Papers (1883-1964) of the noted author Inglis Clark Fletcher of historical novels set during the 17th and 18th century in colonial North Carolina.
Minna Towner Englis [Inglis?] Clark Fletcher (1879-1969), known to readers of her books as Inglis Fletcher, was born in Alton, Illinois, the eldest of three children of Maurice William and Flora Deane (Chapman) Clark. Minna Clark studied sculpture under Robert Bringhurst at Washington University in St. Louis, but was not graduated. She married John George Fletcher on 16 April 1902, and the couple moved to California. Peggy, as Mrs. Fletcher was known, followed her husband as he worked in several mining camps in California, Oregon, and Alaska. While living in Spokane, Washington, during and after World War I, Mrs. Fletcher performed considerable volunteer work for the Red Cross. While in Washington she met Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who encouraged her to write.
Mrs. Fletcher's success as a writer came only after years of unremitting work. In 1920 Robertson-Cole Studios purchased her movie script, "The Western Gate." It was not until 1931, however, that she published her first book. The White Leopard, a work of juvenile fiction, was based on material she gathered during a trip to Africa and the Near East in 1928. Red Jasmine, a novel published in 1932, also dealt with African themes. Another eight years passed before her first Carolina novel, Raleigh's Eden, was deemed publishable by The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Thereafter Mrs. Fletcher produced novels regularly: Men of Albemarle (1942), Lusty Wind for Carolina (1944), Toil of the Brave (1946), Roanoke Hundred (1948), Bennett's Welcome (1950), Queen's Gift (1952), The Scotswoman (1955), Wind in the Forest (1957), Pay, Pack, and Follow and Cormorant's Brood (1959), The Wicked Lady (1961), and Rogue's Harbor (1964).
The Fletchers in 1944 purchased Bandon Plantation near Edenton, N.C. Subsequently, Mrs. Fletcher devoted much of her time to historical activities. She served on the Tryon Palace Commission, the Roanoke Island Historical Association, and the boards of other organizations. She remained active until the early 1960s. Mrs. Fletcher died in Edenton and was buried in the National Cemetery in Wilmington. Further biographical information may be found in Richard Walser, Inglis Fletcher of Bandon Plantation (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Library, 1952); Inglis Fletcher, Pay, Pack, and Follow (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1959); and Who's Who in America, vol. 34, p.692. All of these sources should be used with caution.
Correspondence is divided into three series--professional, philanthropy, and personal--reflecting Mrs. Fletcher's career, participation in civic and other groups, and personal affairs.
Professional correspondence reflects not only her publishing career, but also her continuing relationships with persons directly or tangentially involved in her work. Owing to Fletcher's warm personality, a considerable amount of this correspondence, while often from other lecturers and writers, is personal in tone and content.
Professional correspondence from 1913 to 1928 concerns Fletcher's involvement with prominent explorers and lecturers as well as her beginning literary efforts. Scattered letters and telegrams prior to 1921 reflect Fletcher's attempt to write movie scripts, and letters of 1920 concern her sale to Robertson-Cole Studios of her script, "The Western Gate." Letters and telegrams (Aug. 1922; Jan. 1924) reveal her continuing association with motion picture companies. Considerable correspondence to and from Vilhjalmur Stefansson outlines his explorations, his collaboration with Fletcher on her movie script about him, and a novel (Unexplored) based on the script. A nine-page letter (Jan. 1924) contains an extensive critique of the manuscript. One of Stefansson's letters (Feb. 1922) mentions Ruth Bryan Owen's desire to organize a movie studio and her interest in Mrs. Fletcher's movie script. Additional correspondence to and from Stefansson concerns his publications and lecture tours, which Mrs. Fletcher helped to arrange. The most significant Stefansson-related correspondence reflects the Wrangel Island fiasco and the involvement of the sole survivor, Ada Blackjack, who also corresponded with Mrs.Fletcher (1924-1925). Fletcher's correspondence beginning in 1924 reflects her arrangement, both by herself and with Alice Seckels of San Francisco, of lectures and debates for Stefansson, Louis I. Newman, Prince William of Sweden, John Noel, Hubert Wilkins, Maurice Hindus, Lowell Thomas, Judge Ben Lindsey, and others. Correspondents include: Carl Ethan Akeley, who mentions his sculptures and travel plans (May 1924; Aug. 1925; Nov. 1925); Ruth Bryan Owen, who outlines her lecture activities (June 1925); Rodney C. Wood, who discusses his collaboration with Mrs. Fletcher on writings about Africa, his intention to guide her on her visit to Nyasaland, and aspects of life in Nyasaland and the Seychelles (1924-1928); Louis J. Alber, the manager of Prince William's lectures (1927); John B. L. Noel (Nov. 1927); Maurice Hindus (Jan. 1928); Lowell Thomas (Mar. [1928?]); and Princess Achille Murat ([Aug. 1928]).
