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Dr. Mary E. Mercer/Carson McCullers Collection (MC 296)

Biographical Note Permission to Publish
Scope and Content Box and Folder List
Provenance  

Biographical Note

Mary Elizabeth Mercer was born June 7, 1911, in Ansonia, Connecticut, and died at home in Nyack, New York, on April 23, 2013.  She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, the same cemetery in which are buried Carson McCullers and Carson's mother and sister.  Mary Mercer received her undergraduate degree from Simmons College in 1932 and her MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1943.  From 1946 to 1948 she was a Commonwealth Fellow in Psychiatry at Payne-Whitney-Cornell Medical Center.  From 1948 through 1954 she held positions in psychiatry and pediatrics at the New York Hospital.  She specialized in child psychiatry in her private practice in Nyack from 1954 to 1990.  During her career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Mercer served a public role as a member and later chairman of the New York State Mental Hygiene Council, traveling throughout New York State to inspect facilities and advocate for children.  In 2002, Dr. Mercer published The Art of Becoming Human, a book charting the stages of human development that draws on her more than half a century of experience as a psychiatrist. (Source: New York Times, Apr. 29, 2013)

In 1958 Dr. Ernst Hammerschlag referred Carson McCullers to Dr. Mercer.  McCullers's various medical conditions made travel into New York City difficult and since she and Dr. Mercer both lived in Nyack, Dr. Hammerschlag felt that the proximity would make it much easier for McCullers to receive regularly scheduled psychotherapy sessions.  After one year of therapy, they terminated the doctor/patient relationship but remained close friends.  Ultimately, McCullers was able to overcome her writer's block and complete the novel Clock Without Hands, which she dedicated to Dr. Mercer.  From the time they met, Dr. Mercer assumed the role of McCullers's medical advocate, ordering a full assessment of her medical condition and history.  As McCullers's health deteriorated, Dr. Mercer continued to assist her with all medical issues, including those related to insurance.  In addition, Dr. Mercer increasingly helped McCullers with household logistics, travel arrangements, and other details of her personal life.  The two maintained their close friendship until McCullers's death on September 29th, 1967. (Source: Josyane Savigneau, Carson McCullers: A Life, 2001)

After Carson McCullers's death, Dr. Mercer inherited one third of the McCullers estate.  In 1968, she bought McCullers's house in Nyack and continued to maintain it for the next 45 years, renting the apartments to artists and other individuals she personally interviewed.  At her death in 2013, she left the house and many Carson McCullers-related papers and other items, as well as most of her own diverse and extensive library, to Columbus State University's Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, Georgia.  The collection reflects Mary Mercer's association with Carson McCullers and her estate and mostly contains those materials of Dr. Mercer's directly related to McCullers.


Scope and Content

This collection consists of 36 boxes of textual material, two boxes of artifacts (including the Dictaphone machine used in her therapy sessions and other items including the two phonograph albums, framed photos and other personal material/ and a box of slides and VHS tapes.  In addition to this material, Carson McCullers’ personal library from her home at 131 South Broadway in Nyack, New York was part of Dr. Mercer’s bequest to the Columbus State University Archives, and is separately housed in the CSU archives research room.

Dr. Mercer kept a meticulous listing of everything to do with Carson McCullers, arranged into 8 general groupings. Her arrangement has been kept and is as follows:

Index – Carson

This is the master index to the collection, mostly as Dr. Mercer left it, with some earlier drafts and notes as well. While the order is Dr. Mercer’s, some folders were subdivided to make them easier to manage. The processor created Series 9 – Mercer Materials and Series 10 – Artifacts for non-textual items related to Carson.

Series 1 – Carson’s Own Work, with the following 26 sub-series:

  1. Heart
  2. Reflections
  3. Ballad
  4. Member
    1. Musical version mss
    2. TV 1997 version
  5. Clock
  6. Manuscript of Clock Without Hands (autographed)
  7. Sweet as a Pickle
  8. (Kirmess) – From My Back Porch
  9. Short Stories (Red Book) – Three Stories by. . .
  10. “Sucker”—Saturday Evening Post
  11. “The March” – Redbook
  12. “In Praise of Radiance” – Isak Dinesen (Saturday Review)
  13. “The Flowering Dream” – (Esquire)
  14. “F. Jasmine Adams” in manuscript (musical)
  15. Carson Personal: Letters, passport, telegram, poetry, church bulletin. Carson’s own writing in writing tablet. Valentine heart.
  16. Carson’s trip to Ireland
  17. Poetry (Dual Angel, Hymen O Hymen, Love and the Rind of Time, Father, Upon Thy Image
  18. The Mortgaged Heart
  19. Obituary Notices
  20. Carson writing about 131 (another copy of Kirmess)
  21. Carson’s Will and Estate
  22. Autograph Information (Remove)
  23. Cheltenham Festival (letters, programs, misc.)
  24. Condolence Letters
  25. Edward Albee
  26. Misc. Inquiries re: Carson
Series 2 – Writings About Carson, with the following 13 sub-series:
  1. Oliver Evans
  2. Interview: “The Marquis,” “Uh-huh” – Three Essentials
  3. 100 American Women
  4. Henry Varnum Poor’s Painting and sculpture of Caron Catalog at National Academy
  5. Places Where Carson Lived
  6. Books I own of Carson’s (list with notes)
    1. Card file Carson had complied of her books
  7. Collector’s Inquiries
  8. News Clippings re: Carson
  9. Literary Criticism
  10. Misc. Re: Carson from People Who Knew her or me
  11. Tennessee Williams: Praise to Assenting Angels
  12. Evolutions of a Human Heart – Joanne Mongelli, 1987
  13. Virginia Carr
Series 3 – Carson’s House at 131 South Broadway, with the following 15 sub-series:
  1. 131 S. Broadway (pictures)
  2. Purchase of 131 as Memorial (See 7-D and 7E)
  3. Tenants of 131
  4. Nyack Renaissance
  5. Edward Hopper Landmark
  6. Homes of Famous Writers
  7. National Institute of Arts and letters
  8. Nyack Ambulance
  9. Nyack Library
  10. St. James
  11. University of Texas
  12. Yaddo [not received]
  13. Berg Collection
  14. Columbus Museum [not received]
  15. Carson’s House in Columbus
  16. House and Garden Tour
Series 4 – People Carson Admired, with the following 7 sub-series:
  1. O’Neill, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Joyce, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bowles
  2. Martin Luther King
  3. Faulkner
  4. Montgomery Clift
  5. Benjamin Britten and Peter Peers
  6. Greta Garbo
  7. Marlena Dietrich

The series above was not in the file cabinets as received, and there was a note in the margin of the index saying “Not important”. It was presumably discarded as some point in time by Dr. Mercer, although all of these people are well represented in the clippings in both Series 6 – Carson’s People and Series 9-B – Bookmark Material.

Series 5 – Carson’s Archives, with the following 11 sub-series:

  1. Dictaphone Sessions
  2. Items from Archives 146-147, 347, 309, 315, 210, 150, 325
  3. Photos of Anna Marie [sic]
  4. Re: Mr. Sale
  5. Purchase of 131
  6. Silver
  7. Winterreise Music re: A-M
  8. Carl Van Vechten Photos
  9. Photos of Carson’s House
    1. Slides of her House
    2. Photos of 131
    3. Photos of Carson’s Grave
  10. Album about Carson by Misc. Friends: Terry Murray
  11. Story Magazine (see 7-H)
Series 6 – Carson’s People, with the following 23 sub-series:
  1. Dr. Bailey: Medical History
  2. Robert Lantz
  3. Floria Lasky
  4. Rita Smith
  5. Jack Dobbin
  6. Tom Maschler
  7. Marielle Bancou
  8. Andre Gerard
  9. Mary Tucker (to Duke? Missing)
  10. Margaret Sullivan
  11. Virginia Carr [crossed out] see File Drawer 1: 2-M
  12. Marilyn Monroe
  13. Gypsy Rose lee
  14. Cheryl Crawford
  15. Edith Sitwell
  16. W.H. Auden
  17. Tennessee Williams [crossed out] See File Drawer 1: 2-K
  18. Jordan Massee
  19. Oliver Smith
  20. Ida Reeder
  21. Hallie Burnett/Richard Rosenthal/Story Magazine
  22. Various [includes everyone mentioned in Series 4 plus others]
  23. Robert Whitehead
Series 7 – Carson Related, with the following 8 sub-series:
  1. Carlos L.B. Dews
    1. Dissertation on Carson’ unpublished Autobiography
    2. Correspondence
  2. Josyanne Savigngeau
  3. Spin-Off from JS’s Book
  4. Marker: Dedication of Historic Marker & Celebration of Life of Carson McC. By Historical Society of Rockland County & Nyack Library
  5. Restoration Award
  6. BBC Radio
  7. French Television
  8. Story Magazine
  9. Artist Colonies
  10. Sue Walker
  11. CSU
  12. Appraisals, Non-Literary
  13. Appraisals, literary
  14. Foes
  15. Samuel Menashe
  16. “Speak My Name”
  17. Books Sent to Carson for Review
Sub-series L-Q were added by the processor of the collection. Series 8 – Personal: Carson and me (but with this title crossed out), with 1 sub-series:
  1. Carson’s letters to me
Series 9 – Mercer Material, with the following 6 sub-series:
  1. Dictaphone Session Letters
  2. Bookmark Materials
    1. Actual Bookmarks
    2. Art/Artists
    3. Religion
  3. Cooking
  4. Auto
  5. Miscellaneous
  6. Publications
  7. Writing

Series 10 – Artifacts

     It is important to note that Dr. Mercer’s here-to-fore meticulous record-keeping began to change around 1995.  Detailed item-level notations were replaced by simply placing related material in larger folders.  Also the uses and arrangement of the files changed over the nearly half-century that she maintained them—some items, such as those relating to the purchase of the Nyack house, began life in an estate-related folder and later wound up in the series “Carson’s House”.  Items began to be misfiled, as well, and thus many items marked “NIF” (Not In File) or “Missing” have turned up in other folders or in the large amount of material “filed” in the pages of her extensive library.  During processing, they were re-filed in their correct places to the extent possible.  The index itself went through various versions, all of which are found in the first folders of the collection, even though some of them are outdated.  The processor of the collection added some later items, such as programs for revivals of McCullers plays after the 1990s, to folders which did not include references to them in Dr. Mercer’s own hand, but which clearly followed her schema.  Finally, Dr. Mercer used news clippings, correspondence, tissue paper, feathers and notes she took on books as place markers in her extensive library, as well as conventional bookmarks.  These materials were removed during the cataloging process, and placed in Series 9 – Bookmark Materials.

Certain abbreviations used by Dr. Mercer have been expanded, and folder dates have been added.  In addition, the various symbols used by Dr. Mercer to indicate the breaks between topics contained within a letter (: ; . spaces, dashes, etc.) have also been standardized.  After the indication of author and addressee the processor used a colon and between the topics (if more than one) a semicolon.  Dr. Mercer’s dates have also been expanded and standardized in the full month/day/year format.  In the few cases of obvious error, they have been corrected.  It is important to note that Dr. Mercer always used the Latin abbreviation “M” for thousand (not million) and not the more common Greek abbreviation of “K”.  A reference to “4 M” means 4,000 and not 4,000,000. Many of her abbreviations are more common to medical collections, such as a c with a line over it to indicate “with” and other Latin abbreviations.

Another detail to note is that Dr. Mercer sometimes listed individual items in a folder by number, sometimes by letter and sometimes neither.  Her choice is followed, except where they were undifferentiated, in which case numbers are used.

Dr. Mercer’s abbreviations for names or nicknames are as follows:

Alphabetical by abbreviation/nickname:

A-M = Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1942), Swiss photographer, writer and poet, and friend of Carson

André or A = André Girard (25 May 1901– 2 September 1968), was, according to Wikipedia, a French painter, poster-maker and Resistance worker during World War II.  During the war he founded and headed the CARTE network, also taking "Carte" as his personal codename. He was born in Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France and died in the U.S. He was the first husband of Marielle Bancou, mentioned below.

Bill = William Segal (1904-May 16, 2000), Marielle Bancou’s second husband.  According to Wikipedia, William Segal was a magazine publisher and self-taught artist whose work often reflected his interest in Eastern philosophies and religions.  Segal is known for his self-portraits and his belief in self-discovery through art.  He was born in in Macon, Georgia, but moved to New York with an athletic scholarship to New York University where he studied art at its Art Students League.  Before World War II, Segal became involved in the magazine industry beginning in Germany whose clientele were based in the new plastics industry at the time.  His later ventures involved men's fashion.  He initially created a newsletter and then in 1946 helped establish the magazine American Fabrics.  With the introduction of synthetic fabrics, American Fabrics, along with his later publications such as Gentry magazine and the International Color Authority helped establish him in the business.  By the age of thirty Segal became a millionaire.  Since his days at New York University, Segal had enjoyed painting.  After frequent visits to Japan, Segal became interested in Zen Buddhism, studying with D.T. Suzuki.  It is then that Segal began to paint more, particularly self-portraits.  His self-portraits, among other works, often served as a vehicle for self-reflection and self-discovery.  In the mid-1970s Segal attended a drawing class at a church in Dorchester, Massachusetts and met a young Ken Burns, whose friendship grew over time.  In 1992 Segal asked Burns to help him create a thirteen-minute film on his life and work to showcase at an upcoming exhibition in Japan.  Burns agreed and documented Segal's life and philosophy on his farm in Chester, NJ.  Although it is one of his lesser known works, Burns William Segal along with his two additional films, Vézelay (1995) and In the Marketplace (1999), also about the artist, were well received.

Boots = Jordan Massee (1915-2002), Carson’s colorful cousin whose father, according to Carson, was Tennessee Williams’ model for Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  He was also occasionally referred to as JM in Dr. Mercer’s notes and indexes.

C., CM, or CMC = Carson McCullers

CD = Coleen Dewhurst (June 3, 1924-August 22, 1991), actress

Cordee = Cordelia Hamilton, a travel agent and friend of Dr. Mercer

CVV = Carl Van Vechten, (June 17, 1880-December 21, 1964) writer and photographer

Dr. B. = Frederick Randolph Bailey, M.D. (1903-September 20, 1968), Carson’s physician

EA = Edward Albee (March 12, 1928- ), playwright

EJH = Elizabeth Jane Howard, the Artistic Director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature in October of 1962, at which Carson McCullers took part in a symposium.

FL = Floria Lasky (April 24, 1923-September 21, 2007), friend and attorney of Carson McCullers and her sister Margarita/Rita Smith.  Her husband was Robert Altman (1915-August 30, 2000), a fashion advertising executive and chairman of the firm Altman, Stoller, Weiss).

GH = Gladys Hill (1916-1981), who was instrumental in arranging for Carson’s final trip, to visit her and John Huston in Ireland in 1967 during the filming of her novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye.  According to Wikipedia, Gladys Hill was a screenwriter and film executive who was best known as the co-writer of the screenplay for The Man Who Would Be King for which she received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.  She also co-wrote screenplays for The Kremlin Letter and Reflections in a Golden Eye. I n 1962 Hill became head assistant to Director John Huston, a position which continued through 11 more films with Huston.

Harwick = Hardwick Mosely (1901-1970), one of the and editors with Houghton Mifflin Company, Carson’s publishers.

H.S. = Harvey I. Schuldenfrei, accountant used by Floria Lasky in Federal Estate Tax Return matters.

HVP = Henry Varnum Poor (1887-1970), artist and friend of both Carson McCullers and Dr. Mercer.  His wife was named Bernice (also known as Bessie) and their daughter, Anne, was a patient of Dr. Mercer’s.  According to Wikipedia, Poor was an architect, painter, sculptor, muralist, and potter.  He was a grandnephew and namesake of the financier Henry Varnum Poor, a founder of the predecessor firm to Standard & Poor's.

Born in Chapman, Kansas, Poor attended Stanford University, studied painting at the Slade School and under painter Walter Sickert in London, then attended the Académie Julian in Paris.  He returned to the United States in 1911 and taught art at Stanford and later the San Francisco Art Association.  Following military service in World War I, he settled in Rockland County, New York, and focused on ceramics.  In 1925 he married journalist and writer Bessie Breuer.

In the late 1920s, Poor gained recognition as a painter and eventually turned to murals; he was commissioned to paint twelve murals in the U.S. Department of Justice and the mural Conservation of American Wild Life in the Department of the Interior during the 1930s, among other works.  During World War II he was head of the War Art Unit of the Corps of Engineers.  He served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1944 to 1945.  In 1946 Poor was one of the founders of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and taught at Columbia University.  Poor was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a resident fellow in visual arts at the American Academy in Rome from 1950 to 1951.

Self-taught as an architect, Poor designed the "Crow House" on South Mountain Road in New City, New York for himself, and designed houses or home renovations for Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith and Maxwell Anderson.  He was also a potter, with ceramics in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and ceramics designed for Radio City Music Hall.  He also has works in the collections of the Whitney Museum and the Phillips Collection. Poor's papers are in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian.

Ida = Ida Reeder (September 4 1904-March 16, 1987), Carson McCullers' maid, cook and attendant in her later years.  Ida was born in Greenwood, South Carolina on September 4, 1904, the daughter of Emma and James Reeder.  She moved to New York in the 1950s, where she first worked at the Rockland Psychiatric Hospital in Orangeburg, before working for Carson McCullers.

Jack = John Edwin Dobbin (August 19, 1911-July 12, 1973), friend of Carson and Dr. Mercer.  He was a New York movie executive with 20th Century Fox, formerly the U.S. Navy fleet historian during World War II.

JG or JoG = Joanne Gomme, Carson’s attendant on her trip to England in 1962.

JM = Jordan Massee (1915-2002), Carson’s colorful cousin whose father, according to Carson, was Tennessee Williams’ model for Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He was also known as Boots.

JS = Josyane Savigneau (1951 -), biographer of Carson McCullers and friend of Dr. Mercer.  According to Wikipedia, she is a journalist and writer for Le Monde, born on 14 July 1951 in Châtellerault, France.  She became editor-in-chief of Le Monde des Livres, an editorial subdivision of Le Monde in 2005.  In 1995 she published her biography of Carson McCullers, Carson McCullers:  Un coeur de jeune fille. In 2001 she published the English translation in 2001 as Carson McCullers: A Life.

Marielle = Marielle Bancou (1921-2015), artist and friend of Carson McCullers and Dr. Mercer.  According to her New York Times obituary of April 3, 2015, she was also an international stylist, textile designer, painter, author, set designer, and friend to many important artists, writers, and visionaries of the Twentieth Century.

MEM = Mary Elizabeth Mercer, M.D. (June 6, 1911-April 23, 2013)

MS = Dr. Margaret Sue Sullivan (January 4, 1935- December 27, 2012), friend and Carson McCullers scholar.

NS = Nathanial (or Nat) Sales, Dr. Mercer’s accountant and attorney

OE = Oliver Evans, author of The Ballad of Carson McCullers, published in 1966.

P.W. = Payne Whitney Hospital in New York City

Rita = Margarita G. Smith (1923-January 28, 1983), Carson McCullers’ sister

RL = Robert (or Robbie) Lantz (July 20, 1914-October 18, 2007), Carson McCullers’ literary agent and, along with his wife Sherlee, friend of McCullers.  According to his New York Time Obituary, he was born in Berlin on July 20, 1914 and dreamed of being an author like his father who was a screenwriter in the silent-movie era.  He moved to London in 1935, after Hitler came to power, and worked as a story editor for American film companies.  Following World War II he came to New York and began a new life representing creative artists.

RN = Regula Noetzli, a literary agent who represented Dr. Mercer.

RW = Robert Wolf, Dr. Mercer’s attorney. When he retired, he was replaced by Renee Schwartz.

VC = Dr. Virginia Spencer Carr (July 21, 1929 – April 10, 2012), a biographer of Carson McCullers which did not meet with approval by Dr. Mercer.  According to Wikipedia, Carr received her master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her doctorate degree from Florida State University in 1969.  She was a professor of English at Columbus State University, until she accepted the chair of the Department of English at Georgia State University in 1985.  In 1993, she was named the John B. and Elena Diaz Verson Amos Distinguished Professor in English Letters, a position she held until her retirement in 2003.  A collection of Carr's papers is housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University.  There is also a small collection of her papers (MC 23) at the Columbus State University Archives.

Vertès = Marcel Vertès (August 10, 1895-October 31, 1961), one of the artists who drew Carson McCullers in the 1940s.  This portrait was given to the Carson McCullers Center in Columbus, Georgia by Marielle Bacou-Segal in 2002.  According to the Idbury Prints website, as well as the RoGallery website, he was born Marcel Vértes in Ujpest, Hungary.  An outstanding twentieth century painter, print-maker and illustrator, Marcel Vertès moved from his native Hungary to Paris during the First World War.  Living and working in the famous Latin Quarter, Vertès quickly established himself as one of the most important artists of the Paris scene, thus continuing in the footsteps of Boutet, Forain, Toulouse-Lautrec and others.  The art of Marcel Vertès was at its peak during the vibrant and somewhat wild decade of the 1920s.  Concentrating upon scenes of Paris street life, portrayals of women and depictions of circus and cabaret acts,  Vertès left a legacy of original lithographs and drawings that superbly capture the spirit of 1920’s Paris.  Like many other artists, the Second World War forced Vertès to move to the United States.  Settling in New York his reputation as a great artist was firmly established and he continued his work, most particularly in the field of book illustration.  While living in New York he also painted a famous series of murals at the Café Carlyle, which have recently been restored.  After ten years in the USA, he returned to his beloved Paris and spent the remaining years of his life there. He recorded his memories of that time in his 1952 memoir Amandes Vertes.

1954-2012                                                 40 boxes (17 l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Dr. Mary E. Mercer/Carson McCullers Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Dr. Mary E. Mercer/Carson McCullers Collection (MC 296)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


Provenance

This collection was left to the Columbus State University Archives by Dr. Mary E. Mercer upon her death in 2012, and was received in 2013, along with materials for the Carson McCullers Center and the former McCullers home in Nyack, New York.

Note to Researchers

See also:

Ballad of the Sad Cafe Playbill (SMC 60)

The Bradley Memorial Library Carson McCullers Collection (MC 184)

Virginia Spencer Carr Collection (MC 23)

Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians

Carson McCullers Society Records (MC 192)

Loretto Chappell Collection (MC 29)

Carlos Dews Collection (MC 175)

Mary Martha Johnson Photograph Collection (SMC 53)

Clason Kyle Collection (MC 86)

Jordan Massee—Carson McCullers Collection (MC 170)

Mary Mercer/Carson McCullers Collection (MC 296)

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas-Austin, Carson McCullers finding aid

Margaret Sullivan Papers (MC 298)

The Valley Reads: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Collection (MC 179)

John Zeigler and Edwin Peacock Collection (MC 182)


Box 1 -- Finding Aid And Index

Finding Aid -- Folder 1

This finding aid is based on Dr. Mercer's arrangement and description, with some modifications.  Dr. Mercer's drafts show that she considered various ways to treat the material, but in her final draft she left out the personal material relating to Carson McCullers, which she placed into Series 8 – Personal-Carson and Me.  During processing these materials were located and restored to their original location.  Series 9 and 10 were added during the processing of the collection.

In addition to the information in Dr. Mercer's indexes it includes expansions of abbreviations and nicknames, some biographical information on people mentioned in the index and papers, and descriptions of items beyond the bare listing of date and to and from information.  Some items that were not listed by Dr. Mercer's were placed in some folders, following her schema.


Index

The first two folders are the final, master index of Dr. Mercer's materials relating to Carson McCullers, covering the 8 series of Dr. Mercer's original series.  It does not include Series 9 – Mercer Materials, which was added by the processor.  This index is very complete and detailed up to the mid-1990s, after which it begins to be less inclusive of everything in each series and sub-series.  It also flags many items as NIF (not in file) or Missing.  Most, but not all, of these items were found during processing and returned to their proper places.

Index Folder 1 – Carson's Index, 1950s-2010s, Series 1-A – 6-C

Index Folder 2 – Carson's Index, 1950s-2010s, Series 6-D – 7-E

Index Folder 3 – Carson's Index (Drafts and Notes)

These are several fragmentary and draft versions of the index, which were superseded by the one above.  There are also some notes on re-arrangement and weeding of the files.  Included is a list called "Files Taken Out, 1/19/99".  There are indications that Dr. Mercer removed them because they dealt with persons living at the time.  These materials have been returned to their original placement.

Box 2 -- Series 1 – Carson's Own Work -- Folder 1-A.1 thru 1-D.c

Folder 1-A.1 – Carson's Own Work -- Heart, 1967-1968, 1994, 2005

1 – Copy of letter from MEM to Floria [Lasky] & Robby [Lantz] about the movie version of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, August 5, 1968

2 – Robby's reply, August 8, 1968

3 – Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Presents regarding The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (4 copies), [August, 1968?]

4 – 13 newspaper clippings concerning the movie, 1967-1968

5 – News item about Chuck McCann, n.d. but ca. 1968

6 – A German-language ad for the movie from Welt der Literatur, October, 1965

7 – Reviews of a new production, June 1, 1967

8 – Photocopied pages of Carlos Dews' thesis on Carson McCullers which mention Heart, 1994


Folder 1-A.2 – Carson's Own Work -- Heart, 2004, 2009

This folder contains correspondence, financial information and reviews of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter after its choice by Oprah Winfrey as her Book of the Month Club selection in April of 2004.  There is also an apparently unrelated notebook with Dr. Mercer's notes on how to access the internet.  A VHS of the show is located in the media box.

There is also a packet of reviews and programs for New York Theatre Workshop/ The Acting Company production of Heart, 2009.


Folder 1-B – Carson's Own Work -- Reflections, 1961-1975

1 – FL's copy of a proposed option for motion picture rights by Harold Hecht Production (9 pages), June 21, 1961

2 – RL to MEM: has two seats for MEM at the screening, September 19, 1967

3 – 11 newspaper clippings on Reflections, October, 1967

4 – Ad with Liz Taylor concerning Reflections, n.d.

5 – New Yorker article by Pauline Kael, Making Lawrence more Lawrentian, February 18, 1968

6 – Note from Nancy (Mainland?) re CMC and Bloomingdales, October 2, 1975

7 – Church bulletin from St. Bartholomew's Church in the City of New York with the printed sermon of the Reverend Terence J. Finley.  There is a paragraph circled, presumably by Dr. Mercer, which roundly condemns a recently released unnamed movie which is almost certainly Reflections in a Golden Eye.  It says "It's dirty-a combination of lust, impotency, vulgarity, nudity, neuroses, brutality, voyeurism, hatred and insanity that culminates in murder!" [added during processing], October 29, 1967


Folder 1-C – Carson's Own Work -- Ballad, 1959-1991

1 – Notes dictated by Floria re agreement on The Ballad of the Sad Cafe with EA (Edward Albee), May 24, 1963

2 – Telegram to MEM from Floria and David [Altman] at opening of Ballad, October 30, 1963

3 – Program of Ballad, adapted by Edward Albee, from the Martin Beck Theatre with Colleen Dewhurst and William Prince [added during processing], October (?), 1963

4 – Newspaper and magazine reviews of EA's Ballad, 1963

5 – Newspaper and magazine reviews of Ivory/Merchant movie with Vanessa Redgrave, 1990-1991

6 – Clipping re Coleen Dewhurst death, September 24, 1991

7 – Notes of a telephone conversation with Carson re: outline of musical with Ballad, n.d.

8 – Letter from Ruth Heyman after reading Ballad and my [Dr. Mercer's] articles on Infancy and Toddlerhood, December 28, 1959

9 – Program of Geraldine Page reading Ballad at 72nd Street Y, April 1, 1985


Folder 1-D (a-c) – Carson's Own Work -- Member, 1956-1994

a –Julie Harris in Menagerie and meets Carson in 1949, item in Rockland Foundation "Milestones", 1991 [?]

b –From Preadolescent Tomboy to Early Adolescent Girl: An Analysis of Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding , by Katherine Dalsimer, published in The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, vol. 34, p. 445, 1979

c – News clippings: Remembering Member, NYT (2 copies), July 27, 1993; He was a Golden, Loving Child by Julie Harris re: Bandon de Wilde's death, n.d.; news review of Collected Works by Harold Clurman, NYT, April 6, 1994; I was Afraid to Have a Baby by Julie Harris, told to Betty Freidan, McCall's, December, 1956; movie 1952 – Also note of JH re Ruth Orkin photo, page 18 in Glass Menagerie, November 28, 1994


Folder 1-D (d) – Carson's Own Work -- Member, 1989

d – News clippings & programs of new production of Member with emphasis on Bernice. (Didn't work), 1989


Folder 1-D (e) – Carson's Own Work -- Member, 1961 (?)

e – Picture of Carson with Brandon De Wilde at Rockland County party of authors, 1961 (?)

Folder 1-D-a – Carson's Own Work -- The Member of the Wedding, n.d.

This is a carbon copy of Carson's manuscript titled: The Member of the Wedding: A Musical, by Carson McCullers, Dedicated to Floria & David Altman [Note in Dr. Mercer's hand, "Carson & Mary Rogers did this?", n.d.


Folder 1-D-b – Carson's Own Work – Member – TV version of Member, 1997

Newspaper reviews, 1997

Folder 1-D-c – Carson's Own Work -- Member, 2007

This contains the program, posters and reviews of the production of Member at the Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia [added during processing], 2007

Box 3 -- Carson's Own Work -- Folder 1-E thru 1-H

Folder 1-E (a-l) – Carson's Own Work -- Clock

a – 5 copies of Houghton Mifflin Brochure on C's Collected Works, 1961

b – Bessie Breuer's letter of criticism of Clock, n.d.

c – FL to MEM enclosing letter to Tom Maschler re: publishing Clock in England (Cresset pirated copy), April 5, 1961

d – FL to MEM re: motion picture rights to Reflections & Howard Hecht dramatization for Clock, June 22, 1961

e – Frank Dyckman to Carson—(Houghton Mifflin), n.d.

f – Hardwick Mosely to MEM—(Houghton Mifflin), July 20, 1961

This note says how happy he was to meet Dr. Mercer at Carson's the day before and invites her to lunch in New York someday.

g – Hardwick Mosely to MEM—(Houghton Mifflin), September 30, 1961

Mosely tells Dr. Mercer the plans for the party honoring Carson to be held at the Carlton House on Madison Avenue on September 22 of 1961.  He asks for help in identifying two people whom Carson wished to be invited, but whose names he does not have.

h – Hardwick Mosely to MEM—(Houghton Mifflin), October 23, 1961

He is following up on a promise by Carson to visit him and his wife, Betty along with Dr. Mercer in the fall.

i – Hardwick Moseley to MEM—(Houghton Mifflin), November 2, 1961

He expresses sadness that they won't be able to visit the Moseleys in the fall, but will hope for a spring visit instead.

j – Notice re: Hardwick's illness—(Houghton Mifflin), sent roses, n.d.

k – Rita to MEM re: Clock on best seller list with clipping NYT & Newsweek, September 13, 1961

i. [duplicate letter] – Nina Bleiberg to MEM re: Clock, September 8, 1961

l – Marvin Perkings to MEM re: Clock, January 2, 1963

Folder 1-E (m) – Carson's Own Work -- Clock

m – Misc. newspaper & magazine reviews of Clock, 1961

There are 16 reviews from around the time of the publication of the novel in September of 1961.

Folder 1-F – Carson's Own Work -- Clock Without Hands Manuscript, 1961 (?)

This copy of the manuscript was autographed by Carson "with all my gratitude and love-Carson". The index also notes, "editorial corrections. Some in my [Dr. Mercer's] hand."

Folder 1-G – Carson's Own Work -- Sweet As A Pickle, 1964-1969

1 – Jane Blanchette's note (my secretary) re: her 8-year old daughter's reaction to the book, July 2, 1969

2 – Carbon copy of mss. for Sweet as a Pickle and Clean as a Pig, 1964

     This has "Mary's copy" at the top of the title page.

3 – Book review in Rockland Independent by Janet Fisch, December 10, 1964

     There is a note from Janet Fisch written across the top, saying "Merry Christmas to my favorite writer of "Heart".

4 – Review in German of the book, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, December 6, 2005

Folder 1-H – Carson's Own Work -- Kirmess (From my Back Porch), 1962

1 – 1 copy of Kirmess, May 19, 1962

     This is a copy of the Kirmess Journal, published by the Nyack Hospital. An article by Carson McCullers, titled From my Back Porch, begins on page 77.

2 – News clipping of C[arson] & Drs. [Herbert V.] Kurtz & [Frank] Ciancimino

Box 4 -- Carson's Own Work -- Folder 1-I thru 1-S


Folder 1-I – Carson's Own Work -- Short Stories in Redbook (3 copies), October, 1971


1 – Three copies of the October, 1971 issue of Redbook which contained three short stories by Carson McCullers (Like That, Breath From the Sky, and Instant of the Hour After). There is also an introduction by her sister, Margarita Smith, called A Girl Named Carson. These are all in Mortgaged Heart. These copies were originally filed in Folder 1-R, but were moved here by Dr. Mercer at some point.

Folder 1-J – Carson's Own Work -- Sucker, October, 1977

1 – A copy of Post Fiction [of the Saturday Evening Post] of Sucker with C's photo in blurb, p. 69-71.

     [This also includes the covering envelope from Mary Prian of Movie Star Studio]

Folder 1-K – Carson's Own Work -- The March

1 – Carbon copy manuscript – typed with dedication in Carson's handwriting, "For Dr. Mary E. Mercer". Crossed out: "Dedicated to my Dearest Healer", probably 1967

2 – Copy of Redbook with it on p. 65, March, 1967

3 – Copy of Newsweek re the Meredith March, June 20, 1966

4 – Newspaper clipping of The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, published in Look Magazine, January 14, 1964.


