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The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 3, Sub-Series 3: Civilian Public Service Correspondence, 1930s-1947

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Stafford, William, 1914-1993
Title
The William E. Stafford Archives, Series 3, Sub-Series 3: Civilian Public Service Correspondence
Dates
1930s-1947 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 cubic foot, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
OLPb121STA
Summary
William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. This subseries of the collection includes surviving correspondence relating to Stafford's time as a conscientious objector in the CPS system during World War II. The Index to the entire Stafford Archives can be found at: http://nwda-db.wsulibs.wsu.edu/findaid/ark:/80444/xv83782
Repository
Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives
Lewis & Clark College Special Collections and Archives
Aubrey R. Watzek Library
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd.
Portland, OR
97219
Telephone: 503-768-7254
Fax: 503-768-7282
archives@lclark.edu
Access Restrictions

Permission from the Head of Special Collections is required to view this collection.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Stafford (1914-1993) was one of the most prolific and important American poets of the last half of the twentieth century. Among his many credentials, Stafford served as consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress, and received the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling through the Dark (1963). During his lifetime, Stafford wrote over sixty books of poetry that still resonate with both scholars and general readers. Stafford’s perspectives on peace, the environment, and education serve as some of the most articulate and engaging dialogues by a modern American writer about three of the most important issues of the second half of the twentieth century with lasting impacts on future generations. Howard Zinn, one America’s most iconic modern historians, was keenly aware of Stafford’s insight into modern American culture. Zinn claimed, “William Stafford’s prose and poetry, wise and eloquent, speak directly to the violence of our time, and to our hope for a different world” (from cover of Every War Has Two Losers).

The William Stafford Archives, donated to Lewis & Clark College by the Stafford family in 2008, contain the private papers, publications, photographs, recordings, and teaching materials of the poet William Stafford. The Lewis & Clark College Special Collections actively add to this collection by acquiring unique Stafford related materials.

Stafford wrote every day of his life from 1950 to 1993. These 20,000 pages of daily writings form a complete record of the poet’s mostly early morning meditations, including poem drafts, dream records, aphorisms, and other visits to the unconscious, recorded on separate sheets of yellow or white paper or when traveling, often in spiral-bound reporters’ steno pads. The archive also includes typescripts of poems submitted for publication and for use in readings. Stafford listed where he submitted each poem, and whether it was accepted for publication on the typescript. Each of his published collections, large and small, is represented by its gathering of documentary copies (typescripts), called by Stafford a “put-together.” Unpublished poems, poems published in journals, and reading copies of published poems were also gathered, in a virtually complete record from 1937 to 1993, totaling about 7,000 items. The collection also includes copies of all known Stafford books and translations. Stafford saved correspondence received, with an indication of the date of reply, and sometimes a copy of the reply, from the early 1960s to August 1993. Estimated at 100,000 sheets, the collected correspondence contains some full exchanges of correspondence initiated by WS. One such exchange is the correspondence with Marvin Bell on their sequence Segues. In addition to many photographs of and relating to William Stafford, the archive includes an estimated 20,000 photographs and negatives taken and developed by Stafford of fellow poets, family, friends, and Lewis & Clark College faculty. The archive provides documentation of Stafford's teaching career, including more than one thousand index cards, some dating from research at Iowa, others from later. These were much used in preparing for classes, workshops, and lectures. The files also contain scattered notes for workshops and lectures. The archive also includes course syllabi, and faculty documents relating to Stafford's teaching years at Lewis & Clark College.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

A mix of originals and photocopies of incoming and outgoing letters.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, broadcast, or quote from materials in the Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections requires written permission of the Head of Archives & Special Collections.