Correspondence beginning in 1928 reveals Fletcher's decision to visit Africa that year to gather research material. Especially for the next four years, and to a much lesser extent thereafter, the correspondence concerns her travels and writings based on her experiences. Copies of her letters as well as incoming correspondence trace her travel preparations (Jan.-Apr. 1928); experiences aboard the SS Baltic and in London, including references to artist Rudolf Sauter, the British-Colonial Office and its head Leopold Stennett Amery, and the "old Drury Lane Theater" ; and her trip to Africa aboard RMMV Carnarvon Castle (May 1928). Other correspondence (May-June 1928) provides descriptions of South African, American, and English travelers, Lourenco Marques, and Beira (Portuguese East Africa). Letters (July-Aug. 1928) concern life in Nyasaland and her ulendo (hunting expedition) there. Letters concerning the conclusion of her trip (Sept.-Nov. 1928) include descriptions of the market square at Dar-es-Salaam and a colorful procession of children at a monument "to our heroic dead" in London, and reflect her continued interest in publishing and the lecture business.
The majority of Fletcher's correspondence for 1929 and 1930 concerns reaction to her trip, speeches and demonstrations she presented, and her submission to various publishers of articles and books based on her travels. Notable exceptions include letters from Roy Chapman Andrews (Mar. 1929), Stefansson, Princess Achille Murat (Feb., Aug. [1929?]; Feb., Dec. [1930?]), John Noel (Apr. [1930?]), and Lowell Thomas (Oct. 1930). Letters from friends in Africa concern the activities of William Kirby-Green, politics and government in Tangier, Morocco, and physical aspects of Nyasaland. A letter from Charles Calvert Bowring (Aug. 1930) discusses his family and personal affairs in England, and letters from the Rudolf Sauters trace their activities.
Correspondence for 1931-1932 reflects Fletcher's writing efforts, including articles, movie scripts, The White Leopard, Red Jasmine, and her interest in writing a biography of Sir Richard Burton. These years herald the beginning of extensive correspondence with the Bobbs-Merrill Company and David Laurance Chambers, her editor. Letters from Bobbs-Merrill, Fletcher, and Dr. Werner-Otto von Hentig concerning a translation of one of his books, begin in August 1932 and continue through September 1933. Other correspondence concerns Fletcher's lecture activities. Letters from travel and lecture contacts are frequent, and include mention of an art exhibition of Rudolf Sauter in San Francisco and Sauter's travel plans in America (Jan.-Apr. 1931), the activities of William Kirby-Green and his description of leisure activities and political affairs in Tangier, Roy Chapman Andrews' activities in Peking and his perception of the Chinese (Apr., July 1931), Charles Bowring's retirement in England (July 1931), the activities of Ruth Bryan Owen (Oct. 1931), the personal life of Princess Achille Murat (Nov. [1931?]), the irregularity of mail service in the Seychelles and Africa (Feb. 1932), the plans and activities of actor Randolph Scott (1932), and the people and depressed state of Dawson in the Yukon Territory of Canada (Sept. 1932).
Owing to Mrs. Fletcher's failure to publish much of her work, correspondence between 1933 and 1939 is less frequent than in previous years. Letters to and from The Bobbs-Merrill Company and other firms reflect Fletcher's repeated efforts to publish a novel bearing different names but eventually published as Raleigh's Eden. Other publishing-related correspondence concerns her unsuccessful collaboration with George Bistany on a movie about animals (Monsoon) and his autobiography (1933-1934), Fletcher's attempt to sell movie rights to her books (June-July 1935), her sale of serialization rights to The Weeping Witch by Fletcher Partridge (Oct. 1938-June 1939), and Bobbs-Merrill's decision to publish Raleigh's Eden (Nov.-Dec. 1939). Letters from professional friends and acquaintances between 1933 and 1936 describe or assess the interests and activities of Roy Chapman Andrews (Mar. 1933); the consultant work of Stefansson (June 1933); Franklin D. Roosevelt's economic policies (Jan. 1934); British policies in England, Africa, and Asia; Italian activities in Abyssinia (Dec. 1935); changes since 1928 in Blantyre, Nyasaland (Jan. 1936); the chaos caused by the entry of Spanish ships in the harbor at Tangier (Aug. 1936); the abdication of Edward VIII of England (Dec. 1936), the activities in Bedford, England, of Charles Bowring (Dec. 1935; June 1927); and the Spanish Civil War. Other letters mention the sponsors for a scientific expedition to central Africa (July 1933), the world-wide practice of chaining women (June, July 1935), and the work of actor Randolph Scott (May 1935; [1936?]).
Professional correspondence beginning in 1940 follows a pattern which remains intact until the mid-1950s. Even years found Mrs. Fletcher and The Bobbs-Merrill Company working to publish Carolina novels; the correspondence for odd years reflects Fletcher's research activities. Interspersed among this correspondence are letters concerning her autographing parties (usually in the fall of publishing years) and speeches about historical fiction, fan letters, and requests for information (about her characters or the ancestors of the correspondent). The correspondence concerning the Carolina novels (U.S. and foreign editions) presents a vivid, detailed picture of the process by which works of fiction were published, promoted, and distributed during the 1940s and 1950s. They also provide an interesting picture of D. L. Chambers and the growing cordialitybetween him and Mrs. Fletcher. Letters from Bobbs-Merrill reflect the condition of the publishing industry in general. The correspondence also contains letters from old associates as well as from writers and literary figures in North Carolina and elsewhere. The letters of Sir Angus Fletcher, Jessie Fant Evans, Jonathan Daniels, Richard Walser, Elizabeth Boatwright Coker, and John L. B. Williams reflect, to varying degrees, those persons' affairs. As previously, considerable correspondence concerns her membership in professional organizations such as the P. E. N. Club.
