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Jessamyn West Collection
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Collection Overview
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The Jessamyn West Collection contains materials relating to author Jessamyn West (1902-1984). The collection includes West's manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, diaries, reviews, publications, and personal library.
Mary Jessamyn West, or Jessamyn West as she was mainly known, (1902-1984) was a Quaker author, born in Indiana and raised in Whittier, Calif. She is best known for her first published book, The Friendly Persuasion, which features Quaker characters. This book was also adapted into a feature film, for which she helped pen a screenplay. Notably, she also published The Quaker Reader, Cress Delahanty, Double Discovery: A Journey, The Massacre at Fall Creek, The Witch Diggers, various poems, short stories, articles, and screenplays. She wrote mainly about feminism, women's issues, and Quaker life. In 1932, West suffered from tuberculosis and was subsequently sent to a sanitarium to recover. Her time battling tuberculosis, both in the sanitarium and at home in the care of her mother, was instrumental in shaping her life and her writing. Ms. West was second cousin to President Richard M. Nixon, and a fellow alumnus of Whittier College. Later in life Jessamyn moved to Napa Valley, Calif. with her husband, where she died in 1984 due to complications from a stroke.
226 linear feet.
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Wardman Library, Whittier College.
Jessamyn West's diaries are closed to researchers until 2050, at the bequest of Ms. West and her family. All other materials in the collection are open for research.