University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Arlo Bates and
George L. Vose Papers

1879 - 1916

Manuscript Collection Number: 373
Accessioned: Purchase, April 1986
Extent: .3 linear feet (153 items)
Content: Letters, photographs, and an unidentified manuscript page
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: July 1998, by Meghan J. Fuller

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Arlo Bates

A novelist, poet, and teacher, Arlo Bates was born in East Machias, Maine, on December 16, 1850 to Dr. Niran Bates and Susan Thaxter Bates. He studied at Bowdoin College where he earned a Bachelor's degree in 1876 and a Master's degree in 1879. He received an honorary Litt.D in 1894.

Bates began writing while still a student at Bowdoin, and for a year after graduation, he painted china, tutored, and even worked as a clerk in a metal foundary. Eventually, he was offered the position of editor of the Boston Sunday Courier where he remained until 1893.

In 1882, he married Harriet Lenora Vose who was herself a published writer under the pseudonym, Eleanor Putnum. They collaborated on a novel, Prince Vance, published in 1886. Later that year, Harriet passed away, and every volume Bates published thereafter is dedicated to her. The couple had one son, Oric.

In 1893, Bates accepted a position as professor of English at Massachusettes Institute of Technology, where he stayed until his retirement in 1915. During this time, Bates lectured extensively and wrote several textbooks, including Talks on Writing English (1896); Talks on the Studies of Literature (1906); and Talks on Teaching Literature (1906).

Bates is the author of fourteen novels, including Patty's Perversities (1881); A Lad's Love (1887); In the Bundle of Time (1893);The Diary of a Saint (1902); and The Intoxicated Ghost (1908). In addition, Bates published seven volumes of poetry, including The Berries of the Briar (1886); Under the Beech Tree (1899); and Sonnet in Shadow (1887), a dirge in memory of his wife.

Bates passed away on August 24, 1918.

George L. Vose

A note in the collection indicates that George Leonard Vose was the father of Bates' wife, Harriet Lenora Vose. Bates and Harriet were married in 1882 and had one son, Oric. Harriet passed away in 1886. As indicated by the collection., Bates and his father-in-law remained close; in letters to his sister-in-law Persis N. Andrews, Vose frequently wrote about Bates and his success in the literary marketplace. In a 1901 letter to Andrews, Vose expressed his pride in his grandson Oric, then a freshman at Harvard University.

Vose himself was an academic; he was a highly respected professor of civil engineering at Bowdoin College where he authored a handbook for engineers, A Manual for Railroad Engineers and Engineering Students.


Kunitz, Stanley and Howard Haycraft, eds. American Authors, 1600-1900. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1938.

Note: Biographical information for George L. Vose was obtained from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Arlo Bates and George L. Vose Papers comprise .3 linear feet (153 items) of letters, photographs, and an unidentified manuscript fragment. The collection spans the years 1879 to 1916 and includes correspondence from many well known novelists, poets, biographers, scholars, editors, publishers, composers, and statesmen.

Among those writers whose letters are included in this collection are Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Alice Brown, George Washington Cable, Margaret Deland, Mary Mapes Dodge, Louise Imogen Guiney, William Vaughn Moody, and Kate Douglas Wiggin. Bates also corresponded with editors and publishers, including Mary Louise Booth, Louise Chandler Moulton, and H.E. Scudder. In addition, the collection contains letters written by C. F. Adams, railroad magnate and grandson of former President John Quincy Adams; Henry Cabot Lodge, U.S. Senator and orator; Charles W. Eliot, former President of Harvard University; and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a New England abolitionist who commanded the first African American regiment raised in the South (the First South Carolina Volunteers) during the Civil War.

Taken together, Bates's letters offer an interesting critique of the literary marketplace of the time. For example, Alice Brown loved Margaret Deland's The Awakening of Helena Ritchie, whereas Bates did not like Robert Grant's novel, Face to Face. Grant enjoyed Bates' A Lad's Love, however, and called it "finished" and "graceful." The letters are peppered with praise and criticism for both established and up-and-coming writers.

Many letters reflect the difficulties of women writers struggling to break into a male dominated market. Many such writers ask for advice or thank Bates for his kind words and encouragement. Wrote aspiring novelist Julia von Stosch Schayer, "Your [criticism] has always done me good because I know you are competent in every way, and while unsparing, you are animated by no mean motive towards me. You would rather see me succeed than fail, I know" (F4). Indeed, it seems that Bates was an avid supporter of all arts and artists, and they supported him in return. The collection includes several touching letters written by friends and fellow writers following the death of Bates' wife, Harriet.