Notable letters of 1940 concern Hugh T. Lefler's corrections to Raleigh's Eden and his opinion of the book (July), Inglis Fletcher's comments concerning a book tour in North Carolina promoting Raleigh's Eden (Oct.), Bobbs-Merrill's rejection of The Turquoise Widow (July), L. S. Amery's comments on his new position as the Secretary of State for India and the conditions there (Aug.), the Spanish occupation of Tangier (Nov.), an alumnus' writing of a farewell to the class of 1891 at the University of North Carolina (Dec.), the activities of Princess Achille Murat and her children (Feb. [1940?]), and the work of Randolph Scott ([1940?]).
Significant correspondence of 1941-1942 reflects F. Van Wyck Mason's appreciation for Mrs. Fletcher's kind words about his books (Jan. 1941), conditions in Tangier and the Mediterranean (May 1941), Pauline Partridge's work on The Turquoise Widow (Sept. 1941), Fletcher's work on There's Always a Prince and a book for juveniles (Oct.-Nov. 1941), a meeting of the San Francisco P. E. N. Club (Oct. 1941), Fletcher's interest in India and her defense of Raleigh's Eden (Apr. 1942), and L. S. Amery's views on British colonial policy (Jan., Oct. 1942) and his criticism of Wendell Willkie (Oct. 1942).
Notable letters of 1943-1944 discuss the activities of Roy Chapman Andrews (Jan. 1943; July 1944), the custom of blessing hunting parties in Gates Mills, Ohio (Mar., Apr. 1943), L. S. Amery's criticism of Kate Louise Mitchell's India Without Fable (May 1943), and Look magazine's plans for promoting post-war travel (Nov. 1944).
Significant correspondence of 1945-1946 discusses Look magazine's activities (Aug. 1945), the U.S. Treasury Department's gratitude for allowing War Bond messages to be printed on the dust jackets of Fletcher's books (Dec. 1945), L. S. Amery's son's fight against communism (Mar. 1946), the decorations used at a costume party for servicemen in Wilmington (May 1946), hurricanes near Bluffton, S.C. (June 1946), the editorial process used in publishing Toil of the Brave (Aug. 1946), and the Perisho family of eastern North Carolina (Dec. 1946).
Important letters of 1947-1948 concern Mrs. Fletcher's lecturing plans (Jan. 1947), the publication of her poem, "In Malaga" (Mar. 1947), the literary efforts of Vilhjalmur Stefansson (May 1947), Inglis Fletcher's comments concerning theInternational Congress of P. E. N. in Zurich (June), the death of L. S. Amery's son (Sept. 1947), the archives at Simancas, Spain (Sept. 1947), the immediate plans of explorer Hubert Wilkins (Oct. 1947), the Johnson family of Chowan County and Bandon Plantation (Mar. 1948), a meeting of the Roanoke-Chowan Group (June 1948); and the death of Gertrude Atherton and her effect on the San Francisco P. E. N. Club (July 1948).
Notable letters of 1949-1950 discuss a controversy surrounding "The Dare [County] Stones" and The Lost Colony players' satirical play, Dr. Fierce and His Rocks (Feb. 1949); the Stowe Barton estate of Richard Grenville (Feb. 1949); Simon and Schuster's intention to collaborate with Travel Enterprises on a series of travel books (May 1949); aspects of Venice, including the hotel Danieli, a P. E. N. conference there, and a dock strike (Sept. 1949); John Paul Jones (Dec. 1949; Jan. 1950); Rudolf Sauter's poetry and the state of poetry and art in England (May 1950); Ada Blackjack (July 1950); and plans for the North Carolina Writers Conference at Manteo (July 1950).
Significant correspondence of 1951-1952 discusses the travel guides of Travel Enterprises (Jan. 1951), the activities of Rudolf Sauter (Feb.-Mar., Oct. 1951; Jan. 1952), Richard Walser's brief biography of Fletcher (May 1951-Feb. 1952), the N.C. Writers Conferences in Cherokee and Edenton (June-Aug. 1951; Jan.-July 1952), a forum for members of the Foreign Students Program at Duke University (Aug.-Sept. 1951), the history and restoration of Chowan College in Murfreesboro (Nov. 1951), the Thomas Warren house in Surry County, Va. (May 1952), the people of Vermont and their opinions on the 1952 presidential election (Aug. 1952), and the Historical Book Club of Greensboro and its Sir Walter Raleigh Award (Oct. 1952).
Notable letters of 1953-1955 discuss Major Patrick Ferguson and his grave (Jan. 1953), John Paul Jones (Mar. 1953), the Roanoke-Chowan Group and their award (May-June 1953), the N.C. Writers Conferences in Blowing Rock and Pisgah View Ranch, Rudolf Sauter and his impressions of prospects for artists in England (June 1953), the Historical Book Club (Nov. 1953), Alonzo T. Dill's Governor Tryon and His Palace (Dec. 1953), the countryside of Scotland (June 1954), Vilhjalmur Stefansson (Aug. 1954), Burke Davis' They Called Him Stonewall (Sept. 1954), a gathering of the Macdonald Clan of North Carolina at Flora Macdonald College (Mar.-Apr. 1955) and an amusing encounter with Frances Parkinson Keyes (May 1955).
