Guide to the Francis Warrington Dawson Family Papers, 1386-1963 (bulk 1859-1950)
Journalist, of Charleston, S.C., and Versailles, France. The collection contains the papers of Francis Warrington Dawson, who was born Austin John Reeks; his wife, Sarah Ida Fowler Morgan Dawson; and their son, Francis Warrington Dawson II, better known as Warrington Dawson. The papers are primarily literary in character but also include many letters. Francis's papers are primarily autobiographical with information about his Civil War service, travels, courtship, and career. Also present are Morgan family papers describing social life in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., in the second half of the 19th century, especially during Reconstruction. Warrington Dawson materials document his work with the American Embassy in Paris and describes French life and politics. Also present is material from his work as director of French Research for Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., including copies (made from the originals at Colonial Williamsburg) of original documents pertaining to French participation in the American Revolution. Also included are copies of 18th century maps of North America, Williamsburg, Va., and positions of the French and American armies in New York and Virginia during the Revolutionary War.
- Collection Number
- Francis Warrington Dawson Family papers
- 1386-1963, bulk 1859-1950
- Dawson, Francis Warrington, 1840-1889
- 30.0 linear feet, 7,986 items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
The collection comprises the papers of Francis Warrington (Frank) Dawson (1840-1889), whose original name was Austin John Reeks; his wife, Sarah Ida Fowler (Morgan) Dawson; and of their son, Francis Warrington Dawson II, known as Warrington Dawson (1878-1962). The papers are primarily literary in character, with many editorials, newspaper writings, short stories, novels, articles, scrapbooks, diaries, reminiscences, and letters.
There are several series in the collection: Correspondence, Photographs, Scrapbooks, Writings, and Printed Materials document the family's activities in the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Warrington Dawson's research interests in French manuscripts, early American history, and family genealogy are also documented in the French Manuscripts and Research Files series.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
The Correspondence series has been arranged alphabetically by correspondent, with general correspondence arranged chronologically at the end of the series. The series also includes Warrington Dawson's diplomatic dispatches and assorted diplomatic papers from Alphonse Pageot.
Morgan family correspondence, beginning in 1859, describes the social life and customs in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana; in Paris, France; and the death of Henry Waller Morgan in a duel in 1861. Letters of Thomas Gibbes Morgan, Sr., describe Confederate mobilization in 1861. Correspondence of Frank Dawson and members of the Morgan family describe Dawson's passage on the blockade runner Nashville, his career as ordnance officer in Longstreet's corps and later in Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry corps; the destruction of homes in Louisiana by the war and Butler's conduct in New Orleans; the battle of Fredericksburg; imprisonment at Fort Delaware; refugee life at Macon, Mississippi; cavalry operations; the causes of Confederate defeat; a duel of Henry Rives Pollard, editor of the Richmond Examiner; politics and journalism in Reconstruction South Carolina; the editorial policies of Dawson's paper, the Charleston News and Courier; accusations of bribery, fraud, and libel; the courtship of Dawson and Sarah (Morgan) Dawson; Dawson's refusal of a challenge to a duel by Martin Witherspoon Gary; the army bill, 1879; the Tilden-Hayes disputed election, 1876; the redemption of South Carolina; Morgan family genealogy; travel in Italy and Europe in the 1880s; education in South Carolina at state-supported colleges and the Citadel; the Charleston earthquake, 1886; Dawson's alleged remarks about Grover Cleveland, reported in the New York World, 1886; labor and labor organizations; the tariff; court procedures in South Carolina; Confederate veterans' organizations; Democratic Party affairs; Dawson's debts; his murder; and the settlement of his estate. Among Dawson's frequent correspondents are Daniel Henry Chamberlain, Edward B. Dickinson, Samuel Dibble, Fitzhugh Lee, Robert Baker Pegram, Henry A. M. Smith, Hugh Smith Thompson, Benjamin Ryan Tillman, Giddings Whitney, and Benjamin H. Wilson.
