Edward Deming Andrews Memorial Shaker Collection
Henry Francis du Pont
5105 Kennett Pike,
302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Creator: Holloway, Laura C. (Laura Carter), 1848-1930
Dates: 1874-1926, bulk dates 1902-1926.
Call No.: ASC 1202
Acc. No.: [various – see detailed description]
Quantity: around 154 items
Location: 29 E 4
Mrs. Laura Carter Holloway Langford was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1843 and died in 1930. Her parents were Samuel Jefferson and Anne Catherine Vaulx Carter; Samuel Carter was a businessman. Laura was the sixth of fourteen children, and was the oldest daughter. She told falsehoods about her youth, such as claiming 1848 as her birth year, and it can be difficult to tell the real from the fantasy. In 1862, Laura married Junius B. Holloway, but they did not live together for very long and eventually divorced. She became friends with Governor and Mrs. Andrew Johnson prior to the Civil War, and resided with them at the White House while she wrote The Ladies of the White House, perhaps her best known book. For many years she wrote articles and books and edited for the Brooklyn Eagle. She also gave public lectures in which she spoke on subjects ranging from women’s rights to Charlotte Brontë. Holloway lent support to such causes as Cuban independence and cremation. She belonged to the International Council of Women and was a member of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society. She was also president of the Seidl Society, a woman’s club which promoted music. Her second marriage—to Edward L. Langford—occurred in 1890. Colonel Langford was secretary of the Brooklyn and Brighton Beach Railroad Company. Laura Holloway Langford had one son, George Thomas Holloway, born in 1864, admitted to the United State Military Academy as a member of the class of 1886, but left in December 1882. (The 1892 New York census listed him as working for the U.S. Treasury; the 1905 state census as a major in the U.S. Army; in both, living with his mother in Brooklyn.) She was widowed in 1902. George T. Holloway died in 1914. Laura Langford died in Canaan, New York, on July 10, 1930.
In view of Mrs. Langford’s wide-ranging interests, it is not surprising that she chose to acquaint herself with the Shakers. In addition, she may have known the family of Shaker leader Anna White. Eldress Anna, with whom Mrs. Langford corresponded for thirty-five years, came from a wealthy Brooklyn, New York, family with literary inclinations. Another connection between Mrs. Langford and the Shakers was her purchase in 1906 of farmland from the New Canaan, New York, Shaker community, in which a branch of the New Lebanon, N.Y., North family resided.
(For a corrected version of the early years of Mrs. Langford's life, see "The Self-Inventions of Laura Carter Langford," by Diane Sasson, in Tennessee Historical Quarterly, v. 67, no. 3, fall 2008. See also the article on Laura Langford by Claudia Keenan in the web version of The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.)
SCOPE AND CONTENT
Collection consists of letters written to Mrs. Langford from Shakers at New Lebanon and items from her literary career. Shaker correspondents were Frederick W. Evans, Alonzo Giles Hollister, Antoinette Doolittle, Daniel Offord, M. Catherine Allen, Sadie and Emma Neale, and Anna White. It is with the last named that Mrs. Langford corresponded most frequently and for the longest length of time. Letters from Daniel Offord to Mrs. Langford dating from 1904 to 1910, chiefly concern her purchase and operation of the New Canaan farm. Mrs. Langford also wrote an “essay” about her purchase of the farm and the work done on it, probably because there later arose a dispute over ownership of a spring. Other items include scrapbooks covering her literary career, handwritten articles that were presumably later published, two photographs of her, and a membership certificate in the Theosophical Society.
The letters from the Shakers, especially those of Eldress Anna White, shed light on Mount Lebanon Shaker community at the beginning of the 20th century. Anna mentions that farm laborers must be hired because the brethren are too few in number and not young enough to manage all the farm chores. The Shaker sisters are reluctant to take in children because they just don’t feel up to taking on the challenge of raising them. Also, their aging eyes are having a hard time with the sewing of the popular Shaker cloaks, and a new industry of making confections was considered. Letters from other Shakers add to the picture of life at Mount Lebanon, both the spiritual life and the temporal reality of keeping the community going. Other Shaker related materials are advertisements for a Peace Convention held in 1905, for Shaker carpet and rug beaters, and for the Annlee [also referred to as Ann Lee] Cottage, a summer boarding house run by the Shakers.
Letters are in three groups: Anna White and Daniel Offord letters are in their own folders, and all other correspondents are filed together in another folder. Within each folder, the letters are in chronological order. Books written by or belonging to Laura Holloway are filed at the end of the collection.
LANGUAGE OF MATERIALS
The materials are in English.
RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS
Collection is open to the public. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Gift of Mrs. Edward D. Andrews.
ASC 1198, although entered under the name of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, is actually additional papers of Laura C. Holloway Langford, pertaining to her interest in theosophy.
See also Col. 900 in the Downs Collection, additional papers of Laura Holloway Langford, particularly a scrapbook and books owned by Mrs. Langford.
Books by or about Mrs. Langford may be found by searching in WinterCat using the name surname Holloway.
Allen, M. Catherine.
Doolittle, Mary Antoinette, 1810-1886.
Evans, F. W. (Frederick William), 1808-1893.
Hollister, Alonzo Giles, 1830-1911.
Hubbard, Elbert, 1856-1915 – Portraits.
Offord, Daniel, b. 1843.
White, Anna, 1831-1910.
Langford, Edward L., d.1902.
United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing.
Shakers - New York (State) - New Canaan.
Shakers - New York (State) – Mount Lebanon.
Shakers – Industries - New York (State) – Mount Lebanon.
National Woman Suffrage Association (U.S.)
Peace Convention (1905 : Mount Lebanon, N.Y.)
Religious communities - New York (State) - New Canaan.
Religious communities - New York (State) – Mount Lebanon.
Women journalists - United States.
Agriculture - New York (State) – Mount Lebanon.
Religious thought - 20th century.
Carpet cleaning industry.
Boardinghouses - New York (State) – Mount Lebanon.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 29 E 4
SA 1349 printed photographic portrait of Elbert Hubbard, inscribed “to Laura C. Langford, with all good wishes, from Elbert Hubbard.”
SA 1303 certificate of membership in The Theosophical Society, issued to Laura Carter Holloway, circa 1883, signed by William Q. Judge, printed with signatures of H. S. Olcott and H. P. Blavatsky
SA 1704 photo of Laura C. Langford.
Taken by S.B. Duryea, Brooklyn
SA 1705.1 photo of Laura C. Holloway Langford.
Taken by Frank Pearsall, Brooklyn
SA 1705.2a-c “In Memory of Edward L. Langford, who died Friday, July 25th, 1902,” printed poem, written by Robert Ormiston, bordered in black. 3 copies.
Folder 3: Letters to L.C.H.L., correspondents other than Anna White and Daniel Offord, in chronological order
SA 1301.1 letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, April 15, 1874.
If she can get the authority, she may send several boys and girls to him and he will endeavor to find homes for them, but they must not be from the lowest class. The children will be educated, raised with good morals and habits, and will “know how to do almost anything….” When of age, they can choose whether to remain with Shakers or leave.
SA 1301.2 letter, Antoinette Doolittle, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, May 17, 1874.
The boy John has arrived safely. Antoinette and Anna White have kept Laura in their prayers. Sends greetings to Ms. Fuller. Religious thoughts. Encloses photo of Elder Frederick.
SA 1301.3a-b letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, May 19, 1874. With yellow envelope, with printed return address for Shaker and Shakeress.