Folder 1-L – Carson's Own Work -- In Praise of Radiance – Isak Dinesen

1 – Copy of Saturday Review, p. 29 & 83, March 16, 1963

2 – torn-out copy of same

3 – Time review of Shadows in the Grass by Isak Dinesen, January 6, 1961

4 – Book review –Out of Africa—Brooks Atkinson at her death, n.d.

5 – Sheherazade from Africa, MD Literature, p. 138-143, June, 1970 and a picture of Carson, Marilyn and Isak at 131, February 5, 1959

6 – Typed copy of what she wrote to Carson on postcard re Clock.  Card in my SDB [safe deposit box].  [The card is now in the folder with the typescript]. The envelope of the card has this note in Dr. Mercer's hand, "Mr. Sale, This is a valuable collector's item. (Karen Blixon [sic] was Isak Dinesen=the writer).  Carson didn't bother to keep most fan mail but she treasured this." n.d.

7 – NYT clipping re: Julie Harris in Lucifer's Child, Review by John O'Connor –TV, September 21, 1995

 

Folder 1-M – Carson's Own Work -- The Flowering Dream, December, 1959

1 – Copy of Esquire, Christmas Jubilee Issue.  [This item is in the oversize box, along with an undated note from Rust Hill of Esquire to Carson that says, "We'll be getting together soon on the article.  Meanwhile, here's this.  (Bob Benton wants to do that drawing of you.)  Love. Rust".]

Folder 1-N – Carson's Own Work – F. Jasmine Adams (musical)

1 – Playfare program, 2 copies, October, 1971

2 – Program with a correction to cast, October 1971

3 – New Yorker review clipping [by Brendon Gill], emphasis on Bernice not Frankie, November 6, 1971

4 – 3 pictures from two newspapers, October, 1971

5 – Richard Watts review "magic lost"-New York Post, October 28, 1971

6 – George Oppenheimer, Nyack News, "very pale copy", October 28, 1971

7 – Clive Barnes, New York Times clippings, [2 copies], October, 1971

8 – 2 ads for the play

9 – My letter to Rita about it - MEM (gone) is it with Rita?

     This item was misfiled when received at the CSU Archives, but is now back in its place, or at least a three-page draft is, n.d., but probably October, 1971

Folder 1-O – Carson's Own Work -- Carson Personal: Letters, passport, telegram, poetry, church bulletin, Carson's own writing in writing tablet. Valentine heart, 1951-1966

1 – Passport with her signature, July 13, 1951

2 – International Certificate of Inoculation & Vaccination, 1951-1952

3 – Torn-up Travel Insurance—London—with Carson's signatures, n.d.

4 – Carson's notebook with: 1) heart; 2) list of characters with description in C's writing in pencil; 3) Dear PS –note in pencil; 4) Longfellow's translation of death of Herr Gray [?] with red heart above

5 – [Telegram]—"There are no words to express my love and tenderness and gratitude to you—Carson", September 25, 1966

6 – Bill for full blanket of pink roses for Carson's casket, October 2, 1967

     This bill is for 510 dollars, sent from Vernon Church Flowers in Nyack, NY for a "full blanket of 650 pink roses, Smilax and Spring geris Fern."

7 – Rilke's poem, How shall I guard my soul, n.d.

8 – Grace Church Bulletin, Charles Greene, "Carry On", March 12, 1972

     This photocopy of the front of the church bulletin has a quote from Carson McCullers, "Sometimes I think God got me mixed up with Job.  But Job never cursed God and neither do I.  I carry on." Across the top is a note to Nat Sales in Dr. Mercer's hand, "this was on the cover of the Church Bulletin which came today!"

9 – Telegram from Carson [to MEM], Madrid Palace Hotel, September 19, 1966

10 – "Happy Birthday, dear Mary" on C's stationary [torn], n.d.

11 – Card, "Happy Birthday to a Very Special Friend"—signed "Who is my heartchild"-Carson, [June 7] 1965

12 – You are always in my heart card—Carson but not her writing, 1966

13 – Dictaphone letter.  Not C's writing. 2 flowers enclosed.  "This is my first real letter on the talking machine.  Joy is going to write it.  I found Edward's Ballad of the Sad Cafe & I'll practice with that.  I know you'll have a lovely time with the Hillbals [?] & give them my love.  Love, Love & Love, Carson, January 10, 1963

14 – Letter C to MEM in her writing.  Difficult to read.  Post Card "To my Pet".  Flower enclosed [not present when received at CSU Archives].  C was visiting Mary Tucker.  Envelope in C's writing, May 6, 1962

15 – Letter from C at Mary Tucker's – "Darling, Are you happy?  I am radiant here and a layer of my soul is always with you,"  May7, 1962

Folder 1-P – Carson's trip to Ireland—John Huston, April, 1967

1 – Gladys Hill (GH) to Robert Lantz (RL): arrangements for Carson's planned trip, January 2, 1967

     This concerned a trip which Carson had planned to Ireland to visit John Huston and family that month.

2 – RL Plaza Hotel: Trial run for Carson, January 4, 1967

     This letter, addressed to Ralph Ruggiero, Assistant Manager of the Plaza, discusses arrangements for Carson's planned stay there as a test of her ability to travel to Ireland to visit the Huston family.

3 – LR to MEM, January 5, 1967

     This note covers GH's letter (Item 1 above) concerning the travel arrangements.

4 – MEM to JH & GH, January 26, 1967

     This is a very detailed listing of the requirements necessary for Carson's visit to Ireland in April, including such information as transport, medical equipment, arrangement of her room, down to where to place her cigarette lighter, her silver cup for Bourbon and water, her food, etc.  It also mentions the cancellation of her proposed stay at the Plaza due to bad weather.

5 – Telephone message to Galway re: January cancellation, n.d., but January, 1967

     These are notes on the back of an envelope from Robert Lantz postmarked December 29, 1966, which indicate why a trip to Ireland had to be postponed for warmer weather.  It indicates that the 1st of April would be acceptable to all concerned.

6 – Plaza to RL re: hotel reservation, February 21, 1967

     This letter from William R. Albert, Assistant Manager of the Plaza, confirms a reservation for Mrs. Carson McCullers on the nights of March 3 and 4, with all charges to be billed to Floria Lasky.

7 – Gladys Hill to MEM, February 24, 1967

     She confirms the new date for Carson's visit and discusses travel logistics.

8 – RL to MEM, February 28, 1967

     He discusses the arrangements at the Plaza in preparations for Carson's trial run, including who will need what phone numbers, whom to contact in case of medical emergency, food, etc.

9 – GH to MEM, March 6, 1967

     She asks how the test run at the Plaza went, and discusses preparations for Carson's travel, including the need for Aer Lingus to remove a seat on the aircraft to accommodate her wheelchair.

10 – MEM to GH, March 10, 1967

     She reports that the Plaza experiment was a grand success in every way.  There are more details about transportation (ambulance only, no vans), how to protect her sensitive left leg from further injury, flight details, etc.  She says, "We are all working on April 1st like D Day"

11 – GH to MEM, March 16, 1967

     This note assures Dr. Mercer that all details will be attended to, and suggests that it would be possible to transport Carson and Ida from Shannon airport to St. Clerans by helicopter if desired.

12 – Glenn Patterson's letter to Dr. Dyar re: C, March 20, 1967

     This letter is from Carson's doctor in New York to the local doctor, Martin J. Dyar, M.D., who would be attending her in Ireland during her visit.  He described details of her medical conditions for the information of the Irish doctor.  He concludes "All of us here are most pleased that you will be able to take care of Mrs. McCullers in Ireland.  The contemplation of this trip is assuming the proportions of one of the great moments in her life and its successful completion I'm sure will be related to us in her genius of literary expression.  I remain at your disposal if further information is necessary."  There are two copies of item 12.

13 – GH to MEM, p.c., April 5, 1967

     This postcard announces the safe arrival of Carson. She says in part, "All is well and Carson is fine—looking (?) on the horses, drinking grapefruit and lemon squash—and entertaining us all."

14 – GH to MEM re: Ida homesick, April 12, 1967

     She gives Dr. Mercer news of Ida's desire to return home as soon as possible, and the daily activities of the household, including trouble with the Irish Post Office about customs duties on some packages from Christian Dior which were returned to Paris rather than pay the duty of 100 dollars per package.

15 – MEM to C. Rough draft of letter sent before she phoned me, April 11, 1967

16 – MEM to C. Rough draft of telegram, April 15, 1967

     The text was "When shall we welcome, welcome, welcome you home."

17 – GH to MEM re: departure with news clippings, April 17, 1967

     She tells Dr. Mercer what to expect in the way of packages of gifts and to describe the preparations for Carson's departure. She enclosed an article from the Irish Times with news about Carson visiting John Huston.

18 – MEM to GH. Rough draft re: safe arrival, April 18, 1967

19 – GH to MEM re: operation, June 19, 1967

     This letter discusses how she now writes Carson every Monday, just as she does her mother.  She also discusses Carson's upcoming operation and the timing of the premiere of the movie, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and whether John Huston should come to New York to be there when it occurs.

20 – MEM to GH re: operation, June 30, 1967

She tells Gladys that John Huston's offer to come for the surgery [to amputate Carson's leg], tentatively scheduled for October 18, "is a lovely, lovely offer".  She also discusses her plans for the summer.

21 – GH to MEM re: operation, July 17, 1967

     She wishes Dr. Mercer a restful summer and assures her that John Huston will be there for the operation in October.

22 – GH to MEM re: C's death, October 3, 1967

     Gladys Hill sends MEM a letter of condolence after Carson's death.

23 – GH to MEM re: C's death, October 19, 1967

     Another note sent in the same envelope with number 22.

24 – MEM to GH, October 30, 1967

     Dr. Mercer's reply to Gladys' letters, giving news of Ida and of Carson's funeral.

25 – GH to MEM p.c. from Paris, December 10, 1967

26 – Misc. news clippings of John Huston

27 – Photo given to Carson

     This has a note next to it in the index which says "get" and is crossed out.  It was not in the file when received.

Folder 1-Q.1 – Carson's poetry—The Dual Angel, 1951

     There are two copies of The Dual Angel: A meditation on origin and choice, one of which is dated 1951.  The poem includes the following stanzas: Incantation to Lucifer (Carson); Hymen, O Hymen; Love & The Kind of Time; The Duel Angel; Father, Upon Thy Image We Are Spanned.


Folder 1-Q.2 – Carson's poetry—Saraband, n.d

     This folder includes a mimeographed copy of Saraband, with the title handwritten at the top.


Folder 1-Q.3 – Carson's poetry—When We Are Lost, n.d

     This folder includes a mimeographed copy of a poem beginning with the words, "When we are lost", with no other title.


Folder 1-R – The Mortgaged Heart, 1971-1972

1 – Redbook with 3 stories of C., v.137, no. 6, Oct. 1971 [moved to Folder 1-I by Dr. Mercer]

2 – A Girl Named Carson by Rita

     This is a photocopy of Rita's article about her sister in the Redbook issue above.

3 – Reviews:

     Publishers Weekly, September 6, 1971

     Houghton Mifflin Release: blurbs by Joyce Carol Oates, Tennessee Williams, Rex Reed, October, 1971

     Houghton Mifflin ad, [1971]

     New York Times review by Walter Clemons (2 copies), November 7, 1971

     New York Post, The Literary Scene, review by W.G. Rogers (4 copies), October 22, 1971

     New York Times review by Nona Balakian (3 copies) titled: Love—Perverse and Perfect, January 3, 1972

     Notes of MEM about the reviews, n.d. but either 1971 or 1972

Folder 1-S – Carson's Obituaries, 1967-2001

1 – Ralph McGill in Saturday Review (3 copies), October 21, 1967

2 – Funeral -- Howard Moody, Chap. 13, 1st Corinthians

3 – New York Times—Writers Attend M'Cullers [sic] Rites, October 4, 1967

4 – Notice of Famous dead 1967—Jack O'Brian, JournaI News, January 2, 1968

5 – Lopez says 45 day coma, Nyack newspaper, October 10, 1967

6 – CMC's Pen Stilled, by Lester Abelman, n.d.

7 – Picture of C.--McC Rites Set, n.d.

8 – Newsweek, nice photo, October, 1967

9 – Time Magazine, Milestones, October 6, 1967

10 – The Journal News, C.McC dies, Virginia Pankhurst, September 29, 1967

11 – Seen and Heard in Rockland, Grant Jackson—"Frankie Adams Remembered", n.d.

12 – Carson McCullers, Novelist, David Holloway, September 30, 1967

13 – Neue Zurcher Zeitung—Feuilleton, October 5, 1967

14 – Le Monde, La fin d'un age by Pierre Dommergues, October 11, 1967

15 – Charlotte Observer (good), October 1, 1967

16 – Letters from a "middle-class book worm" (Jack Winfield Wilson), Letter to Houghton Mifflin

17 – Pete Reeder, Rockland County Journal News, July 5, 1968

     This article about Pete Reeder and his involvement in the Poor People's Campaign has a note attached in Dr. Mercer's hand, "Pete Reeder is Ida's son. Got drunk the night of at Funeral Home, tried to take rose from coffin & almost tipped it over!"

18 – Leon Auerbach letter of thanks re Columbus tribute to C, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, n.d.

19 – Bulletin of St. James Church, New York City (2 copies), September 27, 1967

20 – Letter from Howard Moody thanking Dr. Mercer for her donation to the Judson Centennial in memory of Carson McCullers, October 28, 1990

21 – Various later items relating to the cemetery or church bulletins noting contributions around the anniversary of Carson's death, 1991, 2001

Box 5 -- Carson's Own Work -- Folders 1-T thru 1-X

Folder 1-T – Carson 131 South Broadway, 1960-1965

1 – Copy of Kirmess, May 19, 1962

2 – Authors of Rockland County, published by the Nyack Public Schools, Nyack, NY, 1960

3 – News clippings, The Pulitzer Prize? Why, the Fellow Down the Street Has One, by Jay Rae Offen, The Record, September 5, 1967; Fire Routs Carson McCullers, Rockland Journal News, [1966 ?]

Folder 1-U – Estate Accounting and Will, 1967-1974

1 – Detailed accounting from Floria, 1974

     This is located in the over-sized box

2 – Notice of probate of will, 1967

     This is also located in the over-sized box.

     The other material from this folder including: certified FL letter, November 1, 1974, List of stocks and how divided and a copy of the will were all moved by Dr. Mercer to the Floria Lasky section (Folder 6-C) at some point.

Folder 1-V – Autograph Information, 1975, 1977

1 – Antiquarian Books. Original Autographs, New York Times, January 19, 1975

2 – New York Times Magazine re literary autographs, January 21, 1979

     Other items listed in the index have been removed and are probably those placed in the Appraisal file (Folder 7-M).

Folder 1-W.1 – Cheltenham Festival (Floria Lasky), 1962

1 – MEM to Flora Lasky—Travel plans, August 24, 1962

     This letter details plans for Carson McCullers' trip to England to participate in the Cheltenham Festival of Literature which took place October 1-6, 1962.  Topics include whom she wishes to meet while in England, whether Ida Reeder should accompany her, special arrangements she might need in hotels, as well as air and ground transportation, the hiring of a practical nurse and other arrangements necessary for her safety and comfort.

2 – Elizabeth June Howard to FL—Travel plans, September 6, 1962

     This letter discusses air travel arrangements, hotels, interviews with the BBC and the Sunday Telegraph newspaper and other details.  It enclosed a copy of an outline of the program.

3 – FL to Carson, Travel plans, September 10, 1962

     Floria asks for her preference as to the Stafford or the Connaught hotel, and suggests a television appearance and the engagement of a personal maid-companion.  This copy of the letter was a carbon copy to Mary Mercer and includes a note about the passport and vaccination process.

4 – FL to EJH, Travel plans, September 11, 1962

     Floria sends Elizabeth Jane Howard a copy of the bill for $900 for Mrs. McCullers' airfare, and tells her that she will prefer the Connaught Hotel, agrees to one television interview and to meet with representatives of the Sunday Telegraph.  She concludes by discussing Carson's personal maid-companion requirements.

5 – FL to Carson—Claridge's—brother's address, September 25, 1962

     Floria hopes that Caron has had a wonderful welcome and admonishes her to "conserve your energy and come back well and ready for the fun that we plan here".  She gives her the address of her brother, Melvein J. Lasky, and adds a note at the bottom of the carbon copy, "Mail to Dr. Mary Mercer, 5 Tweed Blvd., Nyack, N.Y."

6 – FL to EJH re: expenses reimbursed, October 4, 1962

     Floria discusses the outstanding air travel costs, as well as the costs of Carson's living expenses.  This letter was a carbon copy for Dr. Mercer.

Folder 1-W.2 – Cheltenham Festival (Robert Lantz), 1962

[These were put into chronological order rather than left in the original Index order.]

1 – RL to David Carver—looking for companion, September 5, 1962

     Robert tells David Carver some personal news as well as asking for his help in finding a suitable person as a nurse/companion for Carson on her upcoming trip.

2 – Cable to RL from P.E.N. re nurse for C., September 17, 1962

     This cable from Helen Rogers, Secretary to David Carver, the International Secretary of P.E.N., is in regards to the nurse issue as well as arrangements to meet with Edith Sitwell and V.S. Pritchett.

3 – RL to Helen Rogers—C can't go without a companion, September 17, 1962

4 – RL to Helen Rogers re Miss Gomme [2 copies], September 21, 1962

     Robert Lantz gives approval to hire Miss Gomme as the maid-nurse for Carson, and confirms the flight information and special arrangements necessary for her to get through Immigration and Customs.

5 – RL to Fred Tupper—PanAm—Miss Gomme meeting C [2 copies], September 21, 1962

6 – RL to Christopher Burstall, BBC—travel plans, September 21, 1962

7 – RL to Helen Rogers, PEN re Miss Gomme, September 21, 1962

     This letter expresses his delight at her finding someone to assist Carson during her trip; provides flight details

8 – MEM to Miss Gomme—details re C [2 copies], September 24, 1962

     Dr. Mercer provides detailed directions regarding Carson's medications, exercise, medical procedures and other information regarding her upcoming trip, September 24, 1962

9 – RL to MEM—Covering letter—all set, September 24, 1962

     This letter assures Dr. Mercer that all arrangements are complete for Carson's trip, and covered the letter he had written to Carson for her to find on her arrival, which is below.

10 – RL to Carson—Claridge's, September 24, 1962

     This letter expresses hope for a wonderful trip to England; plans for an interview with the BBC; recommends his friend David Carver of the P.E.N. or his assistant, Helen Rogers; tells her that any funds she needs will be supplied by Tom Maschler or Carver and Floria will reimburse them; advises her not to see anyone from the Pollinger Agency nor Cresset Press; and finally wishes her again a wonderful time.

11 – Program: Cheltenham Festival of Literature, 1 October-6 October 1962

Folder 1-W.3.a – Cheltenham Festival (Carson's letters to me--handwritten), September 26 [?], 1962

     First class menu for Carson's supper on her Pan AM flight, catered by Maxim's of Paris, with handwritten letter, duplicated in a more legible hand by Joanna Gomme.  Enclosed was a flower.  "This was how I ate as I dragged myself across the Atlantic – shades of Lindy.  Today Lunch with David Garrett, Tea with Edith [Sitwell], etc.", September 26 [?], 1962

[This item is in the oversized box.]

Miss Gomme's letters for Carson:

Folder 1-W.3.b – Cheltenham Festival -- Carson's letters to me, (#1), September 27, 1962

     Envelope marked with number 1 – JoG's letter & note from C.—Cecil Beaton, tel calls, menus [crossed out], JG taking care.  Excited about "blow upon the heart" [There was a flower enclosed in the letter]

Folder 1-W.3.c – Cheltenham Festival -- Carson's letters to me (# 2), September 28, 1962

     Envelope marked with number 2 – JG to MEM – Shopping, lunch with steak and kidney pudding to visit her house – Carson "Altho I am homesick & miss you all the time, I am having a glorious time,  MMDM"

Folder 1-W.3.d – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me (# 3), September 30, 1962

     Envelope marked with number 3 – JG to MEM – Pin in little finger coming through. Note from Marielle at letter's end

     This letter also discussed Carson's lunch with Dame Edith Sitwell and Marielle Bancou's day-trip to London from Paris to visit Carson.  Marielle adds some lines about her plans for a second home in New York and an office in the Empire State Building, as well as about Carson's issue with her little finger, Joanne's capabilities, and that she will be back to hear Carson's conference panel discussion on "Love, sex and passion".

Folder 1-W.3.e – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me (# 4), October 1, 1962

     Envelope marked with number 4 – Marielle to MEM from Ritz

     She discusses Carson's accommodations and funds, suggesting she continue to stay at Claridge's even though it is more expensive than Carson would like.  She hopes to return for Carson's lecture and looks forward to seeing both of them in New York in November.  She is also "thrilled at the idea you are starting to write –".


Folder 1-W.3.f – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me (# 5), October 1, 1962

     Envelope marked with number 5 – JG to MEM, 1 line in C's hand

     This note says that Hugh Gainsborough called in the evening.  He looked at her finger and reassured her.  JG "put a small dressing on it to keep any danger of infection away."  She also mentions Marielle's visit and their impending dinner.  Carson adds a note in her hand, "Heart child, I am homesick.  Will be home on the eleventh. MMDM"

Folder 1-W.3.g – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me (# 6), [October 2], 1962

     Envelope marked with number 6 – phone, cable.  Just MMDM—JG's writing

     Also noted on envelope, Mon-phone; cable; Wed-phone-pin/money/lecture.  This was the last numbered envelope.

Folder 1-W.3.h – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 3, 1962

     JG to MEM – Pin removed. An "S". Guests. Snows. Strike (Carson dictated this letter) Her writing-last sentence.

     This letter was dictated to Joanne Gomme by Carson McCullers, who told about having lunch with Oscar Loenstein the day before, tea with Cecil Beaton that day and they "discussed all sorts of friends and enemies.  Cecil gave me his last portrait of Karen [Blixen] which he took just before her death."  Her dinner plans with Sir Charles and Lady Pamela Snow had to be cancelled because of the strike.  She also describes the removal of the pin from her finger, and the plans to leave tomorrow for Cheltenham.  The last sentence is in Carson's hand and says, "Dear love, take care and keep the home fires burning. M.M.D.M."


Folder 1-W.3.i– Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 4, 1962

     Tom Maschler to MEM

     He reports on his visit with Carson.

Folder 1-W.3.j – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 5, 1962

     JG & picture of inn on way to Festival

Folder 1-W.3.k – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 5, 1962

     JG—at Cheltenham—C. resting before speech.  Oscar sent 61 red, pink, white carnations.  "Too tired for supper party . Wishes to write to me each day, too tired.  Tom carried Carson to stage.  Chinese robe looked wonderful – Carson wrote, "Heartchild – homesick", October 5, 1962

     Joanne Gomme gives a 4 page report of the day of Carson's speech, her social activities, her attempts to conserve her energies, a visit by Lady Canard that morning, and an upcoming shopping trip for antiques, then dinner at Joanne's mother's home, featuring Shepherd's Pie.  Carson added a sheet, saying "Heart love – am so homesick, I look at your picture and try to know that I shall soon see you.  Jo's mother is come for tea--then we will antique a while--then dinner at the Gommes.  Are you taking care?  I am, M.M.D.M."

Folder 1-W.3.l – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, [postmarked October 8, 1962]

     Envelop empty!

Folder 1-W.3.m – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 8, 1962

     Carson wrote: Heartchild.  Visitors.  Too many engagements.  Coping.  Not overdoing.  Homesick.  JG—I'll be sad to lose her, October 8, 1962

     Carson's note reads, "Heartchild—Lots of visitors, too many engagements, But Jo and I are coping.  David Garret for tea today and am going to Melvin's for dinner.  Am not overdoing.  But so homesick.  Too much [?] homesick—See you Thursday—M.M.D.M."  Joanne Gomme then adds a P.S .about Carson's impending departure, "Dame Edith's concert. Carson thinks she needs a haircut!"  She also says that Carson seems very well and happy and the Gommes were so pleased to have Carson to supper.

Folder 1-W.3.n – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 10, 1962

     News clipping of Festival, October 10, 1962

     This is an article by Joyce Emerson from an unidentified newspaper, but perhaps the London Sunday Times.

Folder 1-W.3.o – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me, October 12, 1962

     JG to MEM – Sad parting from C.  Unforgettable, October 12, 1962.  Also included was an undated draft cable from Carson to Joanne saying, "Happy arrival.  Scads of mail.  Mary found secretary. Spare room.  All love, C."

Folder 1-W.3.p – Cheltenham Festival – Carson's letters to me

     A group of mostly undated newspaper clippings about Carson and the Cheltenham Festival, late 1962

Folder 1-X – Condolence letters, 1967, 1969

     Dr. Mercer received letters of condolences from the following: Cornelia Schaeffer, Penny Patt Sarno, William S. Hopewell, Anne Poor, Marjorie Kellogg, Sylvia L. Reynolds, Lamar Smith, Stuart Sherman (?), Priscilla Peck (with poem, Lament For Carson), Nancy Tripp, Dorothy Mill (took my opera tickets), Peter Obrien SA, Blanche DeVries.

     She also kept the cards for flowers sent to her by Margaret Sullivan, Adele Morrison, Tucker Ames, Nathan Sale, Cordelia Hamilton & Adele Earnest, Frank & Arlene Mercer (flowers at funeral). There are also notes she and her secretary made during telephone calls expressing sympathy.

     There are also 3 copies of the October 8, 1967 bulletin of St. James Church indicating that the altar flowers were in memory of Carson McCullers on the 5th anniversary of her death, a photograph of the altar, an unsigned card from "the Family of Carson McCullers," and a 1969 New Year's card from Penny Patt Sarno.

Folder 1-Y.1 – Edward Albee, 1962-1999

1 – Pictures taken at Fire (Water?) Island weekend in 1962

     These Polaroid snapshots are in a small photo album and include the following:

     Carson & Edward [Albee]; Carson & Terrence McNally; Carson & MEM; Terrence & Edward; Carson; Edward; Terrence McNally; Carson, Terrence & MEM. There is also a loose Polaroid of Edward Albee inserted at the end of the album.

2 – MEM to Edward – letter of thanks, August 6, 1962

3 – Edward on cover of Newsweek (2 copies), February 4, 1963

4 – Playbill: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, October 15, 1962

Folder 1-Y.2 – Edward Albee, 1962-1999

     These are newspaper clippings about Edward Albee and his theatrical works, as well as a few on Terrence McNally.

Folder 1-Z – People Wanting Info on Carson, 1968-2003

     This file contains letters from people, mostly students and fans, who have questions about Carson McCullers or her works. In most cases Dr. Mercer invokes doctor/patient privacy and declines to answer any questions.

Box 6 -- Writings about Carson -- Folder 2-A thru 2-D

Folder 2-A – Oliver Evans, 1962-1966

     Oliver Evans authored an article that appeared in The English Journal, Vol. XI, no. 5, May, 1962 titled, The Achievement of Carson McCullers.  At the time he was an assistant professor of English at the University of Illinois. This folder contains two copies of his article as well as correspondence about his book on her, The Ballad of Carson McCullers, published in 1966.  There is also a review from the New York World-Telegraph of Sunday, April 4, 1966.

Folder 2-B – Interviews, 1962-1966

     These include interviews published in The Marquis (1964?), The Manchester Guardian Weekly of September 29, 1960 and The Rockland County Journal-News (1960s)

Folder 2-C – 100 American Women, 1967

     This issue of Harper's Bazaar, which includes Carson McCullers as one of the 100 American Women of distinction, is located in the oversized box.

Folder 2-D.1 – Henry Varnum Poor, 1959-1976

     [In Dr. Mercer's table of contents to her index this was titled Henry Varnum Poor's Painting and Sculpture of Carson Catalog at National Academy and noted as NIF. At some point it was re-integrated into her files, but the folder had expanded to include more HVP items and other exhibitions. During processing, this folder was divided into three folders.]

1 – Bessie's complicated invitation to the Poor's with Carson, June, 1959

2 – My answer to Annie, June 5, 1959

     Dr. Mercer explains her views of the doctor/patient relationship and makes clear that she can have no social interaction with a patient while treatment is in process.  She says, "I feel so strongly about the need to guard the privacy of the professional relationship between a patient and a psychiatrist that I am even writing to you rather than to your mother about the invitation."

3 – Bessie Poor – Where is C?, n.d.

4 – Letter from HVP to MEM re: C's portrait and painting, May 25, 1961

     Poor thanks Dr. Mercer for buying "all those drawings from my little show at the Market Fair" and says how much pleasure it gave him to see them in place in her home.

5 – Letter from HVP to MEM re: borrowing, September 7, 1961

     This is HVP's request to lend two works of his owned by Mary Mercer for an exhibition at Colby College in Maine.

6 – Colby College catalog: Carson's & South From Haverstraw, October, 1961.

     This catalog contains references to two works of Poor's which were owned by Dr. Mercer and loaned for the exhibition at HVP's request (see number 6 above).

7 – Letter from HVP to MEM (copy) re: C's portrait insured for 1500-3000, November 27, 1961

8 – Market Fair Announcement, May, 1962

     Either the date on this announcement should be 1961 and thus related to item 4 above, or it is from another year's market fair and is not related to item 4 above.

9 – HVP dies. Rockland County Journal-News, December 9, 1970

10 – AP Thanks for flowers, Lovely note, January 4, 1971

     Anne Poor thanks Dr. Mercer for the flowers and note she sent after her father's death.

10 – Rockland Center exhibition of HVP, October, 1975

     This is a brochure for a retrospective exhibit of works by Henry Varnum Poor held at the Rockland Center for the Arts, October 19-December, 1975

11 – Note to Mr. Sale (my executor) re HVP and Frank Rehm Gallery with program attached, March 8, 1976


Folder 2-D.2 – Henry Varnum Poor, 1982-1983

This folder concerns the Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art retrospective show of the works of Henry Varnum Poor which opened in October of 1983, which included Henry Varnum Poor's ceramic portrait of Carson McCullers.  It contains letters, notes of telephone conversations, and other items concerning the history, provenance, exhibition and condition of the ceramic plaque, in addition to information on other portraits of her that he did over the course of several years.  The plaque was only exhibited after overcoming Dr. Mercer's initial hesitancy due to its physical condition.

This folder also includes the catalog of the exhibition, in addition to three other University of Pennsylvania catalogs: Danish Ceramic Design/Dansk Keramisk Design, 1982; The England of William Penn (1744-1718), October, 1982 and The Land Grant Frescoes at the Pennsylvania State University by Henry Varnum Poor, 1981(?). These were sent to Dr. Mercer by Richard Porter, the registrar of the university museum, to show her the types of Poor materials and the types of fragile porcelain they had displayed earlier.

The folder also includes a set of 8 photographs by Warren Inglese of the plaque, plus the one that was used in the catalog of the exhibition Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art in 1983.

Folder 2-D.3 – Henry Varnum Poor, 1984-2004

This folder concerns the second part of the Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art retrospective show of the works of Henry Varnum Poor which opened in Pennsylvania in October of 1983 and continued in June of 1984 at the National Academy of Design in New York City, which also included Henry Varnum Poor's ceramic portrait of Carson McCullers.  It also contains letters, notes of telephone conversations, and other items concerning the history, provenance, exhibition and condition of the ceramic plaque.

In addition, there is a catalog of an exhibition held at the James Graham & Sons, Inc. titled Henry Varnum Poor (American, 1887-1970), March-April, 2004, as well as an article from the Journal News about the sale of Henry Varnum Poor's house after the death of his daughter Anne in 2002, October 6-10, 2004

Box 7 -- Writings about Carson -- Folder 2-E thru 2-I

Folder 2-E – Houses Where Carson Lived, 1974

1 – Who Lived Where: A Biographical guide to Homes and Museums, by John Eastman, Facts on File Publications, 1983

2 – New York Times clipping, A Renaissance on the Hudson by Roger Ahrens, September 8, 1974


Folder 2-F – Carson's Books at 5 Tweed, 1967-1977

1 – Card files from Carson's secretary at 131

There are two packs of index cards, one typed and with detailed condition and publication information, the other handwritten with minimal bibliographic information beyond title and author, but with the location of where the book was kept in the house.

2 – List of 5 Tweed with my own notations, 1977

This list is handwritten on legal-sized paper and is in the over-sized box.


Folder 2-G – Collectors Inquiries (Also PhD candidates), 1974-1994

1 – Glenn Horowitz—asking, June 1986

This item is currently located in Folder 7-M, Appraisals, Literary

2 – University of Georgia Library—Dr. Larry Gulley, 1981

This item is currently located in Folder 7-M, Appraisals, Literary

3 – Sue Walker re: dissertation, Tampa, 1974

Folder 7-J has more material from Sue Walker.

3 – Michele Truant, Cincinnati to Carson, n.d.

4 – Computer search of mms collection, 1994

Folder 2-H – News Clippings, 1962-2000


Folder 2-I – Literary Criticism of Carson's Works, 1962-1986

Box 8 -- Writings about Carson -- Folder 2-J thru 2-M


Folder 2-J.1 – Misc. Mention of Carson McCullers, 1967-1969


These folders (2-J) contain mostly newspaper clippings, but with some correspondence. This first folder has some clippings about Carson McCullers as well as a tourist brochure of Tokyo and some letters from friends.


Folder 2-J.2 – Misc. Mention of Carson McCullers, 1987-2000


This folder contains newspaper clippings, as well as correspondence with Maxine Silverman about a proposed Carson McCullers Foundation for Literature and Literacy; correspondence with Stuart Sherman about some essays on Carson that he had written, and later materials that Dr. Mercer had put in several folders, all marked simply "Carson".


Folder 2-J.3 – Misc. Mention of Carson McCullers, 2000

This folder contains an envelope with "May 18, 2000—Jean Pardo has taken one photo of Carson McCullers for use in the 'Nyack in the 20th Century' history—Jean M. Pardo".  Also included are 5 other Polaroid photographs of Carson McCullers.