There is also correspondence of Sarah Dawson and Warrington Dawson, newsman, novelist, editor, special assistant to the American Embassy in Paris, and director of French research for Colonial Williamsburg. This material gives glimpses of French life, 1900-1950, and information on the families of Joseph Conrad and Theodore Roosevelt. Regular letters of Sarah Dawson to Eunice (Martin) Dunkin (Mrs. William Huger Dunkin) and to her sister, Mrs. Lavina (Morgan) Drum of Bethesda, Maryland, comment on French and Washington, D.C., social life and customs. Dawson's writings as Paris correspondent of the United Press Associations of America after 1900 are in clippings in the scrapbooks. They reflect French and world affairs. Topics treated in correspondence include Theodore Roosevelt's safari; Roosevelt's opinions; press relations for the Roosevelt party in Africa; Roosevelt's reviews of Dawson's books; Dawson's lectures and writings; Conrad's writings; other literary matters; John Powell's career as a concert pianist; seances and mediums; the Taft administration; Roosevelt and race relations; the Negro in Liberia, Nigeria, Haiti, and the U.S.; Roosevelt's political career; the Fresh Air Art Society of London; the organization of the press bureau in the U.S. embassy in Paris; and the work of the Foreign Department of the Committee on Public Information.
Warrington Dawson's correspondence also covers German reparations; relief work in Austria and the Near East; details of embassy staff work; George Harvey's mission to Europe, 1921; the Washington Disarmament Conference; French finance and politics; war debts; international finance; Coueism; French socialism; a crisis in the publication of the Charleston News and Courier, 1927; the boy scout movement; the Conrad family after Joseph's death; Theodore Roosevelt; U.S. investment in the U.S.S.R.; the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia; the French dead at Yorktown; research in French sources on Rochambeau's army; reports to Harold Shurtleff, in charge of the research department of Colonial Williamsburg; the research of Peter Stuyvesant Barry on his grandfather, Frank Dawson; personal and family matters; Dawson's health; restoration of the Lee mansion, Stratford; the Great Depression in the United States and in France; the genealogy of the Chambrun family; the role of Lafayette in Florida land settlement; the Compañía Arrendataria del Monopolio de Petroleos, a Spanish firm in which the French Petroleum Company held an interest; the war records of Theodore Roosevelt's sons; and autograph collecting for the Schroeder Foundation, Webster Groves, Missouri. Major correspondents of Warrington Dawson include Ethel (Dawson) Barry, Phyllis (Windsor-Clive) Benton, Jessie Conrad, Joseph Conrad, Annie Cothran, Alice Dukes, Camille Flammarion, Clarence Payne Franklin, A. H. Frazier, Hugh Gibson, Alice Stopford Green, Yves Guyot, Mary Goodwin, William Archer Rutherfoord Godwin, Herman Hagedorn, Ralph Tracy Hale, Constance (Cary) Harrison, Leland Harrison, Elizabeth Hayes, Henriette Joffre, James Kerney, Grace King, Rudyard Kipling, Georges Ladoux, William Loeb, Jr., Samuel Frank Logan, Andrew W. Miller, C. V. Miller, Francois Millet, L. D. Morel, James Morris Morgan, Frederick Palmer, John Powell, Auguste Rodin, the Duke end Duchess de Rohan, Edith Roosevelt, Nicholas Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Max Savelle, H. L. Schroeder, George Sharp, Hallie (Clough) Sharp, Philip Simms, George E. Smith, Vance Thompson, and Robert William Vail.
Letterpress book of correspondence with multiple recipients (mostly professional); highly fading; multiple handwritings suggest secretary
A group of transcripts of diplomatic dispatches of Comte Louis Barbe Charles Serurier, French minister in Washington, to Talleyrand, Oct., 1812-June, 1813, describe the opening phrases of the War of 1812, United States opinion concerning France, the divorce proceedings of Elizabeth (Patterson) Bonaparte, interviews with Secretary of State James Monroe, Joel Barlow's negotiations for a commercial treaty with France, embargo, non-importation, and impressment; Republican and Federalist activities; and affairs in New Granada (Columbia). A later series of dispatches from the French minister in Washington, Alphonse J. Y. Pageot, 1835-1848, relates to American spoliation claims against France, American public opinion, analyses of nullification, the Bank of the United States crisis, abolition, and other aspects of American politics. Dispatches of 1841-1843 from Madrid contain information on Spanish affairs, and the guardianship and marriage of the Spanish queen. Later dispatches from Washington concern commercial relations between France and the United States; annexation of Texas and Oregon; the Mexican War and the question of slavery in the territories and its implications for disunion; and the war's effect on French commerce.
