Brown, Abbie Farwell, 1871-1927. Papers of Abbie Farwell Brown, 1859-1927: A Finding
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© 1958 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: A-12
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Abbie Farwell Brown, 1871-1927
Title: Papers of Abbie Farwell Brown, 1859-1927
Quantity: 1.46 linear feet (3 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, etc., of Abbie Farrell Brown, children's book
By: Doreen Potter Hanna
Accession numbers: 53-50, 54-8
This collection of papers was presented to the Women's Archives of Radcliffe College
in 1953, and in 1954, by Miss Emily Steinbach (41 West Cedar Street, Boston, Massachusetts) who was the executrix of Miss Brown's
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Abbie Farwell Brown as well as copyright
in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Abbie Farwell Brown Papers, 1859-1927; item description, dates. A-12, folder #. Schlesinger
Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Such biographical material as is found with the papers is unorganized, and for the
most part must be gathered from newspaper articles. These sketches published in the
Sunday issues of the Boston Post, December 14, 1902, and Boston Herald, January 10,
1904, give appraisals and pictures of such contemporary writers as Katherine Lee Bates,
Margaret Deland, Alice Brown, and others. Abby Farwell Brown was born in Boston,
August 21, 1871, in the family home on Beacon Hill, one of the two daughters of Benjamin
and Clara (Neal) Brown. Her entire life was spent in this home, the season's interspersed
with holidays in the nearby countryside, or with travelling in Europe. She was surrounded
from childhood with a family tradition that was New England to the core.
Of her school associations the papers show she was valedictorian at Bowdoin School
in 1886. This was followed by attendance at the Latin School in Boston. Here she
was co-organizer and editor of a school paper, "The Jabberwock", to which she made
frequent contributions until graduation in 1891. During the years 1891-1892 and 1893-1894
Abby Brown was enrolled at Radcliffe College, and took a leading part in all the literary
and dramatic activities on campus.
Miss Brown had a reputation in literary circles before leaving college. She had published
in magazines many of her poems and short stories. In 1898 and 1899 a series of articles
under the heading of "Girl Gossip" were published in the St. Louis Globe Democrat,
and signed with the pseudonym, Jean Neal. The first trip to Europe in 1899 provides
the stimulus and inspiration for her first, published, children's book, "The Book
of Saints and Friendly Beasts", in 1900. Although this was followed by many other
books none appears to have been so successful.
Frequently Miss Brown was asked to lecture. Usually her talks were about the writing
of books for children, a subject upon which she held decided views. Her club memberships
included the Saturday Morning Club, Folk Lore Society, Author's League, Poetry Club
of America, and the New England Poetry Club of which she was president at one time.
Two outstanding friendships are apparent from these papers; one with Josephine Preston
Peabody (Mrs. Lionel Marks), the performance of whose prize play Miss Brown attended
in Stratford-on-Avon in 1910. The second was with Caroline Ticknor. Both of these
women had interests and backgrounds which paralleled her own. Included with these
papers is a tribute to Abby Farwell Brown which Miss Ticknor wrote, and published
in the Boston Transcript, March 23, 1927, following her death earlier in the month.
Lacking in the collection is the correspondence which would have revealed more intimately
the person, her charm and character. Only a few letters are included. Among them
are notes from Robert Hillyer, Grace Hazard Conkling, Senator Lodge, Katherine Lee
Bates, Jessie Rittenhouse, and Gamaliel Bradford. Included are four notes of sympathy
sent to Ethel Brown after her sister's death in March, 1927.
Abby Farwell Brown was a prolific writer. There is here a very complete chronological
collection of her stories, poems, and plays, beginning with her contributions to the
"Catkin" in 1879, and continuing to the end of her life. Many of her poems were set
to music and appear in collections of songs for school use. Most of her stories were
written for children and it was in the field of children's books, perhaps, that she
achieved her greatest success.
