Scope and arrangement
The papers of Angela Morgan consist of correspondence, literary manuscripts and notes, articles and lectures, notebooks, personal miscellaneous papers, photographs, sound recordings, clippings and other printed matter. The papers document her life and career as a journalist, author, poet, lecturer and recitalist from ca. 1904 until her death in 1957. Almost one-half of the collection consists of literary manuscripts and typescripts of her published and unpublished poems, short stories, novels, articles, lectures, and autobiographical writings. Many of the manuscripts are present in multiple and/or inchoate drafts which reveal the progression of her creative thoughts. Her literary notes also reveal the development of her ideas and philosophical reflections throughout most of her writing career. Included are extensive notes on love and on the psychology of the creative worker. Some of the papers reflect her sojourns abroad in Europe (1915) and in England (1923-26). Most of her correspondence (about 15% of the papers) is with fellow poets, friends, benefactors and admirers, and family members. There are no papers documenting her life prior to 1904 other than what is contained in her autobiographical writings.
The Angela Morgan papers are arranged in ten series:
The bulk of the correspondence consists of general correspondence arranged alphabetically by name. There is also a small file of correspondence arranged by subject; and a file of family correspondence (1915; 1937-1950) arranged Chronologically. Following the alphabetically arranged correspondence are a few unidentified letters and a group of Christmas cards received.
The bulk of the general correspondence, which is both incoming and outgoing, falls in the period of the mid-1930s through the 1940s, although there is a smattering of correspondence going back to 1910 (and one letter to 1901) and in the years Preceding Angela Morgan's death. The correspondence is mainly with fellow poets, especially women, readers and admirers of her work, clergymen, editors, publishers, and with friends and benefactors who provided her with moral and financial support. The correspondence relates mainly to her personal, social and professional life and activities, to her writings, the sale of her books, her poetry readings, recitals and lectures, her spiritual life and personal philosophy, and her struggle to support herself as a poet and recitalist. There is also correspondence relating to publication of her writings in Methodist Church publications, a prize competition for the best letter from a reader of her novel Awful Rainbow, peace, peace-time conscription, and capital punishment. A file of correspondence (with Ruth Le Prade) relates to the case of Wesley Robert Wells, an inmate of San Quentin, whose death sentence was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. There is extensive correspondence (especially with John Seaman Garns and M. Grace Lake) relative to Morgan's recurring mystical experiences in which she affirmed that rays of light coming from the heavens materialized into particles on her body. There is also correspondence, mainly with Abbey Sutherland Brown, relating to Morgan's association with the Ogontz Junior College (Rydal, Penna.), and with Robert I. Marsh relating to the settlement of the estate of her brother, Albert T. Morgan. Some of the correspondence with poets is accompanied by scripts of their poems.
Included among the persons with whom she carried on an extensive correspondence are Robert Atwood, Mrs. Abby Sutherland Brown, Ralph Cheyney, Lucia Cheyney, (nom de plume: Lucia Trent) Anne Throop Craig, Fine Editions Press (Gustav Davidson) John Seaman Garns, Emily V. Hammond (Mrs. John Henry Hammond), Alice Hoffman, Joseph Hoffman, John Haynes Holmes, Fannie C. Kendall, M. Grace Lake, Frank C. Laubach, Arthur Garfield Learned, Eleanor Mel, Ruth Le Prade, Robert I. Marsh, Louis Mayer, Harvey Parker, Nina Houser Peebles, Carrie Ray, Formosa Robinson, William Edwin Rudge, Samuel Harden Stille, and Monica Williams. Other correspondents include Faith Baldwin (one letter), Beckler Press, Vincent Burns, Dodd, Mead & Co., Albert Einstein (one letter), Donald Harrington, William Randolph Hearst (letters to Hearst), Grace Keefe, Macmillan Company (George P. Brett), Frank S. Mead, John G. Moore, Guy F. Rhodes, Walter Russell, Mark Revell Shaw, Mary Sanford Taylor, and Margaret Truman (one letter). The family correspondence consists mainly of letters received from her sister, Carolyn Victoria Shannon, her brother, Albert Talmon Morgan, and her sister-in-law, Ella Morgan, her niece, Mrs. Carolyn F. Clarke, and two other nieces, "Elizabeth" and "Marion". There are a few typed carbon copies of replies by Angela Morgan. The correspondence concerns routine family matters. Included are three letters written by Angela Morgan to her mother in March and April of 1915 while she was en route to, and at, The Hague (Holland) as a delegate to the International Congress of Women. In one of the letters (April 1) she reports that she will be reading her poem "Battle Cry" [of the Mothers] to the Congress that very evening and that she will depart for Germany the following week.
