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Francis Davis Millet and Millet family papers, 1858-1984, bulk 1858-1955

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into eight series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , circa 1864-1934
(Box 1, OV 5; 6 folders; Reel 5903)

The biographical notes consist of typescript copies of entries about Millet that appeared in various publications. Of particular interest is the memorial volume probably compiled by J. B. Pine. Consisting mainly of printed items, it includes four tipped in photographs (portraits of F. D. Millet circa 1912, as a Civil War drummer boy, circa 1862, and two views of a bust of Millet by Albin Polasek) and three tipped in letters (two from Millet to Pine, and one from Albin Polasek to Pine regarding his portrait bust of Millet).
Miscellaneous printed material in this series consists of a copy of the program, Francis Davis Millet Memorial Meeting, The American Federation of Arts, Washington, D. C., 1912, with texts of addresses by Elihu Root, Henry Cabot Lodge, Charles Francis Adams, and Charles D. Wolcott and other tributes. Also included is the July 1912 issue of Art and Progress devoted to Francis Davis Millet featuring articles by his brother-in-law Sylvester Baxter, William A. Coffin, Edwin Howland Blashfield, Carroll Beckwith, George W. Maynard, and a notice about the Francis Davis Millet Memorial Chair of Fine Arts in the American Academy in Rome. Also bound with this volume is the 1912 issue of the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Vol. 7, No. 6) containing the Museum's Francis Davis Millet memorial resolution.
Description Container Select
Biographical Notes about F. D. Millet, circa 1894-1912, undated
5903
12-28
Diplomas, 1869-1872
OV 5
Genealogy, 1938, undated
5903
29-35
Memorial Program and Related Items, circa 1864-1912
(1 volume)
5903
36-104
Memorial Programs, Notices and Invitations, 1912-1934
5903
105-111
Memorial Resolutions, 1912
(2 folders)
5903
112-175
Official Papers concerning Millet's status as a Correspondent, Russo-Turkish War, 1877
5903
176-187
Official Papers concerning Travel in Eastern Europe, 1872-1873
5903
188-191
Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Student Registration Cards, 1871-1872
5903
192-196
Will, 1885
5903
197-198

Series 2: Diaries/Journals of F. D. Millet , 1858-1911
(Box 1; 0.5 linear ft.; Reels 5903-5904)

Found here are 16 volumes of diaries and/or journals for the period 1858-1911 that record Millet's Civil War experiences, the Russo-Turkish War, and his travels throughout Europe, the northwest United States and Alaska, the Orient, and Panama.
Description Container Select
January 1-July 23, 1858
5903
200-264
"Civil War Diary," (in four parts, includes partial transcripts), 1864-1865
5903
265-309
Trip to the Rhine, September 11-21, 1871
(2 volumes)
5903
310-358
Trip to Holland, March 30, 1872
5903
359-406
Trip to Southern Europe and Turkey, October 9, 1873-1874
5903
407-519
Trip Throughout Italy, January 27-June 27, 1875
(2 volumes)
5903
520-615
Russo-Turkish War and Trip to Sweden, June 5, 1877, June 18-July 29, 1882
5903
616-718
"Diary of a Trip to the West,", 1885
5903
719-897
Canoe Trip Down the Danube, June 20-October 26, 1891
(2 volumes)
5903
898-1044
"Trip to the North West and Alaska,", 1905
5903
1045-1145
"Trip to the Orient,", September 1-November 24, 1908
(3 volumes)
5903
1146-1452
"Diary of Trip to Panama,", March 6-30, 1911
5904
13-107

Series 3: Letters , 1867-1915, undated
(Boxes 1-2; 0.5 linear ft.; Reel 5904)