Papers include diaries of two trips abroad in 1899 and 1906; a charming drawing book;
7 volumes of poems in manuscript; manuscript of "The Boy Mozart"; unpublished; manuscript
of the May Queen," with music in ms by Helen A. Clarke; letters from eminent poets';
material by and about her mother, Clara Neal Brown.
Also much published material.
These papers are contained in four file boxes and an oversize package, the latter
being the libretto for the children's opera, "The May Queen", written by Abby Farwell
Brown, and the accompanying music composed by Helen A. Clarke. Chronologically arranged
the papers cover the years from 1859 to 1927. There are included around six hundred
loose items such as family photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, and school mementos,
as well as poems and short stories. Ten notebooks containing drawings and poetry
by Miss Brown are among the papers, also two diaries, two scrapbooks of book reviews,
and a record book of royalties received.
The earliest papers in the collection are those of Clara Neal, the mother of Abby
Farwell Brown, when she was a school girl at Hampton Academy in New Hampshire. These
and the copies of the literary magazine, The Catkin, which she produced cooperatively
with her children, furnish an insight into the source of those inherent artistic and
literary inclinations found in her daughters. Nothing in the collection indicates
what were the influences of Abby's father in her development.
- Box 1: 1-28
- Box 2: 29-42
- Box 3: 43-62
- Box 4: volumes 1-12
- 1. Brown, Clara Neal (Mrs. Benjamin F. Brown) (Mother of Abbie Farwell Brown):
- 2 postcards of Hampton Academy, Hampton, New Hampshire where Clara Neal was educated
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 1
n.d. The Violet. 2 pages.
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 2.
Hampton, September 24, 1859. A sunset. 2 pages.
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 4.
Hampton, October 19, 1859. The future. 2 pages.
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 1.
Hampton Academy, February 28, 1860 Memories. 2 pages.
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 2
March 21, 1860. Speak kindly. 2 pages.
- Compositions by Clara M. Neal, Hampton Academy (1859-1860): Composition number 9
n.d. The Shower. 3 pages.
- Book of poems: Love and change (2 pages in pencil and dated October 1862, bound in
contemporary yellow and blue wallpaper. Includes 4 drawings)
- The Evening star, a journal of literature and wit, Hampton Academy Lyceum. Vol.
III, No.1, Novenber 20, 1867. 4 page pencilled manuscript
- Children's sayings. 4 pages. Manuscript;
- Fleur-de-lis. 14 pages. Manuscript (story)
- The flight of Betty Whelk. 4 pages. Typescript (story)
- I give my love to Jamie. 1 page manuscript in red ink. (poem)
- John Gilpin. 2 pages in pencil. (poem)
- Quotations 7 page manuscript
- The spider and the fly. 5 pages. Manuscript (story)
- Sweet clover. magazine clipping
- 2 acceptances for articles for the Youth's Companion. Dated, February 18, 1911 and
April 20, 1917
- 1a. Photo of Clara Neal Brown.
FILED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS.
- 2. THE CATKIN, edited and published by Christopher 4 v. Manuscript; v. 4 incomplete.
- 3.Biography: Biographical material re Abbie Farwell Brown.
Diploma in Folio+ Box 1.
- 4.Biography: Pictures.
FILED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS.
- 5.Biography: My amateur theatricals
- 6.Letters. Abbie Farwell Brown 2 letters to father, Benjamin F. Brown, 1876; Abbie Farwell
Brown 2 letters to grandmother, Mrs. Harriet P. Neal, Andover (1876)
- 7.Letters. Letters to Abbie Farwell Brown 1892-1927:
- Conkling, Grace Hazard postcard, n.d.
- Rollins, Leighton. 4 pages. n.d.
- St. Nicholas Magazine. October 25, 1892. First acceptance of articles "Short and
- Morgan, Forrest. August 15, 1985 1 page.
- Swett, Sophie. April 17th 3 pages.
