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Abbott Handerson Thayer and Thayer family papers, 1851-1999, bulk 1881-1950

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 10 series. Glass plate negative is housed separately and closed to researchers.

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1878-circa 1966
(Box 1; 9 folders)

Biographical material includes a brief autobiographical statement by Abbott Thayer and a chronology of his artwork and family activities from 1880 to 1921. Also found is the French birth certificate for Thayer's son William Henry Thayer, newspaper obituaries for Emma Beach Thayer, and lists of artworks by Abbott Thayer and Gladys Thayer Reasoner. A biographical sketch written by David Reasoner about the early life of his daughter, Jean Reasoner Plunket, and Jean's genealogy research on the Thayer and Plunket families are filed here.
Description Container Select
Abbott Handerson Thayer Autobiographical Summary and Chronology, 1907, 1921
1
1
Abbott Handerson Thayer, Exhibition Tickets, 1897, 1908
1
2
Emma Beach Thayer Obituaries, 1924
1
3
Birth Certificate for William Henry Thayer, 1878
1
4
Lists of Artwork by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1922
1
5
Lists of Portraits Painted by Gladys Thayer Reasoner, circa 1930
1
6
Gladys Thayer Reasoner's Address Book, circa 1905
1
7
Jean Reasoner Plunket Biographical Sketches, circa 1943
1
8
Genealogy for Thayer and Plunket Families, circa 1966
1
9

Series 2: Correspondence , 1867-1987
(Box 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)