Owing largely to the retirement of D. L. Chambers from active work at Bobbs-Merrill, the regularity of Mrs. Fletcher's publishing habits deteriorated beginning with The Scotswoman. Thereafter she experimented with Lippincott and Henry Holt as well as with her old publishing house. The volume of publishing-related correspondence declines somewhat, and Mrs. Fletcher's waning abilities are evident, but old patterns generally remain intact. Frequent correspondents include Jessie Fant Evans, Sir Angus Fletcher,Elizabeth Coker, Richard Walser, Rudolf Sauter, D. L. Chambers, John L. B. Williams, and her editors, including George Stevens.
Notable letters of 1956-1964 discuss plans for a meeting of the Roanoke-Chowan Group (Mar.-Apr. 1956), N.C. Writers Conferences (1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961), the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain (May-June 1956), an effort to save Flora Macdonald College from merger (Sept. 1956; May, Sept. 1960), Mrs. Fletcher's desire to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (Oct. 1956), the activities of Rudolf Sauter (Nov. 1956) and his sketches and description of the Mayflower, a project of the Plimoth Plantation (Mar.-Apr. 1957), Vilhjalmur Stefansson's literary activities (May 1957), a literary festival at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. (June 1957), Doris Betts' application for a Guggenheim Fellowship (Oct. 1957), the activities of Lionel Stevenson in Europe (Dec. 1957), plans by African Americans for an outdoor Black theater project in Warren County (May 1960), and D. L. Chambers (Oct. 1963). Two legal pads (1962) contain outgoing correspondence in shorthand.
The series of correspondence relating to Fletcher's philanthropies reflects her active involvement in civic, preservation, and historical groups, chiefly in Spokane and North Carolina. Letters (1918) discuss her involvement in the Spokane Chapter of the American Red Cross and its hospital, the Advisory Board of the National War Savings Committee, the United War Work Campaign, the Liberty Loan Committee, and a Victory Celebration Committee. Additional correspondence (1931) reflects her participation in San Francisco's Community Chest Campaign. The bulk of the series chronicles Fletcher's interest in many organizations, chiefly historical in nature, while living in North Carolina. Considerable correspondence concerns the work of the N.C. Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, the Roanoke Island Historical Association and The Lost Colony, the Garden Club of North Carolina and its Elizabethan Garden project on Roanoke Island (beginning in 1951), the Tryon Palace Commission and the restoration of Tryon Palace, the State Literary and Historical Association of North Carolina (of which she was president during 1953 and 1954), and (principally during 1955 and 1956) the National Patriotic Service Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Other letters concern the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Among the correspondence relating to preservation are letters concerning Edenton, Bath, and Halifax. Frequent correspondents include Ruth Coltran Cannon (involved with the Antiquities Society and the Garden Club of N.C.), Mildred Howard and Ruth Homewood (Garden Club of N.C.), May Gordon Kellenberger (Tryon Palace Commission), Charles Christopher Crittenden, Elizabeth Ives, and Mrs. Stuart Chevalier (Colonial Dames).
Notable letters concern the restoration of the paneled room of the Chowan County Courthouse (1941-1943, 1948, 1954); other restoration projects in Edenton, including St. Paul's Church, the Penelope Barker House, the Cupola House, and the James IredellHouse (1945-1946, 1948, 1953-1957); the Cannon Cup Award and controversies surrounding it (Sept. 1948; Dec. 1955; 1956); a home and garden tour in Edenton (April 1949); and celebrity nights at The Lost Colony involving Sir Evelyn Wrench, George Jellicoe, Capus Waynick, George Clifford Crawford, and Drew Pearson (1950). A letter (Oct. 1950) encloses "The Elizabethan Spirit," a speech given by Jellicoe at Roanoke Island on 18 August 1950. Other letters concern renovations to the set of The Lost Colony (1951), St. George's Church in Gravesend, Kent, England, the burial place of Pocahontas (1951), historic sites in Halifax (April 1951; June-July 1954; Jan. 1955; Nov. 1963), the Sir Walter Raleigh Award of the Historical Book Club of Greensboro (July-Aug., Nov. 1951), proposals for a definitive history of the Roanoke Island settlements (1953), priorities of the University of North Carolina Press (May 1953), The Roanoke-Chowan Award (Oct.-Nov. 1953), differences between Dorothy Tyler and Ruth Cannon concerning Mrs. Cannon's preservation activities (Feb. 1954), a description of the Albemarle section of North Carolina in 1795 by Hugh Williamson (Dec. 1954), plans for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the incorporation of Bath, N.C. (Sept.-Oct. 1955), efforts of the State Literary and Historical Association to purchase the silver collection of George Cutten (Nov. 1955), doors located in Greenville but previously used in the House of Commons in Dublin, Ireland (Dec. 1955; June 1956), the intention of the John Penn Chapter of the DAR to beautify the property of John Penn in Granville County (Feb. 1956), a meeting of the N.C. Society of the Cincinnati at Bandon (Feb.-May 1957), a list of books to be purchased to duplicate William Tryon's library at Tryon Palace (May 1957), efforts of the Historic Bath Commission (July 1960), and affairs of the Governor Richard Caswell Memorial Commission (Jan. 1961).