- Swett, Sophie. December 10, 1898 card
- Aubrey-Walker, E. Edith July 17, 1901. 4 pages. "To the Author of 'Saints and Friendly
- Lodge, H.C. January 2, 1904 1 page.
- Tetlow, John. Girls' Latin School, January 27, 1908. Re Abbie Farwell Brown's statement
and appeal to the School Committee.
- Coburn, Eleanor Hallowell Abbott. Wilton, New Hampshire, September 16, 1915. Re
Authors Club. 3 pages.
- McConathy, Osbourne M. Evansville, Illinois, April 17, 1918 Re use of her Abbie Farwell
Brown's songs, especially "Peace with a sword." 1 page.
- Bly, Jo. Field Hospital...7th Division, April 28, 1919. Re reading material and
his appreciation of Abbie Farwell Brown'S story "A song in passing." 1 page.
- Bates, Katharine Lee. Wellesley, Massachusetts, June 19, 1919. Re requiem that Abbie
Farwell Brown wrote "for Radcliffe's three daughters who wear the golden star;" also
note re Miss Hazard and Nancy Byrd. 4 pages.
- Rittenhouse, Jessie B. New York, June 11, 1920. Re "The pirate treasure" 1 page.
- Skilton, Charles S. Glenburnie...August 31, 1920. Re "The rock of liberty" and his
own work. 4 pages.
- Bradford, Gamaliel. Wellesley Hills, December 27, 1921. 1 page.
- Chadwick, George W. Boston, February 12, 1923. 1 page.
- Hillyer, Robert Cambridge (Pomfret), December 17, 1924. 2 pages. Autograph letter,
signed enclosing 2 page poem. "Saint Sylvius" (for Abbie Farwell Brown) Manuscript.
- Jackson, Minnie Ward. Boston, November 23, 1925. 2 pages. Typescript. Re Josephine
Preston Peabody Marks.
- Bates, Katharine Lee. Wellesley, January 25, 1926. 4 pages. Personal note written
when Abbie Farwell Brown's mother was ill.
- Bates, Katharine Lee. Wellesley, February 13, 1927. 2 pages. Typescript. Re help
in working on Josephine Preston Peabody's Collected poems. Letters to Ether C. Brown,
following Abbie Farwell Brown's death.
- Bates, Katharine Lee Wellesley, March 17, 1927. 1 page. enclosing clipping of poem
by Abbie Farwell Brown "To a gloomy poet."
- Sear, Clara Endicott. card: note of sympathy. n.d.
- Scaife, Roger. Boston, March 14, 1927. Note of sympathy.
- Scudder, Vida D. Wellesley, Lent I. 2 pages.
- 11.Early Writings: Early poems 5 pages. Manuscript.
- 12.Early Writings: Early School Papers 1861-1867
- 13.Early Writings: "I didn't think and the Princess Wisdom" (4 page manuscript), 1886
- 14.Early Writings: "Valedictory"-Class of 1886. Bowdoin School (8 page manuscript, includes
pressed bouquet 1886)
- 15.Early Writings: "A Midnight Tragedy, or Romance of Castle Montmorenci" (10 page manuscript,
- 16.Early Writings: "The Artful Dodgers" (12 pages, typescript, bound 1890s)
- 17.Early Writings: "Blots from the pen of Abbie Farwell Brown", 1887-1888 manuscript
volume (24 pages)
- 18.Early Writings: "Contributions from Abbie F. Brown, Editor '87-91 to the Jabberwock
1888-1892 manuscript volume (40 pages)
- 19.Early Writings: Clippings from the "Jabberwock": Abbie Farwell Brown's an editor 1889-
- 20.Early Writings: "To the 'S.E.C.' First Annual Banquet" (6 page manuscript), February
- 21.Early Writings: "Ode Ill of Horace" by Athenaeum, n.d. (4 page manuscript)
- 22.Early Writings: Articles by Jean Neal (pseudonym of Abbie Farwell Brown) published
in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat January 23, 1898-December 3, 1899 newspaper clippings:
- "Girl gossip" Jan. 23, 1898 Burning old letters...; January 30, 1898 A defense of
the tea habit...
