Scope and arrangement
The papers of Louise E. Dew date from approximately 1881-1952 and are contained in 45 linear feet. The collection consists of correspondence, literary manuscripts, notes, printed material and photographs. The correspondence and literary manuscripts are of approximately equal volume and together make up almost the entire bulk of the collection.
The General Correspondence contains typescript and holograph letters to and from friends, relatives and a small number of business associates of Dew's. The letters document Dew's general activities, both in her private life and in her business. Of particular interest are Dew's correspondences with Aldis Dunbar, Isobel Madsen and other literary friends. These letters document the working relationships Dew had with other female literary figures of her time. Because many of these letters are undated, it is difficult to trace the development of Dew's career through her general correspondence.
Dew's Business Correspondence highlights more clearly specific periods in Dew's business life than the general correspondence does. However, there is much less of it and there are definite gaps. In particular, there is little information about the books and short stories Dew published, with the exception of her 1935 novel Shining Armor. Two folders of correspondence from the Grit Publishing Company, dating from 1913-1920, document the earlier years of Dew's career, and letters to and from clients from the latter years in Dew's career give some insight into the evolution of her career.
One of the most interesting parts of this collection are the materials relating to Hub Fairhurst, a prisoner in the Southern Illinois State Penitentiary (circa 1925-33) who was serving time for the so-called "confidence game" (i. e. illegally conning people into giving him money) but whom Dew wanted to help because she felt he had skills as a writer. Correspondence exchanged between Dew and numerous government officials (including the Governor of Illinois, Len Small), friends of Fairhurst, Fairhurst's mother, Fairhurst himself and Dew's friends and acquaintances illustrate Dew's determination to help this man. There are also clippings of articles by Fairhurst, by Dew and by others relating to this case.
The series of literary typescripts and manuscripts written by Dew represent most of Dew's career following her move to the East Coast. It includes a history of Connecticut prepared for the Works' Progress Administration Federal Writer's Project, short stories, essays and longer works, including drafts for many of her published works. Because different texts were found shuffled together when received, separate works could not be positively identified. Dew's autobiographical work is, unfortunately, extremely fragmented and does not reveal much about Dew's life.
Literary manuscripts by clients and other authors include plays, stories, articles and poems. Some of these may have been completely written or rewritten by Dew. Dew's comments are frequently written on these texts.
A series on Notes, Newspaper Clippings and Printed Materials consists of holograph lecture notes and notes on concepts (such as "faith") and clippings and printed materials, mostly religious or spiritual in nature.
The small number of photographs in the collection includes maps of people and places familiar to Dew as well as news service photographs of prominent people and varied places and events.
The Louise E. Dew papers are arranged in fourteen series:
Letters From Friends, Family And Business Associates. Includes Letters From Literary Associates Including Edward Downing, Aldis Dunbar, Isobel Madsen, Alice Sherman, Ouida Petit Slevin And Jean Wickman. Also Includes Love Letters From David Cuyler (1921) And "Howe" (1932-1941).
Letters to friends, family and business associates. Includes two letters with autobiographical content: To Jane and Mary Lewis of Clinton, Connecticut (1942) and "Marc" (1946).
Letters from publishers, editors, literary agents and clients. Includes a number of letters from grit publishers (1913-1920) and letters from Dew's Literary Representative Michael S. Mill, who helped Dew Publish Her Shining Armor (1933-1939).
Letters to publishers, editors, literary agents and clients.
Correspondence consists of carbon copies of typescript and holograph correspondence between Dew And Government Officials, Fairhurst, Fairhurst's Mother (Eva Markham) and numerous friends who supported Dew's Efforts to gain parole for Fairhurst. Newspaper Clippings consist of published articles written by Fairhurst and articles by Dew and others about The Fairhurst Case.
Includes fragments of a history of Connecticut written for the works progress administration's federal writers' project; short stories and essays on various topics including Dew's experiences in China and Japan; fragments of romance and historical fiction novels, plays, poems and other works by Dew.
Fragments of typescript and holograph autobiographical writing. some are fictionalized accounts of events in Dew's life.
Short stories, essays and plays by clients of Dew and by unidentified authors. Some were "Ghost Written" by Dew for others. Includes numerous articles on medical topics apparently written by Dew but based on information supplied by Dr. Manton Carrick.
Holograph and typescript notes; newspaper clippings; and printed lecture programs, pamphlets and flyers, primarily on religions and spiritual topics. Includes issues of a publication called Weekly Unity.
Flyers and program notes about the association and two letters to Dew from the President of the Association.
Newspaper and magazine clippings of articles and essays published by Dew, primarily on Japan and China (circa 1900); pamphlets and newspaper clippings of information on the Orient (circa 1899-1907); printed pamphlets and flyers, primarily religious in nature (dates unknown).
Receipts, cancelled checks and a Vienna Bond.
Two small cloth covered volumes with inscriptions, dated 1881/82 and 1884/85.
Photographs of people, places, objects and flora. Photographs of people include prominent people including the John D. Rockefeller Family and friends making surgical kits for the war effort; Mrs. James A. Burden Jr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt; Mrs. Horace Guggenheim Winslow (Jane Burr); General John J. Pershing; Architect Marion Griffin Mahoney; and Lawyer Lucille Pugh. There are also photographs of dew and acquaintances of Dew. Among the photographs of unidentified people is a woman demonstrating Ju Jitsu. Photographs of places and objects include Dew's family home in Michigan, monuments in New York City, Bridges in China and Japan, and the Taj Mahal.