Personal and professional correspondence of the Thayer family is found in this series. The bulk of the correspondence belongs to Abbott Handerson Thayer and his second wife Emma Beach Thayer, although several folders are for Thayer's first wife Kate Bloede Thayer. Correspondence is also found for Thayer's daughter Gladys Thayer Reasoner and her husband David Reasoner and other family members, including Mary Thayer Birch, Gerald Thayer, and Jean Reasoner Plunket.
The Correspondence series has been arranged primarily by individual family member or general correspondence into 6 subseries:
  • Subseries 2.1: Abbott Handerson Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1921
  • Subseries 2.2: Emma Beach Thayer Correspondence, 1865-1924
  • Subseries 2.3: Kate Bloede Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1889
  • Subseries 2.4: Gladys Thayer Reasoner Correspondence, 1907-1943
  • Subseries 2.5: David Reasoner Correspondence, 1918-1954
  • Subseries 2.6: General Correspondence, 1883-1987
2.1: Abbott Handerson Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1921
Abbott Handerson Thayer's correspondence consists primarily of letters to Thayer, but includes a few handwritten copies or drafts of his outgoing letters. Found here are numerous personal letters to and from family members, including his daughters Mary and Gladys (Galla), his son Gerald (Gra), and his wife Emma (also known as Addie), as well as nephews, nieces, sisters, cousins, and other extended family. There is correspondence with his patrons Charles L. Freer and John Gellatly; with many artists, several of whom were close friends, including Samuel Colman, Thomas Millie Dow, Daniel Chester French, Richard Meryman, Everton Sainsbury, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, and E. M. Taber; and former students, such as Ben Foster and Barry Faulkner; with other friends, many of them prominent members of society, such as Samuel Clemens, Royal Cortissoz, Edward Waldo Emerson, and Stanford White. A large amount of Thayer's correspondence concerns his research on protective coloration in nature and the publication of his book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom. To pursue and defend his theories on concealing coloration, especially as applied to birds, he corresponded with many notable naturalists, biologists, ornithologists, and collection curators. Most notable is his extensive correspondence with Sir Edwin Bagnall Poulton, a British zoologist, and draft letters to Theodore Roosevelt, in defense and promotion of his work. He corresponded with many, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and the War Office in London, promoting his theory on the value of concealing coloration for warships and the military. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent and chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Allen, Francis, 1909-1915
1
10
A, 1904-1918
  • Adams, Charles C.
  • Adams, Jenny S.
  • Allen, John E.
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters
1
11
Bartsch, Paul, 1914-1917
1
12
Beach, Ella, circa 1891-1914
1
13
Beach, Moses S. & Chloe, 1882-circa 1890
1
14
Beach, Violet, 1890-circa 1915
1
15
Birch, Fred & Mary Thayer, 1897-1914
1
16
Bowditch, Vincent Y., 1883, 1915-1916
1
17
Brewster, William, 1902-1911
1
18
Ba-Be, 1890s-1918
  • Baird, J. A.
  • Barton, C. Vanderbilt
  • Battin, Benjamin
  • Bayard, Fairfax
  • Beach, Charles
  • Beatty, John W.
  • Bell, Arthur G.
  • Bell, F. Jeffrey
  • Benson, Frank
1
19
Bi-Bu, 1902-1921
  • Birch, Elsie
  • Birch, Mrs. (Fred Birch's mother)
  • Blashfield, Edwin Howland
  • Bloede, Victor G.
  • Bonnat, Mr.
  • Braun, John F.
  • Brenton, Albert G.
  • Brown, H. S.
  • Bruce, Charles M.
  • Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
  • Bureau des Inventions, Ministere de l'Armement
  • Burlingham, L. L.
  • Burroughs, John
1
20
Clemens, Samuel L., 1905-1909
1
21
Colman, Samuel, 1913, 1915
1
22
Cortissoz, Royal, 1916-1917
1
23
Ca-Cl, 1897-1918
  • Cabot, Mrs. Arthur (Susie)
  • Cabot, Elise Pumpelly
  • Cabot, W. B.
  • Calkins, Professor
  • Carnegie, Andrew
  • Carr, Albert
  • Cattell, J.
  • Channing, Anna K.
  • Cheney, Frederick E.
  • Churchill, Winston
  • Clark, Austin H.
  • Clark, Edgar
  • Clark, John S.
  • Clarke, Samuel F.
1
24
Co-Cu, 1911-1918
  • Cockerell, Theo. D. A.
  • Codair, Ernest W.
  • Coffin, William A.
  • Contant, R. B.
  • Coolidge, Dr. A.
  • Coolidge, John T.
  • Cooper, Susan Fenimore
  • Crandall, L. S.
  • Cunard S. S. Line
1
25
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1883-1896
1
26-27
D, 1910-1918
  • Davis, Livingston
  • Dewing, Thomas Wilmer
  • Dwight, Daniel A.
1
28
Eckstorm, Fannie, 1906-1917
1
29
Emerson, Edward Waldo, 1910-1914
1
30
E, 1897-1915
  • Endicott, William
  • Ewart, Professor
1
31
Forbes, Alexander, 1914-1916
1
32
Foster, Ben, 1915
1
33
Freer, Charles L., 1893-1916
1
34
French, Daniel Chester, 1916-1918
1
35
Fa-Fi, 1904-1921
  • Farmborough, Percy W.
  • Faulkner, Barry
  • Fenn, Roger
  • Fischer, Dr. Martin H.
  • Fisher, Ned
1
36
Fo-Fu, 1907-1916
  • Forbush, Edward Howe
  • Forest and Stream
  • Franck, Peter
  • Fuertes, Louis Agassiz
1
37
Gellatly, John, 1910-1918
1
38
G, 1893-1917
  • Gérôme, Jean-Léon
  • Grave, Caswell
  • Green, H. S.
  • Greene, Mary Amory
  • Grovenor, Gilbert H.
  • Guthrie, W. N.
1
39
Handerson, Esther, 1889-1895
1
40
H, 1911-1919