- February 13, 1898 The old and the new valentine: How I would make love...
- February 20, 1898. Women's clubs: Jean Neal discusses their good influences and
- April 3, 1898. Calls and callers. Some things which an unsophisticated savage might
find difficult to understand
- April 11, 1898. The modern girl and athletics. How we have improved upon our grandmothers...
- May 22, 1898. A defense of the diary. A real help toward adequate oral expression...
- May 29, 1898. The minions of fashion. Some reflections upon the chains which bind
us all, man and women alike
- July 3, 1898. From sandal to shoe. The story of the evolution of the article of
apparel which women love most
- July 10, 1898. Women and the war. Men have deserted their idols...
- July 31 ? The summer man. The figure he cuts in the eyes of the summer girl
- October 2, 1898. Picnics and picnics. Whether they are bores or...
- January 29, 1899. A sure cure for the blues. Possibilities of a trip abroad...
- March 5, 1899. Anniversaries that thrill. A novel way of extracting daily entertainment
from the calendar
- April 30, 1899. May Day. Decline and decay of a charming festival
- May 7, 1899. The brotherless girl. Her advantages and disadvantages...
- June 11, 1899. Jean Neal of the "Engagements of One's Gentlemen Friends"
- July 30, 1899. Bachelor girls in Scotland
- September 10, 1899. Ribbon-rewards-of-France. The land of canals and windmills.
Four American girl's adventure...
- October 8, 1899. In the land of storks and beer. ...Bachelor girls in Kaiser William's
- October 22, 1899. Bachelor girls in the Alps. They discover the chamois is a sham...
- November 5, 1899. Bachelor girls in Paris
- November 19, 1899 Bachelor girls in London. Joys of English undefiled...
- December 3, 1899. Bachelor girls at Windsor Castle
- 23.Plays: "Dog Days" (16 page manuscript)
- 24.Plays: "The Fountain" an interlude (16 page typescript)
- 25.Plays: "The Guardian Angel, A Carolina Legend" by Abbie Farwell Brown...for music
by Charles Sanford Skilton (13 page typed copy)
- 26.Plays: "The Holiday" Cantata for children with borrowed music (16 and 2 page typescripts)
- 27.Plays: "The Lantern" a play for children in two acts (22 page typescript mimeograph)
- 28.Plays: "The Little Shadows"-A Christmas playlet (9 page typescript)
- 29.Plays: "The May Queen" Libretto ob Abbie Farwell Brown-for a comic operetta in one
act 30 page typescript. Signed; Music by Helen A. Clark; Music in MS; Program and
press clippings 1908; Program and press clippings 1910
- 30.Plays: "Old Saint Nick" (First unrevised Scenario) in three scenes
- 31.Plays: "Quits" a farce-comedy in two acts. March 6, 1891 22 page manuscript also
1, 11 page 9 page manuscript; "Quits" a comedy in one act Published edition in Radcliffe
Archives, Boston, Walter H. Baker and Co. 1896
- 32.Plays: "Rhoecus-a Masque" (19 page typescript with corrections c.p. 1909)
- 33.Plays: "The Summit" a cantata (5 pages typescript)
- 34.Plays: "The Rock of Liberty-a Pilgrim Ode-1620-1920" Libretto by Abbie Farwell Brown
- 35.Plays: "Swapping Day" play in one act (18 page typescript)
- 36.Plays: "The Tree" by "Jean Neal" (pseudonym) a masque in two divisions (1 page 20
- 37.Poems: "Jessica Jane": Jessica Jane in the South Seas 3 pages typescript; Jessica
Jane at the North Pole (3 pages typescript); Jessica Jane the Life Preserver (3 pages
- 38.Poems: "Mother's Own Book" Page proofs of poems published as the "Silver Stair" c.1926
- 39.Poems: "Peace With a Sword" a musical interpretation of America in War
- 40.Poems: Poems, written on her Mother's birthday, September 3, 1923; also c.1894
- 41.Poems: "The Swallow Song Poems set to music in Normal Music Course" c. 1884
- 42.Poems: "A Leaf is Softly Falling"
- 43.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "The Book of Saints and Friendly Beast"
- 43a.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "Reviews of Saints and Beasts" [scrapbook]
- 44.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "The Boy Mozart" Illustrated by Ethel C.