The boy [John] has arrived; he is a desperate case. Encloses copy of one of his recent lectures, and discusses some Shaker beliefs.
SA 1301.4a-b letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, May 25, 1874. With peach colored envelope, printed with return address for Shaker and Shakeress.
Writes about the boy John, whom he considers quite hopeless.
SA 1352.1a-b letter, Antoinette Doolittle, Mount Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, October 10, 1874.
Sympathy on death of Laura’s mother. Sees Laura’s spiritual side. Shakers are father, mother, brother, and sister to believers, and there is always someone “to love, protect and care for us.” Would be hard to apply Shaker culinary experiences to Laura’s current work because “our conditions of life are in every way so dissimilar to the private family circles….” In Shaker kitchens, no task is drudgery. Describes some of the Shaker kitchen routines and diet. “Apples, potatoes and tomatoes, cooked in a variety of ways, are the essentials on our tables….” More about the Shaker way of life and their way of canning fruits. Orders a copy of “In the home of the Presidents.”
SA 1301.5a-b letter, Antoinette Doolittle, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, November 11, 1874. With envelope.
Asks LCH to spread the news about the Shakers giving a lecture at Steinway Hall on Nov. 22. Hopes she can come.
SA 1301.7 letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, November 12, 1884.
Glad she met his friend Col. Alcott [probably means Olcott] in Germany. Spiritual thoughts. Hopes she visits soon. Shaker beliefs.
SA 1301.6 letter, Antoinette Doolittle, and Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, Nov. 18, 1884.
A.D.: Recommends spring or summer as best times for a visits, but come any time.
A.W.: Mother Anna has not been feeling well. She and others just had a lovely ramble. Elder Frederick spends much time in his orchard. Have potatoes and butter to sell. Hopes she can come visit – they would like to hear about Europe.
SA 1301.8a letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, January 20, 1885.
Will leave for New York City tomorrow – please call on me there. We should be happy in life.
SA 1301.8b part of a letter, F. W. Evans, [Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn], no date. On same paper as .8a but does not seem to be part of that.
SA 1301.9 letter, F. W. Evans, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, Brooklyn, Feb. 9, 1885.
Would like to hear about cases of mind cure and would like a name of a mind cure medium. Asks if she knows about the Dynamite Movement.
SA 1301.10 note, A. G. Hollister, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Holloway, June 3, 1886.
Encloses an article about the Shakers, which he requests the Brooklyn Eagle to publish.
On back: a printed item, “Solid Extracts of Truth,” which may be what Hollister wanted to have published.
SA 1301.15a-b letter, M. Catherine Allen, Brentwood, L.I., N.Y., to L.C.H., Oct. 1, 1903
Is staying with mother and sisters for a few days longer, and then hopes to come visit L.C.H., but must also go see Lottie Birdsall in N.Y.C. on business. Mentions that Shakers have employed “such help in household duties as will save the few remaining sisters from utter breakdown.”
SA 1301.25a-c letter, Emma Neale, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 31, 1904.
Discusses suitability of a fabric sample for making a cloak.
SA 1301.27a-e letter, Emma J. Neale, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 23, 1904. With envelope, printed with Neale’s return address, and identifying her as a “Dealer in Genuine Shaker Cloaks.”
“We will call our summer a success in many ways.” Too busy right now to come visit LCH. Sadie is preparing to visit Ohio and Kentucky Shakers. Encloses a receipted bill [no longer with letter].
SA 1301.28a-d typed letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 25, 1904.
With postscript written by Anna White.
From LST: Anna returned home safely; they sang a welcome song to her and enjoyed a little “love feast.” Hope that Anna will be able to go with Daniel and others to the International Peace Congress in Boston. Thanks to Amanda for her care of Anna. Thanks to LCH for her help over the summer. The sisters no longer quilt and only weave small rugs occasionally. Words of encouragement for LCH.
From AW: Come visit. Praying for healing for her. Have little honey and none to send her.
SA 1301.36a-b letter, A. G. Hollister, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, December 16, 1904.
“My education in spiritual states & conditions, for over 60 years, leaves no space nor demand for reincarnation.” [goes on to refute the reasons for reincarnation.] Wrong-doers should suffer repentance for their sins, not be physically punished. [more about good and evil]. He is comfortably situated to do his duties.
SA 1352.6 letter, Emma [Neale, Mt. Lebanon,] to Laura Langford, [Brooklyn], no date, but 1904 is added in pencil.
Cannot get the pieces she wants because they are in another building in the village, but when gets a chance, will do so.
SA 1301.42a-c letter, Emma J. Neale, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, June 1, 1905. With envelope, printed with Neale’s return address, and identifying her as a “Dealer in Genuine Shaker Cloaks.”
Sent the hammock. Past winter filled with sadness.
SA 1352.11a-c letter, Catherine [Allen], Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, October 22, 1905.
Hoped to write her about Dora’s joy at receiving doll, but someone else locked her suitcase and failed to give her key, and she is still awaiting the key. They are out of the confections which Laura requested, but have sent to East Canterbury, N.H., to see if they can supply them. Need to know about the Canaan property as others are also interested in it. Other news.
SA 1301.48a-b letter, Catherine [M. Catherine Allen], Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, October 27, 1905.
All the communities were out of orange peel, so sugared sweet flag sent instead. They use navel oranges and don’t get them until January. Am sending her butternuts and nut candy. All love the silk she sent for neckerchiefs. Little Dora loved the doll. Anna also loves the fabric sent for her new dress.
SA 1352.12a-b letter, Catherine Allen, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, October 30, 1905. With envelope.
Writes about the confections and how priced. Right now, the oranges they need are not available. More about confections and nuts.
SA 1301.49a-c letter, M. Catherine Allen, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 4, 1905. With enclosure and envelope.
Writes about the confections they make and compares their sweet flag and orange peel to those made by other Shaker communities. Am trying to find maple.
Enclosure: “Cost of nuts done in Maple: first cost for 8 ½ lbs butternuts sugared in maple.” No charge to LCH for the samples sent to her.
SA 1352.18a-b letter, Ernest Pick, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, October 1, 1906. On letterhead stationery of Ernest Pick, wholesale dealer in Shakers’ Evaporated Sweet Corn, Brainard’s Brand. With envelope printed with return address of Ernest Pick.
Answering her inquiry about purchasing land adjoining the Canaan property. “Since the decision of bringing the street-car over the mountain we had numerous inquiries for land….”
SA 1301.81 statement about price for the South Farm, signed by Ernest Pick, Mt. Lebanon, October 1, 1906. Includes brief description of land, barns, and house.
On letterhead stationery of Ernest Pick, wholesale dealer in Shakers’ Evaporated Sweet Corn, Brainard’s Brand. This was possibly an enclosure to the letter above.
SA 1301.53a-g letter, Emma Neale, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 4, 1907. With envelope.
Has begun reading the book LCH sent. Wishes she could talk to LCH as she cannot properly express herself on paper. Hopes the truth will triumph. She and Sadie went to city on a buying trip to get materials to make cloaks and raccoon furs for gloves. Brother Alonzo has broken arm. Eldress Anna has been feeble this winter. Chores of Brother Robert, age 85.
SA 1352.19a-c typed letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 5, 1907.
The book she sent is bring read in the family; it expresses thoughts in accord with those of the Shakers. Eldress Anna is improving in health. News of other members of the family – their health and work. Elder Daniel is doing well with his chickens, getting lots of eggs. Others are working in the kitchen, feeding the livestock, teaching, making fancy goods to sell, planning for bee hives, etc. Amanda is always working “for peace, suffrage or some other reform….” Mount Lebanon is buried in snow. Too many visitors there for her taste – she prefers the wilderness.
