The Eaton Portrait

Eaton portrait of Herman Melville
By permission of Houghton Library
Harvard University: 61Z-4

(Click to view a larger image)


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Detailed Container List


BOX 3: Dickinson (37 Folders)


3: Folder 1

Amherst College (Cole, Charles), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1956: (3 items)

Request to Leyda to catalogue and “put in proper shape” Mrs. Bingham’s materials on Emily Dickinson “for preservation and scholarly use.” Materials were to be donated by Mrs. Bingham.






3: Folder 2

Bingham, Millicent Todd, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1956: (28 items)

Millicent Todd Bingham (1880-1968) was the daughter of Mabel Loomis Todd who dedicated her life to editing the manuscripts and poems of Emily Dickinson.  Upon Mabel Loomis Todd’s death, Millicent took over the tedious task of editing Emily Dickinson’s poems.  She was editing several Dickinson pieces when Jay Leyda began his research, also on Emily Dickinson. These pieces included Emily Dickinson’s Home (Harper & Brothers, 1955) and Emily Dickinson, a Revelation (Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1954). They helped each other recover information about relevant dates, persons, places and relationships, and provided each other with feedback. They also shared an interest in knowing if Rev. Charles Wadsworth (“C.W”), father of famed Dr. William Scott Wadsworth, Philadelphia’s medical examiner and pathologist, was Emily Dickinson’s spiritual advisor.  See also Box 3: Folder 1 Amherst College, regarding Bingham’s collection of Dickinson papers. See also Box 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward for more on Wadsworth.


undated                                 estimated  Sep-1954 



22-Sep-1954                         (*notes from Leyda on back)

01-Oct-1954                          (*notes from Leyda on back)











29-Mar-unknown year        estimated 1955



3: Folder 2    (continued from previous page) Bingham, Millicent Todd



undated                     estimated between Jun 22-29, 1955                    (draft from Leyda)






02-Dec-1955             (from Leyda)




3: Folder 3

Bookstores / Booksellers & Collectors, correspondence with Jay Leyda undated, 1954: (6 items)

All letters are responses to Leyda’s search for materials relating to Emily Dickinson.


undated                     (Hillcrest Book Shop)

31-Aug-1954             (Harry A. Levinson, Rare & Precious Books)

09-Sep-1954             (William P. Wreden, Antiquarian Booksellers Association)

10-Sep-1954             (The Union League Club)

22-Sep-1954             (Mabel Zahn, Charles Sessler, Bookseller and Printseller)

27-Sep-1954             (Donald L. LaChance, Rare, Choice & Current Books)


3: Folder 4

Connecticut Valley Historical Museum (Juliette Tomlinson), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1956: (3 items)

Correspondence is both personal and professional in nature with specific mention of “the Merriam stuff.”






3: Folder 5

DuPont, Marcella, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (2 items)

Refers to a letter that Leyda wrote to Mary Hampson in search of documents relating to Emily Dickinson.





3: Folder 6

Haight, Gordon Sherman, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (1 item)

Gordon S. Haight (1901-1985) was a biographer of women writers of the nineteenth century and a George Eliot scholar. He was an English Professor at Yale University at the time of this correspondence.  Correspondence refers to help Leyda provided Haight while writing an unidentified book, but with a reference to the “Lamartine portrait.”



3: Folder 7

Hampson, Mrs. Alfred Landis (Mary), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (1 item)

Mary Landis Hampson was of a friend of Emily Dickinson's niece Martha Dickinson Bianchi, and the last resident of The Evergreens, the villa of Emily Dickinson's brother Austin and his wife Susan. She lived next door to the Dickinson Homestead. Letter refers to Dickinson material owned by Harvard.




3: Folder 8

Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc. (Jerold Hickey), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1955: (1 item)

Refers to an article in Harper’s Bazaar on “Emily Dickinson’s Lover” (Nov. 1951).


31-Oct-1951              (article enclosed)


3: Folder 9

Harper & Brothers (Elizabeth Laurence), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (1 item

Relates to the possibility of reissuing of the 1931 Emily Dickinson Letters.




