1 linear foot
The record group includes minute books, publications and other organizational records.
1 linear foot
The record group includes minute books, publications and other organizational records.
1.25 linear feet
The Fenno-Hoffman papers contain the personal correspondence of three generations of the Fenno and Hoffman families of New York City. It appears that the collection was initially assembled by Maria Fenno Hoffman, who was the bridge linking the Fennos and Hoffmans, or one of her children. The majority of the letters in the collection are addressed to Maria, and those written following her death are mainly from her three children. As a whole, the collection forms a diverse and uniformly interesting resource for the study of family life, politics, and literary culture in the early Republic. The Fennos and Hoffmans seem all to have been blessed with literary talent and excellent educations, enjoying interests ranging from politics and commerce to publishing and writing, but cursed with short lives and disastrous fortune. Their correspondence creates a vivid impression of a once-wealthy family struggling with adversity and personal loss. Yet despite all of their connections to the centers of political and social power, and despite all the setbacks they encountered, the overriding impression gleaned from the Fenno-Hoffman correspondence is of the centrality of family in their emotional and social lives.
The collection can be roughly divided into two, interrelated series: the letters of the Fenno family, and the somewhat later letters of the Hoffmans. Within the Fenno series are 25 letters from John Fenno to his wife, Mary, and six from Mary to John, written primarily during two periods of separation, in the spring of 1789, and summer, 1798. This correspondence conveys a sense of the passionate attachment these two held for each other, expressed with their exceptional literary gifts. John discusses the founding of the United States Gazette in 1789, including a visit with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia where he had gone to purchase type. His letters are full of political commentary relating to the establishment of the federal government in 1789 and the young nation's Quasi-War with France, 1798. Although Fenno's letters to his wife are filled with political opinions, he urged her not to get involved in political controversies herself, nor to form opinions of her own. Mary apparently felt free to express herself to her husband, but significantly, her letters tend to mirror his staunchly Federalist political sympathies. The collection also contains four letters from John Fenno to his children, in which he discusses the French Revolution (1794) and general political news (1797-98), while doling out some fairly standard fatherly advice.
All nine of the Fenno children who survived infancy are represented as writers in the Fenno-Hoffman Papers, each one of whom seems to have been blessed with literary talent. The most frequent correspondents among the Fennos -- Maria, Charles J., and Edward -- display an intense interest in the affairs of their family, and express a powerful attachment for one another.
The collection contains twenty letters from Maria Fenno Hoffman (1781-1823), wife of lawyer and judge Josiah Ogden Hoffman (1766-1837), and most of the other letters in the collection were addressed to her. The letters written by Maria were nearly all addressed to her children and contain information on the family, laden with large doses of motherly advice. Among her most notable letters is one addressed to Washington Irving, whose fiancée, Matilda Hoffman, Maria's step-daughter, had died shortly before their wedding day.
The young British Navy officer, Charles J. Fenno, wrote thirty-nine letters, all to his siblings, and the collection also includes one letter to Charles from British Navy officer Charles Williamson (1757-1808), advising him to take an appointment in the West Indies. Fenno's letters include detailed descriptions of his attempts to cope with the debts incurred by his brother, John Ward Fenno, his part in the Tripolitan War and the turmoil in Haiti in 1802-3, naval sparring between French and English on the high seas, and family matters. With the typical Fenno style, Charles' letters provide an excellent view of these conflicts from the perspective of a young junior officer. His last letter was written while on vacation at Coldenham, N.Y., five weeks before his death.
Charles' younger brother, Edward, wrote 69 letters to his sister and surrogate mother, Maria, and 31 to his brother, James, along with a few miscellaneous letters. As lengthy as they are literate, Edward's letters provide an engrossing, running commentary on all facets of life in New Orleans during the 1820s and 30s, when it was still more a French city than American. His interests range from politics to business, high society to love affairs (his own, as well as others'), the annual yellow fever season, death and dying, race relations, piracy, and military exploits. They offer an intimate and detailed view of Louisiana during the years in which it was undergoing a rapid Americanization, and Edward's membership in the American militia, and his keen observational abilities provide a memorable account of the changes. His last letter to Maria, written a month before her death, discusses the necessity of family loyalty.