  • Hardy, Walter M.
  • Hatch, Rob
  • Hawthorne, Charles W.
  • Hazen, John D.
  • Hemenway, Mr.
  • Hill, Mrs.
  • Hodge, C. F.
  • Holbrook, Mrs. Frederick
  • Hutchins, Professor
1
41
James, William & Alice, 1910-1920
1
42
J-K, 1903, 1914-1916
  • James, Angela?
  • Johnson, R. U.
  • Kurtz, W. M.
1
43
Longley, W. H., 1916-1918
1
44
L, 1899-1920
  • Lankester, Edwin Ray
  • Latham, Mrs. C. F.
  • Lay, Wilfrid
  • Leicester
  • Library of Congress
  • Life magazine
  • Lillie, Frank R.
  • Lucas, Frederic A.
1
45
Meryman, Richard (Wig), 1916-1919
1
46
Ma, 1892, 1908-1919
  • Macbeth Galleries
  • Mackintosh, Henry S.
  • Macmillan Company
  • MacVeagh, Franklin
  • Manship, Paul
  • Marshall, Guy A. K.
  • Masefield, John
  • Mathewson, Dr.
  • Mayer, Alfred G.
  • Mayor's Committee on Cultivation of Vacant Lots by the Unemployed
1
47
Me-Mu, 1896-1924
  • Mead, Teddy
  • Mercur, Dr. William H.
  • Merriam, Clinton Hart
  • Minnigerode, C. Powell
  • Moloney, Governor
  • Momber, E. A.
  • Morris, Mr.
1
48
N-O, 1913-1921
  • National Academy of Design
  • Olcott, Adeline Cheney
  • Old Colony Trust Company
  • Oldys, Henry
1
49
Poulton, Sir Edward Bagnall, 1898-1915
(2 folders)
1
50-51
Poulton, Sir Edward Bagnall, Undated Letters, circa 1898-1915
(3 folders)
1
52-54
P, 1902-1915
  • Packard, Alpheus Spring
  • Parker, G. H.
  • Patten, Mary C.
  • Peabody, Francis Greenwood
  • Pepper, Charles H.
  • Perabo, Ernst
  • Perkins, Katrine C.
  • Pocock, R. I.
  • Psychological Laboratory, Cornell University
  • Putnam, A. P.
1
55
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, 1897-1919
1
56
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 1917-1918
1
57
Roosevelt, Theodore, circa 1910
1
58
Q-R, 1903-1917
  • Quelch, Joe
  • Rand, Mr.
  • Reusch, Hans & Helga
  • Rice, James Henry
  • Richards, Patty
  • Robbins, Reginald C.
  • Robinson, B. L.
  • Robinson, Scott
1
59
Sainsbury, Everton, 1876-1882
1
60
Sa-Sl, 1896-1922
  • Sackett, Edith S.
  • Sainsbury, Harrington
  • Sears, Sara C.
  • Secretary of the Admiralty
  • Shelden, C. S.
  • Shurtleff, Roswell Morse
  • Shurtleff, William H.
  • Slack, Julia L.
  • Sloane, William M.
1
61
Sm-St, 1899-1919
  • Smith, William Lord
  • Southwick, E. B.
  • Stephens, T. C.
  • Stillman, Clara
1
62
Taber, E. M. & Frances F. Holt (Taber's sister), 1890-1913
(3 folders)
1
63-65
Thayer, Emma Beach, 1881-1919
(2 folders)
1
66-67
Thayer, Emma Beach, Undated Letters, circa 1881-1919
1
68
T-V, 1890, 1907-1916
  • Thayer, David
  • Thayer, Gerald
  • Tiffany, Louis Comfort
  • Tryon, Dwight W.
  • Van Norden, Ottomar H.
  • Von Wittenburg, Marie
1
69
War Office, London, 1916-1917
1
70
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1904-1917
1
71
Wa-We, 1896-1918
  • Walker, H. O.
  • Wallace, Alfred R.
  • Walton, Blanche W.
  • Warren, Gretchen
  • Watkins & Doncaster
  • Webster, Arthur Gordon
  • Weigels, Mrs.
  • Weld, George F.
  • Wellesley College
  • Wentworth, N.
1
72
Wh-Wy, 1882-1917
  • White, Stanford
  • Wilcox, W. D.
  • Wild Life Protection League of America
  • Wilson, Woodrow
  • Wyeth, N. C.
  • Wylie, J. E.
1
73
Y-Z, 1889, 1916
  • Yale University
  • Zuler?, H. Morris
1
74
Unidentified Correspondents, 1891-1918
1
75
Unidentified Correspondents, Fragments, circa 1880-1920
1
76
2.2: Emma Beach Thayer Correspondence, 1865-1924
This subseries contains the correspondence of Emma Beach Thayer, also known as Addie by her family, and document her personal life, family relationships, and management of Abbott Thayer's legacy. Found here is a large amount of correspondence with family members, including her step-daughters Mary and Gladys, her step-son Gerald, as well as her parents, sisters, nephews, nieces, and other extended family. Also found is extensive correspondence with her friend, and Thayer's first wife, Kate Bloede Thayer. Much of her correspondence is with the same people who corresponded with Abbott Thayer, but also includes other friends, most notably, Henry Ward Beecher.
After 1916 Emma managed much of Abbott Thayer's correspondence due to his poor health, and included here are a few letters regarding the sale or exhibition of his artwork. Many of the letters found here are condolences to Emma after Abbott's death in 1921, including many letters from artists and friends expressing thoughts and memories of his life. There are also letters from Emma to many of Abbott's friends requesting his letters or copies of his for a planned book of Thayer's correspondence.
Researchers should note that correspondence between Emma and Abbott is arranged in subseries 2.1. Emma's correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name and chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
A, 1905, 1921-1923
  • Addams, Jane
  • Allen, Glover M.
  • Allen, Irene C.
  • Allen, Nellie Wright
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • American Federation of Arts
  • Andrews, Robert D.
  • Atlantic Monthly
  • Ayres, Philip W.
1
77
Beach, Moses S. & Chloe (parents), 1865-1866, 1870, 1902
1
78
Beach, William & Mabel, 1902
1
79
Beecher, Henry Ward, 1870-1883
(2 folders)
1
80-81
Benson, Frank W., 1921-1923
1
82
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1891-1923
(7 folders)
1
83-89
Ba-Bi, 1878, 1914-1922
  • Backhouse, Irene
  • Barker, Virgil
  • Bartsch, Paul
  • Bayard, Mabel
  • Beach, Ella
  • Beatty, Mr.
  • Beaulieu, Bessie Price