Preferred Citation

The William Stafford Archives, Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections, Portland, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Collected CPS-era Letters, 1930-1947Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1

Container(s) Description Dates
box
1
Box/Folder
1.1
Correspondence with William Everson and Illiterati
Photocopies from Bancroft Library. 23 items. Photocopies from UC Los Angeles Clark Library. 2 items.
Correspondence includes: WS with Kemper Nomland, Kermit Sheets, Tom Polk Miller; Kermit Sheets with Morris Keaton (copies to Ken Morgan, Bill Everson, Mark Schrock, Bill Stafford, Jay Barris, and Harry Prochaska), Vladimir Dupre with Charlie Davis, Adrian Wilson with Kemper Nomland and William Eshelman, and a Bill Eshelman poem.
1943-1947
1.2
Publication files for Illiterati
This file is a photocopy to the official publication file of the Illiterati magazine as compiled and maintained by Kermit Sheets. Includes seven typed pages of poems by William Stafford, evidently submitted to Illiterati in or soon after late May 1945, and if so, from Elgin, Illinois. The poems are “Speech from the Big Play” (11/44), “Then” (1/22/44), “We called it the chaparral . . .” (3/43), “Listen, you whistles and gongs . . .” (3/2/45), “Just at sundown, this is the heart . . .” (9/43), “Breath” (11/42), “Stranger in Town” (6/8/42), “One step after another . . .” (4/43), “Friend Sky” (4/8/42), “Event” (3/42), “Current Interest” (c. 1940), “Report from the Provinces” (2/2/45), “Discovery” (8/42), “If any ask, say yes . . .” (5/24/44), “Tired that day we were” (5/15/45), “Buzzards over Arkansas” (3/42), “Explorers” (11/9/43), “Happy Journey!” (5/31/44), “Communication” (4/42). None of these poems was accepted for Illiterati. Two of the poems had already been published: “Event” in the University of Kansas journal Feoh (Spring 1942), and “Breath” in motive (May 1944). Three of the poems (“We called it the chaparral . . . ,” “Breath,” and “Buzzards over Arkansas”) were later included in Down in My Heart (thesis 1946, Brethren Press publication 1947), “Then” appeared in Ladies Home Journal in 1951, and “Tired that day we were . . .” in Ladies Home Journal (1958) and the collection Weather (Perishable Press, 1969). Also includes five typed poems, three by William Stafford (CO’s Work on Mountain Road,” “Face,” and “Search”) written on 12/23/42, 12/27/42, and 2/18/43 respectively) and two by Tom Polk Miller (“Last Words” and “Stranger in This Town”). All five were typed by William Stafford and submitted by him to Kermit Sheets for Illiterati at Wyeth camp on May 24, 1943. Two of the Stafford poems (CO’s Work on Mountain Road” and “Search”) and Miller’s poem “Last Words” were printed in Illiterati 2 (Wyeth, Summer 1943)’ Stafford’s poem “Face” and Miller’s poem “Stranger in This Town” both appeared in Illiterati 3 (Waldport, Summer 1944).
1942-1947
1.3
Correspondence with Illiterati
Copies of items in 5.1 and 5.2 along with copies of Staffords personal documentary copies of the poems submitted to Illiterati.
1942-1947
1.4
Poems related to CPS
Photocopies of poems by fellow CPS campers William Eshelman, Jim Harmon, Ercell Lynn (five poems), Tom Polk Miller, Bill Read (eight poems, with a comment on a “Rondel” by Bill Read, probably the Charles d’Orleans translation, printed in the San Dimas Rattler), and Chuck Worley (“George” from Down in My Heart), probably the poem mentioned in the William Stafford letters of September 8 and October 18, 1942 [5.1]
1942-1947
1.5
General Wartime Correspondence
1930s-1947
item
1.5.1
WS at University of Kansas to his parents
October 22, late 1930s
1.5.2
WS at UK to parents
winter, late 1930s
1.5.3
WS poem, “Slow Vengeance,”
c. 1940?
1.5.4
WS poem, “Mary,”
c. 1940?
1.5.5
WS poem, “Why,”
c. 1940?
1.5.6
WS from El Dorado to (aunt) Madge
3/21/40
1.5.7
WS from El Dorado to (aunt) Madge
9/10/41
1.5.8
K. Allen in San Francisco to WS in Magnolia (Empty envelope)
2/24/42
1.5.9
(Brother) Bob Stafford to parents, from Florida
c. June 1942
1.5.10
(Brother) Bob Stafford to parents, from Florida
c. June 1942
1.5.11
(Father) Earl Ingersoll Stafford to WS from Kansas
6/18/42
1.5.12
WS to Madge soon after arriving at Los Prietos camp
c. 6/42
1.5.13
(Mother) Ruby to WS from Kansas after Bob’s wedding