Comparatively speaking, the other Fenno children are represented by only scattered letters. Only two letters survive from the shortest-lived of the adult Fennos, John Ward, both written in 1797. In these, Jack discusses the acute controversy between Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) and the Federalist Gazette of the United States. Three of Harriet Fenno Rodman's letters survive -- containing social news and observations -- along with seven poems, including love poetry to her husband. Harriet's daughter, Anne Eliza Rodman, is represented by 24 letters, mostly addressed to her aunt Maria Hoffman, that include excellent descriptions of politics, society, and race relations in St. Augustine. George Fenno's four letters, also to his sister Maria, reflect the tedium felt by an educated urbanite set down in the countryside. Mary Elizabeth Fenno Verplanck's nine letters describe social life in Philadelphia, Fishkill, and Ballston Springs, and her efforts to mend a serious rift between her fiancée (later husband) and her brother-in-law Josiah. The ill-fated Caroline Fenno apparently had little time to write before dying, leaving only two letters describing life in Albany in 1804. James Bowdoin Fenno's six letters concern the business climate in South Carolina and Georgia and, as with all other Fenno correspondence, underscore the importance of family ties.
The second major series of correspondence in the Fenno-Hoffman Papers is centered on the children of Josiah Ogden Hoffman and his second wife Maria Fenno, Charles Fenno, George Edward, and Julia Hoffman. This series also includes eight letters from Josiah to his wife and sons, consisting principally of advice to his wife on how to run the household and, to his sons, on how to study industriously and become a credit to their "indulgent father." The letters he received in his old age from his children are particularly revealing of Josiah's personality. In these, Josiah appears as a hypochondriac and as a literal-minded businessman obsessed with commerce who had difficulty understanding any mindset other than his own.
As a poet and writer, Charles never ceased to perplex and irritate his father. Charles was a sensitive, observant man and an exceptional literary talent whose ability to express his thoughts and feelings grew as he grew older. His 62 letters to his brother (1826-1834, 1845) and sister (1833-1845) include discussions of many issues close to his heart, from his literary career to the "place" of the artist in society, from the continual rack and ruin of his personal finances to his family relationships, pastimes, politics, and general reflections on life. His letters to George are pun-filled and witty, even when he was in the throes of adversity. Charles wrote nine letters during his famous western trip, 1833-34, some of which were rough drafts intended for publication in the American after his sister Julia edited them. His letter of July 22, 1829 offers a marvelous description of an all-night party, and the single extant letter to his father (April 26, 1834) exhibits an uncharacteristic interest in politics, perhaps to please the elder Hoffman. There are also five excellent letters from a classmate of Charles, written while Charles was recuperating from the loss of his leg in New York. These are enjoyable, but otherwise typical schoolboy letters describing the typical assortment of schoolboy pranks.
The largest run of correspondence in the series of Hoffman letters, and the core of the collection, consists of the 63 letters from Julia to George. Julia's letters (1834-45) relate her experiences in several residences, particularly in the Philadelphia home of Jewish philanthropist, Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869). Julia comments frequently on Charles's literary activities and George's checkered career as a civil engineer. Much of what she writes is commonplace yet her style makes each episode intrinsically interesting. There are no letters from George. Considering that George was Julia's executor in 1861 and was responsible for Charles's well being after being committed to an asylum in 1849, suggests that George may have assembled the collection. The only item in the collection written by George is a love poem written for Phoebe on their first wedding anniversary. He was the recipient of letters from his brother and sister, but also his cousin William J. Verplanck, niece Matilda Whitman, sister-in-law Virginia Hoffman, and nephew Ogden Hoffman, Jr.
There is a single letter from Ogden Hoffman (1794-1856), Josiah's son by his first marriage to Mary Colden, in which he gives friendly advice to his young half-brother Charles. Ogden appears to have been a valued friend to his half-siblings. He was considered the outstanding criminal lawyer of his generation. There are no letters from the servant, Caty, but there are several excellent discussions of her, particularly in Julia Hoffman's letter of February 18, 1837 and James Fenno's letter of December 1, 1821.
Among the few miscellaneous pieces written by non-members of the family are four letters from Rebecca Gratz, a close friend of the family whose name runs throughout the entire collection, particularly in Julia Hoffman's correspondence.
approximately 275 items in 1 album
The Tyler-Montgomery-Scott family album chronicles multiple generations of the Tyler, Montgomery, and Scott families of the Philadelphia area from the 1860s through the 1930s. It includes approximately 275 items including studio portrait photographs, informal snapshots, newspaper clippings, postcards, letters, and other ephemera.
