Hemingway Family Papers,   1861, 2006, and undated
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection is divided into five major series: 1) the papers of Dr. Clarence Hemingway, 1896-1928 (Scattered), .5 cubic foot (in 1 box, Box #1); 2) the papers of Grace Hall Hemingway, late 19th century, 2006, and undated, 5 cubic feet (in 10 boxes, Boxes #2-11); 3) the papers of Marcelline (Hemingway) Sanford, 1853, 1998, and undated, 7.75 cubic feet (in 17 boxes, Boxes #12-28); 4) the papers of Sterling S. Sanford, 1861, 2006, and undated, 9 cubic feet (in 18 boxes, Boxes #29-46); and 5) Periodicals with articles, by/about Ernest Hemingway, Grace Hall Hemingway, and/or Marcelline Hemingway Sanford, 1.5 cubic feet (in 3 boxes, Boxes #47-49), 1938-1991 (scattered). All boxes are .5 cubic feet letter-size boxes unless otherwise indicated.

Papers of Dr. Clarence Hemingway: This series consists mostly of letters to and from Clarence, 1896-1928 (Scattered) .5 cubic foot (in 1 box, Box #1). Also included is an article he wrote on the sudden deaths of new mothers, 1908, and his extremely brief obituary of December 6, 1928.

There are five notes written to him, mostly generic in nature. The most noteworthy letter Clarence received in the collection is actually a facsimile of a letter and envelope to him entitled “Short Note from Paris, 1925” from Ernest Hemingway, dated October 19, 1925. In the letter, Ernest thanked his father for sending him a magazine. Ernest mentioned swimming in the Seine, eating partridge, being busy, that writer John Dos Passos and Dick Hill from Oak Park visited and stayed with him and Hadley, and that they were celebrating Bumby’s [John “Jack” Hemingway] birthday party.

There are also several letters Clarence wrote to Grace before and after their marriage, 1896, 1900, 1908, and 1918. The three pre-marriage letters, January 1, 2, and 23, 1896, to Grace are addressed “My darling Sunshine” or “My darling Grace.” They mostly talk of his missing her, enjoying their chats, getting to know each other, about the blessing of God having brought them together and what the future will hold for them. While sincere, they are not romantic. His letter to Grace dated January 23, 1896 also mentions her instructing the opera company in New York City, Madame Cappiani, and the Rubenstein Club that she is enjoying, as well as his family at home in the evening. It is obvious that he enjoyed the cozy pleasure of his family in the evenings and hoped to replicate that later with her.

There are only a few letters in this collection written to Grace by Clarence during their marriage. One is dated 1900 and is addressed to Gracie, Marcelline, Ernest, Sophie and etc., while they are at Windemere. In it, he writes that he hopes they are well and he is busy and soggy due to the weather. There are three letters dated October 15-17, 1908 addressed to “My dear Grace and All at home”, in Oak Park. These letters are written on the stationery of the Society of the Lying-in Hospital in New York. Clarence was there for about four weeks. He was planning on sailing to Havana, Cuba, but learned in New York that Cuba would require him to be quarantined for five days. He was supposed to sail on the Steamer Comus from New York on October 21 and go to New Orleans. In his letters, Clarence mentions not worrying several times. He and his father took the Grand Central Depot to Thomaston, Connecticut, where they had relatives, and, after a brief visit, Clarence headed to New Orleans. Clarence ends his letter by promising Ursula 10 cents a piece for her baby teeth. There are also two letters, dated October 19-20, 1908 Clarence wrote from Thomaston and Hartford, Connecticut. In both of these letters he writes of visiting friends, relatives, and the beauty of the countryside. Lastly, there are two 1918 letters from Clarence to Grace and Marcelline in College Camp, Wisconsin, dated July 31 and August 1. In the first letter he writes of receiving their notes, his attending a pregnant Mrs. Spears, taking Ursula and Carol to movies, and that Ursula was invited out. In the second letter he briefly notes that Mrs. Spears finally had her baby and Ursula made muffins. He signs off in various ways, but “Love” or “Lovingly” is always present.

The majority of the Correspondence from Clarence is to Marcelline. The 1917 letters were written to Marci mostly while she was attending Oberlin, There are also 42 negatives of photographs with a January 15, 1917 letter from Clarence to Marcelline. The photographs are mostly of young people, perhaps from events of the previous summer.