Folder 2-J.4 – Misc. Mention of CmC, 2001-2004

This folder contains newspaper clippings, as well as other material mainly relating to the 2001 play, Carson McCullers: Historically Inaccurate.  There is also a letter from John Zeigler written on December 14th, 2001 about seeing Carson's works displayed in a book shop in London.  It includes some recent poems he had written.  He also enclosed a copy of his book, Alaska and Beyond: Selected Poems, which has been cataloged and is with the Carson McCullers collection in the Archives Research room.


Folder 2-K – Tennessee Williams

1 – Sweet Bird of Youth & Last Summer = a stain, his morbid world. No suffering. Rotted

This item is not in the file.

2 – Typescript: Praise to Assenting Angels

There is another copy of this typescript in Folder 5-C, item7

3 – Picture postcards (2)

These were unused.

4 – Playbill: The Night of the Iguana

5 – Playbill: Sweet Bird of Youth

6 – 32 miscellaneous news clippings, 1959-2004


Folder 2-L.l – "Evolutions of A Human Heart"-Joanne Mongelli, July-December, 1987

This documents the tribute, sponsored by the Nyack Public Library, to Carson McCullers on September 26, 1987, the 20th anniversary of her death.  Joanne Mongelli was the program coordinator of the event.  Folder 2-L.1 covers the beginning of the planning for the event, July-December, 1986


Folder 2-L.2 – "Evolutions of A Human Heart"-Joanne Mongelli, 1987-1989

This folder covers the run-up to the event, the coverage of the tribute itself, and the follow-up. The video of the event is in the media box. 1987-1989


Folder 2-M – Virginia Carr, 1970-1975


1 – VC to MEM, asking for interview, enclosing publisher's letter, summary of dissertation and CV, August 17, 1970

2 – VC to MEM, coming to NY, September 23, 1970

3 – MEM to VC, no (3 copies), September 30, 1990

Dr. Mercer says, in part, "Mrs. Carson McCullers was not only my friend but she was my patient. I never discuss a patient. Therefore, I shall not be able to see you."

4 – Bernice Poor letter. Carr ignored Henry's death & interviewed, December 18, 1970

5 – VC to MEM, asking for another interview, July 28, 1971

6 – Dr. Viola Bernard re: VC [with MEM's reply], January 11, 1972

7 – VC to Ida Reeder, Meeting with Jordan [Massee] and her, February 18, 1972

8 – VC to Ida Reeder, with questionnaire (Apparently she was not told Ida could not read or write), n.d.

9 – VC to Ida Reeder, wanting info, March 31, 1973

10 – VC to MEM. Has all my letters to MT [Mary Tucker] at Duke. Wants my permission to quote. Attached MT letter to MEM re: letters at Duke (3/30/68). Also my answer, July 31, 1973

There are two copies of Dr. Carr's letter with the attached permission forms; one marked "For Mr. Sale".  Also included is Dr. Mercer's reply to Mary Tucker asking her to destroy Dr. Mercer's letters, dated Palm Sunday, which was April 1, 1968.  A more legible copy is with the Floria Lasky material, Folder 6-C.2.5.

11 – MEM to Robert Wolf-my lawyer, August 21, 1973

12 – Robert Wolf to VC—He responded for me, August 28, 1973

13 – Robert Wolf to VC, October 16, 1973

14 – Review [by Louis Sheaffer] of VC's book, July, 1975

15 – Helen Bryant's book review, August 2, 1975

16 – Nancy Kahgue (?) comment re VC's book, August 16, 1975

17 – Student asking my opinion of VC's book, [with MEM's reply], October 31, 1975

18 – Scrap of paper with notes in MEM's hand about VC's book, n.d.

19-28 – Newspaper clippings, mainly about Virginia Carr's book, A Lonely Hunter, 1975


Box 9 -- Carson's House -- Folder 3-A thru 3-N

Series 3 Carson's House at 131 South Broadway

This series deals not only with Carson's house in Nyack, NY but also other homes of famous artists, several also located in Nyack; St. James church; the University of Texas; Yaddo; writers' centers; the Columbus, Georgia museum and Carson's house on Stark Avenue, in Columbus, Georgia.  Other materials related to the house are located in Folders 5-I (Photos of Carson/Slides of Her House), 7-D (Historical Marker) and 7-E Restoration Awards.  The last folder in this series, Folder 3- P, was added to Dr. Mercer's listing.  She had prepared the folder, but had not numbered it nor placed with this series.



Folder 3-A.a – Carson's House – Photographs – Various, 1960s-1990s

This folder contains various pictures including a large one by Wright Bro. with detailed notes by Leonard Sullivan on the back re: paint brands and colors, finishes, maintenance of surfaces, furniture polish, repairs, etc., October, 1970.  There are also letters from photographer Sally Savage about some photos she took of the house in 1993.  The winter 2007 issue of The Faucet, the newsletter of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians Photos, is also enclosed, with a photo of the Nyack house on the cover, and a note from the Director of the Center, Cathy Fussell.

The slides of this property are located in the slide storage box. These include:

Slides of 131, inside and outside, as it was during her life, 1950s-1967

This set was later re-filed by Dr. Mercer under Carson's Archives: Photographs, Folder 5-I, Item 14.  They are currently in the slide box labelled as Folder 5-I.14.

The photos of Carson's grave were also refiled at some point in Folder 5-I.c.


Folder 3-A.b – Carson's House – Photographs – Front (West), 1980s (?)

This folder contains both prints of the front (west) view of the house and negatives of the front and other sides of the Nyack house.


Folder 3-A.c – Carson's House – Photographs – Side (South), 1980s (?)

This folder contains prints of the south side of the Nyack house.


Folder 3-A.d – Carson's House – Photographs – Side (North), 1980s (?)

This folder contains prints of the north side of the Nyack house.


Folder 3-A.e – Carson's House – Photographs – Back Garden (East), 1980s (?)

This folder contains prints of the back garden (east) side of the Nyack house.

The slides of this property are located in the media storage box. These include:

Slides of 131, inside and outside, as it was during her life, 1950s-1967

This set was later re-filed by Dr. Mercer under Carson's Archives: Photographs, Folder 5-I, Item 14. They are currently in the media box labelled as Folder 5-I.14.

Group 3 – Photos of Carson's grave with Easter and Christmas flowers, some including a dog, 1984 (?)


Folder 3-B – Purchase of 131 as a Memorial, 1968

Materials from this folder were re-distributed by Dr. Mercer during a review of her papers, probably in the 1990s.  Most of the contents were moved to Folder 6-B (the Floria Lasky files), with some moved to


Folder 3-G (National Institute of Arts of Letters) and other places.


Folder 3-C – Tenants at 131, 1971, 2004

This folder contains 5 copies of an article in the Rockland County Journal- News by Fran Hepperle about June Griesbach, one of the renters at 131 South Broadway, April 21, 1971.  Also included are notes to each of the tenants as of 2004 inclosing a copy of the Carson McCullers Center newsletter.


Folder 3-D – Nyack Renaissance, 1974-1986

This folder contains 9 articles about the revitalization of Nyack in the 1970s and 1980s.


Folder 3-E – Edward Hopper House, 1960s-1970s

This folder contains 9 articles concerning Hopper house and how it is supported as a landmark and museum.  Some contain notes to Mr. Sale from MEM.


Folder 3-F – Homes of Famous Writers, 1970s-2000s

This contains numerous articles and pamphlets relating to homes of writers, as a reference file on possibilities for Caron's home.


Folder 3-G – National Institute of Arts & Letters, 1961-1997

1 – News clippings re $5,000 award, 1982

2 – News clipping--Selects 4 members, December 2, 1982

3 – New Yorker profile of the Institute and its members, February 23, 1976

4 – Carson's bound book, 1961

This book contains information on both the National Institute of Arts and Letters (which shows Carson McCullers as a member) and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1961.  This item was removed from the files and is shelved with the Carson McCullers Library in the CSU Archives Research Room.

5 – Faces and Fame, article from MD Pictorial, n.d.

6 – A Club Within a Club, Smithsonian, November 1992

7 – Letter from NIAL re 131, December 29, 1969

The Institute declines to accept Carson's Nyack house to run as a house museum. "The only thing we could do, on receipt of property in this way, would be to sell it and with the money establish some memorial or award in Mrs. McCullers' name."

8 – New York Times article, Mansion Full of Honors, May 22, 1997


Folder 3-H – Nyack Ambulance

Picture of ambulance used by Carson.


Folder 3-I – Nyack Library

Helen Bryant's letter re: memorial for Carson, n.d.


Folder 3-J – St. James, September Flowers, 1968-2005

These are bulletins for the service closest to September 29th each year for which Dr. Mercer donated the altar flowers in observation of the anniversary of the death of Carson McCullers. Not all years are present.


Folder 3-K – University of Texas, 1982-1983

1 – Time Magazine, Best Faculty Money Can Buy?, April 26, 1982

2 – Margaret Sullivan: notes re: Ellen Dunlap, 1982 (?)

3 – Article on the history of Austin, unknown publication, n.d.

4 – The Education of the University of Texas by Robert Reinhold, New York Times Magazine, December 4, 1983

5 – Mr. Sale: Info on mss, Use of HRC Library, with reply and enclosed pamphlets and brochures, September 14, 1982


Folder 3-L – Yaddo, 1985-2000 and n.d.

These items consist of various news clippings and articles about Yaddo.


Folder 3-M – Berg Collection, 1990

1 – In Memoriam: Lola Szladits

This issue of the newsletter of the New York Public Library has an obituary of Lola Szladits, curator of the Berg collection on English and American Literature, who died in 1990.


Folder 3-N – Columbus Museum

A note on Dr. Mercer's index, "Where is it 1/27/99?" indicates that the folder was misplaced before shipment to the CSU archives, but the contents may have been relocated to the Floria Lasky files.



Box 10 -- Folder 3-O thru 4-G

Folder 3-O – Carson's House in Columbus, 2001-2011

A note on Dr. Mercer's index, "Where is it 1/27/99?" indicates that the folder was misplaced before shipment to the CSU archives, but the contents may have been relocated to the Floria Lasky (6-C) below. The folders below now contain later material related to the house, the Carson McCullers Center for Artists and Musicians, and Columbus State University.


Folder 3-O.1 – Carson's House in Columbus, 2001

This folder contains materials prepared for a visit by Dr. Mercer to Columbus to see the house and to meet with Columbus State University staff. It includes photos of her at the Stark Avenue house, both inside and out.


Folder 3-O.2 – Carson's House in Columbus, 2002-2011

This folder contains correspondence with Dr. Mercer about the Stark Avenue house as well as the house in Nyack.


Folder 3-P – House and Garden Tour, 1999, 2002

This folder was added during processing of the collection at the CSU Archives. It contains information about the house and garden at 131 South Broadway, and includes a detailed key to
the plantings in the garden as of May, 1999.


Series 4 People Carson Admired

This series was not included when the collection arrived at the CSU archives in June of 2013.  There were notes in Dr. Mercer's index ("Not Important.  Should these be here?") which indicated that she did not consider the folders important enough to keep.  The index does indicate the people in this category, and what was kept about them.  All the index entries were for newspaper clippings or magazine articles.  The individuals were: James Joyce, Anton Chekov, Ernest Hemmingway, and Paul Bowles (Folder 4-A); Martin Luther King speaks (Folder 4-B); William Faulkner (Folder 4-C); Montgomery Clift (Folder 4-D); Benjamin Britten and Peter Peers (Folder 4-E); Greta Garbo (Folder 4-F); and Marlena Dietrich (Folder 4-G).


Box 11 -- Carson's Archives -- Folder 5-A thru 5-G

Series 5 – Carson's Archives

This series consists of material Dr. Mercer considered central to the establishment of a Carson McCullers archives.  Most of the items Dr. Mercer sought and obtained during the settlement of the McCullers estate in 1974 are placed here, as well.  The numbers listed in the title of Folder 5-C are the inventory numbers of Carson McCullers' literary estate mentioned numerous times in the Floria Lasky files.

Sub-series A – Dictaphone Sessions

These are the transcripts of the therapy sessions between April and May of 1958.  There were apparently a few earlier sessions which were not recorded.  They decided to experiment with using a Dictaphone to get Carson McCullers through her writer's block.  Dr. Mercer's note on the folder said, "Dictaphone Therapy Sessions (Floria sent #3 originals to Archives in Texas because Carson's handwriting was on it). Mrs. McCullers' set."  There is also a note regarding the whereabouts of these materials in the Floria Lasky files (Folder 6-C.0), a copy of which is included here for the convenience of researchers.  Additionally, Dr. Mercer's set is now available.  Due to the condition of the paper, a photocopied set of her copy is present here, and the originals are available with the approval of the archivist.  The numbering of Dr. Mercer's set does not match the numbering of Carson's set, and there are differences in the annotations.  There will be two folders for each date.  The one for April 11th , for example, will have Folder 5-A.1(a), with the (a) indicating the surrogate copy of Dr. Mercer's copy, and another Folder 5-A.1(b), with the (b) indicating Carson's copy.  In a couple of cases, the transcripts seem to end in mid-sentence and in one instance extra pages seem to be have stapled to an already complete transcript.  Also, in one case there are multiple copies of several pages of a single transcript.  All these anomalies are left just as they were found.


Folder 5-A.1 (a) – 1st Experiment, April 11, 1958


Folder 5-A.1 (b) – 1st Experiment, April 11, 1958

This folder contains the 7 page transcript of the first experiment with the Dictaphone.  [The note referred to above about why the first two are photocopies is here.  The original note is in the Floria Lasky files.] This is a photocopy, with the original possibly being in the Carson McCullers collection in the Library of the University of Texas in Austin.  This, and the following Dictaphone sessions, contain technical instructions such as "It has to be held fairly close, like this", to dreams, fantasies, music, film, painting, joke-telling, literary gossip, religion, alcohol and tobacco consumption, opinions on Oppenheimer, Elizabeth Bowen, Baudelaire, Tennessee Williams and many other people, and all the sorts of intimate details one would expect in psycho-therapeutic sessions.  Some of the corrections are in Carson McCullers'' hand.  The form is quite chaotic and stream-of-consciousness, with many an ellipsis and non-sequitur.

There are also some notes in Dr. Mercer's hand that refer to the third experiment being missing and presumably sent to Texas.  Her notes also say, "Where is my copy?  Look in 5-A."  Finally there is a note from Barbara, presumably the transcriber, saying what a lovely experiment this is.

Folder 5-A.2 (a) – 2nd Experiment, April 14, 1958

Folder 5-A.2 (b) – 2nd Experiment, April 14, 1958

This contains 9 transcribed pages of material similar to above, also photocopied, and also with corrections some of which are in Carson's hand.


Folder 5-A.3 (a) – 3rd Experiment, April 21, 1958


Folder 5-A.3 (b) – 3rd Experiment, April 21, 1958

This 7 page transcript is marked "3rd" in parenthesis at the top of the page, and also with a "4" handwritten at the top of the first page.  The folder is thus labeled 3rd Experiment and there is nothing in the folder labeled "4th Experiment" which is merely a placeholder.  This session dealt with Carson's views and experiences of love, focusing on someone named Ernest, who is older than she and who had fought in WWI, was captured by the Russians and escaped.  She also talked about various forms of her work, on stage and screen, and how she would like them to be done.  She also begins to discuss the breakdown of Annemarie Schwarzenbach in December of 1939(?), which continues through several sessions.
Folder 5-A.4 – 4th Experiment, April, 1958

See note above.


Folder 5-A.5 (a) – 5th Experiment, April 25, 1958

Folder 5-A.5 (b) – 5th Experiment, April 25, 1958

This 15 page typescript deals mainly with Carson and Annemarie Schwarzenbach, the artistic life of children, music, Hart Crane, Oliver Evans, Tennessee Williams, Mary Tucker and Reeves McCullers.  The last three pages (12-14) include a partial re-transcription of page 12 and then a long anecdote apparently told to Carson by Dr. Mercer about the time she bought an obsolete ice wagon and used it to the deliver books to people in the country around Hartford, Connecticut.  Her "conventional family" was horrified, so she pursued medicine, where she hoped to become "a country doctor and load my car down always with books, and write always a prescription of literature for my patients as well as drugs.  Such a day, huh, such a flying kite day."


Folder 5-A.6 (a) – 6th Experiment, April 28, 1958

Folder 5-A.6 (b) – 6th Experiment, April 28, 1958

This 17 page original typescript of the session contains 13 numbered pages and 4 unnumbered pages.  It deals with Carson's fashionable phase in her February House days, when Joyce Davis bought her clothes and Diana Greenland (Vreeland?) gave her towels and linens, and Gypsy Rose Lee brought back lots of items from her bridal showers, but during all that time Carson was "very miserable".  She also discussed her dreams when she was in the hospital in Nyack, and the after-effects of her rheumatic fever.  She also talked about the use of language and its power. She also discussed childhood pranks, such as lighting sky rockets (fireworks) in the house when she was three years old and when her brother lit a fire under their parents' bed, her brother's hospitalizations and her own as children, and returns to Annemarie and the night Carson and Freddie had to deal with her breakdown (which resulted in her being committed to Bellevue and later deported to Switzerland).


Folder 5-A.7 (a) – 7th Experiment, May 5, 1958

Folder 5-A.7 (b) – 7th Experiment, May 5, 1958

This 7 page typescript of the May 5th session ends in mid-sentence.  It deals with Annemarie's deportation, Carson's relationship with Rita and her parents, the possibility of teaching at Columbia, parties in New York, suicide, and the relationship of Will Soroyan and his wife Carol.  She also told Dr. Mercer about when she decided to go live with Reeves before they were married and how astonished her parents were at the idea.  She also talked about their early life together and the first time she left Reeves.


Folder 5-A.8 (a) – 8th Experiment, May 9, 1958

Folder 5-A.8 (b) – 8th Experiment, May 9, 1958

This 6 page typescript deals mainly with Annemarie Schwarzenbach's suicide attempt that led to her commitment and deportation and Carson's time with her in Lisbon as she tried to get a transit visa to return to Switzerland.  It also touches on her husband Reese during World War II, The Member of the Wedding, and other issues.  This one also ends in mid-sentence.


Folder 5-A.9 (a) – 9th Experiment, May 12, 1958

Folder 5-A.9 (b) – 9th Experiment, May 12, 1958

This one page typescript begins in the middle of a sentence and deals exclusively with Annemarie Schwarzenbach and her addiction to morphine.


Folder 5-A.10 (a) – 10th Experiment, May 16, 1958

Folder 5-A.10 (b) – 10th Experiment, May 16, 1958

This 10 page typescript deals with the Tucker family (both Virginia and Mary), music and Mary Tucker's methods of teaching it, Reflections in a Golden Eye which Carson described as a "kind of mortal blow to Mary, because, first of all, she didn't like the book. . . and also it stirred up a lot of comment", the role of alcohol in her writing, despair, personal rejection and the craft of writing in general. It, too, ends in mid-sentence.


Folder 5-A.11 – Miscellaneous, n.d.

This folder contains a translation of a poem by Charles Baudelaire, perhaps the one mentioned in the transcripts above, along with references to an edition of Baudelaire's poems published in Nyack in 1951 in a run of 30 copies.  There is also a catalog of Botteghe Oscure: An International Periodical of New Literature, and some notes of Dr. Mercer's on an unidentified topic.  They are included in the series because they were in the folder with the transcripts.


Folder 5-B.1 – Photos of Annemarie Schwarzenbach, 1930s-1940s

This folder contains a poem of Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach (1908-1942) translated from the German by Elizabeth Schnack, and four sheets of contact prints of her, probably from the 1930s or 1940s.


Folder 5-B.2 – Annemarie Schwarzenbach, 2005

This folder was created by Dr. Mercer, but not placed in her detailed index. It was added during processing. It contains:

1 – Program and brochures for an exhibit of Schwarzenbach's photographs and writings at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queen's College, February-June, 2005

2 – E-mail concerning problems with screening a film on Carson McCullers at the Godwin-Ternback Museum during the Schwarzenbach exhibit in 2005, May 4, 2005.  Attached is an advertisement for a film about her titled, A Swiss Rebel: Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1942) directed by Carole Bonseing. There are three copies of this film in the media box.

3 – Fax to MEM from FL re: permission to quote from Carson McCullers letters, May 13, 2005

4 – Letter from Angela Schader regarding an article in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung about Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Carson McCullers. July 4, 2005

5 – Copies of the article sent to MEM by Robert Lantz, July 22, 2005

6 – MEM to Angela Schader-thank you note for sending her a copy of the article, July 18, 2005

7 – News clipping from the Zurcher Kultur of about Annemarie Schwarzenbach, November 30, 2005

8 – Brochure (2 copies) from the Sidney Mishkin Gallery of Baruch College of an exhibit of Annemarie's photographs, November-December, 2005


Folder 5-C – Items from Archives I asked for from estate. Numbers 146-147, 347, 309, 315, 310, 150, 325

This folder contains several items from the Carson McCullers estate which were the subject of lengthy and difficult discussions between Dr. Mercer and Floria Lasky in the late 1960s and early1970s.  The ones in this folder are all photocopies.  Dr. Mercer placed other recovered items in other folders, which are noted below.

1 – Inventory Items 146 and 147 – A-M's poem in German [and an English translation], n.d.

2 – Inventory Item 347 – Birth Certificate, n.d.

This is a photocopy of a certified copy of Carson McCullers' birth certificate.

3 – Inventory Item 309 – Mary Mercer article, n.d.

This item has a line drawn through it, and was not in the folder.

4 – Inventory Item 315 – Mary Mercer, n.d.

This item has a line drawn through it, and was not in the folder.

5 – Inventory Item 310 – American Citizen, Kay Boyle poem, 1940s

This is a photocopy of a typescript of the poem, which has a note "This poem is dedicated to Carson McCullers. Her husband, like mine, is serving overseas."

6 – Inventory Item 150 – Equator (hard to Xerox), On Board the Colonial, May 30, 1941

This is a photocopy of a typescript of a description of a voyage by Annemarie Schwarzenbach. There is also a photocopied translation which is extremely difficult to read.

7 – Inventory Item 325 – Praise to Assenting Angels (see 2-K)

There is also another copy of this typescript in Folder 2-K

8 -- Inventory item 354 – The New Republic, Roosevelt: A First Appraisal by Those Who Knew Him, Part two, April 15, 1946

Items we cannot Xerox

These items are listed, but not present in the folder:

Inventory Item 357 – 2 books, Nurses' Medical reports, n.d.

Inventory item 354 –The New Republic on Roosevelt, Part 1, n.d.

Inventory Item 297 – O'Neill photo & testament, n.d.

Inventory Item 314 –The New Old World – John L. Brown

Inventory Item 396 – Whoroscope – Samuel Beckett


Folder 5-D – Re: Mr. Sale

This folder had Dr. Mercer's note, "Misplaced" but the sole item listed for this folder is in the Floria Lasky files. The item was: FL to Mr. Sale re: items I asked for; definition of "personal effects", April 5, 1973


Folder 5-E – Purchase of Carson's House – 131 So. Broadway

The items listed under this folder have a note (Remove but keep). They were all moved to the Floria Lasky files and to be found there in Folder 6-C.2


Folder 5-F – Silver, 1981

This folder contains a list of silver, with a location code. S = Suitcase, U = Upstairs use and O = office.  This list was made in September of 1981, and has a note from MEM to Mr. Sale which says, "This is the information on the "silver".  Thanks again for helping me straighten out the facts! – MEM".  The note is dated September 15, 1981.


Folder 5-G – Music

1 – New York Times clipping re Winterreise, August 5, 1985

2 – Schubertiade, 1994 catalog

3 – Note from "Mary" with two programs from 1994, August 10, 1994



Box 12 -- Carson's Archives -- Folder 5-H thru 5-K

Folder 5-H.1 – Carl Van Vechten Photos, 1959

1 – Letter CVV to MEM, December 27, 1959

This letter concerns the series of photographs that Van Vechten made of Dr. Mercer and Carson McCullers on July 31, 1959. He signed the letter, Carlo Patriarch.

2 – These images were sent to Dr. Mary Mercer:

XV qq 0 – MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 1 – MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 2 – MEM (3 copies)
XV qq 3 – MEM (3 copies)
XV qq 4 – C & MEM (3 copies)
XV qq 5 – C & MEM (3 copies)
XV qq 7 – C & MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 9 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 10 – Carson (3 copies)
XV qq 11 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 12 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 13 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 14 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 15 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 16 – Carson (1 copy)
XVIII oo 18 – Carson (1 copy)
XVIII oo 19 – Carson (1 copy)
XVIII oo 21 – MEM (2 copies)

Folder 5-H.2 – Carl Van Vechten Photos, 1959-2001

1 – Envelope addressed to Carson McCullers from Carol Van Vechten, with note written by Carson McCullers on the back, August 28, 1959

2 – These images were sent to Carson McCullers and were made on July 31, 1959:

XV qq 0 – MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 2 – MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 3 – MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 4 – C & MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 5 – C & MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 7 – C & MEM (1 copy)
XV qq 9 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 10 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 11 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 13 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 14 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 15 – Carson (1 copy)
XV qq 16 – Carson (1 copy)
XVIII oo 21 – MEM (1 copy)

3 – New York Times clipping, Carl Van Vechten & the Irreverent Decades, February 16, 1969

4 – New York Times clipping, Carl Van Vechten's photo of Horace Pippin in 1940, January 3, 1992

5 – New York Times clipping, Review of Remember Me to Harlem, March 5, 2001


Folder 5-I (1) – Carson's Photographs, 1959-

1 – With Clock Without Hands

2 – HVP's painting. Connecticut College. William Burton's [?] gift. Painted in 1944.

3 – 4 in living room, by [Louise] Dahl-Wolfe?

4 –3 of MEM Dahl-Wolfe

5 – 1959—4 snapshots at 5 Tweed

6 – Polaroid—C/M/Fleyboy (?)/Adele M/Visit to John Brown/5 Tweed

7 – 1960—Fire Island. C/MEM/EA/TMcN (Duplicates from the Edward Albee material (Folder 1-Y)


Folder 5-I (2) – Carson's Photographs, 1957-1983

9 – Negatives—2 of C at 131/w 1 print, n.d.

There are actually 3 negatives and the date on the developing envelope is December 18, 1973.

9 – C in bed/with Ida/3 enlargements of negatives above LR at 131

There are other copies of some of these photos in other places in the collection.

10 – MEM—5 Tweed Polaroid

This item is not in this folder.

11 – C/Ida/Rita 1963 Easter back porch

12 – 8X10 MEM. C had on bureau (2 copies)

13 – MEM to J. J. Fletcher re order of C's pictures from Compix, July 1968.

This includes an exchange of letters between Dr. Mercer and J.J. Fletcher of the Complix regarding some photos.  The 2 photographs included here are: Carson McCullers at the Key West home of Tennessee Williams, January 23, 1957 and Carson McCullers at the luncheon she gave for Marilyn Monroe, Isak Dinesen and Arthur Miller at her home in Nyack, February 5, 1959.  The whereabouts and subject of the third one is not known, although the photo of Carson as a very young writer, posing with her typewriter, was with the two mentioned here and might be the third one from Compix, although the finish is different and there is no accompanying text to identify it, having only the name "Garson Mc Cullers" [sic] on the back.

14 – News clipping from the New York Times, Play is Cancelled, Discord Grows, with photo of Terrence McNally. There is a note in Dr. Mercer's hand that reads, "Where is the lovely boy?", May 27, 1998

15 – Slides -131-Carson's House, Inside & Out – as it was during her life, 1967

These were originally filed in Folder 3-A, but moved here by Dr. Mercer at some point.  They are in a slide storage container labelled as 5-I.15 and placed in Box 37-Artificats (2).  They include:

Container 1 – Living Room – 10 slides, showing the position of the furniture and various objects such as the tea set and other items.
Container 2 – Dining Room – 10 slides, showing the chandelier giving to Carson by Dr. Mercer upon the completion of Clock Without Hands, the dining table, the sideboard with various pieces of silver, other furniture, the telephone, "Edw's Plate" (which is hanging on the wall), door to back porch.
Container 3 – Bedroom – 14 slides titled Flowering Dream bookcase, my blue chair from doorway, pictures over liquor cabinet, Ida by the bed, bedside table, bureau from side, the Victrola, Ida and wheelchair, etc.
Container 4 – Hall – 4 slides showing the hall leading to Carson's bedroom.  They include one of the pier mirror outside her bedroom door and other furnishings and decoration of the hallway.
Contain 5 – Kitchen – 6 slides showing the approach to the kitchen from the hall, plus the kitchen itself, including the refrigerator, table, stove and other items there. Some slides include Ida Reeder.
Container 6 – Carson – 16 slides, all of Carson in bed.  Some include Ida and unidentified visitors.
Container 7 – Carson (cont.) – 7 slides of Carson with MEM,  Carson wearing the Chinese robe, Carson at the writing table, and "Jack at Clearwater".
Container 8 – Outside (North) – 10 slides of exterior views of the house.
Container 9 – Outside (South) – 7 slides of the exterior views of the house.
Container 10 – Outside (Garden) – 9 slides of the garden.
16 – New York Times newspaper clipping of Louise Dahl-Wolfe show at grey Art Gallery, September 14, 1983
The following items are not on Dr. Mercer's detailed index but were in the folder.
17 – 8X10 of MEM, n.d.
18 – C (2 copies), n.d.
19 – C as a teenager, n.d.
20 – 20 photos of Carson, all otherwise unidentified and undated.


Folder 5-I (3) – Carson's Grave, 1984

There are several photographs of Carson McCullers' grave in Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack. They are undated, but were developed in 1984.


Folder 5-J – Album about Carson by Misc. Friends: Terry Murray

1 – This album consists of some original photographs and photocopies of reviews of her works and several articles written after her death. There is a note in the index that a copy of the album is also at the Springer Theatre. Also in the folder are two articles by Clason Kyle from 1973 and 1974 which appeared in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

[These materials need conservation attention.]


Folder 5-K – Story Magazine (See 6-C)

Dr. Mercer's index indicates that material in this folder was transferred to Folder 7-H, but it was instead placed with the Floria Lasky files (6-C)


Box 13 -- Carson's Archives -- Series 6 Carson's People -- Folder 6-A (Dr. Baily) thru 6-B (Robert Lantz)


Folder 6-A.1 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1962

Dr. Baily was Carson McCullers' primary care physician from the 1950s until her death in 1967.

1 – Carson's Activities & Illnesses, 1936-1967

This is 3-page chronology in Dr. Mercer's hand of significant events and illnesses, accidents and medical issues experienced by Carson McCullers from her marriage to Reeves in 1936 through her death on September 29, 1968.  A partial draft is attached.

2 – Dr. B. to MEM – enclose CM's hospitalization abstract 6/2/62-6/20/62, June 27, 1962

Dr. Bailey's note is to transmit a copy of Carson's 3-page hospital record for the 18 days she spent in the Nyack hospital in June of 1962


Folder 6-A.2 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1962

3 – Notes re: home care from conversation with Dr. B, June 4, 1962


Folder 6-A.3 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1962

4 – Notes re hospitalization, June 4, 1962


Folder 6-A.4 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1962

5 – 1st call to Dr. B., no dates


Folder 6-A.5 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1962-1963

6 – Notes to Dr. B., June 6, 1962

7 – Notes to Dr. B., June 11, 1962

8 – Notes to Dr. B., Jun 12, 1962

9 – Dr. B. sent me hospital abstract (9/11/63-9/17/63), October 11, 1963

10 – MEM to David Warshaw – her accountant, May 10, 1963

11 – Discharge nursing notes, n.d.

12 – MEM to Dr. B. Follow up after discharge, October 19, 1963

13 – Dr. B. to MEM: Not anticoagulants, October 23, 1963


Folder 6-A.6 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1964-196

14 – Dr. William S. Hopewell to Dr. B. re: St. Luke admission, February 18, 1964

This letter gives a full description of Carson McCullers' physical and mental conditions.

15 – MEM to Dr. Hopewell: Follow up, May 12, 1964


Folder 6-A.7 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1964

16 – Harkness Pavilion record (5/15-6/18/64), fractured hip—Dr. Ryder, surgeon with Dr. B. notes, June 25, 1964


Folder 6-A.8 – Carson's People – Dr. Baily, 1964-1968

17 – Consultation report—Rehabilitation Hospital at Haverstraw; hip pain due to spasm, March 18, 1965

18 – Notes re John Sarno & hip pain, May 25, 1965

19 – Notes re Br. B. Doubts re: Rx, May 31, 1965

These notes are on the back of item 17.

20 – Daily schedules for activities and medications from Harkness, n.d., but 1965

21 – Nursing notes, November 4, 1965

22 – Home program for nurses, n.d. but 1965

23 – Dr. B. to MEM re: physiotherapy, October 12, 1966

24 – MEM to Dr. Patterson re SS (enclosure), January 4, 1967

25 – Dr. B. to MEM re leg amputation with letters to Dr. Darling, and Dr. McElroy, June 23, 1967

26 – MEM top Dr. B re the amputation, July 1, 1967

27 – Dr. B. to MEM. Hospitalization is only to evaluate decision, July 6, 1967

28 – Notice of Dr. Bailey's death, 1968

29 – Picture of Nyack Hospital where Carson died, September 27, 1967

30 – Surgical hospitalizations, 1962-1970

These are articles from medical journals regarding amputation, strokes and other medical issues.


Folder 6-B.1 – Carson's People – Robert Lantz, 1962-1983

1 – Letter—RL to C, June 6, 1962

This note enclosed the article from the Herald Tribune, When Magnolias Bloom by John Cosby, of the same date as the note, June 6, 1962

2 – Post card—RL to C, June 27, 1962

This post card was sent from Rome, Italy

3 – Letter—RL to MEM, November 27, 1962

This letter details some health issues Carson is facing, but says that Carson doesn't want to take Dr. Mercer away from her symposium.  Robby and Ida will handle it.