SA 1301.55 part of letter, writer unknown, no place, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, March 6, 1907.
Much illness. Has been waiting for better weather before going into closed buildings (“vaults”) so windows can be opened. Robert has been in hospital for 2 weeks.
SA 1352.22 letter, A. G. Hollister, Mount Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, May 2, 1907.
Had to get rid of her letters recently – he accumulates too many to keep them all. His piece was published in World’s Advance Tho’t in Portland, Oregon, and he has republished it in Prophesy Unseal’d. Happy to send her copies of all his tracts. The trees are budding and flowers are blooming.
SA 1301.59a-c letter, Sadie A. Neale, Mount Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, January 15, 1908. With envelope.
Asks Laura to keep Emma over Sunday – Emma needs a change and a rest. [Emma was in New York City on a shopping expedition.]
SA 1706a-b letter, William Anderson, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura Langford, February 3, 1908.
Describes a piece of property being offered to Mrs. Langford for sale; land has small house, no barn, some apple trees. Includes a rough sketch showing location of farm.
Written on letterhead stationery of R.M. Wagan & Co., manufacturers of Shaker Chairs, including a picture of a rocking chair.
SA 1352.24 letter, Leila [S. Taylor], Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 11, 1909.
They know of the Woman’s Commonwealth near Washington. Watervliet has a Shaker family that is all women. Originally, each Shaker family had its own covenant. Giles B. Avery drew up a covenant that was for all, but it is not recognized by all, including the North Family at Mount Lebanon. Eldress Anna is getting better.
SA 1301.62a-c letter, William Anderson, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, Nov. 18, 1909. With envelope, on which is written “about pedigree of Guernsey bull I bought.”
The problems of selling produce. Discussion about a Guernsey bull and other cattle. How Anderson improved his dairy herd. Gustav [Laura’s farmer] has bought pork and seed potatoes.
Written on letterhead stationery of R.M. Wagan & Co., manufacturers of Shaker Chairs, including a picture of a rocking chair.
SA 1301.68a-b letter, from Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 26, 1911. With envelope, on which is written “announces Elder Daniel’s death.”
Daniel had been working at the sawmill, and died, apparently of a heart attack. Gives time of funeral. Signed with sorrow.
SA 1352.29a-d letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, March 12, 1911. With envelope.
Thanks for her letter of sympathy. Eldress Sarah thanks her for check. Sarah is too busy “with the cares of farm and home….” Jay is a different man – he is managing very well. Several have heard Eldress Anna and Elder Daniel singing. Am writing a biography of Eldress Anna and using her own words from her journal and letters. Will include a biography of Elder Daniel as well. “… the charm and joy of the North Home is in the spirit life, not in the sight of the eyes & the clasp of the hand.”
SA 1301.69a-b typed letter, from Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, April 7, 1911
Sorry to hear she is having troubles. Lottie and Martha sometimes hear and see Anna and Daniel, and if Laura comes, perhaps she will as well. Sorrow of others at their recent losses. Eldress Sarah is especially shaken, although Jay is helpful in the farming matters. Leila is working on a book. Information about their farm hands. Seamus MacManus called last evening, and all enjoyed him.
SA 1352.30a, .31b-d letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, June 30, 1911. With envelope.
Elder William will assist in the survey. The Shakers do not have enough money to lend to her. They are sorely missing the leadership of Elder Daniel, and Eldress Sarah is much burdened.
SA 1352.32a-b letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Canaan, July 27, 1911. With envelope.
Unable to reach her by telephone, so am writing instead. The deed and map are ready. Scientists [probably Christian Scientists] visited on Sunday. Hope her Shaker romance [novel] is progressing. Sorrow over deaths of Anna and Daniel.
SA 1352.33a-b letter, Leila S. Taylor, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Canaan, August 11, 1911. With envelope.
Wish she could have been with them on August 6 – it was always so special to Elder Daniel. Rumor says that Laura is planning to raze the old dwelling house. The North Family would like to have the bell.
SA 1352.10 letter, M. Catherine Allen, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, August 27, 1911.
Confusion among the trustees over who was to take care of the deed. As far as can be remembered, both farms were to have access to the water. They are looking through their papers to see what they can learn about the issue. The Shakers do not have the means to take back the Canaan farm and reimburse her for her improvements. Be patient while they work on this problem.
SA 1352.34 letter, Sarah, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 26, 1912.
Winter has been hard. They feel that Elder Daniel is trying to help them. Sister Cecelia has died. Sarah often feels lonely, missing the departed. Leila is almost finished with her memorial book, but is still waiting for Laura’s contribution.
SA 1301.70a-c note, Sarah Burger, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Canaan, N.Y., June 6, 1926. With enclosure and envelope.
Appreciated Laura’s letter after the death of Sister Martha Burger.
Notice of Sister Martha’s death, from Chatham Courier, May 20, 1926.
SA 1301.73a-b letter, Martha Burger, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Canaan, no date. With envelope.
Although Martha would like to see Laura and her friends, she is not well and is still not over “the shock and pain of sister Lelia [sic] leaving us,” so thinks a visit is not a good idea.
SA 1301.74 letter, Juliette Y.[?] Burton, 114 W. 19th St. [most likely New York City,] to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, no date, “after the lecture.”
Very pleased with the success of Laura’s lecture. Wishes they were blood sisters.
Folder 4: Letters from Eldress Anna White, 1901-1904
SA 1352.2a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, November 13, 1901. With envelope.
Congratulates Laura for deleting coffee and other foods [not named] from her diet. Elder Frederic introduced a vegetarian diet to the North Family. Anna’s father was a reformer and follower of Ghrame [sic, i.e. Graham] and others. She happily became a vegetarian when she joined the North family. Gives a cure for toothaches. It would be nice to have an agent in New York City to sell their excess produce. Have had over a thousand visitors this year. School plan did not work out. Tried taking in children from the asylum, but most of those were from the slums and the change [to quiet country] was too much for them, and the Shakers did not like their slang and their lack of manners. But if Laura could find some “good, moral girls,” those would be useful to the Shakers.
SA 1352.3a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, January 5, 1902. With envelope.
Advises Laura to send her nephew for a week’s visit so they can tell whether anything can be done for him. Boys don’t usually work out with the Shakers – the boys are bad and there is no one suitable to look after them. Have to hire farm laborers as there is too much work for the brothers, who concentrate on making carpet beaters. The brothers also keep the family supplied with wood [discusses buzz saw, invented by Shakers, and wood splitter]. Encloses twenty-five cents for a copy of “Chat,” which all enjoy.
SA 1301.11a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, April 26, 1902. With envelope.
Have not written because have been busy cleaning house prior to having renovations done. Laura’s nephew Charlie is not happy – country too quiet, and no companions of his own age with whom to have fun. The Shakers want him to leave because he will not respect their wishes.
SA 1301.12a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, June 9, 1903. With envelope.
All approve of Laura’s article about the Shakers – very well done. Dr. J. M. Peebles, the Spiritual Pilgrim, has been visiting.
SA 1301.13a-b typed letter, North Family, per Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, July 15, 1903. With envelope.
Ask her assistant and advice as they petition the state legislature for exemption from taxation. Gives a mournful picture of the aging population of Shakers and their recent woes.
SA 1301.14a-c typed letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 29, 1903. With envelope.
Thanks for her article. Notes some corrections to Laura’s figures. Talks of decline in their industries, and the decline in the quality of applicants. Insists that Laura come visit.