According to granddaughter Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer, Lily Millet destroyed her husband's correspondence and was unwilling to cooperate with biographers. However, many of F. D. Millet's letters to his family survive for the period 1867-1879. The letters include a small number of original letters received by Millet from friends and associates augmented by typescript copies of incoming letters and a fairly large number of collected original letters sent by Millet, including two from John Singer Sargent. The sources of this material are for the most part unknown, though a few of the typescript copies are identified as coming from collections at the Library of Congress. The original outgoing letters may have been gathered by John A. P. Millet during the course of researching and writing his father's biography.
The letters discuss Millet's travels, education, journalistic and art career, art sales and commissions, and the activities of artist friends, family members, and acquaintances. One folder of letters, addressed to F. D. Millet and others, is about the purchase and restoration of the Grange, his Broadway studio. There are four letters from Millet to his girlfriend Velma Marie Morse and scattered letters to Velma's father, A.P. Morse, and Fred Chapman.
Typescript copies and a photocopy of four letters from sister Kathleen Millet to her friend Margherita, 1878-1879, are from an unknown source. Written from Paris, they mention Frank's "decoration for gallantry" during the Russo-Turkish War, and detailed information about his arrival home, describing his adventures, and an account of his wedding.
Letters to Lily Millet are from Samuel L. Clemens, Henry James, Ellen Terry [Carew], Charles Dudley Warner, the Millet children, and other friends and acquaintances. The bulk of the letters are condolence messages to the family upon Millet's death aboard the Titanic in 1912.
The letters Lucia Millet wrote to her family are mostly from the period when she was in England, living as a member of her brother's Broadway household. She describes moving into Farnham House, Broadway, and their later, permanent move to Russell House. Scattered throughout the letters are frequent mentions of Frank's activities, his work, travels, friends (including John Singer Sargent, Edwin Austin Abbey, and Henry James), and the American colony in Broadway. Of particular interest are references to Sargent sending lilies for the garden, and sewing white dresses for the girls to wear in Sargent's painting ( Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose). The letters also recount trips to London where she visited Sargent's and Whistler's studios.
Attached to many of the letters are brief notes made by John A. P. Millet.
Description Container Select
F. D. Millet
To Family, 1867-1875, undated
5904
109-234
Collected Letters, 1874-1912, undated
5904
235-431
Collected Letters, A.P. Morse and Velma Marie Morse, 1874-1879
1
29
Collected Letters from John Singer Sargent, 1887 and circa 1887
1
30
Letters about the Grange, 1879-1897, undated
5904
432-508
Kathleen Millet (sister) to Margherita, 1878-1879
5904
509-523
Lily Millet (wife)
Letters, 1885-1915, undated
5904
524-624
Letters of Condolence, 1912
(3 folders)
5904
625-853
From Lucia Millet (sister) to Family, 1882-1886, undated
(6 folders)
5904
855-1176

Series 4: Notes and Writings , circa 1891-1970, undated
(Box 3; 1.0 linear ft.; Reels 5904-5906)

Millet's murals and paintings were noted for the historical accuracy of their costumes and period details. Many of the notes from his extensive research are recorded in eleven undated copybooks, titled for easy reference. Additional volumes of notes by Millet concern 17th century Italian art, Bulgarian history and costume (probably from his student days in Antwerp since it is in French), and the Philippines, compiled circa 1898-1899.
Writings by Millet consist of manuscripts of published and unpublished articles and short stories, and texts of lectures and speeches. Writings about Millet are by relatives. "Frank D. Millet: A Versatile American," by niece Hilda Millet Booth and son John A. P. Millet, is accompanied by notes, drafts, and related correspondence. "In Search of an Ancestor," by granddaughter Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer, was published in 1984 as Frank D. Millet: Soldier of Fortune, 1846-1912. A copy of the book is included with Series 6.
This series is arranged into 4 subseries:
  • 4.1: Notes by F. D. Millet, 1872-circa 1899, undated
  • 4.2: Writings by F. D. Millet, circa 1891-1910, undated
  • 4.3: Writings about F. D. Millet, 1915 -1966, undated
  • 4.4: Miscellaneous Writings, 1937
4.1: Notes by F. D. Millet, 1872-circa 1899, undated
Description Container
Reference Notes
Arms and Armory; Greek Costume: Archaic, Doric, Ionic, undated
5904
1180-1232
Greek Costume, undated
5904
1233-1259
Military Costume, Crowns and Decorations, Gladiators, undated
5904
1260-1267
Military Costume, Crowns and Decorations, Gladiators, undated
5905
14-61
The Poenula, Head and Foot Gear, Leg Covering, Toilette, Ornaments, undated
5905
62-93
Religion, undated
5905
94-126
Roman Costume; Costume of Women, Roman; Costume Notes; The Toga and its Variations, undated
(4 volumes)
5905
127-261
The Tunic, undated
5905
262-282
Student Notes, "L'art italien au 17 siècle;" "History and Costume" of Bulgaria, 1871-1872
(1 volume in French)
5905
283-335
Notes on the Philippines, etc., circa 1898-1899
5905
336-373
4.2: Writings by F. D. Millet, circa 1891-1910, undated
Description Container
Article and Short Stories
"A Balkan Bivouac,", undated
5905
375-385
"Benozzo Gozzoli,", undated
5905
386-416
"Dash Across the Line,", undated
5905
417-441
"The Expedition to the Philippines,", circa 1898-1899
(3 folders)
5905
442-848
"Fifteen Minutes with an American Lady" and "Seven Minutes with an American Lady,", undated
5905
849-858
"From Plevna to Constantinople,", undated
5905
859-900
"From the Black Forest to the Black Sea,", circa 1891-1893
5905
901-1014
"A Malay Monte Carlo,", undated
5905
1015-1029
"A Moment in a Hostile Bivouac,", undated
5905
1030-1041
"Mrs. Burden's Baby,", undated
5905
1042-1072
Untitled, undated
(2 manuscripts)
5905
1073-1104
Lectures and Speeches
"War Correspondence," Buffalo Club, April 23, 1904
5905
1105-1148
"Conditions and Possibilities of Art in the United States," Yale University, June 1, 1904
5905
1149-1213
"The American Federation of Arts," The Washington Society of The Fine Arts, Continental Hall, May 4, 1910
5905
1214-1221
4.3: Writings About F. D. Millet, 1915 -1966, undated
Description Container
Hilda Millet Booth and John [Albert] Parsons Millet, "Frank Millet: A Versatile American"
Correspondence, 1915-1970, undated
(7 folders)
5905
1223-1447
Correspondence, 1915-1970, undated
(7 folders)
5906
14-413
Manuscript, 1939
(5 folders)
5906
414-785
Early Drafts and Notes, circa 1934-1939
(4 folders)
3
37-40
Early Drafts and Notes, circa 1934-1939
(4 folders)
3
41-44
Miscellaneous Notes, circa 1934-1939
3
45
Francis Davis Millet, "Frank Millet, A Sketch" (the author is the grandson of F. D. Millet; also on reel 848), circa 1940
5906
788-853
John A. P. Millet, "Frank D. Millet: A New England Artist in His Rural Studio, His Career as a Journalist and Painter, His Accomplishments and Surroundings" (the author is the son of F. D. Millet), undated
5906
854-860
J[osiah] B. Millet, "Recollections," a Biographical Essay about Asa Millet (the author is the the brother of F. D. Millet), undated
5906
861-879
Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer, "In Search of an Ancestor,", 1966
5906
880-967
4.4: Miscellaneous Writings, 1937
Description Container
John A. P. Millet, Untitled Manuscript about Psychology (the author is the son of F. D. Millet), 1937
3
50