  • Bigelow, Henry B.
  • Birch, Elsie
1
90
Bl-Bu, 1917-1923
  • Blashfield, Edwin Howland
  • Bowditch, Nancy
  • Bowditch, Vincent Y.
  • Brackett, Mary A.
  • Bradley, Susan H.
  • Braun, John F.
  • Brown, Demetra & Kenneth
  • Browne, George & Emily H.
  • Brush, George de Forest
  • Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
  • Burlingham, L. L.
1
91
Clemens, Samuel, circa 1880s, 1905
1
92
Cortissoz, Royal, 1917, 1921-1923
1
93
C, 1917-1922
  • Carr, W. S.
  • Channing, Anna K.
  • Churchill, Alfred
  • Coffin, Grace P.
  • Coffin, William A.
  • Cole, Kate Foote
  • Cole, Timothy
  • Contant, R. B.
  • Coolidge, John T.
  • Curtis, Benjamin
1
94
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1884-1888
1
95
D-E, circa 1900-1922
  • Dewing, Maria Oakey
  • Dewing, Thomas Wilmer
  • Dickerson, Roy E.
  • Dow, Florence E.
  • Elliot, Mary
  • Emerson, Annie S.
  • Emerson, Edward W.
1
96
Freer, Charles L., 1915-1918
1
97
French, Daniel Chester, 1917-1922
1
98
Fuertes, Louis Agassiz, 1921-1923
1
99
F, 1907-1923
  • Faulkner, Barry
  • Field, Mary D.
  • Fischer, Dr. Martin H.
  • Forbes, Alexander
  • Foster, Ben
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Fuller, Lucie Fairchild
1
100
Gellatly, John, 1917-1922
(3 folders)
2
1-3
G, 1920-1923
  • Gab__?, Clara C.
  • Gould, Laura Stedman
  • Goodnow, W. L.
  • Gulick, Alida Carey
2
4
H, 1916-1923
  • Hassam, Childe
  • Hawthorne, Charles W.
  • Hawthorne, Marion
  • Hazen, John D.
  • Historical Press Association
  • Hemenway, Mr.
  • Holt, Florence F.
  • Houghton Mifflin Company
2
5
James, William & Alice, 1921-1924
2
6
J-L, 1906-1927
  • Jenkins, Elizabeth F.
  • John Lane Company
  • Kent, Rockwell
  • Keyes, Alicia
  • Kittredge, S. Dana
  • Low, Will H.
2
7
M, 1921-1923
  • Macbeth, Robert W.
  • MacKaye, Percy
  • MacVeagh, Franklin
  • Masefield, J.
  • Mason, John?
  • McIlvane, William M.
  • Merriman, Charlotte B.
  • Minnigerode, C. Powell
  • Morris, Harrison S.
2
8
N-P, 1918-1924
  • National Association of Audubon Societies
  • Of, George Ferdinand
  • Pabrelivitsch?, Mme. Ossip
  • Pepper, Charles H.
  • Pevey?, Eustace
  • Powell, Caroline
  • Powers, Henrietta
  • Putnam, James J.
2
9
Reasoner, David, 1920-1924
2
10
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, 1910-1923
(5 folders)
2
11-15
Reasoner, Gladys Thayer, Undated Letters, circa 1910-1923
2
16
Rice, James Henry, 1921-1924
2
17
R-S, 1913-1924
  • Reilly, Mary S.
  • Roosevelt, Edith K.
  • Sackett, Edith S.
  • Sainsbury, Grace E.
  • Sargent, John Singer
  • Sears, Mrs.
  • Sharman, John
  • Shurtleff, Clara E.
  • Slack, Julia
  • Smart, Ann Wentworth
  • Smith, Annie Morrill
  • Smith, H. A. Hammond
  • Stillman, Evangeline
  • Stone, Ellen J.
2
18
Thayer, Gerald H., 1917, 1921-1923
(2 folders)
2
19-20
Thayer, Kate Bloede, 1881-1887
(5 folders)
2
21-25
Thayer, Kate Bloede, Undated Letters, circa 1881-1887
2
26
T-V, 1891, 1908-1924
  • Thayer, Dr. William & Ellen Handerson
  • Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service
  • Troccoli, Giovanni B.
  • Tryon, Dwight W.
  • Twitchill?, Charlotte H. P.
  • Van Loon, Elize Bowditch
  • Von Villern, Wilhelmina
  • Vose, Robert C.
2
27
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1905-1924
(5 folders)
2
28-32
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, Undated Letters, circa 1905-1924
2
33
W-Y, 1916-1924
  • Walker, Henry O.
  • War Office, London
  • Wheeler, Emma H.
  • White, Lawrence Grant
  • Whiting, Sue Thayer
  • Whiting, Winifred Harris
  • Whitney, Douglas
  • Wister, Owen
  • Wyeth, Annie W.
  • Wyeth, N. C.
  • Yale University
2
34
Unidentified Correspondents, 1867-1923
2
35
2.3: Kate Bloede Thayer Correspondence, 1881-1889
Kate Bloede Thayer's correspondence documents family activities and friendships during the 1880s. Included are letters in German from her grandfather, letters from her brother, Victor, and several letters from her daughter Mary sent during Kate's time at a sanatorium. Also found are letters from artist friends including Arthur Bell, Thomas Millie Dow, and Lewis T. Ives. Dow's letters discuss his travels in Europe, his current artwork, mutual friends such as Arthur Bell, and other general news. Ives's letters also discuss mutual friends and general news. Letters from Kate to her in-laws, William and Ellen Thayer, discuss family news and news of Abbot's work. Other correspondence, arranged alphabetically, contains letters from family and friends. Correspondence between Kate Bloede Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer is found with Emma Beach's correspondence.
Description Container
Bloede, Grandpa, 1881-1884
2
36
Bloede, Victor, 1887
2
37
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1888-1889
2
38
Dow, Thomas Millie, 1881-1886
2
39
Ives, Lew. T., 1882-1888
2
40
Thayer, Dr. William & Ellen Handerson, 1881-1887
(3 folders)
2
41-43
B-H, 1882-1888
2
44
M-S, 1887-1889
2
45
Unidentified letter fragments, 1880s
2
46
2.4: Gladys Thayer Reasoner Correspondence, 1907-1943
