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Henrietta Cholmeley-Jones Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cholmeley-Jones, Henrietta Howard Boit (Sturgis)
Title: Henrietta Cholmeley-Jones Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1894-1979
Quantity: 12 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American author and artist; born 1896. Correspondence, incoming and outgoing (1894-1970); diaries, drawings, poems, speeches, clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks. Also, correspondence, clippings, a speech, and reminiscences relating to the WPA Federal Art Project in Westport, Connecticut.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Henrietta Howard Boit Sturgis Cholmeley-Jones (1896-1985) was an American author and artist. Born October 29, 1896 in Murray Hill, Manhattan, to Tate Robert Sturgis (of Boston and Philadelphia and New York), and Marion Sharpless (of "Laburnums", Chelton Hills, Philadelphia), she graduated from The Chapin School in 1914 and went on to study art with Frederick Theodore Weber. In June 1920, she married E.O. (Edward Owen) Nigel Cholmeley-Jones, former lieutenant in the American Expeditionary Forces and advertising representative for Current Literature, McClure's Magazine, Paul Block and Associates, and the National Geographic. For most of her life she and her husband lived in Westport and Norwalk, Connecticut.

For five years Cholmeley-Jones was a supervisor of the WPA Westport Art Project. She was active in both World Wars, as chairman of civilian groups (in Philadelphia, New York and Westport), and she was a member of the Temple of Religion committee of the World's Fair in New York. She was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames, DAR, Society of Mayflower Descendants, Society of Daughters of Holland Dames, Huguenot Society, New York Women Poets, Pen and Brush, American Poetry League, Alumnae Association of Chapin School Ltd., and a former member of the New York Junior League. She was an Honorary Trustee of the Kips Bay Boys Club Inc. of New York City, having been one of its founders in 1915. Among her many community activities, both in New York prior to 1931 and in Connecticut thereafter, she was a chairman for Weekday Religious Education in the Greater New York Federation of Churches and spoke on religion on the New York City radio stations of 1929-1931.

A prize-winning poet, her poems have been published in nearly fifty American publications including over twenty books; she was also an essayist/ commentator on current events. With her two sons Edward and Richard Cholmeley-Jones, she authored Slow Advance (1914-1944), a book of war poems. Her pictures, done in nine media including drypoint etching, have been exhibited over ninety times - in both New York and Connecticut - including a one-woman show in 1959 in Westport, Connecticut. She was also interested in automatic writing and produced numerous examples during her life.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henrietta Cholmeley-Jones Papers consist of her autobiography, biographical material, incoming and outgoing correspondence, legal material, subject files, works (literary and artistic), published material, memorabilia, automatic writings, and printed materials.

The collection begins with Autobiographical and Biographical materials begin the collection. The former consists of a copy of "In Anecdotage," her autobiography; the latter includes Cholmeley-Jones' listings in several national and international biographic dictionaries.

Correspondence is divided into incoming (1894-1970) and outgoing sections. Incoming includes a small amount of family material as well as exchanges with, among others, Cornelia Skinner, Governor John Lodge and Dorothy Bird. If an exchange arrived securely fastened, both incoming and outgoing correspondence have been placed, together, in Incoming. Outgoing correspondence (1946-1964) consists only of those letters belonging to no existing exchange in Incoming.

Legal material consists solely of a certification of executrices, 1934, for the Marion Sturgis Estate.

The Subject file consists of printed material and correspondence related to Cholmeley-Jones' projects and organizations. An especially strong file is that referring to the WPA Art project for Westport, Connecticut. Correspondence, 1936-1938, financial records, news clippings, notes, photographs, printed material and reports demonstrate the extent to which this town was involved with the project. The Works section is subdivided into

Works comprises General Writings, Diaries, Drawings, Music Scores, Poems and Radio Speeches. General writings are arranged alphabetically by title and range in date from 1919 to 1976. The 1919 item is a dramatization of Henry Van Dyke's "First Christmas Tree" with music and stage directions by H.H.B. Sturgis. Many of the writings are undated. Diaries date from 1913 to 1965-6 but are for scattered years, no runs exist in this collection. Loose drawings are either undated or represent the years 1914-16. The 8 music scores are arranged in alphabetical order. Again most are undated save for "Reverie", 1932 and "Victory Song", 1942. Poems are also arranged in alphabetical order by title. Those which have been combined under a collective title precede the general alphabetical arrangement. Thus: Intimate Circuit, More Than Pattern, Sequence of Seven Sonnets to my Mother (1931-7) and World War, 1914-1944 precede the single poems which are not listed individually. The last section of works, Radio Speeches, is arranged by date in one folder.

