Skip to main content

Series IV: Anna P. Livingston Papers, 1853-1968

Call Number: GEN MSS 680, Series IV

Scope and Contents

Description of the Papers

Anna Pendleton Livingston's papers contain a selection of letters she received over her lifetime, but are concentrated within the first quarter of the twentieth century, particularly the World War I period. Notable are those sent to her during the war by her brother Archibald, a major in the United States Army's 115th Engineers Expeditionary Force active in the European theater, and by Clyde Vincent Simpson (1898-1947), an officer in Troop H of the 12th Calvary. Anna Livingston met Simpson while he was stationed in Canon City, Colorado, and their relationship continued throughout his thirty-five-year international career with the United States Army. Simpson married Lois Boudinot Keith in 1920; the correspondence files document that union through letters, telegrams, photographs, and pressed flowers. The "marraine de guerre" letters, postcards, and photographs that Livingston received are filed together as a group within the Correspondence subseries; they carry messages of gratitude for her support and her parcels of goods, as well as expressions of friendship toward America and the American soldiers.

Also notable for their international content are thirteen folders holding letters Livingston received from two friends, Elizabeth H. Smith (writing from India and England, 1912-1919), and an otherwise unidentified "C.H.H." (writing from Japan, 1902-1905). The latter file holds an inscribed photograph of "Catherine" placed there during processing because her handwriting matches that in the letters.

Personal Papers primarily contains ephemera and three address books, but also a diary of a camping trip that Anna Livingston took with two female friends through Chaffee County, Colorado, between July 24 and August 17, 1903. Sites mentioned included Salida, Poncha Park, the Taylor and Gunnison rivers, Cottonwood Pass, Monarch Pass, and the Collegiate Peaks; the last pages list the flowers she recognized and a financial accounting of the trip. A photograph album documenting the trip is filed in the following subseries. Also present are three documents signed by Filipino president Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964), which Anna received as a gift in 1900.

The Photographs subseries contains a mix of images: portraits and landscapes, loose photographs and bound photograph albums, postcards and half-tones, and identified and unidentified subjects. Among the earliest is an album of photographs from a childhood summer at the family's home in Newport, Rhode Island. Perhaps most remarkable are the two albums holding snapshots and purchased commercial images from Livingston’s trips to Bermuda (1888 and 1894), Mexico (1895), and Nassau (1897), and her trip with Margaret Aldrich to Hawaii, the Philippines, and Japan (1900). There are also albums containing snapshots of labeled and unidentified images of the American West, often featuring Livingston on horseback, and one which may be images of Casper, Wyoming. Anna and Archibald Livingston were both photographers, often traveled together, and compiled photograph albums; but for their bookplates or handwritten captions, their albums are very similar. Readers should consult both siblings' series when looking for early twentieth-century images of the American West and Southwest.


  • 1853-1968


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 161-162: Restricted Fragile Material. Consult Access Services for further information.


Series IV is organized into three subseries: Correspondence, Personal Papers, and Photographs.


4 Linear Feet ((10 boxes) + 1 broadside folder)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Biographical/Historical note

Anna Pendleton Livingston (1866–1967)

Anna Pendleton Livingston was the eldest daughter of Herman T. Livingston (1827-1899) and Susan Rogers Livingston (1835-1911). Born on January 6, 1866, she was an adventurer with a fondness for animals, and traveled widely, visiting Bermuda, Cuba, Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, Mexico, and Panama, between the late nineteenth century and the 1950s. She moved with her younger brother Archibald R. Livingston (1868-1952), an engineer and a career Army officer, to Canon City, Colorado, and La Jolla, California, before they both settled in the countryside west of Medford, Oregon, in 1925; she remained there until her death at age 101, on July 19, 1967, and is buried in the Livingston family vault at Linlithgo, New York.

During the last years of World War I, Anna Livingston served as a "marraine de guerre" for a American, Belgian, and British soldiers, as well as one French girl. The "war godmother" program promoted correspondence between civilian women and enlisted men in order to provide comfort through the hardships of war, particularly important for Belgians who had very limited contact with family members then living under German occupation.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.