Collection inventory

Finding Aids

Hermann Hagedorn Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: EL
Date: Jun 1978

Revision history:
8 Oct 2006 converted to EAD (AMCon)
12 Dec 2016 index code corrected (MRC)

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Hagedorn, Hermann, 1882-1964
Title: Hermann Hagedorn Papers
Dates: 1904-1962
Quantity: 2.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American poet, novelist, biographer. Correspondence (1905-1962), with George Pierce Baker, Lucien Price, Alice Ehlers, Albert Schweitzer, Van Wyck Brooks, Reinhold Niebuhr, Jack London, and others; research files on subjects of his biographies: Edwin Arlington Robinson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Schweitzer; manuscripts of writings (1904-1958); and memorabilia (1907-1962), including clippings and photographs.
Language: Majority in English, some in German
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Hermann Hagedorn, biographer of Theodore Roosevelt, poet, and novelist, was born in New York on 18 July 1882, the son of Hermann and Anna (Schwedler) Hagedorn. He prepared at the Hill School and took his bachelor's degree in 1907 at Harvard College. He married Dorothy Oakley in 1908. After traveling in Europe and studying at the University of Berlin and Columbia, he returned to Harvard in the spring of 1909 as an instructor in English and an assistant in comparative literature to Barrett Wendell. He taught there for two years. Novels, plays, and volumes of verse followed. He wrote lyrics for the Peterborough pageant and was affiliated with the artists' colony in Peterborough, N.H., as a director of the Edward MacDowell Association. With Porter Emerson Browne, Julian Street, and Charles Hanson Towne he founded the Vigilantes, an organization of American writers founded in 1916 to support American citizenship and preparedness for the war.

During the pre-convention campaign of 1916 he met Theodore Roosevelt, whose personality captivated him; the resulting friendship shaped the course of his career. The former president cooperated with him in the writing of The Boys' Life of Theodore Roosevelt, published in 1918. After Roosevelt's death the following year, Hermann Hagedorn became assistant secretary and later executive secretary of the Roosevelt Memorial Association, an affiliation he maintained for the rest of his life. From the association's offices in the Roosevelt birthplace site in New York City, he researched other books on the former president: Roosevelt in the Badlands, Roosevelt, Prophet of Unity, The Bugle that Woke America, and The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill. He also edited several selections of the president's writings, including the twenty-volume Works of Theodore Roosevelt. Leonard Wood, the military surgeon who was a Roosevelt confidant, and Edwin Arlington Robinson, the poet whose popularity Roosevelt encouraged, were subjects of his biographies. He was the director of the Theodore Roosevelt Centennial Commission from 1955 to 1959.

Other subjects of his biographical pen were William Boyce Thompson, the mining operator, Robert S. Brookings, merchant, philanthropist, and founder of the Brookings Institution, and Albert Schweitzer. A collection of biographical sketches, Americans: A Book of Lives, was published in 1946. His books for children, widely used in schools, include Book of Courage and We, the People. Two later works in verse are Combat at Midnight (1940) and The Bomb that Fell on America (1946); letters regarding the publication and public reception of the latter title make up a part of the correspondence in these papers. In The Hyphenated Family; An American Saga, he tells the story of his German-American family. During much of his adult life he lived in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he died on 27 July 1964.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Hermann Hagedorn Papers comprise Correspondence of scattered dates, Memorabilia, partial Research files on three subjects of his biographies, manuscripts of some 130 stories and other writings, and a small Biographical file. Although most dated items predate 1950, the span dates of the papers are 1904-1962. Most of the manuscripts carry no dates.

Correspondence--incoming letters and carbons of his replies chronologically arranged--dates from 1905 to 1962. There are 375 letters addressed to Hermann Hagedorn, 102 of his letters, and 33 letters addressed to other correspondents. The earliest letters are from friends and teachers during his undergraduate days at Harvard: George Pierce Baker, LeBaron Russell Briggs, Mark A. DeWolfe Howe, Bliss Perry, Lucien Price, and Barrett Wendell. Edwin Arlington Robinson is the subject of some correspondence from 1935 and 1936. Letters of March 1936 were generated by a memorandum on how best to allocate a half-million-dollar fund given to the American Institute of Arts and Letters; memoranda concerning the endowment fund are located with memorabilia in box 1.

