Gertrude Slaughter Papers, 1858-1963

Scope and Content Note

The Gertrude Slaughter Papers combine both genealogical data and documentation of her life and career as an author. The collection includes family papers (1851-1961, undated), correspondence (1868-1958, undated), travel notes (1910-1949, undated), research notes and drafts of her writings (1898-1956, undated), and articles by family and friends (circa 1858-1954, undated).

Earlier general correspondence (1868-1899) is both incoming and outgoing among her parents, family, and friends. Later correspondence (1903-1958) is almost entirely directed to Mrs. Slaughter, and ranges from personal correspondence and letters of condolence after her husband's death to letters praising her various publications.

Travel notes are fragmentary and include information on climate, scenery, people, and activities in the various countries the Slaughters visited, including France, Italy, Egypt, and the West Indies. “Letters from England” are actually letters written to Nancy Allinson in 1923. However, because of their emphasis on description of travels, they seem to have been written for the purpose of later publication, and have therefore been included with the travel notes.

Her writings are documented by three boxes of materials, including drafts, research notes, and reviews of her essays, short stories, reports, memoirs, biographical sketches of writers Paul Valery and Katherine Mansfield, and novels--an autobiography, mysteries, and romances, some written in collaboration with Lillian Dykstra. Her memoirs entitled Only the Past Is Ours, written late in her life, are also available on microfilm. Bryn Mawr materials include drafts of alumnae notes, correspondence from alumnae, and material from an alumnae weekend in 1950.

The writings by family and friends include articles and lectures by Moses Slaughter, poems possibly by her mother, writings of her daughter, Elizabeth Hill Slaughter, and published articles by and about such friends of the Slaughter family as Charles Van Hise, Edward A. Birge, Charles Sumner Slichter, and Frederick Jackson Turner.

The Miscellaneous folder consists of anonymous poems, notes, and quotations.