4 – Note—RL to MEM, August 15, 1963

5 – Letter—RL to Clara Svensen, August 15, 1963

This letter regards the offer to employ Clara Svensen as a companion for Carson.  Item 4 above was attached, telling Dr. Mercer to share the letter with Carson if she wished.

6 – Post card—RL to C, August 3, 1964

This was sent from Edgartown, MA and says, "Dearest Carson, Here we are, with lots of sleep, food, walks and very little sun. . .Long to see you! Best to Mary, regards to Ida, LOVE to you from Sherlee and Robby".

7 – Post card—RL to C, November 29, 1965

This was sent from Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, telling Carson that he is there for a week of business and hoping that she and Mary are well.

8 – Letter—Jacob Javits to RL, June 14, 1967

This concerns a request for a letter from the President to Carson McCullers.

9 – Letter—White House to Jacob Javits, June 22, 1967

This is from Mike Manatos, Administrative Assistant to the President to Senator Jacob Javits re the above request.

10 – Letter—RL to Karen Branan re Ralph McGill, November 6, 1967

This letter thanks Mrs. Brana for her words of sympathy on Carson's death, but says that no one of them can now speak to a biographer and suggests that she contact Ralph McGill of Atlanta for help.

11 – Letter MEM to RL (photocopy), November 9, 1967

Dr. Mercer thanks Robby for sending her various salutes to Carson; she also encloses a letter from Margaret Sullivan about her unfinished dissertation; and finally her changed opinion of Carson's autobiography which she has re-read after her death.  [The original of this letter is in the Floria Lasky files, 6-C-1967]

12—Letter—RL to MEM, February 18, 1968

This is a note to MEM saying that he is sure that Carson's birthday will be painful to MEM, and tells her that he is just back from a week in Rome and Paris is now in California on business.

13 – Post card—RL to MEM, April 23, 1968

This was sent from Florence, Italy and hopes she is well.

14 – Letter—RL to MEM, June 6, 1968

He wishes happy birthday to MEM.

15 – Letter—MEM to RL, June 11, 1968

Dr. Mercer thanks Robby and his wish Shirlee for their birthday wishes and tells him that she has bought Carson's house, that her garden is growing, that her house is being washed and that one her apartment will be recreated as a memorial to her.  She also asks him if he knows of a writer or musician who would like to live and work there, to let her know.  The apartment is for rent but not to anyone.

16 – Letter—RL to MEM, July 2, 1968

This tells MEM about a screening of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and tells her that it will open in New York on the 31st of July, but that she will be invited to an earlier showing.  "Carson would have been pleased."

17 – Letter—MEM to RL, July 15, 1968

She thanks him for his letter of the 2nd of July, and informs him that "I had a robbery at 5 Tweed Boulevard over the Fourth when I was up at the Cape?"  [This was when she lost much of her jewelry, including the items that Carson McCullers had given her.]

18 – Letter—RL to MEM, December 12, 1968

Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.

19 – Letter—MEM to RL, February 10, 1970

This letter is a faded photocopy of one in the Floria Lasky files of the same date regarding Carson's autobiography and also mentioning Carson and Reese's in Paris, John L. Brown.  There is a note at the top of the first page that says, "Mr. Sale – For your records. MEM"

20 – Letter—RL to MEM, June 8, 1970

Birthday wishes for Mary.

21 – Note—RL to MEM, July 13, 1970

This note thanks her for sending him a copy of her note to Rita Smith on July 6, 1970 which included a medical chronology of Carson McCullers from 1947 to her death in 1967.  There are two copies of both Robby's thank-you note and Dr. Mercer's letter and list to Rita Smith.

22 – Post card—RL to MEM, June 5, 1971

Sent from Venice to wish her a happy birthday.

23 – Letter—RL to MEM, June 6, 1975

Happy birthday.

24 – Post card—RL to MEM, June 4, 1979

Sent from Florence, Italy to wish her a happy birthday.

25 – Letter—MEM to RL, June 16, 1979

This thanks them for their birthday wishes

26 – Letter—RL to MEM, June 2, 1981

He wishes her happy birthday and tells her that their son Tony is 29 years old and doing well at Morgan Stanley.  He also tells her that their New York home and office on East 55th Street burned in May, destroying a lifetime of papers, files, correspondence, contracts and the like.  The attached envelope gives his temporary address.

27 – Letter—MEM to RL, June 30, 1981

She thanks him for his birthday wishes and refers to the loss of the fire they suffered.

28 – Postcard—RL to MEM, November 24, 1981

This gives the new address of the Lantz Office Incorporated as 888 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York 10106 and provides telephone, Telex and Cable numbers as well as the California address.

29 – Letter—MEM to RL, March 1, 1983

She writes him that she has heard from Floria that Robby was not well last year.  She asks for further information on his health.

30 – Letter—RL to MEM, March 4, 1983

He replies that he had a sort of spasm and has been under proper care ever since.  His wife has had a lousy year with dental issues and infections, but they are all three going to Italy in May.

31 – Note—MEM to RL, March 15, 1983

Written on prescription pad, she hopes that they can meet in Italy in May when they'll both be there.

32 – Notice—Forecast of Paperbacks from Publishers Weekly re Reflections, June 27-July 2 [1967?]

33 – Program—Myrna Loy/Claude Dauphin at the Tappan Zee Playhouse in The Marriage-Go-Round, August, 1961

34 – News clipping: Jane Fonda, n.d.

Folder 6-B.2 – Carson's People – Robert Lantz, 1995-2006

1 – RL to MEM, March 23, 1995


2 – MEM to RL, April 11, 1995

3 – MEM to RL, May 13, 1995

4 – RL to MEM, May 15, 1995

5 – MEM to RL, May 25, 1995

6 – Postcard , RL to MEM, June 2, 1995

7 – RL to MEM, June 6, 1996

8 – MEM to RL, September 23, 1996

9 – RL to MEM, October 9, 1996

10 – RL to MEM, June 3, 1998

11 – MEM to RL, July 12, 1998

12 – RL to MEM, July 13, 1998

13 – MEM to RL, July 20, 1998

14 – RL to MEM, June 7, 1999

15 – RL to MEM, November 8, 1999

This includes several newspaper clippings, and a note from Dr. Mercer concerning a translation of Illuminations and Nightglare into French, a recently discovered letter from Reeves to Carson in Normandy, a visit of Julie Harris to 131, and Robby's upcoming operation.


16 – RL to FL, May 15, 2000

This is a copy of a letter to Floria Lasky, written from his hospital bed after surgery.  He had seen an article about Dr. Mercer's plans for Carson's house in Nyack and wants to share his view with Floria.  He says in part, "There was the house and the memories and what it all means for those of us who were privileged to know and to love her.  She was one of the most impossible characters ever to walk and she has not changed in death.  She has not frittered away our love and admiration in vain.  Mary has my admiration for what she is planning and has planned and what she will bequeath on the future."

17 – RL to MEM, Jun 15, 2000

Robby sends a press release of the publication of the French collected Carson McCullers by Gallimard.

18 – RL to MEM, January 22, 2001

This empty envelope was used by Dr. Mercer to make some notes in January of 2002 about sending a package to Robby at his office.

19 – RL to MEM, December 28, 2001

20 – RL to MEM, May 20, 2002

This covered a copy of the French edition of Clock Without Hands.

21 – RL to MEM, June 5, 2003

22 – Yahoo map of the location of Robby's office with notes on phone number, suite number, and tentative plans to meet for lunch, October 20, 2003

23 – MEM to RL, January, 2004

This includes the notes from a telephone call from Robby about an article in the New York Post on real estate in Nyack, along with the draft of letter to Robert Lantz asking him to send her a copy, and the article itself

24 – MEM to RL, January 10, 2004

25 – Sherlee Lantz to RL, January 13, 2004

This is a copy of an e-mail that includes references to the production of Carson McCullers (Historically Inaccurate)

26 – RL to Dong Xu, March 31, 2004

This e-mail concerns the possible publication of a Chinese translation of the works of Carson McCullers and has Dong Xu's original note attached.

27 – RL to FL, March 24, 2004

This informs Floria Lasky about the proposed translation.

28 – Sarah Ramey to Dong Xu, March 29, 2004

The agent's office is asking for more information.

29 – RL to Dong Xu, April 2, 2004

Robby asks for yet more information.

30 – Dong Xu to RL, April 4, 2004

31 – RL to Dong Xu, April 6, 2004

32 – RL to Dong Xu, April 26, 2004

Yet more questions.

33 – RL to MEM, April 28, 2004

This fax includes exchanges of e-mails regarding the proposed Chinese translation.

34 – RL to MEM, April 30, 2004

Yet more e-mail exchanges regarding the proposed Chinese translation.

35 – Cathy Fussell to RL, September 24, 2004

This letter from the director of the Carson McCullers Center in Columbus, Georgia thanks Robby for meeting with her and Rex Whiddon of the Columbus State University Foundation the prior week.

36 – RL to MEM, September 25, 2004

This is a copy of the Smith-McCullers House Museum in Columbus with an enclosure card from Robert Lantz.  Dr. Mercer wrote on the card, "He stirred Floria up to call me re C's file drawer & Paul Le Clerk.  1-212-597-0200 Cathy & ? in NYC"

37 – RL to MEM, Letter with copy of the Houghton Mifflin new edition of The Mortgaged Heart, with a photograph of Carson that he had not seen before, October 12, 2004

38 – Sarah Gabert of Houghton Mifflin to MEM enclosing their 2005 catalog, "which Robert Lantz thought you might enjoy," November 30, 2004

39 – MEM to RL, Newspaper clipping of December 19, 2004

40 – MEM to RL, December 21, 2004

41 – RL to MEM, December 27, 2004

42 – Russian-language news clipping about Carson McCullers, 2004

Folder 6-B.3 – Carson's People – Robert Lantz, 2005-2006

1 – MEM to RL, January 13, 2005

2 – MEM to RL, January 20, 2005

This concerns a Russian translation of Illumination and Night Glare and includes some e-mails concerning the issue.

3 – Joan R. Mertens to RL, January 24, 2005

4 – RL to Olga Tugusheva, January 28, 2005

5 – RL to Carlos Dews, January 28, 2005

6 – RL to MEM (?), February 5, 2005

This is a clipping from the February 5, 2005 New York Times Book Review of Sherrill Tippins' book, The February House.

7 – Olga Tugusheva to RL, February 8, 2005

8 – RL to MEM, February 22, 2005

9 – Ryan Mann to MEM, February 24, 2005

This enclosed a copy of February House by Sherril Tippins.

10 – MEM to RL, February 26, 2005

This fax includes a New Yorker cartoon and a note saying that she is reading February House with great pleasure.

11 – RL to MEM, March 3, 2005

This fax is a copy of the description of the Carson McCullers collection from the University of Texas.

12 – MEM to Ryan Mann, March 4, 2005

13 – RL to MEM, March 11, 2005

This fax includes Carson's 1953 travel piece, The Great Eaters of Georgia, just published for the first time.

14 – Joan Mertens to Maya Tugusheva, March 25, 2005

15 – RL to Tugusheva, March 28, 2005

16 – RL to Joan Mertens, March 29, 2005

17 – Gerry to Dennis, March 31, 2005

This fax is a review of the new production of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

18 – Notes by Dr. Mercer with projected royalties from the Oprah Winfry choice of Heart at her book of the month club.  This is not dated, but was with March, 2005 materials.

19 – RL to MEM, April 6, 2005

20 – Olga Tugusheva to Joan Mertens, April 7, 2005

21 – RL to MEM, April 14, 2005

22 – RL to MEM, April 6

23 – Houghton Mifflin via The Lantz Office to MEM, May 2, 2005

This enclosed a copy of the Dutch language translation of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

24 – RL to MEM, May 5, 2005

25 – MEM to RL, May 17,2005

This fax covers a letter from Cathy Fussell about the production of Heart in Columbus, Georgia.

26 – RL to MEM, May 18, 2005

27 – Maya Tugusheva to Joan Mertens, June 6, 2005

28 – Olga Tugusheva to Joan Mertens, June 6, 2005

29 – MEM to Dr. [Maya Tugusheva], June 10, 2005

This is probably a draft of a thank-you letter in which Dr. Mercer thanks Dr. Tugusheva for the autographed copy of the Russian translation of Illumination and Night Glare.

30 – Maya Tugusheva to Joan Mertens, July 8, 2005

31 – Houghton Mifflin via The Lantz Office to MEM, October 7, 2005

This enclosed a copy of the Korean language translation of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

32 – RL to MEM, December 20, 2006

 

 

Box 14 -- Series 6-C Carson's People – Floria Lasky -- Folder 6-C-0 thru 6-C-1971


Folder 6-C-0 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1967-1986 and n.d.

This folder contains undated and miscellaneous material related to Floria Lasky which was not included in Dr. Mercer's detailed inventory.  There are notes concerning the return of "Carson's Archives" as a result of Mercer's legal action against the estate; notes about either Carson McCullers' grave or that of her sister Rita; why two of the Dictaphone recording sessions are at Texas; changes in the copyright laws in 1978; change of address announcements for Floria Lasky's law firm; a thank-you note from Floria for Mercer's sympathy note on the death of Lasky's mother in 1986; psychological notes about Lasky; notes on Mercer's feelings about Carson McCullers possessions and fear of being possessed by them.

In the following folders, each year has a photocopy of Dr. Mercer's detailed index, with any processor's notes in pencil. The folders were originally numbered sequentially (Folder 6-C-1, Folder 6-C-2, etc.) up to the year 1978, when she began to use the year instead (Folder 6-C-1979 through 1994).  For the sake of convenience, all the folders end with the year or year span rather than change the schema in mid series.

Folder 6-C – Carson's People – Floria Lasky (During Carson's Lifetime), 1958-1967

     1958

0. – FL to James A. McNally re: Lecture by Carson at Colorado State University on April 16th. January 15, 1958

1. Audrey Wood to Floria Lasky: Broadcast to Europe. Mar 28, 1958

This is an invitation for Carson McCullers to be interviewed for an American Committee for Liberation program on her works to be broadcast from Munich to the Soviet Union.  She would be expected to do this either for free or for a very small fee.

2. FL to Carson re: AW's letter, which was attached. April 1, 1958

3. Floria to MEM: C's insurance cancelled; Dr. bills. Nov. 13, 1958

This letter details the effective date of cancellation and refers to various outstanding medical bills. Dr. Mercer's notes on the letter include her suggestions and a plan of action.

4. Notes re Continental Casualty Insurance.  [No date, but Dr. Mercer placed it immediately after the letter above]

5. MEM to FL: re doctor bills. Nov 24, 1958

This letter discusses Dr. Mercer's thoughts as outlined in her notes about a strategy to deal with both the medical bills mentioned by FL and an offer from Dr. Mercer to defer her own bills for CMC's psychiatric treatment treatments until after the new novel is published or until FL feels that CMC's financial situation warrants it.  Both the typed letter and the carbon are present.


     1959

1.0 FL to MEM re: doctor bills. May 14, 1959

Floria asks Dr. Mercer's assistance in reducing C's outstanding bills of $510 for her surgery in late 1958 and her bill for $245 owed to Dr. Bailey.

1.1 MEM to FL: re doctor bills; How to get her Blue Cross/Blue Shield. May 17, 1959

This letter is a detailed discussion CMC's medical needs and her financial situation.

1.2 MEM to FL: Insurance agent & details re hospitalization. Sept. 3, 1959

This letter makes some suggestions to FL regarding a claim for loss of income and other details, including the advantages of getting Blue Cross and Blue Shield and dropping the more expensive policies.

1.3 Note on meeting with FL, C, Jordan & MEM re Clock; Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Dec. 1, 1959

     [There were no materials from 1960 in this file.]

     1961

1.0 FL to MEM: Happy Birthday. June 6, 1961

1.1 MEM to FL: Thank you, C's hand surgery, Wed. [in June of 1961]

This is a draft which thanks FL for her birthday greetings and a detailed account of McCullers' hand surgery and Mercer's help in financial matters.

     1962

1.0 FL to MEM: re Blue Cross. March 21, 1962

[1.0.a FL to C.M.: re revisions to her will. March 21, 1962]

1.1 FL to MEM: re Blue Cross. August 6, 1962

1.2 FL to MEM: re Blue Cross. September 4, 1962

     1963

1.0 Calliope Records to FL: C's reading. January 21, 1963

1.1 FL to CM: Calliope reading. January 15, 1963

1.2 MEM to David Warsaw: CPA; Dates of hospital. May 4, 1963

1.3 FL to MEM: Birthday telegram. June 7, 1963

1.4 FL to MEM: Handwritten travel itinerary [presumably of FL's trip to Italy and London in June and July]. June 15, 1963


     1964

1.0 FL to C.M.: Letter of instruction re will. July 15, 1964

This letter refers to updating Carson McCullers' will.

1.1 FL to MEM: re arrangement for signing will. July 16, 1964


     [There were no materials from 1965 nor 1966 in this file.]

     1967

1.0 Dr. [Marvin G.] Osofsky to FL: Letter re services. September 7, 1967

This includes his bill for medical services rendered, and his comments on McCullers' prognosis.

[There is no 1.1 in Dr. Mercer's index]

1.2 Dr. Osofsky's bill 8/19/67-9/5/67, $350. September 7, 1967

1.3 FL to MEM: re payment advice. September 15, 1967

1.4 FL to MEM: Dr. Sperlings' $25. September 19, 1967


Folder 6-C – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1967

1.0 Thomson & McKinnon to FL: re stock. October 2, 1967

This letter includes a list of all securities held by the broker in Carson McCullers' account as of Friday, September 29, 1967.

1.1 FL to MEM: re consent to pay Jordan's legacy. October 11, 1967

This letter discusses paying the "$1,000 dollar legacy to Jordan Masse which Carson had deleted from the will."

1.2 MEM to FL: Signed consent. October 13, 1967

1.3 FL to MEM: Carson's will. October 18, 1967

This is a cover note from FL with the "conformed copy of Carson's will" attached, dated 8th November, 1964.

1.4 MEM to RL: November 9, 1967

This letter refers to salutes to Carson; sending Margaret Sullivan's letter; C's autobiography; C's papers safe in one spot; a visit of Gladys Hill the day before. [There is a photocopy of this letter in the

Robert Lantz file, 6-B-1962-1983]

1.5 List of Carson's things I wish. November 13, 1967

This consists of a cover letter (carbon copy) to FL regarding a preliminary list of items Dr. Mercer requested from among Carson's belongings. Attached to the letter are two draft lists, one hand-written and

the other a carbon copy of a typed list with notes giving a room-by-room description with notes about how or whether Carson used the items.

1.6. FL to Lamar: would he insist on sale of C's things. November 17, 1967

This letter discusses various options for settling the estate, i.e., sale of possessions, mutually agreed division of effects, etc.

1.7 RL to FL: re "Illuminations & Night Glare"; Xerox copies for us all; Cataloging. November 21, 1967

This letter discusses the possibility of a complete manuscript of an autobiography of Carson McCullers existing "down in the Nyack house" and how it might be dealt with.

1.8 FL to RL: News clipping; Session in Nyack; Carson's papers. November 22, 1967

This letter refers to clippings from British newspapers (not present), presumably about Carson McCullers' death, as well as plans to meet in Nyack on December 2, 1962, "at which time Rita, Mary and I will be making many decisions. . ." There is also reference to the shipment of McCullers' literary papers to FL's law office.

1.9 MEM to RL: re "Illuminations & Night Glare"; returned my copy; Margaret Sullivan; Duke. November 29, 1967

This letter (carbon copy) discusses the draft of Carson McCullers' autobiography, the disposition of MEM's copy of it, and a proposal from Margaret Sullivan that they consider Duke University as the repository of CMC's papers.

1.10 MEM to FL: Margaret Sullivan; Reflections. November 29, 1967

This letter (carbon copy) included MEM's correspondence with Margaret Sullivan, and her reaction to the movie of Reflections in a Golden Eye.

1.11 FL to Ida: re salary. December 6, 1967

This is a carbon copy of a letter from Floria Lasky to Ida Reeder, Carson McCullers' housekeeper, who was still in the house at 131 S. Broadway.

1.12 FL to Rita: keeping Ida on until end of year. December 6, 1967

1.13 MEM to NS: Telephone conversation re house. December 19, 1967

This sheet of paper contains extensive notes on conversations concerning the disposition of the house at 131 S. Broadway, as well issues relating to Carson's grave.

Folder 6-C-1968 (1) – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, January-June, 1968

2.0 FL to Ida: re salary; operation; things. January 17, 1968


2.1 FL to Rita & Lamar: re MEM buying house (3 copies), January 26, 1968

This letter explains to the other heirs MEM's offer to buy they shares of CMC's house, paying $32,000 which was the higher of two appraisal received. One of the copies has shorthand notes on the back.

2.2 MEM to NS: Rita's response re furniture; Jack's saying re appraisal. January 28, 1968

This letter gives Dr. Mercer's impression to Mr. Nathan Sales of Rita Smith's reaction to the proposed sale of the house, and the comments of "Jack" [poobably John Dobbins] about the possibly premature removal of items from the house before they were appraised.

2.3 MEM to FL: List of furnishings I took; Aztec head; Returned shawl to Sherlee; Pier table; blue velvet chair. February 7, 1968

Letter detailed items removed and actions still pending.  The full list of items removed, and which room they came from, is attached.

2.4 Mary Tucker to MEM: re Carson's letters. March 30, 1968

This is a copy of a letter from Mary Tucker (Carson's piano teacher in Columbus) to MEM discussing her collection of letters "from Carson, from her mother, from Reeves and quite a number from you!" and their impending sale to Duke University. Tucker also talks about her feelings regarding Carson McCullers and her death, as well as family matters. The paper is very brittle and fragile. [This is a more legible copy of this letter and the reply which follows that is also in Folder 2-M – Virginia Carr.]

2.5 MEM to Mary Tucker: re Carson's letters. April 1, 1968

This letter requests that Mary Tucker destroy MEM's letters and mentions sending Margaret Sullivan's letters to FL on November 29, 1967, q.v.

2.6 MEM to FL: re Carson's letters; minister with C's ms,; Ida thinks Marielle has head; etc. April 1, 1968

This letter discusses MEM's correspondence with Mary Tucker, the CMC manuscript which Carson gave to a minister, Harold Staymer, with instructions to destroy it, Ida Reeder's belief that Marielle Bancou took the Aztec head to have it properly mounted, issues relating to Carson's house, and the Encyclopedia of American Biography concerning Carson McCullers' entry in it.

2.7 MEM to NS on telephone: Notes re house; notes re telephone. April 6, 1968

These 19 pages, torn from various notebooks, contain MEM's notes from telephone conversations with Mr. Sale, her thoughts on various options relating to managing the 131 S. Broadway house, estate issues, drafts of letters, relationship with Rita Smith, etc.

2.8 FL to MEM: re America Historical Company. April 9, 1968

This includes more discussion of Carson McCullers biographical entry for the Encyclopedia of American Biography.

2.9 FL to Marielle: re Aztec. April 9, 1968

This letter requests information on the Aztec head, which was a gift to CMC from John Huston.

2.10 FL to Rita: re Carson's biography. April 9, 1968

2.11 MEM to FL: re inventory of C's furnishings for memorial. May 1, 1968

2.12 MEM to NS: Telephone advice re papers. May 1, 1968

This is a page of rough notes taken during a telephone conversation

2.13 Rita to FL: Carson's papers with list of contents. May 7, 1968

This letter gives an account of what Rita Smith took and what she left in CMC's house, and a statement of her expenses incurred in clearing out the house and moving the literary materials to Robert Lantz' office.  The letter indicates that there was an enclosure consisting of a "two-page list of contents of suitcase containing papers saved by Carson McCullers".  This enclosure was not present at the time of processing.

2.14 FL to MEM: Rita's letter; buffet. May 10, 1968

2.15 FL to Rita: House sold; Inventory (catalog) of C's papers. May 13, 1968

Floria thanks Rita for her "most remarkable job" clearing out the house before the closing of the sale to MEM. Mentions choosing "the House of El-Dieff for an inventory of Carson's papers", who's staff person Mr. Friedman had done Dorothy Thompson's papers.

2.16 MEM to FL: American Biography request. May 28, 191968

2.17 MEM to American Biography. May 28, 1968

2.18 MEM to FL: Jack says Marielle has Aztec head. May 28, 1968

2.19 FL to MEM: $5,000 ½ bequest. June 3, 1968

2.20 FL to MEM: Aztec; Bills for 131. June 3, 1968

2.21 FL to Rita, Lamar & MEM: $5,000-residuary. June 3, 1968

2.22 FL to Rita: holding up estate. June 3, 1968

This letter explains why the estate has not yet been settled and details what remains to be done before it can be settled.

2.23 MEM to FL: re bills at 131. June 11, 1968

2.24 MEM to FL: re bills at 131. June 17, 1968

2.25 FL to James McDermott: re bills at 131. June 18, 1968

2.26 MEM to FL: re bills at 131. June 21, 1968

This is a note written at the bottom of a note from Kilby & Lake, Inc. dated June 19, 1968, concerning an unpaid utility bill, which is attached.

2.27 FL to MEM: re bills at 131. June 20, 1968

2.28 FL to MEM: re bills at 131. June 24, 1968

This letter concerns the pending utility bills.

2.29 MEM to FL: re bills at 131. June 26, 1968

This letters mentions the utility bills; Carson's grave in Oak Tree Cemetery; Robert Lantz and Carson's papers; and a pending letter regarding Carson's things, including the Aztec head.


Folder 6-C-1968 (2) – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, July-December, 1968

2.30 FL to MEM: Publicity re Heart. July 11, 1968

Floria's letter has an attached release from Warner Brother's Seven Arts.

2.31 MEM to FL: Rita cleaned out house; inventory of C's things (May 1). July 16, 1968

This letter discusses MEM's reactions to finding the house empty after the closing. She did not expect it to be empty, she "did not understand why Rita wrote to you that she had moved everything as a favor to you", she did not understand why the estate paid for the moving and storage of everything that Rita took; and she requested "an inventory of Caron's personal effects and their disposition as I asked in my May 1st letter."

2.32 FL to RL: Mr. Feldman re C's papers; introduction. July 17, 1968

This letter (a carbon copy to MEM) informs Robert Lantz that Mr. Feldman from the House of El-Dieff will arrive at RL's office to look at Carson's paper and prepare an estimate of what he would charge to make an inventory. If she is not there when arrives, she asks RL "to make sure that your office knows he's coming, who he is and where he is to go."

2.33 FL to Marielle: Pascal's legacy & Aztec. July 19, 1968

2.34 FL to MEM: Re Heart; my letter 7/16/68 perplexed her; everyone's cooperation if memorial; personal possessions; Marielle re Inca head – took it back (2 copies). August 7, 1968

2.35 Travis order for grave marker. September 12, 1968

This is the acknowledgement of order from the estate of Carson McCullers from C.M. Travis Inc, Cemetery Memorials, for her headstone, which cost $295.

2.36 FL to Houghton Mifflin (Austin Orey): copyrights. September 16, 1968

This letter concerns the renewal of the copyright of Reflections in a Golden Eye, which has been renewed in Floria's executorial name as executrix of the Carson McCullers estate.  She also gave notice to Houghton, Mifflin that she was "under strict obligation to explore the marketplace with a view toward endeavoring to procure the most favorable contractual terms reasonably possible under the circumstances" and asking Houghton, Mifflin to advise her whether they would be interested in submitting a proposal for such publication rights.

2.37 FL to Rita & MEM: Grave marker. September 16, 1968

2.38 MEM to FL: Hope people will cooperate; Aztec, long overdue; personal possessions; insurance coverage?; Grave marker. September 17, 1968

MEM says that the problem about Carson's things has resolved itself, and she hopes that everyone will cooperate on the memorial.  She also says that Jack and Ida do not remember the Aztec head being returned, and asks Floria to ask Marielle to search again both in Paris and New York for it.  She also asks that if it has disappeared, would Carson's insurance cover its loss, as well as her gold Zippo cigarette lighter.  She also says that Carson's house has been washed and it glistens.  She also requested that the months of Caron's birth and death not be abbreviated on the grave marker.

2.39 FL to Travis: grave marker. September 18, 1968

Request to spell out the months on the grave marker.

2.40 FL to Rita, Lamar & MEM: Stocks at C's death; EFIT tax due Dec.; 32,000 for house. October 4, 1968

This letter gives a status report on the estate.  A list of stocks as of the close of business of the Friday before Carson's death, the Estate Federal Income Tax (EFIT) coming due in December, the sale of 131 S. Broadway, and that there had been other receipts and expenses which will be reflected in the accountants' statement.

2.41 FL to MEM: Send SS #. October 10, 1968

2.42 MEM to FL: What's new; Dawn Langley Hall; I finished "The Visit". November 22, 1968

2.43 FL to Ashley Famous Agency: uncashed check $225. December 4, 1968

Requests the re-issuance of a check dated January 21, 1966 from the Ashley Famous Agency to Carson McCullers which had been found in a box of her papers after her death.

2.44 FL to MEM: telephone misc. December 9, 1968

These notes were made on a sheet of notebook during a telephone conversation with Floria Lasky.  They discussed the insurance coverage of the Aztec head and the cigarette lighter mentioned above, as well various estate/financial issues including potential uses of Carson's works, the sale of her letters and a sketch of her by Henry Varnum Poor.

2.45 Warshaw to FL: E. tax Return: net $72,125.47. December 17, 1968

2.46 FL to Warshaw: Sale of stock to cover. December 18, 1968

2.47 FL to Rita, Lamar & Mary. December 18, 1968

This letter enclosed the letter from David Warshaw (above) who prepared the estate tax return.  The gross estate value was $387,835.95 from which deductions and exemptions of $101,914.18 were made, leaving a taxable estate of $285,921.77.  Further details would be available after the holidays.  A note in MEM's handwriting indicates that she sent a copy to Mr. Sale.

2.47a David Warshaw to FL: letter to IRS 1 yr from date of application if applied for by Executrix, December 26, 1968

This was marked as item 2.52 in Dr. Mercer's index, but has been moved here to correspond with date order.

2.48 FL [but signed by Harold J. Sherman] to MEM: 5,000 residuary. December 27, 1968

2.49 H. Sherman to MEM: 5,000 legacy. December 27, 1968

2.50 Release of estate: re 10,000 legacy. December 27, 1968

2.51 Sample copy of U.S. Estate Tax Returns, newspaper article re C. will. December 27, 1968

This also had several newspaper clippings and articles concerning estate taxes, duties of executors, and estate planning in general.

2.52 See item 2.47a above.

2.53 Harold J. Sherman to MEM: $5,000. December 27, 1968

This item consists of copies of items 2.48-2.50 above.


Folder 6-C-1969 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1969

3.0 FL to David W: Like to expedite. January 6, 1969

Barring disadvantageous effects, Floria wants to expedite the determination of the estate tax so that she could distribute to the residuary legatees their share of the estate, at least as of that time.

3.1 MEM to FL; how to report 20 M. January 21, 1969

Asks Floria how to report the $20,000 [actually $10,000] received from the estate for Federal income Tax purposes.

3.2 FL to MEM. February 14, 1969

Floria replies that probably the first $5,000 would be taxable as income in 1968, but the second $5,000 would be taxable in 1969 because the estate fiscal year ends in September.

3.3 MEM to FL: Mr. Sale needs Schuldenfrei's statement [for her taxes]. February 24, 1969

3.4 FL to MEM: Probably the entire amount; Have Mr. Sale call him [Mr. Schuldenfrei]. February 25, 1969

3.5 Warshaw to MEM: Beneficiary share of income form. March 11, 1969

3.6 FL to Travis: Payment for grave marker. April 7, 1969

3.7 RL to MEM: Happy Birthday. June 5, 1969

3.8 MEM to RL: Thank you. June 11, 1969

3.9 MEM to FL. July 28, 1969

This letter concerns Carson's papers and Rita's work on arranging them, as well as how and when to put a value on them and when to make the decision as to their disposition. "I do not see how any offer can be accepted for Carson's papers before we all understand exactly what we are selling." In a postscript she asks again about the Aztec head given to Carson by John Huston.

3.10 FL to MEM. July 31, 1969

In her reply Floria agrees that Rita has been doing a great job, aided by Joyce Hartman, whose interest has been in helping cull the appropriate material for publication. Floria thinks that the Texas offer for the purchase of the physical papers was a good one, but doesn't know if it is still open.


Folder 6-C-1970 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1970

4.0 RL to MEM. January 7, 1970

Robert Lantz writes about their progress on the proposed volume of posthumous work by Carson as well as beginning to look for the right biographer for Carson.  He also refers to MEM's unique position and his hopes that "the right biographer will eventually be able to get from you, within the boundaries of ethical propriety, the details of the story of the many illnesses, the many operations the many triumphs in the long war for life that she fought and always always always won."  He also expresses his secret hope that she would write it down or dictate herself in her own words.  He also says that as some time when she was in the Harkness Pavilion, Carson showed him a bundle of pages, supposedly the transcripts of the analysis she had gone through with MEM. He took them with him overnight, at her insistence and "there were marvelous scenes in the Brooklyn house, scenes with Gypsy Rose Lee, the whole involvement with gangsters, etc.  They had vitality, directness, immense humor and of course are now of great historic value."  He also says that they should become part of the material to be available to an approved biographer.  A man named John L. Brown had been recommended but he understood that Brown and Carson had had a falling out.  He concludes with family news and personal travel plans.

4.1 – FL to Rita, Lamar, MEM: 100 GF lost shares. January 26, 1970

This letter concerns the procedures to replace 100 shares of General Food stock lost by Carson a number of years earlier.