3: Folder 10

Harvard University, Library of (William A. Jackson), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (1 item).

Discusses access to Millicent Todd Bingham’s Dickinson material.




3: Folder 11

Haverford College Library (Anna B. Hewitt), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (1 item)

Anna Hewitt was the Assistant Curator of The Quaker Collection at Haverford and responds to Leyda’s inquiry regarding the contents of Charles Roberts Autograph Collection.




3: Folder 12

Johns Hopkins University (M.L.Raney), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1956: (1 item)

Mr. Raney expresses interest in reading what Leyda’s “new disclosures will be” in his new book regarding the relationship between Dickinson and the Reverend Charles Wadsworth. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward for more on Wadsworth.




3: Folder 13

Johnson, Thomas Herbert, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953-1955: (8 items)

See also Box 3: Folder 10, New England Quarterly.

Thomas H. Johnson ((1902-1985), renowned Dickinson scholar, was a English Professor at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. at the time of this correspondence.  In the letters, Johnson consults Leyda on various Dickinson matters as he was writing Emily Dickinson: An Interpretative Biography (Belknap Press, 1955) and editing The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Harvard University Press, 1955). Johnson also mentions the mystery behind “CW” referring to whether or not “CW” was, in fact, the Reverend Charles Wadsworth and the nature of the relationship. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box: 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward. Of interest may be an unpublished letter of Emily to a “Mr. Sanborn” that C. Waller Barrett, of the Seven Gables had just purchased. See 3: Folder 27: Ward  for more on Johnson.


10-Mar-1953             (a returned letter from Leyda, to May Geneviene Hardy, with handwritten

note to Johnson; Johnson’s handwritten reply in upper left corner).





undated, unsigned postcard


12-Oct-1955              (transcript of an unpublished letter to “Mr. Sanborn” attached)


3: Folder 14

Library of Congress, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1955: (4 items)

Refers to the review written by Leyda on Bingham’s book, Emily Dickinson’s Home in The United States Quarterly Book Review and includes a copy. Draft of review is also included with a handwritten note to Blickenstein, the editor of the USQBR, Library of Congress.




copy of Review

undated                                 estimated 1955 (Leyda’s draft of review, note to Blickenstein)


3: Folder 15

Milwaukee County Historical Society (Frederick T. Olson), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (3 items)

Letters relate to the Historical Society’s suggestion for Leyda to write a “short piece with a Milwaukee setting” for the Historical Messenger.  Also included are references to “J.L. Dudley”, (Reverend John Langdon Dudley), and a search for letters with Amherst friends, including Dickinson, Middletown parishioners, the Coleman and Fiske families, and Helen Maria Fiske Hunt Jackson (author and Dickinson friend and enthusiast).



undated                                 estimated 19-Aug-1954 (draft from Leyda)



3: Folder 16

New England Quarterly (Katharine Thompson), correspondence with Jay Leyda undated: (1 item)

Thompson is pleased that Leyda has agreed to review Thomas Johnson’s Emily Dickinson, and “is sending it along.”  Note mentions Betty Bezanson.




3: Folder 17

New Republic (Robert Evett), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1955: (4 items)

Letters refer to an article Leyda wrote on Dickinson for the New Republic.







3: Folder 18

Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Julian P. Boyd), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (1 item)

Letter relates to an unidentified proposal Leyda made to Boyd, possibly an offer to conduct research, but on what remains unclear. Boyd also makes references to Lyman Butterfield, possibly the “Mr. Butterfield” from Box 1: Folder 59: Outgoing Drafts.




3: Folder 19

Pohl, Josephine Pollitt, correspondence with Jay Leyda undated, 1955: (3 items)

Correspondence is both friendly and professional. Once a Dickinson scholar and author of a 1930 book on Dickinson, Josephine provides Leyda with feedback and insights on Dickinson.  She praises Leyda for his article in the New Republic, comments on Bingham’s Emily Dickinson’s Home, and refers to the interpretation of the Rev. Charles Wadworth’s relationship to Dickinson. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box: 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward.






