Hamlin Garland Papers: Finding Aid mssGD

Processed by Huntington Library staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Brooke Dykman Dockter; revised by Diann Benti in 2016. Finding aid updated on June 17, 2022, by Melissa Haley.
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191


Finding aid last updated on November 28, 2023 by Kelly Kress

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Hamlin Garland papers
Creator: Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940
Identifier/Call Number: mssGD
Physical Description: 28.52 Linear Feet (30 boxes, 8 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1757-1973, bulk 1910-1941
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of American novelist, playwright, and author Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) and consists primarily of letters written by Garland to his wife Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland and to his daughters. Subject matter chiefly includes biographical information on Garland, his literary activities while on the lecture circuit, his experiences in England and Europe in 1924-1925, and general family matters. Business correspondence is concentrated in the years 1930-1940.
Language of Material: English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Box 30: Audiovisual materials housed in cold storage; extended retrieval and delivery time required.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Hamlin Garland papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of collection was purchased from Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord in 1968. 39 additional letters purchased from Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle in March 1968 have been incorporated into the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) was an American novelist, playwright, and author. Born on September 14, 1860, and raised on farms in Wisconsin and the Midwest, Garland was provided early on with the practical experience of farm and mid-western life that was to become the foundation for his realistic style of writing and unsentimental accounts of farm life in both his fictional and non-fictional accounts.
Garland's literary career did not begin until 1884 when he left the West for Boston. He was just able to support himself teaching and lecturing on literature, and writing for journals such as the Transcript, American Magazine, Harper's Weekly, and Century. Only a portion of his writing dealt with reviewing or discussing literature; mainly Garland expressed his own views of life in the West through fiction, non-fiction, and verse. His early writings were praised for their accurate depiction of farm life in the Midwest. His famous Son of the Middle Border (1917) was based on the life of his father, Richard Garland, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Daughter of the Middle Border (1921) traced the homestead life of his mother, Isabelle Charlotte (McClintock) Garland. The popularity of these books prompted him to continue putting his family saga down on paper. The result was a series of books that cover his father's boyhood, his parents' lives, and his own life until roughly 1928.
Garland married Zulime Mauna Taft (1870-1942) in 1899, sister to sculptor Lorado Taft. Though the Garlands lived in Chicago and New York, they spent summers in West Salem, Wisconsin, and upstate New York. The Garlands had two children, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord (1903-1988) and Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle (1907-1988).
Garland spent the last 10 years of his life residing in Hollywood, California, mainly occupied by an interest researching psychic phenomena. He also continued to write articles and books, and to give lectures for various literary groups. He died on March 5, 1940.

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily contains the personal papers of American writer Hamlin Garland, chiefly dealing with various family matters, Garland's experience travelling abroad and in the United States, and publication matters. The collection also contains diaries and notebooks from Garland's European and domestic travels. The correspondence consists chiefly of letters written by Garland to his wife, Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland, and daughters, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord, and Constance (Garland) Harper Doyle. The letters chiefly contain biographical information on Garland: his literary activities while on the lecture circuit, books and articles in progress, work with publishers, and general family matters. His business correspondence is concentrated in the years 1930-1940.
A large number of letters to his daughter, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson Lord, during the years 1936-1937 describe his activities with Mr. & Mrs. Parent and his searches for buried Spanish and Indian crosses which lead to the published work, The Mystery of the Buried Crosses. Another large group of letters to his family shares his experiences in England and Europe in 1924 and 1925. In addition, the collection contains two typescript letters signed from Theodore Roosevelt, one to Hamlin Garland, 1903 June 30, and one to Mary Isabel Garland, 1917 August 15; and one William H. Taft typescript letter signed to Hamlin Garland, 1918 June 9 (GD 1129).

Processing Information

This finding aid was updated in 2022 by Melissa Haley as part of the American Presidential Papers Project with enhanced description of the presidential material present. In September 2022, Mari Khasmanyan added the audiovisual materials into the collection and included links to their digital reproductions.


Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssGD 1-1167, mss FAC 1285.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected audiovisual items from this collection have been digitized. Digital reproductions are available in the Internet Archive. 