The Fletcher personal correspondence consists of letters chiefly from her relatives and close friends not associated with her literary career. Also found here are letters from various sources concerning the personal affairs of her immediate family.
Letters from John Stuart Fletcher, Mrs. Fletcher's son, appear beginning in 1920 and continue throughout the series. With few exceptions, only those written during his stay at the United State Naval Academy in Annapolis (1931-1935) contain much substantive information. The Naval Academy letters reflect the nature of course work, social life, regulations, the crew team, and the football team. Other letters concern the social life of leading citizens of Clarksdale, Miss. (Dec. [1931?]); the people, geography, and the architecture of Ponta Delgada in the Azores and the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia (Aug. 1932); the bay, beach, and fishermen of the island of Mouro de Taboga ([May 1936]); and Stuart's opinion of a proposed naval expansion bill (July 1940). A letter from aboard the USS Savannah (Mar. 1942) mentions the unprepared nature of Stuart's unit and the poor quality of news reports received. Another letter (Oct. 1950) encloses a published account of a rescue mission of the USS Noa, of which he was commander.
The series also contains letters from Stuart Fletcher's two wives. They reflect the life of the family at their various homes, including Annapolis; Coronado, Calif.; Brooklyn; and Charleston, S.C. Letters from Cabell (Fletcher's first wife) describe in detail the floor plan of an apartment for married couples at the U.S. Naval Academy ([1942?]) and activities at Bandon (Feb.-Mar. 1947). Letters from Gladys (Fletcher's second wife) describe her reading interests (Jan. 1956), her impression of Benjamin H. Kizer (June 1956), and the nature of her family's Christmas celebrations (Jan. 1957; Jan. 1960).
The personal correspondence also includes many letters from John G. Fletcher and Mrs. Fletcher's mother and sister (Jean Chenoweth). Most of these letters contain little substantive information, but some of them concern life at Camp Cuba Libre in Jacksonville, Fla. (Oct. 1898), the Orange Co., Calif., Fair and Horse Show ([1941?]), a demonstration of incendiary bombs and an air wardens' course in or near Santa Ana, Calif. (Mar. 1942), and the nature of assembly work and facilities at Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, Calif. (Mar.-Nov. 1942). Other letters describe a concert given [in Santa Ana?] by John Charles Thomas (May [1942?]), and wartime activities in and post-war development of Santa Ana (, [1943?], June 1953, Apr. 1954).
Correspondence from and pertaining to John Stuart Fletcher II includes letters concerning Kent School in Kent, Conn. (1952-1953) and Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pa. (1953).
Two groups of letters from friends are particularly noteworthy. The letters of Benjamin Hamilton "Ben" Kizer, a prominent attorney in Spokane, concern, in addition to general references to his affairs, the activities of a youthful Communist organizer in Portland, Ore. (Dec. 1930), the malpractice suit of a doctor in Spokane (Dec. 1930; Jan. 1931), a meeting Kizer had with Richard Evelyn Byrd ([1930?]), bank closings in Spokane and Kizer's efforts to stop them (April 1932), Kizer's contribution of an article to Fortune magazine and a meeting of Pacific Northwest Planning (Feb. 1940), the organization of a chapter of the National Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies in Spokane (June 1940), Spokane's war preparation (Oct. 1941), and the married life of author George Creel (Mar. 1943). Other Kizer correspondence concerns miners employed by the Sunshine Mining Company of Spokane (Mar. 1943), his work with the West Coast Lumber Commission (Dec. 1943), his preparations for going to China as Director of Operations for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (Jan. ), the condition of Jews in Shanghai after World War II (Aug. 1947), and his organization of a World Affairs Council in Spokane (Oct. 1948).
Correspondence from artist William C. Fields of Fayetteville and New York (1951-1963) concerns his work in general and specifically his permission to paint the Pope (Sept. 1951); the forthcoming presentation of his portrait of Judge Aaron Ashley Flowers Seawell (Oct. 1952); his portrait of Ruth Hay, Dean of the School of Public Health at UNC (July ); his portrait and description of Dudley Dewitt Carroll (April ); his first portrait of Mrs. Fletcher (1954-1955); a committee to select an artist to paint a portrait of Frank Porter Graham and their choice of Leopold Seyffert (May, Aug., Nov. 1955); and additional portraits of Fletcher family (1957).
Correspondence relating to the personal affairs of Inglis and John Fletcher concerns Mrs. Fletcher's interest in her family history (1905-1915); the Fletchers' purchase of a house in California (1941); activities of veterans of the Spanish-American War (June 1942); the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company in Wilmington (Oct.-Nov. 1943); the purchase and restoration of Bandon (1944-1946); the facilities and products of Biltmore Industries, producers of wool cloth, in Asheville (Nov. 1946); the spraying program of the N.C. Board of Health's Malaria Control Program ([1947?]); travels in Europe after attending the International Congress of P.E.N. (June-Aug. 1947); John's employment history and social security benefits (Nov. 1948); fossils and Indian remains at Bandon (1949; Nov. 1950); the Fletchers' interest in the presidential campaign of 1952; Mrs. Fletcher's support of the candidacies of Adlai Stevenson (Feb., July 1956) and gubernatorial aspirant John D. Larkins, Jr. (April 1960); condolences upon the destruction by fire of Bandon (Oct.-Nov. 1963); plans for rebuilding the house (Oct.-Dec. 1963); and the sale of the property (Jan. 1964).