4.2 – MEM to FL: Jack told Bernie Shedd; Why didn't brokers sign. February 2, 1970

MEM's reply says that Jack informed her that Bernie Shedd always kept Carson's stock certificates.  She also asks why the brokers, Thomason and McKinnon, didn't sign instead of the heirs, since none of them had ever had any responsibility for the shares in questions.

4.3 – FL to MEM: Not lost by brokers; payment to Rita re papers; 5000 HM film pays half; H-M pays estate $15,000. February 4, 1970

Floria's reply is that the brokers never had the stock certificate, so they couldn't be asked to sign an indemnity.  The basis for asking the heirs to sign is because they will receive the benefits from the stock.  Floria also asks that Rita be compensated from the estate for preparing Carson's papers for review.  Rita asked for $5,000, of which Houghton-Mifflin agree to pay half and the estate would pay half, if agreeable to all. In addition to the $2,500 for Rita, H-M will pay a $15,000 advance to the estate.

4.4 – MEM to RL: John L. Brown; Mystery; Flowering Dream; Confidential. February 10, 1970

This letter concerns the falling out mentioned by Lantz in his letter of January 7.  John L. Brown was a good friend of Carson and Reeves in Paris.  He was an attaché at the American Embassy in Paris and later in Rome, where he was also helpful to them. Carson's falling out was with John's wife, Simone, not him.  Lantz had solved a mystery for MEM concerning a manuscript Floria had asked her about called "Flowering Dream".  The only such title MEM knew was the one published in Esquire in 1959.  What he read while Carson was in the hospital was not a manuscript, but part of Carson's psychiatric record.  MEM continues, "Her psychiatric records, like those of any other psychiatric patient, are strictly confidential.  Carson and I became friends socially after her psychiatric treatment was terminated.  We remained friends, as you know, throughout all of those roller-coaster years.  There are no secrets to be responsible for in those last remaining years, just 'illumination and night glare.'"

4.5 – MEM to FL: Paragraph 7 of Carson's will – re Rita. February 10, 1970

4.6 – FL to MEM: Compensation re editing; What should be done; definition of literary executor vs. editor; not editor. February 13, 1970

Floria's reply defines the roles and activities of a literary executor and the editing activities necessary to organize and prepare manuscripts for eventual publication and disposition.  The envelope has MEM's note, presumably from a telephone conversation with Mr. Sale, "Floria could pay Rita from her executor's fee."

4.7 – MEM to FL: You don't mind my ?; Paying Rita. February 16, 1970

4.8 – MEM to FL: Mr. Sale to report 1969 FIT; Her [Carson's] birthday. February 19, 1970

MEM asks Floria to confirm whether Mr. Sale should report anything in the 1969 for Federal Income Tax purposes from Carson's estate.  She also notes that Carson "would have been 53 year old today".

4.9 – RL to MEM: C wouldn't talk; Dictaphone; Planned to publish it; Later-didn't go back. February 27, 1970

This letter from Robert Lantz refers to issues in MEM's letter of February 10th, including Carson's plans to write an autobiography and her use of the transcribed sessions in that process.

4.10 – MEM to RL: not sent [on advice of] Mr. Sale. No date [but in early March, 1970]

This unsent draft explains why MEM did not consider the transcripts as literature.  She also says that the idea of recording the sessions was Carson's, arising from her concern about how to pay for the treatments "so that a book could be published someday to support the therapy.  It was her idea of killing two birds with one stone & it made her very happy."  She continued, "Those conversations between us had their proper place, were used up by Carson in her own way, & that is why she did not go back to that material or the title when she came to start to write her autobiography."

There is a note on draft dated 3/6/70 indicating that Mr. Sale's advice was "don't answer. He is not on your side."

4.11 – Warshaw: Beneficiary Share. March 11, 1970

Photocopy of Schedule E (Form 1041) showing taxable income of 583.59 from the estate of Carson McCullers.  There is a note that a copy was sent to Mr. Sale on 3/11/70.

4.12 – FL to MEM: Columbia re Member. June 22, 1970

Floria repeats an invitation to have dinner with her when MEM is in town.  She also enclosed copies of an extension of Columbia Pictures' right to exhibit The Member of the Wedding in consideration of the payment provided for I Paragraph 4.  She asks MEM to sign all five copies and return to FL as soon as possible.

4.13 – MEM to FL: Signed. June 23, 1970

Photocopy of MEM's cover letter returning the signed agreement.

4.14 – MEM to FL: Ida's material from V. Carr. Sunday, August, 1970

4.15 – Virginia M Carr's questionnaire on Carson, undated

This is the 9-page questionnaire sent to Ida alluded to in the item above, with a 4-page cover letter from Virginia Carr explaining what she would like to know and how she intended to use.

4.16 – FL to MEM: Advance Lamar $5,000. September 23, 1970

Floria informs MEM that the estate is advancing Lamar $5,000 for medical reasons and offers to advance a similar amount to the other heirs, "However, there are tax consequences..."  On September 25, 1970 MEM added 5 notes to Floria's incoming letter, probably during a telephone conversation with Floria: 1) Understand re tax payment. Don't want money. 2) Rita has been thru several versions of introduction. 3) Didn't know Rita had made an inventory. (I said I would like a copy) told her Mrs. Carr has one. Lamar has one. 4) No mention of "Member". 5) Emily OK.

4.17 – FL to Lamar: Check for 5,000. September 23, 1970

4.18 – Columbia Pictures: re Member. September 28, 1970

4.19 – FL to MEM: Sign above re Member; Rita wants to sell Pier table. October 19, 1970

This letter from Floria asks MEM to sign the enclosed supplemental amendment with Columbia Pictures for their 15-year right to distribute The Member of the Wedding, after which they would have to pay an additional $5,000.  In a P.S. she mentions that Rita wants to sell the pier table, and has sent it to Yonder Hill Antique Dealers for appraisal.  She will let MEM know the amount for which it is appraised, should she want to buy it.

4.20 – MEM to Mr. Sale: Ask Floria to give you Fed. Appraisal for Inheritance Tax on pier table, telephone. October 19, 1970

4.21 – MEM to FL: Columbia; Will buy pier table; House painted. October 20, 1970

MEM tells FL that she has signed the Columbia papers.  She also says that she is interested in buying the table "and any other things that Rita wants to sell from the house.  The house has been painted and it looks beautiful!  Carson would be so pleased with it."  In a P.S. she says, Mr. Sale wonders what appraisal value you put on the pier table for the Federal Inheritance Tax?"  There are also notes on the copy that say, "cc to Mr. Sale" and "Compare Tippy's appraisal with insurance list."

4.22 – FL to MEM: Columbia; Rita's check; Broken trim. November 2, 1970

FL thanks MEM for the signed Columbia papers and the check for Rita (for the table) which FL has sent on her.  She asked Rita to look in her apartment for the broken piece of trim for the table.

4.23 – Bessie Poor & V. Carr; Notes, Carson's papers. December, 1970

This sheet of paper has MEM's draft a letter to Bessie (Bernice) Poor concerning Virginia Carr's visit to Henry Varnum Poor's widow.  This letter is filed in Series 2-Carson's People, Virginia Carr - Folder 2-M, item 4.  The lower part of the sheet contains a draft of letter to FL containing these phrases, "Carson's papers – before any decision re disposal like to be informed and consulted.  Legacy.  As part of estate:  Don't lose control."


Folder 6-C-1971 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1971

5.0 – MEM to FL: Let me know re Rita; Bessie Poor re V. Carr; NS wants FETR; List of Carson's papers; keep me informed; Member. February 1, 1971

This letter referred ti  Rita Smiths health crisis; Virginia Carr's contact with Bessie, the widow of Henry Varnum Poor; the need of MEM's accountant for the Federal Estate Tax Return; requests a copy of the list of Carson's papers; refers to the planned opening of the Member of the Wedding in Washington, DC in April.  She concludes by saying, "As you can see, I feel very much out of touch with Carson's affairs.  I would appreciate it if you would bring me up to date.  I hope your Mexican trip was a great success & everyone is well."

5.1 – FL to MEM: Rita's heart attack; Asked accountants for FETR, Carson's papers – Valued when asked not to; Quarrel with tax; Member. February 3, 1971

In this letter Floria apologizing for not returning MEM's phone call of the day before.  She explains that she only read about Rita after the crisis had passed.  She has asked the accountants to send her extra copies of the Federal estate tax return and will send MEM a coy as soon as she receives it.  Floria will have a Xerox copy of the list of Carson's papers, but cautions that the man did a messy job of cataloging her paper and also got them involved in dealing with an offer he made for the papers.  He came highly recommended, but "we did not do very well with him."  Floria also says that the accountants are quarreling with the tax authorities in certain evaluations, etc.  She concludes by mentioning the Member of the Wedding musical plans.  Attached to the letter are notes in MEM's hand, "Mad-reply immediately.  Embarrassed.  Distasteful.  Mr. Sale 1. When:, 2 anything wrong?; Counting/No money/ Jealous"

5.2 – MEM to FL: No FETR yet; copy of Carson's papers; copy of Rita list. March 5, 1971

Dr. Mercer thanks Floria for her letter of February 3, and then proceeds to say, "So far I have not received a copy of the Federal Estate Tax return nor a copy of the list of Carson's papers. Also, I would like a copy of the listing Rita made, which Mrs. Carr had.  When can I expect them?  Is anything wrong?"  She concludes by mentioning that "Rita has asked me to see Al Carmines' new opera with her tomorrow night.  She sounds much better."

5.3 – FL to MEM: FETR contested; 2 valuations of papers or copyrights; Enclosed copy of El Dieff. March 18, 1971

Floria reiterated that the FETR is delayed due to their being contested.  There is a substantial argument about the evaluation of archives and copyrights.  She also enclosed a copy of a 24-page, 362 item list of Carson's papers made by the person from the House of El Dieff.

5.4 – MEM to NS: FETR, inventory. March 19, 1971

In this letter MEM tells her accountant why the FETR is late, and makes several comments about the list of papers she had received, especially concerning a Henry Varnum Poor pen & ink sketch listed there, as well as "transcripts of dictated mediations during analysis."  There are also some notes in shorthand dated 3/23/71 on the edge of the page.

5.5 – Schuldenfrei to FL: Protesting tax assessment. March 22, 1971

5.6 – FL to Rita, Lamar & MEM: Will press them, Requested copy of FETR. March 24, 1971

Floria discusses the delay in the settlement of the will, and promises to press the accountants, but does not want to cause any detrimental result to the Estate.  In a P.S. to MEM she says that she has requested a copy of the Estate Tax Return from the Warshaw office for her.

5.7 – MEM to FL: EI Dieff – Thank you, Want FETR; Rita's list (5/13/68). March 24, 1971

MEM acknowledges FL's letter of March 18.  She reiterates that she still wants a copy of the Federal Estate Tax Return, as well as a copy of the listing Carson's papers that Rita made, the one Mrs. Carr has in her possession.

5.8 – FL to MEM: FETR-40 pages; Rita has no idea of list V.C. has. March 30, 1971

Floria writes, "I understand now why a copy of the Federal Estate Tax Return is so hard to come by.  The accountants have told that it is 40 pages long and that Xeroxing imposes a practical difficulty.  MEM added notes to this letter on 4/5/71: "Didn't want to give it out.  Informed.  Difficulty.  Returns on time.  Properly. Trouble.  Eveone's busy (or lazy?).  May be another 2 years."

5.9 – MEM to Mr. Sale: above correspondence; HVP print. March 31, 1971

MEM sends a copy of the above letter from Floria to Mr. Sale and tells him that she is going to ask for the Henry Varnum Poor picture once they receive the Federal Estate Tax information already requested.

5.10 – MEM to Floria: Mr. Sale has called Mr. S[chuldenfrei]; V Carr's list (5/13/68); HVP painting. April 16, 1971

5.11 – Whit Burnett to R.L.: Like that, May 7, 1971

Discussion of permission given by Whit Burnett on behalf of Story Magazine to publish Carson McCullers' short story, Like That, in exchange for 150 dollars for publication rights in the Houghton-Mifflin book, but not in Redbook, which will require further negotiation.

5.12 – FL to Morris Agency: Re Ballad, Coleen Dewhurst & group offer. April 18, 1971

This letter concerns a potential offer from Jack London for motion picture rights for the Ballad of the Sad Café which would available for "a substantial offer."

5.13 – Lamar to FL: Needing money, 5,000. May 23, 1971

5.14 – FL to MEM: Lamar-5M. May 26, 1971

5.15 – FL to Whit Burnett: copy right. May 27, 1971

This letter concerns Burnett's claim to reimbursement for permission to publish.  She asks him for a copy of the agreement from1936 which give him such right, especially as Story Magazine never published the story.

5.16 – W. Burnett to FL. May 28, 1971

Burnett agrees to sign a release in perpetuity for $150, since the gentleman's agreement wasn't written.

5.17 – FL to RL: re Whit Burnett. June 1, 1971

5.18 – FL to W. Burnett: Thanks. Check. June 2, 1971

5.19 – FL to MEM: Burnett correspondence, Redbook 6,000. June 12, 1971

Floria sends MEM a copy of the exchange of correspondence with Whit Burnett and tells her that the estate will receive at least $6,000 for the story from Redbook and others.

5.20 – FL to Lamar: 5,000-Taxable; Residuary distribution is tax free; borrow-interest is deductible. June 2, 1971

5.21 – FL to MEM: Agreements-Member, 1,000. August 27, 1971

This letter discusses two agreements concerning the musical version of Member of the Wedding.  One refers to the rights in the novel and play; the other applies to the book (libretto) of the musical.  She goes on to say, "I have a total of $1,000.00 for the Estate (before commissions to the Agents) and the total royalty is 2% of the gross receipts for the Libretto and 1% for the underlying rights.  Of course, this is in addition to the share of the Estate in subsidiary rights in and to the musical play.  The Estate's share is one-half of the author's share, which is much better than normal proportion."

5.22 – MEM to FL: Signed; FETR; HVP. September 3, 1971

MEM returns the signed agreements mentioned above and asks again about the Federal Estate Tax Return and the Henry Varnum Poor painting.

5.23 – FL to Schuldenfrei: Checking-37,000; Rita 1,000; Savings 101; When. September 16, 1971

A letter from Floria to Harvey I. Schuldenfrei, the accountant at Warshaw, Sylvester, Burstein, Franks and Lebow about estate matters.  She says, in part, "When, oh when, will this Estate be settled?  Please advise me about the status of it after your October meeting with the Internal Revenue Service."

5.24 – NS to MEM: 2 copies, why is cash uninvested; sent to FL. September 27, 1971

Although Dr. Mercer's index indicates 2 copies, this is a copy of 5.23 with notes from a conversation she had with Mr. Sales dated 9/20 that says, "Floria's answer! -why is all that cash univested?"

5.25 – MEM to FL: Dara. October 10, 1971

This note concerns the health of Floria's daughter, Dara.

5.26 – H.S. to MEM: FETR. October 11, 1971

Excerpts of the Federal Estate Tax Return and audit report, "requested by Mr. Sale."

5.27 – FL to MEM: Dara; Preview of Member. October 15, 1971

Concerns Dara's physical condition, and hopes to hear what MEM thinks of the upcoming preview of the musical version of The Member of the Wedding.

5.28 – MEM to G. Wood. November 4, 1972 [sic, but actually 1971]

This is a sympathy note about the closing of F. Jasmine Adams (the musical version of The Member of the Wedding.

5.29 – MEM to Ted Mann. November 4, 1972 [sic, but actually 1971]

This is a sympathy note about the closing of F. Jasmine Adams (the musical version of The Member of the Wedding).

5.30 – FL to Rita, Lamar, MEM: Settled with IRS; Concluded within 1 mo. November 8, 1971

5.31 – FL to HS: Cking to Savings with interest; 40,000; 8,000 from Mortgaged Heart, November 18, 1971

5.32 – Receipt for H.V.P. December 7, 1971

5.33 – FL to Lamar: List of securities still owned; Divided instead of sold. December 8, 1971

A note by MEM indicates that she sent a copy of this to Mr. Sale on 12/17/71


Box 15 -- Series 6-C Carson's People – Floria Lasky -- Folder 6-C-1972 thru 6-C-1989

Folder 6-C-1972 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1972

6.1 – MEM to Floria: re CARSON'S THINGS. January 31, 1972

This letter is MEM's formal request for everything on the "Inventory of the Carson McCullers Archives – c. 1932-1966" that is a personal possession.  She defines this as "everything which is not strictly classified as a part of Carson's 'literary works or manuscripts' for which Rita and Robby were named as joint literary executors."

6.2 – FL to MEM: re CARSON'S THINGS. February 8, 1972

Floria's response was "Upon receipt of your recent letter I took another look at the inventory of the Carson McCullers archives which was made, and I don't see anything that would qualify as you describe it.  The Henry Varnum Poor picture we, of course, delivered to you.  Will you please take another look at the inventory and advise me specifically what you had in mind."

6.3 – Rita to FL: re being paid as co-executor. February 18, 1972

There are two copies of 6.3.  One has notes from MEM that include 1. Have will, 2. Directions, 3. No right to sell to library, 4. Converting property. Reserve & take care. Rough draft."  There are also underlinings, question marks and other notations.

6.4 – MEM to FL: re CARSON'S THINGS-listed. February 21, 1972

This letter lists eleven number items that Dr. Mercer considered personal property, plus the unnumbered item listed as "Transcripts of dictated meditations during analysis."  There are two copies of this note.  N.B.—These items are the basis for the section called Carson's Archives (Series 5).  Attached to the second one is the detailed listing of these items.

6.5 – FL to MEM: re Rita's request. March 1, 1972

Floria's cover letter enclosed a letter from Rita and said that she has "not yet had an opportunity to review in detail your request concerning the items, but I am sure there is no urgency and I will get to it soon."

6.6 – MEM to FL: re Rita's request and re CARSON'S THINGS-all of them (2 copies). March 8, 1972

MEM reiterates her request for what is due her under Carson's will and asks when she can make arrangements for them to be delivered to me.  She also asks what Rita means by "to finish everything before the papers go to a library."

6.7 – Marked copy of Carson's Things [this item is attached to 6.4]

6.8 – FL to MEM: re Harvey Schuldenfrei's waiting; re CARSON'S THINGS after Easter. March 27, 1972

This letter from Floria discusses the timing of the settlement of the will and concludes, "I have been terribly tied up on a Court matter and have not been able to give any further attention to the matter you raised with me.  I hope to look into it again "in depth" after the Easter Holiday, at which time I will be touch with you."

6.9 – FL to MEM: re U.K. royalties. April 10, 1972

6.10 – Harvey Schuldenfrei to FL: re estate money. April 25, 1972

This letter gives a statement of balances due to the three legatees and mentions the "literary rights which will continue to produce royalty income for some time.  The Will provides for continued administration of these properties by the Executors."

6.11 – FL to H.S.: re estate money. April 27, 1972

6.12 – MEM to FL: re UK royalties. April, 28, 1972

6.13 – L. Pollinger to FL: re UK royalties, June 7, 1972

This asks that MEM's personal tax office countersign the form concerning the UK royalties, which has been returned for signature.

6.14 – Dorothy Horn for FL to MEM: re UK royalties. June 14, 1972

6.15 – Nathan Sale to Int. Rev. Service: re UK royalties. June 22, 1972

6.16 – Copy of UK Income Tax Claim (signed). June 22, 1972

6.17 – MEM to FL: re CARSON'S THINGS. Date to pick up. July 5, 1972

This letter reminds Floria that she had received MEM's request concerning Carson's personal items in January, and the matter is still not resolved.  She asks again for a date when she can have them picked up.

6.18 – Laurence Pollinger: re UK royalties. July 17, 1972

6.19 – FL to Lamar: re $10,000 on account. July 18, 1972

6.20 – FL to MEM: re UK tax form; re CARSON'S THINGS in Sept.; re whole estate. July 21, 1972

Floria says that she has not had time to review once more in detail all of the items in the inventory and that she assumes there is no urgency in any case, and suggests that her request be dealt with when the estate is settled in in September.

6.21 – MEM to FL: re UK tax form; her mother. July 30, 1972

6.22 – R.L. to MEM: re Clock in German. July 18, 1972

6.23 – MEM to R.L. re Clock in German. July 30, 1972

6.24 – MEM to FL: re CARSON'S THINGS-10 to identify. August 1, 1972

MEM asks again for Floria to take the ten minutes necessary to review her request and give a time to pick them up.

6.25 – FL to MEM, Rita & Lamar: re Carson's medical records. August 1, 1972

This letter says that an abstract of Carson's medical record at Presbyterian Hospital runs to some 623 pages and will cost $478.50.  Unless someone objects, she thinks it should be obtained.

6.26 – MEM to FL: re Carson's medical records. August 5, 1972

MEM asks Floria why she thinks Carson's medical records should be obtained.  Attached is another sheet, dated August 10, 1972, stating that she does object, she wants to know why Floria thought it should be obtained, she wants this information before Floria gives her consent.

6.27 – FL to MEM, R. & Lamar: re settling of estate tax; wish cash distribution?; final accounting; stocks. July 31, 1972

This letter informs them that the Estate Tax has been finalized and asks if they would like a preliminary distribution of funds. It also discusses methods of dividing the stock.

6.28 – FL to MEM: re vacation; Her mother; returns Labor Day-final accounting; discuss Carson's Things & resolve; Pollinger tax form. August 2, 1972

6.29 – MEM to FL: postscript re C's abstract at Harkness. August 10, 1972

This is a copy of what is appended to Item 6.26 above.

6.30 – FL to Harvey & cc to Rita, MEM and Lamar: re final distribution. October 3, 1972

6.31 – MEM to FL: Second request re Carson's Things (duplicate of 6.24). October 6, 1972

This was a photocopy of item 6.24, with an annotation: "October 6, 1972. Second request repeated to me this request is independent of all other matters. M."

6.32 – MEM to FL: You work too hard. October 31, 1972

6.33 – FL to Harvey S: re substantial distribution. November 20, 1972

6.34 – MEM to FL: What is wrong. December 11, 1972

This letter reads in its entirety, "Dear Floria, What is wrong?  You don't answer my letters.  You don't answer my telephone calls.  I know you are not a rude person or careless or uncaring or irresponsible.  I know you would have told Carson immediately if you felt you were too busy to act as her executrix.  So, I reach the conclusion that something is wrong.  What is it, Floria?  I do not understand.  Mary"

6.35 – FL to MEM, Handwritten. December 18, 1972

This handwritten note says that MEM's last letter made her sad, and proposed meeting the week of January 8 to discuss matters.

6.36 – FL to MEM: Difference of opinion. December 19, 1972

This letter, typed, is an acknowledgement of a difference of opinion that should be discussed and hopefully resolved. Final settlement of the estate should be in a month, perhaps.

6.37 – FL to MEM & Rita: a/c 25,000. December 20, 1972

Floria sends them each a check for $25,000 on account in advance of the final settlement.

6.38 – Copy of check. December 20, 1972

6.39 – NS clipping re letters from celebrities; collectors' items

This is a clipping, mailed by Mr. Sale, taken from the New York Post, December 26, 1972


Folder 6-C-7 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1973

7.1 – Notes on conference with Flora. January 9, 1973

This item consists of three pages of notes by Dr. Mercer after a face-to-face meeting with Floria Lasky in her law offices.  She offers her opinions of various people, situations relating to Carson McCullers and the settlement of her estate.  She concludes with these comments, "Floria et al see me as C's faithful doctor who was useful to her.  C. had to use everything & everyone.  Yet, they want everything of meaning C ever did, said or gave to me.  Without acknowledging that C only did that if that person meant something to her.  Problem: In Carson's eyes I was of significant.  In their eyes I'm not."

7.2 – MEM to FL: re Mr. Sale to call her re C'S PAPERS. January 11, 1973

She tells Floria, ". . . if Carson wished me to have the right to do my own choosing, rather than have you choose for me,  I would like to exercise that right."  Mr. Sales will call Floria to discuss the matter with her.

7.3 – Mr. Sales comments re C'S THINGS. January 11, 1973

These are notes of conversation with Mr. Sale regarding how to approach the recovery of McCullers' personal effects, including the possibility of a court order.

7.4 – Mr. Sale's talk with Floria. January 19, 1973

These are notes of MEM's telephone conversation with Mr. Sale after his call to Floria.

7.5 – FL to MEM: re "personal effects". January 25, 1973

Floria's reaction to the conversation she had had with Mr. Sale, proposing a further meeting. She is perplexed.

7.6 – MEM to FL (NS): re CARSON'S THINGS (2 copies-one a photocopy, the other a carbon copy, both in the same plastic sleeve). January 29, 1973

7.7 – FL tel message re appt broken 2/8. February 7, 1973

7.8 – MEM to FL: re apt 2/13/73. February 7, 1973

7.9 – FL to MEM: re March 1 appointment. February 15, 1973

7.10 – Conference notes: FL, NS, Clifford Foster & MEM. March 1, 1973

Three pages of notes made after a difficult, emotional meeting involving Dr. Mercer, Mr. Sales and Floria, held in her law office on March 1, 1973.

7.11 – MEM to Glen P.: re Carson's mss. March 2, 1973

This letter to Glenn Patterson seeks information about a manuscript that Carson had given to minister friend of his for the purposes of destroying it.

7.12 – FL to NS: Be in touch next week. March 13, 1973

This letter includes a list of the items requested by MEM and tells Mr. Sale that she will be in touch with him nest week.

7.13 – MEM to NS: List I requested. March 14, 1973

This is a detailed list of items requested by MEM, based on the inventory done by the House of El Dieff.

7.14 – FL to N.S.: (& file). April 5, 1973

This letter, with several attachments, is Floria's decision to deliver some items to Dr. Mercer, and refusing to deliver others.  There of three copies of the letter, but only one set of attachments.

7.15 – FL to MEM: re Emily. April 27, 1973

Floria informs MEM that her daughter, Emily, has been accepted at all the schools to which she applied, and had decided on Radcliffe.

7.16 – MEM to FL: re Ida. May 28, 1973

MEM informs Floria that Ida Reed had had a stroke.

7.17 – 7.19 Transferred to 1974


Folder 6-C-8 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1974

8.0 – Beneficiary share of Income Schedule E. January 16, 1974

Schedule E form showing income from the Estate of Carson McCullers received by Dr. Mary Mercer.

8.1 – FL to Harvey S.: re disbursement. March 27, 1974

This letter asks Harvey I. Schuldenfrei for a statement of accounts and to tell her whether it would be appropriate to make a distribution of cash to the residuary legatees.

8.2 – MEM to FL: re interest. March 28, 1974

This letter tells Floria "We do not need a distribution from Harvey Schuldenfrei, your accountant.  We need you, as Executrix, to settle Carson's estate."  She goes on to mention the lost interest from having so much cash in non-interest bearing accounts.

8.3 – RL to MEM: birthday. June 6, 1974

Robert Lantz' birthday wishes to MEM.

8.4 – MEM to RL: Thank you. June 10, 1974

8.5 – FL to MEM: Estate Accounting (folder) 9/29/1967-5/9/74. November 1, 1974

[This document is filed in the over-sized box.]

8.6 – Floria to MEM: Settlement, Anderson Brown & U. of Texas. November 1, 1974

This letter covers a detailed accounting of the estate's finances, along with a request for a notarized Receipts and Release form (attached).  She also mentions the archives and their possible sale to the University of Texas, as well interest from other parties.  There are two copies of the letter, but only one of the enclosures.


Folder 6-C-9 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1975

9.0 – FL to MEM: Signature; V. Carr book. January 14, 1975

This letter is a request from Floria for her to sign the accounting and a comment about the upcoming Virginia Carr book.

9.1 – MEM to FL: Contact Mr. Sale. January 15, 1975

MEM acknowledges Floria letter and asks that she contact Mr. Sale in regard to the estate.

9.2 – CF to NS: (2 copies). January 20, 1975

This is from Clifford Forster of the Fitelson and Mayers (Floria Lasky's law firm) to Nathan Sale regarding several points, including a letter referred to by Mr. Sale sent in August of 1973 to Miss Lasky.  The office has no record of such a letter and asked him for a copy.  The first numbered point is a reference from his client, (Dr. Mercer) for some "personal effects" of Carson McCullers.  Forster referred Sale to Floria's letter of April 5, 1973 in which she says that there is no reason why Miss Lasky's position should be changed.  Point 2 refers to the proposed Receipt and Release with accounting which had been sent to MEM at the end of year, and saying that the conversation held between Sale and Forster "was the first indication we have had that there may be some objections on your client's part to the accounting."  He offers a meeting with Sale, Miss Lasky, Mr. Schuldenfrei and himself to discuss the accounting, after which if his client is unwilling to execute the release as presented to her, "we shall have no other recourse then (sic) to petition Surrogate's Court for release and discharge of the executor on the basis of the accounting which has previously been rendered to the beneficiaries of the Estate," which would incur additional expense to the estate.

9.3 – NS to C.F: Copy of his 8/24/73 letter plus present, (2 copies of the letter and attached earlier letter, one copy of his legal opinion). February 14, 1975

This letter is Mr. Sale's reply to the letter above, inclosing a copy of his 1973 letter "which was never answered", and an opinion on legal sized paper, referred to Sale's letter of February 14, 1975.  He rebuts Floria's definition of personal effects.  He also asked for detailed financial information used by the accountants, questions why the Estate pays the fees of the accounting firm plus a separate fee to Fitelson and Mayers, as well as requesting all information relating to the present literary value of the estate before he would be in a position "to carefully review the account and summit all questions for reply."

9.4 – MEM to NS: re above letters. February 14, 1975

She acknowledges the receipt of her copy of his letter to Flora and says, "What a tour-de-force!  I'm terribly impressed!  She must be yelling!"  She hopes that they'll stop "throwing their weight around and talk about the problem."  She then asks him about his health.

9.4a – Mr. Sale's files; Enter Robert Wolf. February 20, 1975

This includes a letter dated February 20, 1975 from Clifford Forster saying that all Sale's points had been addressed through meetings and telephone calls.  He goes on, "I see no useful purpose for further discussion with you concerning the above Estate.  I am, therefore, preparing and will file within the next week or so a Petition on Accounting and your client, Dr. Mercer, will be served with a Citation in connection therewith.  Any claims that your client believes that she has should then be presented to the Surrogate's Court of Rockland County for hearing and determination."  This item also contains a copy of Mr. Sale's letter of February 14, 1975, and a carbon copy of a letter dated March 13, 1975 from Robert Wolf of Botein, Hays, Sklar & Herzberg informing Ms. Floria V. Lasky that "This will serve to advise you that we are representing Dr. Mary Mercer and therefore would like to receive copies of all papers in connection with the above [Estate of Carson McCullers].  Additionally, if you believe it would be helpful, we would be glad to meet with you at your convenience to discuss any matters at issue."  Finally, there are two copies of Nat Sale's letter of 1973.

9.5 – Conversation with Mr. Sale. February 21, 1975

These are notes of a conversation with Mr. Sale. Dr. Mercer had prepared of list of ten points, with answers based on the conversation.  (Item 9 is "I'd rather go canoeing.")

9.6 – Conversation with Mr. Sale. February 23, 1975

A short note, mentioning Robert Wolf.

9.7 – Conversation with Mr. Sale. February 24, 1975

These notes outline why and when MEM did certain things, such as buying the house, which pros and cons listed.  They also questions and various scenarios, such as donating the papers to Columbia and letting each take tax deductions.

9.8 – Conversation with Mr. Sale. February 24, 1975

A few notes on a conversation with Mr. Sale, starting with "Mary Mercer has grown up."

9.9 – Robert W to FL. March 12, 1975

This is the same letter included in item C-6-9.4a above announcing his entry on the case.

9.10 – Robert W to FL. March 31, 1975

This letter refers to a meeting RW and FL had "the other day", and a letter for hers dated March 26, with enclosures, [not present].  He says, "I believe that as soon as you can consummate the sale of the "archives' for the net amount of $45,000 we will be able to deliver the signed release form Dr. Mercer so that the estate can be closed out.  I know that you will push this ahead if you can for an early termination."

9.11 – Robert W to MEM. March 31, 1975

This letter refers to the letter above.

9.12 – MEM to RW: Found release. April 9, 1975

[Dr. Mercer had the date of April 8 for item 9.12, but the letter is dated April 9, 1975.]

9.13 – MEM to RW: Signed release

[This item was not in the collection as of August of 2013.]

9.14 – RW to MEM: Agreement to sell papers. April 28, 1975

This informs Dr. Mercer that there is an agreement to sell the archives for $45,000, with actual payment not to be made for six weeks or two months after the delivery of the papers. He advises her that it is now in order for you to execute the release.

9.15 – RW to MEM: check for 38,133. May 6, 1975

This letter enclosed a check for $38,133, "in accordance with the accounting and agreement which you signed.  There will be further payments as royalties come in and, of course, as soon as the sale of the archives has been completed that money will be distributed.  Floria Lasky has told that she will personally review all of the papers and send off copies of those which she thinks you would like."

9.15a – RW to MEM: FIT (Federal Income Tax). May 6, 1975

Copy of the letter above, plus a copy of Dr. Mercer's income tax returns for 1975. [These items are in poor physical condition.]

9.16 – FL to RW: re Delivery of items after Sept. 1. August 4, 1975

9.17 – MEM called RW: re Archives; Carr book; Alex Saryon. September 3, 1975

Notes on an envelope.

9.18 – RW to FL: Materials to MEM, Sale of archives. September 10, 1975

This letter reminds Floria "about delivering the materials to Dr. Mercer as soon as possible and pushing the sale of the archives to an early completion.  Also, Dr. Mercer mentioned to me that you had promised quarterly payments with periodic accountings."

9.19 – RN to MEM: Quarterly payments; Periodic acct., covering letter, "warnings". September 10, 1975

This letter covers the item above, which concerned quarterly payments and periodic accounting.  Robert Wolf also mentions a recent illness of MEM and says, "I know they always say that these "warnings" are good as long as one pays heed."

