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Florence Ripley Mastin Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mastin, Florence Ripley.
Title: Florence Ripley Mastin Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1848-1969
Quantity: 1.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American poet (1886-1968). Collection includes correspondence (1886-1967); book manuscripts, holograph (handwritten) and typescript poems and prose, notebooks; published poems; family photographs; and genealogies.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Florence Ripley Mastin (1886-1968) was an award-winning American poet.

Mastin was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania but her family moved while she was still very young to "Four Gables," the Mastin family home in Piermont, New York. Mastin graduated from Tappan Zee High School in 1903 (she wrote the class poem) and then from Barnard College.

Her poetry career began at the age of 14 when the Nyack Star published her poem, "The Hudson River." Her first book, Green Leaves, was published in 1918. She taught poetry for 38 years at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, where her students included Bernard Malamud and others. Many of her former students have publicly expressed their appreciation for her teaching and her influence on their work.

Ms. Mastin was a member of the Poetry Society of America and winner of many poetry awards. Her work was published in the New York Times, the Saturday Review and other national periodicals. In 1959 the New York State Commission on Historic Observances selected her poem, "Freedom's Dream" as the official "Year of History" poem for the 350th Hudson-Champlain Celebration, and this poem also won the Freedom Foundation Medal that year.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from The Piermont Newsletter, Volume XXXIX No. 1 (Spring 2009).]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Florence Ripley Mastin Papers are divided into personal records, correspondence, writings, miscellaneous, and memorabilia.

Personal records include Mastin's 1920 diary of a trip to England, the 1857 diary of her grandmother, and family genealogical information.

Correspondence, which is both incoming and outgoing, spans more than eighty years. Correspondents include former students and colleagues at Erasmus Hall High School, editors, friends and family. Some of the letters contain poems by Mastin, such as one about fellow Erasmus teacher Grace MacColl.

The largest section, Writings, is subdivided by type (books, poetry, prose, published material, school publications, and songs). Some of the handwritten poems are illustrated either with collages or original artwork.

Miscellaneous contains writings by authors other than Mastin, while Memorabilia consists of a framed poem and some photographs.

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Arrangement of the Collection

All material is arranged alphabetically by name (for correspondence) or by title or first line (for writings). The exception is miscellaneous correspondence, which is arranged chronologically.

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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


Gresham, William Lindsay, 1909-1962.
Malamud, Bernard.
Mastin, Florence Ripley.


American poetry -- 20th century.
Poets, American.
Women poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Genealogies (histories)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Florence Ripley Mastin Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Original collection, gift of Florence Ripley Mastin, 1967, 1969.

Marcel-Robin Lowell correspondence, gift of the estate of Marcel-Robin Lowell, 2011.

Sullivan correspondence, gift of Robert J. Sullivan, 2013.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DB
Date: 6 Feb 1978
Revision history: 11 Feb 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC); Jun 2011 - additions M11-056, some rearrangement (MRC); 1 Oct 2013 - Sullivan correspondence, M13-010 (MRC); 28 Jun 2021 - bioghist corrected (MRC)

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Personal records
Box 1 Biographical data 1901-1966
Box 1 Family history 1857-1941 - diaries, genealogy, family history notes
Box 1 Household documents 1924-1958
Box 1 Gresham, William Lindsay ("Bill") 1949, 1960
Box 1 Lowell, Marcel-Robin (Marcel Victor Juster) 1952, 1957, 1961, 1963-1964 - includes handwritten poems, printed copy of "Freedom's Dream" signed/inscribed by Mastin
Gift of the estate of Marcel-Robin Lowell, 2011.
See also Poems: Holograph: Centuries Ago
Box 1 Ludwig [last name unknown] 1934, 1947 - signed/inscribed by Mastin "from Soft-Boiled Egg" and "Yer Elf"; includes photograph
Box 1 Malamud, Bernard 1960 - Malamud was a student of Mastin's at Erasmus High School
Box 1 Sullivan family 1957, 1960, 1965 - Christmas cards with poems by Mastin
Gift of Robert J. Sullivan, 2013.
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1886-1967, undated - editors, fans, Erasmus High School (3 folders)
Box 1 Across time's fence 1969 - published material, rough draft, galleys
Box 1 Cables of cobweb 1935-1951 - published material, reviews
Box 1 Green leaves 1918 - published material
Box 1 Over the Tappan Zee 1962 - published material
Box 1 A teacher's testament undated - rough draft, typescript (2 folders)
Box 1 Holograph, "Centuries Ago" 1938 - written on title page is "Marcel Victor Juster Christmas 1938"; illustrated
Box 1 Holographs undated (3 folders)
Box 1 Notebooks and fragments undated
Box 1 Printed items 1903-1964 - includes copy of "Freedom's Dream"
Box 1 Typescripts undated (3 folders)
Box 1 Holographs undated
Box 1 Typescripts undated
Published material
Box 1 Magazines 1915-1935, 1959-1967 (2 folders)
Box 1 News clippings 1912-1951
School publications
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1901-1952
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1917
Box 1 Published material 1866-1960
Box 1 Writings by authors other than Mastin 1857-1967
Box 2 Framed poem 1958
Box 2 Photographs 1848-1957 - one inscribed, "To Ludwig from Soft-Boiled Egg"

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