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This series includes some letters to Frisk Matthews, contains personal and official correspondence with family, friends, researchers and others. The family correspondence includes letters from Matthews mother Bertha Matthews ("Mother Matthews") and exchanges with his wife Elizabeth "Frisk" Luke, his sons Freeman and Thomas, and his parents-in-law "Father and Mother Luke" in Tarrytown, NY. Matthews' letters to Frisk, Freeman Jr., and "Father Luke" include personal insights and observations about political situations and World War II. The correspondence with his wife Frisk after they married is chronologically arranged by the period during which Matthews served in a particular country, while Frisk and the children stayed in Tarrytown for periods of time. During the outbreak of the war and Matthews' service in France, Frisk and the children stayed in Tarrytown as well, apart from a five months trip by Frisk to Vichy (November 26, 1940 to May 10, 1941).
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This series includes a few memoranda, addresses and speeches, handwritten notes, and a typescript of the complete third and probably last draft of the memoirs that Matthews published privately under the title "Memoirs of a Passing Era" (circa 1972). According to his foreword, Matthews chose for private publication because he did not wish the memoirs to be subject to a commercial publisher's changes, omissions, or additions. In addition, he wanted the book to be a full account of his life as he remembered it, and to contain his "frank opinion of those, both great and small, with whom I was associated in public life. In a few instances my opinions would be less than complimentary and I have no wish to make them public."
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The records in this series are of a miscellaneous nature. In addition to a facsimile copy of The Baltimore American of August 20, 1773, the first two folders contain printed materials and memorabilia on various topics, including the Second World War and subsequent peace conferences. Other records in the series are of a personal nature, and include a typescript diary by Frisk Matthews when she visited her husband in Vichy, France, from November 26, 1940 to March 2, 1942. Matthews quotes the pages from February 6 to her departure in his memoirs (pp 462-481).
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The photographs in this section include formal portrait and group photographs, mainly of H. Freeman Matthews and his wife Elizabeth Luke Matthews. The photos include a portrait of Jefferson Caffery, 1934. The miscellaneous photographs include what appears to be a series of photos, taken in April 1941, of staff members of the American Embassy at their temporary location in Vichy. The photographs include Ambassador Leahy, secretaries, and a code clerk. Matthews describes the accommodation at "Villa Ica" where he chose to live himself, in his memoirs (pp 437-438).
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This series is mostly composed of photographs taken at events H. Freeman Matthews attended, namely the Potsdam Conference, the Vienna summit meeting between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, and meetings of the Canada-United States Permanent Joint Board on Defense. The series also contains materials related to H. Freeman Matthews's family, including the daybook kept by his wife, Elizabeth Luke "Frisk" Matthews, and correspondence to H. Freeman and Elizabeth, mostly from Matthews's mother, Mrs. Henry C. Matthews, and his sister-in-law, Polly.