Clarence offered loving fatherly advice to Marci in his letters. He also supervised the inventorying, packing, and shipping of all of Marci’s wedding gifts. After Marci’s daughter, Carol, was born, Clarence wrote in detail to Marci about proper nutrition, breast feeding, bottle feeding, and the overall health care of an infant, including proper methods of cleaning and sanitizing of bottles, nipples, o-rings, etc. He wrote both lovingly as a concerned Daddy and as a knowledgeable, practical physician who had worked with numerous mommies and babies. At this time, Grace wrote Marci about how she should walk more to lose weight. It is also clear from a letter from Grace to Marci (February 2, 1923 in Box 3) that Grace did not share letters from Marci with Clarence unless she felt it was a situation that required his medical knowledge, such as baby feedings, weight gain, or pre- or post-birth physical ailments Marci experienced.

In a letter to Marci dated March 8, 1928 (in Box 5), Grace noted that she and Dad (Clarence) were leaving for Florida on March 19. Clarence was “in very bad shape, Heart attacks cramps and neuritis in his right arm, so he cannot lift it to shave or brush his hair.” In a letter dated November 21, 1928 (in Box 5), Grace noted that Clarence was ill “Dad has been falling off terribly in weight and appetite and unable to sleep and last week seemed to go all to pieces. He really thought he was going to die, but at last I persuaded on him to go to the hospital and have tests made and put himself under care and he now feels encouraged tho’ he is a sick man, hardly able to make even a few calls. Don’t mention this as he is most anxious to conceal his condition, but I recognize that we are going to have some pretty hard sledding this winter.” Clarence had diabetes and had suffered financial loss in a large Florida land speculation deal. [Note: Neither his diabetes by name nor the land deal is specifically mentioned in letters in the collection until Grace’s will notes land she owned in Pinellas County, Florida.]

It is clear in his letters that Clarence loved his family, and Marci and her daughter, Carol, very much. Clarence also wrote of babysitting Carol. In his last letter in this collection which is addressed to Marci and dated August 30, 1928 (in Box 1), Clarence wrote, “My dear Marcelline and family, I was so pleased to receive your good letters and to learn you located and enjoyed the peaches and distributed them among friends – We will surely appreciate some apples, if you can send them. I also am pleased to learn Warren Sumner is fixing up the barn in Longfield.- I have written him.- Hope you get back to Detroit ok. My love to Carol S. Tell her [that] her Grand Pa surely loves her and misses her very much. – with Les gone to Scout camp it is very quiet here. Mother is working very hard preparing for her “Show” Do hope it will be a huge success as she has surely labored sincerely in it’s behalf.- No more word from Ernest since we were at Windemere. Pauline’s letter was our first word, - but heard from Mrs. Krog last week when she returned from Idaho and Wyoming she saw in a Sheridan, Wyo. paper that E.M.H. was out there at a big ranch rodeo. - let us learn. Ask Mr. Bacon to Nail up gate to our Windemere lot. Please! – Love to you all- Daddy –CMH”

Papers of Grace Hall Hemingway Grace’s papers date late 19th century, 2006, and undated and total 5 cubic feet (in 10 boxes, Boxes #2-11). Some copies of census information (2006) have been added during processing. The largest subseries in the collection include: Correspondence to or from Grace, 2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes), and Programs of performances she, her children, or her other pupils gave or attended, approximately .5 cubic foot (in 1 box). The rest of her collection includes articles, biographical information, which includes a large number of newspaper clippings (mostly copies), Exhibit Catalogs, Family Photographs, notably one of Carol, Ernest, Leicester, and Clarence, 1919; and one of all six Hemingway siblings, 1915; and another of Carol and Ernest at Grace Cottage, 1919.

Materials about Grace Cottage, Longfield Farm, Memorabilia, such as her sunglasses, published music she wrote or used, publications (when entire publication exists and contains relevant information about her), sketches, speech notes, and a few miscellaneous materials are included. Her estate inventory and some published sheet Music is legal-size and thus in a legal-size box, the rest of the material being letter-size.

Also there is Materials of Extended Family and Friends, .5 cubic ft. (in 1 box). This includes mainly correspondence between Grace’s extended relatives, 1865-1925, and a funeral card, 1966. Here is found a letter to her parents before they married, and letters of her brother, Leicester Hall, 1900 and 1901, to their father, Ernest Hall. One of these letters, dated January 30, 1901, concerns the death of Queen Victoria and the new king, King Edward VII.

Of all her materials, the correspondence is the most important in expressing her feelings and beliefs, and the most revealing in demonstrating how she operated.