3: Folder 20

Providence Public Library (Stuart C. Sherman), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953-1954: (1 item)


Stuart Sherman was the Assistant Librarian at the time of the correspondence and responds to an inquiry from Leyda about a possible Dickinson collection at the Providence Public Library.




3: Folder 21

Seven Gables Bookshop (C. Waller Barrett, R.T. Roberts), correspondence with Jay Leyda undated, 1954-1955: (3 items)

Leyda writes the owner of Seven Gables Bookshop, C.W. Barrett, Collector of old and rare books in the hopes that a “manuscript scrap” of Dickinson’s may be tracked down in his collection in time for Tomas H. Johnson’s publication of The Poems of Emily Dickinson (Harvard University Press, 1955).  Subsequent correspondence takes place between R.T. Roberts, on behalf on Mr. Barrett, and Leyda regarding two short notes found on Dickinson.  The two short notes are transcribed in the 01-Nov-1954 letter from Roberts.


undated                     estimated 25-Sep-1954       (draft from Leyda to Barrett)

01-Nov-1954             (reply from Roberts)

undated*                    estimated       Nov. 1954      (draft from Leyda, to Roberts)


*written on the back of a telegram from “Sergei,” possibly Sergei Bertensson – see Box 2: Folder 2: Bertensson.            


3: Folder 22

Todd, Minister G. Hall, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1955: (8 items)

G. Hall Todd was the Minster of the Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia at the time of this correspondence. He was a friend and probably the Minister of the famous Dr. William Scott Wadsworth, Philadelphia’s medical examiner and pathologist, who was, in turn, the son of the late Reverend Charles Wadsworth. Leyda had an unsigned letter to Emily Dickinson monogrammed “CW”, and believed it to be from the Reverend Charles Wadsworth. Leyda also believed the Reverend to be Emily’s spiritual advisor, contrary to others’ held beliefs that “CW” was possibly Emily’s lover. Leyda writes to Todd in the hopes that he may help resolve this mystery by speaking with Dr. Wadsworth and arranging a meeting between Wadsworth and Leyda.  Dr. Wadsworth becomes ill and passes away before a definite resolution on this matter is possible. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box: 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward for more on Wadsworth.



undated                     estimated late Oct. 1954     (draft from Leyda)





undated                     estimated early Mar. 1955  (draft from Leyda)

20-Mar-1955             (Dr. Wadsworth’s obituary attached)


3: Folder 23

Trustees of Forbes Library (Lawrence E. Wikander), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1956: (1 item)


This letter is a reply to Leyda’s inquiry about information regarding a Sidney E. Bridgeman, his family, and an unidentified book Leyda sought.




3: Folder 24

University of California (Lawrence Clark Powell), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953: (1 item)

Letter recommends a private collection of Emily Dickinson letters be offered to Harvard, and turns down a third party offer to purchase a Lewis Carroll collection.




3: Folder 25

Van Boven, Alice, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (1 item)

Alice Van Boven writes to Leyda about a collection of Amherst letters in which she determines at least one to be from her grandmother to Miss Vinnie Dickinson (Lavinia).  Van Boven alludes to and affirms Leyda’s suggestion to give the collection, once sorted, to UCLA




3: Folder 26

Wadsworth photographs, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Letters relate to the search for a photograph of the Reverend Charles Wadsworth. Leyda purchased one from The Presbyterian Historical Society.  Subsequently, American Heritage magazine wrote to Leyda asking if he had any photographs of Wadsworth. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box: 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs; and Box 3: Folder 29: Ward for more on Wadsworth.


11-Oct-1954              (Guy S.. Kleitt, Dept. of History, Presbyterian Historical Society)

30-Dec-1954             (Stephen Sears, American Heritage)


3: Folder 27

Walter, Dorothy C., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (1 item)

Dorothy Walter shares her insights on Dickinson.




