Guide to the Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens Project Papers: The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne 1960s-1971
Cage 215

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Deming, Louise Bennett Macpherson.
Title
Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens Project Papers: The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
ID
Cage 215
Date
1960s-1971
Extent
4.0 boxes
General Physical Description note
1.75 Linear Feet of Shelf Space
Language
English
Abstract
Louise Bennett Macpherson Deming (d. 1976) transcribed and edited the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, planning to publish them. She did not complete the project, and passed her work in progress to Aretta J. Stevens, a member of the WSU English Department faculty. This collection consists of materials related to a major editorial project, the planned publication of the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description] Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens project papers: the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne (1809-1871), the youngest of Dr. Nathaniel Peabody and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody's three daughters, was the wife of novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Hawthornes had three children: Una, Julian, and Rose. Sophia was a prolific correspondent, writing frequently and at length to members of her family and to her friends. Many well-known figures from American literature and history are among her correspondents and are mentioned in her letters, particularly individuals from her own circle of associates in Massachusetts, including members of the Transcendentalist movement.

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Biographical/Historical note

Louise Bennett Macpherson Deming (d. 1976) transcribed and edited the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, planning to publish them. She did not complete the project, and passed her work in progress to Aretta J. Stevens, a member of the WSU English Department faculty. Dr. Stevens continued developing the project for publication until approximately 1971, after she married and moved to Alaska.

When she deposited her project papers at the University of Alaska in 1971, Dr. Stevens wrote the following explanatory note:

"Mrs. Louise Deming had given me permission to bring out an edition of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's letters. My marriage and move to Alaska terminated my efforts, and I encouraged Mrs. Deming to continue her own work (which was of considerable proportions) on the letters. Included in this box and envelope are all my copies so far. Louise Deming is the wife of ambassador Olcott Deming who is actually the descendant, through his mother, of Hawthorne. You may contact Mrs. Deming at the following address..."

If there was subsequent work on the project, it is not represented in this collection, and there is no evidence that it was ever published.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of materials related to a major editorial project, the planned publication of the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. It includes research files (primarily transcriptions and related editorial notes produced by Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens), and Louise Deming's manuscript "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne." The manuscript encompasses the period from 1822 to 1865, including hundreds of letters, totaling approximately 2150 pages.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in two series:

Series 1: "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne" (typescript, photocopy), edited by Louise Deming, undated.

Series 2: Transcribed excerpts from Sophia Peabody letters, notes, and supporting documentation, circa 1960s-1971.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2016

http://www.libraries.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

In 1971, a photocopy of Louise Deming's unpublished manuscript "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne" was donated to the WSU Libraries, probably by Aretta J. Stevens, a member of the WSU English Department faculty. A note included with the manuscript indicates that the original was returned to Mrs. Deming. The balance of the material was transferred to the WSU Libraries in 2007 from the University of Alaska at Anchorage (MS 2007-16); it had been donated to the University of Alaska in 1971 by Aretta Stevens (McClure).

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

With few exceptions, the originals of the letters in this project, formerly in a private family collection, are now in the Sophia Peabody Hawthorne Collection of Papers at the Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Hawthorne family.
  • Peabody family.

Personal Name(s)

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864.
  • Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody, 1809-1871.
  • Stevens, Aretta J.

Subject(s)

  • Authors, American -- Correspondence.
  • Literature

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Bibliography

These sources were consulted during collection processing:Pennell, Melissa McFarland, "Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody," in American National Biography Online.Miller, Edwin Haviland, "A Calendar of the Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne," Studies in the American Renaissance (1986): 199-281.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Louise Deming, editor, "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne" (typescript, photocopy), undated 

Box Folder

Chapter 1, Lancaster, 1822 

1 1

Chapter 2, Salem, 1823-1824 

2

Chapter 3, Salem, 1825-1827 

3

Chapter 4, Salem and Boston, 1828-1829 

4

Chapter 5, Boston, 1830 

5

Chapter 6, Dedham and Boston, 1830-1832 

6

Chapter 7, Salem, 1833 

7

Chapter 8, Cuba and Salem, 1834-1836 

8

Chapter 9, Salem and Nahant, 1837-1838 

9

Chapter 10, Boston, 1839-1841 

10

Chapter 11, Concord (Old Manse), 1842-1845 

11

Chapter 11 (continued) 

2 12

Chapter 12, Salem, 1845-1850 

13-14

Chapter 13, Lenox, 1850-1851 

15-16

Chapter 14, West Newton and Concord, 1851-1853 

17-18

Chapter 15, Europe, 1853-1860 

19-21

Chapter 16, Concord, 1860-1864 

3 22-23

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Series 2: Transcribed excerpts from Sophia Peabody letters, notes, and supporting documentation, circa 1960s-1971 

Excerpts and notes from Sophia Peabody letters: Deming? 

Box Folder

1822 

3 24

1827 

25

Excerpts and notes from Sophia Peabody letters: Stevens 

Box Folder

1828 

3 26

1833 

27

1842 

28

1843 

29

1844 

30

1852 

31-32

1853 January-August 

33-34

1853 September-December 

35-36

1854 

4 37

1862 

38

1865 

39

Notes about letter dates and locales, undated 

40

Research correspondence (Stevens), 1971 

41

Processing file (administrative information about collection) 

42

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