c. 8/31/42
1.5.14
WS to Bob and new wife Margaret in San Antonio from Los Prietos
9/3/42
1.5.15
Ruby and Earl from El Dorado to WS in Los Prietos
10/16/42
1.5.16
Earl from Kansas to WS after Bob’s call-up
late October 1942
1.5.17
Earl to family from the road
late 1942?
1.5.18
Ruby to her mother-in-law Stafford
late 1942?
1.5.19
Earl from Kansas to WS
12/10/42
1.5.20
Ruby from Kansas to WS
c. 12/15/42
1.5.21
Bob from Shreveport to family
late 1942
1.5.22
Envelopes, Earl to WS at Los Prietos with short note
2/5/43 and 2/8/43
1.5.23
Envelope, Harry Faulconer (at Los Prietos?) to WS at Manchester College, Indiana, forwarded to Los Prietos
6/16/43
1.5.24
C. Ernest Davis from Brethren Central Office, Elgin, Illinois, to camp director Rev. D. C. Gnagy at Los Prietos
6/16/43
1.5.25
Envelope from Los Prietos to WS at Manchester College
6/17/43
1.5.26
Letter from Harry Maiden at Los Prietos to WS and others, “Learned Gentlemen of Los Prietos,” at Manchester College
6/18/43
1.5.27
Letter from Dorothy at 616 N. Pacific, Glendale, CA to WS at Los Prietos (one sheet), together with a copy of a poem by Robert Tristram Coffin.
8/23/43
1.5.28
Postcard, Dorothy to WS
8/23/43
1.5.29
Letter from Edgar H. Graber, briefly at Elgin, to WS at Los Prietos
9/1/43
1.5.30
Letter from WS as camp librarian at Los Prietos to editors of Illiterati at Wyeth camp, Cascade Locks
9/8/43
1.5.31
WS in Los Prietos to family in Kansas (one page, apparently incomplete)
9/19/43
1.5.32
WS in Los Prietos to Bob in Tuscaloosa with envelope franked the following day. One page, enclosing an account of fire-fighting (“The Santa Ynez Fire”) later worked up for a chapter in Down in My Heart.
9/23/43
1.5.33
WS from Los Prietos to Illiterati
10/4/43
1.5.34
Kermit Sheets at Government Camp, Oregon to Morris Keaton in Elgin concerning a Fine Arts Camp. Copies sent to (among others) William Everson at Waldport, Mark Schrock at Wyeth, WS at Los Prietos, and Harry Prochaska at Larch Mountain, the Wyeth side camp
10/5/43
1.5.35
WS at Los Prietos to Kermit Sheets and Illiterati at Wyeth (Cascade Locks) enclosing “Tragedy” and “Today” (both rejected) and the prose piece “So Long, Chimes” printed in Illiterati 3 (Summer 1944 at Waldport).
10/8/43
1.5.36
One-page WS memoir, “An Evening on Earth,” written at Los Prietos
10/17/43
1.5.37
WS at Los Prietos to Kermit Sheets at Wyeth
10/18/43
1.5.38
note in the handwriting of Kermit Sheets, seeking agents for Illiterati at Los Prietos (WS) and twelve other camps
undated
1.5.39
Postcard from WS to Illiterati agreeing to be agent for the journal, and discussing retitling of his poem “Our Men” as “Easy” (published under that title in Illiterati 3).
11/1/43
1.5.40
Ruby to WS after his and Dorothy’s engagement. enclosing aunt Klara Swarthout’s letter to her from Los Angeles.
12/3/43
1.5.41
Dorothy in Glendale to Ruby
12/5/43
1.5.42
(Sister) Peg to WS
12/6/43
1.5.43
Ruby to WS
12/7/43
1.5.44
WS to Dorothy
1/11/44
1.5.45
Ruby to Dorothy
1/15/44
1.5.46
Ruby to WS
2/28/44
1.5.47
Two envelopes, from “Barnard” at Belden, and unsigned from Los Prietos, to [Paul?] Mallett, Stafford, and [Dan] Force at Fredonyer Spike Camp, where WS wrote poems in May and June of 1944
undated
1.5.48
WS at Los Prietos to Harry Faulconer at Belden
6/30/44
1.5.49
WS at Belden to Untide Press at Waldport
8/1/44
1.5.50
WS at Belden to Peg and family in Kansas
9/13/44
1.5.51
WS to Bob
c. 9/20/44
1.5.52
WS in Elgin to family in Kansas
5/11/45
1.5.53
WS in Elgin to William Everson at Waldport
8/31/45
1.5.54
WS in Elgin to Kermit Sheets at Waldport
10/17/45
1.5.55
WS in Elgin to Bill [Everson] at Waldport
11/6/45
1.5.56
Bill Read in Nantucket to WS at Chaffey High School, Ontario, CA
8/22/46
1.5.57
WS in Claremont, California to Tom [Polk Miller] in ?Pasadena
7/28/47
1.5.58
WS in Claremont to Kemper [Nomland] in Pasadena
8/25/47
1.5.59
WS poem, “Faith,” written and sent to Illiterati in Pasadena, but not accepted
10/10/47
1.6
“Trial: The World Versus Everybody” and “War Trial: 1950”
Three drafts of the same mock trial notes
Three drafts of the same mock trial notes written in Elgin, IL.
1950
1.7
Stafford's Marriage certificate and announcement
photocopies
April 8, 1944
1.8
General correspondence relating to pacifism
2 photocopied letters
1966-1979

