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These letters are primarily from Madeleine Edison to her future husband, John Eyre Sloane. There are also letters by John Sloane, Mina Miller Edison, Madeleine's uncle John V. Miller, and various members of the Eyre family, whom Madeleine and Mina met during their tour of Europe. Included is correspondence relating to Madeleine's visit to Richmond in January 1911, where she met Henry Watkins ("Wat") Ellerson, a Virginia gentleman who quickly took a liking to her. Also included are numerous letters written by Madeleine during her family's tour of Europe (July-September). These letters contain descriptions of their itinerary and travel arrangements, Madeleine's impressions of the various countries she visited, and accounts of the activities of Thomas Edison and other family members. There are also references to a planned meeting with Madeleine's half-sister Marion Edison Oeser, which had to be temporarily postponed because of the death of Oscar Oeser's father; the marriage of her cousin Edith Edison to Frank Allen Potter on July 29; and the sudden death of her uncle Robert Anderson Miller three days earlier. In addition, there are humorous anecdotes about Edward A. U. Valentine, a New York World correspondent initially regarded as a nuisance, who eventually endeared himself to the Edison family; and an account of the automobile accident in Germany that resulted in the death of a young boy and the brief detainment of the Edison family.
Madeleine's travel letters, as well as others written before the trip, are replete with self-analysis and contain extended comments regarding her relationship with John. There are numerous remarks concerning religion and Madeleine's misgivings about marrying a Catholicfeelings that were intensified after one of John's aunts, a Benedictine nun, tried to convert her to Catholicism during her visit to London. Other topics discussed in the letters include Madeleine's attitude toward her father's rivals in the phonograph business; the efforts of John Sloane to find employment; and the health of Madeleine's grandmother, Mary Valinda Miller, who suffered a fall in December from which she never fully recovered. Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.