The heaviest concentration of letters is from the 1940s. Albert Schweitzer is the subject of many letters from 1944 to 1946, when the author was preparing his biography. Correspondents include Julius Seelye Bixler, Alice Ehlers, Edith G. H. Lenel, Emmy Martin, Hubert W. Peet, and Everett Skillings, as well as Albert and Hélène Schweitzer themselves. There are carbons of Hermann Hagedorn's letters to Albert Schweitzer, but there are no original letters from Albert Schweitzer in these papers. Copies of Albert Schweitzer's letters to Hermann Hagedorn are located in the research files in boxes 2 and 3. Also in the same files are copies and extracts of Albert Schweitzer letters to other correspondents.

Other correspondents include Van Wyck Brooks, Jack London, Lewis Mumford, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. A complete index of the correspondence is appended to this inventory. From 1946 there are letters, some of them addressed to the Pacific Coast Publishing Company, that relate to the publication and public reception of Hermann Hagedorn's book The Bomb that Fell on America. Some other correspondence appears elsewhere in these papers. In box 2 there is a small file of correspondence, 1944-1946, exchanged between Hermann Hagedorn and the Reference Department of the Library of Congress, on the subject of books about Albert Schweitzer; these letters are not indexed in the index of correspondents.

Memorabilia from 1907 to 1962 is arranged in boxes 1 and 2. There are clippings of articles by Hermann Hagedorn, including tear sheets of his contributions to The Outlook, clippings about him, photographs, promotional files (of readers' comments, blurb copy, and the like) on four of his books, published reviews of his books, and other items. One folder holds memoranda and other material relating to the use of an American Institute of Arts and Letters endowment fund.

Research files on three subjects of Hermann Hagedorn's biographies are arranged in boxes 2 and 3. Although not complete, these files do hold clippings, notes, and other material used by the author. Edwin Arlington Robinson is represented by clippings, Hagedorn's notes, and other items. Two small folders of printed material on Theodore Roosevelt are followdd by a more extensive file on Albert Schweitzer, part of the notes on which Hagedorn based his biography. There are folders with copies of 22 Albert Schweitzer letters (no originals), 1920-1945, copies of a letter from Hélène Schweitzer and excerpts from additional Albert Schweitzer letters, clippings about Albert Schweitzer, and notes. Typescript memoirs of Albert Schweitzer by Hubert W. Peet and Maude Royden are present, as is a translation from the Swedish of a memoir by Schweitzer himself in which he describes his visit to Uppsala in 1920. Four folders of photographs include 31 snapshots and other prints mailed by Schweitzer to Hagedorn in 1945; a caption list in Albert Schweitzer's handwriting is separately foldered. One of the photographs listed there, number 10, reproduced as the frontispiece of Prophet in the Wilderness, is not now located. Further details on holdings appear in the accompanying shelflist.

Manuscripts of Hermann Hagedorn's writings, 1904 to 1958 with many undated pieces, are arranged in boxes 3 and 4. The 130-odd manuscripts include approximately 30 stories and approximately 60 poems. There are no complete manuscripts of his books, but there is one chapter of Prophet in the Wilderness, apparently not part of the book as published. The earliest item is a 27-page dramatic poem in German, "Das mitternächtliche Königsreich," in a bound leather notebook. A section of miscellaneous manuscripts ends with several unidentified items. A detailed listing of the manuscripts is part of the shelflist.


Access Restrictions: The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions: Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935.
Brooks, Van Wyck, 1886-1963.
Ehlers, Alice.
Hagedorn, Hermann, 1882-1964.
London, Jack, 1876-1916.
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971.
Price, Lucien, 1883-1964.
Robinson, Edwin Arlington, 1869-1935.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.
Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965.


American literature -- 20th century.
Authors, American.
Biography, Authorship.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Hermann Hagedorn Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Hermann Hagedorn, 1964.