In sharp contrast to Bates' letters are those written by his father-in-law, George L. Vose, to Persis N. Andrews. Spanning the years 1900 through 1909, these letters were written after Vose's retirement from Bowdoin College where he was a professor of Civil Engineering. As indicated by the collection, Andrews was Vose's sister-in-law. During much of their nine-year correspondence, she lived in Paris while he remained at home on the coast of Maine. His letters to her are filled with local news of weddings and births and the sad passing of old friends. He vividly captures the landscape and eccentric characters of the small seaside community of Costine, Maine.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in small groups by correspondence of Arlo Bates and George L. Vose; two folders of miscellaneous letters from Walter Shinlaw to Truman Howe Bartlett, and from Hermann Hagedorn to Bates' son, Oric; nine photographs; and an unidentified manuscript fragment.

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

F1   Letters to Arlo Bates  (Aldrich - Grant)
      All letters in this folder were written to Arlo Bates, unless otherwise noted.

     Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836-1907) to Booth, Edwin (1833-1893)  
     A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Aldrich is perhaps best known for his novel,
     The Story of a Bad Boy, considered by many to be the first realistic portrayal of boyhood
     in American literature.  He was a lifelong friend of Edwin Booth, who acheived celebrity
     status as the most accomplished Shakespearean actor of his day.  Booth's
     accomplishments are often overshadowed, however, by the reputation of his brother, who
     assassinated President Lincoln in 1863.
     [n.d.]     ALS 1p   
     Arzall, H.C.
     1887 Jun 25    ALS  1p   
     Bartlett, Percy W.
     1886 Jun 17    ALS  1p   
     Note: This letter is written in French.
     Bok, William J.
     1901 Jan 21    ALS  2p   
     Note: Included on the reverse side of this letter is a typed letter from Bates to his
     father-in-law, George L.Vose.
     Booth, Mary L. (Mary Louise) 1831-1889
     As editor of Harper's Bazzar, Booth tentatively accepted Bates' short story, The Man
     who Committed Bigamy, if it were "considerably abridged."
     1883 May 10    ALS  2p   

     Burr, Alice
     [n.y] Jul 29   ALS  3p   
     Bynner, Edwin Lassetter, 1842-1893
     A native of Brooklyn, New York, Lassetter is best known for his historical romances,
     including Agnes Surriage (1886); The Begum's Daughter (1890); and Zachary Phips
     [n.d.]    ALS  1p   

F1   Letters to Arlo Bates (Aldrich - Grant) (cont'd)

     Cable, George Washington, (1844-1925) to Mrs. Sargent
     Born in New Orleans, Cable is best known for his vivid depiction of the French Creole
     culture of southern Louisiana.  Among his many published works are The Creoles of
     Louisiana (1884), Strange True Stories of Louisiana (1889), The Flowers of the
     Chapdelaines (1918), and a short story collection, Old Creole Days (1879).
     1883 Dec 3     ALS  1p   
     Chadwick, G.W. (George Whitefield), 1854-1931
     An organist, conductor, and educator, Chadwick taught at the New England Conservatory
     and was eventually named its director.  Among his best known pieces are A Flower Cycle
     and Told in the Gate, both collaborations with lyricist Arlo Bates.
     1891 Jul 30    ALS  4p   

     Deland, Margaret Wade Campbell, 1857-1945
     A novelist and short story writer, many of Deland's novels have strong, independent
     heroines and deal with the issue of women's suffrage.  Some of her best known include
     John Ward, Preacher (1888); The Awakening of Helena Ritchie (1906); The Rising Tide
     (1916); and The Vehement Flame (1922).
     [n.d.]    ALS  4p   
     Dodge, Mary Mapes, 1830-1905
     The most revered children's writer of her time, Dodge's Hans Brinker and the Silver
     Skates is still widely read.  She was the founding editor of  St. Nicholas, a children's
     magazine which published many of the leading writers of the day including Rudyard
     Kipling and Mark Twain.
     1887 Jan 29    ALS  3p   
     Dorr, Julia Caroline Ripley, 1825-1913
     A poet and novelist, Dorr published her first three books under the pseudonym, Caroline
     Thomas.  Among her principle works are Farmingdale (1854), Lanmere (1856), and Sybil
     Huntington (1869).
     1894 Feb 4     ALS  3p   
     1894 Jul 1     ALS  5p   
     [n.d.]    ALS  3p   

F1   Letters to Arlo Bates (Aldrich - Grant) (cont'd)