9.20 – FL to RW: Inclosing materials, Catalog. Acct. November 6, 1975

This letter from Floria to Robert Wolf lists several items requested by Dr. Mercer, as well as several others which couldn't be photocopied.  She also mentioned that they will try to obtain a catalog from the University of Texas once the McCullers material has been organized.  Finally, she says that she hopes to get to the matter of the accountings the following week.

9.21 – RW to MEM: covering letter. November 10, 1975

This covered the letter above, and expresses hope that by this time she is fully recovered.

9.22 – FL to RW: Papers shipped to U of Texas; Payment in 3 wks; Statement & a remittance. November 17, 1975

9.23 – RN to MEM: Covering letter. November 19, 1975

This covered the letter immediately above.

9.24 – FL to MEM: Sent 10m to RW o/acct; Share of Estate. December 18, 1975

This letter from Floria directly to Mary Mercer tells her that "I have sent to your lawyer, Mr. Wolf a check for $10,000 on account of your share of the estate, which I am sure he will forward on to you in the next few days.  I hope to see you soon, well, in New York."

9.25 – RN to MEM: check on/acct of residual share; Payment not received for U of Texas yet. December, 22, 1975

Enclosed is the check referred to above and informs her of the status of the payment from UT.

9.26 – MEM to RW: thanks for good works; Check for 10M; Where did it come from; would like copy of catalog. December 29, 1975

MEM thanks RW for his good wishes after her coronary.  She received the $10,000 but wants to know where the money came from.  She also says that she would like a copy of the University of Texas catalog when it is available.  She closes by wishing him "a very happy New Years AND good health".


Folder 6-C-5 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1976

10.0 – MEM to RW: telephone. I'll give her a push for an accounting of the $10,000. January 27, 1976 [not in file as of August, 2013]

10.1 – RW to FL: Re accounting & Texas. January 27, 1976

This asks Floria for the accounting and suggests that she give the University of Texas a gentle push.

10.2 – MEM to NS: cc 10.01 & 9.26. January 28, 1976

Dr. Mercer is informing Mr. Sale of the progress of the estate settlement and hopes that he is well.

10.3 – FL to RW: re payment U of Texas. February 11, 1976

This letter informs Robert Wolf that the payment of $45,000 has been received from Texas and will be included in the next distribution, which should be very soon.  She is awaiting the latest report from Harvey Schuldenfrei regarding tax issues.  His report will accompany the remittance to Dr. Mercer, as well as Carson's sister and brother.

10.4 – RW to MEM: FL's letter and his bill. February 25, 1976

This letter informs Dr. Mercer of the progress on the sale of the archives, as well as a bill covering three years services (not in the file as of August, 2012).

10.5 – FL to RW with cc to MEM – 20,000 and note to me. February 26, 1976

This letter enclosed the statement of income for 1975, reportable by May Mary Mercer for the year, in the sum of $942.56.  There is also attached a beneficiary's share of income form, as well as a statement prepared by the tax people called "Cash Reconciliation to December, 31, 1975."  There is also a handwritten note from Floria wishing Mary all the best and hoping she is well.

10.6 – MEM to FL: Thank you re health. March 3, 1976

10.7 – RW sent me copy of FL's letter to him: re 20,000. February 26, 1976

This is a copy of item 10.5, above.

10.8 – RW to MEM: re above. March 3, 1976

10.9 – FL to MEM enclosing letter to RW re 2,500. June 18, 1976

10.10 – FL to RW: re 2,500. June 18, 1976

10.11 – RW to MEM: 2,500 check; Statement of Receipts. June 22, 1976

This included a detailed list of the Receipts and Disbursements June 6, 1975 through June 18, 1976 for the estate of Carson McCullers.

10.12 – FL to MEM: 2,500 check. September 23, 1976

[There is a note on the index sheet that copies of items 10.3-10.5 above were sent to NS.]


Folder 6-C-11– Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1977

11.0 – FL to RW: re FIT return. March 25, 1977

This letter details the source of the $25,000 remittance to Dr. Mercer, and comments on the taxable portion of it.

11.1 – RW to FL: re FIT. April 19, 1977

Wolf supplies Floria with Dr. Mercer's tax ID number, and informs her that Dr. Mercer has filed for an extension pending Floria's answers to a number of questions concerning the Form 1099 which she received from Floria, which a list of receipts and disbursement from the time the last statement would resolve.

11.2 – RW to FL: Abstract records—help to--. May 11, 1977

This letter offers to send someone from Wolf's office to come over to Floria's office to help "abstract the necessary figures from your records."

[This letter was marked 11.4 in Dr. Mercer's index, but it has been re-number 11.2 to put it in correct chronological order.

11.3 – FL to RW: Statement of Carson' Estate 6/2/75-12/31/76. May 17, 1977

This is the letter mentioned above, with a Statement for Receipts and Disbursements from June 2, 1975 through December 31, 1975 and a Statement for Receipts and Disbursements for the year 1976, both attached.

11.4 – RW to NS: Statement from Floria 2,500. May 11, 1977

This conveys a copy of Floria's statement to Nathan Sales.

[This letter was marked 11.2 in Dr. Mercer's index, but it has been re-numbered 11.4 to put it in correct chronological order.

11.5 – FL to MEM: distribution. September 14, 1977

This letter enclosed a check for $7,500 as a distribution on account of her one-third share of Carson's residuary estate.  Similar checks were sent to Rita and Lamar Smith.

11.6 – MEM to FL: re Mr. Sale; note on bottom of copy, 9/14/77. September 19, 1977

This is a photocopy of Floria's letter above with a note in Dr. Mercer's hand saying, "9/19/77. Dear Floria, Sure as shooting when Mr. Sale sees this, he will ask Robert to ask you for a statement about where the money came from.  I write instead.  I hope & your family are well.  Sincerely, Mary."

11.7 – FL to MEM: where money came from. September 23, 1977

Floria replies that the check was "merely in the nature of an interim payment."

[At this point, Dr. Mercer ceased numbering the folders and began using the year, so what would have been "Folder 6-C-12" is instead "Folder 6-C-1978".  She followed this schema from here to the end of the Floria Lasky file.  As mentioned above, we chose to use the year from the beginning of the series.]

Folder 6-C-1978 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1978

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. January 13, 1978

The distribution was for $3,000.  The statement of receipts and disbursements for 1977 will be sent out "no later than Monday or Tuesday."

1.1 – RW to FL: asks for receipts/distribution. February 15, 1978

1.2 – RW to NS: 1977 income tax info. February 27, 1978

This letter is Dr. Mercer's copy and has the IRS Form 1087 for the 1977 tax year attached.

1.3 – FL to RW: FIT 1087. February 27, 1978

1.4 – RW to NS: FIT 1087. February 27, 1978

This is Mr. Sale's copy of item 1.2 above.

1.5 – RW to FL: correction of FIT 1087. February 28, 1978

1.6 – MEM to FL: New firm name. Congratulations. May 8, 1978

The card announcing the name change of Floria's law firm from Fitelson and Mayers to Fitelson, Lasky and Aslan is attached.

1.7 – FL to MEM: thank you. May 11, 1978

1.8 – FL to MEM: Distribution. May 15, 1978

This distribution is for $1,500 representing accumulated royalties.

1.9 – FL to MEM: Distribution. August 31, 1978

This distribution is for $3,000.

1.10 – FL: Receipts/Distribution 1978. No date

 

Folder 6-C-1979 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1979

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. April 9, 1979

This distribution was for $1,500.


Folder 6-C-1980 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1980

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts & Disbursements. February 25, 1980

This is the statement of receipts and disbursements for 1979, and the distributions to each of the beneficiaries.


Folder 6-C-1981 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1981

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts and Disbursements. January 13, 1981

1.1 – RW to NS: Receipts and Disbursements. January 15, 1981

This letter has the list of receipts and disbursements referred to above attached to it.

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution. June 22, 1981

This distribution was for $2,000.

1.3 – FL to MEM: Lamar died; Distribution. August 19, 1981

This letter enclosed a distribution check for $1,500 and also the news that Lamar Smith had died a month earlier, affecting Rita quite badly.  She apparently had had a stroke.


Folder 6-C-1982 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1982

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution; Rita had stroke. January 8, 1982

This letter included a list of income, expenses and distributions for 1981 (not included here, but is instead with item 1.2 below), as well as information concerning Rita Smith's declining health.

1.1 – MEM to RW: Distribution & appt. for new will. January 12, 1982

This letter included a copy of the list mentioned above, along with the following comment, "Months ago you wrote to me about the advisability of writing a new will, because of the new tax law.  I shall call you for an appointment about it later in the spring."

1.2 – FL to RW: Receipts & disbursements. January 18, 1982

This apologizes for Floria's secretary inadvertently sending the statement to Mary, and includes the list mentioned in item 1.0 above.

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 18, 1982

This distribution was for $750.

1.4 – FL to MEM: Distribution. June 18, 1982

This distribution was for $2,500.


Folder 6-C-1983 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1983

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts and Disbursements, 1982. January 4, 1983

1.1 – FL to MEM: After Rita's burial. January 7, 1983

1.2 – MEM to FL: Rita's things to be sold. February 15, 1983

1.3 – MEM to FL: Rita left things to Jane Warwick. February 22, 1983

1.4 – MEM to FL: Rita's things & Ida. March 1, 1983

1.5 – FL to MEM: Ida gets $1,000. March 7, 1983

1.6 – FL to MEM: Release for Ida to sign. April 28, 1983

1.7 – FL to MEM: Distribution. September 12, 1983

This disbursement was for $3,500.

1.8 – FL to MEM: IRS signatures. September 13, 1983


Folder 6-C-1984 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1984

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts & Disbursements 1983. January 6, 1984

This letter was mis-dated 1983, but was clearly from January of 1984.  It enclosed a list of receipts and disbursements for 1983 and explains the new division of distributions after Rita's death, which divided her third of the income from Carson's McCullers estate between Rita's heirs, with one third to Jane Warwick and two thirds to Lamar Smith, Jr.

1.1 – RW to FL: re gross receipts by foreign countries. February 21, 1984

Robert Wolf requests the gross receipts paid by foreign countries, the names of the country and the amount of taxes (not just the net amount) so that appropriate tax credits can be taken on Dr. Mercer's return.

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 12, 1984

This distribution was for $6,000

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 4, 1984

This distribution was for $3,000.

Folder 6-C-1985 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1985

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts & Disbursements. January 8, 1985

1.1 – FL to MEM: Distribution. January 8, 1985

This distribution was for $7,500.

1.2 – RW to MEM: Above copies. January 14, 1985

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 28, 1985

This distribution was for $2,000.

1.4 – FL to MEM: Distribution. June 25, 1985

This distribution was for $5,000

1.5 – FL to MEM: Distribution. October 9, 1985

This distribution was for $4,000.

1.6 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 30, 1985

This distribution was for $4,500.


Folder 6-C-1986 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1986

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts & Disbursements (wrong). January 3, 1986

1.1 – RW to MEM: Copy of above. January 23, 1986

1.2 – RW to FL: Asked for gross foreign receipts. January 27, 1986

1.3 – FL to MEM: (no answer); Distribution. June 9, 1986

1.4 – FL to MEM: Distribution. September 16, 1986

1.5 – FL to MEM: French infringement Member – Release. September 25, 1986

This letter discusses a French film called L'EFFRONTEE, which resembled The Member of the Wedding. Floria asks for a signature on the release form which Floria will use to collect $175,000 for the infringement of copyright, to be divided among the heirs.

1.6 – MEM to FL: Copy of release (2 copies) & receipts. Note Nyack library. September 29, 1986

In her reply MEM enclosed the signed release and tells Floria that "I took some roses from my garden up to the cemetery today.  19 years."  She also informs Floria of a plan for the Nyack Library to have a commemoration of Carson McCullers the next year, which would the 20th year of her death, as well as 70 years since her birth.

1.7 – FL to MEM: Thanks. Called Joanne M. October 1, 1986

Floria thanks MEM for the prompt return of the release, and says that she had called Joanne Mongelli at the library.

1.8 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 5, 1986

This distribution was for $15,000, thanks in part to the payment made by Oliane Films in France for copyright infringement.

1.9 – MEM to FL: Thanks. Schwartz. Rita's marker. December 19, 1986

MEM thanks Floria for the check, refers to meeting the new accountant, Franklin Schwartz, and says that she was surprised when she took some Christmas greens to the Carson's grave to find that Rita's grave is still unmarked.

1.10 – FL to MEM: Rita's marker-Jane Warwick. December 22, 1986

Floria tells MEM that she has written to Jane Warwick about it.

Folder 6-C-87 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1987

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution; Member lawsuit (2 copies). January 12, 1987

This distribution was for $10,666.67, her share of total of $32,000. Of this total, $25,000 was again due to The Member of the Wedding settlement.

1.1 – MEM to FL [written as FL to MEM in Dr. Mercer's index.]: Thanks; C's 20th Anniversary in Sept, January 16, 1987

This note is Dr. Mercer's acknowledgement of the check, and mentioning again the Nyack Library's plans for the McCullers Anniversary in September.

1.2 – RW to MEM: Receipts and disbursements. January 13, 1987

These are for the year 1986, for Dr. Mercer's tax preparation.

1.3 – FL to Joanne M: Touched by her feelings for C. February 9, 1987

1.4 – MEM to FL: Thank you for 2/9/87. February 11, 1987

This is a note taped to item 1.3, thanking Floria for sending her a copy of the letter she sent to Joanne Mongelli of the Nyack Library.

1.5 – FL to MEM: Ida's death Horton Foote asked. March 23, 1987

Floria had been unaware that Ida had died until she received the program for her funeral from MEM. Horton Foote, the playwright, had recently asked about Ida.

1.6 – FL to MEM: Distribution. February 17, 1987

This check was for $9,000.

1.7 – FL to MEM: Distribution & Merchant Ivory & Ballad. April 1, 1987

This check was for $16,666.67.  She also informed MEM that they were in negotiations with Merchant and Ivory, who had recently produced A Room with a View and want to buy the film rights to Ballad of the Sad Café. There is a note in shorthand at the bottom of the page.

1.8 – FL to MEM: Distribution. September 16, 1987

This check was for $4,500.  There is a hand-written note from Floria saying "See you on the 26th.  Looking forward to it."  This refers to the Nyack Library observation of the 20th anniversary of Carson's death and 70th anniversary of her birth.

1.9 – FL to MEM: C's celebration in Nyack with note. September 29, 1987

This note says that it was good to see Dr. Mercer at the celebration of Carson in Nyack.  There is a note in shorthand at the bottom of the page.

1.10 – FL to MEM: foreign royalties. October 19, 1987

This letter covered instruction to the heirs on completing some paperwork for obtaining royalties from France.

1.11 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 2, 1987

This check was for $4,000.

1.12 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 5, 1987

This check was for $15,000


Folder 6-C-1988 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1988

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. February 18, 1988

This check was for $4,000.

1.1 – MEM to FL: Merchant/Ivory re Ballad. June 20, 1988

This letter expresses hope that the upcoming Merchant/Ivory production of Ballad of a Sad Café may make the film "shine forth as wondrously as in the book.  You have taken such good care of Carson's 'creative assets', Floria.  She would be grateful to you.  I know I am."

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution. August 16, 1988

This check was for $3,000.

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 28, 1988

This check was for $4,000.


Folder 6-C-1989 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1989

1.0 – MEM to FL: Notice re Reflections in a Writer's Eye, n. d.

This a page from a Daedalus Books catalog that includes Reflections in a Writer's Eye: Travel Pieces, by Angus Wilson.  The entry for Wilson is marked with an arrow and the word, "Floria".

1.0.a MEM to FL: Thank you; cataract surgery; Rita's grave. January 4, 1989

This letter, and three attached notes, refer to the most recent distribution check and the one before that.  She had had two lens replacements and now has 20/20 vision . When taking Christmas greens up to Carson's grave, she noticed that Rita's grave was still unmarked.  She offered to contribute to the purchase of a headstone, if necessary.

1.1 – FL to MEM: Motion Picture rights to Ballad. February 3, 1989

This is a letter with copies of an amendment to the motion picture rights agreement with Merchant Ivory Productions.  There is a note at the top of the letter that says, "Show Robert [Wolf]".  Attached to the letter is a copy of the amendment, as well as copies of related letters from Floria from May 3, 1988 and June 13, 1988.

1.2 – RW to MEM: Conforming. February 15, 1989

1.3 – MEM to FL: Re distribution; New Member. May 1, 1989

This letter notes that for the first time in over twenty years a distribution form Carson' estate has not been made and she wonders why.  She also saw the new version of Member of the Wedding and liked it very much.

1.4 – FL to MEM: Poor receipts; Didn't like "Member"; Black director. May 3, 1989

Floria's reply to the above says that she not like the Roundabout production of Member at all.  As to the receipts, she says that they are down and that she hopes that there will be another swing again.  She usually doesn't make a distribution if the account doesn't have $10,000 in it, but she is enclosing a check for $2,500.

1.5 – RW to MEM: would follow up 5/1/89 if not satisfactory. May 8, 1989

1.6 – MEM to FL: "Creative assets". May 9, 1989

MEM thanks Floria for the check.

1.7 – FL to MEM: Lunch after vacation. May 15, 1989

1.8 – MEM to FL: Pick a Thursday. May 22, 1989

1.9 – FL to MEM: When I get back. May 26, 1989

1.10 – FL to MEM: distribution. June 30, 1989

This check is for $4,000.

1.11 – MEM to FL: Thank you. July 6, 1989

This is a thermafax copy in very faint condition.

1.12 – FL to MEM: Distribution; Hepatitis from Russia. August 11, 1989

This check was for $6,000. A note at the bottom of the cover letters says Floria "returned from USSR with hepatitis.  As soon as I feel "normal" we'll lunch."

1.13 – MEM to FL: Get well. August 24, 1989

1.14 – FL to MEM: Distribution; Rita's marker is 1,056.  Estate paid. December 14, 1989

This check is for $4,000.


Box 16 -- Series 6-C Carson's People – Floria Lasky -- Folder 6-C-1990 thru 6-C-2010


Folder 6-C-1990 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1990

1.0 – FL to RW: Receipts & disbursements 1989. January 10, 1990

1.1 – MEM to FL: Catch-up; New accountant. January 11, 1990

Dr. Mercer hopes that Floria is recovering from hepatitis, thanks her for the check, remarks that Rita's grave is now marked and looks very nice, she gives Floria the new address of Robert Wolf, and asks for a copy of the Receipts and Disbursements for her new accountant, the third in three years.  A note at the top says, "1/12/90-Your letter of 1/10 came before I mailed the enclosed.  Thank you."

1.2 – FL to MEM: sign amendment on Ballad. March 1, 1990

Floria says that she has received a check for $36,166.66, representing 50% of the first payment for the rights to Ballad of The Sad Café and that it will star Vanessa Redgrave.  A copy of the amendment is attached to the letter.

1.3 – MEM to FL: Marvelous. March 7, 1990

1.4 – FL to MEM: Revised amendment. March 14, 1990

1.5 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 30, 1990

This check was for $10,000.

1.6 – MEM to FL: Thank you. April 6, 1990

1.7 – FL to MEM: Meet; Talk re book. April 17, 1990

Floria thanks Dr. Mercer for "your sweet note.  We try to keep the checks coming.  Don't forget, we should meet some Thursday morning.  Also.... we have to talk about your book."

1.8 – FL to MEM: Signing – Ballad; 21st Vanessa Redgrave. June 19, 1990

The estate has received half the money for the movie rights, but "the actual agreement delivered to Merchant Ivory on the exercise of the option was not signed by our side."  She asks that Dr. Mercer sign the enclosed form and to send it back by return mail.  Photography starts on June 21 with Vanessa Redgrave and Sam Shepard.

1.9 – FL to MEM: Distribution. July 10, 1990

This check was for $18,000.

1.10 – FL to MEM: Distribution. November 9, 1990

[Processor's note—Dr. Mercer confused the dates of the last two items on her index, and they are corrected above.]


Folder 6-C-1991 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1991

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. January 18, 1991

This check was for $4,000.  She also notes copies of the 1990 receipts and payments have been mailed to Bob Wolf.

1.1 – FL to MEM: Screening of Ballad – 1/29. January 24, 1991

This is a page of notes covering from 1/24 through 1/29 and deals with people to ask about her book on Carson; the screening of the Ballad of the Sad Café; and possible film distribution rights.

1.2 – MEM to FL: Ballad/Book. January 27, 1991

This thanks Floria for the check, and mentions that Dr. Mercer has finished her book

1.3 – FL to MEM: HBO Domestic Dilemma. January 30, 1991

This letter asks Dr. Mercer to sign four copies of an agreement that Floria negotiated with HBO for the television rights of Carson McCullers' A Domestic Dilemma.

1.4 – MEM to FL: My reaction to Ballad. February 19, 1991

She liked much of the movie, but "The violence of the fight wiped me out. It lasted so long and was so graphic....What a bleak, sad tale of unrequited love . . . devoid of redemption. It is so fragile."

1.5 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 25, 1991

This check was for $7,000.

1.6 – MEM to FL: Thanks. April 4, 1991

1.7 – FL to MEM: Canby re Ballad. April, 9, 1991

This letter refers to Canby's review of the movie version of Ballad of the Sad Café.

1.8 – MEM to FL: Sent Adventure to her. April 15, 1991

1.9 – FL to MEM: Distribution; haven't read manuscript yet. May 6, 1991

This check was for $1,000.  She also mentions that she hadn't read the manuscript yet.

1.10 – MEM to FL: Ms looking for agent. May 9, 1991

Dr. Mercer thanks Floria for the check and tells her that Renni was been out of town but is having another editor look at the book.

1.11 – MEM to FL: Sent to Regula Noetzli. June 7, 1991

1.12 – FL to MEM: Ballad no "commercial" reception, June 10, 1991

1.13 – FL to MEM: Distribution. July 1, 1991

This check was for $4,000.

1.14 – MEM to FL: Thanks; RN's letter; Robby. July 3, 1991

Dr. Mercer thanks Floria for the check and says that she has enclosed Regula Noetzli's letter for Floria to read.  She asks for suggestions for names to send the manuscript.

1.15 – FL to MEM: RN's letter fascinating. Rewrite? July 9, 1991

1.16 – MEM to FL: Sandum's letter. August 7, 1991

This encloses another letter regarding Dr. Mercer's book.

1.17 – FL t MEM: Sandum's letter lovely. Follow his suggestions. August 13, 1991

1.18 – MEM to FL: Robby. Liz Trupin. September 17, 1991

1.19 – FL to MEM: Young and energetic necessary efforts. September 25, 1991

Floria suggests letting "Ms. Trupin try to sell the book if she can.  Although all of the comments for revisions may be in order, if she is a young and energetic person, she may well be successful where the more established agents don't want to put the necessary efforts into it."

1.20 – MEM to FL: Liz Trupin. September 24, 1991

1.21 – FL to MEM: Delighted. September 26, 1991

Floria is delighted about Ms. Trupin's enthusiasm for Dr. Mercer's book.

1.22 – FL to MEM: Distribution; Thanks 10/25. October 10, 1991

This check was for $3,000.  Attached to it is a note of thanks from Dr. Mercer and informing Floria that it was nice to receive before she leaves for Berlin to see a Rembrandt exhibition.

1.23 – MEM to FL: More letters from Liz. October 31, 1991

1.24 – FL to MEM: Brother in Berlin. October 30, 1991

Floria writes to give Dr. Mercer the telephone number of her brother, Melvin Lasky and his wife.

1.25 – MEM to FL: re Berlin. November 15, 1991

She tells Floria of her trip to Berlin and the museums she visited.

1.26 – FL to MEM: Distribution. December 13, 1991

This check was for $2,000.


Folder 6-C-92 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1992

1.0 – MEM to FL: Rev. Macombe [one of the tenants at 131 Broadway] died last summer.  Mrs. Mc moved Dec. January 1, 1992

1.1 – MEM to FL: Atheneum/Grove Weidenfeld re book. January 20, 1992

This enclosed more rejections for Dr. Mercer's book.

1.2 – FL to MEM: Rejections but beautiful. Revisions? January 23, 1992

1.3 – MEM to FL: "Wm. Morrow. Revision?? (Add to). February 3, 1992

Dr. Mercer enclosed some more rejections, and says "I could add to...flesh out a bit more... but..."

1.4 – FL to MEM: Income & distributions 1991. February 10, 1992

1.5 – FL to MEM: Distribution. April 10, 1992

This check was for $6,000.

1.6 – MEM to FL: Cornelia's letter & thanks. April 20, 1992

She thanks Floria for the latest check, and enclosed Cornelia Bessie's letter of rejection.

1.7 – MEM to FL: Smaller presses. June 22, 1992

Liz Trupin suggests that they try selling the book to smaller presses.

1.8 – FL to MEM: Distribution. July 13, 1992

This check was for $9,000.

1.9 – FL to MEM: Distribution (all my love!). September 10, 1992

This check was for $5,000.

1.10 – MEM to FL: Vi. Bernard – to Paris; Pocket Books, Holt, Scribner. September 14, 1992

1.11 – MEM to FL: Last batch of rejections. December 15, 1992

1.12 – FL to MEM: Wonderful to persist. December 22, 1992


Folder 6-C-1993 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1993

1.0 – FL to MEM: Receipts and Disbursements. January 25, 1993

1.0a – MEM to FL: Thanks. No word on book. January 27, 1993

[There is line drawn on Dr. Mercer's index to its proper place after item 1.0 above, but she left it as item 1.5 on her index.]

1.1 – FL to MEM: Distribution. July 12, 1993

This check was for $6,000.

1.2 – MEM to FL: Thanks. Book dead in H2O. July 28, 1993

She updates Floria on her book. "Liz Trupin tells me that the publishing business is dead in the water."

1.3 – MEM to FL: Maxine Silverman. September 4, 1993

1.4 – FL to MEM: Distribution. October 22, 1993

This check was for $5,000.

1.5 – This item was re-marked and filed as 1.0a, above.

1.6 – FL to MEM: distribution. December 15, 1993

This check was for $12,000.


Folder 6-C-1994 – Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1994

1.0 – MEM to FL: Thanks; Historical marker-131-Maxine. January 3, 1994

1.1 – FL to MEM: Distribution. March 18, 1994

This check was for $9,000.

1.2 – MEM to FL: RW retiring; Barry [Carlos] Dews; Francis' death. March 28, 1994

This letter mentions that Robert Wolf is in the process of retiring, tells that she had had a call from Barry Dews who wanted to talk about Illumination and Night Glare, and tells Floria about the death of Dr. Mercer's only brother, Francis, from a massive heart attack in mid-December.

1.3 – FL to MEM: Condolences; Likes Dews. April 7, 1994

Floria sends her condolences and says, "I did like Mr. Dews and I think it would be helpful if you spoke with him."

1.4 – FL to MEM: Receipts & disbursements; shingles. May 16, 1994

1.5 – MEM to FL: Thank you; sorry re shingles. May 23, 1994

1.6 – MEM to FL: Thanks. June 20, 1994

[There is a question mark in front of the date, which Dr. Mercer had as May 20, 1994 in her index, which is why it incorrectly comes before Item 1.7.]

1.7 – FL to MEM: Distribution. July 14, 1994

This check was for $11,000.

The above is the last folder indexed by Dr. Mercer. There is nothing in the files for the years 1995 through 2000. There were, however, three other related folders in the collection.  One was labeled "Floria" and the other labeled "Fittelson [sic] Lasky," which had one item in it.  They have been combined and are described below, following Dr. Mercer's schema of one folder per year.

Folder 6-C-1995 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1995

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $11.666.66. January 6, 1995

1.1 – MEM to FL: Draft of note to Floria and David hoping that his surgery is successful. January 17, 1995

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution.  Check for $10,000. Notes at bottom of a telephone conversation with Floria, discussing Jane Warwick, Adele Rubenstein, David's health, Lyme's disease, "will call me some Thurs." February 22, 1995

1.3 – FL to MEM: Accounting for Carson McCullers Estate in 1994. March 17, 1995

1.4 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $8,333.33. July 3, 1995

1.5 -- MEM to FL: She tell Floria about her bout of Lyme's disease over the summer, the possibility of an historical marker for Carson's house in Nyack, thanks her for the last distribution check, and tells her about "a new planting of loriape (not sure of the spelling) put on Carson's grave today and it looks beautiful." September 28, 1995

1.6 – FL to MEM: Thanks her for her note.  Floria called on the anniversary of Carson's death.  Was sorry to hear about the illness. October 2, 1995

1.7 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $5,000. November 22, 1995

1.8 – MEM to FL: Thanks for the check, asks about David's health and sends best holiday wishes. December 8, 1995


Folder 6-C-1996 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1996

1.0 – FL to MEM: Accounting of estate for 1995. She also gives Dr. Mercer the telephone number of friends of her in Venice (Giudecca) for Dr. Mercer's upcoming trip there.  There are two copies of this letter, one with notes of telephone conversation with Floria. April 25, 1996

1.1 – MEM to FL: She thanks Floria for the telephone number and goes on to say how much she enjoys looking over the yearly accounting of Carson's estate.  She also enclosed the proposed text for the historical marker for Carson's house of 131 South Broadway. May 10, 1996

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution.  Check for $8,333.33. This includes her share of a $20,000 installment on the TV rights to Member of the Wedding. August 21, 1996

1.4 – FL to MEM: Photocopy of a review from the New York Times of the play, Three of Hearts, with reference to a Rodgers-Barer ballad from the musical version of Member of the Wedding called Something Known. September 5, 1996

1.5 – MEM to FL: Note to Floria about the dedication of the historical marker at 131 South Broadway, with a dedication speech by Carlos Dews.  She also mentions the first blurbs about her book. December 4, 1996


Folder 6-C-1997 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1997

1.0 – FL to MEM: Request for signature on form to avoid Spanish taxes being deducted from royalties. A copy of the completed form, dated January 25th, is attached. January 20, 1997

1.1 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $12,000. February 24, 1997

1.2 – FL to MEM: Copy of letter to Floria from Richard Rosenthal asking the estate's permission to name the re-launched Story Magazine's short story competition the Carson McCullers Award. May 23, 1997

1.3 – FL to MEM: Encloses an ad from Hollywood Reporter for the TV version of Member of the Wedding. Not dated but probably June, 1997

1.4 – FL to MEM: Request to sign form regarding Italian royalties. July 8, 1997

1.5 – FL to MEM: This letter enclosed a letter Floria had received from Thornton Jordan, a retired Columbus State University professor, who had bought Carson McCullers' house on Stark Avenue in Columbus, Georgia.  It details his research on the house and his plans for its future use.  Also attached was a letter from Dr. Mercer to Professor Jordan dated June 25, 1997. August 11, 1997

1.6 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $5,000. August 11, 1997

1.7 – MEM to FL: This letter provides a bibliographic reference to a work on Carson McCullers literary work, as well as some information about Carlos Dews' formation of a Carson McCullers Society.  She also comments that it will be interesting to see how Professor Jordan's plans materialize. September 12, 1997

1.8 – FL to MEM: Letter expressing regret at the missing the Bill Segal event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 15th, but they both had colds.  She also hopes that Marielle is better. October 22, 1997

1.9 – FL to MEM: Routing slip with a clipping for the Wall Street Journal of 11/24/97 about a History Channel mini-series on the 1950s, including references to the many writers not used for the series, including Carson McCullers. December 1, 1997

1.10 – FL to MEM: Letter enclosing a copy of the cover of the current Story Magazine, as well as the double-page spread on the Carson McCullers' prize. December 16, 1997


Folder 6-C-1998 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1998

1.0 – Fax from Lantz Office of Gore Vidal's essay, Carson McCullers's Clock Without Hands. The date of the fax was January 14, 1998

1.1 – MEM to FL: Letter sending Floria and David a copy of her book. The letter was mis-dated 1997. January 16, 1998

1.2 – MEM to FL: She refers a Fritz Kriegler to Floria, who is interested in promoting a production of Member at the Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack; the name of Renee Schwartz, who replaced Robert Wolf as her lawyer upon his retirement; as well asking for replacement copies of the yearly accounting of the estate for 1996 and 1997. April 6, 1998

1.3 – FL to MEM: She answers each of Dr. Mercer's questions/requests from the above letter. April 9, 1998

1.4 – Newspaper clipping about Copyright Law. n.d.

1.5 – Note on telephone call to Floria. May 7, 1998

1.6 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $5,000. June 8, 1998

1.7 – MEM to FL: Thanks Floria for the check; says that she saw Marielle and Bill at Lenox Hill; Jane Warwick wants to have lunch with her; and hopes all is well with her and David. June 16, 1998

1.8 – Notes for a telephone call with Floria Lasky. October 9, 1998

1.9 – FL to MEM: Letter enclosing another copy of the 1996 and 1997 statements of income and expenses. October 13, 1998

1.10 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $8,000. December 29, 1998


Folder 6-C-1999 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 1999

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $9,000.  There is a note dated 8/2/99 at the bottom with notes from a telephone conversation with Floria that mention physiotherapy, yoga, a change of editors at Houghton Mifflin. July 27, 1999

1.1 – MEM to FL: Photocopy of a postcard from Newagen Seaside Inn in Cape Newagen, Maine with a postscript letter referring to the items mentioned in the telephone notes above. August 2, 1999

1.2 – FL to MEM: Encloses a letter (item 1.2a below) from Nancy Gutkin O'Neil, September 17, 1999

1.2a – Ms. O'Neil is requesting permission to use some of Carson's words in a public art project she is creating, which consists of 60 stained glass windows for the Sam Nunn Federal Building in downtown

Atlanta, one of which would feature Carson McCullers themes. The thermo fax copy is extremely faint. September 10, 1999

1.3 – MEM to FL: Letter of congratulations for Floria's being awarded the 1999 Louisa Waterman Wise Award from the American Jewish Congress, to be presented at their annual awards dinner on November 17, 1999.  Program attached. October 31, 1999


Folder 6-C-2000 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2000

1.0 – MEM to FL & RL: Discusses options for Carson's Nyack house. January 15, 2000

1.1 – FL to MEM: notes of a telephone conversation in which Floria promised to send a picture of the awards dinner; a Carson renaissance; Mal Gussow of the Times to call re 131; recent trip to Berlin to celebrate her brother Melvin's birthday.  There is an even briefer note attached covering some of the same items. January 31, 2000

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $5,000. March 16, 2000

1.4 – MEM to FL: Notes for a letter or telephone conversation that has further discussion of both houses that had been owned by Carson McCullers and plans to link them, perhaps under the administration of Columbus State University. July 14, 2000

1.5 – MEM to FL: A letter discussing how divide her belongings among CSU, University of Texas and Duke. July 17, 2000

1.6 – Notes from a telephone conversation with Floria about the health of David Altman, her husband. August, 2000

1.7 – Death notices from the New York Times of David Altman.