Brown 1910; Also: A.L.B. to M.A.B. Parker, Baker and Taylor Pub. Co.; Boston September
24, 1910; autograph letter, signed to Miss Brown from Osbourne McConatty. Chelsea,
December 6, 1910
- 45.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: Children's Books-notes for four talks 1921;
Also: "We need poetry" notes for talk at Stuart Club, November 3, 1921
- 46.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "A Garden Meditation" 1, (2 pages, typescript,
- 47.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "Joe: Private Detective" (6 pages, typescript
- 48.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "New England and the Undertaker" (6 pages,
typescript) Later than 1905? 1914
- 49.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "Pose and Prosetry" (4 pages, typescript)
- 50.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "Saint Nicholas Day and the Bay Bishop"
December 6 14 pages, manuscript. Signed; Also: notes-Salisbury and Boy Bishop
- 51.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "A Star for Cadic" 11p.; printed copy mounted.
1914 $500 prize story-Associated Sunday Magazines: July 12, 1914
- 52.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "William Lougespes of Salisbury" -notes-
- 53.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: "The Yankee Balloon" (9 pages, typescript)
- 54.Stories, and other articles - manuscripts: Unused material-Indian Legends-collected
by Miss Mary A. Johnson; Also: autograph letter, signed to Abbie Farwell Brown from
Mary A. Johnson And Philippine Folklore
- 55.Stories-Published: Stories for Children:
- "The Cheerful Winters-A Christmas Story"-in the Congregationalist and Christian World. December 1903.
- "Thankful Cats"- in the Churchman. November 23, 1907.
- "The Little Cassandra Turkey"- in the Interior, November 21, 1901.
- "The Dog Who Kept His Eyes Open"-in the Congregationalist.
- "To the Rescue"- in the Congregationalist November 28, 1908.
- "His Wonderful Arrow"-in Kindergarden and Congregationalist magazine, March 1926.
- "His Adopted Friend"-in Woman's House Companion, (1897).
- "Button, Button"-in the Companion, February 5, 1914.
- "The Educated Cat,"- in Good Housekeeping. September 1906.
- "The Sewing Circle"- in the Churchman, July 22, 1916.
- 56.Stories-Published: Stories for older girls:
- "Where the Arrow Pointed"-in Sunday School Advocate, volume 75, number 46-52, November 13-15, 1915.
- "The Prize Winner"- in the Churchman, January 11-February 15, 1908.
- "The Goldfish Globe"-in the Classmate, volume 23, number 3, January 15, 1916.
- "A Sisterly Office"- in the Household, volume 33, number 8, August 1899.
- "Winged Boots"- in the Young Churchman, n.d.
- 57.Stories-Published: Love Stories for Girls:
- "A Christmas Gift"- in the Woman's House Companion, December 1897
- "The Barn Stormers"- in the Ladies' World, volume 21, number 7, July 1900
- "The Inconsistent Romance"-in New England Magazine, February 1908
- "In the Fog"-in the Housewife, September 1897
- "The Dissolving of a Partnership" in the Ladies' World volume 23, number 9, 1902
- "The Tour of the Four"- in the Ladies' World, June 1898
- "The Burying of the Hatchet" - New England Magazine, July 1894
- "The Crab Tree"- in Munsey's Magazine, April 1900
- "The Way of Ruth"- in New England Magazine, March 1909
- 58.Stories-Published: "When Churchyards Yawn" short story winning Post award? date
- 59.Stories-Published: Children Stories:
- "The Dark Room"-in the Churchman, March 18, 1905.
