Hamlin Garland Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by Huntington Library staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Brooke Dykman Dockter; revised by Diann Benti in 2016.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Overview of the Collection

Title: Hamlin Garland Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1757-1973
Bulk dates: 1910-1941
Collection Number: mssGD 1-1158
Creator: Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940
Extent: 1225 pieces
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
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: English.


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

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

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


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 Note

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.


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.

Scope and Content

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.


The collection is arranged in the following 7 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)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940 -- Archives.
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.

Alternate Authors

Garland, Zulime Mauna Taft, correspondent.

Collection Contents



Box 1

Diaries. 1898-1907


GD  1 Diary. 1898


GD  2 Diary. 1899


GD  3 Diary. 1900


GD  4 Diary. 1901


GD  5 Diary. 1902


GD  6 Diary. 1903


GD  7 Diary. 1904


GD  8 Diary. 1905


GD  9 Diary. 1906


GD  10 Diary. 1907

Box 2

Diaries. 1908-1916


GD  11 Diary. 1908


GD  12 Diary. 1909


GD  13 Diary. 1910


GD  14 Diary. 1911


GD  15 Diary. 1912


GD  16 Diary. 1913


GD  17 Diary. 1914


GD  18 Diary. 1915


GD  19 Diary. 1916

Box 3

Diaries. 1917-1922


GD  20 Diary. 1917


GD  21 Diary. 1918


GD  22 Diary. 1919


GD  23 Diary. 1920


GD  24 Diary. 1921


GD  25 Diary. 1922

Box 4

Diaries. 1923-1928


GD  26 Diary. 1923


GD  27 Diary. 1924


GD  28 Diary. 1925


GD  29 Diary. 1926


GD  30 Diary. 1927


GD  31 Diary. 1928

Box 5

Diaries. 1929-1934


GD  32 Diary. 1929


GD  33 Diary. 1930


GD  34 Diary. 1931


GD  35 Diary. 1932


GD  36 Diary. 1933


GD  37 Diary. 1934

Box 6

Diaries. 1935-1940


GD  38 Diary. 1935


GD  39 Diary. 1936


GD  40 Diary. 1937


GD  41 Diary. 1938


GD  42 Diary. 1939


GD  43 Diary. 1940



Box 7

Travel Notebooks


GD 44 Notes - Oklahoma. 1900


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


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


GD 47 [Notebook: Italy]. 1906


GD 48 [Notebook:] London. 1922


GD 49 [Notebook:] England. 1922


GD 50 [Notebook:] London, Dakota. 1923

Box 8

Miscellaneous Notebooks and Datebooks


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


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


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

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

GD 54 Notebook / Date book. 1934


GD 55 Year book / Date book. 1935


GD 56 Year book / Date book. 1936


GD 57 Year book / Date book. 1937


GD 58 Notebook.



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

Box 28

Scrapbooks/Photograph albums


GD 1156 Scrapbook: chiefly family photographs. 1903-1906


GD 1157 Scrapbook: chiefly family photographs. 1903-1911


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

Box 29


Folder 1

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

Folder 2

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

Folder 3

Bullock's Wilshire. Receipt for purchase.

Folder 4

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

Folder 5

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

Folder 6

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

Folder 7

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

Folder 8

Garland, Hamlin. Address book.

Folder 9

Garland, Hamlin. Newspaper articles by Garland.

Folder 10

Garland, Hamlin. Financial notes. 1935-1936.

Folder 11

Garland, Hamlin. Miscellaneous notes.

Folder 12

Garland, Hamlin. Passports.

Folder 13

Garland, Hamlin. A Pioneer Mother: printed version.

Folder 14

Garland, Hamlin. Poems: printed versions.

Folder 15

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

Folder 16

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

Folder 17

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

Folder 18

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

Folder 19

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

Folder 20

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

Folder 21

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

Folder 22

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

Folder 23

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

Folder 24

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

Folder 25

The National Spiritualist. Form letter. 30 August 1939.

Folder 26

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

Folder 27

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

Folder 28

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

Folder 29

Onteora Club. Receipts. 1927-1935.

Folder 30

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

Folder 31

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

Folder 32

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

Folder 33

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

Folder 34

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

Folder 35

Society of Midland Authors. Informational pamphlet. 1917.

Folder 36

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

Folder 37

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

Folder 38

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

Folder 39

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

Folder 40

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

Folder 41

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

Folder 42

Death momento for Rebecca McClintock Garland. 1842.

Folder 43

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

Folder 44


Folder 45

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

Folder 46

Newspaper clipping: Henry Blake Fuller.

Folder 47

Newspaper clippings: Hamlin Garland.

Folder 48

Newspaper clippings: death of Hamlin Garland.

Folder 49

Newspaper clippings: reviews of Hamlin Garland's books.

Folder 50

Newspaper clipping: Zulime Mauna (Taft) Garland.

Folder 51

Newspaper clippings: Hardesty Johnson.

Folder 52

Newspaper clippings: miscellaneous.

Folder 53

Newspaper clippings: Lorado Zadock Taft.

Folder 54

Printed items.

Folder 55

Printed programs & announcements.

Folder 56

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

Folder 57

Stray envelopes.

Folder 58

Unidentified correspondence.

Folder 59

Unidentified song.


Oversize Folders

Folder Oversize 1

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

Folder Oversize 2

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

Folder Oversize 3

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

Folder Oversize 4

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

Folder Oversize 5

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

Folder Oversize 6

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

Folder Oversize 7

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