Contents and Arrangement

Letters to William Crary Brownell, 1885-1886

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of postcards and letters by Homer Dodge Martin and his wife, Elizabeth G. Martin, to their friends William Crary Brownell and his first wife, Virginia Shields Swinburne. Posted from different cities where the Martins were traveling or living, the letters are personal in nature. Some date from England in the 1870s when Homer met Whistler and, later, when he was commissioned by Century Magazine to sketch in George Elliot's country. There are letters from Concord, Massachusets, where Martin was sent by Scribner's Monthly to make the illustrations for The Homes and Haunts of Emerson. Included are several letters dated between 1882 and 1886 when the Martins lived at Villerville in France. The letters discuss Homer's paintings, including "Ontario Sand Dunes," Elizabeth's poetry and writings, and their desperate financial situation. They could not afford to buy eye glasses for Homer, had many creditors, and needed to ask Brownell for a loan. Two of Homer Dodge's letters contain sketches in pencil and in ink. In the letter dated September 25, 1896, Elizabeth writes to Brownell about her husband's deteriorating health and about the growth in his throat, which was later discovered to be cancer of the throat.

Collection History

Custodial History:

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Letters to William Crary Brownell; Homer Dodge Martin and Elizabeth G. Martin Letters to William Crary Brownell, C1127, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
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