Miscellaneous personal correspondence concerns the social life, preservation efforts, and influence of the U.S. Marine Corps in Edenton during World War II (1940-1943) and Cuban missionary Alice Arey's assistance to, and the marriage of, a destitute couple in New York [City?] (June 1950). An interesting Christmas card designed by William Meade Prince includes humorous caricatures of him and his wife (Dec. 1950). Other letters concern the 1952 Democratic convention and Adlai Stevenson (Aug. 1952), the losses of life and property by a German family during World War II (April 1953), old school buildings in Denver and the impending destruction of Manual High School there ([May 1953]), Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn. (Oct. 1953), columnist Charlotte Hilton Green's nine-week trip to Africa (Dec. 1955), the N.C. campaign of Adlai Stevenson (June 1956), a severe rain and wind storm in Edwardsville, Ill. (May ), the centennial celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg (June 1963), and the Grandfather Home for Children, Inc., at Banner Elk (July 1963).
Manuscripts and published writings in the collection include: manuscript and typed drafts, galley proofs, or pages of most of Mrs. Fletcher's books; manuscript drafts or typescripts of her screen plays, short stories, articles, book reviews, and miscellaneous writings; criticism of some of her work; manuscripts of others; and copies of many of Mrs. Fletcher's lesser publications. Of particular note are "Lady in the Moon," an Eskimo legend told to Mrs. Fletcher by Ada Blackjack, and notes and miscellaneous chapters of a book relating the experiences of George Bistany. A volume (ca. 1928) of Mrs. Fletcher's writings includes portions of "The Ivory Bracelet" (perhaps changed to "Vertical Sun"); descriptions of Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, L. S. Amery and the British Colonial Office; description of an antique shop in Cairo; description of African dances, poetry, and transcriptions of African music; notes on Queen Kulunda of Nyasaland; and laws and customs of the natives in Nyasaland as related by W. Kirby-Green, provincial commissioner there. Published writings concern Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Africa, and the history of North Carolina.
The bulk of the collection's six diaries concern Mrs. Fletcher's African trip. Loose diary notes discuss her travels aboard the RMMV Carnarvon Castle. Another diary (#21.34.b) also describes life aboard the Carnarvon Castle, an encounter with Portuguese fisherman near the island of Madeira, the native workers at Lourenco Marques, the provincial commissioner of Nyasaland W. Kirby-Green and his home, the city of Blantyre, African natives and their customs, a ulendo or safari in Nyasaland, the people of Dar es Salaam, and a native market there. Also included are miscellaneous poems. Another diary concerning Africa (#21.34.c) contains brief notations pertaining to most of her stops throughout the trip, including a noteworthy reference to Aden (Sept. 1928). Mrs. Fletcher's diary for 1920 contains a 15 July 1921 entry concerning her attendance at a speech of Vilhjahmur Stefansson in the state of Washington. The entry describes Stefansson and his speech and provides insight into the subsequent relationship between Stefansson and Fletcher.
Financial papers include bills and receipts relating to the purchase and restoration of Bandon, farm operations there, hotel expenses, and travel-related expenses. Miscellaneous financial papers () concern Mrs. Fletcher's projected retirement income and her ability to restore or rebuild Bandon. Several bank books and farm account books also are included. A considerable quantity of royalty statements give an indication of the financial rewards of Mrs. Fletcher's publications throughout her career.
Materials in the collection concern Mrs. Fletcher's interest in lectures, speeches, and her African experience. Flyers, clippings, and unpublished material pertain to the Seckels-Fletcher lecture series (1927-1929) and some of the lecturers who participated. Other material (ca. 1939) pertains to violinist Pery Machado. Publicity, notes, and copies of speeches concern Mrs. Fletcher's African experience, the role of women in society, and historical fiction. Also included are lecture itineraries, contracts with the W. Colston Leigh Company (1948-1949) and the speeches of others. Additional published material and publicity describe other notable lecturers: Max Forrester Eastman, Princess Achille Murat, Fannie Hurst, John Edwin Bakeless, Houston Peterson, Louis Morton Hacker, Neil Harmon Swanson, Julian Biddulph Arnold, Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes, and Admiral Gordon Campbell. Newspaper clippings and other publications reflect publicity arising from Fletcher's 1928 trip.
The collection also contains a considerable quantity of clippings, typescripts, and published miscellany (advertising, book jackets, etc.) concerning Fletcher's published writings. Clippings concerning her books reflect the opinions of reviewers and the relative success of the various titles.
Following the book-related clippings are clippings related to Mrs. Fletcher's writing career, her involvement in civic work and historical endeavors, and her personal life. Miscellaneous biographical material (questionnaires, radio interviews and the pamphlet, Inglis Fletcher of Bandon) provide more information about her life. A folder of material related to Bandon Plantation includes a sketch of the floor plan, Mrs. Fletcher's writings about the house, and the 1944 deed to the property. Folders concerning John Stuart Fletcher and John Stuart Fletcher II provide further information about the Fletcher family.
Fletcher's research notes (loose sheets, volumes, and cards) concern her African trip as well as North Carolina history. They provide insight into her research techniques. Of particular importance is a list, based on research by Elizabeth H. Cotten in the University of North Carolina Library, of men and families owning one thousand or more acres of land in North Carolina prior to 1860 (#21.43.g).