SA 1301.16a-b typed letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 4, 1903.
Elder Daniel much enjoyed his recent visit with LCH. The East Farm would be perfect for the project she has in mind. The Church family can send apple butter and applesauce. Encloses price list of carpet beaters [no longer with letter, but see SA 1301.75d in another folder– this may be the price list].
SA 1301.17 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, December 11, 1903.
Thanks so much for helping the sisters in their emergency. Looks forward to a time of universal brotherhood and sisterhood. Thanks for the “Fairy Stories” and the pamphlets. Sister Margaret Chubb was not able to obtain her children, but they are being educated. “Christmas preparations are on hand, the very air is alive with it….”
SA 1301.18a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, April 18, 1904. With envelope.
Berkshire Industrial Farm will not make a decision on the Canaan property until fall. The Shakers hope they will take it. In any case, it is too large for Laura’s purposes. Please bring Miss Chapin [Elizabeth P. Chapin] with you when you come visit. Funk & Wagnalls still has not decided whether to publish the Shaker’s manuscript. Please send a copy of “Man: Fragments of Forgotten History.” Anna has been under the weather, but better, and hopes LCH is better soon, as well.
SA 1301.19a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, April 23, 1904.
Describes the Center Family house, which Miss Chapin could possibly use for her school. Thanks for editorial help with the manuscript. Dr. J. P. Maclean has offered some advice on printing the plates.
SA 1301.20a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, May 10, 1904. With envelope.
If Miss Chapin is interested in the house, the Shakers need to know as repairs need to be carried out. More about book publishing.
SA 1352.4a-b letter, Anna White, per L.S.T., Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, May 20, 1904. With envelope.
Funk & Wagnalls told them their manuscript much be shortened and rearranged, but they are awaiting return of manuscript so they can start the work. More about publishing arrangements. Hope she comes soon. “Telephone” letters are acceptable if there is no time to write.
SA 1301.21a-c letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, June 15, 1904. With envelope.
The sisters are working on the house, and a plumber has been hired to add closets [water closets]. The sisters prefer enameled oil cloth to linen tablecloths as the former are easier to clean, but do require the use of table mats for hot dishes. [Describes the size of the bedrooms in the house. Some group is coming to occupy it.] Might have a new hymn for the July 4th celebration.
SA 1301.22a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, June 17, 1904.
Is astonished that meat is being (unnecessarily) introduced to the table. Mentions a retreat for those who seek rest, but the Shakers are cautious about taking too many children. Catherine is doing well. Need to speak further with LCH about her proposed meeting. The Shakers will be recognizing the August 6 anniversary [of arrival of Ann Lee in America]. Looks to LCH to help “rekindle the fires of truth” of Shaker beliefs. Approves of LCH’s plan to start a magazine.
Notes about this letter is found on the back of an envelope, SA 1301.39, but that is not the original envelope for this letter.
SA 1352.7a-d typed letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, July 21, 1904. With envelope.
Suggestions regarding the rental of a house and keeping it filled with guests. Need to set a time for their meeting in September. J. P. MacLean is coming in August and hope to persuade him to stay for the Sept. meeting. Suggestions for name of rental house. Don’t send the Hyatte family – no place suitable for them, and the children are likely to be too noisy and too nosy. More about a cook needed for the house.
SA 1301.23a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, July 31, 1904. With envelope.
Need to know how many people LCH will be bringing to the Aug. 6 anniversary. J. P. MacLean and Paul Tyner (a former Shaker) will be the speakers. Writes about the residents of the Mt. Lebanon Home (people who’ve come for a visit); Elizabeth Chapin has taken control of the operation. [Writes more of the advantages to the building if it is occupied all winter.] Maybe the “Sweed” [probably means Swede] and his mother could come, and the mother could teach the sisters confectionary, which could become a business for them. Making the cloaks is hard on their eyes, and the sisters need another business.
SA 1301.24a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 19, 1904.
Writes about Katherine Edwards. She is not yet ready to enter a Shaker family. Upcoming trip to Asbury Park. Lydia Satterthwaite needs to stay longer if she wants to learn about the Shakers. School is going well. Would be nice to have a place in the city to sell their goods.
SA 1301.29a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, postmarked October 1, 1904. With envelope.
If she can find someone to pay expenses and hire two men to help with the harvest, they will gladly send apples to the city – must act soon as already have snow. The apples must go to the poor or to orphan asylums or the Blind Institution. The Shakers would welcome the publicity of this donation. Lydia Satterthwaite calls LCH a mediator between the Shakers and the world. Send the German man.
SA 1301.30a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, October 3, 1904. With envelope.
Have written to the Swananders to tell them not to come; was not impressed by them. Will not rent cottage unless suitable family is found. Busy proof reading. Student from Williamstown College is collecting Shaker literature.
SA 1352.5a-c letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, October 24, 1904. With envelope, postmarked Oct. 31 so probably the original envelope for SA 1301.31a, but it has notes about this letter on the back. (SA 10301.40 is probably the original envelope for this letter.)
Don’t have enough stock of their goods to maintain a store in New York City. Sell to many of the hotels in the western Massachusetts area and to their guests. Have a very large crop of apples, but it costs so much to gather, sort, put them in barrels, and haul them that it doesn’t pay. Are talking about making large quantities of [apple cider] vinegar and selling it. Almost finished proof-reading and would appreciate it if she wrote an article about their book. Amanda Deyo is visiting and thinks the two of them would enjoy each other’s company. Shakers used to take in hundreds of children, but few remained with them. They desperately need more workers, and they don’t have enough members to raise that many children.
SA 1301.31a letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, October 31, 1904. With envelope (SA 1301.41) postmarked Oct. 27 so perhaps for letter above, but with notes about this letter written on back.
Early frosts have damaged apples, but still plan to send some for the poor. Two colored men [West Indians] attended meeting recently; they compared the Shakers to a sect in Bermuda. This may be a good time to assist “the Ethiopian race” in their struggle for freedom.
SA 1301.32a-c letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 9, 1904. With envelope.
Have read “The Story of a Piano.” Untimely frosts have thwarted their plans. Thanks for the story. Lottie Byrdsall [also spelled Birdsall] is here – her sister died a month ago. Emma is in a critical state. Their work is still not published and have no word from publisher. Sending her apples [names varieties] and potatoes.
SA 1301.33a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 14, 1904. With envelope.
Leila has been collecting “all the details to be had about spirit return….” Reports having seen Annie Byrdsall one day [after Sister Annie’s death]. Omitted experience with William Eddy from their book. Afraid that “The Story of a Piano” will make readers think “we are more liberal than is really the case. Our generosity depends largely upon the scarcity or abundance of crops.” The Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield has a good collection of Shaker literature. “Now, we are thinking why it would not pay to gather up the things [fancy goods] remaining in store for sale, take them to Brooklyn…” and find a place to sell them. Early snow.
SA 1301.41a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 29, 1904.
Mrs. Foster arrived by automobile to call on Emma; she promised to introduce the little book [“The Story of a Piano”] to booksellers in Pittsfield. Sympathy to her in her troubles with George. Edresses Harriet and Augusta wondered if LCH wanted to rent the Ann Lee Cottage next summer. Emma is better. Will contact Isaac Smith of Brooklyn to see if he can help with their scheme to sell their fancy goods. Will let her know when their book is available.
SA 1301.35 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, December 14, 1904.