The correspondence of Gladys Thayer Reasoner, a.k.a Galla, documents family activities and her friendships. Found here are letters to and from family members, including her sister Mary, her brother Gerald (known as Gra), nephews, nieces, and other extended family, such as her cousins in the Foster and Whiting families. Additional letters are from friends, including Randolph Bourne, Frances Burns, Evangeline Stillman, Blanche Walton, and others. Gladys also maintained correspondence with Thayer family friends, who were friends of her parents, or members of the Dublin, New Hampshire community in which they lived, such as Mary Amory Greene, John Gellatly, Richard Meryman, Raphael Pumpelly, and Jay and Philip Whelpley. Gladys' correspondence is also found in the subseries containing her father and stepmother Emma Beach Thayer correspondence.
Description Container
Birch, Elsie, 1916-1936
2
47
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1916-1927
2
48
Bourne, Randolph, 1915-1916
2
49
Buckley, Lily, 1917-1922
2
50
Burns, Frances L., circa 1920-1935
2
51
B, 1912-1937
  • Beach, Violet
  • Beaulieu, Mary
  • Berlingham, Robert
  • Bloede, Victor G.
  • Bowditch, Vincent Y.
  • Buckley, Lou
2
52
C-D, 1907-1943
  • Cameron, Hugh A.
  • Clemens, Jean
  • Comstock, Charlie L.
  • Cortissoz, Royal
  • Daniels, George E.
  • Dow, Florence E.
2
53
Fisher, Eleanor, 1908-1922
2
54
Fisher, Faith H. (Mrs. William F. Fenn), 1928-1936
2
55
Fisher, Richard & Nina, 1939-1935
2
56
F, 1911-1935
  • F., W. W.
  • Faulkner, Barry
  • Fisher, Ellen Thayer
  • Forbes, Alexander
  • Franck, Peter
2
57
G-H, 1909-1942
  • Gellatly, John
  • Gleason, John R.
  • Goldschmidt, Anita
  • Greene, Mary Amory
  • Harvard College, Museum of Comparative Zoology
  • Hoen, A. B.
  • Hu_?, Evan
2
58
J, 1911-1936
  • James, Henry
  • James, Nina Marion
  • James, William
  • Jenkins, Elizabeth F.
2
59
K-L, 1908-1935
  • Keane, Polla Price
  • Kellogg, Foster S.
  • Kittredge, Anna M.
  • Kleb, Sarah M.
  • Lord, Ruth Whiting
  • Lowder, Isabel
2
60
M-O, 1922-1937
  • MacVeagh, Eames
  • Martin, Polly (Mrs. G. Rainsford Martin)
  • Meryman, Richard S. (Wig)
  • Nautilus Beach Club
  • Ohta family
2
61
Palmer, H. P., 1935-1937
2
62
P, 1911-1937
  • Page, Arthur W.
  • Paramount Pictures Distributing Corporation
  • Percy, Eustace
  • Pinkham, M.
  • Public Works of Art Project
  • Pumpelly, Raphael
  • Putnam, Shirley
2
63
Reasoner, David, 1921-1923
2
64
R, 1922-1924
  • Reasoner, Mrs. (David's Mother)
  • Reasoner, Nan
  • Rodakiewicz, Eva
2
65
Stillman, Michael & Evangeline, 1909-1935
2
66
S, 1911, 1920s
  • Schurmeier, Theodora
  • Stokes, Rose Paxton
2
67
Thayer, Gerald H., 1908-1936
2
68
T, 1911-1941
  • Tax Commissioner
  • Thayer, Alma
  • Thayer, Bernie
  • Tish, Hay
  • Treasury Department, Public Works of Art Project
  • Tryon, Dwight W.
2
69
Walton, Blanche W., 1923-1937
2
70
Whelpley, Jay & Philip, 1907-1937
(4 folders)
2
71-74
Whiting, Susan Thayer, 1928-1936
2
75
W, 1912-1943
  • W., Marion W.
  • Wangler, Kathy & Albert McCreery
  • War Department
  • Warner, Langdon
  • White, Nelson C.
  • Whiting, Rose
  • The Woman Citizen
  • Wynne, Annette
2
76
First Names Only: A-H, 1912-1936
2
77
First Names Only: J-R, 1907-1936
2
78
2.5: David Reasoner Correspondence, 1918-1954
David Reasoner's correspondence is primarily with family and friends, such as Emma Beach Thayer's sister, Violet, and from Mary Thayer Birch discussing Emma's estate, Gerald's ill health, and other family news. David Reasoner also corresponded with John Gellatly concerning the sale of Abbott Thayer's paintings, and with Gerald Thayer concerning financial matters. Other alphabetical correspondence is with Thayer and Reasoner family members, people working on books or requesting information on Abbott Thayer, museums exhibiting Thayer's work, and people interested in purchasing artwork by Thayer. Also found are letters concerning the deaths of Reasoner's mother, his wife Gladys, and his son Allen. The bulk of the David Reasoner correspondence concerning the estates of Abbott H. Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer is found in Series 4: Estate Papers.
Description Container
Beach, Violet, 1924-1932
2
79
Birch, Mary Thayer, 1924
2
80
Gellatly, John, 1924-1928
2
81
Thayer, Gerald, 1922-1930
2
82
A-B, 1921-1949
2
83
C-D, 1925, 1946-1947
3
1
F-G, 1924-1936
3
2
H-J, 1925-1947
3
3
L-P, 1922-1936, 1950
3
4
R, 1924-1951
3
5
T-V, 1918, 1943-1950
3
6
W, 1928-1951
3
7
Unidentified Correspondents, 1942-1954
3
8
2.6: General Correspondence, 1883-1987
This series contains the correspondence of other members of the Thayer and Reasoner families. Included is correspondence between Elsie Birch and her cousins, and the correspondence of her mother, Mary Thayer Birch. Also found are letters to Jean Reasoner Plunket, Abbott Thayer's granddaughter, including many from Nelson C. White, who collected research material for a biography of Abbott Thayer.
Gerald H. Thayer's correspondence discusses concealing coloration, the estate of Abbott and Emma Thayer, and letters of condolence from George Gray Barnard and Edwin H. Blashfield. Additional correspondence found here includes letters to Gerald's wife, Alma, from the family friend and Thayer patron, John Gellatly, letters to Abbott Thayer's parents, Dr. William and Ellen Thayer, and letters to Jay and Philip Whelpley, family friends of the Thayers.
Description Container
Elsie Birch, 1933, 1946
3
9
Mary Thayer Birch, 1886-1915, circa 1924
3
10
Jean Reasoner Plunket, 1945-1987
3
11
Allen Reasoner, 1935-1942
3
12
Alma E. Thayer from John Gellatly, 1925
3
13
Gerald H. Thayer, 1908-1924
3
14
Dr. William H. Thayer and Ellen Handerson Thayer, 1883-1891
3
15
Jay and Philip Whelpley, 1910-1927
3
16
Unidentified correspondence, 1908-1927
3
17