The collection contains a considerable number of sketches and photographs. Two folders contain rough sketches, mostly of natives, that Mrs. Fletcher made while in Africa. Photographs depict: African natives, animals, and countryside; the Clark and Fletcher families (early and late); and Bandon and its dependencies. Photographs also represent Roy Chapman Andrews (signed), Maurice Hindus (signed), Prince and Princess Achille Murat, Ruth Bryan Owen, Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1913, 1921, undated), Prince William of Sweden, and Thomas Wolfe, among others. Views of buildings include St. Paul's Church in Edenton (1946), the Governor Nathaniel Alexander house in Cabarrus County, "For Pity's Sake" in Rowan County, Green River Plantation in McDowell County, "Ingleside" in Lincoln County, Mulberry Hill in Chowan County, the Old Stone House in Rowan County, and an antebellum home in Alton, Illinois. The collection also contains three folders of photographs of unidentified persons, places and things. (Safety negatives have been pulled and filed with the department's other negatives and the nitrate negatives, including many made on the African trip, are in storage.)
A small collection of post cards contains views of Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, the U.S. (Calif., Tenn., S.C., N.C., Va., and Ky.), the Bahamas, the British Isles, and Africa.
A body of chiefly unrelated material includes contracts for several of Fletcher's literary endeavors, including movies, books, and collaboration with Werner-Otto von Hentig and George Bistany. Other contracts and material concerning Fletcher's service as vice president of the board of trustees of The Advance (Elizabeth City) are followed by genealogical notes concerning the Chapman, Englis, Caswell, Blount, Spreul, Blasdell, Moseley, Clark, and Booth families. Other files contain transcriptions and lyrics of African songs by Fletcher and Francisca Vallejo (1928-1930), printed music, certificates for memberships in organizations or on commissions, miscellaneous poetry (much of the poetry written by Mrs. Fletcher concerns her African experience; some of it is about Mrs. Fletcher.), invitations and announcements, name and business cards, and loose lists of addresses.
Volumes include address books, daybooks indicating appointments and obligations, recipe books, and guest registers used at Bandon. Of particular interest is a guest register (#21.51.c) used originally as the court docket of lawyer J. M. Forehand of Chowan County. It contains scattered cases from 1880s and 1890s and lists plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, judges, fees, and other information.
The collection contains numerous subject files relating to organizations in and outside North Carolina, notable people, and places. The Carolina Charter Tercentenary Commission file contains reports, meeting agendas, minutes, and a printed brochure. The Edenton Historical Commission file contains minutes of that body's 6 April 1963, meeting. The Garden Club of North Carolina files consist primarily of printed and manuscript material and newspaper clippings concerning the Elizabethan Garden on Roanoke Island (1951-1962). The Historical Halifax Restoration Association file contains a list of members of the association, a discussion of the historical significance of Halifax, and an invitation to the opening of the goal (1955). The N.C. Art Society file contains clippings and a copy of the society's new bulletin (Nov., 1951). The State Literary and Historical Association files include agendas for the annual meetings (1943-1953, 1963), scattered issues of Carolina Comments, regulations governing annual literary and historical awards, a list of persons who contributed to the purchase of the Carolina Charter (1948-1949), an inventory of the George Cutten silver collection (with prices), a list of winners of the Mayflower Cup (1931-1947), and material relating to association affairs (1954). Files pertaining to the N.C. Society for the Preservation of Antiquities include newspaper clippings, programs for the annual meetings, and a list of Cannon cup recipients ([1954?]). The North Carolina Writers Conference file contains an account of the first meeting (1950) and miscellany relating to the conferences of 1952, 1955, and 1957. A list of members and their publications (1955), suggested additional members, and rosters of members are contained in the Roanoke-Chowan Group file. Files concerning the Roanoke Island Historical Association and The Lost Colony contain meeting minutes, constitutions, lists of officers and directors, newspaper clippings, and financial material (1946-1963). This series also contains a file of pamphlets and magazines relating to The Lost Colony, Fort Raleigh, and Roanoke Island. Tryon Palace Commission files contain minutes, reports, inventories, clippings, and printed material relating to Tryon Palace and its restoration (1945-1963).
Fletcher's interest in public service, politics, and literary pursuits is reflected in the files pertaining to non-North Carolina organizations. Among the files is information relating to the Junior Red Cross of Spokane, Washington (1918-1920), and a 1950 history of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in North Carolina. The Democratic National Convention file contains printed material concerning the presidential candidacies of Adlai Stevenson. The Society of Woman Geographers file includes bulletins of the society and a list of the members (1928).
Biographical files reflect Fletcher's interest in or association with prominent historical and contemporary figures. The Carl Ethan Akeley file contains articles and a brochure (1926, undated) as well as photographs of several of his sculptures. The George Bistany file contains two undated obituaries and a brochure concerning his 1933 hunting expedition to Africa. The Sir Richard Burton file contains a manuscript account of his life. The Vilhjalmur Stefansson files contain clippings, printed materials, and typescripts relating to Stefansson, Wrangel Island, and Ada Blackjack. Included are Stefansson's lecture itineraries, an account by Captain Motto of Stefansson's 1913 expedition, and an article, "Living on the Fat of the Land." Other files contain information on Joshua Evans, Jr., and Flora Macdonald. A file of miscellaneous biographical material pertains to Mary Boozer, Captain Patrick Boggan and his relatives in Anson County, Isaac Gergory of the Albemarle section of North Carolina, the Boy Scout activities of Rodney C. Wood, Adlai Stevenson, Oliver Max Gardner, James Larkin Pearson, and Hardy Bryan Croom.
