Susan Wilbur Jones papers
Scope and Contents
The Susan Wilbur Jones Papers consist of correspondence, diaries, writings, and other papers documenting Susan Wilbur Jones' years in Chicago and Cambridge, Mass. as a student, editor, wife, and mother. In addition to much material on Susan's family life and life as a student, the papers contain references to the Chicago literary world, in which Susan and her husband Llewellyn socialized with Harriet Monroe, Floyd Dell, John Cowper Powys, Edgar Lee Master, Carl Sandburg, and Mark Turbyfill.
Series I. Correspondence is arranged into personal correspondence, business correspondence, and personal business correspondence. Principal correspondents include Katherine Lee Bates, and cousins Edward Brigham, E. P. Warren, and Cornelia Warren. Also included is a letter from her mentally ill aunt Susan Rice, and a letter from Gyp Taylor discussing life in Paris in 1932 mentioning Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, William Seabrook, and Ford Madox Ford. There are also letters written by Susan's mother and father during her youth. The bulk of parental correspondence in this collection is related to a 1909 trip Susan took to Europe at age sixteen. The letters reference Susan's travels and report on family life in Illinois, often inquiring about missing letters or packages. During this 1909 trip Jones sent her family in Illinois her diaries to keep them informed about her life abroad. There is also a significant collection of correspondence from Susan's great-aunt, Susan C. Warren, primarily to Susan's mother ("Nellie"), though letters to Susan and Susan's grandmother, Susan Caroline Warren Rice, are present. Warren's letters are filled with family news and inquiries, commiseration and sympathetic updates about health matters, and reference to travels abroad in Europe and Egypt. There is also a set of advice-filled letters to Susan and her mother from Susan's paternal grandmother, Sarah Ann Cook Wilbur.
Series II. Diaries consists of eight individual volumes. The diaries document the years 1912, 1914-1916, 1918-1919, 1921-1924.
Series III. Writings include "Saint Nicholas Eve" and an incomplete essay entitled "Floyd and Margery Dell Throw a Party!"
Series IV. Other Papers includes Isaac Levine's printed poem "The Queen of Elfland's Daughter (A Moon Fantasy)" inscribed to Susan and Llewellyn as well as a bound illustrated booklet published by Dorothy M. Prescott in Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1958, which tells the story of the Warren family of Waltham, Massachusetts, and how the Girl Scouts became entrusted with the Warren Mansion House and 76 acres of family land. Several items were originally interlaid in this volume, including a note to Susan Jones from the Cambridge School about George's school supplies.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Susan Wilbur Jones Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from John Waite Rare Books on the Arthur Corbitt Hoskins Memorial Fund, 1999. Two additions purchased from Greg French-Early Photography on the Ramona Lazare Fund, 2005.
1.88 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, diaries, writings, and other papers recording Susan Wilbur Jones' years in Europe, Chicago, and Cambridge, Mass. as a student, editor, author, wife, and mother. In addition to much material on Susan's family life and life as a student, the papers contain references to the Chicago literary world, in which Susan and her husband Llewellyn socialized with Harriet Monroe, Floyd Dell, John Cowper Powys, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Mark Turbyfill. The correspondence is arranged into personal correspondence, business correspondence, and personal business correspondence. Principal correspondents include Katherine Lee Bates, and cousins Edward Brigham, E. P. Warren, and Cornelia Warren. Also included is a letter from her mentally ill aunt Susan Rice, and a letter from Gyp Taylor discussing life in Paris in 1932 mentioning Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, William Seabrook, and Ford Madox Ford. There are also family letters from Susan's mother and father, mostly dating from 1909 when Susan spent a year in Europe; as well as correspondence to Susan and her mother from Susan's great-aunt, Susan C. Warren, and from Susan's grandmother, Sarah Ann Cook Wilbur. The diaries are dated 1912, 1914-16, 1918-1919, 1921-1924. Writings include "Saint Nicholas Eve" and an incomplete essay entitled "Floyd and Margery Dell Throw a Party!". Other Papers include Isaac Levine's printed poem "The Queen of Elfland's Daughter (A Moon Fantasy)" inscribed to Susan and Llewellyn.