The album (33 x 25.5 cm) is string-bound with grey cloth covers. Most photographs in the album have detailed handwritten captions identifying people, often with their middle or maiden names as well as the location and date. The presentation of the album is not strictly chronological, especially in the latter half. The early generations of Tylers are represented in photographic formats such as cartes-de-visite, tintypes and cabinet cards, while later generations are represented in snapshots and postcards. When the album reaches the mid-twentieth century, it begins to resemble the modern family album with various forms of ephemera (newspaper clippings, drawings, letters, Christmas cards, etc.) supplementing the photographs of family and friends.
The album begins with a portrait of Frederick Tyler, his daughter Sarah Sophia Cowen, granddaughter Kate “Gwen” Cowen Pratt, and great-granddaughter Kate Pratt. George F. and Louisa R. Tyler as well as their children (including Sidney F. and Helen Beach Tyler) are also featured in the initial section of the album, along with many extended family members, friends, nurses, and pets. Among the family friends pictured are painter Frederick Church, writer Bret Harte, Leonor Ruiz de Apodaca y Garcia-Tienza, Gen. William Buel Franklin, patent lawyer and historian Woodbury Lowery, and the Duke and Duchess of Arcos (Jose Ambrosio Brunetti and Virginia Woodbury Lowery Brunetti). Several interior views of rooms in George F. and Louisa R. Tyler’s home on 201 South 15th St. taken in 1896 are also present, including a photograph of the “Children’s play room” that features their granddaughter Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery holding a doll. Hope, her parents Mary W. and Sidney F. Tyler, her husband Robert “Bob” L. Montgomery, and their children Mary, Ives, and Alexander are well-represented in the album.
Of particular interest are a number of photographs in different sections of the album that depict Theodore Roosevelt and his family. Some of these images are formal studio portraits, while others are more candid snapshots of Roosevelt with other people. One snapshot shows the family at play on the grounds of Sagamore Hill in 1897. Two photos taken at the White House including Helen Beach Tyler, daughter of George F. and Louisa R. Tyler and second cousin to Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, are labelled “taken by Ted Roosevelt,” possibly referring to President Roosevelt’s son Theodore Roosevelt III. Helen Beach Tyler may be the “Nellie” who was the recipient of a partial letter included in the album which describes conditions at a wartime hospital (most likely in Italy) in 1915. Only the first two pages of this letter are included, and there is no indication of the identity of the writer. Helen Beach Tyler may also have been the principal compiler of this album. Supporting this possibility is the presence of an interior view of a bedroom at 201 South 15th St. (George F. and Louisa R. Tyler’s home) captioned as “Mother’s bedroom,” a signed portrait of Englishman Lytton Sothern captioned “Given to me by Mr. Sothern June 1872. Mr. Edward Sothern & his son Lytton Sothern sat at our table on ‘Oceanic’ my first trip to Europe,” and a portrait of Sara Schott von Schottenstein, Baronin von Prittwitz-Gaffron, bearing the inscription “to her friend Helen Tyler 1880.”
Other items of interest include portraits of Col. August Cleveland Tyler; several portraits of Brig. Gen. Robert Ogden Tyler; a portrait of French pianist Antoine Marmontel captioned “Mr. Marmontel Professor au Conservatoire gave us music lessons in Paris 1873-74”; a group portrait of Helen Beach Tyler, Mary L. Tyler, Alice Seward, Kitty Seward, and Ida Vinton posing with a silhouette of Sidney F. Tyler; photographs of painted portraits of George F. Tyler and Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery; a series of photos taken at the Spanish Embassy in Mexico City, some of which include the Duke and Duchess of Arcos, Woodbury Lowery, and Archibald Lowery; portraits of the Prittwitz-Gaffron family in Germany; photos taken around the world in various locations including Egypt, India, Germany, and Italy; images taken during an exhibition of sculpture by Stella Elkins Tyler (wife of George Frederick Tyler, Jr.), as well as a program from the event; and photos showing the family of Helen Hope and Edgar Scott.
approximately 5,000+ items in 23 volumes
The Gerald T. and Charlotte B. Maxson printed ephemera collection contains over 5,000 pieces of assorted ephemera, the majority of which were commercially printed in the United States during the mid to late 19th-century.