For example, while proud of all the artistic and literary accomplishments of her children, Grace was most proud of Ernest. She wrote of his articles, travels, awards, and positive critiques in numerous letters to Marci. She also wrote of his wives, children, their travels and his divorces, which she felt were morally wrong and which were socially embarrassing to her. His lack of correspondence bothered her as well. The underlined words below were underlined by Grace. “Did you see the article in the Xmas “Spur” – “Spokesman for our generation” – I don’t know any more than you do, where Ernie is- I have had to write duplicate letters to Key West and Paris, on important matters – so would advise you to do same – as he is easily hurt when he does not hear from us, in return: - you know the Hemingway peculiarity – Sunny says, in so many ways, he reminds her of Daddy.” (letter from Grace to Marci, January 12, 1930 (in Box 5)

Ernest’s literary achievements were a point of great pride among the Hemingways. The only other mention of Ernest is an inscription on the inside back cover of her Travel Journal of A Trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, March 21-28, 1918 , “May 16, 1919, Ernest left, the saddest day of all my life.”

Grace’s letters are full of her social agenda, connections, and friends. She offers advice and sometimes a rather poisonous pen emerges. This is amply demonstrated in the Marci section below.

Papers of Marcelline (Hemingway) Sanford: Marci’s papers, 1853, 1998, and undated, total 7.75 cubic feet (in 17 boxes, Boxes #12-28). Her materials are divided first into Marcelline Hemingway materials (pre-marriage) and then Mrs. S. S. Sanford (Marcelline) materials (post-marriage).

The Marcelline Hemingway subseries includes mostly Biographic Information, approximate. .5 cubic feet (in 1 box), Correspondence to/ from her mainly with relatives and friends, approximately 1.5 cubic feet (in 3 boxes). Her primary and college experiences are documented by her essays, plays, and speeches. There are also materials from high school graduation that she and Ernie shared, 1917. Also included is legal-sized published sheet Music, approximately .25 cubic feet (in 1 box) which Marci played or autographed.

Letters between Marci and Ernest in the collection are copies. There are facsimiles of letters from Marci to Ernest, 1923 and 1954 (re: his winning the Nobel Prize for literature, in Box 27). These are both quite affectionate. For copies of additional letters between them, see the Scope and Contents Note for Sterling’s series. Additional materials relating to Ernest in the form of exhibit catalog, movie programs, newspaper clippings (copies) are in the Materials of Extended Family and Friends (in Box 28).

The Mrs. S. S. Sanford section is so titled because that is how the vast majority of her correspondence were formally addressed and signed by her. The section includes 12 of the 17 boxes, and the oversized materials. The vast majority of the materials are correspondence, but there are also articles by and about Marci, Biographical Information, including her obituaries and photographs, Materials relating to her book “At the Hemingways”, Essays, Family Photographs, Music, Plays, Family Histories. Oversized materials includes: correspondence to Ernest, 1923 and 1954 (facsimiles), the 1954 re: the Nobel Prize, and sheet music. Materials of Extended Family and Friends consist mainly of correspondence, diaries, and obituaries of family members.

The correspondence to Marci from friends and family, mainly Hemingways, totals 2 cubic feet (4 boxes). Most of her correspondence to family and friends, is to Sterling, 1917- 1961 (Scattered), and undated, approximately 2 cubic feet (in 5 boxes). Marci wrote occasionally in response, mostly about her social activities. Again, her letters are very much like her mother’s.

Most of the correspondence with Ernest’s several ex-wives, current wife, and children is of a generic holiday greeting nature, except after Ernest death when Marci wrote to Hadley to inform her of his death and to Pauline trying to get copies of Ernie’s letters. All of these “Ernest family” correspondence are cordial, polite, and impersonal.

Marci also had fairly extensive correspondence with Ted Weeks of the Atlantic Monthly concerning her book, At the Hemingways. This included everything from rewrites, release dates, royalties, book signings, etc.

The letters between Sterling, Marci, and Grace discuss the health of Marci’s children and Sterling. As a baby, Carol did not gain weight. (Letter from Clarence to Marci, October 1923 in Box 5) and had mumps, July 1928). By the late 1920s it was clear Carol had asthma. Sterling also suffered terribly all his life from hay fever, which is noted in many letters. He had surgery before his wedding to try and eliminate or improve his condition.