CPS-era Letters Collected by Dorothy Stafford, 1942-1943Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2

Container(s) Description Dates
box
2
Box/Folder
2.1
Mom [Ruby Stafford] to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
Winter 1942
2.2
Bob Stafford [WS's brother] to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
Jun./Jul. 1942
2.3
Earl Stafford (The El Dorado Refining Company) to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
10 Dec. 1942
2.4
Unsigned [D.C. Gnagy] (Church of the Brethren) to WS
Copy of TL to D.C. Gnagy, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
16 Jun. 1943
2.5
Earl Stafford to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
18 Jun. 1943
2.6
Harry Maiden (Church of the Brethren) to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 4 sheets
18 Jun. 1943
2.7
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
30 Aug. 1943
2.8
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
23 Aug. 1943
2.9
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; handwritten note, 1 sheet; typed poem, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
23 Aug. 1943
2.10
Edgar H. Grater (Church of the Brethren) to WS
TLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
1 Sep. 1943
2.11
DS to WS
Telegram, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
2 Sep. 1943
2.12
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; handwritten note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
3 Sep. 1943
2.13
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
11 Sep. 1943
2.14
Penelope Smythe (Ladies' Seminary) to WS
TLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
18 Sep. 1943
2.15
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
20 Sep. 1943
2.16
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
2 Oct. 1943
2.17
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
11 Oct. 1943
2.18
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
13 Oct. 1943
2.19
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
19 Oct. 1943
2.20
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
21 Oct. 1943
2.21
DS to WS
Handwritten notes on leaves, 2 sheets; photocopy, 1 sheet
27 Oct. 1943
2.22
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
31 Oct. 1943
2.23
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
6 Nov. 1943
2.24
DS to WS
HLS, 5 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
23 Nov. 1943
2.25
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
25 Nov. 1943
2.26
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; handwritten note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
1 Dec. 1943
2.27
Illegible [Klara?] to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
3 Dec. 1943
2.28
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; typed note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
6 Dec. 1943
2.29
Peg to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
6 Dec. 1943
2.30
DS to Ruby Stafford
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
6 Dec. 1943
2.31
R.S. [Robert Stafford] to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
7 Dec. 1943
2.32
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
14 Dec. 1943
2.33
Mom [Ruby Stafford] to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
Dec. 1943
2.34
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
22 Dec. 1943
2.35
Bill Reed to DS
Handwritten note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
29 Dec. 1943
2.36
Poem from Retort
Clipping of WS poem; 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
Undated