     Eichberg, Julius, 1824-1893
     Director of the Boston Conservatory of Music
     1891 Apr 10    ANS  1p   
     [n.y.] Apr 13  ALS  3p   

     Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926
     A teacher, educator, and chemist, Eliot served as president of Harvard University from
     1869 to 1909.  Under his direction, the college earned an international reputation.  He is
     the author of The Happy Life (1869); Educational Reform (1898); The Durable
     Satisfaction of Life (1910); and A Late Harvest (1924), among others. 
     1897 Oct 4     TLS  1p   

     Frazer, James George, Sir,1854-1931
     Professor of Religion, Cambridge University
     1909 Nov 20    ALS  4p   
     Garrett, Edmund Henry,1853-1929
     1887 Sep 23    ALS  4p   

     Grant, Robert, 1852-1940
     Born in Boston, Grant was a lawyer and a judge as well as a novelist and poet.  His
     experiences on the bench made their way into many of his novels, including The Average
     Man (1883); Unleavened Bread (1900); The Chippendales (1909); and The Bishop's
     Granddaughter (1925).
     1886 Jun 1     ALS  1p   
     1887 Mar 29    ALS  2p   
     1887 Sep 6     ALS  2p   
     1890 Feb 23    ALS  1p   
     1890 Nov 20    ALS  1p   
     1914 Feb 4     ALS  1p   
     [n.d]     ANS  1p

F2   Letters to Arlo Bates  (Gilder - Lowell)

     Gilder, Richard Watson, 1844-1909
     Editor, Century Magazine
     1890 Mar 27    ALS  1p   
     1896 Oct 26    ANS  1p   
     Guiney, Louise Imogen, 1861-1920
     A poet, essayist, journalist, and librarian, Guiney was born in Massachusettes but spent
     much of her life abroad.  Her many poetry collections include Songs at the Start (1884);
     the White Sail and Other Poems (1887); and England and Yesterday (1898).  She is also
     the co-author of several volumes with her good friend, Alice Brown.
     1881 Feb 24    ALS  3p    
     Hall, Edward Hepple
     1887 Mar 6     ALS  2p    

     Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911
     A clergyman, soldier, editor, and writer, Higginson served as a colonel during the Civil
     War and commanded a regiment of African American soldiers, an experience he
     describes in his book, Army Life in a Black Regiment (1870).  Higgison was also
     dedicated to furthering women's rights, an issue he detailed in his volume Common Sense
     About Women (1881).
     1886 May 20    ALS  3p   
     1886 Oct 4     ALS  2p

     Horne, Alice G.
     [n.d.]    ACS  1p   
     Jenks, Pheobe
     1889 Feb 1     ALS  2p   
     Johnson, Robert Vincent
     1889 Mar 9     ALS  1p   
     Johnson, Rossiter, 1840-1931
     1908 Mar 11    ALS  2p   
     [n.d.]    TLS  1p   
     Linton, W.J. (William James), 1812-1897
     An English poet, editor, and engraver, Linton began his career as the founder of the
     political magazine, The National.  He also edited The Illuminated Magazine, and
     contributed political verses to the Dublin-based  Nation.  In 1866, he emigrated to New
     Haven, Connecticut, where he established a private press and a school for the study of
     wood engraving. 
     1890 Oct 7     ALS  1p   

F2   Letters to Arlo Bates  (Gilder-Lowell) (cont'd)

     Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1850-1920
     A lawyer, editor, and statesmen, Lodge served as editor of The North Atlantic Review
     from 1873 to 1876.  In 1886 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and seven
     years later won a seat in the Senate where he served until his death.  He is perhaps most
     remembered for his opposition to the League of Nations.  Lodge also wrote the
     biographies of such figures as Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, and George
     1897 Sep 25    ALS  4p
     Lowell, Augustus
     1895 Feb 27    ALS  1p

F3   Letters to Bates (Moody- Roberts)

     Moody, William Vaughn, 1869-1910
     A poet, dramatist, and teacher, Moody taught at both Harvard University and the
     University of Chicago before embarking on a full-time career as a writer.  Among his best
     known poems are those with political significance, including "Ode in Time of
     Hesitation," "On a Soldier Fallen in the Philippines," "Gloucester Moors," and "The
     1906 Dec 9     ALS  2p
     Moulton, Louise Chandler, 1835-1908
     The author of no less than twenty volumes, many of them for children, Moulton was also
     a highly regarded journalist who wrote for both The New York Tribune and The Boston
     Sunday Herald.           
     [n.d]     ALS  2p
with an unassociated, autographed loose endleaf
"to my friend Mrs. Moulton / Hamlin Garland / Feb. 14/90"