Series 3: Writings , 1888-1945
(Box 3-4; 0.8 linear feet)

This series contains writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer and others, including family members and scholars. Writings by Thayer primarily focus on his theories about concealing coloration and nature observations through notes and draft writings. Also found are his writings on other topics such as the restoration of artwork. Writings by others include the writings of Emma Beach Thayer and Abbott Thayer's daughters Mary and Gladys, and writings by scholars about the Thayer's artwork.
The Writings series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • Subseries 3.1: Writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1890-1918
  • Subseries 3.2: Writings by Others, 1888-1989
3.1: Writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, circa 1890-1918
Writings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, primarily on the topic of concealing coloration and his observations of nature, include four small notebooks. His notes and draft essays, often written on small scraps of paper or the back of other documents, are on the topic of concealing coloration in nature, and the related topics, the invisibility of icebergs and the concealing coloration in military uniforms and warships. Many of his notes appear to be preparations for lectures or letters to the editor on these topics, or responses to the negative feedback from his book Concealing Coloration in Nature, published in 1909. Also found are draft essays on the restoration of works of art and notes and essays on various subjects such as the Boer war, art, and other thoughts on nature.
Description Container
Notebooks, circa 1890-1920
(2 folders)
3
18-19
Notes & Essays on Concealing Coloration in Nature, circa 1910-1917
(4 folders)
3
20-23
Notes & Essays on the Invisibility of Icebergs, 1912
3
24
Notes & Essays on Concealing Coloration in Uniforms & Warships, circa 1915-1918
(6 folders)
3
25-30
Essay, "Restoration: The Doom of Works of Art", 1917
3
31
Typescript, "Restoration of Pictures", circa 1910s
(3 folders)
3
32-34
Draft Letters to the Editor of The Auk, 1916-1917
3
35
Notes & Essays on Various Subjects, circa 1901-1919
(4 folders)
3
36-39
3.2: Writings by Others, 1888-1989
This subseries contains writings by the Thayer family and writings by scholars, primarily about Abbott Handerson Thayer. Included are writings by Emma Thayer, such as a manuscript for a story entitiled "Ernest" and two poems, and Mary Thayer's diary and corresponding hand-made calendar, written when she was ten years old. Writings by Gladys Thayer Reasoner include a brief biographical sketch of her father, a biography of her son, Allen Reasoner, who died in 1943 in a plane crash, and stories and other writings she wrote as a young girl.
Writings by others about Abbott Thayer include a draft manuscript by Nancy Bell, wife of artist Arthur Bell, about Thayer's book on concealing coloration. This series also contains writings by unidentified authors, such as draft writings about George Gray Barnard, possibly written by David or Gladys Thayer Reasoner, and miscellaneous writings and poetry by others. Folders are arranged by author and title of work, if known, and chronologically within each folder.
Description Container
Emma Beach Thayer, "Ernest", circa 1900
3
40
Emma Beach Thayer, Poetry, circa 1910
3
41
Mary Thayer, Diary and Calendar, 1888
3
42
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biographical Sketch of Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1930
3
43
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biography of Allen Reasoner, "One Out of Fifty", circa 1945
3
44
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Biography of Allen Reasoner, Draft Versions, circa 1945
(3 folders; not scanned)
3
45-47
Gladys Thayer Reasoner, Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1897
3
48
Sidney Allen, "Abbott Handerson Thayer: An Appreciation of His Work", circa 1920s
3
49
Nancy Bell, "A Painter Naturalist and His Son", circa 1909
3
50
William Dutcher, "Report of the A. O. U. Committee on the Protection of North American Birds for the Year 1903", 1903
3
51
Elizabeth Walmsley, "A Preliminary Investigation into the Painting Techniquest of Abbott Handerson Thayer", 1988-1989
3
52
Unknown Author, Notes for a Book on Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1920s
3
53
Unknown Author, Lecture on Rembrandt and Reubens, undated
3
54
Unknown Author, Writings about George Grey Barnard, circa 1938
3
55
Miscellaneous Writings by Others, circa 1890-1920
4
1
Miscellaneous Poetry, circa 1900-1945
(Partially scanned)
4
2