Marci’s letters are very like her mother’s, full of social events, activities, names, responsibilities, with lots of “appropriate” advice, and vary in their level of emotionality. Grace and Marci’s letters chronicle their social activities, interests, and events, the health of Marci’s children, the financial situation of Grace, and Grace and Marci’s sometimes tumultuous relationship. Grace could write with a truly poisonous pen. The letters also note Grace’s deteriorating finances following Clarence’s unexpected death in December 1928. In a November 17, 1933 letter, Marci noted that Grace had broken a leg bone. Marci usually cared for Grace when her mother was ill or needed help, and Grace even asked for her. They obviously loved each other, but were not above stabbing each other verbally and emotionally in their letters. In 1928 Grace told Marci she planned to sell the house. However, the sale was delayed until December 1935. After the sale, Grace moved to Studio 551 Keystone Avenue, River Forest, Illinois. Other letters document that Grace suffered from migraines.

Regarding race, there is an interesting letter from Marci to Sterling dated July 4, 1943 (in Box 22) in which along with numerous other topics she discusses an evening on Walloon Lake when Lacy (Sergent) put a copy of Life with the Detroit riot picture on her lap. Marci noted that she “thought the whites had acted shamefully!” Lacy and his mother disagreed they “thought mob rule was the only way to “keep the niggers down and in their place – They said “Civil Rights” “fuey”[sic-phooey] Beat ‘em up and keep ‘em quiet. Ellen and Chet Naylan and I disagreed. Old lady Sergent says “throw ‘em off the buses”… when she noted some coloreds rented across the street last year, “Lacy and his Mother said they would have smashed their windows and made it so hot for those niggers they would have had to leave the street. Honestly, its no wonder that Lacy is such a fool in some ways with a Mother like his. She’s a vicious old gal when she gets started - at least conversationally. Well we parted friends but – I was ashamed of them both.”

Papers of Sterling S. Sanford: Sterling’s papers, 1861, 2006, and undated, total 9 cubic feet (in 18 boxes, Boxes #29-46) and consists of: Articles he wrote (approximately .5 cubic foot. in 1 box); Biographical Information (approximately .5 cubic foot in 2 boxes); Children’s books and materials, Correspondence from Sterling to Marcelline, 1917-1964 (Scattered), includes thank you notes sent re: condolences received re: death of Marci. 2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes); Other Correspondence from Sterling relates to genealogy research with friends and relatives, .5 cubic foot (in 1 box); Correspondence to Sterling is from friends and relatives, notably Carrie L. Dicken and Carol H. Sanford, his daughter, 1893-1987, 2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes); various materials documenting his experience at Mt. Clemens High School the University of Michigan; Family Histories, approximately 1 cubic foot (in 2 boxes). Sterling’s Materials of Extended Family and Friends include correspondence between Carrie E. Dot Skillman Sanford, Carrie L. Dicken, and Mrs. Phebe Skillman, as well as correspondence between Sterling and his children, approximately 2.5 cubic feet (in 5 boxes). Documenting his war service are 3 rolled photographs, all from 1918 (Box 46).

Also among the legal-size materials (in Box 42) there are copies of 17 letters from Ernest to Marci, 1916-1951 (scattered) that Sterling copied and distributed to his children in 1980 so they could judge the real relationship between the siblings themselves. These letters are quite affectionate, begin and end often with nicknames, discuss Ernie’s life, fishing, travels, friends, wives and children, include birthday and Christmas greetings, the announcement of John H. N. Hemingway’s birth. Ernest was quite concerned about her operation on May 120, 1921. A November 6, 1917 letter notes why Ernest wants to join the French army. On October 14, 1920 Ernest wrote “Remember that always Marcelline dear , that a brother’s love never dies. A brother may die it is true . In fact they die like flies . but their love . Never .” [The punctuation style is Ernest’s.] A second CONFIDENTIAL page discusses Ernest’s forthcoming publications; a 1921 letter begging her to come to his wedding to Hadley; a December 22, 1938 letter contains an apology for Ernest’s prior letter about Windemere cabin; and a June 1928 letter provides instructions about where to go, who to meet, and what to do in Paris.

Sterling’s letters are very much like those of Clarence Hemingway. They are often tender, emotional, and full of how much he (Clarence or Sterling) loves his female relative (Grace or Marci). Also, they often include health reports of the writer and children, and the weather. Sterling’s letters also included a list of jobs completed, such as fixing the car, picking up clothes from the Laundromat or helping the children with something. Both men noted taking children to movies, and the accomplishments and events in the lives of the children. Both men always reported on invitations they had received, news of family and friends, and relatives and friends with whom he visited or ate dinner while the wife was away. Sterling wrote on a variety of paper that was usually 8.5”x11,” while Clarence often wrote on green sheets were half that size. Both men clearly ended up with babysitting and housework responsibilities, which they did themselves or supervised staff doing, although they do not mention the help. A major example of this for Clarence was the inventorying, packing, and shipping of Marci’s wedding gifts.

