[These documents were recently edited. Names and subjects are not yet available for the online database records.]
These documents, which cover the years 1881-1885, 1896, and 1916-1933, consist primarily of correspondence from Mina Miller Edison to her youngest sister, Grace Miller (1870-1952). Some of the letters from the 1920s are addressed jointly to Grace and her husband Halbert K. Hitchcock (1865-1930). There is also one letter from Grace and Hal, written at sea while they were sailing toward Java, along with two letters from Grace's childhood friend, Bessie Scott. Seven letters from 1883-1885 were written while Mina was attending Miss Abby H. Johnson's Home & Day School for Young Ladies in Boston. A letter from January 24, 1885, mentions a planned visit by Mina to the home of Lillian Gilliland, which was postponed because of the weather. Mina may have met Thomas Edison for the first time when he visited the Gillilands the next day.
A letter from February 1921 mentions the recent engagement of Mina's brother John to Florence Nichols, the cousin of Mina's brother-in-law William W. Nichols. A letter from June 1924 expresses anger at an article in the New York Times giving John Heyl Vincent sole credit for founding Chautauqua; also mentioned in the letter is a visit from Ellwood Hendrick, who was researching a biography of Lewis Miller. Other letters from 1924 discuss Mina's reaction to the engagement of her youngest son Theodore; the celebration of Chautauqua's fiftieth anniversary; and a burn on her finger that Mina sustained at a Fourth of July celebration. In a letter from 1933 Mina commiserates with Grace on the loss of their respective husbands and advises her that "the future is the only thing to think of or rather the present. Never can we go backwards." Mina also mentions the financial problems experienced by Chautauqua in the wake of the Great Depression. Another letter from 1933 comments on the declining health and financial problems of Mina's oldest brother, Ira Mandeville Miller.
In addition to the correspondence, there is a wedding announcement for Grace and Hal, who were married at Glenmont on 15 February 1916, as well as an obituary for Hal and receipts from the Estate of Grace Miller for jewelry bequeathed to her niece, Margaret Miller Newman. Courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution Archives, Oliver Archive Center