Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens
Project papers: the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
Acquisition And Processing Information
In 1971, a photocopy of Louise Deming's unpublished manuscript "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne" was donated to the WSU Libraries, probably by Aretta J. Stevens, a member of the WSU English Department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).
Number of Containers: 4
Linear Feet of Shelf Space: 1.75
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody, 1809-1871 -- Correspondence
This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright restrictions apply.
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.
The suggested citation for the collection is:
Louise Deming and Aretta Stevens project papers: the letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
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.
Materials are in English.
|Series 1: Louise Deming, editor, "The Letters of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne" (typescript, photocopy), undated|
|1||1||Chapter 1, Lancaster, 1822|
|2||Chapter 2, Salem, 1823-1824|
|3||Chapter 3, Salem, 1825-1827|
|4||Chapter 4, Salem and Boston, 1828-1829|
|5||Chapter 5, Boston, 1830|
|6||Chapter 6, Dedham and Boston, 1830-1832|
|7||Chapter 7, Salem, 1833|
|8||Chapter 8, Cuba and Salem, 1834-1836|
|9||Chapter 9, Salem and Nahant, 1837-1838|
|10||Chapter 10, Boston, 1839-1841|
|11||Chapter 11, Concord (Old Manse), 1842-1845|
|2||12||Chapter 11 (continued)|
|13-14||Chapter 12, Salem, 1845-1850|
|15-16||Chapter 13, Lenox, 1850-1851|
|17-18||Chapter 14, West Newton and Concord, 1851-1853|
|19-21||Chapter 15, Europe, 1853-1860|
|3||22-23||Chapter 16, Concord, 1860-1864|
|Series 2: Transcribed excerpts from Sophia Peabody letters, notes, and supporting documentation, circa 1960s-1971|
|Excerpts and notes from Sophia Peabody letters: Deming?|
|Excerpts and notes from Sophia Peabody letters: Stevens|
|40||Notes about letter dates and locales, undated|
|41||Research correspondence (Stevens), 1971|
|42||Processing file (administrative information about collection)|