Mollie Garfield (Mary Garfield Stanley-Brown) papers regarding President James Garfield, 1874-1883

A Finding Aid to the Mollie Garfield papers regarding President James Garfield, 1874-1883, in the Archives of American Art, by Erin Corley

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Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Table of Contents:



Biographical Information

Mary "Mollie" Garfield (1867-1947) was born in Washington, D.C. to James A. Garfield and Lucretia Rudolph Garfield. She was 14 when her father became President of the United States in January, 1881. On July 2, James Garfield was shot at Union Station in Washington, D.C. and Mollie and her mother were present when he died of his wounds on September 19. Mollie Garfield's education included Miss Mittleberger's School in Cleveland, Ohio and one semester at Miss Porter's Finishing School in Farmington, Connecticut. She lived with her mother at the Garfield family home, Lawnfield, in Mentor, Ohio until her marriage in 1888 to Joseph Stanley-Brown, who had been her father's private secretary. She died in Pasadena, California at the age of 80.

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Overview of the Collection

Scope and Contents

The Mollie Garfield papers regarding her father President James Garfield date from 1874 to 1883 and consist primarily of an illustrated memorial album presented to Mollie after the assassination of her father in 1881. The album contains 26 signed pencil sketches, ink drawings, and watercolors of various subjects by American artists. Also found are a few items of correspondence and notes regarding the album and the artists, and a few scattered miscellaneous documents from the 1870s.

Arrangement and Series Description

Due to the small size of this collection, there is only one series consisting of five folders of 19 items. Items are arranged chronologically.

Subjects and Names

This collection is indexed in the online catalog of the Archives of American Art under the following terms:

Subjects:

  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881

Types of Materials:

  • Works of art
  • Presentation albums

Names:

  • Fenn, Harry, 1838-1911
  • Holmes, William Henry, 1846-1933
  • Pennell, Joseph, 1857-1926
  • Beard, James Carter, 1837-1913

Provenance

The collection was donated in 1970 by Mrs. Herbert (Ruth) Feis, daughter of Mollie Garfield.

Separated and Related Materials

The Mary Garfield Stanley-Brown papers, 1881-1967, are located at the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio.

How the Collection was Processed

The Mollie Garfield papers regarding President James Garfield were microfilmed on reel 865, and the album was conserved in 1989. The collection was fully processed by Erin Corley and digitized in 2007 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.


How to Use the Collection

Restrictions on Use

The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.

Ownership & Literary Rights

The Mollie Garfield papers regarding President James Garfield is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Available Formats

The collection was digitized in 2007 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website.

How to Cite this Collection

Mollie Garfield papers regarding President James Garfield, 1874-1883. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Detailed Description and Container Inventory

Series 1: Mollie Garfield papers regarding President James Garfield, 1874-1883
(Box 1; 19 items)

An illustrated memorial album presented to Mollie Garfield after the assassination of her father President James Garfield in 1881. The album contains 26 signed pencil sketches, ink drawings, and watercolors of various subjects by American artists. Among the painters and illustrators contributing to the album were James Carter Beard, Daniel Beard, Francis Lathrop, Frederick Dielman, Michael Woolf, W. H. Drake, William Hamilton Gibson, William Henry Holmes, Walter Shirlaw, Henry Sandham, Joseph Pennell, Harry Fenn, Allen Redwood, M. J. Burns, W. Taber, J. M. Nugent, Alfred Brennan, and others.

Also found are a few letters regarding the album, including a letter from Robert U. Johnson of Century Magazine to Colonel Rockwell, a friend of President Garfield, discussing how the album is being circulated to artists and apologizing for being slow to return it. Johnson also enclosed several autographs to present to Miss Garfield. Other correspondence includes a letter to Colonel Rockwell from A. W. Drake about one of the contributing artists, Allen Redwood, and Redwood's letter to Drake about the album. Other items include an unidentified person's handwritten notes on each of the contributing artists, and four earlier letters and four poems from the 1870s which were probably kept within the pages of the album as autograph items.

Box Folder
1 (pam) 1 Illustrated Memorial Album, 1882-1883
1 (pam) 2 Photographs of Album Pages (done by AAA), undated
(Not scanned)
1 (pam) 3 Correspondence Regarding Memorial Album, 1883
1 (pam) 4 Notes on Artists, circa 1883
1 (pam) 5 Miscellaneous Letters and Poems, 1874, circa 1870s-1883