Murray, Gilbert, 1866-1957 1910 Jan 17 ALS 2p O'Neill, John Boyle 1886 Mar 15 ALS 2p F3 Letters to Arlo Bates (Moody - Roberts) Parker, Gilbert, 1862-1932 A Canadian-born novelist, poor health forced Gilbert to seek the milder climate of Australia where he spent four years as an associate editor for the Sydney Morning Herald. After returning to Ontario, Gilbert produced several best selling novels including The Seats of the Mighty (1896) and The Right of Way (1901). He is considered one of Canada's finest writers. [n.y.] Jan 15 ALS 2p [n.y.] Jan 19 ALS 3p Perry, Nora, 1831-1896 A native of Massachusettes, Perry wrote poetry and children's stories, including Hope Benham (1894), and Mary Bartlett's Stepmother (1900). 1884 Mar 10 ALS 3p 1884 Mar 31 ALS 4p 1886 Mar 15 ALS 6p Pratt, Belah 1908 Aug 25 ALS 1p 1908 Oct 13 ALS 1p E.R. 1897 Jul 19 ALS 8p Roberts, Charles George Douglas, Sir, 1860-1943 A native of New Brunswick, Roberts wrote many novels including Earth's Enigmas (1896); The Haunters of Silences (1907); Eyes of the Wilderness (1933); and The Heart of the Ancient Wood (1900), considered a classic by many Canadian critics. 1891 Jan 5 ALS 2p F4 Letters to Bates (Salvani - Wright) Salvani, Tommaso 1891 Aug 17 ALS 1p Note: This is a poem written in Italian. Schayer, Julia Thompson von Stosch, 1840-1928 According to the collection, Schayer is Harriet L. (Vose) Bates' aunt. 1886 Jun 8 ALS 4p [n.y.] Mar 28 ALS 4p [n.y.] Dec 21 ALS 4p Scudder, Horace Elisha, 1838-1902 Biographer, critic, and juvenile writer, Scudder was perhaps most influential in his tenure as general editor for Houghton Mifflin, Co., a position he held for most of his adult life. Among those writers whose careers he helped launch are Hans Christian Anderson, Jacob Abbott, and Sarah Orne Jewett. 1886 Jul 6 ALS 1p 1891 Feb 25 ALS 1p 1891 Jul 14 ALS 2p 1891 Jul 25 ALS 2p 1897 Feb 10 ALS 1p Stimson, Frederic Jesup, 1856-1943 A lawyer, teacher, diplomat, and author, Stimson taught law at Harvard University and served as an ambassador to Brazil and Argentina. He is the author of such works as Government by Injunction (1894); Labor and Its Relation to Laws (1895); The American Constitution (1908), and My United States (1931). He also wrote several volumes under his pseudonym, "S.J. of Dale." 1903 Mar 4 ALS 1p [n.y.] Feb 4 ALS 1p Smith, Robert Pearsall, 1827-1898 [n.d.] TC 1p Note: This is a business card. The name printed on it is "R. Pearsall Smith." Smith, Sidney R. 1908 Oct 1 ALS 1p Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 1833-1908 A banker, poet, and literary critic, Stedman was expelled from Yale in his Sophomore year. He later became the founder of the Author's Club, president of the American Copyright League of the National Institute of the Arts, and a well respected supporter of the arts. He received honorary degrees from Dartmouth, Columbia and Yale. 1889 Jul 27 ALS 2p F4 Letters to Bates (Salvani - Wright) (cont'd) Stoddard, Richard Henry, 1825-1903 A native of Massachusettes, Stoddard began his career as a poet, but when he could not support his family, he turned to Nathaniel Hawthorne who helped him get a job as a customs inspector. Stoddard returned the favor a few years later when he helped Herman Melville procure the same job. Stoddard is the author of several volumes, including Footprints (1849); The King's Bell (1863); The Book of the East and Other Poems (1871); and Recollections, Personal and Literary (1903). 1888 May 11 ALS 2p Sullivan, Thomas Russell, 1849-1916 1896 Jul 30 ALS 4p 1898 Sep 22 ALS 2p 1899 Mar 24 ALS 2p Train, George Francis, 1829-1904 An eccentric man, Train began his career as a businessman and amassed a fortune in a real estate venture in Nebraska. He made an unsuccessful run for president of the United States in 1868 and was later declared legally insane by no less than six courts. In the last years of his life, he refused to speak with adults and would only communicate with children. [n.d.] ACS 1p Trantwine, John G. 1882 Jan 17 ALS 1p Wedmore, Frederick, Sir, 1844-1921 [n.d.] ALS Wendell, Barrett, 1855-1921 A teacher, novelist, and scholar, Wendell taught the first course in American Literature at Harvard University. He is best known for his scholarly work, including Cotton Mather, The Puritan Priest (1891); William Shakespeare (1894); The Temper of the Seventeenth Century in English Literature (1894); and A Literary History of America (1900). 