Worry that LCH or George is ailing. Having snow by no rain, and am running low on water; not enough water to run machinery. [Lists activities that need water: churning, washing, turning handles for carpet beaters.] Their herdsman Henry French has been helping to sell “The Story of a Piano.” [Writes a very little about Shaker Christmas preparations.] Emma is better.
SA 1301.37a-c letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, December 22, 1904. With envelope.
Brothers had already hired someone so cannot use Charlie this winter. [Probably means Laura’s nephew Charlie.] Anna’s family cannot use him, either. More about “The Story of a Piano.” Am still waiting for the publisher to send them their book. Really want LCH to come visit. Does she want the cottage next summer? Emma’s sight has not returned. The children of the community are planning an entertainment. Alice Crane is dissociating herself from the Vedanta Society.
Folder 5: Letters from Eldress Anna White, 1905-1910, undated, envelopes without letters, obituaries
SA 1352.8a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, February 3, 1905.
Very cold, even with radiators going, and Anna has visions of poorly clad people freezing and starving in our land of plenty. Emma [Neale] says they cannot afford the repairs to the large house, nor do they wish to sell and to raise the money. Perhaps they could move Ann Lee Cottage. Frank Butler took a beautiful photo of her, which now hangs next to that of Elder Frederick. P.S. Brothers do not want to have the house occupied. If Laura works as agent for sale of “Shakerism,” she shall receive a commission.
SA 1301.43 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, July 25, 1905.
Invitation to speak at a peace convention to be held in the large meeting house, August 31. “…Shakers were pioneers in the movement for international arbitration….”
SA 1301.44a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 7, 1905.
“Our peace convention is now occupying every niche of time….” Have 13 speakers [enclosed list of names, but that is no longer with letter]. Henry Nichols and Amanda Deyo are working hard to promote this. Hopes LCH will write an article about it. Remembrances of last year’s anniversary meeting. Will take Mrs. Ormiston as a boarder because she will not broadcast it – don’t want people to know they take boarders or they will be overwhelmed with requests. Please come visit and meet the new members.
SA 1301.45a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 22, 1905.
Are writing to Myron H. Phelps about his visit. Expecting a full house for the peace convention. Expecting reporters to attend. Still want her to speak.
SA 1301.46 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 11, 1905. With envelope (SA 1352.9b).
Had about 500-600 people attend the peace convention. There were reporters there; it is odd that she has seen nothing in the papers as reports have appeared. Glad LCH alerted them to the bad reputations of Mr. Phelps and Ramanathan.
SA 1301.47a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 27, 1905. With envelope.
[Refers to LCH as one “who are in constant touch with the unseen, spiritual world, seeing and conversing with dear ones behind the veil….”] Hopes that LCH will be able to find “the right kind of a woman” for them.
SA 1352.9a letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, October 25, 1905.
Still waiting to hear from Dr. Burrows about the Canaan property [whether he wants to buy it]. Elder Daniel has spent much time cleaning up the property. Anna is gaining weight on the milk diet and feels fine. Laura made Dora happy. A party is being planned for Gertrude.
SA 1301.50 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 23, 1905.
Glad LCH is better. In summer the Shakers are very busy with work and entertaining visitors. In autumn, like to retreat into themselves and have quiet time. Wish they could accommodate Lizzie Hyatt, but they cannot. Suggest she try a place in Dalton, [Mass.], where others have found quiet. “Milk diet growing in favor.”
SA 1301.51a-c letter, Anna White, The Shakers of Mount Lebanon, Bureau of Peace Work, North Family, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, May 9, 1906. Letterhead stationery, with envelope, with printed return address for Anna White.
Anna describes the house in which she was born in Brooklyn, at the corner of Willow and Orange streets. Refers to LCH’s distress over a robbery and her recent move. Need LCH to find them another girl, about 12-14, to help them. Had to send Dora back because she stole. The girl would go to school and the sisters were attend to her “industrial education.” Have a music teacher so that part of her education could continue.
SA 1352.13a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, June 7, 1906.
Appreciate her efforts to help them, but the heading of her article (“Shakers … open doors to city children”) is misleading. They have empty buildings, but there is no furniture so no place for sitting or sleeping. They have no one to properly look after the children. The surplus fruits and vegetables are sold for much-needed income, not meant for home consumption. Children would bring chaos to their peaceful home. The Shakers do not want to take children unless they could have a separate children’s order, as they once did. It would help Sister Emma if Laura could find boarders for Annlee Cottage. They can take in a few girls, but no boys.
SA 1352.14a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, June 26, 1906.
None of the Shakers condemns her article that was in the Daily Standard Union, although they found the title misleading. All the Shakers know that Laura is their friend and is helping to spread their message. Sister Emma will have to decide whether the large house will be suitable as a sanitarium; the location is not ideal. They are planning to sell Canaan. The strawberries are wonderful this year. Elder Daniel doing well with the chickens.
SA 1352.15a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, July 16, 1906. With envelope.
One of the trustees is trying to annul the contract made to sell her the Canaan property. Glad that she plans to be there on August 6.
SA 1352.17a-b letter, Anna White, The Shakers of Mount Lebanon, Bureau of Peace Work, North Family, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, August 24, 1906. Letterhead stationery.
Of course the Shakers like her and want her with them. The girls were no trouble, and would have liked for them to have stayed, had there been someone in charge of them.
SA 1301.52 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 12, 1906. With envelope (SA 1352.16b) printed with return address of Anna White.
“Tomato and peach bees have been the order of the day. Some 150 gal. of tomatoes are jugged, corked, and sealed.” Have also preserved peaches. “’Brooklynites in the Berkshires’ is pronounced good….” Thankfully, the boarders are all leaving. Leila will attend to the postman’s story after she has finished ironing. Save all articles about Shakers, good or bad, for future historians. More about crops. Would like to revise and republish “Shakerism, its Meaning and Message.”
Notes about this letter are found on the back of an envelope postmarked May 30, 1904 (SA 1301.38).
SA 1301.56 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 9, 1907.
Elder Daniel needs to know if man still wants apples. Misses Laura when she is gone. Imagines she is working on her book, “quite a change from making pickles….” The Shakers are looking for a good woman cook. Elsie does not want to stay for the winter – thinks it will be too lonely. Had 5 inches of rain one day last week. All busy with fall cleaning. [includes a little poem.] Have “two new comers,” which apparently are musical instruments.
SA 1301.57 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 27, 1907.
Strength to do what needs to be done. The cook Laura sent them is working well. News of the Shakers and newcomers. Calls Christian Scientists “primitive Shakers.”
SA 1301.58 mimeographed music and words, “The Savior’s Command,” words by Eldress Anna White, music by A.R.S., 1907
SA 1301.60a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, March 8, 1908.
Suggests sources of information which would described the area around New Lebanon. The Shakers are studying “Science and Health with key to the scriptures” and Christian Science. Encloses letters from Lena [these no longer with this letter]. Had an attack of lumbago, but found relief after singing a song [words included, begins “By the power of God and the arm of his strength …”]. News about the Shakers. Death of Amy Reed.
SA 1352.23a-b typed letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, August 27, 1908. With envelope, printed with her return address.
They need young converts, but they don’t have anyone to teach the children. They will gladly consider taking on a couple of girls in their early teens, but have no one to look after very young children.
SA 1301.61a-b letter, Anna White, The Shakers of Mount Lebanon, Bureau of Peace Work, North Family, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, April 14, 1909. Letterhead stationery, with envelope, with printed return address for Anna White.
Thanks for sending the Sun with her article. She does the Shakers much good by writing the truth about them.
SA 1301.63a-b double letter, from Daniel Offord and Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 27, 1909. With envelope, printed with return address of Daniel Offord.