Geographic files contain pamphlets, clippings and miscellaneous published material relating to Africa, England, Europe (France, Venice, and Denmark), India, Latin America, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States (Calif., Ill., Ky., Mo., N.C., Tenn., and Va.). Much of the material, especially that concerning North Carolina, relates to historic buildings and architecture.
A single file pertains to libraries throughout the United States. The remainder of the files contain pamphlets, printed materials, and newspaper clippings concerning U.S. and, to a lesser extent, world topics.
The small collection of papers of Anne Christina Fletcher (1876-[1955?]), sister of John George Fletcher, is appended to the Inglis Fletcher Papers. A minor artist, Miss Fletcher lived and worked in New York City and Richmond, Virginia. For a time she was an instructor at the School of Art of the Art Club of Richmond and at the Richmond division of the College of William and Mary. The papers include general and financial correspondence, printed material, newspaper clippings, photographs, drawings, and a diary.
A folder of general correspondence provides scattered references to Anne Fletcher's commissions and art career. Letters (1907, 1908), including one from University of Virginia President Edwin Anderson Alderman, discuss the copy of a portrait of James Monroe she was to do for the university. Two letters (Apr. 1930) from evangelist Fenwicke Lindsay Holmes thank her for her assistance. Other letters (Oct. 1940, Dec. 1942) describe Holmes's activities. The Association of World War [I] Reconstruction Aides is discussed in mimeographed letter of Aug. 1939. Several letters (May-June 1942) describe the Art Appreciation Movement, a group dedicated to making inexpensive original art available. Letters (Oct.-Nov. 1948) also reveal Miss Fletcher's service as a Reconstruction Aide after World War I.
Financial correspondence (1926-1928) relates primarily to Miss Fletcher's investment in a vegetable farm near Melbourne, Florida, and its management by the Melbourne Farms Company. Letters reveal the cost of labor and supplies, prices received for produce, and, to a certain extent, farming practices in Melbourne. Other letters concern further investments, including land purchased in the Muscle Shoals section of Alabama. Correspondence (1937-1950) reveals her neglect of financial obligations and need for old age assistance from the City of Richmond.
Other papers (1925-1950, undated) include her manuscript of a speech on art and artists in early twentieth-century America, deeds and stock (The Melbourne Farms Company, the Pecano Manufacturing Company of Delaware, and the Nellie Meda Gold Mines of Arizona), and bills and receipts, most of which relate to the Melbourne Farms Company and Miss Fletcher's Muscle Shoals land.
Miscellaneous printed material reflects Anne Fletcher's career, her service as a Reconstruction Aide, and her interest in the farm at Melbourne. Notable among the papers are a menu for dinner aboard the USS Imperator (12 July 1919), a flyer of the Queen of Hearts (a candy kitchen, shortcake shop, lending library, and bridge club in the Greenwich Village area of New York City), and an award presented to Fletcher by the National League of American Pen Women in 1928.
Loose newspaper clippings (1899-1925, undated) and a scrapbook of clippings (1901-1903) reflect Miss Fletcher's early career.
Photographs include amusing views of Warren Alden Lord (1896, 1900), and pictures of Anne Fletcher and two of her portraits.
Also included in the collection are drawings by Anne Fletcher, a diary (1918) with brief notes for daily activities, a notebook listing Italian paintings in the Louvre, and a volume (ca. 1947) containing addresses and accounts relating to her art pupils.
Pamphlets and prints among the papers reflect Miss Fletcher's interest in art and artists. The pamphlets pertain primarily to art schools and art exhibitions in Richmond and New York City. Several pamphlets advertise artist supplies.
Considerable oversized material belonging to Inglis Fletcher reflects her interest in literature and world affairs. The newspapers are printed in the following places: Africa; North Carolina; New York City; Spokane, Washington; San Francisco; Nassau, Bahamas; Goldfield, Nevada; and England. Notable stories pertain to the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a march of Red Cross nurses in Spokane, and the tercentenary of the Bahamas. Among the oversized material are photographs, sketches by Anne Fletcher, Bobbs-Merrill's "Certificate of Loyalty to Inglis Fletcher of Bandon," a photograph of Two Profiles by Rudolf Sauter (1927), and detailed printed views of Edwardsville and Madison County, Illinois. Maps represent Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, Asia, Europe, the United States, North Carolina, the Pacific Ocean, and the world.
Gift of Inglis Fletcher
Gift of Dr. Junius W. Davis, Jr.
Gift of Mrs. Cabell Pruden
Gift of John B. Green III
Gift of Rosalie Boyd and Anne Rowe
Loaned by Elizabeth Ross
Gift of Connie A. Thomas
Processed by M. York; M. Elmore, November 1994
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Descriptions updated by Jennifer Overstreet, July 2020
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Bobbs-Merrill mss., 1885-1957 Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.