MacDonald family collection (1930-1950, bulk 1930-1945)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Marvin Brandwin and Meg Hixon, November 2012
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: MacDonald family collection
Creator: MacDonald family and La Bounty, Maxine
Inclusive dates: 1930-1950
Bulk dates: 1930-1945
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection contains letters that Wilfrid MacDonald and his family wrote about their lives in China in the 1930s, as well as letters that Constance Stone wrote to Elsie S. MacDonald and others about her service as a medical volunteer in the Pacific during World War II.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1997. M-3373.2.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

MacDonald Family Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with two pieces of ephemera placed at the end.

Biography

Wilfrid Ewart and Howard G. MacDonald were the sons of Angus MacDonald, a Scottish immigrant. Around 1917, Wilfrid MacDonald and his wife, Mabel Drury, moved to China, where MacDonald taught at Lingnan University in Canton (now Guangzhou). They had four daughters: Margaret (1921-2011), Catharine (1924-2010), Ruth (1927-2010), and Jean. The MacDonald daughters studied at the Shanghai American School and at St. Stephen's Girls' College, an English mission school in Hong Kong.

Howard G. MacDonald and his wife Mary ("Mamie") lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with their children Elsie and Robert. Elsie S. MacDonald moved to Washington, D.C., before 1930, where she worked as a librarian. Her roommates included Maxine La Bounty and Constance E. Stone ("Connie"). Stone volunteered for the American Red Cross and served in hospitals in Australia and New Guinea during World War II.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (0.25 linear feet) contains letters that Wilfrid MacDonald and his family wrote about their lives in China in the 1930s, as well as letters that Constance Stone wrote to Elsie S. MacDonald and others about her service as a medical volunteer in the Pacific during World War II.

Wilfrid MacDonald, his wife Mabel, and their daughters Catharine and Ruth wrote 7 letters to Howard G. MacDonald of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from January 25, 1931-November 16, 1940. The MacDonalds commented on life in China; Wilfrid often mentioned religion, international politics, and the economic crisis in the United States. One letter includes a sketch of a "Valentine" [a person]. In her letter of December 7, 1937, Mabel MacDonald described hearing air raid sirens during the Japanese invasion of China.

Constance E. Stone ("Connie") wrote 32 manuscript and V-mail letters to her former roommates Maxine La Bounty ("Max") and Elsie MacDonald ("Sigh") from September 1943-April 28, 1945. Stone volunteered for the American Red Cross and served at hospitals in Australia and New Guinea, including the 84th Station Hospital and 43rd Field Hospital. She shared news of her life in the Pacific and occasionally discussed her work; in December 1943, Stone sent her friends a Christmas greeting with a drawing of Mickey Mouse's dog Pluto standing over an Axis helmet. Stone wrote at least one letter on captured paper.

Additional correspondence includes a letter that Annie MacDonald of Knoxville, Tennessee, received from her cousin (January 5, 1930); 2 letters that Maxine La Bounty received from Emmy Lou Heald, a Red Cross volunteer; and a letter and Chinese Christmas card that Elsie MacDonald received from her cousin, Jean MacDonald Thomas. Ephemeral items include a military pass issued to Emmett J. Larkin and a billet and ration card.

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • American Red Cross.
  • Americans--China.
  • China--History--Republic, 1912-1949.
  • Guangzhou (China)
  • Lingnan University (Guangzhou, China)
  • Shanghai American School.
  • Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945.
  • United States. Army. Field Hospital, 43rd.
  • United States. Army. Station Hospital, 84th.
  • World politics--1933-1945.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Australia.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Medical Care.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Pacific Area.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women.
Subjects - Visual Materials:
  • Pluto (Fictitious character)
  • Valentine decorations.
Contributors:
  • MacDonald, Catharine.
  • MacDonald, Elsie S.
  • MacDonald, Mabel.
  • MacDonald, Ruth.
  • MacDonald, Wilfrid.
  • Stone, Constance E.
Genre Terms:
  • Christmas cards.
  • Ephemera.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Military passes.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence and Ephemera [series]
Box   1 Folders   1-5
 January 5, 1930-December 6, 1950, and  undated

Additional Descriptive Data

Related Materials

The William W. Cadbury and Catherine J. Cadbury papers at Haverford College contain material by Mabel and Jean MacDonald.

Bibliography

The SASA News (Summer 2010): 12-13.

The SASA News (Summer 2011): 14.