Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of fifty letters from Leary to his childhood friend and classmate, William Scanlon. The letters span Leary's late high school years through his enrollment at the United States Military Academy at West Point, his studies at the University of Alabama, and his subsequent enlistment in the United States Army. Early letters reflect his youthful interests, particularly in sports, while letters sent during his time at West Point mention his court martial and "silencing." Letters during his matriculation at the University of Alabama discuss his decision to leave the study of philosophy in favor of psychology. Later letters describe his work as a psychologist for the United States Army. Also included is one undated letter to "Rosemary," ostensibly Rosemary Woodruff, Leary's fourth wife.