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William Robert Pearmain and Pearmain family papers, 1888-1955

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1888-circa 1955
(Box 1; 5 folders)

Scattered biographical materials relate to William Robert Pearmain, his wife Nancy, their daughter Polly, and the Pearmain family. Also found are documents concerning the Upton family, from which Robert descended through his mother, Alice. Mostly ephemera, there is a doctor's bill from William Robert Pearmain's birth, transcripts from Milton Academy, a bursar bill from Harvard University, Nancy and Robert's wedding invitation, a program from Polly's debutante ball, a funeral announcement for a Sarah M. Upton, and transcripts of notes found in the Pearmain family bible. Some materials have been annotated by Jack Pearmain, Robert's brother.
Description Container Select
Pearmain Family, circa 1955
1
1
Pearmain, Mary "Polly,", 1930-1931
1
2
Pearmain, Nancy, 1909
1
3
Pearmain, William Robert, 1888-1914, circa 1955
1
4
Upton Family, 1903-1907
1
5

Series 2: Correspondence , 1899-1955
(Box 1; 0.25 linear feet)

Correspondence includes many letters from Pearmain to his mother and other family members written while he was attending the Milton Academy and Harvard, ca. 1900-1906, and while studying art and traveling in Paris and Italy, 1907-1908. There are letters from Pearmain to his wife Nancy, and from both of them to their parents, written from New York City, Dublin, New Hampshire, the Adirondacks, and Pittsburgh. The majority of William's letters discuss his education, time spent in Europe between 1907-1908, his marriage and family, dissatisfaction with his career, and his factory work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
There are a few letters to Robert, including one from Margaret Sanger thanking him for the use of the Dublin house and asking him to write about the "Pittsburgh situation for the Call"; letters to Nancy, mainly of condolence, from John Graham Brooks, Rockwell Kent, William Sanger, and Alexander Beckman. There is a letter from George de Forest Brush to Robert's mother, circa 1906 or 1907, discussing her unhappiness about Robert leaving Harvard and staying with the Brush family in Italy; a copy of a letter from Samuel Clemens to George de Forest Brush is also found.
Other family correspondence is between Nancy, Polly, Sarah Upton, Sumner, Alice, Margaret, and Jack Pearmain.
Description Container Select
General, circa 1900s
1
6
Condolence Letters, 1912
1
7
Brush, George de Forest, circa 1907
1
8
Clemens, Samuel, 1908
1
9
Denton, William D., 1906
1
10
Henderson, C. Handford, 1902-circa 1909
1
11
McClennen, Joshua, 1934
1
12
Osgood, Dr. Hamilton, 1905-1906
1
13
Pearmain, Alice Upton, circa 1910s
1
14
Pearmain, John "Jack,", 1955
1
15
Pearmain, Margaret, 1907
1
16
Pearmain, Mary "Polly,", circa 1920s
1
17
Pearmain, Nancy, 1907-1916, 1942
1
18
Pearmain, Nancy, circa 1910s
1
19
Pearmain, William Robert, 1899-1906
1
20
Pearmain, William Robert, 1907-1908
1
21
Pearmain, William Robert, 1909-1912
1
22
Pearmain, William Robert, undated, circa 1899-circa 1912
1
23
Sanger, Margaret, circa 1912
1
24
Upton, Sarah M., 1906
1
25

Series 3: Artwork , circa 1910, 1955
(Box 1; 1 folder)

There is one watercolor by William Robert Pearmain circa 1910. Accompaning the watercolor is a note written by John Pearmain to his niece, Polly concerning the drawing.
Description Container Select
Watercolor by William Robert Pearmain, circa 1910, 1955
1
26

Series 4: Writings and Notes , circa 1900s-1908
(Box 1; 3 folders)

This series consists of a diary by Robert Pearmain recounting his time spent in Europe and notes concerning expenses of the trip. Also found are two school essays by Pearmain.
Description Container Select
Diary, 1907
1
27
School Essays, circa 1900s
1
28
Trip Expenses, circa 1907-1908
1
29

Series 5: Printed Material , 1907-1913
(Box 1; 3 folders)

This series consists of newspapers clippings relating to events in Robert Pearmain's life including his death and marriage. Also found are one issue of the International Workers of the World publication Solidarity and an issue of Mother Earth.
Description Container Select
Clippings, 1907-1912
1
30
Mother Earth, 1912 October
1
31
Solidarity, 1913 January 4
1
32

Series 6: Photographs , circa 1900-1911
(Box 1; 2 folders)

Found here is a photograph taken by the Archives of American Art of a drawing by Will Loring of William Robert Pearmain as a child. Other family photographs are of the Robert, Nancy, and Polly Pearmain in New Hampshire in 1911.
Description Container Select
Drawing by Will Loring, circa 1900
1
33
Pearmain Family, 1911
1
34

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.