Eugene and Margaret Triman Papers, 1944-1946


Eugene and Margaret Triman both served in the United States military during World War II; Eugene was a sailor and was stationed on submarines, and Margaret was a member of the Women's Army Corps. The majority of this collection consists of Eugene's letters to Margaret while the couple was dating and engaged to marry. There are also five photographs of their wedding day, in April 1946, as well as some newspaper clippings about Margaret's WAC service and two booklets on birth control.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Eugene and Margaret Triman papers
Triman, Eugene.
0.5 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The collection consists largely of correspondence from Eugene Triman to Margaret Bond between December 1944 and April 1946. It is unclear how the couple met, but early letters indicate that Margaret was originally dating another man, "Bert." By August 1945, Eugene and Margaret had begun dating, and by February 1946 they were engaged. There are a few letters from Margaret to Eugene in the weeks leading up to their marriage. Their wedding occurred in late April or early May, 1946. The last letter in the collection is from Margaret's mother in May 1946, wishing the couple a happy married life and enclosing photographs of the wedding ceremony.

Most letters are from Eugene to Margaret, and largely center on his affection and love for her. He writes intimately about their relationship, and discusses their future, his expectations of her as his wife, his sexual desires, their need for birth control and contraceptives once married, his conversion to Catholicism, and his plans for employment and education following his discharge from the U.S. Navy. Other topics of interest are his activities and Navy life aboard submarines, particularly the USS Howard Gilmore, and his various deployments in New York, Florida, and other locations which were classified.

Margaret's letters to Eugene center largely on the logistics of their wedding, particularly the requirement of a blood test in order to receive their marriage license.

Other items in the collection are three clippings from local newspapers announcing Margaret's deployment as a servicewoman in the Women's Army Corps, dating from August 1944.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], Eugene and Margaret Triman Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Clippings re: Margaret Bond, 1944 Aug.

Coverage of Margaret's WAC service.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1944 Dec.

Letter from Eugene to Margaret, acknowledging that she was dating "Bert" and hoping that they could stay friends.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Jan.

Letters from Eugene to Margaret while he was stationed on the U.S.S. Howard Gilmore, at port in New York.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Apr.
Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 May

Letters from Eugene to Margaret, including a letter from May 28th with his description of naval training, flying, and Navy life.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Jun.

Letters from Eugene to Margaret, including a letter dating June 8 in which he describes his activities while aboard his submarine.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Jul.
Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Aug.

Letters exchanged in August 1945 concern daily life in the Navy and emerging emotional attachments. Eugene and Marget write about working graveyard shifts and furlough holidays. Eugene recounts fond memories of Margaret and expresses that he misses her.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Sept.

In a letter written on September 26, 1945, Eugene updates Margaret that he has arrived in Panama on his way to Staten Island.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Oct.

In October 1945, Eugene tells Margaret that he was granted a 1-month leave. He reports meeting up with his old friend, Charles Turk. He describes an incident in which a French submarine appeared to sink some merchant ships. In his next letter, he inquires about Margaret's change of address to W Reed Hospital in Washington DC, expressing that he hopes that she is merely serving there and not being treated for some injury. He offers encouragement when he hears that she has decided to take a correspondence course.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Nov.

Love letters from Eugene to Margaret, following a period of time when they appear to have begun dating. Eugene also mentions being sent to Panama by the Navy.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1945 Dec.
Box 1
Correspondence, 1946 Jan.
Box 1
Correspondence, 1946 Feb.

Letters from Eugene to Margaret, discussing wedding plans. A series of letters from mid-February (14-17) discuss birth control and the couple's need for contraception, evaluating their options and discussing health and religious concerns. This file includes two pamphlets on birth control sent by Eugene to Margaret.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1946 Mar.

Love letters from Eugene to Margaret, continuing the discussion about birth control. Eugene also describes being transferred off the U.S.S. Howard Gilmore to a naval base, and a subsequent letter (Mar. 19) with the details of his daily routine.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1946 Apr.

Love letters from Eugene to Margaret, including one letter in which he expresses how much he likes her WAC uniform. Also includes some letters from Margaret to Eugene, discussing wedding details and including the results of their blood tests, a requirement for their marriage license in New Jersey. Eugene also describes the search for housing, which proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Unable to find an apartment for rent before the wedding, they opt to stay in an extended-stay hotel for the first month while they look for a permanent residence.

Box 1
Correspondence, 1946 May

Letter from Margaret's mother to Margaret, including a newspaper clipping of Margaret and Eugene's wedding announcement and 5 snapshots from their wedding day.

Box 1

Historical Note

Eugene Louis Triman was born on Jan. 2, 1915, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a petty officer, and was stationed on submarines and at naval bases in the United States and in the Pacific Ocean.

Margaret Elizabeth Bond Triman was born on Feb. 19, 1914, and grew up in New Jersey. She attended Asbury Park High School and Glassboro State Teachers College before graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor's degree in education. In 1944, Margaret joined the Women's Army Corps and completed basic training in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, before serving in the Signal Corps at Arlington Hall, Virginia, until the conclusion of the war.

The couple married in April, 1946, and moved to Chicago. Margaret died on Dec. 28, 1967. Eugene died on Jun. 17, 2006.

Related Material

The Rubenstein Library also holds the Tom Triman Films Collection. Tom Triman is the son of Eugene and Margaret Triman.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Eugene and Margaret Triman Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in May 2014.