Published materials will be found separately by type and authorship. Articles, poems and newsclips are each divided by Cholmeley-Jones as author or subject. Included also in this section is a copy of Slow Advance, 1914-1944, war poems by H. Sturgis, Edward Sturgis and Richard Gilder Cholmeley-Jones.

With the Memorabilia it is possible to scan Cholmeley-Jones' heritage and interests. A general family scrapbook is followed by Henrietta Howard Boit Sturgis' baby book, memory books, awards, photographs and a 50th wedding anniversary book, prepared for Henrietta and Nigel Cholmeley-Jones. Also included here are vols. 1, 3 and 4 of the Theatre books, one on William Gillette, the other containing sketches and writings produced under the name "Rita Sturgis." Finally, there are the drypoint etching plates made for Christmas or greeting cards, and a magazine of 36 slides, part recording Cholmeley-Jones' art exhibition, October 1959, the rest showing the interior of her cherished home, Underdene (Connecticut).

Boxes 13 and 14 contain Automatic Writings. Writings which were specifically labeled as to communicator have been placed in an alphabetical sequence following a general chronological run. Titled Works produced by automatic writings are next, including Bow to the Duke and Paris Secret.

Lastly are the Published volumes containing Cholmeley-Jones' works or her additions, as letters, poems, photographs, drawings or clippings.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The arrangement of the collection follows as closely as possible the system originally designed by Mrs. Cholmeley-Jones.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Cholmeley-Jones, Henrietta Howard Boit (Sturgis) Archives.

Corporate Bodies

Federal Art Project.
United States., Works Progress Administration.


Art and state -- United States.
Federal aid to the arts -- United States.
Spirit writings.
Women artists -- United States.
Women authors, American.
Women poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Automatic writing.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Speeches (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Henrietta Cholmeley-Jones Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: circa 1980
Revision history: 9 Apr 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 5 Aug 2022 - memory book dissembled because of poor condition and materials placed in acid free folders, memory book and sketchbook/scrapbook rehoused in new oversize boxes (DTF)

