[This collection is currently being edited. For that reason, no images will appear if the "List Documents" button at the bottom of the note is used.]
These letters were written primarily by friends of Madeleine Edison. Included are letters by suitors or prospective suitors Joseph Zane (Joe) Batten, Henry Watkins (Wat) Ellerson, Credo Fitch Harris, Robert Doremus (Bob) Mills, and Henri Schenck. Also included is correspondence by Llewellyn Park neighbor Anna Foster and by former schoolmates Elsa Denison, Ruth George, Margaret Gregory, Margaret Mary (Peggy) James (daughter of psychologist William James), and Julia Thompson. Other correspondents include family friends Georgia Blankenship, Dr. Edwin R. Chadourne, Orlando and Minnie Rouland, and Rev. George E. Vincent. There is also a draft letter from Madeleine Edison to Wat Ellerson, written shortly after her return from Europe in 1911, informing him of her secret engagement to John Eyre Sloane.
In addition to the correspondence, there is an index to a friendship calendar for 1909 containing the names of numerous friends, relatives, and acquaintances, with a record of the number of friendship sheets sent out to each. Also included are printed programs for two plays performed by the Merrie Masquers, a theatrical group in which Madeleine was involved: Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1910), in which she played the role of Gwendoline Fairfax, and Jerome K. Jerome's The New Lady Bantock (1911), in which she played the title role. A printed script for Wilde's play bears Madeleine's marginal comments. There are also six pages of notes by Madeleine containing advice to John Sloane, who had been slated to play the role of John Worthing before illness forced him to withdraw. In addition, there is a photocopy from the Library of Congress of a 1912 check from Madeleine to author William D. Howells for the amount of $125.00.
Approximately 60 percent of the items have been selected. Included are letters by Joseph Batten and Margaret Gregory, commenting on Joe's feelings about Madeleine; by Batten, regarding Thomas Edison's hospitalization in February 1908; by Elsa Denison, describing Madeleine's 1908 Halloweeen party; by Dr. Chadbourne, regarding Edison's new battery; by Albridge C. Smith of the Merrie Masquers, inviting Madeline to play the role of Gwendolyn; by Georgia Blankenship and Wat Ellerson, pertaining to Madeleine's visit to Richmond, Virginia, in January 1911; by Ellerson, expressing surprise and disappointment after learing about Madeleine's engagement; by Elsa Denison and Julia Thompson, expressing their views on Catholics and mixed marriages; and by John Lenard Merrill of East Orange, congratulating Madeleine for her performance in The New Lady Bantock.
Click here for a complete contents list. Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.