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Guide to the John Zeigler Papers, 1927-2013 (bulk 1942-1946)

Abstract

Poet and book store owner in Charleston, SC. Collection predominantly contains World War II-era correspondence between lovers/partners John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock and their close friend George Scheirer, along with Zeigler's correspondence with his family. After the war, Zeigler and Peacock co-founded of a bookstore in Charleston, S.C., while Scheirer lived most of his adult life in Washington, DC. Recipients of Zeigler's correspondence and names mentioned in letters throughout the collection include family members of all three men, as well as friends, including Carson McCullers. Other materials include some documentation of Scheirer's work as a bookbinder; selected copies of Zeigler's writing and publications; photographs of all three individuals; and official military documents relating to Zeigler's and Peacock's service during WWII.

Descriptive Summary

Title
John Zeigler papers
Creator
Zeigler, John
Extent
2.2 linear feet, 1010 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The John Ziegler correspondence spans the dates 1927-2013, with the bulk of the material consisting of World War II-era correspondence between lovers/partners John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock and their close friend George Scheirer, although there is also extensive correspondence between Zeigler and his family present. After the war, Zeigler and Peacock co-founded of a bookstore in Charleston, S.C., while Scheirer lived most of his adult life in Washington, DC. Recipients and names mentioned in letters throughout the collection include family members of all three men, as well as friends, including Carson McCullers. Other materials include documentation of Scheirer's work as a bookbinder; selected copies of Zeigler's writings and publications; photographs of all three individuals; and official military documents relating to Zeigler's and Peacock's service during WWII.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence Series, 1929-2010, bulk 1942-1944

3 boxes

Correspondence between John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock focuses primarily on day-to-day life at their respective military posts; books they are currently reading; music, either on the radio or on records; movies playing at the local theater; the scenery of the region, in particular the flora. John Zeigler additionally writes about the local village and Indian tribes and military social events such as dances. Edwin Peacock often adds his culinary adventures. The letters of 1944 increasingly talk about the possibility of a coinciding leave, and the frustrations about its achievement. While on leave from June to August of that year, the letters are free from military censorship and therefore more genuinely express the emotions Ziegler and Peacock felt toward each other. Ziegler sometimes uses the name "Martha" as an affectionate reference to Edwin. Letters from John Zeigler to Edwin Peacock while touring with the U.S.S. Dickens also discuss his hospitalization. Letters from Edwin Peacock to John Zeigler while Ziegler was on the Dickens were not saved because of his hospital stays and lack of personal storage space. The activities of Peacock during those years are revealed in his letters to George Scheirer. The majority of the letters are signed Your Cousin.

Correspondence between George Scheirer, John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock focuses primarily on similar themes included in the exchanges between John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock. Additionally the letters from Peacock include excerpts from literature and amusing anecdotes he had recently heard, as well as his attempts to get Zeigler's writing published. The letters from Ziegler during 1942 discuss life before the draft, the choice to join the Naval Reserve and subsequent training. During the war years letters occasionally include poems written by Zeigler; letters from Peacock convey a deep concern about the well being of his friends. The postwar letters deal with Ziegler and Peacock's business, the Book Basement, in addition to music, books, movies and general personal matters. The majority of the letters from Peacock are signed Affectionately.

Military events mentioned in the men's letters include war bonds, the fall of Tunis, the taking of Amchitka, possibilities of invasion on French coast, the capture of Rome, V-E Day, Eisenhower's visit to Washington and report to Congress, V-J Day, and the battles of Saipan, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. There are two detailed letters dated March 20, 1945 that pertain to John Ziegler's involvement in battle, located in the folders titled From John to Edwin, 1945, and From John to George, 1945.

Names mentioned in the letters (in addition to the individuals listed in family member folders) include: Marjorie Davis, Tony Falsone, Carson McCullers (friend of Peacock's), Leon Scheirer, Nellian Scheirer (George Scheirer's sister), Frank Schwermin (POW), and Joe Tucker.