Table of Contents

Biographical material



Research files


Index to correspondence


Biographical material
Box 1 Biographical material ca. 1922, undated - holo. and ts
Box 1 1905
Box 1 1906-1907
Box 1 1912-1913
Box 1 1931-1935
Box 1 1936
Box 1 1940
Box 1 1944 Sep-Oct
Box 1 1944 Nov-Dec
Box 1 1945 Jan-Apr
Box 1 1945 May
Box 1 1945 Jun
Box 1 1945 Jul-Dec
Box 1 1946 Jan-Feb
Box 1 1946 Mar 1 - 19
Box 1 1946 Mar 20-31
Box 1 1946 Apr 1 -15
Box 1 1946 Apr 16-30
Box 1 1946 May
Box 1 1946 Jun
Box 1 1946 Jul-Dec
Box 1 1947
Box 1 1955-1962
Box 1 undated
Box 1 n.y.
Box 1 American Institute of Arts and Letters endowment March 1936 - memoranda, covering letter, and mailing list, holo. and ts
Box 1 Clippings about Hermann Hagedorn 1936-1958, undated - pr. mat.
Box 1 Clippings of articles by Hermann Hagedorn 1957, undated - pr. mat.
Box 1 Clippings of work by Hermann Hagedorn in The Outlook 1923-1925 - pr. mat.
Box 1 Clippings of other published work by Hermann Hagedorn 1907-1936 - pr. mat.
Box 1 Photographs (11) of Hermann Hagedorn undated
Box 2 Promotional file on The Bomb that Fell on America ca. 1946
Box 2 Promotional file on The Hyphenated Family ca. 1960
Box 2 Promotional file on Prophet in the Wilderness ca. 1947
Box 2 Promotional file on While There is Time ca. 1962
Box 2 Reminiscences of Hermann Hagedorn by Harold T. Pulsifer undated - ts, 4 pp.
Box 2 Reviews of books by Hermann Hagedorn - pr. mat.
Box 2 The Hyphenated Family 1960
Box 2 Menschenfreund im Urwald (Prophet in the Wilderness) 1955 - clippings from German publications
Box 2 Prophet in the Wilderness 1947-1949 (2 folders)
Box 2 Other works 1945-1958
Box 2 Miscellaneous items 1936-1949, undated
Research files
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Box 2 Address by Kenneth C. M. Sills 12 May 1935 - presented at the memorial meeting in honor of Edwin Arlington Robinson, Gardiner, Maine, ts, 8 pp. (2 copies)
Box 2 Bibliographic notes undated
Box 2 Clippings 1920-1936 - pr. mat.
Box 2 Clippings mounted on scrapbook pages 1905-1931
Box 2 Notes, holo. and ts undated
Theodore Roosevelt
Box 2 Printed items from the Roosevelt Centennial 1957
Box 2 Miscellaneous items various dates - pr. mat.
Albert Schweitzer
Box 2 Correspondence between Hermann Hagedorn and the Reference Department of the Library of Congress 1944-1946
Not indexed in the index of correspondence that is appended to this inventory.
Clippings and articles about Albert Schweitzer - pr. mat.
Box 2 1910-1935
Box 2 1938-1950
Box 2 1951-1954, undated
Box 2 Clippings and articles about Albert Schweitzer 1925-1949, undated - all photostats
Box 2 Envelope that contained letters now at Syracuse and list of notable correspondents, in the handwriting of Hermann Hagedorn probably 1964
Box 2 Letters from Albert Schweitzer to Hermann Hagedorn 1944-1945 - 5, all copies, holo. and ts, no originals
Box 3 Letter from Albert Schweitzer to Edith Lenel, dated at Lambaréné 9 May 1931 - 1 copy, in the handwriting of Edith Lenel
Box 3 Letters from Albert Schweitzer to Edith Lenel, dated at various places 1920-1936 - 13, all photostat copies, no originals
Box 3 Letters from Albert Schweitzer to Everett Skillings, dated at Lambaréné 1943-1944 - 3, all typescript copies
Box 3 Letter from Hélène Schweitzer to Everett Skillings 30 April 1944 - typescript copy
