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Charles Warren Stoddard Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Oct 1990

Biographical History

Charles W. Stoddard (1843-1909) was a 19th century American author. Born August 7, 1843, in Rochester, NY, he was a travel writer, poet, and journalist. Among other things, he acted as secretary-companion to Mark Twain in England in 1873, worked as an editorial writer for a Honolulu newspaper in the 1880s, and was a professor in English and American literature at the University of Notre Dame (1885-1886) and chairman of English literature at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1889-1902). He died in 1909 in Monterey, California.

Born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Francis D. Millet (1846-1912) was a respected teacher, and an academic painter and muralist known for historical genre including scenes from Alaska and Sioux Indians of Minnesota. He was President of the Guild of Boston Artists, a member of the Society of American Artists and the National Academy of Design, a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a Director of the American Academy in Rome. In addition, he sat on the advisory committee of the National Gallery of Art and was decorations director for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893. He died in the sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 1912.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles W. Stoddard Collection consists of 38 incoming letters, written between 1868 and 1901, and one photograph. The bulk of the letters are from artist Francis D. Millet, many originating from the various American and European cities in which he worked as a painter and interior designer from 1875 to 1901. A friend of Henry Adams, Henry James, Mark Twain, and a number of minor figures, Millet, in a series of 36 multipaged and highly personal letters, illuminates the contemporary American artistic and literary scene. In a letter from Paris (21 Feb 1877), Millet declares:

The most I can find time to write you in the hurry of apartment hunting is that "I want you." Why don't you come up here? We are here in a crowd. My cousin, her two daughters and son and myself keeping a house a la Bohemia in a little furnished apartment. We shall on the 15th April take a suite of rooms with a studio attached and there I shall probably stay one year if nothing happens. Won't you come up and be near us? For the moment I am very much unsettled. I worked in American up to the very day I sailed. The last job I did was to go to Hartford and paint Mark Twain's portrait. I lived in his house two weeks had a stunning time.

Two other letters to Stoddard are from the Archibishop of St. Louis, Peter Richard Kenrick, and from landscape painter John La Farge. The collection also contains a photograph of Millet.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is alphabetical by name of the correspondent.


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.

Subject Headings


Kenrick, Peter Richard, 1806-1896.
La Farge, John, 1835-1910.
Millet, Francis Davis, 1846-1912.
Stoddard, Charles Warren, 1843-1909.


American literature -- Catholic authors.
Artists -- United States.
Authors, American.
Gay artists -- Correspondence.
Gay authors -- Correspondence.
Gay men -- Correspondence.
Gay men's writings.
Painters -- United States.


United States -- Intellectual life -- 19th century.
United States -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Warren Stoddard Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Correspondence (incoming)