From D.O.: Mr. Kassebohm will probably take all their apples. Appreciate her efforts to help them with this. Had a nice vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. Want to do the right thing by Otto.
From A.W.: General greetings and good wishes from all.
SA 1352.26a-d letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, March 11, 1910. With envelope.
Have heard of her recent hospitalization. Sister Leila will tell her how Anna broke her arm.
SA 1301.71a-b letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to “Sister Laura” [Langford], Shaker Farm, Canaan, no date. With envelope, printed with return address of Anna White.
Laura is working too hard – she needs to come to her “spiritual home” for a rest. Sister Magella will help with the honey.
SA 1301.72 letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, no place [most probably Brooklyn], no date [most probably November].
No apples to send – all left have been touched by frost. Want to reimburse her for her costs in some proposed project. Men come and see what they do, and then decide whether or not to become Shakers.
SA 1352.16a letter, Anna White, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, Brooklyn, no date.
Does not know what book William is saying is “full of untruths.” He is unreliable and Laura should leave him alone.
SA 1352.35a-b letter, Anna White, [Mt. Lebanon], to Laura Langford, [Canaan?], no date. With envelope.
Tell Sister Martha if there is anything they can do for her [Laura]. It was probably Brother Clauson that Laura saw in her vision.
SA 1352.36a-b letter, Anna White, [Mt. Lebanon], to Laura Langford, [Canaan?], no date. With envelope.
Thanks for “bottle crackers & all.” Do not come – stay and take care of yourself. They are thinking about taking the girls; Sister Ada says she can spend some time in schooling them.
SA 1301.31b envelope postmarked November 2, 1904, from Anna White to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn; original letter is not part of this collection. Once filed with SA 1301.31a, but not the original envelope for that letter.
SA 1301.38 envelope postmarked May 30, 1904, from Anna White to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn; original letter is not part of this collection.
On back: notes about a letter dated September 12, 1906 (which is SA 1301.52).
SA 1301.39 envelope postmarked July 18-19, 1904, from Anna White to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn; original letter is not part of this collection.
On back: notes about a letter dated June 17, 1904 (which is SA 1301.22).
SA 1301.40 envelope postmarked October 24-25, 1904, from Anna White to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, probably for letter which is SA 1352.5.
SA 1301.82 envelope, postmarked February 11, 1902, from Anna White to Laura H. Langford, Brooklyn; original letter not part of this collection. A letter dated Sept. 25, 1904 [not part of this collection] was once in this envelope.
SA 1352.17c Envelope postmarked September 25, 1906, from Anna White to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn; original letter is not part of this collection. Envelope printed with return address for Anna White.
SA 1301.66 obituaries [photocopies] of Eldress Anna White, from Rensselaer Courier, written by Leila S. Taylor, and The Sun, The New York Times, and an unknown newspaper.
Also envelope (SA 1301.66f) in which obituaries were mailed to Mrs. Langford. Written on envelope: Notices of Eldress Anna’s death.
Folder 6: Letters from Daniel Offord
Note: see also SA 1301.63a-b, which is a double letter, from Daniel Offord and Anna White, and is filed with the Anna White correspondence
SA 1301.26a-b letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, N.Y., to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, September 21, 1904. With envelope, printed with Offord’s return address.
Anna has returned safely. Cost of fixing stove and boiler in cottage, and charges for eggs delivered there. [The cottage had been rented out and there were some problems with the business.]
SA 1390.1a-b letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, June 28, 1906.
About current lease of Canaan farm and terms for her to purchase it. Reserving a strip of timber land for the North family as they need to wood for repairs. They need the money so cannot just let her have the property for a celibate sanitarium. She needs to come so they can talk while viewing the property – can get more accomplished that way than by writing.
SA 1390.2 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, July 11, 1906.
More about the man who is renting the Canaan farm and its prospects as a dairy farm. Please come for our service of August 5. [writes about the spiritual side of the Shakers.]
SA 1390.4 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, July 14, 1906.
Her deposit check has been received. Will write more when have the time – it’s splendid haying weather and must return to work.
SA 1390.3 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, July 20, 1906.
Only Levi Shaw (near 90) is opposed to her buying the farm. She cannot move into the small house now because it is occupied. Levi Shaw is opposed only because he wants to start his lumber business again. Daniel is going to go see him and bring him into harmony with the North family’s views.
SA 1390.5 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, July 31, 1906.
Arrangements about Laura’s upcoming visit, including bringing Amanda and two children. When Dr. Burrows comes, he will have to stay with the brothers as men are not allowed at Ann Lee Cottage.
SA 1390.6 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, September 3, 1906.
Deed received today. Expect Levi Shaw will sign it. Information about Elder Earnest and his efforts to sell the South farm. Work done on drains at Canaan farm. It would be well to have Elder Clark go over the property with her as he is well acquainted with it.
SA 1390.7 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, December 13, 1906.
Deed not yet ready – need to insert the description of the woodland. Royce place not for sale until the route of the trolley line is set. Hope to find someone to lease the Royce place. Anna is much better.
SA 1390.8 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, December 21, 1906.
Her check received. Church family having trouble with drain from barn, and he must help them. Anna continues to improve.
SA 1390.9 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, December 26, 1906.
Map has arrived. Brother Alonzo broke his arm. Anna improving. Had two meetings on Christmas, with entertainment by young people, followed by refreshments. The blacksmiths are busy sharpening the horses [i.e. horseshoes?] because of the ice.
SA 1390.10 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, January 15, 1907.
Surveyor has not yet done the work needed, so the deed is not yet ready. Talked to Elder Earnest about the South farm, for which he wants $4000. Both herdsmen have left.
SA 1390.11 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, February 1, 1907.
Survey finally done and deed will be mailed tomorrow. Levi Shaw is no longer a trustee. Have rented Royce place. Sending her some of their wheat.
SA 1301.54 short letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 5, 1907.
Thanks for the book. Encloses receipt for wheat.
SA 1390.12 short letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, February 8, 1907.
Papers came safely. Am sending apples to Laura and to Charlotte.
SA 1390.13 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, February 15, 1907. Written at top of letter: Drain pipe agreement.
Their courthouse in Hudson burned recently and records have to be recopied. Advises her to get new farm implements rather than try to use their old, broken down ones. He cannot take charge of her plumbing – recommends that she find a firm in Albany. He will make sure the main drain from the house is cleared. Other advice about the farm and a manager.
SA 1352.20 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, March 16, 1907.
We will take care of Amanda – she needs to travel to New Lebanon as it is too difficult to get to West Pittsfield. Information about Mr. Abbott, who is an invalid. Hopes she finds a good man to oversee work on her Canaan farm.
SA 1352.21a-b letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, March 18, 1907. With envelope printed with his return address.
Death of Brother Robert Halford. Charles Pettit needs to know if Laura is going to get the building materials herself, or if she prefers that Pettit do so. Information about payday for workers; about a stove; and about hot water boilers. The p.s. is about a boiler.
SA 1390.14 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, March 20, 1907.
All the pipes and drains in the large house need work and until that is done, the house is not habitable. Ann Lee Cottage is being renovated, so there is no room for the Russians just now. Lists the equipment she will need.
SA 1390.15 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, January 11, 1908.
Her check received. Information about taxes. Death in South family.
SA 1390.16 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, January 17, 1908.
More about taxes. All looking forward to her book.
SA 1390.17 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, April 3, 1908.
Check received. Eldress Augusta died. Having winter weather. Have just received 200 chicks to care for.