1.8 – MEM to FL: Sympathy note on the death of David Altman. August 30, 2000

1.9 – MEM to FL: Note about the funeral of David Altman. September 5, 2000

1.10 – Obituary from the New York Times of David R. Altman. September 8, 2000

1.11 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $10,000. November 27, 2000

1.12 – MEM to FL: Holiday greetings. [December], 2000


Folder 6-C-2001 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2001

1.0 – FL to MEM: Thanks Dr. Mercer for the postcard from Newagen. She also enclosed copies of an agreement extending Columbia's right to continue to distribute The Member of the Wedding for $25,000. September 7, 2001

1.1 – MEM to FL: Thanks Floria for the above letter and hopes to see her at the 92nd St. Y to hear Carlos Dews and later to hear J. Savigneau. She also would like to discuss her plans for Carson's Nyack house. September 14, 2001

1.2 – FL to MEM: Her answer to Dr. Mercer's above. September 19, 2001


Folder 6-C-2002 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2002

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. Check for $10,000. January 14, 2002


Folder 6-C-2003 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2003

1.0 – MEM to FL: Floria's surgery, a clipping dated 9/3/61 about Clock Without Hands,  Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians. May 23, 2003

1.1 – MEM: notes on conversation with Floria. July 21, 2003

1.2 – FL to MEM: Distribution with a check for $10,000 & Receipts and Disbursements covering 7/16/2002 to 7/16/2003. July 22, 2003

1.3 – MEM to FL: This letter discusses correspondence from Yaddo, as well as a letter from the new director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians in Columbus, GA, Cathy Fussell. July 22, 2003

1.4 – MEM to FL: Thanks for distribution check. July 26, 2003

1.5 – Note from "Sara" with Floria Lasky's contact information (2 copies). November 7, 2003


Folder 6-C-2004 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2004

1.0 – Obituary for Melvin J. Lasky, New York Times. May 24, 2004

1.1 – Newspaper article/obituary for Melvin Lasky, Wall Street Journal (2 copies). May 26, 2004

1.2 –Two clippings about Jerome Robbins and Ernest Hemingway. August/September, 2004

1.3 – FL to MEM: Distribution and accounting. The check was for $13,000. September 7, 2004

This check was for $13,000. The accounting is for July of 2003 through July of 2004.

1.4 – MEM to FL: Thanks for the distribution and accounting; asks if there is a problem about the Oprah Book Club choice of Heart in April; hopes she is feeling stronger and able to enjoy the lovely weather. September 23, 2004

1.5 – FL to MEM: Floria replies that there must have been a misunderstanding re the Oprah Book Club.  The only issue has been when the money would be remitted.  She also replies to a question of Dr. Mercer's about "who gets the money?" by telling her that first "the publisher receives its share and then the estate, subject to the commission and legal fees, receives the royalties together with Carson's other royalties." October 5, 2004

1.6 – Notes on update to will, no date but with the preceding item.

1.7 – Notes on Floria's distributions: this covers 1991 through 2003, no date but with item 1.15.

1.8 – Copy of Carson McCullers' will with note "Original in Carson files", no date for the copy, but it was associated with the above items.

1.9 – MEM to FL: Seasons greetings and thanks for all she and Robby have done "in keeping Carson's flame blazing". December 21, 2004


Folder 6-C-2005 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2005

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution; much larger than usual due to Oprah, totaling $775,163.83 before commissions and legal fees, leaving a balance of $658,889.26.  Dr. Mercer's check was for $219,629.75. January 28, 2005

1.1 – FL to MEM: copy of item above, with notes of Dr. Mercer. January 28, 2005

1.2 – MEM to FL: Photocopy of a New Yorker cartoon about a dog. March 3, 2005

1.3 – Cathy Fussell to MEM: Letter thanking Dr. Mercer for the Schwarzenbach materials; describes the recent Rebecca Gilman production of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in Columbus and the reception held afterwards at Carson house.  She looks forward to seeing Dr. Mercer in June when she will be in New York. May 12, 2005

1.4 – MEM to Angela Schader: re an upcoming article by Bettina Augustin on Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Carson McCullers. She asks for a copy and offers to pay for any costs involved. May 14, 2005

1.5 – MEM to FL: Thanks Floria for the Annemarie material and sends her a copy of Cathy Fussell's comments about Heart in Columbus. May 17, 2005

1.6 – Angela Schader to MEM: Letter replying to MEM's letter of May 14 and formally asking for permission to quote passages from the correspondence between Carson McCullers and Annemarie Schwarzenbach and the poem Twisted Trinity for the upcoming article in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung.  A note at the bottom says that she talked to Floria about giving the permission. May 18, 2005

1.7 – FL to MEM: Floria asks permission of the heirs of Carson McCullers to authorize her law partner Jerold L. Couture to sign agreements with respect to Carson's works and to negotiate and review such agreements in my place, "if I should become incapacitated."  This letter was flagged with a purple sticky note. May 20, 2005

1.8 – Angela Schader to MEM: Cover letter sending her a copy (attached) of the Bettina Augustin article discussed above. July 4, 2005


Folder 6-C-2006 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2006

1.0 – Envelope addressed to Mrs. David Altman [Floria Lasky] with articles about health.  No date, but the articles are from February, 2006

1.1 – FL to MEM: Distribution. This check was for $35,467.17. May 18, 2006


Folder 6-C-2007 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2007

1.0 – FL to MEM: Distribution. This check was for $16,148.48.  The deposit slip is attached to the letter. March 20, 2007

1.1 – Note saying Floria's birthday and a telephone number and the words "Thank you for starting my day so beautifully" which is presumably what Floria said when Dr. Mercer called. April 24, 2007

1.2 – Newspaper article and clippings relating to the death and funeral of Floria Lasky, who died on September 21, 2007

1.3 – Note of MEM's regarding Carson's estate and reminding herself to ask for the list of sources of income from Floria's replacement, Mr. Couture. September 30, 2007


Folder 6-C-2010 -- Carson's People – Floria Lasky, 2010 & undated

1.0 – Jerold L. Couture to MEM: Letter asking for Dr. Mercer's thoughts about a request from Suzanne Vega, a singer/songwriter who wishes to develop a theatrical work based on Ms. Muller's works. The letter from Suzanne Vega is attached. February 10, 2010

1.1 – Obituary of Jane Warwick, Rita Smith's heir. February 28, 2010

1.2 – Note that says "Floria/ Intellectual property/Copyright/ Floria/ definition of owner". No date

1.3 – Photocopy of Dr. Mercer withi Floria Lasky in later years. No date.

 

Box 17 -- Carson's People -- Folder 6-D – Rita Smith thru 6-H – André Girard


Folder 6-D – Carson's People – Rita Smith, 1962-1983

a – Card—"I know sister would like you to have these, and so do I", n.d.

b – Photo of Rita at 5 Tweed, n.d.

c – Letter about Cousin Virginia. Not enclosed but address is, March 3, 1965

This letter to MEM asks her to talk to Carson about a request from their cousin Virginia Storey about putting on one of her works in Columbus. Virginia Storey's letter referred to by Rita is not present.  The envelope has some unrelated notes on the back in Dr. Mercer's hand.

d – AA annual dinner. (I went with Rita) [program], October 6, 1962

e – Thank you note, October 10, 1962.

This is a short note from Rita saying that she enjoyed Saturday night (the night of the AA annual dinner), which MEM attended with Rita.

f – Letter to Mr. Sale re letter to Rita with hospital dates, July 6, 1970

This letter was moved at some point to Folder 6-C-1970 in the Floria Lasky files.

g – News clippings re Rita's death at 60, January 28, 1983

h – New School contribution in Rita's name, June 6, 1983

i – MG Smith Award, June 28, 1983

This letter thanks Dr. Mercer for her contribution of $100 to the Margarita G. Smith Short Story Award Fund and the New School for Social Research. The award was named for Rita.

j – Thanks from New School [for Social Research], November 14, 1983

k – Last will & testament of Rita, September 18, 1972

l – FL to Ida re Rita's estate, April 27, 1983

m – Another copy of Rita's will, September 18, 1972

This item has a note on the index in Dr. Mercer's hand saying "Taken out" but it is still in the folder.

n – Valentine from Rita, n.d.


Folder 6-E – Carson's People – Jack Dobbin [John Edwin Dobbin]

a – Letter with news clipping of David Altman protecting Jackie O with Floria behind them, October 1, 1969

This note covers a clipping from the New York Post of September 30, 1969 with a photo of Jackie Onassis, David Altman and Floria Lasky.

b – Valentine, n.d.

c – Post card from Delphi, 1970

d – Present of paper from Crete, 1970

e – News clipping, Jack's death at 61, July 12, 1973

f – Jack's will, October 12, 1973

Dr. Mercer notes "he left me: 1 Spool table, 1 mahogany card table, 3 Silver tumble cups"

g – A Dying Friends Goodby – by MEM, 1973, rev. 1978

h – Jack – another poem by MEM, 1973


Folder 6-F – Carson's People – Tom Maschler

a – Letter from Tom to MEM, January 1, 1962

This is a thank-you note for an evening at Dr. Mercers, and expresses hope to see both her and Carson in England soon.

b – Tom—re newspaper mention, n.d.


Folder 6-G.1 – Carson's People – Marielle Bancou, 1960-1971

Dr. Mercer double-numbered several of these items, so the processor has taken the opportunity to rearrange the items in this folder into chronological order and renumber them all, and also to include three folders of material that were not covered by Dr. Mercer's index.

a – MB to MEM, March 16, 1960

This letter expresses concern over Carson's lack of progress in her novel, offers to help MEM's step-daughter with her French, wants Carson to say if she had ever used the Greek legend of death in The Square Root of Wonderful, and sends love to Carson from Janet Flanner.

b – MEM to MB, April 5, 1960

Dr. Mercer replies that they will be happy to see Marielle when she is next in the States.  She also says that Marielle shouldn't worry about Carson—she has had to deal with pushing Clock to one side to work on a folk opera version of the Ballad, disputes with her publisher, and an incredibly inept secretary.  Carson is well and she encloses a photograph to show it.  Carson also says that although she thought about it and talked about it she did not use the Greek myth about death in any of the version of The Square Root of Wonderful.

c – MB to MEM, April 13, 1960

Marielle thanks Dr. Mercer for her letter, and tells her that her son Pascal has contracted meningitis.

d – Postcard from Paris Angel smile, November 12, 1961

e – TLS, Dear Mary/Dear Carson, December 27, 1961

Marielle has moved to an apartment on the place du Palais Bourbon and is sending them some perfume.

f – Invitation to Andre's party at Carson's—long explanation, October 18, 1966

g – Dear Carson & Mary—Cap Ferrat, Pascal only positive thing in my life, May 21, 1965

h – Postcard-tired of organizing really tired of living, December 27, 1966 [?]

i – MB to MEM re Ireland trip, clothes, March 15, 1967

j – Letter with flowers/note from Andre/birthday, June 10, 1967

The note and flowers are in two plastic sleeves but the envelope is not.

k – MB to MEM with MEM's response of 9/26 on back, September 25, 1967

This letter expresses the hope that Carson understood Marielle during her visit to Carson, who was in a coma, and asks MEM if there is anything else that could be done.  Dr. Mercer's reply is copied on the back.  She says, among other medical comments, "And all that can be done, has been done and is being done".

l – MB to MEM after Carson died. Desperate, September 28, 1967

Marielle says, in part, ". . . I am so desperate, I don't know how to go about life now . . ."

m – Postcard—Lyon—re All Saints Day, November 1, 1967

n – Xmas Card-Marielle & Pascal, 1968

o – Postcard-life is not easy, October 29, 1969

p – New Year's Greeting, January, 1971


Folder 6-G.2 – Carson's People – Marielle Bancou, 1995-1997

After a long hiatus in communications, Marielle renewed their correspondence in 1995.  Among the topics of the letters in this folder, which were not indexed by Dr. Mercer, were Caron McCullers' literary reputation; the dedication of the historical marker at 131 South Broadway on September 29, 1996; health issues of all three (MEM, Marielle's cancer treatments, and her nonagenarian husband, William Segal's issues with aging); drawings of MEM by Marielle's first husband, André Girard; visits and dinners; the philosopher Gurdjieff; art and art exhibitions; and Ken Burns' documentary film on Bill.


Folder 6-G.3 – Carson's People – Marielle Bancou, 1998-1999

Among the topics of the letters in this folder, which were not indexed by Dr. Mercer, were holiday greeting cards; The Carson McCullers Society, established by Carlos Dews; exhibitions of the work of both Marielle Bancou and of her husband, William Segal; photographs of them both, and of their work; the price list for Marielle's work exhibited at the Armory in March of 1999 and Dr. Mercer's purchase of her painted book, Carson McCullers—Love is a joint experience (which is in Box 37-Series 10-Arctifacts) and the Ken Burns film on William Segal.


Folder 6-G.4 – Carson's People – Marielle Bancou, 2000-2006

This folder contains William Segal's obituary in May of 2000; the showing of another film by Ken Burns on William Segal, The Ten Oxherding Pictures; information on Marielle's gift of the Marcel Vertès drawing of Carson to the Carson McCullers Center in Columbus, Georgia; Carlos Dews and his resignation from CSU and the McCullers Center and the appointment of Cathy Fussell; Yaddo; more exhibitions and photos; health issues and at the end some undated and partially dated materials.


Folder 6-H – Carson's People – André Girard, 1959-1969

a – Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media: Painting on Light with music of Faure; The Tell-Tale Heart; Debussy's Venice; Nativity; Judith Anderson, n.d.
This is a program for a presentation at the Harpur Theater at SUNY-Binghamton.

b – Painting on Light with film, November 13, 1959

There is a regular brochure for an exhibit and another which has one of his light paintings attached.

c – Drawing mother/child, Christ on Cross, n.d.

This is a double-sided work.

d – Drawing birds & sea & sun/Christ teaching, n.d.

This is a double-sided work.

e – Christ-stained window/Christ baptism, n.d.

This is a double-sided work.

f – A to MEM, visual analysis, January 30, 1967

g – A to MEM, Spec delivery, another time, January 10, 1967

h – A to MEM, Spec delivery, another time, March 6, 1967

i – A to MEM from Andre and Marielle, September 30, 1967

This is a sympathy letter after Carson's death.

j – Rockland County Journal- News clipping of André, March 17, 1967

k – Rockland County Journal-News, André's obituary, 1968

l – Rockland County Journal-News, Mrs. Girard, December 9, 1969

m – Drawings of MEM (five different sketches)

n – Painting of Venice (in my bedroom)

This piece is not in the archives. It was framed and hung in Dr. Mercer's bedroom.



Box 18 -- Carson's People -- Folder 6-I – Mary Tucker thru 6-M – Gypsy Rose Lee

Folder 6-I – Carson's People – Mary Tucker, 1971-2001

This folder contains a very faded letter from MEM to Mary Tucker and 3 letters from Mary Tucker to MEM regarding the publication of Virginia Carr's biography of Carson McCullers, all from 1975.  There are also several letters and notes relating to Dr. Mercer's donation of her correspondence with Mary Tucker to Duke University in 2001. In addition, there are other mostly undated and fragmentary notes about Tucker, Carr, Duke and Carson.  Also included here are MEM's extremely detailed and note-filled index sheets for her letters to Mary Tucker which were donated to the Rubenstein Library at Duke University in 2001.  Finally the detailed Descriptions and Appraisal by Bull City Books of Wilmington, North Carolina is present.  They did the appraisal for Dr. Mercer's tax deduction.


Folder 6-J.1 – Carson's People – Margaret Sullivan, 1967-1990

Some of these items have been renumbered to put them in chronological order.

1 – MEM to MS: Unable to read her dissertation on Carson.  Letter sent to Robby Lantz, November 9, 1967

2 – MS to MEM: Turning dissertation into biography.  Scribner is interested.  Carson's work being neglected. Why she wrote on C. Born in Columbus.  Identified with Frankie, studied piano.  Her surprise in meeting Carson.  I believed in her strength & will.  Clock may be greatest achievement.  Could I talk to her as C's friend?  Where is she buried?, etc. August 15, 1971

3 – MEM to MS: Doubt if I can help. (Amazon)  [Dr. Mercer was going down the Amazon River at the time], October 2, 1971

4 – Flight data to Columbus.  Data re trip.  Jack Dobbins in Iowa.  Hotel stationary.  Notes of a conversation with Mary Tucker about the trip.  Ticket, June 28, 1973

5 – MS to MEM: Poem re Carson, September 29, 1973

6 – Xmas: quote from Hamlet, n.d.

7 – Thanks for Chekhov & New Year's greetings, January 7, 1974

8 – MS to MEM: Carl Van Vecten letters.  Carr has access.  Wants my permission for Yale.  Knowledge of details of death?, September 1, 1975

9 – Mr. Sale answered for me (I was in hospital with coronary). (2 copies), September 18, 1975

10 – MS to MEM: Blanks for me to sign for permission.  Did she offend me?  Was she too much of a burden & you are weary of it?, September 29, 1975

11 – MS to MEM: Coming to NYC.  Her illness (of lupus), August 15, 1977

12 – MEM to MS – Come but I do not wish to talk of C.  My poem something else, August 28, 1977

13 – MS to MEM: Coming to NYC.  She & her mother are coming to NYC, September 17, 1977

14 – MS to MEM: Thanks.  C's presence in my home. Card from Florist, October 2, 1977

15 – MS to MEM: List of C's books.  My handwritten corrections on C's ms?  C had an eye to her biography.  Pecans – note from Cora, December 5, 1977

16 – MEM to Cara and Margaret: Thanks and greetings, January 3, 1978

17 – NYT Author's Query [by Margaret Sullivan], July 2, 1978

18 – MS to MEM: Did U of Texas contact me?, X-mas, 1978


Folder 6-J.2 – Carson's People – Margaret Sullivan, 1979-1990

1 – MS to MEM: Cora had coronary.  A historical marker to go up at C's Stark Ave. home.  Bradley Library to celebrate her birthday, X-mas, 1979

2 – MS to MEM: Her health & her mother's.  More & more impressed with Clock.  Enclosed paper for comments, October 7, 1980

3 – MEM to MS: Returned ms with comment, October 14, 1980

4 – MS to MEM: with enclosure of David Garnett on Carson with photo by Cecil Beaton (This must be filed in Cheltanham folder)  [it was not and is still here in the Margaret Sullivan folder], X-mas, 1980

5 – MEM to MS: Thanks for David Garnett's article, January 13, 1981

6 – MEM to Ester Carry: all about celebration of Carson's birthday in Columbus, February 3, 1981

Dr. Mercer declines an invitation to attend the celebration and has several articles appended to the letter.

7 – Christmas Card--MS to MEM: review of year, Christmas, 1981

8 – MEM to MS: answer to Christmas card, December 29, 1981

9 – MEM to MS: greetings, September 28, 1982

10 – MS to MEM on "Friends of Carson McCullers Inc." (1) to put up historical marker at her house (2) permanent display at library.  Donations.  New address and phone number.  "New Chapter in McCullers Story" –news clipping, "McCullers Honor is Right"-News clipping, December 21, 1983

11 – MEM to MS: Catch-up note, March 5, 1984

12 – Fiona McHugh to MEM re: 60 minute documentary on Carson McCullers of CBC radio Anthology.  Wanting interview.

13 – MEM to Fiona. My answer, May 30, 1984

14 – MS to MEM: marker to be put up.  Enclosed copy of legend at 1519 Stark Ave. Library display case also in place.  Progress for C McC stamp.  Interview with Fiona McHugh in October, September 5, 1984

15 – MEM phoned Fiona McHugh after interview.  Troubles about the tape, October 3, 1984

These are Dr. Mercer's notes from her telephone call regarding the interview.

16 – MS to MEM: Reassuring me re interview, Christmas, 1984

17 – MS to MEM: doings re Carson in Columbus, Christmas, 1985

18 – Anna Quindlen's article about reporters, New York Times clippings, April 10, 1984

19 – MS to MEM: greetings, December, 1987

20 – MEM to MS: sent her tape of Carson's reading of her work.  Asked for tape of Canadian interview, March 20, 1990

21 – Auden: A difference in Memories—news article re reporters, n.d.

22 – 2 slides of Margaret Sullivan, one in Columbus in 1973 and one in Nyack in 1974


Folder 6-J.3 – Carson's People – Margaret Sullivan, 1976

1 – Margaret Sullivan's dissertation, Carson McCullers, 1917-1947: The Conversion of Experience, Autographed on August 25, 1976


Folder 6-K – Carson's People – Virginia Carr

Dr. Mercer transferred the contents of this file to Folder 2-M – Writings about Carson.


Folder 6-L – Carson's People – Marilyn Monroe, 1964-1984

This folder contains various news clippings and articles about Marilyn Monroe.


Folder 6-M – Carson's People – Gypsy Rose Lee, April 20, 1970

This consists of the New York Times obituary of Ms. Lee.

 

Box 19 -- Carson's People/Carson Related -- Folder 6-N – Cheryl Crawford thru 7-A.3 – Carlos Dews

Folder 6-N – Carson's People – Cheryl Crawford

This is a news clipping on the occasion of the Broadway producer's 60th birthday, 1962


Folder 6-O – Carson's People – Edith Sitwell, September 22, 1968

This is a clipping from the New York Times Book Review of September, 1968 on John Lehmann book, A Nest of Tigers: The Sitwells in their Time.


Folder 6-P – Carson's People – W. H. Auden

This folder contains undated news clippings about Auden and the placement of his papers. One has a note from Dr. Mercer to Mr. Sale.

[There is no Folder 6-Q]


Folder 6-R.1 – Carson's People – Jordan Massee, 1952-1971

1 – Copy of The Mortgaged Heart and When We are Lost with envelope with JM handwriting, December, 1952

2 – Draft of a letter from MEM to Jordan Massee, Senior, regarding a planned luncheon with him, Boots, Carson and Dr. Mercer, n.d., but before Carson's death in September of 1967.

3 – Christmas card, "A Happy Christmas", 1968

4 – Christmas card, December 25, 1968

5 – Easter card, 1971

6 – Photocopy of Books Reviews section from the Columbus Enquirer about Carson McCullers and Flannery O'Connor, December 27, 1971


Folder 6-R.2 – Carson's People – Jordan Massee, 1994-2001

1 – Jordan's letter to MEM re The Catalog, June 19, 1994

2 – MEM to JM: Thanking, July 6, 1994

3 – JM to MEM: Letter came with Catalog

4 – The Catalog: Notes on Carson McCullers by Jordan Massee: From 1949-1967, Plus the funeral and a conversation with Truman Capote

This a hundred-page plus record of Carson McCullers, her life, death and work.

5 – Season's Greetings, December, 1994

6 – MEM to JM: Thanking for newspaper clipping re. French video people, May 31, 1985

7 – JM to MEM: Xmas Greetings, December 9, 1995

8 – JM to MEM re recent recordings of music, December 16, 1999

9 – JM to MEM note with photocopy of a Tennessee Williams letter of June (?) 25, 1961 praising Clock, April 20, 2001

There is a note on JM letters in Dr. Mercer's hand that says, 4/29/01  Called to thank Jordan.  Sounds well.

10 – Bradden Dunau Burns to MEM re: the approaching one year anniversary of Jordan Massee's death and discussing the relationship between JM and Carson and Burns' relationship with JM.  It encloses a photograph of JM exiting a tunnel slide in 1995, May 15, 2003


Folder 6-S – Carson's People – Oliver Smith, 1991-1994

These are news clippings about the set designer, including his New York Times obituary of January 25, 1994.


Folder 6-T – Carson's People – Ida Reeder, 1987

This folder consists of three copies of the order of service of Ida Reeder's funeral service and a clipping of her obituary from the Rockland County Journal News, March 29, 1987


Folder 6-U – Carson's People – Hallie Burnett, 1991-1997

This folder consists of the New York Times obituary of Hallie Burnett (1909-1991) and correspondence relating to a suitable photo of Carson McCullers for use in Story Magazine.  There is a note on Dr. Mercer's folder to see Folder 7-H-Story, where more information on Story Magazine is kept.


Folder 6-V – Carson's People – Various

This folder contains news clippings of: Jane and Paul Bowles (4); David Diamond (1); Robert Whitehead and Zoe Caldwell (1); Saratoga (1); Golo Mann (1); Saint Subber (1); Howard Moody (1); D.H. Lawrence (1); Sarah Bernhard (1); Horton Foot (1); Martin Luther King, Jr. (1); William Faulkner (2); Montgomery Clift (2); Benjamin Britten (3); Peter Pears (2); Greta Garbo (1); Marlene Dietrich (1); James Joyce (1); Anton Chekhov (1); Ernest Hemingway (2); John Steinbeck (3); Eugene O'Neill (3)


Folder 6-W – Carson's People – Robert Whitehead, 2002

This folder contains two copies the June 17, 2002 New York Times obituary of producer Robert Whitehead (1916-2002) and an article from its theater section on him of June 23, 2002


Folder 6-X – Carson's People – Reeves McCullers, 1952-1953

[These materials were not included in Dr. Mercer's index and were arbitrarily placed here by the processor]

1 – Note in Dr. Mercer's hand "Nov. 18 died, Nov. 19, 1953 Found Hotel Chateau-Fontenac Barbituates and ROH Reeves"

2 – Letter [photocopy]: Reeves to Jack [John Dobbins?], April 13, 1952

Writing from Villa Cleofe, Villini-Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome, Reeves describes difficulties with the mail: "I wrote that son-of-a-bitching postmaster twice from Italy and filled out cards before I left.  One more slip up on his part and I'm voting Republican next fall."  He hopes Jack had a pleasant Easter in Nyack and describes it there in Italy.  He says that he and Carson have been ill off and on ever since coming here, but hope to go on to Austria and Germany and then to Paris indefinitely, weather and health permitting.  If not, "we will come on back to the States."  He concludes by saying, "I expect things are lovely there in Nyack now and I must say we get homesick for it at times.  Give our love to Minnie, Reeves"

3 – Letter: Reeves to Carson, July 28, 1953

In this letter written from Ancien Presybtere, Bachivillers (Cise), France, Reese begins by saying," Carson, My Darling, It is a dreary, bleary time here with you away.  I have no idea where you are but I pray that you are happier. . . Nothing in life that I will experience will be good unless you share it with me."  He discusses their impending divorce and says, "Now what can I say?  My blood, fingernails, soul and bones are yours."  He concludes with, "Well, take your advice—not from God or anyone else, Reeves"

4 – Letter: Reeves to Carson, September 6, 1958

In this, his final letter, sent from Bachivillers he discusses the logistics of getting Carson's things to her, his traffic accident, his hopes that she might reconsider the divorce after he has spent a few months sober and earned some money.  He discusses whether he can keep the typewriter since he needs one and "they are dammed expensive here."  He also says, "If you wish a divorce I will co-operate in every respect . . . whether we are together or apart I will think of you the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  Give a little time, and I will also make money for you, Butter Duck.  Reeves". He ends a P.S. with these words, "I am sane, sober, fully dressed and in my right mind: I will do anything, anything for your ease and peace of mind.  I love you. R."  He committed suicide 10 weeks later.


Series 7 -- Carson Related


Folder 7-A.1 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, 1992-1995

This folder covers Carlos Dews' initial contact with Dr. Mercer and subsequent communications regarding his dissertation on Carson McCullers.

Folder 7-A.2 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, 1996-1997

This folder concerns his activity as a speaker at the dedication of the historical marker in Nyack on September 29, 1996.  It also covers his work on publishing Carson's unfinished autobiography, Illumination and Night Glare as well the activities of the Carson McCullers Society.

Folder 7-A.3 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, 1998-2001

This folder contains correspondence dealing with the publication of Illumination, as well as correspondence with Carlos Dews, John Mertens and Dr. Maya Tugusheva, who would translate it into Russian.  It also covers Dews' appointment to the faculty of Columbus State University and the establishment of the Carson McCullers center, of which he would become the Founding Director.  They also discuss "A Tribute to Carson McCullers", a tribute to Carson at the 92nd Street Y on November 26, 2001, which Dr. Mercer attended.


Box 20 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-A.4 – 7-A.6 – Carlos Dews


Folder 7-A.4 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, 2002

This folder contains follow up discussion of the event at the 92nd Street Y, including an audio-tape of Josyane Savigneau's speech that night (in the media box) and the Valley Reads event in Columbus, Georgia to collectively read a Carson McCullers book.

Folder 7-A.5 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, 2003-2006

This folder contains correspondence on Dr. Mercer's initial donation of Carson-related items to the Carson McCullers Center in Columbus; Carlos Dews' resignation from CUS and the Center; his acceptance into the graduate program in fiction writing at the New School University in New York City and the appointment of Cathy Fussell as the new director of the Center, his time in Buenos Aires, a copy of the Spring 2005 issue of The Oxford American with Carson's article, The Great Eaters of Georgia, and the proposed Russian translation of Illumination and Night Glare.


Folder 7-A.6 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, Published material and undated materials

This folder included brochures, event announcements, newsletters, news clippings, and undated material.

 

Box 21 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-A.7-Carlos Dews – 7-C – Fall-out From J.S.-s Book


Folder 7-A.7 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, Thesis, vol. I

This is the first volume of Carlos Dews' 1994 thesis, presented to the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, titled Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers.

Folder 7-A.8 – Carson Related – Carlos Lee Barney Dews, Thesis, vol. II

This is the second volume of Carlos Dews' 1994 thesis, presented to the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, titled Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers.

Folder 7-B – Carson Related – Josyane Savigneau, 1995-2002

This series of correspondence began in 1995 and continued through the publication of Savigneau's book, Carson McCullers: Un coeur de jeune fille that year and the publication of its English translation in 2001 as Carson McCullers: A Life. There are exchanges of Christmas cards, comments on the galleys of the English version, and discussion of a pair of lectures given by Savigneau in New York and London on Carson.

Folder 7-C – Carson Related – Fall-Out from JS's Book, 1996-1998

These are letters for people wanting to more about Dr. Mercer and Carson's relationship after having read Josyane Savigneau's biography.

 

Box 22 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-D – 7-F


Folder 7-D.1 – Carson Related – Historical Marker at 131, 1994-1996

This folder contains the planning documents for the historical marker for Carson's house at 131 South Broadway, Nyack, NY, its placement and text, the preparations of the house and gardens, the ceremony itself, which occurred on September 29, 1996, and letters of thanks and congratulations afterwards.

Folder 7-D.2 – Carson Related – Historical Marker at 131-Photos, September 29, 1996

This folder contains 11photos of Dr. Mercer, Floria Lasky and others at the dedication ceremony.  They were in an envelope from Sandra De Minco, one of the tenants at 131 South Broadway.

Folder 7-D.3 – Carson Related – Historical Marker at 131-Photos, September 29, 1996

This folder contains numerous photos of Dr. Mercer, Floria Lasky and others at the dedication ceremony.  They were in an envelope from Ken Wanamaker, which may or may not have originally contained these photographs.

Folder 7-D.4 – Carson Related – Historical Marker at 131-Photos, September 29, 1996

This folder contains photos and negatives of the dedication ceremony. T here is also an elaborate schema as to who was in what and who was to receive copies of the prints, but it is unclear if these refer to this group of negatives.  One side of the list is headed "K" and might refer to Ken Wanamaker.

Folder 7-E – Carson Related – Historical Society Restoration Award for 131 (May) 1997

This folder contains correspondence, awards banquet photos and the Rockland County Executive's 1997 Historic Preservation Merit Award to Dr. Mercer for the restoration of 131 South Broadway.

Folder 7-F – Carson Related – BBC Radio Interview on Carson, March, 1995

This folder contains correspondence relating to an interview conducted by the BBC for a program on the life and work of Carson McCullers called Carson McCullers: Love Me.  Dr. Mercer was interviewed for the program. A cassette tape recording of the program is in the media box.

Folder 7-G – Carson Related – French Television, April, 1995

This folder contains correspondence relating to a documentary made on Carson McCullers by a French film company as part a Great Writers of the 20th Century series.  The VHS of the program has been placed in the media box.

 

Box 23 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-H – 7-O


Folder 7-H – Carson Related – Story Magazine, 1997-1999

This folder contains correspondence concerning the establishment by Story Magazine of the Carson McCullers Short Story Competition, as well as four issues of the magazine.

Folder 7-I – Carson Related – Informal Artists Colonies, 2000-2002

There are several newspaper clippings and some notes to the tenants at 131 about animal control.

Folder 7-J – Carson Related – Sue Walker, July-September, 2006

There are three e-mails from Sue Walker with some poems about Carson.  The initial contact with Dr. Mercer is filed in Folder 2-G.

Folder 7-K – Carson Related – Appraisals – Donations to McCullers Center, 2003

This folder concerns Dr. Mercer's donation of several items to the Carson McCullers Center in Columbus in 2003, including a detailed list and a copy of the appraisal made by Lynn Roundtree dba Armadillo Books and Appraisals in Chapel Hill, NC.