The writings are arranged into five subseries: poems; short stories; novels; autobiography; and articles and lectures. The poems consist of an alphabetical file of single poems arranged by title; and a file of books or anthologies of poems, also arranged by title. Included are manuscript and typescript drafts of published and unpublished poems written mainly in the period from the 1920s to the 1950s although a few poems are dated earlier to 1913. Many of the manuscripts are accompanied by working notes or ideas for further development, and notes recording the history of the manuscript, when and where it was written, title changes (if any) and date and place of publication. Several of the poems were written during her sojourns in Germany (1915) and in England (1923-1926).
The short stories consist of manuscript and typescript drafts of fifty-three published and unpublished stories arranged alphabetically by title. [SEE: Checklist of Short Stories on pages 16-17 of this inventory]. The bulk of the stories (including the undated ones) were written in the period c1908-1928 while she was residing in Brockton and in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in New York City. Several are dated during her sojourn (1923-1926) in England. The stories (like her novels) appear autobiographical in character reflecting her own personal struggles and experiences as a woman and as a creative artist to earn a living in a world dominated by men and by commercial standards and values. They explore the nature of the love relationship between men and women, a theme which runs throughout her fictional writings and which she struggled to define and elaborate. Numerous notes on this theme are interspersed with or accompany the textual narrative. The earliest story present ("The Girl with a Hundred Selves") is in the form of mounted clippings from the New York Evening Journal which published it anonymously in serial form in 1908 as the "Confessions of an Unknown Girl Writer". The story, "The Craving", includes page proofs from its publication in The Smart Set. Accompanying the manuscript of "Covenant Fire" is a letter (Aug. 4, 1910) from Norman Boyer, editor of The Smart Set. A letter from her literary agent, Julia R. Tutwiler, is filed with the manuscript of "Her Splendid Hour" which was submitted under the nom de plume "Southam Blake".
The manuscripts and typescripts of her novels consist for the most part of a chaotic and inchoate mass of notes and suggestions of ideas for further development interspersed with pages of narrative text making the identification and reconstruction of a cohesive narrative sequence virtually impossible. In drafting a manuscript the author retained numerous false starts and utilized several paginations. Included among the three titled drafts (two are untitled) is an autobiographical manuscript entitled "Northa", a novel about childhood which evidently draws upon the author's own life experiences. A major theme of these writings is the struggle of the creative artist to overcome the numerous obstacles and impediments to creative work imposed by the routine requirements of everyday life and by marriage when one of the partners is unsympathetic to the artist's needs.
The bulk of the autobiographical writings consist of rough and incomplete manuscript drafts of her "Confessions of a Poet" which was written at the request of George Horace Lorimer, editor of the Saturday Evening Post. The manuscript describes her life and struggles as poet and author with a few brief allusions to her parents and early childhood. Included also are notes and reminiscences of her sojourn in England ("I Remember England"); and manuscript notes and text entitled "Splendor at the Core" (dated 1934-35) relating to her spiritual life and development. There is also a draft "Autobiographical Statement" (1931) and miscellaneous notes and reminiscences.
The articles and lectures (1904-1956) which are arranged chronologically consist of manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished articles, lectures, and addresses on a variety of subjects including poets, poetry, war and peace and women and war. Included are drafts of her newspaper articles and notes taken when she was a reporter for the Boston American, relating to desertion and child custody cases, the murder trials of Bessie Wakefield and Anna May Wells, and a strike (c1909?) of garment workers in Boston for which she interviewed the labor leader Gertrude Barnum. Included also are articles written during her stay in England relating to the role of women during the general strike of 1926, and to her interviews with prominent British figures including John Burns, Mrs. Lionel Guest, Lady Malcolm, and Beatrice Ward. There are also clippings (1904-06 & n. d.) of her feature stories published in the Chicago Daily American.