SA 1390.18 short letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, June 4, 1908.
Encloses bill for Portland cement.
SA 1390.19 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, August 4, 1908.
Lost 3 largest barns, sheds, 6 other buildings, livestock and poultry in a terrible fire. Little insurance.
SA 1390.20a-b letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, January 20, 1909.
Check received. Recent storm. Celebrating Eldress Anna’s 78th birthday tomorrow. Henry Clough and family in Ann Lee Cottage. Church family planning to build a barn in the spring.
SA 1352.25 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 14, 1909.
Has been very busy. Recommends an iron ceiling. Barn is in good shape. Needs to show her the best place for a chicken house. Has picked up the machinery from the old wash mill – thanks for letting us have it. Is working on a machine for preparing wheat.
SA 1390.21 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, May 23, 1909.
Hopes she comes soon to visit. No teams available for hire for the season. Elder William Anderson will not let anyone repair the large home on the road to Canaan; he wants it cleared away. Hope to sell the house of the Second family on the South farm, “for it is impossibly under our circumstances and conditions to keep the place in Shaker Order.” Have given the Massachusetts trolley people the right of way over their property in that state.
SA 1390.22 short letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, September 15, 1909.
Check received. Sending peaches and soap and Concord grapes, if there are any.
SA 1390.23 short letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, October 26, 1909.
Does not have Mr. Thos. Smith’s address so cannot write him. Elder Clark’s letter enclosed [no longer with this letter].
SA 1390.24 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, November 4, 1909.
Sends Thomas Smith’s address. Visited George Powell’s orchard and he will barrel the North family’s apples and brand the barrels with their name. Elder William Anderson sells his in Pittsfield. [mentions the varieties they grow.] Someone in Pittsfield has offered to buy all their potatoes. More about selling their apples.
SA 1390.25 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, Dec. 9, 1909.
Check received. Apples are in the barrel and awaiting shipment. All well.
SA 1390.26 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, December 29, 1909. Written at head of letter: Important: about D. E. Miller’s surveys.
Check received. Death of Sister Eunice Cantrell. Had a great snow storm. Good weather for making ice, and will harvest theirs when it is ready. Found a reference to an exchange of land in October 1894, which might relate to the spring. Will contact surveyor Daniel Miller about it.
SA 1301.64a-b letter, from Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Daniel E. Miller, West Lebanon, N.Y., January 5, 1910. With envelope, printed with return address of Daniel Offord.
Inquiring about a survey done for the Canaan family in 1894. Also want to sell some additional land.
SA 1390.27 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, January 11, 1910.
Sorry to hear of her great trials. She must not leave until she has accomplished her work here below. Spoke to Daniel Miller about the survey and he remembers the spring is on Canaan land. Advises that she have her property surveyed when weather permits. [includes a quotation from Elder Abraham Perkins.]
SA 1301.65a-b letter, from Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 13, 1910. With envelope, printed with return address of Daniel Offord.
Sister Anna is doing much better. Just had a great snow storm. Tried to get to Pittsfield with a team, but “got submerged in a great drift.” Have had much snow this winter. Includes the words of a hymn [which begins “We’ll rise in the morning, pray let us take warning…”].
SA 1352.27a-b note, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Canaan, June 22, 1910. With envelope.
Thanks for her note with enclosure. She can call tomorrow.
SA 1390.28 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, July 28, 1910.
Advises her to get spruce boards at Lebanon Springs. Will exchange use of reaper for sawdust. Can sell her cattle feed.
SA 1352.28a-b letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, November 1, 1910. With envelope, printed with his return address.
Bill enclosed [no longer with letter]. Eldress Anna is dying. Advice about a horse. Hope to get her land surveyed soon.
SA 1390.29 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura Langford, probably Brooklyn, December 15, 1910.
Sorry she is unwell. Writes about selling oats, grain, and straw. Eldress Anna is failing fast.
P.S. dated Fri. the 16th. Death of Eldress Anna. “A glorious resurrection to immortal life.”
SA 1301.66a telegram, Daniel Offord, West Lebanon, N.Y., to to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, December 16, 1910.
News of death and funeral of Eldress Anna White.
SA 1301.67a-b letter, from Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, Brooklyn, February 23, 1911. With envelope, printed with return address of Daniel Offord. Written on envelope: “His last letter.”
The Shakers miss Eldress Anna. If Mrs. Langford has any communications from her, please let them know. No new members, and many of them are elderly. It is difficult for them to keep up their buildings and farms, so have to sell pieces from time to time. Mentions work on a trolley line. Governor Dix has twice come to supper. Would help them make their plans if they knew hers for the coming season.
SA 1352.37 letter, Daniel Offord, Mt. Lebanon, to Laura C. Langford, [Canaan?], April 26, no year, probably 1906-1908.
Put an old box on the wagon, to hold sand and gravel. Sorry about troubles with horses – gives advice about them. Rather she get someone else to buy the plow and harrow. The cement will be ordered.
Folder 7: Shaker ephemera
SA 1301.78a-b two printed advertising fliers: The Shakers of Mount Lebanon extend to you an invitation to attend a Peace Convention, in the interest of universal peace, August 31, 1905.
SA 1390.30 advertising flyer: The Shakers of Mount Lebanon invite you to attend a Peace Convention, in the interest of universal peace, August 31, 1905. Lists the speakers, with two extra names written in. [different from SA 1301.78a-b]
SA 1301.75a-d Three printed ads (two of which are the same) for Shaker carpet and rug beaters, plus a hand-written “Price List of Carpet Beaters.”
One ad is headed Levi Shaw, manufacturer of and wholesale dealer in Shaker Carpet and Rug Whips. The prices for the four different styles are written on the ad; the prices are for a gross.
Two ads are identical, headed North Family Shakers, Mount Lebanon, New York, Manufacturers of Shaker Carpet and Rug Beaters. Daniel Offord was the agent to contact about these.
The hand-written price list may be the list enclosed in a letter from Eldress Anna White to Laura Langford in 1903, see SA 1301.16. The prices ranged from 15 to 30 cents.
SA 1301.76 advertising card for The Annlee [sic] Cottage in Shaker Village, which was open to boarders. Inquiries were to be addressed to Emma J. Neale, Mount Lebanon. This cottage is referred to in several of the letters written to Laura Langford.
SA 1301.77 printed letters [photocopies] from F. W. Evans, one dated July 30, 1882, and the other written shortly before that.
SA 1301.79 obituary [photocopy] of Elder Frederick W. Evans, 1893.
SA 1301.80a article, “Shakers Shake a Shaker,” from The Sun, March 20, 1909.
Article is about the removal of Elder Ernest Pick from the Shaker order.
SA 1301.80b envelope addressed to Mrs. John S. Roberts, 557 Argyle Road, Brooklyn, New York, with printed return address of R.M. Wagan & Co., Mt. Lebanon, which includes the picture of a rocking chair.
Written on envelope: re Ernest Pick.
SA 1352.38 note in handwriting of A. G. Hollister about Swedenborg. Written on back of advertisement for talk by Rev. Mrs. H. S. G. Lake, at the Opera House. Someone has written in pencil on this: Olympia, Feb. 21.
Also in this folder is a copy of a typed letter from E.D. Andrews to Edward T. James, editor of Notable American Women, giving biographical facts about Laura C. H. Langford. This letter is not numbered.
Folder 8: Farm “essay”
SA 1439 Farm “essay,” written about August 13, 1911.