The collection is arranged in the following 8 series:
  1. Diaries (Boxes 1-6)
  2. Notebooks (Boxes 7-8)
  3. Manuscripts (Boxes 9-10)
  4. Correspondence (Boxes 11-27)
  5. Scrapbooks (Box 28)
  6. Ephemera (Box 29).
  7. Oversize folders (GD 1159-1166)
  8. Audiovisual materials (GD 1167)


Åhnebrink, Lars. The Beginnings of Naturalism in American Fiction. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1950.
Holloway, Jean. Hamlin Garland, A Biography. University of Texas Press, Austin. 1960.
Pizer, Donald. Hamlin Garland: Newspaper and Periodical Publications, 1885-1895: A Bibliography. Bulletin of Bibliography. Vol. 22, no. 2. Jan.- Apr. 1957.
Pizer, Donald, ed. Hamlin Garland's Diaries. The Huntington Library, San Marino. 1968.
Contemporary Authors, vol. 104, p. 160.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 12, pp. 203-212; vol. 71, pp. 71-81; vol. 78, pp. 179-194.
National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 8, p. 37.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

American literature -- 20th century
Authors, American -- 19th century -- Archives
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Archives
Diaries -- United States
Ephemera -- United States
Letters (correspondence) -- United States
Manuscripts for publication -- United States
Notebooks -- United States
Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940 -- Archives
Garland, Zulime Mauna Taft, correspondent.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930



Box 1

Diaries. 1898-1907


Diary. GD 1 1898


Diary. GD 2 1899


Diary. GD 3 1900


Diary. GD 4 1901


Diary. GD 5 1902


Diary. GD 6 1903


Diary. GD 7 1904


Diary. GD 8 1905


Diary. GD 9 1906


Diary. GD 10 1907

Box 2

Diaries. 1908-1916


Diary. GD 11 1908


Diary. GD 12 1909


Diary. GD 13 1910


Diary. GD 14 1911


Diary. GD 15 1912


Diary. GD 16 1913


Diary. GD 17 1914


Diary. GD 18 1915


Diary. GD 19 1916

Box 3

Diaries. 1917-1922


Diary. GD 20 1917


Diary. GD 21 1918


Diary. GD 22 1919


Diary. GD 23 1920


Diary. GD 24 1921


Diary. GD 25 1922

Box 4

Diaries. 1923-1928


Diary. GD 26 1923


Diary. GD 27 1924


Diary. GD 28 1925


Diary. GD 29 1926


Diary. GD 30 1927


Diary. GD 31 1928

Box 5

Diaries. 1929-1934


Diary. GD 32 1929


Diary. GD 33 1930


Diary. GD 34 1931


Diary. GD 35 1932


Diary. GD 36 1933


Diary. GD 37 1934

Box 6

Diaries. 1935-1940


Diary. GD 38 1935


Diary. GD 39 1936


Diary. GD 40 1937


Diary. GD 41 1938


Diary. GD 42 1939


Diary. GD 43 1940



Box 7

Travel Notebooks


Notes - Oklahoma. GD 44 1900


[Notebook: Scotland and England]. GD 45 [1906]


[Notebook: Europe, Scotland, and England]. GD 46 1906


[Notebook: Italy]. GD 47 1906


[Notebook:] London. GD 48 1922


[Notebook:] England. GD 49 1922


[Notebook:] London, Dakota. GD 50 1923

Box 8

Miscellaneous Notebooks and Datebooks


Meetings with authors: lecture notes. GD 51 [Approximately 1900-before 1941]


The Shadow World: psychological notes. GD 52 [Approximately 1923]


The Story of Grant McLane: A Chronicle of the West. GD 53 1898

Scope and Contents

In Pittman-Gregg shorthand. Later published as Boy Life on the Prairie, which was used as the basis of Son of the Middle Border.

Notebook / Date book. GD 54 1934


Year book / Date book. GD 55 1935


Year book / Date book. GD 56 1936


Year book / Date book. GD 57 1937


Notebook. GD 58



Box 9

Manuscripts GD 59-86

Box 10

Manuscripts GD 87-98, FAC 1285



Box 11

Correspondence: A-C. GD 99-156

Box 12

Correspondence: D-Garland, Hamlin (to C) GD 157-208

Box 13

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to D-Zulime Mauna [Taft] Garland, 1899-1900) GD 209-270

Box 14

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Zulime Mauna [Taft] Garland, 1901-1908) GD 271-335

Box 15

Correspondence: Garland Hamlin (to Zulime Mauna [Taft] Garland, 1910-1938) GD 336-393

Box 16

Correspondence: Garland Hamlin (to Zulime Mauna [Taft] Garland, before 1941, - Gar) GD 394-456