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Box 1 "In Anecdotage" 1972
Biographical material
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Incoming correspondence
Box 1 A - B 1938-1969, undated
Box 1 Byrd, Dorothy 1937-1938
Box 1 C - E 1935-1972, undated
Box 1 Eisenhower, Mamie 1953
Box 1 F - G, 1931 - 73 undated
Box 1 Gish, Lillian 1965
Box 1 H 1942-1976, undated
Box 1 Hoover, Herbert 1940
Box 1 Huguenot Society of America 1963-1964
Box 1 I - L 1928-1972, undated
Box 1 Learned, Arthur G. 1949-1955, undated
Box 1 Lodge, John 1948-1965
Box 1 M 1945-1976
Box 1 McGavin, Darren 1960-1961
Box 1 N - P 1931-1980
Box 1 R 1945-1977
Box 1 Roosevelt, Eleanor 1932
Box 1 S 1929-1973, undated
Box 1 Skinner, Cornelia 1961
Box 1 Sturgis Family 1894-1944
Box 2 T - V 1929-1969, undated
Box 2 Vinal, Howard 1938-1939, undated
Box 2 W 1933-1976, undated
Box 2 Wagstaff, Blanche Shoemaker 1939, undated
Box 2 White House 1945-1969, undated
Box 2 Winchester, Marquess of 1951-1962, undated
Box 2 Y 1955-1973, undated
Box 2 Unidentifiable 1929-1970, undated
Box 2 Invitations 1920-1967, undated
Outgoing correspondence
Box 2 1946-1964, undated (1 folder)
Legal material
Box 2 Marion Sturgis Estate
Box 2 Certification of Executrices 1934
Subject file
Box 2 Academy of American Poets 1937-1966
Box 2 American Red Cross 1967
Box 2 Campaign Song, by H. C-J. 1930
Box 2 Chapin School 1913-1914
Box 2 Christmas 1919-1924
Box 2 Exhibition Notices 1954, 1959
Box 2 Greater New York Federation of Churches 1928-1930, undated
Box 2 Handwriting - Analysis 1921, 1928, undated
Box 2 Horoscope (Scorpio) 1950-1951
Box 2 Kips Bay Boys Club 1916-1971 (2 folders)
Box 3 Metropolitan Museum of Art 1962
Box 3 Sherwood Pond, Westport, Connecticut 1959-1960
Box 3 United States Air Force 1953
Box 3 Victory Book Campaign 1943
Box 3 Westport, Connecticut, Miscellaneous
Box 3 Westport, Connecticut, WPA Art Project
Box 3 Correspondence 1936-1938 (2 folders)
Box 3 Financial Records
Box 3 News clippings
Box 3 Notes, speech by H. C-J.
Box 3 Photographs
Box 3 Printed Material
Box 3 Reports
Writings – General
Box 4 "Aftermath" 1970
Box 4 "Afternoon of a Puppy" undated
Box 4 "American" 1976?
Box 4 "An Answer" 1971
Box 4 "Art of Murder" undated
Box 4 "Art Student" undated
Box 4 "As Thin as Paper" 1939
Box 4 "Awareness" 1966
Box 4 "Bill" undated
Box 4 "Comment" undated
Box 4 "Contrast" undated
Box 4 "Daily Affirmations" undated
Box 4 "Do we deserve peace" undated
Box 4 "Face to Face" 1955
Box 4 "Fall from Feudalism" undated
Box 4 "First Christmas Tree" by Henry Van Dyke, dramatized by H.H.B.S. with music and stage sketches. 1919
Box 4 "For America" undated
Box 4 "For Victory" 1943
Box 4 "Guerilla Leader" undated
Box 4 "Happiness" 1968
Box 4 "Home Alphabet" undated
Box 4 "The House" undated
Box 4 "Ice Cream" undated
Box 4 "Impression of Dr. Halferd's Talk" 1958
Box 4 "Integration" 1964
Box 4 "The Key" undated
Box 4 "The Ladies" undated
Box 4 "Literary IQ" undated
Box 4 "Maidless Recipe" (revised version of "Recipe for depression and wartime" 1944, undated
Box 4 "Message" undated
Box 4 "My Father" undated
Box 4 "Neighbors" undated
Box 4 "New York House" undated
Box 4 "Note on Modernism" 1957
Box 4 "Note on Reincarnation" 1964
Box 4 "Oh, Doctor!" undated
Box 4 [Notes on Chapter 9, Lietzmann's "The Roman Empire and its religious life"] 1953
Box 4 "Our Future" 1952
Box 4 "Papa" undated
Box 4 "Peter's Message" undated
Box 4 "Prologue" - delivered at a concert, Congregational Church of Green's Farms November 17, 1949
Box 4 "Protest" 1963
Box 4 "Recipe: for depression and wartime" (see also "Maidless Recipe") 1944
Box 4 "Reverie 1942"
Box 4 "The River" 1919
Box 4 "Revival" 1942