- "The Faun Boys"-in the Churchman January 20, 1906.
- "The Mermaid's Necklace"-in the Churchman February 4 and 11, 1905.
- "Mr. Bear's Party"-Kindergarten Review, October 1910.
- "The Neighbor's Baby"-in American Baby, February 190?
- 60.Stories-Published: Stories:
- "A Star for Cadic"-in the Associated Sunday Magazine, July 12, 1914.
- "The Neighbor's Baby."
See Children's Stories.
- "The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus" in the Churchman, July 28, 1900.
- "Song in Passing"; 7. "An Inherited Tradition"-in the Sunday Magazine, December 14, 1913.
- "The Jankee Balloon" in the Churchman, July 1, 1905,
- "A Dish of Tea"-in Peterson's Magazine, August 1895,
- "The Man Who Played the Cymbals"-in the Interior, March 9, 1899.
- "Salaun, the Witless"-in the Churchman, November 1, 1902.
- "As Luck Would Have It" - in the Housewife, June 1896.
- "When the Churchyards Yawn"-In the Boston Post, September 15, 1896.
- "At the Opera" incomplete.
- "The Memory of Deacon Poole"?
- 61. Miscellaneous Published Items:
- "A Clover"-in the Harvard Advocate, volume 53, number 6, May 18, 1892.
- "At the Opera," October 1895.
- "A New Evening's Entertainment" in the Ladies' Home Journal, January 1895.
- "For an Evening Party," signed Boston Girl, in the Ladies' Home Companion, April 15, 1895.
- "A Ghost Party"-in Ladies' Home Companion, October 1, 1896.
- "A Valentine Party"-in Woman's Home Companion, February 1897.
- "A Topsy Turvy" in Woman's Home Companion September 1897.
- "His Freshman Romance" in Woman's Home Companion, Jan 1898.
- "A Home Run" in Vogue, March 17, 1898.
- "A Painted Conscience" in St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, May 1, 1898.
- "The Children's Crusade, A.D. 1212"-in the Radcliffe Magazine, volume 3, number 1, December 1900.
- "Neighbors" in Lippincott, Nov 1902; "The Square Fairies" in Sunday Magazine of the Sunday Post, July 30, 191??
- "Writing for Children'-in the Writer, volume 23, number 9, September 1911.
- "The Adventures of Jim, and John and Jane" published by Denison Manufacturing Co.
c. 1912 (unsigned).
- "Mystery of the Enchanted Oval" in Boston Post, January 25, 1914.
- 62. Catalogs etc. re books by Abbie Farwell Brown 1902-1911: Published by Houghton Mifflin;
Published by Button 1921
- 63. Reviews and Notices of "The Lucky Stone"
- 64f. Music Manuscript for The May Queen
- v.1. Diary, June-September 1899-trip to England
- v.2. Diary, April-July 1906-trip to Italy
- v.3. Drawing Book, 1887-1890
- v.6. Poems, v.1, 1901-1905
- v.7. Poems, v.2, 1905-1909
- v.8. Poems, v.3, 1909-1914
- v.9. Poems, v.4, 1914-1917
- v.11. Extracts, 1894-1916
- v.12. Record, royalties on books and poems, 1919-1944
The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented
in this collection.
An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS)
and other automated bibliographic
databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
American literature--20th century
Bates, Katharine Lee, 1859-1929
Brown, Clara Neal
Brown, Ethel C.
Clarke, Helen Archibald, -1926
Europe--Description and travel
Manuscripts (for publication)
Peabody, Josephine Preston, 1874-1922
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae
Ticknor, Caroline, 1866-1937