CPS-era Letters Collected by Dorothy Stafford, 1944-1946Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2

Container(s) Description Dates
box
2
Box/Folder
3.1
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; newsclipping, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
3 Jan. 1944
3.2
DS to WS
Empty envelope, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
3 Jan. 1944
3.3
DS to WS
Handwritten note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
6 Jan. 1944
3.4
WS to DS
HLS, 1 sheet; newsclipping, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
12 Jan. 1944
3.5
Ruby Stafford to DS; WS to DS
HLS, 1 sheet; handwritten note on envelope, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
15 Jan. 1944
3.6
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; typed note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
18 Jan. 1944
3.7
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
23 Jan. 1944
3.8
Earl Stafford to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
5 Feb. 1944
3.9
Earl Stafford to WS
Newsclipping, 1 sheet; HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
8 Feb. 1944
3.10
Mom [Ruby Stafford] to WS
HLS, 5 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
28 Feb. 1944
3.11
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photograph, 1 sheet; 2 sheets
1 Mar. 1944
3.12
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; invitation, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
15 Mar. 1944
3.13
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
21 Mar. 1944
3.14
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
29 Mar. 1944
3.15
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
30 Mar. 1944
3.16
DS to WS
Handwritten card, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
31 Mar. 1944
3.17
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; typed note, 1 sheet; handwritten note, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
18 Apr. 1944
3.18
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; personalized napkin, 1 sheet, photocopy, 2 sheets
20 Apr. 1944
3.19
Unsigned
Church program, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
Apr. 1944
3.20
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
April/May 1944
3.21
Unsigned to WS
Envelope, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
May. 1944
3.22
DS to WS
HLS, 6 sheets; photocopy, 4 sheets
2 May. 1944
3.23
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photograph, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
9 May. 1944
3.24
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
15 May. 1944
3.25
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
19 May. 1944
3.26
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 1 sheet
27 May. 1944
3.27
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
31 May. 1944
3.28
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
9 Jun. 1944
3.29
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; handwritten note, 1 sheet; photograph, 1 sheet; photocopy, 3 sheets
12 Jun. 1944
3.3
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
14 Jun. 1944
3.31
DS to WS
HLS, 5 sheets; miniature booklet, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
20 Jun. 1944
3.32
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
8 Sep. 1944
3.33
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
11 Sep. 1944
3.34
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 4 sheets
16 Sep. 1944
3.35
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
25 Sep. 1944
3.36
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 4 sheets
2 Oct. 1944
3.37
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; magazine clipping, 1 sheet; photocopy, 4 sheets
11 Oct. 1944
3.38
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; program, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
26 Jun. 1944
3.39
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 3 sheets
2 Jan. 1945
3.40
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
9 Jan. 1945
3.41
DS to WS
HLS, 3 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
16 Jan. 1945
3.42
DS to WS
HLS, 1 sheet; handwritten card, 1 sheet; photocopy, 2 sheets
18 Jan. 1945
3.43
DS to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 2 sheets
24 Jan. 1945
3.44
DS to WS
HLS, 5 sheets; photocopy, 7 sheets
29 Jan. 1945
3.45
Bill Reed to WS
HLS, 2 sheets; photocopy, 5 sheets
22 Aug. 1946