Box 3 Letter excerpts from Albert Schweitzer to Alice Ehlers, 2 pp. The letters from which these excerpts are taken date 1932-1938 - typescript copies
Box 3 Memoir by H. W. Peet, "Where a great man grew up; a visit to Dr. Schweitzer's village in Alsace" undated, undated - 2 copies, ts, 5 pp. and tsc, 12 pp.
Box 3 Memoir by Maude Royden, "Dr. Albert Schweitzer" undated - ts, 15 pp.
Box 3 Memoir by Albert Schweitzer, "A benefactor to the natives of Ogowes primeval forest" undated, undated - translated from the Swedish by Schurer O. Werner; 2 copies; anno. ts, 7 pp. and tsc, 14 pp.
Box 3 Notes, holo. undated
Box 3 Notes, ts undated
Box 3 Lists of photographs undated - 2 items, one in the hand of Albert Schweitzer, another in that of Edith Lenel
Box 3 Photograph of a sculpture portrait of Albert Schweitzer May 1949 - Inscribed by the sculptor, Louis Mayer, to Hermann Hagedorn
Box 3 Photographic prints of Albert Schweitzer (14), including some negative prints
Box 3 Snapshots and other prints, labeled by Schweitzer and mailed from Gunsbach to Hermann Hagedorn 1945 - 31 of the 32 listed by Schweitzer
Box 3 Queries submitted to Albert Schweitzer by Hermann Hagedorn 1944
Box 3 Miscellaneous items, mostly pr. mat. various dates
Box 3 Americans: A Book of Lives - chapter on George Washington Carver, holo., 14 pp.
The Hyphenated Family
Box 3 Draft A, rev. holo. - incomplete
Draft B, anno. tsc
Box 3 Chapter 1
Box 3 Chapter 2
Box 3 Chapter 3
Box 3 Chapter 7
Box 3 Fragments
Box 3 Draft C, Chapter 3, tsc
Box 3 Draft D, anno. tsc - incomplete
Prophet in the Wilderness
Box 3 Chapter 15 - not part of the book as published?
Box 3 Miscellaneous pages
Box 3 Dramatic poem, "Das mitternächtliche Königreich" 25 August 1904 - holo., 27 pp. in a bound leather notebook
Box 3 Remarks at an awards presentation of the Theodore Roosevelt Association undated - tsc, 10 pp.
Box 3 "A Sanctuary of the Free Spirit" 4 July 1958 - remarks by Hermann Hagedorn at the dedication of Theodore Roosevelt Island, (2 copies), anno. tsc draft, 4 pp. and mimeographed copy, 4 pp.
Box 3 The Angel of the Resurrection undated - tsc, 5 pp.
Box 3 The Blue Eyed Johnny undated - tsc, 35 pp.
Box 3 The Byronic Mechanic undated - tsc, 5 pp.
Box 3 The Daughter of the Confederacy undated - ts, 5 pp.
Box 4 The Engineers undated - ts, 2 pp.
Box 4 The Growth of Tough Luck Zoggie undated - anno, ts, 33 pp.
Box 4 The Growth of Tough Luck Zoggie undated - holo., approx. 73 pp.
Box 4 The Heavenward Journey of Old Doc John undated - anno. ts, 15 pp.
Box 4 It Is the Hour of Stars undated - anno. ts, 11 pp.
See also There Is Always the Star
Box 4 A Leader in Civic Movements undated - tsc, 7 pp.
Box 4 The Mirage undated - ts, 3 pp.
Box 4 A Mother Explains the Younger Generation undated - ts, 4 pp.
Box 4 My Friend Jack undated - anno. ts, 10 pp.
Box 4 My Mormon undated - anno. ts, 7 pp.
Box 4 Pete Halliday's Housekeeper undated - tsc, 9 pp.
Box 4 The Politics of Politics undated - tsc, 5 pp.
Box 4 Prohibition's Farce undated - tsc, 3 pp.
Box 4 Remembered Springtime undated - ts, 9 pp.
Box 4 The State Fair undated - tsc, 4 pp.
Box 4 A Strike for Manna Dew undated - anno. ts, 4 pp.
Box 4 The Talker undated - ts, 3 pp.
Box 4 There Is a Gleam in Amarillo's Eyes undated - anno. ts, 8 pp.
Box 4 There Is Always the Star undated - anno. ts, 10 pp.