Box 17

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Gr-Mary Isabel [Garland] Johnson Lord, 1903-1934) GD 457-530

Box 18

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Mary Isabel [Garland] Johnson Lord, 1935-1937) GD 531-603

Box 19

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Mary Isabel [Garland] Johnson Lord, after 1937-before 1941) GD 604-670

Box 20

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Mary Isabel [Garland] Johnson Lord, after 1941) GD 671-735

Box 21

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to Mary Isabel [Garland] Johnson Lord and Constance [Garland] Harper Doyle) GD 736-800

Box 22

Correspondence: Garland, Hamlin (to his children)- Garland, Richard Hays GD 801-859

Box 23

Correspondence: Garland, Zulime Mauna (Taft)-Gua GD 860-913

Box 24

Correspondence: H-L GD 914-979

Box 25

Correspondence: M-Si GD 980-1046

Box 26

Correspondence: Sl-Taft, Lorado Zadock (to Hamlin Garland) GD 1047-1105

Box 27

Correspondence: Taft, Lorado Zadock (to Zulime Mauna [Taft] Garland)-W GD 1106-1155

Scope and Contents

Includes William H. Taft typescript letter signed to Hamlin Garland, 1918 June 9 (GD 1129, 1 page).
Box 28

Scrapbooks/Photograph albums


Scrapbook: chiefly family photographs. GD 1156 1903-1906

Scope and Contents

Includes Theodore Roosevelt, Oyster Bay, New York, typescript letter signed to Hamlin Garland, West Salem, Wisconsin, 1903 June 30 (1 page).

Scrapbook: chiefly family photographs. GD 1157 1903-1911


Scrapbook with photographs, ephemera, and clippings. GD 1158 1908-1917

Scope and Contents

Includes Theodore Roosevelt, New York, typescript letter signed to Mary Isabel Garland, Tannersville, New York, 1917 August 15, with autograph corrections. (1 page).
Box 29


Box 29, Folder 1

American Central Insurance Company. Automobile substitution endorsement. 17 December 1938.

Box 29, Folder 2

Beaman, A. G. Financial notes. 18 November 1938.

Box 29, Folder 3

Bullock's Wilshire. Receipt for purchase.

Box 29, Folder 4

Campbell, Claude. Bill for services rendered. 12 June 1939.

Box 29, Folder 5

Doyle, Constance (Garland) Harper. Pen & ink drawings.

Box 29, Folder 6

Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. Receipt for dividend. 14 December 1938.

Box 29, Folder 7

Friends of the Middle Border. Articles of Incorporation. 1939.

Box 29, Folder 8

Garland, Hamlin. Address book.

Box 29, Folder 9

Garland, Hamlin. Newspaper articles by Garland.

Box 29, Folder 10

Garland, Hamlin. Financial notes. 1935-1936.

Box 29, Folder 11

Garland, Hamlin. Miscellaneous notes.

Box 29, Folder 12

Garland, Hamlin. Passports.

Box 29, Folder 13

Garland, Hamlin. A Pioneer Mother: printed version.

Box 29, Folder 14

Garland, Hamlin. Poems: printed versions.

Box 29, Folder 15

Garland, Hamlin. Typescript of The Afternoon Landscape by Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Box 29, Folder 16

Garland, Hamlin. William Bacon's Man: printed version with author's autograph corrections.

Box 29, Folder 17

Garland, Hamlin and Lord, Mary Isabel (Garland) Johnson. Memories of the Middle Border: A Combined Lecture Reading: [program]

Box 29, Folder 18

Guaranty Trust Company of New York. Income tax notes. 1935-1938.

Box 29, Folder 19

Guaranty Trust Company of New York. Receipt for payment. 2 December 1938.

Box 29, Folder 20

Herr, A. V. Bill for services rendered. February 1937.

Box 29, Folder 21

Hunter, N.Y. Receipt for payment of school tax. September 1933.

Box 29, Folder 22

Hunter, N.Y. Receipt for property tax payment. 1934-1937.

Box 29, Folder 23

Hunter, N.Y. Property tax statements. 1934-1937.

Box 29, Folder 24

Los Angeles. Registrar of Voters. Voter registration for Hamlin Garland. 16 September 1939.

Box 29, Folder 25

The National Spiritualist. Form letter. 30 August 1939.

Box 29, Folder 26

New York (state). Income tax forms. 1931-1935.

Box 29, Folder 27

New York (state). Bureau of Local Assessment. Application for Revision of Real Property Assessment.

