Scope and arrangement
The collection contains William Cullen Bryant's letters, 1814-1878; Parke Godwin's letters, 1840-1898; and an extensive collection of letters written to Bryant and Godwin from family members, friends, colleagues, and prominent persons in the fields of literature, the arts, science, politics, philanthropy, and religion during the 19th century. Included are both personal letters and letters written to Bryant and Godwin in their capacity as editors and writers for the New York Evening Post. Also present are a significant number of letters written to their wives and daughters. Correspondents include Charles Francis Adams, George Bancroft, John Bigelow, Edwin Booth, Salmon P. Chase, Lydia Maria Child, George W. Curtis, Charles A. and Richard A. Dana, James T. Fields, Henry James, Sr., Henry W. Longfellow, and Robert Cassie Waterston. Collection contains manuscript drafts, and notes for addresses, essays, poetry, and dramatic works by Bryant and Godwin. Bryant's personal papers include notebooks and account books from his early studies and legal practice, 1818-1825; travel diaries, passports, and travel expense books, 1835-1866; personal financial and legal records, 1809-1874; financial and legal records regarding the Evening Post, 1836-1861; and various notebooks relating to agriculture and gardening; 1866 diary kept by Fanny Bryant; and household notes and recipes. Photographs include portraits of Bryant and his daughter Fanny Bryant Godwin. The Godwin family photograph album contains cartes-de-visite of prominent family friends such as Samuel J. Tilden, Henry James, Sr., Bayard Taylor, Henry Tuckerman, and Charles Sumner. Also, books and printed material relating to Bryant, Godwin and the New York Evening Post including programs from memorial tributes to Bryant; scrapbooks and news clippings of Bryant's editorials, 1838-1878; reviews of his translation of the Iliad; and articles by Bryant and others.
The Bryant-Godwin papers are arranged in twelve series:
- 1840 - 1898
Manuscripts, drafts, and notes for addresses, lectures, articles, poetry
Books and printed material relating to Bryant and Godwin or owned by the family
See related material in Series XI. Clippings and Scrapbooks