The short stories consist of manuscript and typescript drafts of fifty-three published and unpublished stories arranged alphabetically by title. [SEE: Checklist of Short Stories on pages 16-17 of this inventory]. The bulk of the stories (including the undated ones) were written in the period c1908-1928 while she was residing in Brockton and in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in New York City. Several are dated during her sojourn (1923-1926) in England. The stories (like her novels) appear autobiographical in character reflecting her own personal struggles and experiences as a woman and as a creative artist to earn a living in a world dominated by men and by commercial standards and values. They explore the nature of the love relationship between men and women, a theme which runs throughout her fictional writings and which she struggled to define and elaborate. Numerous notes on this theme are interspersed with or accompany the textual narrative. The earliest story present ("The Girl with a Hundred Selves") is in the form of mounted clippings from the New York Evening Journal which published it anonymously in serial form in 1908 as the "Confessions of an Unknown Girl Writer". The story, "The Craving", includes page proofs from its publication in The Smart Set. Accompanying the manuscript of "Covenant Fire" is a letter (August 4, 1910) from Norman Boyer, editor of The Smart Set. A letter from her literary agent, Julia R. Tutwiler, is filed with the manuscript of "Her Splendid Hour" which was submitted under the nom de plume "Southam Blake".
The bulk of the literary notes (1909-1957 & n. d.) are arranged chronologically. Following the chronological file is a file of notes arranged by subject. The literary notes reflect her habit, continued throughout the writing career, of jotting down and dating as they came to her, her ideas for stories, articles and poems as well as her philosophical reflections, introspections and meditations. Interspersed in the notes are defiant expressions and affirmations of her faith in her as a writer and of her resolve to persevere in the completion of a particular work in progress. Although some are typewritten most of the notes are written in a clear, bold longhand. In the subject file a large group of notes (1912-1921) relate to her reflections on the nature of romantic love.
The notebooks (1940-1946, 1954 & n. d.), which are in the form of spiral binders, are arranged chronologically. They record for the most part out-going letters posted by her, receipts from book sales, personal receipts and expenditures, and miscellaneous notes and memoranda.
The personal miscellaneous papers include papers relating to the publicity for her books, recitals, and lectures; agreements with publishers; her journalistic assignments (1907-1908, 1913) and expenses in New York and Boston; checklists of her writings; inventories of her papers in storage; and other personal papers.
The financial papers (1938-56) consist of miscellaneous personal receipts; receipts and statements of book sales; royalty statements from Chappell Harms, Inc for her "Song of the New World" and from Dodd, Mead & Co. for "use of selections"; a statement of receipts (1952, from Devorss & Co., Los Angeles) from her West Coast lecture series; receipts from storage firms in Los Angeles (Beckins Van and Storage Co.) and in Philadelphia (Fidelity 20th Century Storage Warehouse) which had custody of her personal papers.
The bulk of the miscellaneous papers consist of unsorted wrappers and folders annotated by her and unsorted envelopes from her correspondence received many of which bear routine notes and annotations by her. Included also are a few copies of poems by other poets (mainly her contemporaries) collected by her; and a few engraver's plates (filed in Container #82).
The photographs consist mainly of positive prints (which are of varying sizes) of Angela Morgan and of her mother and of her friends and associates. Some of the friends and associates are unidentified. The photographs of Angela Morgan include several taken in New York and in London during the period of W. W. I and the 1920s. Included is a portrait taken in 1915 when she was a delegate to the International Congress of Women at the Hague. Included among the photographs of her friends and associates are Robert Atwood, Mrs. Abby Sutherland Brown, Albert C. Grier, Mrs. Lionel Guest, Mrs. John Henry Hammond, Albert G. Learned, James Raney McKeever, Lady Malcolm, Anna Catherine Markham, Formosa Robinson, Martha Root, and Katherine Wright
The printed matter consists of press clippings, other printed ephemera and books and pamphlets. The clippings consist of a file (1909-54) arranged chronologically relating to Angela Morgan and her career as author and lecturer; and a file of unsorted clippings collected and annotated by her. The other ephemera (1909-57) which is also frequently annotated by her, is arranged chronologically. The books and pamphlets from her personal library have either been inscribed to her from friends and associates or have been annotated by her.
The sound recordings consist of 10 analog discs (78 rpm, 8", 10" and 12") of recordings of Angela Morgan's songs and poems.