Series 4: Estate Papers , 1921-1954
(Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)

This series contains the estate papers for Abbott Handerson Thayer, who died in 1921 and Emma Beach Thayer, who died in 1924. Much of material consists of correspondence between David Reasoner, Executor of both estates, and others regarding financial and legal matters. Correspondence of note is with Mary and Gerald Thayer regarding their inheritance, and with E. & A. Milch, Inc. and William Macbeth, Inc. regarding the sale of artwork. Also found are financial and legal documents, forms, lists and notes, and Emma Thayer's will and drafts. Some of the financial account statements and a ledger book have not been scanned.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Estate Papers of Abbott H. Thayer and Emma B. Thayer, 1921-1924
(3 folders)
4
3-5
Estate Papers of Abbott H. Thayer and Emma B. Thayer, 1925-1954
(13 folders)
4
6-18
Emma Beach Thayer Last Will and Testament, 1923, 1926
4
19
Estate Account Statements, Kingston Trust Company, 1927-1932
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
20-21
Estate Bills, 1922-1938
(2 folders; not scanned)
4
22-23
Ledger Book for Emma Thayer Estate, 1924-1925
(Not scanned)
4
24

Series 5: Other Financial Records , 1889-1957
(Box 4; 7 folders)

This series contains a small amount of Thayer and Reasoner family financial records not directly related to the estates of Abbott or Emma Thayer. Most of this series has not been scanned.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Account Statements, 1924-1941
(Not scanned)
4
25
Bills & Receipts, 1889-1919
(Not scanned)
4
26
Liberty Bonds, Cheshire National Bank, 1919-1921
(Not scanned)
4
27
Ledger, 1923-1935
4
28
Ledger kept by Emma Beach Thayer, 1915-1923
4
29
Ledger kept by David Reasoner, 1921-1930
(Not scanned)
4
30
David Reasoner Bethesda Country Club Membership, 1948-1957
(Not scanned)
4
31

Series 6: Legal Records , 1891-1927
(Box 4; 4 folders)

Legal records include a copy of the patent office record given to Gerome Brush and Abbott Handerson Thayer for the "process of treating the outsides of ships & for making them less visible." Also included in that folder is a contract handwritten by Thayer giving Brush claim to use of the original invention. Other documents in this series are legal agreements, including a draft agreement among landowners in Dublin, New Hampshire to create a nature reservation, and deeds of property belonging to Abbott Thayer and Emma Beach Thayer. Also found is a map of the property owned by Thayer and surrounding properties in Dublin.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Patent Documents, 1902, 1911
4
32
Legal Agreements, 1908-1927
4
33
Deeds of Property, 1891-1921
4
34
Map of Thayer Property, Dublin, New Hampshire, 1919
4
35

