Date Published: 1889 to 1912
Eugene Field, an American journalist, editor, poet, and best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essay. After his mother's death in 1856, he and his brother were sent to live with a cousin in Amherst, Massachusetts. Field attended several colleges but took no degree (Williams College, Knox College, the University of Missouri). He worked for many newspapers until the Chicago Daily News offered him a job writing a humorous column called "Sharps and Flats". He also published many volumes of poetry and prose. Dubbed “The Poet of Childhood”, Field died of a heart attack on 4 November 1895.
A collection of letters and ephemera pasted into a leather scrapbook, 10-1/4 × 9-1/2 inches.
The collection has 41 items in total dating from 1889 to 1912, specifically, 16 letters, 13 ephemera, and 12 posthumous postcards. The collection includes interesting letters from important writers such as John Kendrick Bangs and Eugene Debs and even a printed card from Arthur Conan Doyle.
Provenance: Elizabeth Walbridge, grandmother of Elizabeth Whitlow.
14 Autographed Letters Signed (ALS):
•ALS to Field from the publisher W.I. Way, 2 May 1889, re writings by Field about his son which were read by Nat Goodwin, an actor.
• ALS from the publisher George P. Brett, Macmillan & Co., NY, to Frederick Macmillan, 9 September 1889, letter of introduction for Field to the English branch of the company.
• ALS to Field from Francis Wilson, 26 February 1891, re Napoleon-Talleyrand publication in the Century.
• ALS to Field from Thomas Nelsonlager, 20 September 1890, re illness of Field’s son.
• ALS to Field from John Kendrick Bangs (novelist and editor) on letterhead of Harper & Brothers, 20 April 1890, asking Field to contribute to Editors Drawer of Harper’s Magazine.
• ALS to Field from Charles Senbrun?, Wentworth Hall, Jackson, N.H., 3 August 1892, re publication of stories by Field’s brother (Roswell).
• ALS to Field from M.L. Gray, 9 April 1893, re purchase of Field’s house.
• ALS from Field to Victor F. Lawson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Dally News, written on Debs’s envelope, “Dear Mr. Lawson, What do you think? I think a great deal of Debs personally and I should like to serve him, but I don’t want to do anything that might hurt the paper I am connected with Record’s private advice. Field. Please Return Letter.”
• ALS to Field from Lawson, [December 1894], urging Field not to act on Debs’s behalf.
• ALS to Field from Herbert Stuart Stone, The Chap-Book Chicago, 20 October 1894, re publishing Field’s work (the poem “Boccacio”).
•ALS from Edgar Salters addressed Dear Sir (Harry B. Smith), 10 February, sending the manuscript of “Fausta” (1750 words) for publication.
• ALS to Field from Roswell Field, his brother, 18 April 1895, re a second edition by Way of Roswell’s In Sunflower Land and possible publication of a book entitled “Fault Finderer”
• ALS to Field from George S.T. Genowne, Saturday, regrets not meeting Field “I wanted your company—not your cigarettes!”
•ALS from an unknown correspondent, 28 January 1888, re writing a poem (payment $30).
2 Typed Letters Signed:
• TLS to Field from Edward Bok (Dutch-born American editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author), 24 July 1893, re laughing at Field’s paragraph of Miss Sheldon’s representation of Bok as a family man.
• TLS to Field from Eugene V. Debs (the American socialist, political activist, and trade unionist), President of the American Railway Union, 26 December 1894, with envelope, re his impending trial as a result of the Pullman Strike.
• Elizabeth Wallbridge bookplate, mounted on first page
• Eugene Field bookplate, mounted on second page
• Printed invitation from the Chap Book to Mr. and Mrs. Field on Tuesday, the sixth day, Caxton Building, Chicago;
• Printed invitation from Eugene Field to a luncheon at the Union League Club;
• Poem entitled Apple-Pie and Cheese, broadside (a few tears), n.d.;
• Saloon passenger list from Liverpool to New York, 12 November 1890, Inman Line, five members of Field family are listed;
• Leaflet issued by Frederick S. Field advertising Eugene Field’s Love Songs of Childhood, facsimile of handwritten poem, 16 September 1893, “Inscription for My Little Son’s Silver Plate”;
• Program for entertainment at the Second Congregational Church, The Young People’s Association, Rockford Illinois, 28 January 1893, Field with the novelist George W. Cable;
• Ticket issued to Field for an exhibition of American and foreign book-plates at the Grolier Club, 20 October 1894;
• Henrietta F. Bailey, tribute poem about Field’s comic genius, ms. on the inside of a card, 17 July 1892;
• “The Doll’s Wooing”, printed poem extracted from a newspaper, 1894;
• Card for Mrs. Field, signed by Boies Penrose (Republican politician from Philadelphia), for entrance into United States Chamber, 1 March 1897;
• Printed card from L. Conan Doyle and A. Conan Doyle, Davos Platz, New Year, 1895, “Here’s a hand across the sea; | Here’s a grasp from mine and me;
• Set of twelve colored postcards, poem of “Lover's Lane Saint Jo”, with Field’s image on each card.
Collection is on consignment with LDRB.