Sterling wrote Marci constantly during their 1923 separation and future separations, professing his love and total commitment to her, noting that he was willing to do anything for her and that they could work any problems out. During their more difficult separations, Sterling really poured out his soul to her in his letters. It is very interesting that Sterling is very much in temperament on paper like Clarence, trying to avoid anger, willing to do anything for her.

Regarding race, there are several interesting tidbits in Sterling’s letters. In a letter dated September 3, 1942 (in Box 34) to Marci, Sterling notes how he was informed at a Sales Dept. meeting that Detroit Edison was going to employ colored elevator operators about mid-month. The reason was that the company could not keep operators and colored people are having difficulty finding work. This announcement was made in the hope that it “there will be no surprise or remarks which might embarrass the new employees. This happened at the Mich. Bell Tel. Co. bldg. when the change was made over there.” In a 1988 Oral History Tape (part of his Biographical Information), Sterling recalled a sole colored girl who attended his rural school and was shunned by her classmates even after her father discussed the situation with the terrified teacher. He also notes later in the tape that he and Marci left Detroit for Grosse Pointe when the neighborhood changed and was no longer desirable.

Periodicals: This subseries, 1.5 cubic feet in 3 boxes, is divided by size into letter-size (Boxes #47-48) and legal-size (Box #49) periodicals with articles by or about Ernest Hemingway and /or other members of the Hemingway family, as well as book reviews of books by Ernest, Leicester, and Marcelline Hemingway. Most of the periodicals are complete, a few are partial. Articles are organized by size, author, and then by title. Articles by Ernest include: (letter-size) 1934, 1939, 1957, 1965, and (legal-size) 1944, 1949, and 1954. Articles about Ernest include: (letter-size) 1937-1991 (Scattered), and (legal-size), 1941-1981 (Scattered). Grace Hall Hemingway’s obituary, 1951 is in a periodical. Leicester’s serialized “My brother, Ernest Hemingway” in Playboy, 1961-1962 (3 issues), and reviews of the book and his “the Sound of the trumpet”, 1962 and 1953, respectively are included. Also included are Marcelline’s book “At the Hemingways,” which was serialized in the Atlantic Monthly, 1961-1962 (3 issues), her “Theatre briefs”, 1952, 1962-January 1964, and articles about her, 1938, 1961-1963, and her obituary, 1963.

Additional Notes: COPYRIGHT: Copyright is owned by the donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Inquiries about copyright shall be directed to the Clarke's director.

Vocabulary: Here are some examples of vocabulary in the 1920s letters used among the Hemingway siblings: “Darbyest”: The party was the darbyest thing that ever ocured” [sic]. “…the boys got marbles (darby ones)” (Letter of Befish (Carol Hemingway) to Mazween, April 15, 1923. Dope” ex. “Do you know what the dope is on” person X? “Do you know the dope about” X? Vocabulary in the 1920s letters used among the siblings and Sterling: “Screed” (a letter, or t write, possible from ascribe) Ex. “I expect a screed from you soon.” “I’m too tired to screed you.” “Shangally” (Awesome? Amazing?) Ex. Marci describes a new red evening dress of hers as “Shangally.”

Folder notes within [] are not found on the material, but added from other source material within the collection to assist the researcher. Folder notes within () are included to avoid confusion and assist the researcher.

Variant Spellings: Variant Spellings are accurately reproduced from the originals to the Box and Folder Listing of this collection. Grace Hall Hemingway spelled her name a variety of ways over time, including: Mrs. Dr. Clarence Hemingway, Mrs. Clarence E. Hemingway, Grace Hemingway, Mrs. Grace E. Hall, Mrs. Grace Hall Hemingway, Mrs. Grace Hall-Hemingway, and Mrs. Grace Hemingway. Sometimes for fun events, “Hemingway” was spelled “Heminway”. Other words spelled various ways in the collection include “program” and “programme” and “artist” and “artiste”.

Processing Notes: Approximately three cubic feet of material was removed from the collection during processing and returned to the donors. The returned material included: duplicates, newspaper clippings or other extremely acidic items (which were copied and the copies were then added to the collection); empty envelopes, baggies, and folders; generic correspondence such as solicitations to buy magazines; empty picture frames; and artifacts such as buttons, handkerchiefs, etc. Additional materials were removed by the donors.

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