Includes cable index.
This collection contains photographs of the Dawson family, friends and acquaintances, as well as photographs collected as a part of Warrington Dawson's research. Present are photographs of Joseph and Jessie Conrad, Warrington Dawson, Sarah Dawson, Ethel (Dawson) Barry, Herbert Barry, Frank Dawson, Daniel H. Chamberlain (Reconstruction governor of South Carolina), François Millet, Woodrow Wilson, Archibald Forbes, Lord Windsor, the Chateau de Josselin (signed by the Duke and Duchess de Rohan), historical monuments and their inscriptions in Virginia, the Charleston earthquake, and Warrington Dawson's Versailles apartment.
Photographs span from seven months old to adulthood. Also includes sickbed photos and photos of Dawson receiving the Commander's Cravate in 1930.
Blossom Drum became Mrs. Henry J. Hunt. Photograph contains geneology on reverse side.
Noted on mount that this photograph seems to be of Warrington Dawson.
Accompanied by handwritten notes from Warrington Dawson (dated 1959) with biographical information.
Accompanied by handwritten note from Warrington Dawson (dated 1959) with further information.
Accompanied by handwritten note from Warrington Dawson (dated 1959) with further information, including his whereabouts at her death and a vision she had of what her deathbed would look like.
Photographs, pictures of portraits, busts, sketches, etc. depicting with Revolutionary War figures, French soldiers, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
These images are mounted on cardboard and are approximately 16x20 inches, unless otherwise noted. They are arranged in four oversize boxes, which have been numbered in the catalog as Image Boxes 1-4. Most photographs were taken by C.C. Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey on August 31, 1886. Some photographs have additional captions, added later, written on their cardboard mounts. At least two photographs are personal, and show the Dawson residence following the earthquake.
An avid collector of French manuscripts, this series includes Dawson's own personal collection he acquired during his time in France. Dawson's collection relates to his interest in genealogy and concern the de Bethune, de Crequi, Chevalier, and related families, and include a few parchments concerning Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de Sully, and Henry IV, King of France.
This is a collection of Warrington Dawson's research on a number of topics, including family genealogy, Revolutionary War research, his research on Williamsburg, and miscellaneous research notes.
Various documents, records, family notes and notebooks related to the Dawson genealogy. Contains genealogical papers of the Morgan family and related Gibbes, Fowler, Waller, Hunt, Bunyan, and Baynton families, including a chart of the Reeks family of England. Some manuscript, some typescript.
Warrington Dawson's research on the Revolutionary War. Includes copies, photostats, handwritten extracts, and typescripts of journals, correspondence, geneologies, maps, and other research on the topic.
Contains Warrington Dawson's research on Williamsburg. Includes press clippings and releases, notes, research diary and research memos.
Primarily the scrapbooks of Sarah Morgan Dawson, who filled volumes with newpaper clippings by or about her husband Francis W. Dawson I, as well as letters to Captain Dawson and her own comments. Included in this series are also two autograph books of people who attended gatherings hosted by Warrington Dawson from 1909-1961. Arranged by date.
Warrington Dawson's articles published in the News and Courier.
Includes handwritten note, dated 1890, by Sarah Dawson detailing the provenance of the volume.
This is a collection of writings predominantly by the Dawson family and by friends and acquaintances by the family. It includes diaries, manuscript and typescript drafts, speeches and publications. There are manuscripts of writings by Sarah Dawson; manuscripts, fragments, lectures by Warrington Dawson and Theodore Roosevelt; a log and a diary of Roosevelt's African trip; Roosevelt's notes on the policy of his administration in regard to African Americans; extracts from letters and speeches which the former president supplied for use in connection with Dawson's book, Opportunity and Theodore Roosevelt; manuscripts of the book; essays and drafts by Jessie Conrad, Vance Thompson, and Georges Ladoux, among others.
