McLean-Myers Papers

Manuscript Collection #533
Myers family; McLean family
Physical description
0.43 Cubic Feet, 108 items , consisting of correspondence, clippings, a travel diary, literary manuscripts, and photographs.
Preferred Citation
McLean-Myers Papers (#533), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1909-1961) including correspondence, clippings, a travel diary, literary manuscripts, photographs, Civil War references, invitations, telegrams, anecdotes.

Biographical/historical information

Mary Morford McLean was a fledgling author and poet who was married to botanist Forman T. McLean. Their son John H. McLean married a daughter of William Starr Myers, professor of political science at Princeton University and author of numerous books on political and historical topics including the Republican Party and the Hoover Administration. The McLeans spent six years in the Philippines where McLean was professor of botany at the University of the Philippines Agricultural College at Los Banos. During this time they traveled extensively in China, Japan, and the Far East.

Scope and arrangement

The collection's correspondence is divided into letters belonging to Mary McLean, William Starr Myers, and Mrs. William Starr Myers (Margaret Barr). The early correspondence of Mary McLean concerns a steamer trip in which are descriptions of large icebergs (November 7 and 14, 1920), Melbourne, Australia and Thursday Island (December 2, 1920-January 6, 1921), and a water spout (January 6, 1921). Later correspondence concerns World War II home life, the novels of Ann Miller Downes, Mary McLean's manuscript, "Land of the Nilads," and the practicalities of publishing and royalties (1940-1961).

The correspondence of William Starr Myers concerns a variety of topics and pertains to the reapportionment after the 1920 census (Scoville Hamlin, September 28, 1928); General George McLellan and other Civil War commanders (November 20, 1935, July 24, 1937); criticism of an article by Herbert Hoover on World War I (October 29, 1939); and opinions about the Republican Party and the larger governmental structure (November 29, 1949).

The correspondence of Mrs. William Starr Myers includes information about the decoration and arrangement of homes (October 15, 1912) and the donation of Mr. Myers's manuscripts and books to Princeton University (December 2, 1947, May 24-December 27, 1956).

The collection also contains a travel diary (1919) that recounts the journey of the McLean family from Manila to China and Japan. Described are the cities of Hong Kong, Canton, Kobe, Tokyo, Nikko, and Kyoto; dress; purchases; sightseeing; topography; river steamers; and political troubles in China. Photographs and post cards are found throughout the diary.

A file of newspaper clippings contains information on the Civil War and Whitelaw Reid (1938) and information on William Starr Myers as well as reviews of the novels of Ann Miller Downes. Other materials include two typescript manuscripts (one of which appears under her pen name Osborn Morford) of Mary McLean's unpublished "Land of the Nilads," a novel set in the Philippines that describes the development of a wealthy family in the early twentieth century; photographs of Barron Falls, Australia, and John Norris Myers; and miscellaneous materials such as invitations, telegrams, and anecdotes.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 26, 1987, 67 items; Papers (1919-1961) including correspondence to Mrs. Forman T. McLean and Professor William Starr Myers from authors Ann Miller Downes, Merwin K. Hart, Scoville Hamlin, and George Fort Milton, along with clippings concerning their books.

December 8, 1987, 9 items; Diary (1919) of travels in China and Japan, correspondence (1920-1921), photographs, and two copies of a literary manuscript entitled "Land of the Nilads."

January 25, 1990, 32 items; Correspondence and clippings. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. McLean, Chapel Hill, NC.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. McLean

Processing information

Processed by M. Boccaccio, January 1988

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
McLean, Mary Morford
Myers, Margaret Barr
Myers, William Starr, 1877-1956
Family Names
McLean family
Myers family
Authors, American
Australia--Description and travel
China--Description and travel
Japan--Description and travel
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Container list
Box 1 Correspondence; Travel Diary; Clippings; "Land of the Nilads"
Box 2 "Land of the Nilads; " Photographs; Miscellaneous Items