Folder 7-L – Carson Related – Appraisals, Non-literary, 1961-1991

This folder contains appraisals and repair reports for several objects, including rugs, porcelain, the chandelier Dr. Mercer gave to Carson on the publication of Clock Without Hands, drawings, prints and other art work, etc.

Folder 7-M – Carson Related – Appraisals, Literary, 1977-2000

This folder contains news clippings, catalogs and correspondence regarding literary appraisals. Some of these times were originally in Folder 2-G – Collectors Inquirers.

Folder 7-N – Carson Related – Foes, 1969-1977

These are newspaper clippings on Lillian Hellman, Flannery O'Connor and Gore Vidal.

Folder 7-O – Carson Related – Menashe, Samuel, 2000-2004

This folder contains correspondence from and news clippings about the poet Samuel Menashe (1925-2011).

 

Box 24 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-P-Index – 7-P.11


Folder 7-P – Carson Related – Speak My Name, 1973

The 20 folders in this subseries concern Dr. Mercer's pen portrait of Carson, Speak My Name, Remember My Face: A Portrait of Carson McCullers, as it went several drafts and versions, both in prose and verse.  It also contains correspondence relating to her apparently unsuccessful efforts to get it published.

Folder 7-P-Index – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Index, 1973

Folder 7-P.0 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Prose Version #1.0, January, 1973

Folder 7-P.1 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Prose Version #1, January, 1973

Folder 7-P.2 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Poetry Version #2, May 1973

Folder 7-P.3 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Original Version #2, May, 1973

This folder contains the first rejection letter, from Houghton Mifflin.

Folder 7-P.4 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Poetry Version #3, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.5 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Poetry Version #4, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.6 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #4, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.7 – Carson Related – Speak My Name, Version #5, copy 3, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.8 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #5, May, 1973-December, 1974

Folder 7-P.9 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Poetry Version #6, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.10 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Comments, Poetry Version #6, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.11 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Poetry Version #7, June, 1973



Box 25 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-P.13 – 7-P.20


Folder 7-P.12 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #7, June, 1973

Folder 7-P.13 – Carson Related – Speak My Name, Poetry Version #8, June, 1973

Folder 7-P.14 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #8, June, 1973

Folder 7-P.15 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #8, June, 1973

This relates to an unauthorized copy of this draft made by Margaret Sullivan.

Folder 7-P.16 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #8, June, 1973

Folder 7-P.17 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Correspondence and Working Papers-Comments, Poetry Version #8, May, 1973

Folder 7-P.18 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Miscellaneous Notes, 1974-1976

Folder 7-P.19 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Drafts & Titles, n.d.

Folder 7-P.20 – Carson Related – Speak My Name-Early Versions, Fragments and Notes, 1970s

 

Box 26 -- Carson Related -- Folder 7-Q

Folder 7-Q – Carson Related – Books Sent to Carson for Review

These folders contain books apparently sent to Carson McCullers for review.

Folder 7-Q.1 – Uncorrected proof from Random House of Season of Fear by Guy Owen, published 1960.

Folder 7-Q.2 – Uncorrected proofs from Houghton Mifflin of The Mantis and the Moth by Max Weatherly, published in 1964

This book had a blurb by Carson McCullers on its cover at publication.

Folder 7-Q.3 – Uncorrected proof sent by Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Memoir of an Aged Child by Alfred Duhrssen, published January of 1968



Box 27 -- Series 8 – Personal – Carson and MEM -- Folder 8-A.1 – 8-A.47


Folder 8-A -- Letters

Folder 8-A.1 – Carson and MEM – Dictaphone Session Letter, February 3, 1958

Typed letter from C to MEM regarding dreams (struggling with a coat, oyster stew, whole milk, Parisian doctor named Monique, Alps, skiing, etc.) and other therapy issues including asking if she should read psychiatry books, 3 pages

Folder 8-A.2 – Carson and MEM – Dictaphone Session Letter, April 4, 1958

Typed letter from C to MEM regarding her therapy.  She says in part, "I am wildly happy at times, my novel is so close I can hear it breathing.  It is a tremendous joy and relief to feel it so near..."  She goes on to discuss the poetry of Rilke, Baudelaire poetry on self-exposure, and Karl Marx and adds, "Dear Dr. Mercer, I have just mentioned the writers, three writers who along with music dominated my adolescence when I was seventeen and in bed for a year..." regarding dreams and other therapy issues.

Folder 8-A.3 – Carson and MEM – Dictaphone Session Letter, June 30, 1958

Typed letter from C to MEM regarding her therapy.  She mentions a dream about Dr. Mercer which included reading a newspaper headline about Eudora Welty drowning in the Hook River. She also mentions her sister Rita, 1 page

Folder 8-A.4 – Carson and MEM – Dictaphone Session Letter, July 11, 1958

Discusses being "fired" as a patient and resolutions she has made, as well as the need for self-discipline, love, music and phobias, 1 page

Folder 8-A.5 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 14, 1958

Carson discusses "a whole kaleidoscope of dreams" including one where Dr. Mercer is holding "several premature, wiggling creatures" and the other involved fog horns, travel, Edith Sitwell, dinner parties, Elizabeth Bowen, how to pay for it and it turned into a nightmare, 1 page

Folder 8-A.6 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 16, 1958

Carson says that "Jordon Massee was one of the legendary figures of my childhood, and it came about in this way" and goes on to recount tales of Big Jordon (whom she says Tennessee Williams used as the model for Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and Little Jordon (usually called "Boots" by friends and family, 1 page

Folder 8-A.7 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 17, 1958

Carson tells Dr. Mercer about a visit from Max and their discussions on world events, Max's loathing of all politicians, all State Department officials and especially Dulles and Robert Murphy, 1 page

Folder 8-A.8 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 18, 1958

Carson tells Dr. Mercer about a phone call from Jordan Masse telling her of an operation for cancer that he had had and that the doctors told him that they felt they had got it all.  He will have to go to Georgia and will be spending the weekend with Carson, along with Rita and Pete.  She then goes on to tell about how Rita was worried about the rumors of war that she didn't want to leave New York for a dinner in Boston and on to her Radcliffe lectures, preferring "to be right in New York when the atom bomb hits us."  Rita finally did go and while in Boston, she ran into John L. Brown, a close friend of Carson's who was on his way to Rome for a 5-year State Department posting, 1 page

Folder 8-A.9 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 19, 1958

Carson tells Mr. Mercer that although she has guests she has left them because "I have to do my daily exercise on the typewriter" and proceeds to tell of two dreams she had the night before.  In the first dream, Dr. Mercer said "Now you have the run of the house."  Carson replied, "But I'm not analyzed and also I've never met your husband."  She then goes on to describe how she then saw Dr. Trussell running across the yard ("it was a much bigger yard in the dream"), balancing on a fence and then jumping down on the other side.  In the second dream someone showed her a photograph of Reeves "that last sad, satanic beautiful one and in the dream I felt sorrow and woke up".  She ends by saying, "Everybody is having drinks in the living room and it's time for me to join them.  Goodbye for now." 2 pages

Folder 8-A.10 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 20, 1958

Carson writes about her guests and her plans for the future, including having "Pete" live with her after Max leaves . "Meanwhile he is spending part of the summer with Lillian Hellman at the Cape."  She also tells of a nightmare the night before which involved her falling and she awake with a cramp in her left foot.  She also talks of a discussion she had with Boots about a large blue oriental rug which he had folded in half and was using in his dining room.  Carson offered to buy half of it if they could find an expert able to cut it in two and thus "this nagging problem of the blue rug might be solved".  She also discusses her supper (cold lamb, salad and bread and wine and cheese), her plans for a speech she will give during the coming week [at Columbia?] and finally her hopes for Rita's "hairdresser to dye my dreadful hair back to the natural color", 2 pages

Folder 8-A.11 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 21, 1958

Carson writes that "the New York Post has just come and the news is so depressing that I took refuge I this letter."  She didn't remember any dreams or nightmares of the night before, but says that Max, her tenant, heard moans and strange noises coming from her room.  ["called Marielle" is written in Dr. Mercer's hand in the margin]  When she woke up she had another cramp in her foot and took a Milltown.  She also began a story about when Max sat next to a priest on a plane from N.Y to Madrid, but the letter breaks off in mid-sentence, 1 page (partial)

Folder 8-A.12 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 24, 1958

The first paragraph is undated, but was probably typed on the 22nd or 23rd of July. She discusses her sleep talking to Marielle a few days earlier and attempts to explain why it happened.  She ends that paragraph by saying, "Good god! I'm writing like a German!"


The rest of the letter is dated the 24th of July and discusses a dream Carson had about Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe swimming in Dr. Mercer's pool while Carson and Dr. Mercer were lying on the grass, 2 pages

Folder 8-A.13 – Carson and MEM – Letter, July 31, 1958

{Dr. Mercer had left for a vacation in Spain.]  Carson writes to Dr. Mercer saying that she wanted "to call to say one last bon voyage...but, alas, I had waited too late and there was no answer.  I wanted to cry, but when I looked at your beautiful ring I was comforted.  Thank you for letting me have this part of you while you are gone, my darling."  She then copies out a Joyce poem, beginning,  "I hear an army".  She closes by saying that "I will feel better tomorrow when I can think of you, sleeping, resting in the sun, swimming and free in your radiant gladness . In the meantime know that to me no word is tender enough to be your name.  Carson McCullers [typed]", 2 pages

Folder 8-A.14 – Carson and MEM – Letter, August 1, 1958

Carson thanks Dr. Mercer for sending a cable announcing her safe arrival.  She also talks about her tenant Max, as well as mental health issues of Jane Bowles.  She ends by saying, "Ida and I are having stewed Rockland County corn and chicken livers for supper and I think of you eating paella and hummingbird's tongues.  This note carries all my love that you can use."

Folder 8-A.15 – Carson and MEM – Letter, August 4, 1958

Carson wrote about hearing Rita practice a speech she will give at Columbia in front of Carson and Marielle. She says "I love my sister so much and am so proud of her."  She goes on to describe the visits of "random and rather unwelcome people" the day before.  A television script writer also came who might do  some of her stories.  This might be a way for Carson to get in Blue Cross by way of the television guild.  She also discusses a proposed two-month lecture tour proposed by her State Department friend John Brown, which she says she might undertake next year, 2 pages

Folder 8-A.16 – Carson and MEM – Letter, August 9, 1958

This note, the first one on Carson McCullers' stationary, tells Dr. Mercer "that the Russian trip has been called off. I am both disappointed and relieved.  Hilde B. and John B. are both waking up from naps so I have to join them.  Always – Carson McCullers".  With the note is a Chinese character drawn on lined paper with a typed note that says,  "This means love in Chinese." 2 pages

Folder 8-A.17 – Carson and MEM – Draft Letter, MEM to Carson, August 9, 1958

Dr. Mercer thanks Carson for three letters and makes reference to items mentioned in each one.  She says that eating "humming birds' tongues couldn't be farther from the truth.  I have indeed had trouble keeping anything down."

Folder 8-A.18 – Carson and MEM – Letter and post cards, August 11, 1958

Carson writes thank Dr. Mercer for her letter, received that morning.  She then describes her visit to a camp where she couldn't eat or sleep and overdid, and when she got home she sleep talked and sleep walked and "scared Max very much. Now I am recovering and hearing from you has made me quite well."  She also says, "I am going to read Love in the Western World this afternoon."  Also included in this folder is a postcard undated but describing the camp experience, addressed to Dr. Mary Mercer at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. T here are also two other undated post cards which were together in the same folder with the other items mentioned here, 1 page, 3 post cards

Folder 8-A.19 – Carson and MEM – unused postcard, undated but in the 1958 folder

Folder 8-A.20 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 6, 1959

This is the first letter in which Carson McCullers addressed Dr. Mercer as "Mary".  She begins with quoting a poem by Emily Dickenson, After great pain a formal feeling comes, and goes on to tell her what knowing her has meant.  She said, "When I come to you I had lived a long time in that eerie chill and longer in the stupor.  It took a long a painful struggle for the letting go."  She talked about the horrendous beginning of the therapy, when Carson had heart failure after the third session.  The only reason she continued was because Dr. Mercer had "given me the promise of hope, the hope that somehow you could help me track down my soul.  That is because I had already sensed in you a radiant fulfillment I had never known in another person before; indeed, I even then felt, however dimly, the ultimate presence of the Holy Ghost."  After going on to discuss her physical ailments and her gradual overcoming of her writer's block, she concluded this long letter with this paragraph, "Now I write on my novel every day and, O Miracle, it is good, the best work I've done.  You have released me from the despair that had parallelized me for twenty years.  Dr. Mercer, Mary, now that we think our work is almost done, how can I thank you?  Since no words are adequate I salute you."  It is signed "Carson" in a very shaky hand. 3 pages.

Folder 8-A.21 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 9, 1959

This letter continues Carson's detailed description of their work together and its benefits to her, both mental and physical, 3 pages

Folder 8-A.22 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 10, 1959

This letter describes the luncheon party given by Carson and attended by Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Isak Dinesen and her secretary, Jordan Massee and Felicia Giffen, the Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Carson says, "The party was a slam bang success."  She then goes on to discuss in great detail the order of arrival of the guests, their personality traits, the menu (beginning with the Baroness' requirements of oysters and champagne, then tomato and cucumber salad and finally ice cream, followed by brandy and coffee), and Ida's having a photograph made with Marilyn's arms about her and her friend Ann who had helped serve.  The lunch lasted 4 hours, and "Felicia, Jordan and I stayed for a short post mortem and I had a real drink with Felicia, to recover."  She ends the letter saying, " It could have been a party we would have discussed in our old age if you had been here.  I missed you. . . .", [Dr. Mercer was on vacation at the Hotel Onthecay, St. Croix, in the West Indies], 3 pages

Folder 8-A.23 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 11, 1959

This short letter tells Dr. Mercer that she "did two good pages this morning, then went to the dentist this afternoon.  It was a rough session, complicated by my cold and interrupted by hawking and coughing.  I still sound like a cross between Camille and the Hound of the Baskervilles.", 1 page

Folder 8-A.24 – Carson and MEM –News clippings, February 13, 1959

These two clippings, one from the New York Telegram and Sun of Friday, February 13, 1959, have photographs of the guests at Carson's luncheon party, including one of them at the table.

Folder 8-A.25 – Carson and MEM – Cablegram, February 14, 1959

This cablegram is address to Mrs. Ray Trussell (Mary Mercer's married name) and says only "WOULD YOU BE MY VALENTINE GUESS WHO"

Folder 8-A.26 – Carson and MEM – Postcard, October 21, 1959

This postcard was sent by Carl Van Vechten to remind Mary and Carson that they are expected at 12:30 on Saturday, October 31. The postcard image is from one of his photographic portraits of Carson.

Folder 8-A.27 – Carson and MEM – Enclosures and post cards, 1959 and n.d.

These items have no date, some are unused, some have Carson's signature. They were placed by Dr. Mercer in the 1959 folder, so have been left there.

Folder 8-A.28 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 2, 1960

Addressed to "Little Genetic Dynamic Constellation", this note tells of her day, Ida's gossip and a slow-down in her novel, which she calls "a creativity lession [sic]."  She wishes Mary well on her upcoming vacation to the Caribbean, 1 leaf

Folder 8-A.29 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 3, 1960

Carson imagines Dr. Mercer approaching Puerto Rico.  She also mentions that Rita had called the day before "and for the first time in years she said she was fine when I asked how she felt."  She had received a letter from Mary Tucker and a call from Frank.  She expects Dr. Mercer's cable any hour.  She will have Ann's meatballs for supper, 1 page

Folder 8-A.30 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 4, 1960

Dr. Mercer's cable of her safe arrival had not yet come, so Carson had called the hotel to make sure that they were registered.  This is the first letter signed MMDM by Carson, 1 page

Folder 8-A.31 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 6, 1960

This letter thanks Dr. Mercer for her adorable letter.  She recounts Ida's "black fury" at Carson's having invited guests for dinner.  Frank brought her a record of Candide and talked about Blue Cross and Blue Shield and also said that Carson should think carefully about changing publishers and to talk to Floria again.  Carson and Chris [Christine] "are going to read the book [Clock ?] this afternoon, as many chapters as we can digest.  She's never read it, and I like to hear things read aloud."  She closes with "Rest, swim in that blue, blue ocean, sleep one night like an angel, the next night like a rock, the next night like a little kitty, the next night like a little lamb.  Carson."  There was a feather enclosed in the letter, 1 leaf plus enclosure

Folder 8-A.32 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 7, 1960

Addressed to "My Best Friend", Carson hopes that the birthday flowers she sent to Dr. Mercer's husband, Ray Trussell, arrived before they left for the West Indies.  She also tells her of the pleasure felt by Henry Varnum Poor at Dr. Mercer's purchase of several of his pictures at a recent exhibition and sale.  Carson is going to their house on next Sunday.  Henry has been commissioned to build another house.  She also asks Dr. Mercer to "Remember all the good meals to tell me.  If you've tasted anything extraordinary, ask the cook to give us the recipe.  Christine and I are going to have aspic salad and stuffed eggs for lunch.  To work now!", 1 page

Folder 8-A.33 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 8, 1960

Carson tells Dr. Mercer of a dream the night before of playing Chopin for her.  The bulk of the letter tells of Rita's mental condition, feeling unable to take the literature position mentioned in an earlier letter, and considering a variety of other jobs, including teaching second grade, being a receptionist, working in a department store, being a streetwalker.  "I felt so sorry for her but so helpless."  Carson suggested to her that she go for a week to High Watch, operated by AA, to pull herself together, 1 page

Folder 8-A.34 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 9, 1960

This letter says that she couldn't sleep the night before worrying about the changes that a Puerto Rican house might bring.  She dreaded the thought of Dr. Mercer "living there three months on end, leaving me.  Read Ruth sixteen and seventeen."  She also says that Rita is better.

Folder 8-A.35 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 10, 1960

Carson now says that buying the house is an exciting idea.  "You know well that any place where you are I like, I love."  She also said, "This morning I had a long letter from Marielle.  I'll save it to show it to you.  We [are] having vegetable soup for lunch and it's steaming on the table now.  So darling---", one page

Folder 8-A.36 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 12, 1960

She urges Dr. Mercer to rest, swim in "the green pearl-foamed ocean, eat heartily so you can describe the foreign dishes to me, doze again and wander to the beach to find exquisite seashells."  She also asks, "Is the pink sand real or did the hotel put it there?"  She also adds, "Last night I had a marvelous dream.  It was a bright, starry night and we were trimming a Christmas tree together, outdoors under the bright sky.  Now I embrace you because it's time to work.  Your Carson", 1 page

Folder 8-A.37 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 13, 1960

Carson writes of her fury at Houghton Mifflin about their refusal to release her from the option they have to publish her next book, which would be Clock Without Hands.  She feels that after Houghton Mifflin had remaindered Member of the Wedding after eleven weeks, it would not be a publication but a deliberate abortion.

Folder 8-A.38 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 13, 1960

This is the second letter written the same day about Houghton Mifflin, in which her "fury is intensified by the fact that still there has been no quickening in the book.  I feel like poor Sarah when she was about 79 year old and still barren."  She has a P.S. in which she says, "I'm jibbering with horror!  I had to take an extra Digitalis.  Flowers just came, and when I opened the card they were from that unspeakable Houghton Mifflin.  I told Christine to throw them away.  They arrived about 14 to 20 years too late..."

Folder 8-A.39 – Carson and MEM – Valentine Card, February 14, 1960

This is signed "Guess who" in Carson's hand.

Folder 8-A.40 – Carson and MEM – Letter, February 6, 1960

This brief letter discusses Carson's work on Clock, Tennessee's new play, only three more days until Dr. Mercer returns from vacation, and a plumber is at work in Carson's house, 1 page

Folder 8-A.41 – Carson and MEM – Letter, April 16, 1960

This letter is dated Easter Saturday and begins, "Dear Mary, How can I guard my soul that it be touched not by thine?  I am quiet and patient, but it's hard to know that you are sad. . ."  [There are stains that indicate that there were flowers or foliage enclosed at one time, but they were not present when processed], 1 page

Folder 8-A.42 – Carson and MEM – Letter, May 2, 1960

This letter begins, "There are times our human best cannot undo the tragedy long in the making.  Mine has been a lifetime in the making.  The themes of all my novels have concerned the impossibility of truly equal love.  That has been my personal tragedy and I hate it.  But I am not the only one who has suffered this.  I think of Rilke and Thomas Mann.  They, too, were both obsessed with the distance of love. . . I believe it is better for us to talk than for me to write about this; it is too painful to write. . .", 1 page

Folder 8-A.43 – Carson and MEM – News clipping, August 11, 1960

This is from the County Citizen and concerns a book signing by Carson McCullers and Alice Beal Parsons as a fundraiser for the Nyack Library

Folder 8-A.44 – Carson and MEM – Envelope with Enclosures, April 27, 1962

This folder contains an envelope addressed in Carson McCullers' hand that held several enclosures including a note from her saying "For the lovely Swann" and a drawing of a heart pierced by an arrow, folded over a cancelled check for 500 dollars from Dr. Mercer to Carson McCullers; 2 bills from Vernon Church Flowers in February and March of 1962 for flowers delivered to Carson McCullers from Dr. Mary Mercer; and 5 enclosure cards in Carson's hand for flowers delivered to Dr. Mercer.  A note on Dr. Mercer's folder said, "Swann bill, letters to me in Spain."

Folder 8-A.45 – Carson and MEM – Letter, August 27, 1966

This folder contains two envelopes, both mailed on August 26, 1966 to Dr. Mary Mercer at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  One was empty, the other contained a short note, "Dearest love, woke up thinking of you with tenderest love.  M.M.D.M." and containing flower petals, 2 sheets

Folder 8-A.46 – Carson and MEM – Letter, August 30, 1966

This letter is with an envelope addressed to Dr. Mary E. Mercer, Hotel Palace, Madrid and starts "Dear, dear darling, So thrilled to get your letter from Barcelona. . . ", 1 page

Folder 8-A.47 – Carson and MEM – Letter, September 1, 1966

This letter was addressed to Dr. Mercer at Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain and gives Dr. Mercer a list of friends who have come to visit, but they don't stop her from missing Dr. Mercer.  She is reading Tolstoy and is about to start The Sound and the Fury.

 

Box 28 -- Mercer Materials -- Folder 9-A – 9-B.2(3)

Folder 9-A – Autos

This folder contains information on some of Dr. Mercer's antique cars and their maintenance.  Dr. Mercer's original folder is inside an archival folder since it so much information was written on it.

Folder 9-B – Bookmark materials

For the most part, these items were clipped from newspapers or magazines, and stuck in related books.  Her library thus became an extension of her filing system.  For preservation purposes, the newsprint has been separated from non-newsprint.  The materials have been rough sorted into the broad categories listed below.  The Arts/Artists/Famous People have a few subdivisions, but most of this section is mixed.  Among the people and art issues she clipped are: Ernest Hemingway, Isadora Duncan, Anton Chekhov, Kandinsky, the Fauve movement, the Russian Avant-Garde, oriental art and exhibitions, Roman and Greek art and exhibitions, T.S. Elliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Caravaggio, Kafka, Edith Sitwell, Cecil Beaton, Elizabeth Bowen, Goethe, music, painting, sculpture, Sienna, Florence, Tennessee Williams, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paul Klee, Picasso, Warren Buffett, Susan Sontag, Henry James, Byzantine art and exhibitions, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), the Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Charles Baudelaire, W. H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Dorothy Norman, theater, Rachel Hadas, Henry David Thoreau, C.S. Lewis, Joseph Campbell, Norman Mailer, Ruth Carter Stapleton, J.M.W. Turner, Willa Cather, poetry, Germaine Greer, Aldus Huxley, Kenneth Clark, dance, drawing, William Blake, Jean Stafford, Flannery O'Connor, John F. Kennedy, Harold Bloom, Tutankhamun, Henri Rousseau, Brooke Astor, Expressionism, Shakespeare, Walker Evans, John Pope-Hennessy, Vaslav Nijinsky, Valentin Serov, Max Beckmann, El Greco, Goya, Velazquez, Evelyn Waugh, Marcel Proust, Charles Burchfield, Edward Hopper, oriental rugs, Arthur Dove, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, John Cage, Georgia O'Keeffe, The Prado, Pablo Picasso, and The Guggenheim among others.

Folder 9-B.1 – Bookmark materials – Actual Bookmarks

Folder 9-B.2 (1) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People

Folder 9-B.2 (2) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People

Folder 9-B.2 (3) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People (news clippings)

 

Box 29 -- Mercer Materials -- Folder 9-B.2(4) – 9-B.2(11)

Folder 9-B.2 (4) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People (news clippings)

Folder 9-B.2 (5) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People (news clippings)

Folder 9-B.2 (6) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People (news clippings)

Folder 9-B.2 (7) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – Folk-art

Folder 9-B.2 (8) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – Isak Dinesen

Folder 9-B.2 (9) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – Greta Garbo

Folder 9-B.2 (10) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – Ireland/John Huston/James Joyce

Folder 9-B.2 (11) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – Gertrude Stein


Box 30 -- Mercer Materials -- Folder 9-B.3(12) – 9-B.4(1)

Folder 9-B.2 (12) – Bookmark materials – Arts/Artists/Famous People – the Windsors/Royalty

Folder 9-B.3 – Bookmark materials – Cooking/Exercise

These folders contain recipes, menus for various holidays, wine labels, restaurant menus, kitchen appliance instruction booklets, news clippings of dishes to try, exercise information and other physical health items.  For preservation purposes the news clippings are filed in a separate folder.  These are similar to the items in Folder 9-C3.

Folder 9-B.3 (1) – Bookmark materials – Cooking/Exercise

Folder 9-B.3 (2) – Bookmark materials – Cooking/Exercise

Folder 9-B.3 (3) – Bookmark materials – Cooking/Exercise (News clippings)

Folder 9-B.4(1) – Bookmark materials – Correspondence

These folders contain correspondence between Mary Mercer and a number of family and friends, much of it relating to travel, visits and holiday cards.  Much of it is undated.  There is a program for a poetry reading by T.S. Eliot at Barnard College on April 28, 1958, an invitation extended on April 11, 1956 for Carson to give some lectures at the Library of Congress, as well as a couple of postcards addressed to Carson from the 1960s, and a funeral card dated March 17, 1993 for Helen Hayes (MacArthur) at the Hannemann Funeral Home in Nyack, NY.  There is also an unidentified photographic negative found between pages 50 and 51 of Strangers and Ggraves by Peter S. Feibleman, sent as a review copy (for Carson?), published in September of 1966.


Box 31 -- Mercer Materials -- Folder 9-B.4(2) – 9-B.6(2)

Folder 9-B.4 (2) – Bookmark materials – Correspondence, undated

Folder 9-B.5 – Bookmark materials – Freud/Analysis

Folder 9-B.6(1) – Bookmark materials – Notes

These folders contain numerous examples of Dr. Mercer's note-taking.  She used letter-sized pages cut into thirds and made copious notes on books she was reading with the page number of the book noted on the top left corner, as well as the page number of the notes on the top right or telephone conversations.  Sometimes the first page of notes contained the title of the book.  Many of these are fragmentary and poorly identified, but they give an excellent demonstration of how Dr. Mercer organized her thoughts.  She also used the same note-taking procedure for telephone calls, many of which are detailed in her index and filed throughout her papers.

Folder 9-B.6(2) – Bookmark materials – Notes


Box 32 --Mercer Materials -- Folder 9-B.7 – 9-W


Folder 9-B.7 – Bookmark materials – Religion

Folder 9-C – Cooking, 1950s-1980s

These three folders are the contents of two 3-ring binders of recipes.

Folder 9-C.1 – Cooking, 1950s-1980s

Many of the recipes in this folder are annotated as to when they were used, the occasion and the persons present.  Comments such as "Excellent", "Awful" and everything in between are frequent.  They were obviously heavily used and the original order is difficult to discern.  The processor put page numbers in brackets in the order they were found.

Folder 9-C.2 – Cooking, 1900s-1910s

This folder contains typed recipes, which were apparently collected by Dr. Mercer but were not used, or at least not annotated in any way.  Many are dated in the 1900s and 1910s, some annotated at "Mother's" or "Mrs. Strong" or other names.  Some have place names, such as Ansonia, or East Hampton, Conn.  Most of the ones labeled seem to be from New England, and are probably from Dr. Mercer's family and their friends.

Folder 9-C.3 – Cooking, 1920s-1970s

This folder contains recipes that were found loose in the second 3-ring notebook. T hey mostly concern ice cream, but there a few restaurant menus included.  These are very similar to the items found as bookmarks and placed in Folder 9-B3 (3)

Folder 9-M – Miscellaneous

This folder contains items that do not fit into any other folder.  It includes: a series of polaroid snapshots of Dr. Mercer, probably from the 1960s, with different exposures noted, a newspaper clipping on Virginia Woolf from November 1, 1982, a poem of Emily Dickinson printed as a supplement to American Heritage in December 1963 as a tribute to John F. Kennedy, a cartoon clipped from a newspaper, very scattered financial records and various professional publications.

Folder 9-P – Publications

This folder includes Dr. Mercer's published works. They include:

Is Your Child Ready for School, leaflet (2 copies), prepared by MEM while a child hygiene physician with the Bureau of Maternal and Child Hygiene of the Connecticut State Department of Health, 1947

The Meaning of Illness to the Preschool Child, notes from a seminar for nursery staff members conducted by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Psychiatry of the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York Association of Day Nurseries, Inc., Fall, 1950

First Annual Report of the Mental Health Commission, Department of Mental Hygiene, New York State, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1950

The Pediatrician and His Role in Understanding Children's Behavior, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., from the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, reprinted from The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 38, No. 4, pages 525-529, (2 copies) April, 1951

What and How Shall We Teach Expectant Parents? The Point of View of the Pediatrician, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Psychiatry, New York Hospital, New York, NY., reprinted from American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 41, No. 11, pages 107-109 (2 copies) November Supp. 1951

What I Expect of Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Division of Child Development, New York Hospital. Bulletin, New York Occupational Therapy Association, Vol. 23, No. 2, page 3 (2 copies), May 1954

Rheumatic Fever—Childhood's Greatest Enemy: The Emotional Aspects, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Psychiatry, Cornell Medical Center—The New York Hospital, in Public Health News, New Jersey State Department of Health, pages 357-363 (2 copies), October, 1954

Mental Health Consultation to Child Health Protecting Agencies, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., reprinted from The Elements of a Community Mental Health Program, Proceedings of a Round Table at the Annual Conference, Milbank Memorial Fund, pages 47-56 (2 copies), 1955

The Growth and Development of Parents, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Psychiatric Consultant to the New York City Department of Health, Presented at the Seventh American Congress on Maternal Care in Chicago (2 copies), July 8-12, 1957

Emotional Aspects of Feeding Children in Hospitals, by Mary E. Mercer, M.D., Practicing Child Psychiatrist; Vice-chairman, New York State Mental Hygiene Council; Chairman of the Rockland County Mental Health Board, in Public Health News, New Jersey State Department of Health, pages 291-295 (2 copies), December 1963

Folder 9-W – Writing

This folder contains news clippings and articles on writing and writers.


Box 33 -- Retired Originals

This box contains the originals of fragile materials which have been photocopied and placed in the folders available for researchers.


Box 34 -- Media Box

This box contains cassette tapes and video recordings.  Among other items is a cassette tape record of the program presented jointly at the 92nd St. Y in New York City by Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams on May 8, 1954, as well as a transcript of the tape.

Box 35 -- Over-sized Materials

This box contains oversized materials.

Box 36 -- Series 10 – Artifacts (1)

Item 10.1

Framed photograph of MEM and Carson McCullers, sitting in a pony cart.  This stood on Carson's dresser at 131 South Broadway.  [It needs to be re-backed and re-glazed.] 1960s

Item 10.2

Framed photograph of Carson McCullers.  This stood on Dr. Mercer's dresser at 5 Tweed Ave.  [It needs to be re-backed and re-glazed], 1940s

Item 10.3

Framed photograph of Dr. Mercer and Carson McCullers. 1960s

Item 10.4

Framed photograph of Annemarie Schwarzenbach, 1930s

Item 10.5

Framed photograph of Floria Lasky and Carson McCullers in a pony cart, 1960s

Item 10.6

Watch box from T.W. Long & Co., Goldsmiths & Silversmiths, Chronometer Makers to the Admiralty, Cardiff, n.d.

Item 10.7

Two boxes of Carson McCullers book plates, one open and one still sealed, 1960s

Box 37 -- Series 10 – Artifacts (2)

Item 10.8

The Dictaphone machine used by Carson McCullers and Dr. Mercer for recording their sessions in 1958.  The recording belts are not present.

Item 10.9

A photograph album with mostly snapshots of Dr. Mercer and Carson McCullers, as well as various friends and pets.  The album is in poor physical condition and has spaces where many photos were pulled out of it.

Item 10.10

An envelope with two copies of a poster for the Nyack Public Library's tribute to Carson McCullers on September 26, 1987

Item 10.11

The book painted by Marielle Bancou in 1999 mentioned in Folder 6-G3.  It is contained in a Bergdorf Goodman box, as packed and delivered to the Archives.

Item 10.12

Slide container with the images described in Folder 5-I-15.

Box 38 --Audio Visual


This box contains 4 VHS tapes of movies of Carson McCullers' works and an audio tape with faint handwriting that says, "Tape one Carson" and "Tape 2 Kennedy".


Box 39 -- Textiles


This box contains a bed-sized woolen blanket and a large gold-embroidered shawl.


Box 40 -- Textiles


This box contains a Christian Dior blue silk robe, an embroidered vest, a light blue and cream smock, a royal blue and hot pink smock, a cream colored starched lab coat, a round pillow cover (?) in brown silk with an embroidered dragon in very poor condition.

 

 


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