3: Folder 28

Ward, Theodora Van Wagenen, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1956: (17 items)

Theodora Van Wagenen Ward (1890-1974), was the granddaughter of Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland and Elizabeth (Chapin) Holland, friends and correspondents of Emily Dickinson. Theodora was an artist (wood block carvings) and Dickinson scholar. Author of many Dickinson pieces herself, she was also Thomas H. Johnson’s Editorial Assistant at Belknap Press and Harvard University Press at the time of this correspondence.  Letters relate to the arrangements made between Bingham and Harvard University Press for the release of Bingham’s materials and permission for Johnson to publish his work a year after Bingham’s publication. Ward and Leyda also shared information and advice about Dickinson.Ward was writing her own essay, entitled, “Ourself Behind Ourself – an Interpretation of the Crisis in the Life of Emily Dickinson”, and was seeking its publication. Harvard University Library eventually published this piece in 1956. Of interest may be correspondence regarding “secret” Bingham documents on Emily Dickinson that Leyda was privy to and shared with Ward. Some mention of Wadworth. See also Box 3: Folder 2: Bingham; Box: 3: Folder 12: Johns Hopkins University; Box 3: Folder 13: Johnson; Box 3: Folder 19: Pohl; Box 3: Folder 23: Todd; and Box 3: Folder 27: Wadsworth photographs.









undated         estimated between 26-Feb and 11-Mar-1955 (draft from Leyda on blue paper)











3: Folder 29

Williams, Stanley T.,correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Stanley T. Williams, English Professor at Yale University, refers to Leyda’s Dickinson manuscript. See also Box 3: Folder 30: Yale University Press for an excerpt from Williams on Leyda’s book on Dickinson.


undated                     (possible draft by Leyda)

21-Aug-1954             (postcard)


3: Folder 30

Williams, Mrs. Arthur L (Theresa Wright Williams), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953: (1 item)

Theresa Wright Williams’s great aunt was Mrs. Sarah Taylor Fowler who was  “written [of] so affectionately” by Emily Dickinson.  Mrs. Williams shares what she knows about her family genealogy concerning the Wrights, Fowlers, and Dickinsons, and some friends and neighbors.




3: Folder 31

Yale University Press (Mr. Davidson and Roberta Yerkes), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955-1956: (4 items)

Letters relate to the publication of  The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (Yale University Press, 1960).







3: Folder 32

Zermer, Louise Gray, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Correspondence relates to Leyda’s search for more information on Edward Dickinson’s friend, Mr. Eastman and his family, of whom Gray refers to in an article she wrote for the Illinois English Bulletin.


undated                     estimated Aug-1954            (draft from Leyda)



Chronological Correspondence


3: Folder 33

Incoming, undated, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (3 items)


undated         (Anna Scannell [uncertain])

undated         (Birtha Van Riper Overbury)

undated         (“bd”)


3: Folder 34

Incoming 1953, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (2 items)


25-Feb-1953(John Moffit, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center)

07-Apr-1953  (Kimball C. Elkins, Harvard College Library, Archives)


3: Folder 35

Incoming 1954, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (4 items, 5 letters)


10-Sep-1954             (LOOK, Cowles Magazines Inc.)

12-Oct-1954*             (2 notes from an unknown correspondent, “Jean,” includes third party)

08-Nov-1954             (Winifred Hicks, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan)

07-Dec-1954             (Milton E. Saul, The Caliban Press)


*Typed letter to a third party, “Mildred”, asking her to recall the name of a woman who destroyed some letters written by Emily Dickinson while moving into an “old house in New England.” Jean’s handwritten note to Leyda is on the bottom in pencil.




3: Folder 36

Incoming 1955, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (2 items)


24-Jan-1955             (Sophia Ehrlich)

02-Mar-1955             (Lola Gruenthal)


3: Folder 37

Outgoing, undated, drafts by Jay Leyda: (3 items, 5 letters)


undated                     (to “Harl,” Harl  Cook)

undated                     (to “Mrs. Carson”)

undated photocopy (to “Prof. Tinker,” possibly Chauncey Brewster Tinker;  “Willard,” likely Willard L. Thorp; and “Mr. Williams,” possibly Stanley T. Williams).