Series 5: Art Work , 1872-1908, undated
(Box 4; 0.5 linear ft.; Reels 5906-5907)

Art work by Millet includes twelve sketchbooks, containing pencil sketches, a few finished drawings, and a small number of ink drawings. The sketchbooks were executed over a quarter of a century, from his student days in Antwerp through 1896, mostly during periods of travel. Subjects, many of which are identified, include landscapes, buildings, and local peoples with emphasis on their clothing. Loose sketches and drawings, 1872-1874 and undated, record Millet's travels are arranged by location. Two watercolors are "Menu, Nov. 14th, Peking" with a finished painting of a hillside pagoda by the water, on board; and a small sketch of a man and boy, on paper.
Work by other artists includes 20 caricatures drawn in ink, several of which are annotated by John Singer Sargent. Sargent experts Richard Ormond and Stanley Olson, in 1985 correspondence with the Archives of American Art attribute the caricatures to Sargent. Depicted are Sargent, Edwin Austin Abbey, Lily and Frank Millet, Mrs. Gosse, Mrs. Alma-Tadema [?], Mrs. Blashfield [?], and unidentified tennis players.
The series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • 5.1: By F. D. Millet, 1872-1908, undated
  • 5.2: By Other Artists, circa 1885-1886, undated
5.1: By F. D. Millet, 1872-1908, undated
Description Container
Sketchbooks
Holland; Vol. 2: Italy, undated
(2 volumes)
5906
972-1057
"E.A.A.," (probably United States), undated
5906
1058-1078
Belgium, Austria, and Germany, 1872-1873
5906
1079-1107
Turkey, Russia, Romania; Turkey and Greece, 1873-1874
(2 volumes)
5906
1108-1203
Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878
(includes notes in English and Russian)
5906
1204-1280
The Danube, circa 1891
(4 volumes)
5906
1281-1485
"Algiers," (includes Tripoli and Tunisia), 1896
5907
14-56
Loose Sketches and Drawings
Antwerp Sketches, undated
5907
57-68
Bulgaria, undated
5907
69-72
England, 1872, undated
5907
73-90
Germany, undated
5907
91-92
Italy, 1874, undated
5907
93-101
Romania, 1872
5907
102-103
Turkey, undated
5907
104-106
Unidentified, undated
5907
107-111
Watercolors, 1908, undated
5907
112-115
5.2: By Other Artists, circa 1885-1886, undated
Description Container
Unidentified Artists, undated
(1 pencil drawing, and 1 ink drawing)
5907
116-118
John Singer Sargent, circa 1885-1886, undated
(20 caricatures)
5907
119-134

