Sidney Lanier papers, 1875-1886 | Louisiana Research Collection
By Nain Martinez
ID: LaRC/Manuscripts Collection 116
Primary Creator: Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881.
Extent: 2.0 Boxes. More info below.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically. The collection consists of 2 boxes. It is 0.5 linear feet.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1962
Subjects: American poetry -- Southern States., Authors, American -- 19th century., deGraffenreid, Clare., Lanier, Mary Day., Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881., Musicians -- Southern States., Musicians as authors., Poets, American -- 19th century., Poets, American -- Southern States., Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)., Southern States -- Intellectual life -- 19th century.
American poetry -- Southern States.
Authors, American -- 19th century.
Lanier, Mary Day.
Lanier, Sidney, 1842-1881.
Musicians -- Southern States.
Musicians as authors.
Poets, American -- 19th century.
Poets, American -- Southern States.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877).
Southern States -- Intellectual life -- 19th century.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public. Please note that the Lanier papers consists of two boxes. One contains copies, and the originals are housed in protective storage. We request that patrons use the copies first, and consult with a staff member if the originals are needed.
Use Restrictions: Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
Acquisition Source: Acquired in 1962-1963, from Mrs. Ruth Rose Swacker of Findlay, Ohio.
Preferred Citation: Sidney Lanier papers, Manuscripts Collection 116, Louisiana Research Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118.
Processing Information: This collection was processed in summer 2009 by intern Maxwell Means.
Finding Aid Revision History: LAC entered inventory information in 2011. Revised by LAC Group 4/27/2011.
Other Note: OCLC Number: 426264723
Browse by Box:
[Box 1: Correspondence, poems, and other papers],
- Box 1: Correspondence, poems, and other papers
- Folder 1: Correspondence, 1875-1876
1. Sidney Lanier to "My Too Sweet" (likely Clare deGraffenreid) 1875 January 29. Lanier discusses his recent conversation with Mrs. Cushman, including his intention to include a dedication to her within the poem "Corn."
2. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1875 November 30. Lanier apologizes that he cannot make a certain "invitation" then goes on to describe events in his life in Baltimore and some of hi success as a poet.
3. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to "Dear Child," (likely Clare deGraffenreid), 1876 January 8. Lanier first exhorts the recipient not to mention his invitation to the Centennial Commission and then mentions in passing his poem for the Cantata opening the Centennial Expansion.
4. Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, likely to Clare deGraffenreid, 1876 January 18. In sweeping prose, Lanier compares the recipient to the particularly lovely day on which he composed the letter.
5. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to "My Dear Child" (likely Clare deGraffenreid) 1876 February 8. Lanier, briefly mentioning a recent illness, begs his "Dear Child" to write him back and/or visit soon.
6. A.M. Roberts, Macon, Georgia, to Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, 1876 February 12. Ms. Roberts congratulates Lanier on his participation in writing the poetry for the Centennial Cantata, and informs him of her upcoming wedding.
7. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland to unspecified, (likely Clare deGraffenreid), "Monday Morning", perhaps 1876 February 14, as the letter seems to discuss events transpiring after Clare deGraffenreid's birthday party on the day previous. Lanier describes generally the conversation he had on his walk home from a party on the previous night. He wished the recipient a "violet for valentine." Included is a leaf pressed within the letter.
8. Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, to unspecified, (likely Clare deGraffenreid) "Saturday Morning" roughly 1876 February 26 based on information in the letter. Lanier writes about his sorrow over the death of his friend Charlotte Cushman, and how much the recipient's company would help alleviate his melancholy.
9. Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, to unspecified (likely Clare deGraffenreid), "Monday Night," (from the content one may infer the date 1876 February 28). The letter does little more than explain another enclosed letter and poem (neither is included).
10. Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, to 'dear Child" (likely Clare deGraffenreid), "Friday Morning" (probably March 1876 as it seems to comment on the poem in his last letter.) Lanier flirtatiously responds to the recipient (probably the recipient of the "Monday Night" letter and presumably Clare deGraffenreid) refuting her criticism of his diction.
11. Sidney Lanier, West Chester Pennsylvania, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1876 October 7. Lanier apologizes to Clare that due to illness he will be unable to meet her in New York City, but asks if the could not meet some other time later in the year.
12. Sidney Lanier, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1876 November 24. Lanier voices his hope that Clare and he might be able to meet during Christmas vacation, and complains of a health ailment he characterizes as a "discomboboration of the lungs."
- Folder 2: Correspondence, 1877-1881
13. Sidney Lanier, Tampa, Florida, to unspecified (likely Clare deGraffenreid), 1877 January 24. Lanier tells the recipient that the Florida air is improving his lung condition and that he will likely soon return to Baltimore.
14. Sidney Lanier, Macon, Georgia, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1877 May 28. Lanier writes to tell Clare that he is heading north, first to Baltimore, but then over to Washington D.C. to conduct some business there. He says he feels much better, and hopes that he and Clare might meet together some time during his trip.
15. Sidney Lanier, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1877 July 11. Lanier prefaces an attached poem, and includes a short "Eastern fable" concerning the copius and weighty love letters of a middle-eastern king.
16. Sidney Lanier to "Méchant Enfant" (likely Clare deGraffenreid), no date (the next letter mentions a "French project", therefore this seems a likely place in order) Lanier writes a letter in rudimentary French.
17. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to "dear Child" (likely Clare deGraffenreid), 1877 November 25, Lanier writes of his plan to live in Baltimore, his inability to gain a government appointment, his return to the magazine industry, and the publication of several of his poems.
18. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 May 11. Lanier apologizes to Clare for being unable to invite her over for Easter, but asks her to stay over the summer.
19. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 October 5. Lanier informs Clare of a series of lectures on Shakespeare he plans to perform at the Peabody Institute. He also mentions his new address and plans perhaps to do another series of lectures in Washington. Included is an announcement from the Peabody Institute outlining Lanier's lecture.
20. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 November 8. Lanier outlines at length the English Poetry course he proposed in Washington, dividing the course into Anglo Saxon, Middle English, and Modern English periods.
21. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 November 12. The letter appears to briefly preface an article from a circular, which was apparently originally included with the letter. Though the article in not included with the collection, the letter suggests that the article was about Lanier's coming lectures in Washington.
22. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 November 15. Lanier discuss a change in the price and time of his lectures, then reminds Clare of their meeting on the coming Thursday.
23. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1878 November 27. Lanier begins the letter by discussing the starting date of his lectures and segues into persuading Clare to spend her Christmas holidays in Lanier's newly furnished home.
24. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to "You dear Little Soul" (likely Clare deGraffenreid), 1879 January 14. In this very brief letter, Lanier thanks the recipient for her help in what was an apparently fruitless lecture project.
25. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1880 July 3. Lanier asks Clare to visit him in his ill and fevered state.
26. Sidney Lanier, presumably Baltimore, Maryland, to unspecified, (likely Clare deGraffenreid), 1880 December 20. Lanier thanks the recipient for the letter she sent last Thanksgiving. He apologizes that his health stops him from writing more, but says that his physician seems to think he'll survive the illness.
27. Invitation to the Commemoration of the late Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, Washington D.C., 1881 October 20. Envelope included.
- Folder 3: Correspondence, 1886
28. Charles G.D. Roberts, Windsor, United States (maybe Vermont), to Mary Day Lanier, maybe New York, New York, 1886 February 7. Mr. Roberts writes the widowed Mrs. Lanier extolling her husband's brilliance, expressing his condolences, and informing her that he will be giving a lecture in Halifax regarding some of Mr. Lanier's work. Roberts includes in the letter a handwritten poem dated 1885 March 23 entitled "On Reading the Poems of Sidney Lanier".
29. Mary Day Lanier, New York, New York, to Clare deGraffenreid, 1886 May 18. In the first page of this two page letter, Mrs. Lanier warmly regards deGraffenreid and discusses the state of her own life and that of a couple of mutual friends. In the second letter begun "Extra page-- to be burned," Mary Day asks deGraffenreid for her aid in compiling which correspondences of Mr. Lanier are to be published and fondly but briefly mentions a gentlemen named Harry. Included is lock of hair dated 1882 with a note which seems to be in Mary Day Lanier's handwriting.
30. Mary Day Lanier, Pikesville, Maryland, to Clare deGraffenreid, Washington D.C., 1886 June 22. Mrs. Lanier informs Clare of changes in her summer plans and asks deGraffenreid if she might be able to visit in the next couple of weeks.
31. John B. Tabb, Ellicott City, Maryland, to "Dear Friends" (which ostensibly includes either Mary Day Lanier or Clare deGraffenreid as the letter has found its way into the collection), 1886 February 9. This seems to be an incomplete letter from John B. Tabb, the bottom of which has been torn off abruptly ending a sentence beginning, "I fear you..." The back of the card sized partial letter mentions Charles Roberts' fawning ciritcism of Lanier, intimating that his observations might have extra meaning for those who knew Lanier. Included in this letter are two handwritten poems by Tabb, "Pairing of Turtle-doves" and "To a photograph" (the former of which is dated 1886 and is written on the same size and type of paper as the partial letter).
- Folder 4: Documents with no dates
32. A note written on what appears to be Sidney Lanier's calling card signed with Sidney Lanier's initials. Note asks recipient to visit him after church.
33. Sidney Lanier, Baltimore, Maryland, to "Dear Child" (probably Clare deGraffenreid), Thursday.
34. A note to an unknown recipient, (perhaps a letter) from Sidney Lanier. Note asks if the recipient might be able to spend the afternoon with him.
- Folder 5: Sidney Lanier poems
35. "Rose-Morals" The file contains an early draft of the poem, apparently written at two different times; the first part, which would later be the section titled "Red," lacks a number and a section title, while the second part, the part which is titled "White" in the published version, is marked with a roman numeral "II" and retains its section title "White."
36. "Longing" Included is both a handwritten and typed version of the poem. Versions are nearly identical aside from minor puncuation conventions, probably in some part inherent in the transistion from handwritten to type. Last few lines are adapted into the Poem elsewhere in the collection, "Laus Mariae." "Longing" is dedicated to M.D.L. (probably Mary Day Lanier).
37. "Laus Mariae" (or "In Absence") This seven part poem is given three titles within the collection's typed and written copy of the poem. It is first called "Laus Uxori" on the first page of the written manuscript, but "Laus Mariae" on the remaining pages. Then in the typed version of the text, Lanier titles the poem "In Absence." Speaking in relation to the published versions of "In Absence" and "Laus Mariae," sections I, II, V, and VII seem analogous (and contains lines of) passages in the published version of "In Absence," while only section III seems to have been ultimately adapted into the Lanier's published version of "Laus Mariae."
- Folder 6: Newspaper clippings
38. Newspaper articles largely written in the year of Lanier's death (1881), about the death of Sidney Lanier. The folder includes obituaries, journalistic articles, and a poem written by Charles G.D. Roberts entitled "To the Memory fo Sidney Lanier," perhaps the only work evidently written in 1882 rather than 1881.
39. Two articles on Paul H. Hayne in which Lanier is briefly mentioned (one of which is dated 1886 May 21).
40. An article reviewing Lanier's book, The Science of the English Verse, probably from 1880, the year the book was published.