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Register of the Louisa A. Withee Papers, 1890-1920
Mss129  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The primary correspondence in this collection consists of letters to Louisa A. Withee from her son son Haskell, her sister, Helen Manville, and Helen's daughter, Marion Pope. Some of these date from the Manvilles' European tour (1890). Subsequent items discuss, apart from family matters, the Chilean earthquakes of 1906 and 1909, as well as American business prospects in South America. Letters from Charles Pope to his Aunt (by marriage), Louisa Withee, concern business dealings. The Popes seemingly acted on Louisa's behalf with respect to insurance and other business matters. The collection also contains a few family photographs, although most are unidentified.
Background
Ancestors of Louisa Withee's husband were farmers in Wisconsin and it is of interest that a town in that state bears their name. Louisa Withee remained in Wisconsin her entire life. Louisa's sister, Helen Wood Manville, and Helen's daughter Marion, were widely-traveled published authors. Helen Manville's (1839-1912)collected poetry appeared as Heart Echoes (1875). Marion Manville Pope (1859-1930)published Over the Divide and Other Verses (1888), Up the Matterhorn in a Boat (1897) and Between Two Goals (1917). In 1891 Marion Manville married Charles Pope, an American businessman working in South America, and Helen Manville moved with her daughter and son-in-law to Chile. In 1911 Pope concentrated his business activities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Charles Pope made lengthy business trips to New York and London on some of which his wife and mother-in-law joined him. Most of their contact with Louisa Withee and other Wisconsin relatives, however, was by mail. It is not clear from this correspondence what Charles Pope's business was, although one might guess that he was involved in the import trade. Helen Manville seems to have been torn between living with her daughter in South America and remaining in Wisconsin near family. This issue was resolved only by her death (1912). Louisa Withee's son, Haskell, also figures in the correspondence since he was spent some time in Europe with the Popes.
Availability
Collection is open for research.