Box 29, Folder 28

Newark Fire Insurance Company. Receipt for payment. 31 August 1939.

Box 29, Folder 29

Onteora Club. Receipts. 1927-1935.

Box 29, Folder 30

Payne Furnatce & Supply Company. Contract for work. 5 July 1939.

Box 29, Folder 31

Railway Express Agency. Shipper's collect receipt. 24 January 1940.

Box 29, Folder 32

St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company. Inspection chart and diagram of home on 2045 DeMille Drive. 3 March 1939.

Box 29, Folder 33

Savage-Haldeman Company. Repair order. 20 January 1939.

Box 29, Folder 34

Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles. Duplicate deposit slips. 1938.

Box 29, Folder 35

Society of Midland Authors. Informational pamphlet. 1917.

Box 29, Folder 36

Taylor, Fielding Lewis, et al. Proposal for a tribute to Irving Bacheller.

Box 29, Folder 37

United States. Treasury Department. Federal income tax forms. 1928-1937.

Box 29, Folder 38

Van Waters, George. Political Geography: printed schoolbook. 1853.

Box 29, Folder 39

Victoria Hotel, Cairo. Bill for services. September 1930.

Box 29, Folder 40

Western Union Telegraph Company. Bill for telegrams sent. 1 September 1919.

Box 29, Folder 41

Wolff, Peter. The Story Behind Leland Stanford University's Greatest Mystery: magazine article.

Box 29, Folder 42

Death momento for Rebecca McClintock Garland. 1842.

Box 29, Folder 43

List of books by Hamlin Garland sent to Fort Wayne Library.

Box 29, Folder 44


Box 29, Folder 45

Newspaper clippings: reviews of John Hodgdon Bradley's Patterns of Survival.

Box 29, Folder 46

Newspaper clipping: Henry Blake Fuller.

Box 29, Folder 47

Newspaper clippings: Hamlin Garland.

Box 29, Folder 48

Newspaper clippings: death of Hamlin Garland.

Box 29, Folder 49

Newspaper clippings: reviews of Hamlin Garland's books.

Box 29, Folder 50

Newspaper clipping: Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland.

Box 29, Folder 51

Newspaper clippings: Hardesty Johnson.

Box 29, Folder 52

Newspaper clippings: miscellaneous.

Box 29, Folder 53

Newspaper clippings: Lorado Zadock Taft.

Box 29, Folder 54

Printed items.

Box 29, Folder 55

Printed programs & announcements.

Box 29, Folder 56

The Step Ladder: A Monthly Journal of Bookly Ascent. April 1940.

Box 29, Folder 57

Stray envelopes.

Box 29, Folder 58

Unidentified correspondence.

Box 29, Folder 59

Unidentified song.

Box 31

Oversize folders

Box 31

Doyle, Richard Coyne. Last Will and Testament. GD 1160 1942, May 29.

Box 31

Garland, Mary M. Quit claim deed for land in La Crosse County, transferred to Hamlin Garland and Franklin M. Garland. GD 1161 1914, November 20.

Box 31

Garland, Mary M. Quit claim deed for land in La Crosse county, transferred to Hamlin Garland. GD 1162 1914, November 20.

Box 31

Garland, Zulime Mauna (Taft). Possibilities of Sculpture in American Cities: [essay]. GD 1163 1929.

Box 31

Horn, Charles E. and George P. Morris. A Western Refrain: [song]. GD 1164 1941.

Box 31

New York Indemnity Company. Completion bond given by Harley S. Bradley in favor of Hamlin Garland. GD 1165 1930, June 17.

Box 31

Farran, Don. Two poems: Prairie Saga and Overmantle. GD 1166 1934, February 19. Both autographed.


Audiovisual materials

Digital reproductions of selected items from the Hamlin Garland papers.

Existence and Location of Copies

Selected items from this collection have been digitized. Digital reproductions are available in the Internet Archive. 

Scope and Contents

This series contains three 16mm films by Guy D. Haselton on Hamlin Garland. One of the film titles reads, "Guy D. Haselton Travelettes present Hamlin Garland: Dean of American Letters."
Box 30

Hamlin Garland, Dean of American Letters: a Guy D. Haselton Travellette mssGD 1167 approximately 1925-1927

Scope and Contents

This "travelette" includes three film reels of Hamlin Garland, his wife Zulima, and their daughters and grandchildren in and around their Hollywood home at 2045 De Mille Drive, where Hamlin resided for the last ten years of his life.