SUSAN WILBUR JONES, b. 1893
Susan Wilbur Jones, daughter of George W. Wilbur (1851-1931) and Ellen Rice Wilbur (d. 1932) of Chicago, was born in Oak Park, Illinois on January 6, 1893. She attended the public schools in Oak Park and Wellesley College from 1909 to 1913, where she boarded with Katharine Lee Bates, majored in Greek and English Literature, and was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
Upon graduation, she returned to Chicago and attended the University of Chicago, receiving a Master of Arts in English Literature in 1914. She began her career in literature by reviewing books for Llewellyn Jones, literary editor of the Chicago Evening Post.
In March 1917, Susan Wilbur married Llewellyn Jones. They had three children: Llewellyn, born in 1919; Cornelia, born in 1920; and George, born in 1930. Susan's sons both attended Harvard; her daughter Cornelia was mentally ill and was institutionalized at any early age.
From 1917 to 1922 Susan was assistant editor of Poetry, literary editor of the Continent, and staff editor of Comptons' Pictured Encyclopedia's volume on the ancient Mediterranean world. From 1923 to 1933 she joined her husband at the Chicago Evening Post as associate literary editor of the newly established book supplement. During this time she also served as literary editor for Child Life, and for the Chicagoan.
Susan Wilbur Jones had been a supervisor of the Illinois WPA Writer's Project for three years in 1938 when her husband accepted the editorship of the Christian Register in Boston. She moved her household and returned to school to pursue a masters in Slavic Languages from Radcliffe College. She received her degree in 1944.
Susan wrote several short works, as well as a history entitled Egypt and the Suez Canal (Chicago, 1925). She began a career in translation with the Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter in 1927. A Rockefeller grant obtained upon receiving her degree enabled her to translate Gudzy's History of Early Literature in 1949, which she followed with a translation of Romanov's Russia in Manchuria (Ann Arbor, 1952). She switched to Japanese in the 1950s and translated Ages Ago: Thirty-seven Tales from the Konjaku Monogatari Collection (Cambridge, 1959).
In her later years, Susan kept house in Cambridge for her youngest son George, and dabbled in translating. She died November 25, 1969.
Correspondence and other materials acquired in 2005 have been interfiled in the collection. The items includes correspondence from Susan C. Warren to Susan Wilbur Jones and her mother, Ellen G. Wilbur; correspondence from Susan's parents, including a substantial number of letters written during a trip to Europe that Jones took as a teenager; correspondence from Sarah Ann Cook Wilbur and a number of other letters. Folder numbers appended by a letter generally indicate material accessioned in 2005. Additionally, folders 34-37 were also acquired in 2005. Biographical information for Susan Wilbur Jones is drawn from Diana M. Smith's biographical treatment of George W. Wilbur and his family in the finding aid for the George W. Wilbur Family Papers, WA MSS S-1611. The bulk of the Description of Papers and the basic structure of the box and folder listing are based on Diana M. Smith's original description of the papers and container list.
- Barney, Natalie Clifford, 1877-1972
- Bates, Katharine Lee, 1859-1929
- Brigham, Edward H.
- Chicago (Ill.) -- Intellectual life
- Dell, Floyd, 1887-1969
- Diaries -- United States
- Ford, Ford Madox, 1873-1939
- Jones, Llewellyn, 1884-1961
- Jones, Susan Wilbur, 1893-
- Levine, Isaac Don, 1892-1981
- Masters, Edgar Lee, 1868-1950
- Monroe, Harriet, 1860-1936
- Paris (France) -- Intellectual life
- Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963
- Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967
- Seabrook, William, 1884-1945
- Taylor, Gyp
- Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990
- Warren, Edward Perry, 1860-1928
- Warren, Susan C., 1813-1893
- Wellesley College -- Students
- Wilbur family -- Archives
- Wilbur, Ellen Rice, -1932
- Wilbur, George W. (George Willis), 1851-1931
- Wilbur, Sarah Ann Cook, 1864-1904
- Guide to the Susan Wilbur Jones Papers
- Under Revision
- by Diana M. Smith and Kathleen Burns
- October 2006
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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New Haven, CT 06511
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