Current Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: On August the 19th 1819, Melville is baptized at home by J. M. Mathews, a minister of the South Reformed Dutch Church in New York City.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Solar Eclipse: From Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) - 3.5.60-65 "This change, this dusking change that slips (Like the penumbra o'er the sun), Over the faith transmitted down; Foreshadows it complete eclipse?" Footnote: "The "penumbra" is the Earth's shadow that falls upon the moon during a lunar eclipse, but Melville here is applying the term to a solar eclipse." (From "Herman Melville: Stargazer" By Brett Zimmerman) The first photo of a total solar eclipse, shown here, was a daguerreotype by the Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski. (July 28, 1851 - same year that Moby-Dick was published) :) 2017-08-19T15:30:17+0000
Greg Lennes Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society Conference (June 27 - June 30, 2017) by Hannah Murray.
Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society ConferenceKings College London Organised around the focus of ‘Melville’s crossings’, the event covered the breadth and depth of Melville studies and paid close attention to Melville’s dialogues with philosophy and aesthetic theo…
Colin Dewey All members of the Melville Society receive three print issues of our award-winning journal, Leviathan, per year. With membership rates beginning at only $25 this is an incredible bargain.
Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies | JHU Press EditorSamuel Otter, University of California, Berkeley Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan PODCAST: Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan Leviathan features a bounty of scholarly articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing of a critical, theoretical, cultural, or historical nature on the impressive body of wor...
Eileen Valentino Flaxman MOBY DICK - Ch. 16 – THE SHIP is about everything being ready for sail: the crew is on board, the larder is stocked. But no Captain Ahab. For days, the men are in limbo, waiting for their captain to arrive . . . A ship in the harbor a ship not at sea is no ship at all, strange and solitary. A ship with no captain, not anywhere seen is not yet alive but mere joints and beams. But when sails unfurl and Ahab walks the deck and the salt spray stings the back of my neck Then the Pequod will reign and come into its own With the ocean its kingdom and the waves its throne.
Greg Lennes From Providence Journal: The Berkshire County Historical Society's annual hike up Monument Mountain on August 6th:
Annual Berkshires hike marks a literary moment A visit to western Massachusetts includes a stop at Monument Mountain and Arrowhead, the home of the great author Herman Melville.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: October Mountain Shelter along the Massachusetts Appalachian Trail is said to have been named by Melville, who wrote “One fine morning I sallied forth upon the errand I had much ado finding the best road to the shanty. No one seemed to know where it was exactly. It lay in a very lonely part of the country, a densely wooded mountain on one side (which I call October Mountain on account of its bannered aspect in that month), and a thicketed swamp on the other.” (From his short story - COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO ! OR THE CROWING OF THE NOBLE COCK BENEVENTANO" - 1853). Here is the present shelter in the October Mountain State Forest:
October Mountain Shelter October Mountain Shelter
Colin Dewey Note to members: The Melville Society will now be communicating with members via email rather than snail mail. The Executive Committee has chosen "Survey Monkey" as our platform for official polling and elections, so we will no longer send paper ballots. Please accept Survey Monkey messages from the Melville Society and make sure when you renew your Society membership that your email and postal mailing addresses are up to date. If you have opted-out of Survey Monkey emails in the past you will not receive ballot or election materials. To opt-in visit Note that this not affect our journal, Leviathan, which you will continue to receive just as you have been. Thank you!
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Colin Dewey Visit to learn about the society and membership.
Home A society dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville
Colin Dewey Established in 1947, the Melville Society is one of the largest international single-author societies, dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century. The organization enjoys the fellowship of scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world. All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events. With subscriptions starting at just $25 per year, our membership remains an incredible bargain. To join, or learn more, go to:

From Our Photo Collections

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Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Click here for more information and application details.


New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships


Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.


Click here for more information and application details.

Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.


125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.