Series 7: Printed Material , 1851, 1896-1999
(Box 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Printed material includes two books, an alphabet book belonging to Abbott Thayer which he inscribed and gave to his daughter Mary, and a bound article written by Theodore Roosevelt in response to Thayer's book on concealing coloration. The article was originally published in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, volume XXX. Also found are newspaper and magazine clippings about Abbott Thayer, about his artwork and exhibitions, and about the Reasoner family. Exhibition announcements and catalogs are for exhibitions by Thayer, his daughter Gladys Thayer Reasoner, and group exhibitions. Other material in this series is about the Woodstock Playhouse, for which David Reasoner was the director, and includes news clippings, programs and newsletters, and the publication Hue and Cry.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder.
Description Container Select
Book, Illustrated Alphabet of Animals, 1851
(Not scanned)
4
36
Book, Revealing and Concealing Coloration in Birds and Mammals, by Theodore Roosevelt, 1911
(Not scanned)
4
37
Clippings, 1900-1996
(5 folders)
4
38-42
Clippings about Woodstock Playhouse, circa 1929-1949
(Not scanned)
4
43
Exhibition Announcements and Catalogs, 1896-1983
(6 folders)
4
44-49
Newsletters & Event Calendars, 1980-1983, 1999
(Not scanned)
5
1
Newsletters & Programs from Woodstock, New York, 1928-1941
(Not scanned)
5
2
Hue and Cry Newspaper, 1925, 1928, 1929
(Not scanned)
5
3
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1895, 1914-circa 1966
(Not scanned)
5
4

Series 8: Photographs , circa 1861-1933
(Box 5, MGP 2; 0.2 linear feet)

This series contains photographs of Abbott H. Thayer, including two portraits of him, a photo of him with a group of people (possibly at Gerald Thayer's wedding), and a photograph of his plaster death mask. Also found are photographs of Thayer's studio, some of which include the painting he was working on at the time, his son Gerald, and other models. There are photographs of Thayer's home in Dublin, New Hampshire. Additional photographs are of his wife, Emma Beach Thayer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and one of his former student Rockwell Kent painting outdoors. Also found are numerous photographs of unidentified people, most likely members of the Thayer family, and a few photographs of artwork by Thayer.
Description Container Select
Photographs of Abbott H. Thayer, circa 1861, 1900, 1915
5 (hol)
5
Photographs of Thayer's Studio, circa 1895
5 (hol)
6
Photographs of Thayer's Home, Dublin, New Hampshire, circa 1905
5 (hol)
7
Photographs of Emma Beach Thayer, circa 1870, 1889
5 (hol)
8
Photographs of Gladys Thayer Reasoner & Family (Photocopies), circa 1915, 1933
5 (hol)
9
Photographs of Lyman and Grace Reasoner, circa 1919
5 (hol)
10
Photographs of Ralph Waldo Emerson, circa 1860
5 (hol)
11
Photograph of Rockwell Kent, circa 1905
5 (hol)
12
Unidentified Portraits, circa 1860-1890
5 (hol)
13
Unidentified Tintype Portraits, circa 1870-1890
(2 folders; not scanned)
5 (hol)
14-15
Glass Plate Negative of Unidentified Man, circa 1890
(Not scanned)
(1 glass plate negative housed in MGP 2)
5 (hol)
16
Glass Plate Negative
1 glass negative
MGP 2
Photographs of Artwork, circa 1895
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
17
Tintype Photograph of The Sisters, circa 1884
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
18
Original Frame for Photograph of The Sisters, circa 1884
(Not scanned)
5 (hol)
19

Series 9: Artwork , 1887 - circa 1940s
(Box 5-6, 8; 0.2 linear feet)

This series includes two drawings by Abbott Thayer, one depicting an angel and modeled by his daughter Mary. Also found is a large amount of artwork by children, including drawings by Gerald Thayer and other unidentified drawings and paintings, probably by Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer, animal cutouts by Jean Reasoner Plunket, and other small painted cutout figures by an unknown artist. Also found are two sketchbooks, one belonging to David Reasoner, and the other probably belonging to his daughter, Jean Reasoner Plunket.
Description Container Select
Drawings by Abbott Handerson Thayer, 1887, 1912
5 (hol)
20
Artwork by Gerald Thayer, 1889
5 (hol)
21
Artwork by Unidentified Children (probably Mary, Gerald, and Gladys Thayer), circa 1890-1900
(2 folders)
6 (pam)
1-2
Painted Cutout Figures, circa 1904
6 (pam)
3
David Reasoner Sketchbook, circa 1910
(See Box 8)
6 (pam)
4
Animal Cutouts by Jean Reasoner Plunket, circa 1940s
(Not scanned)
6 (pam)
5
Sketchbook (possibly belonging to Jean Reasoner Plunket), circa 1940s
6 (pam)
6
David Reasoner Sketchbook, circa 1910
(See also Box 6, folder 4)
8 (pam)
1

Series 10: Scrapbook , circa 1910-1920
(Box 7; 0.3 linear feet)

This large scrapbook, compiled by David Reasoner, includes photographs and printed reproductions of paintings by Abbott Thayer, as well as a few newspaper clippings about his artwork. The scrapbook also includes a few notations listing the current owners of the paintings.
Description Container Select
Scrapbook about Thayer Artwork, circa 1910-1920
7 (sol)
1

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