From John Zeigler to Edwin Peacock, 1943-1945, 1982
(3 folders)
Box 1
From Edwin Peacock to John Zeigler, 1943-1945
(2 folders)
Box 1
From George Scheirer to Edwin Peacock, 1943-1944
(4 folders)
Box 1
From George Scheirer to Edwin Peacock, 1945-1946
Box 2
From Edwin Peacock to George Scheirer, 1943
Box 2
From John Zeigler to George Scheirer, 1942-1945, 1951
(4 folders)
Box 2
From George Scheirer to John Zeigler, 1942-1944
(3 folders)
Box 2
From George Scheirer to John Zeigler, 1945-1954 and undated
(3 folders)
Box 3
From John Zeigler to family members, 1929-1993
(4 folders)

Recipients and names mentioned in letters include Nellian Scheirer, George's sister; Detie, Marie Alicia Elfe, Zeigler's unmarried aunt; Virginia Goodwin, sister of Edwin Peacock; Peggy, Marguerite Elfe Erckmann, John Ziegler's married aunt; and Mrs. Zeigler, his mother. A few letters from Ziegler to these same individuals may be found in other folders of correspondence, but the bulk of them are located here in these folders. Topics include Zeigler's life at college and in the military, his writing projects, family news, and his relatioships with Scheirer and Peacock.

Box 3
General correspondence, 1939-2010

Topics include books published or writing projects, condolences sent to Zeigler following Peacock's death, and Zeigler's ongoing contact with authors. There are mainly letters addressed to Zeigler, although there are several letters either written by or to Edwin Peacock and George Scheirer.

Box 3
John Zeigler journal, 1944 Jan-May

Consists of a journal maintained briefly by Zeigler during the first quarter of 1944. Although the entries are short, they include some account of his time at Yakutat, and convey the development of his career as a writer.

Box 4
Army and Navy certificates and honorable discharge papers, Edwin Peacock and John Zeigler, 1927-1946
Box 5
John Zeigler writings, 1940 and undated
Box 5
Foothills, 1939-1940
Box 5
Glacier Gazette, 1943 June-Dec.
Box 5
Material related to George Scheirer, 1943-1980 and undated
Box 5
Identification of persons mentioned in letters of Edwin and John
Box 5
George Scheirer biography, by Elenora Scheirer
Box 5
Pictures
Box 5
Scheirer, George. Notes on the Army Surgeon General's Office in Washington: 1818-1948. 1948.
Box 5
Scheirer, George. Some Notes on Hand Bookbinding-Forwarding. Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation 23.6 (1944):332-348.
Box 5
Scheirer, George. Typescript. Repair of Manuscripts and Damaged Book Pages (Vatican Method)
Box 5
Scheirer, George. Creative writing.
Box 5
Clippings
Box 5
Army commendations for meritorious civilian service
Box 5
Articles on John Zeigler, 1944-2013 and undated
Box 5
John Zeigler awards, celebrations, etc., 1945-2013
Box 5
Photographs, 1944-1945, 1970s, 2006
Box 5
Poster advertising publication of The Edwin Poems, by John Ziegler, undated
Oversize-folder 1

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Carson McCullers Papers, 1941-1995 and undated, bulk 1945-1970 (Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)
  • Edwin Peacock Papers, 1915-1997 and undated, bulk 1940s-1997 (Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)
  • James Sears Papers, 1917-2008, bulk 1950-2004 (Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Zeigler Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The John Zeigler Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2008-2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Ted Holt, June 2008

Encoded by Ted Holt and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, June 2008

Updated by Meghan Lyon to include Acc. 2009-0002, January 2009; 2009-0087, March 2009

Accessions 2008-0097, 2008-0177, 2009-0002, 2009-0087, 2009-0182, 2011-0060, 2012-0085, 2013-0019 and 2013-0082 are described in this finding aid.

Updated by Alice Poffinberger to include Accession 2009-0182, September 12 and 17, 2009

Updated by Alice Poffinberger to include Accession 2011-0060, June 2011

Updated by Alice Poffinberger to include Accessions 2012-0085 and 2013-0019, February 2014

Reprocessed by Alice Poffinberger, to include all unprocessed additions and Accession 2013-0082, September 2014