The Maxson collection provides a valuable resource for the study of 19th-century visual culture, commercial advertising, and humor in addition to the role of gender, ethnicity, and race in advertising. American businesses are the predominant focus of the collection, though many international businesses are also represented. While trade cards are by far the most prevalent type of ephemera found in this collection, an extensive array of genres are present including die cut scrapbook pieces, photographs, engravings, maps, serials, and manuscript materials.
The 23 binders that house the Maxson collection were arranged by the collectors themselves. Items are organized somewhat randomly in terms of topical arrangement. While pockets of related materials can be found here and there (for instance, the entirety of Volume 16 contains circus-related items while Volume 11 contains an extensive number of Shaker-related materials), for the most part any given subject may appear in any given volume. In some cases, items are clustered as a result of having been acquired together or due to a documented common provenance. Occasional typed annotations written by the Maxsons help provide additional context for certain items.
The Maxson Collection Subject Index serves as a volume-level subject index for materials found throughout the binders. The subjects indexed here are generally representative of both visual and commercial content. In addition to more general subjects, many names of specific people, places, buildings, events, and organizations that appear in the materials have also been listed. Researchers engaging with this collection should be aware that they will encounter numerous examples of racist caricatures, especially ones depicting African American, Native American, Irish, and Chinese people.
0.5 linear feet
This collection (79 items) contains the World War II-era correspondence of Norma Greiner of La Grande, Oregon; her husband, William R. Kent; and the Greiner family. One receipt pertains to a small payment from Mrs. R. C. Greiner to C. E. Branner (July 9, 1942).
Norma Greiner wrote 38 letters to her parents while working as a United States Navy nurse at Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, in 1943. She described her experiences treating wounded servicemen and sometimes provided details about specific patients. In one letter, she discussed a set of photographs shown to her by an officer returning from Guadalcanal (February 13, 1943, mailed with letter dated February 11, 1943), and in another, she described her wedding (August 3, 1943). Some letters refer to Greiner's dating life and several from late July and early August concern her marriage to William R. Kent. Her final letter, dated February 19, 1945, pertains to life in San Diego, California. Three of her letters have enclosures: a newspaper clipping about nurses (March 15, 1943), 4 snapshots of natives in an unidentified location (May 27, 1943), and bicycle licenses for Norma Grider [sic] and Wanda Tucker (June 4, 1942). One item is an illustrated printed form letter 2'8" long, including grains of sand glued to one page, that Norma sent to her brother Lawrence (March 27, 1943).
William R. Kent sent 26 letters to his wife Norma Greiner Kent while serving on the USS Cape Esperance in the South Pacific from August 1944-November 1944; these letters form part of a much larger series (not present). Kent discussed navy life, anticipated the birth of their first child, and counted down the days remaining in his enlistment. While stationed on an unidentified island, he described his health difficulties, including a sprained ankle and a diminished appetite, and responded to Norma's news of her hospital work and pregnancy. He mentioned his initiation as a "shell back" after crossing the Equator and encloses a humorous mock subpoena for a related ceremony (August 14-15, 1944). On October 19, 1944, Kent reflected on the death of a friend named Hallowell, enclosing his obituary. Other enclosures include letters and V-mail from the Kent family (September 20, 1944; September 29, 1944; and October 15, 1944); 3 snapshot photographs of an unidentified man with a dog and horse (September 14, 1944); a notice that his subscription to Parents' Magazine would soon expire (September 14, 1944); a cartoon (October 16, 1944); and a list of recommended Bible verses (November 19, 1944). Norma also received letters from her sister-in-law, "Jay" Kent, and from her mother-in-law, Helen Kent.
In addition to Norma's letters, the Greiner family received correspondence from William R. Kent (1 item, March 22, 1945) and other servicemen. Private Dale Greiner, a relative, wrote about his experiences while training with the United States Air Forces in Miami Beach, Florida, and Gulfport, Mississippi; David G. Weathers wrote twice of his love for Norma (April 4, 1943, and July 11, 1943); Norman E. Olson mentioned his participation in naval campaigns near the Philippines on the USS Heywood (February 27, 1945); and Private Chester J. Hoab discussed tank training at Fort Knox, Kentucky (ca. March 25, 1943). Private Bryce E. Miller wrote his letter of March 4, 1943, on stationery bearing printed images of military aircraft.