Box 4 There Is Always the Star undated - rev. holo., 10 pp.
Box 4 This Fellow Is on Fire! undated - rev. holo., 19 pp.
Box 4 The Vicissitudes of a Landlubber undated - ts, 17 pp.
Box 4 Vision! undated - anno. tsc, 9 pp.
Box 4 Why, Asked the Boy undated - holo., 2 pp.
Box 4 Affirmation undated - rev. holo., 1 p.
Box 4 America 1939, undated - holo., 1 p.
Box 4 Das Antlitz der Medusa (The Face of the Medusa) undated - ts, 10 pp., a translation into German, possibly by Ruby Marie Simon
Box 4 Die Bombe, die auf Amerika fiel undated - anno. ts, 50 pp., translation by Ruby Marie Simon
Box 4 Die Bombe, die auf Amerika fiel, Teil I undated - tsc, 17 pp.
Box 4 Die Bombe, die auf Amerika fiel, Teil III undated - anno. ts, 10 pp.
Box 4 Broadway and Forty-Second undated - rev. holo., 1 p.
Box 4 Combat at Midnight undated - 6 poems from; ts, 18 pp., translated into German by Ruby Marie Simon
Box 4 Combat at Midnight undated - ts, 23 pp.
Box 4 The Crusaders undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 East and West undated - holo., 2 pp.
Box 4 Faces undated - holo., 2 pp.
Box 4 God Is Not Mocked undated - 2 copies; holo., 2 pp. and 1 p.
Box 4 Lights undated, undated - holo., 1 p., and anno. ts, 1 p.
Box 4 The News from Quidnet undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 Not by Themselves undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 So This Is Marriage! 8 May 1928 - To Edith A. and Adolf G. Hagedorn), ts, 3 pp.
Box 4 Starry Night undated - rev, holo., 1 p.
Box 4 There Is a Need of Bonfires undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 What's Right with America? undated - holo., 2 pp.
Box 4 While There Is Time undated - holo., 8 pp.
Box 4 While There Is Time undated - ts, 8 pp.
Box 4 While There Is Time undated - pr. mat., pre-publication printing
Box 4 The Wrestlers undated - rev, holo., 19 pp.
Miscellaneous poems - individual poem titles are listed on the front of the two folders
Box 4 13 poems undated - holo., ts, tsc, and pr. mat.
Box 4 18 poems (some in duplicate), mostly from the collection Combat at Midnight undated - ts and tsc, some annotated
Box 4 Fragments
Miscellaneous writings
Box 4 American Citizenship undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 The Anti-Nicotine Reformer undated - ts, 2 pp.
Box 4 Appeal for funds on Albert Schweitzer's 70th Birthday ca. 1945 - anno. ts, 3 pp.
Box 4 The Boyce Thompson Institute of Plant Research undated - holo., 11 pp.
Box 4 The Breakfast Station undated - ts, 3 pp.
Box 4 Frank Laubach undated - a biographical sketch; anno. ts, 25 pp.
Box 4 Frank Linderman as I Knew Him 1939 - holo., 7 pp.
Box 4 Franklin D. Roosevelt undated - tsc, 13 pp.
Box 4 Frontier undated - outline for a play in one act; anno. ts, 8 pp.
Box 4 George Washington Carver undated - tsc, 14 pp.
Box 4 The Golden Calf undated - tsc, 5 pp.
Box 4 Industrial Histories undated - 6 copies; each is tsc, 6 pp.
Box 4 Law in Tennessee undated - ts, 1 p.
Box 4 November Dawn undated - ts, 1 p.
Box 4 Oklahoma undated - ts, 1 p.
Box 4 On Religion undated - holo., 7 pp.
Box 4 Tribute to Josephine Preston Peabody undated - tsc, 1 p.
Box 4 Unidentified undated - holo., 3 pp.
Box 4 Unidentified fragment of a play undated - pp. 19-41, anno. ts

Index to correspondence

Abbreviations used: ALS = autograph (handwritten) letter, signed; TLS = typescript letter, signed.