Laura’s statement about the Canaan farm, when purchased, her residency there, the question over ownership of a spring, the state of the fences, etc. She states that she had spent over $11,000 on the farm (purchase, repairs, etc.), and that it had been bought with the intent of using it for a sanitarium, which plan fell through. Although she had been told by the Shakers that the buildings were in good condition, she found this was not true. Includes a memorandum detailing some of her expenses and the condition of some of the fields.
Folder 9: Writings of Laura Langford about the Shakers
SA 1302.1 “Eldress Anna White on Temperance and Vegetarianism, Women, and Children,” circa 1900.
SA 1302.2 “Gentle Ghosts: Tenants of an Old Shaker Farm; The Kindly Shades of Prim Sisters and Helpful Brothers,” circa 1900. Missing pages 11-13.
Pages 1-10 are written on backs of a printed form letter, from Laura C. Langford, President, Seidl Society, July 3, 1896.
SA 1302.3 “Eldress Anna White Dead: Noted as a teacher and leader among the Shakers, and as the friend of reform movements & humanitarian work of all kinds & under all names,” 1910. Two pages are numbered 3.
SA 1302.4 “Women’s Work Among the Shakers.”
SA 1302.5 untitled, begins “Ann Lee, the founder of Shakerism, came to American from England in the summer of 1774….”
Folder 10: printed writings of Laura C. Holloway
Chinese Gordon: The Uncrowned King: His Character as it is Portrayed in his Private Letters.
New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1885. Two copies, one with paper covers, other without.
The Magic Fan. Brooklyn: O. Wissner, no date. Back cover missing. Laid inside a paper folder inscribed Mrs. L.C.H. Langford, Canaan, New York. On proper front cover is a note about cost to reprint the story without ads (which are not present in this copy).
How the Fairies Spent Christmas Eve. Brooklyn: O. Wissner, no date. With ads for Wissner pianos.
“Harriet Beecher Stowe” and “Florine Thayer M’Cray,” from The Daily Graphic (New York)., Saturday, July 7, 1888, p. 45 and 39. (Original and photocopies; use photocopies first as original is torn.)
“The Women of the South,” in The Phrenological Journal and Packard’s Monthly, new series v. 2, no. 3 (Sept. 1870), p. 208-209.
Folder 11: other materials pertaining to Laura Holloway
“The Late William Wood,” a tribute to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, mentions Mrs. Holloway, from Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb. 23, 1872 [photocopy] (SA 1344)
“An Old Grudge - A New Fuss,” program for lecture by Laura C. Holloway at the Hall of the Cooper Union, April 6, no year.
“Phrenological Character of Mrs. L. C. Holloway, given at Fowler & Well’s Phrenological Cabinet, Jan. 13, 1869,” by S. R. Wells, practical phrenologist. Printed covers, with ad for Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated.
Seidl Society Concerts. Brighton Beach Music Hall, August 24-September 1, 1895.
“The Story of Jean Valjean and the Bishop,” adapted from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, translated by Florence Pomeroy Raab. Loaned by Mrs. Langford. Written in pencil on front cover: Richard Jefferies books?
Folder 12: Scrapbook
SA 1304 Scrapbook, with loose article
Written on front cover: Laura C. Holloway, 1871.
Filled with newspaper notices about Laura C. Holloway, including notices about lectures given by her, especially her lectures on Charlotte Bronte and “Ladies of the White House.” Includes a ticket to her lecture on Bronte on June 4, 1880, and several announcements about her upcoming lectures. Also includes two letters, one from D. A. Nash of the St. Mark’s Guild, and the other from General O. O. Howard’s chief of staff. Most of the clippings are from the 1870s and 1880s, with an obituary from 1905 laid into the volume. Also with the scrapbook is an article about Mrs. Holloway from The Business Woman’s Journal, September-October 1890.
SA 1305 Scrapbook.
Written on front flyleaf: Laura C. Holloway, 1888.
Contains notices about Mrs. Holloway’s books, plus some of her articles; programs for lecture series in which she participated; a printed request for old school books for the Vaulx Free Library in Lauderdale County, Tennessee; a few letters and invitations; a leaf from Heidelberg Castle; announcements about her marriage to Col. Langford; etc. Loose materials from the scrapbook are found in folder 14.
[no number] The Lady’s World, vol. 1, no. 3 (March 1887), missing pages 125-128; p. 145-146 mutilated. Edited by Laura C. Holloway.
Although none of the articles are signed by Laura Holloway, the article on pp. 140-141: “Heredity and Practical Training,” has corrections made by her.
Folder 16: Pamphlets
International Council of Women, assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association of the United States, to Celebrate the Fortieth Anniversary of the First Woman’s Rights Convention, March 25-April 1, 1888. Held in Washington, D.C. On March 28, Laura C. Holloway gave a talk on “Women in Journalism.”
Leadbeater, Charles W. “What Theosophy Does for Us,” an address delivered at Buffalo, Oct. 29, 1900.
Lillie, Arthur. “Koot Hoomi Unveiled, or, Tibetan ‘Buddhists’ versus the Buddists of Tibet. (London: Psychological Press Association and E.W. Allen, no date; with an extensive list of books published by The Association).
Olcott, H. S. “The Theosophical Society and Its Aims,” an address delivered in Bombay on March 23, 1879, together with the rules of the society. (Bombay: Industrial Press, 1879).
Wachtmeister, Constance. “H.P.B. and the Present Crisis in the Theosophical Society.” (privately printed by Women’s Printing Society, London, no date)
The Beacon: A Little Periodical Intended for Theosophists, v. 1, no. 8, November 1922. With notes in blue pencil.
The Blavatsky Association, inaugurated Nov. 13, 1923, pamphlet with officers, constitution, and rules.
The Messenger, v. 4, no. 11 (April 1917).
The Order of the Star in the East. No. 1: “Its Outer and Inner Work,” by E.A. Wodehouse. (Madras: Theosophist Office, no date)
Sydney Lodge of the Independent Theosophical Society. The Sydney Lodge News, v. 1, no. 2 (March 15, 1924)
The Theosophic Messenger, v. 8, no. 7 (April 1, 1907)
Theosophical Society, American Section, Oriental Department. No. 2, Feb. 1891: “Races in Western India.”
The Vahan, no. 12, May 15, 1891.
“The Whole Truth about the Theosophical Society and Its Founders.” (Bombay: Industrial Press, 1882)
[no number] Tennessee Historical Quarterly, vol. 67 (fall 2008). With article The Self-Inventions of Laura Carter Holloway,” by Diane Sasson.
Books by Laura C. Holloway:
Adelaide Neilson: A Souvenir. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1885. [no accession number, call number 1202a] [two copies, one on shelf, one in box with folders 10-16]
The Ladies of the White House. New York: United States Publishing Co., 1870. [no accession number, call number 1202b]
This copy belonged to Mrs. Eliza De Labagne(?) of Brooklyn.
The Ladies of the White House. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1886. Volume II only. [no accession number, call number 1202c]
This volume has biographies from Letitia C. Tyler through Frances Folsum Cleveland.
Books about Andrew Johnson or related to him:
A Discourse Upon the Theory of Legitimate Government. By A friend to Truth and Liberty. Florence [Italy], 1817. [no accession number, call number 1202d]
Inscribed on title page: N. E. Alloway.
Inscribed on page facing title page: To Ex-President Andrew Johnson from his friend N. E. Alloway, Nashville, Nov. 13, 1872.
Jones, James S. Life of Andrew Johnson, Seventeenth President of the United States. Greeneville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Publishing Co., 1901. [no accession number, call number 1202e]