Series 6: Printed Matter , 1764-1984, undated
(Box 4; 0.25 linear ft.; Reel 5907)

Among the printed matter are newspaper articles by F. D. Millet, along with clippings about or mentioning him, reproductions, exhibition catalogs and announcements. Of interest are Vienna Exposition memorabilia, and a full length biography, Soldier of Fortune: F. D. Millet, 1846-1912 by granddaughter Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer.
Printed matter about the Abbot's Grange, used by Millet and his associates as their Broadway studio, is filed with Series 5. A copy of "In Search of an Ancestor," the manuscript for Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer's book Soldier of Fortune: F. D. Millet, 1846-1912 is included with other writings in Series 4.
Description Container Select
Articles About or Mentioning F. D. Millet, 1872-1934, undated
5907
136-170
Articles by F. D. Millet, 1877-1896
5907
171-225
Auction Catalogue, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., March 7, 1940
5907
226-228
Exhibition Catalogs and Announcements, 1876-1971
5907
229-236
Miscellaneous Items, 1875, undated
5907
237-241
Newspaper Clipping about Russian General Joseph Gurkow, undated
5907
242-243
Newspapers (item dated 1723 is a facsimile; not microfilmed), 1764-1807
5907
Reproductions of Illustrations by E. A. Abbey, F. S. Gifford, and C.K.S., undated
5907
245-260
Reproductions of Works by F. D. Millet, undated
5907
261-274
Soldier of Fortune: F. D. Millet, 1846-1912 by Joyce A. Sharpey-Schafer, 1984
5907
275-373
The Story of an Old English Hostelry by S. B. Russell (about the Lygon Arms in Broadway), 1914
5907
unfilmed
Vienna Exposition Memorabilia, 1873
5907
375-417
The Young Ladies' Assistant in Drawing and Painting by Maria Turner, 1833
5907
unfilmed

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records , 1725-1897, undated
(Box 4; 7 folders; Reel 5907)

Material about the Abbot's Grange, which served as Millet's studio, may have been compiled preparatory to restoration of the structure. Series 3 includes letters concerning its purchase and restoration.
Description Container Select
Currency, 1785-1851, undated
5907
unfilmed
"The Grange"
Drawings, Sketches, Notes re: Architectural Details, undated
5907
421-466
Maps, undated
5907
467-470
Miscellaneous Notes, undated
5907
471-480
Printed Matter, 1819-1895, undated
5907
481-518
Photographs, circa 1896-1897
5907
519-523
Legal Documents, 1725-1739
5907
524-527

Series 8: Photographs , circa 1872-circa 1910, undated
(Box 4; 7 folders; Reels 5907)

Among the photographs of people are portraits of Millet, as well as pictures of Millet and wife, Lily, with their children. Also included are photographs of Mary Anderson, Asa Millet with granddaughter Kate, and F. D. and Lily Millet with Charles F. Adams, Jr. Photographs of works of art primarily depict paintings by Millet. In addition there are photographs of drawings by other artists that appeared in Puck magazine, circa 1897-1898. Photographs of Millet's Broadway studio, the Abbot's Grange, are filed with Series 7. See related microfilmed collections of loaned materials, on reels 849 and 1080, for additional photographs of family and the Millet's Russell House.
The series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • 8.1: People, circa 1872-circa 1910
  • 8.2: Works of Art, circa 1897-1898, undated
8.1: People, circa 1872-circa 1910
Description Container
Mary Anderson as "Galatea," (inscribed "To Jack from his loving friend Mary de Navarro, 1894"), circa 1894
5907
530-531
Asa Millet and Granddaughter Kate, circa 1883
5907
532-534
F. D. Millet (carte de visite), circa 1872
5907
535-537
F. D. Millet, circa 1910
5907
538-539
F. D. Millet in his studio with assistants, 1907
4
44
8.2: Works of Art, circa 1897-1898, undated
Description Container
Drawings by F. D. Millet, undated
5907
541-544
Paintings by F. D. Millet, undated
5907
545-556
Cartoons and Photographs from Puck Magazine by Other Artists (including images of F. D. Millet), circa 1897-1898
5907
557-575

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.