Box 4 "Robert Sturgis (1859-1900)" undated
Box 4 "Sand Habit" 1914
Box 4 "Smoke" undated
Box 4 "Spirit Obsession versus Spirit Cooperation" by Titus Bull M.D., chapters 1-9 undated
Box 4 "Spiritual Esperanto" undated 1974
Box 4 "Spiritual Habit" undated
Box 5 "Spiritual Purpose" undated
Box 5 "Spring" undated 1928
Box 5 "The Steak was Tough" 1958
Box 5 "This I Believe" undated
Box 5 "Victorian Confession" undated
Box 5 "Victorian Memories" undated
Box 5 [Untitled] undated
Box 5 1913, 1931, 1957, 1960, 1963, 1965-1966
Box 5 1914-1916, undated
Music Scores
Box 5 "Autumn" undated
Box 5 "Dependence" undated
Box 5 "Fantasia in C major" undated
Box 5 "The Gull" undated
Box 5 "Isla's Nightsong" undated
Box 5 "Opus VI" undated
Box 5 "Reverie" 1932
Box 5 "Victory Song" 1942
Poems: Lists
Box 5 "Intimate Circuit" undated
Box 5 "More Than Pattern" undated
Box 5 "Sequence of Seven Sonnets to my Mother" 1931-1937
Box 5 "World War 1914-1944" 1943
Alphabetically by title
Box 5 A-B
Box 6 C-W, Y
Box 6 Fragments and untitled
Box 6 By others
Radio Speeches
Box 6 1928-1929, 1939, 1958, 1968
Published material
Box 7 Articles about (3 folders)
Box 7 Articles by
Box 7 Book: "Slow Advance 1914-1944" War Poems by Henrietta Sturgis, Edward Sturgis and Richard Gilder Cholmeley-Jones, Philadelphia, Dorrance & Co. [c. 1944]
Box 7 Poems by (2 folders)
Box 8 Poems by
Box 8 Newsclips about
Box 8 Newsclips by
Box 8 Ancestral tablets (family scrapbook)
Box 8 Awards
Box 9 Babybook, Henrietta Howard Boit Sturgis
Oversize 1 Memory Book 1914, 1915, 1920 - disassembled and placed in folders (4 folders)
Oversize 2 Memory Book 1914, 1915, 1920 - disassembled and placed in folders, includes laid in material (3 folders)
Box 10 Henrietta and Nigel Cholmeley-Jones 50th Anniversary book
Box 10 Photographs
Box 10 Portrait - James Lyman Van Buren, by H. C-J. 1837-1860
Oversize 3 Sketchbook/scrapbook
Box 11 Theatre book, vol. I, William Gillette 1910-1937
Box 11 Theatre book, vol. III, sketches by Rita Sturgis
Box 11 Theatre book, vol. IV, sketches, etc. by Rita Sturgis
Box 11 "War" by Kerr Eby, with sketches, poems and clippings by H. C-J.
Box 11 Miscellaneous
Box 12 Four unidentified Glass Negatives
Box 12 Ten Drypoint Etching Plates (5 mounted)
Box 12 One Printing Plate
Box 12 Magazine of slides (36 slides)
No's. 1-19, H. C-J. exhibition of paintings, Oct. 1959
No's. 20-36, interiors in Underdene)
Automatic writings
Arranged approximately chronologically
Box 13 1931-1941
Box 13 1938
Box 13 1939 (2 folders)
Box 13 1940
Box 13 1941 (2 folders)
Box 13 1942-1950 (9 folders)
Box 13 May 1951 - June 1971
Box 13 1972
Box 13 1974-1975 (2 folders)
Box 13 1977-1979 (3 folders)
Box 14 Grand Duke Alexander of Russia 1939
Douglas Chandor
Box 14 Miscellaneous
Box 14 [Messages] v.1 and 2 Jan. 1953 - Jan. 1954
Box 14 Edward Sturgis Cholmeley-Jones (1921-1964), Capt. U.S. Army, Lt. Col., U.S. Reserve 1964-1971
Box 14 Roynon Cholmeley-Jones 1947
Box 14 James Weldon Johnson 1970
Box 14 Rev. George Mattieson 20 Jan. 1955
Box 14 Harold L. Nash 1957, 1975
Box 14 George Santayana 1955
Box 14 Marion Sturgis 1936
Box 14 Robert Sturgis 1933
Box 14 Royal Whitman II 1966
Box 14 "Bow to the Duke" part II, by Narro, edited by H. C-J.
Box 14 "Bow to the Duke," messages (3 folders)
Box 14 "Paris Secret" parts I-IV, transcribed by H. C-J.
Box 14 "Concerning Joy Homes Doerfluiges [and] Louise Homer" 1946-1947
Box 14 Heraldry 1973
Box 14 Passing of Laburnums
Box 14 [Source of Evil] 1963
Box 14 Miscellaneous Materials
Printed materials
Box 14 Books containing poems, photographs, clippings, prepared by H. C-J.
Box 15 Books containing poems, photographs, clippings, prepared by H. C-J.

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