Papers (1917-1981 [Bulk: 1917-1918]) consisting of correspondence, clippings, and political writings relating to Sallie Lucille "Chic" Lewis MacCracken Murphy, including letters received from Ira Penberthy, J. Lee Lindstrom, John Chapman, Jeff Lewis, R. E. Longan, Milton S. Hinkley, Peo C, Ughetta, soldiers in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I, and her friends and family, including Edna Lindstrom, Margaut J. Hatton, Marie C. Marietta, relating to their training, movements, and service in France, including the torpedoing of the troop transport SS TUSCANIA and the death of Lt. John Chapman during the Meuse Argonne Offensive; also political writings of Alan R. MacCracken, 1975-1981.
Sallie Lucille "Chic" Lewis, the recipient of most of the letters in the collection, lived in Waco, Texas, where most of the soldiers trained. In September 1918, Chic Lewis married William P. "Bill" MacCracken, Jr. (1888 - 1969) a Chicago lawyer who was serving as a military flight instructor at the Waco Airport. MacCracken was a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School (1911) and served in the Aviation Service in Waco, TX, where he served first as a student and later as an officer and flight instructor. Following the war, the MacCrackens moved back to Illinois where William resumed his legal career. In 1923, he became assistant to the Attorney General of Illinois in special charge of graft cases and was later assigned to the same work as Assistant State's Attorney for Cook County. Meanwhile, he maintained his interest in aeronautics being successively chairman of the Aeronautical Congress, Governor-at-Large and chairman of the Legislative committee of the National Aeronautical Association, and chairman of the American Bar Association's committee on the law of aeronautics. In the 1920s, he became a prominent member of the Chicago and Illinois Bar Associations and was Secretary of the American Bar Association from 1925 to 1936. In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge appointed him as Assistant Secretary of Commerce responsible for civil aviation. Mr. McCracken was the first federal officer to regulate civil aviation. During the Hoover Administration, Mrs. MacCracken became friendly with Lou Henry Hoover, the First Lady, and had tea with her on a weekly basis. He resigned in 1929 to enter private practice in Washington, DC. The couple had two children, William Lewis MacCracken (1924 – 1969) and Nell Elizabeth MacCracken (1921 – 2001). Following MacCracken's death in 1969, Sallie married retired Vice Admiral Vincent R. Murphy (1896 - 1974).
The collection is arranged in original order in a single series approximately in chronological order.
The collection consists of 93 items, primarily relating to American soldiers in the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during and after World War I, including letters, newspaper clippings, photographic prints and a postcard that were received by Miss Sallie Lucille "Chic" Lewis, of Waco, Texas. Many of the letters are from Supply / Quartermaster Sergeant John Lee Lindstrom, 107th Engineer Train, AEF, of Marquette, Michigan to his parents and fiancee. The bulk of his correspondence deals with Lindstrom's time spent in Europe, including his stationing in France and his survival after his ship, the TUSCANIA, was sunk by a U-boat in the Irish Sea. Included are descriptions of the attack, the loss of life, rescue by British destroyers, and the gradual reassembly of survivors in Ireland, Scotland, and England. Other information relates to camp life, the lack of mail service, relations with the British and French, some of the first women nurses in the Army, YMCA activity, speeches to and field trips for the troops, and a dispute between Michigan and Minnesota over Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A clipping, from a Marquette, Michigan, newspaper (title missing), pertains to the rescue of Lindstrom and another Marquette man and the notification of their families. Typed copies are included for each of the four letters.
Many of the other letters are from 1st Lt. John A. Chapman, 125th Infantry Regiment, 63rd Infantry Brigade, AEF and relate to his training, and service in France. The final letters from 1918-1919 pertain to the death of John Chapman from war wounds. Most of the newspaper clippings pertain to reports on the sinking of the TUSCANIA and the safety of various passengers.
The collection also includes a small number of personal writings from years after the war, up to and including 1944, and a trio of political essays and a letter to the editor of the Washington Post by Alan R. MacCracken dating from 1975, 1976, and 1981.
August 21, 1996 (addition 1), 74 items; Correspondence (1917-1918) from members of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Donor: Ms. Nell MacCracken
Gift of Mrs. Vincent R. Murphy
Gift of Ms. Nell MacCracken
Processed by F. Elliott, September 1986; Encoded by Apex Data Services, 2001; re-processed & inventoried by Adam Modlin, 5 May 2013; revised by Jonathan Dembo, 6 November 2013.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.