1885 Dec 5 ALS 4p Whitman, Paul [n.d.] ALS 2p F4 Letters to Bates (Salvani - Wright) (cont'd) Wiggin, Kate Douglas Smith, 1856-1923 Best known for her juvenile fiction, Wiggen's most enduring and widely-read novel is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903). Her letters are signed Kate Douglas Riggs. 1909 Dec 30 ALS 2p [n.y.] Dec 23 ALS 4p [n.y.] Dec 16 ALS 2p Winsor, Justin, 1831-1897 An historian, librarian, and editor, Winsor was head of the Boston Public Library from 1868 to 1877, at which time he took over as librarian of Harvard University. He was a founder of the American Library Association and served as its president from 1876 to 1885. Among his published works are A Reader's Handbook of the American Revolution (1879); Christpher Columbus (1891); and an eight volume study, The Narrative and Critical History of America, which he edited from 1884 to 1889. 1892 Feb 16 ALS 2p Wright, Frederick E. 1885 Apr 17 ALS 2p 1887 Jun 1 ALS 6p F5 Letters, Alice Brown to Arlo Bates, 1884-1914 A native New Hampshirite, Brown was a well known dramatist, poet, short story writer, and novelist of her day. She is the author of such volumes as Meadow Grass (1895); Tiverton Tales (1899); Country Neighbors (1910); Vanishing Points (1913); and Children of Earth (1915). 22 letters ALS Note: Also included in this folder is a photograph of Brown. F6 Correspondence, Bates and Vose, 1879, 1916 (2 items) Bates to Harriet Lenora Vose, his future wife 1879 Jan 4 ALS 18p Richard Vose to Bates 1916 Jan 15 ALS 8p F7 Letter, Hermann Hagedorn to Oric Bates, 1910 (1 item) A poet and biographer, Hagedorn (1882-1964) was also a great admirer of Theodore Roosevelt, and wrote no less than six volumes about the former president and his family, including The Boys' Life of Theodore Roosevelt (1918); Roosevelt in the Bad Lands (1921); Roosevelt: Prophet of Unity (1924); and The Bugle that Woke America: The Saga of Theodore Roosevelt's Last Battle for His Country (1940). As indicated by the collection, Hagedorn and Oric Bates were close friends. Included with this letter is a photograph of Hagedorn and his young daughter, Mary. 1910 May 25 ALS 4p F8 Letters, Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (1835-1915) to George L. Vose, 1886 (2 items) A lawyer, railroad expert, and historian, Adams served as president of the Union Pacific Railroad from 1884 to 1890. Dissatisfied with the life of a businessman, he quit his job to devote his attention to writing history. Among his many volumes are Three Episodes of Massachusettes History (1892), and Massachusettes: Its History and Historians (1893). 1886 May 28 TLS 1p 1886 Dec 24 TLS 1p F9 Letters, George L. Vose to Persis N. Andrews, 1900-1908 17 Letters ALS F10 Letters, George L. Vose to Persis N. Andrews, 1908-1909 15 Letters ALS F11 Letters, Walter Shinlaw to Truman Howe Bartlett (1835-1923), 1881 (2 items) 1881 Feb 21 ALS 7p 1881 Mar 2 ALS 7p F12 Photographs (7 items) Bess Vose, [n.d.]; possibly Harriet L. (Vose) Bates' younger sister Frederic JessupStimson (1855-1943), 1887, inscribed "Arlo Bates, Esq. / xmas 1887 / Yours sincerely, FJ Stimson" Gertrude Chandler, [n.d.], inscribed "Gertrude Chandler in dress of her great-grandmother" Ernest Richard Schayer, September 1, 1899, Washington, D.C; possibly a relative of Harriet L. (Vose) Bates Jones Very (1813-1880), 1870; a Boston-born poet and transcendentlist Unidentified woman, [n.d.], inscribed "HCB's favorite" Unidentified man, [n.d.], inscribed "HCB" F13 Unidentified Manuscript Fragment [n.d.] AMs 1p

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