undated courtship letters from the 1930s/1940s between Laurence Barrett and Ruth DeYoe, while the former taught at Middlebury College and the latter finished her studies at Connecticut College in New Haven. One letter from Heidi (i.e. Adelaide Barrett) dated June 29, 1939, contains drawings of a bicyclist in Ireland and a thatch-roofed house.
Captain, later Lieutenant, Laurence "Larry" Barrett's outgoing letters to his parents and sister begin with a July 4, 1943, missive written while aboard the USS SC-1003 while patroling for Japanese submarines. By fall, he sent correspondence from the Navy Section Base near New Orleans, Louisiana. He wrote both newsy and practical letters, discussing finances and sending money to his sister, his insurance policy, U.S. Navy discipline, life in the service, and gunnery training at Shell Beach (Southeast of New Orleans). December 27, 1943, he sent his first letter from aboard the newly-commissioned USS PC 1176 and provided his thoughts on the mood of the ship's officers and crew. One of the jobs assigned to Barrett was censoring outgoing mail and he found reading through other sailors' personal matters to be educational. He told his parents that through them he learned "what remarkable insights into human beings there are to be had in the letters they write their wives and sons and creditors and the girls they are traying to seduce. It is an almost Olympian view you get of the poor hunted, hunting race, and at times it makes you feel presumptious -- would even make you feel guilty, if there were not all the sheaves of naval regulations insisting upon it to salve the conscience (January 16, 1944). He provided a couple anecdotes about fellow sailors' relationships. The ship traveled across the Atlantic and stayed in port at England. Barrett wrote home during the spring of 1944 about interactions with and perceptions of English people and their suffering on account of the war. Though the PC 1176 participated in the Normandy invasion, it is not mentioned in the Barrett's letters (except one letter of February 13, 1945, in which he explains his reasons for not writing about D-Day or other "war stuff"). As the ship entered duty around Cherbourg and LeHavre in the fall of 1944, he sent his family letters about investments, fellow sailors, courts martial, shipboard activities, the Presidential Election of 1944, his communications with a woman named Courtney, reflections on U.S. Navy service and the war, visits to French towns, speculation about when he will be able to return home, .
The collection includes 18 issues of The Hillcote Herald, a typed newsletter containing poetry, family news, local sports, and other subjects. At one point, the Herald specifies that its readership includes three persons. While generally lighthearted, the December 7, 1941, issue included a remark on the attack on Pearl Harbor, "This is, we suppose IT. IT being the thing that a great many millions of Americans have been hoping might someday be prevented from taking place. That it will affect us all, and very directly, cannot be doubted. Whether or not it could have been avoided is probably no longer worth debating or wonderfing about--or praying over, maybe." The collection includes the following issues:
- 1939 July 24, v. IV, no. ?
- 1941 September 21, v. VI, no. 1.
- 1941 September 28, v. VI, no. 2.
- 1941 October 5, v. VI, no. 3.
- 1941 October 12, v. VI, no. 4.
- 1941 October 26, v. VI, no. 5.
- 1941 November 2, v. VI, no. 7.
- 1941 November 9, v. VI, no. 9.
- 1941 November 16, v. VI, no. 11.
- 1941 November 30, v. VI, no. 11 (located in the Correspondence Series under this date).
- 1941 December 7, v. VI, no. 21.
- 1943 July 4, v. VII, no. 17 (supposedly).
- 1943 July 25, v. VII, no. 18.
- 1943 August 1, v. VII, no. 20.
- 1943 August 7, v. VII, no. 21.
- 1943 August 15, v. VII, no. 21.
- 1943 August 22, v. VII, no. 22.
- 1943 October 3, v. VII, no. 23.
The collection's Photographs include 85 snapshots taken during Laurence N. Barrett's 1937 visit to Ireland, as well as images of sporting events, skiers, buildings, an exposition of glass products, a dog, and a variety of unidentified individuals. The photographs also include two real photo postcards of unidentified exterior locations, one photograph of an unidentified woman, and a modern copy of a photograph of Laurence Barrett's ship USS PC-1176.
The Printed Items include several pamphlets regarding Welsh government and politics, two book sales pamphlets, and Great Britain travel literature. A complete list includes:
- [Copy of Laurence Nexsen Barrett's Power of Attorney, December 4, 1944].
- [Copy of Barrett Family Tree, K. Barrett Kelly, rev. February 20, 2004].
- [Newspaper Clippings, 1942 (2 items).
- Davies, David James. The Economics of Welsh Self-Government. Swyddfa'r Blaid Genedlaethol: Caernarfon, 1931.
Everyman's Library : 955 of the World's Great Books at 90¢ Each. s.l.: s.n., n.d. [Catalog of titles specifically marketed at the Princeton University Store].
- Herbert, Will; Wilber G. Katz; et al. Religious Perspectives in American Culture. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1961.
- Jones, J. Gwilyn; Plaid Cymru. The New Wales : Synopsis of the Policy of the Welsh Nationalist Party. Swyddf'r Blaid: Caernarfon, [19--].
- Lewis, Saunders. Local Authorities and Welsh Industry. Swyddfa'r Blaid Genedlaethol: Caernarfon, .
The Modern Library : 278 of the World's Greatest Books. s.l.: s.n., . [Catalog of titles specifically marketed at the Princeton University Store].
- Peers, Sir Charles. Caernarvon Castle Caernarvonshire. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1936.
- Peers, Sir Charles. Harlech Castle. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1937.
Road Atlas and Route Guide of Northern Ireland and Eire. s.l: s.n., n.d. [Printed map and outer cover include illustrated advertisements for Joseph H. Gass, Belfast, a bicycle seller].