William Roberts letterbook  1849-1851
full text File Size: 24 K bytes | Add this to my bookbag

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of correspondence, military documents, photographs, printed items, and ephemera related to Dr. William Jason Mixter, who served in the United States Army during World War I, and his wife Dorothy.

The Correspondence series (1.75 linear feet) comprises the bulk of the collection. The first group of correspondence is made up of 48 letters and postcards that William Jason Mixter sent to his wife Dorothy from March 9, 1915-May 21, 1915. He described his voyage to Europe, his brief stay in England, and his experiences working in French hospitals near the war front. His letters include details about his work with specific patients, comments about the sinking of the Lusitania , and other war news.

William Jason and Dorothy Mixter wrote most of the remaining correspondence to each other between May 1917 and April 1918, while William served with Base Hospital No. 6 in France and Base Hospital No. 204 in Hursley, England. He shared anecdotes about his experiences and reported on his medical work. Dorothy provided news of their children and life in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Their correspondence includes letters, telegrams, and postcards. Other writers include Samuel J. Mixter, Jason's father, who wrote from Boston, Massachusetts, about his daily life and about his work as a medical inspector. Other soldiers, former patients, and acquaintances also wrote to members of the Mixter family.

The collection includes 25 picture postcards depicting French scenes during and after the war; 3 are integrated into the Correspondence series, and the remaining 22 are housed with the Printed Items and Ephemera series.

The Military Papers series is divided into three subseries. Chronological Military Papers (51 items) include memorandums, orders, letters, telegrams, and other items pertaining to William Jason Mixter's military service during World War I, particularly related to his discharge in 1919. The subseries contains a list of personnel who served at Base Hospital No. 6. The Account Book, Diagnosis Book, and Notebooks subseries (4 items) consists of William Jason Mixter's account book from the London City & Midland Bank (June 30, 1918-January 15, 1919), a diagnosis book regarding soldiers' complaints onboard the SS Northland from February 11, 1919-February 17, 1919, and a notebook with brief personal memoranda. William Jason Mixter kept a medical notebook during his time at Hursley Camp Hospital near Winchester, England. He recorded biographical and medical information about his patients, and information about medical treatments. The Hursley Camp Hospital volume enclosed numerous clinical record slips and other manuscript notes.

The American Women's War Hospital Documents (3 items), pertaining to an institution in Paignton, England, are comprised of a photograph of nurses and patients outside of the hospital (December 1914) and two bundles of letter typescripts that a nurse named Mary Dexter wrote to her mother about her work at the hospital (November 22, 1914-January 9, 1915, and January 15, 1915-July 16, [1915]).

The Writings series (10 items) contains 9 typed and manuscript poems, mostly related to American soldiers' experiences during World War I, on topics such as volunteering for the army, traveling overseas, and encountering death. The poems "The Americans" and "Only a Volunteer" are present in manuscript and typescript form, and "The Young Dead" and "The Woman's Burden" are attributed to female authors (Lilian Palmer Powers and Laura E. Richards, respectively). The final item is a typescript of a resolution presented at a social club encouraging its members to proclaim loyalty during the war.

The Photographs series (114 items) is comprised of 113 photographic prints and a 32-page photograph album; some images are repeated. Items include studio portraits of William Jason Mixter in uniform; group portraits of nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel; pictures of wounded and convalescent soldiers during and after operations; interior views of medical facilities; and views of buildings and destruction in France. The photograph album and 80 loose items are housed in the Graphics Division (see Alternate Locations for more information).

The Printed Items and Ephemera series (59 items) consists of 3 unique pamphlets; 18 unique newspapers, newsletters, and newspaper clippings; 28 unique ephemeral items; and 4 books.

The pamphlets include 5 copies of an article by William Jason Mixter entitled "Surgical Experiences in France," originally published in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 173.12 (September 16, 1915), pp. 413-418. The other pamphlets are an advertisement for an "Exhibition and Sale of the War Cartoons by Louis Raemaekers" (October 1916), including an introduction and small reproductions of the drawings, and "Welcome Home," a book commemorating the return of the 26th Division in April 1919. Newspaper articles and other publications (including 6 items housed in Oversize Manuscripts) pertain to aspects of the war, particularly concerning medical personnel, civilian relief organizations, and the medical career of Samuel J. Mixter. A copy of The Boston Herald dated November 11, 1918, announces the Armistice.

The 28 ephemeral items include programs and advertising cards pertaining to church services held in honor of Base Hospital No. 6; the collection includes several copies each of 2 programs. Other printed items include a small map of Cambridge and Boston, a circular related to the Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a book of stationery with engravings of Belgian scenes. A few personal items relate to the Mixter family, such as visiting cards on which William Jason Mixter wrote personal messages, cards from Mixter's children with sewn pictures, a certificate regarding Dorothy Mixter's service with the American Red Cross canteen, and a small French-language almanac affixed to a card with colored illustrations of the Allied Nations' flags. Three additional items pertain directly to the American Red Cross: the cover of the December 1918 issue of The Red Cross Magazine, a Red Cross service flag for display in a home window, and an American Red Cross canteen worker patch. Other insignia items are a button and ribbon commemorating the 26th Division's return to the United States and two small pins that belonged to William Jason Mixter. Also present is William Jason Mixter's passport, issued on February 6, 1915.

The 4 books include: The History of U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 6 (Boston, Mass.: 1924), given to William Jason Mixter, Jr., by his father; Independence Day in London, 1918 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1918); The Old Humanities and the New Science... (London: J. Murray, 1919); and Dere Mable: Love Letters of a Rookie (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1918).

Show all series level scope and content notes