There are diaries of Warrington Dawson, 1898, 1914-1918, 1930-1931, 1934-1945 (4 vols.) and of Ethel Dawson, 1888-1891 (1 vol.). Warrington's reminiscences of World War I deal with the French intelligence service and attributes the origin of his illness and that of Woodrow Wilson to German biological warfare. A second reminiscence concerns his work for the American Embassy in the 1930s and his life in Paris under German occupation, and has information on the dietary work of B. Lytton-Bernard (Bernard Trappachuh). A third reminiscence gives a mystical interpretation of world events, 1932-1945.
Sarah Dawson's manuscript diaries, 1862-1866, 6 vols. (largely published 1913), also include notes from ca. 1896-1906. There are notebooks of Sarah explaining her husband's death, a manuscript by Warrington Dawson commenting on the same subject, and biographical accounts of Frank Dawson and other family members. Other notebooks of Sarah Dawson, 4 vols., 1898-1908, concern her life, travel, and psychical phenomena. Arranged by author.
Manuscript. Includes typewritten note from Warrington Dawson with further information on the diary.
Typescript. Offprint of speech published in The News and Courier.
Typescript. Offprint from the Augusta, Ga., Chronicle. 2 copies.
Manuscript of play.
Manuscript. Notes and personal writings, including poetry and dramatic scenes.
Manuscript. Journals contain miscellaneous jottings concerning girlhood memories, visits to mediums and other supernatural phenomena, Charleston gossip, and experiences abroad. The first journal, untitled, begins August 13, 1898. The second journal, titled "As It Was Spoken: Notes by the Way," begins August 6, 1906. The third journal, called "As It Was Told," begins July 1907. The fourth journal, also untitled, begins July 24, 1908.
Manuscript. Contains original and photocopy to preserve fragile manuscript.
Manuscript. Six-volume diary, parts of which appeared posthumously as "A Confederate Girl's Diary." Volume 1 begins 1862 Jan. 10-1862 June 16. Volume 2 1862 June 16-1862 Aug. 3. Volume 3 1862 Aug. 4-1863 Jan. 4. Volume 4 1863 Jan. 15-1863 Aug. 7. Volume 5 1863 Aug. 14-1865 June 15. Volume 6 begins 1865 July 4. Many of the diaries have later entries and notes dating from 1866-1896. Volume 6 also includes photocopy.
Typescript. A number of extracts from Sarah Morgan Dawson's diaries. One folder of press clippings pertaining to its publication.
Typescript. Several titles published in different sources bound together. Titles include "The Ghost of a Sunbonnet," "Me Auntie Own Silk Umbrella," and "A Midsummer Madness."
Manuscript. Note at beginning stating it was "Written for Cyclopaedia Put. Co." in Boston, Mass.
Typescript. Written at request of J.T. White for the National Cyclopedia of American Biography. Revised by Warrington Dawson. Also includes Warrington Dawson's comments on the sketch.
Manuscript. 2 volumes. "For Ethel and Warrington. I make a memorandum of the last day your dear father spent on earth [...]." Accompanied by memo written by Warrington Dawson giving further information on the narrative (dated 1949 Feb. 9).
Manuscript. Title page notes: "Compilation of the Memoirs of La Marquise de Crequy 1700-1803."
Manuscript and typescript. Includes note from Warrington Dawson, dated June 6, 1959, giving further details to the narrative.
Manuscript. 2 volumes. Extracts made by Sarah Morgan Dawson from the correspondence of Madame, Duchesse d'Orleans, Charlotte Elizabeth of Bavaria, mother of the Regent of France.
Typescript with edits.
Typescript with notes to printer.
Typescript with edits.
Manuscript and typescript. Miscellaneous notes and excerpts on Africa.
Manuscript. Handwritten note from Warrington Dawson describing the play, written when he was twelve and thirteen.
Manuscript. "From the original manuscript. Copied verbatim in 1897."