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Walter S. Jenkins Amy Cheney Beach Papers

Collection number: MC 233

Size: 5 boxes (1.66 cu.ft.)

About Walter S. Jenkins

Walter S. Jenkins was a music professor, MacDowell colonist, and lifelong biographer of Amy Cheney Beach. He was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, on March 29, 1909, and attended the University of New Hampshire in the late 1920s. After Jenkins’ graduation from UNH in 1931, he went on to earn a Master’s degree from Harvard University, a diploma that enabled him to land the various collegiate teaching jobs of his career. The first of these was a position as music director of Bennett Junior College in New York. His professional career was interrupted, however, by the advent of World War II, and Jenkins served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945. When he returned, he landed a professorship at Louisiana’s Newcomb College, an all-womens’ undergraduate affiliate of Tulane University. Jenkins taught at Newcomb from 1946 until 1974, and was an emeritus professor from his retirement to his death on August 3, 1990.

Jenkins’ fascination with the great American composer Amy Cheney Beach began early in his career. The two began a friendly correspondence in the early 1930s. In April of 1935, Beach wrote to Jenkins to urge him to apply for a summer residency at the MacDowell Colony, a retreat for artists in Peterborough, New Hampshire. “I hope that it is not too late for your name to be considered,” she wrote him, adding that “[Marion McDowell] generally has about 500 applications, beginning to come in early in January, so do not be discouraged if she has already made up the quota which can only be about 50 or 60 for the entire season…”

Despite the odds, Jenkins managed to find a place at the MacDowell colony for the summer of 1935. It was there that he first met Beach in person. He was struck by her personality and her musical talent. One night, Beach and a fellow musician, Albert Spalding, played a few sonatas in a room in the Colony’s Library. “I was among those present in the Savidge Library that night,” Jenkins later recalled in his biography of Beach. “Some of us musicians followed the scores as Mrs. Beach and Spalding performed,” he continued, “and it was with [the] greatest admiration and respect for Mrs. Beach’s musicianship that we listened to a most inspired, yet grammatically correct rendition of the movement from the Mendelssohn work” (129).

Jenkins’ interest in the works and life of Amy Cheney Beach persisted for the rest of his life. “When she died at the end of 1944,” Jenkins’ editor later wrote, “Walter took it upon himself to be her definitive biographer.” Jenkins spent decades gathering Beach materials, including diaries, newspaper clippings, correspondence, church and city records, and the reminiscences of her friends and family. In 1973, his article on Beach was published in the third supplement of The Dictionary of American Biography. By then, he had hammered out a mammoth, 500-page biographical manuscript, but it was still not ready for publication by the time of his death in 1990. A colleague at Newcomb, John H. Baron, agreed to edit the work; with the 1994-publication of The Remarkable Mrs. Beach, American Composer, the life’s work of Walter S. Jenkins finally became public. In January of 1995, Jenkins’ wife, Ruth P. Jenkins, donated the Walter S. Jenkins Amy Cheney Beach Collection to the Milne Special Collections at the University of New Hampshire.

About the Walter S. Jenkins Amy Cheney Beach Collection

The Walter S. Jenkins Amy Cheney Beach Collection has been divided into two series for the ease of the researcher. Series I, “Walter S. Jenkins papers,” contains the professor’s correspondence, research notes, and manuscript drafts. Jenkins’ letters often revolve around his Beach biography and reveal how his life’s labor blended with his personal ties. A few of these letters may be of interest to the Beach researcher, however, since Jenkins wrote Beach friends and relations with questions about their memories of and experiences with Beach. One example of these, Hazel Gertrude Kinscella’s reply to Jenkins in August of 1959, expressed the spirit of many of these correspondents. After recalling her times with Beach in “random recollections,” Kinscella added that her stories “will assure you of my very definite affection for Mrs. Beach and of my desire that her life-story shall be told with all the care and accuracy which I know you will employ.”

Series II, “Amy Cheney Beach documents,” contains Jenkins’ photocopies of Beach’s incoming correspondence, his transcriptions of her diaries and some of her outgoing letters, as well as Beach-related newspaper clippings. These last items are of note since many of them date to Beach’s life, and cover such topics as her tours, performances, and the death of her husband. One folder holds a number of obituaries after the composer’s death in 1944. A few photographs of Beach and associates are also included in the collection.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Walter S. Jenkins Amy Cheney Beach Collection, 1914-2008, MC 232, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Gift from Ruth P. Jenkins, or Metarie, Louisiana, 1995 (Accession number:95.009)

Collection Contents

Series I: Walter S. Jenkins papers, 1933-1989

Subseries A: Incoming correspondence, alphabetical by last name, 1933-1989

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 A-B
Allen, Uma (4 letters) 1950-1959
Ammer, Christine (9 letters) 1975-1978
Bates, Esther (22 letters) 1943-1978
Bauer, Marion (53 letters) 1934-1950
Bird, Anna (1 letter) 1955
Blackman, George L. (1 letter) 1960
Buxbaum, Lilian (9 letters) 1956-1974
Box 1, Folder 2 C-E
Cantrell, Barton (5 letters) 1960-1962
Carmer, Carl (1 letter) 1952
Carpenter, Lilian (3 letters) 1957-1967
Daniels, Mabel (3 letters) 1959-1961
Dengel, Eugenie (18 letters) 1977-1982
Dodge, Timothy (1 letter) 1987
Eden, Myrna Garvey (13 letters) 1975-1976
Eskin, Virginia (16 letters) 1975-1983
Box 1, Folder 3 F-G
Farley, Floella P. (1 letter) 1960
Fletcher, Charlie May (1 letter) undated
Futterer, Susan O. (1 letter) 1948
Galbraith, Ethel (1 letter) 1959
Ganz, Rudolph (1 letter) 1960
Gilbert, Ella Lord (75 letters) 1933-1961
Grinnell, George H. (1 letter) 1976
Box 1, Folder 4 H-L
Hatch, Harry C. (2 letters) 1960
Helm, Maude (1 letter) 1960
Hier, Ethel Glenn (2 letters) 1960
Hodgson, Hugh (1 letter) 1958
Holden, David (1 letter) 1960
Hottensen, John W. (1 letter) 1959
James, Edward T. (3 letters) 1967-1970
Keyes, Frances Parkinson (1 letter) 1959
Kinscella, Hazel Gertrude (2 letters) 1951-1959
Knowlton, Ruth (1 letter) 1959
Kougias, Georgia A. (1 letter) 1959
Lancaster, John (3 letters) 1953-1958
Lichtenwanger, William (1 letter) 1972
Little, Robert W. (1 letter) 1959
Longstreth, W. M. (1 letter) 1981
Box 1, Folder 5 M
MacDowell, Marion (43 letters) 1935-1955
Marcy, Elizabeth (1 letter) 1956
Marquand, John P. (1 letter) 1959
McAllaster, William (1 letter) 1959
McGreevy, Gertrude (3 letters) 1960-1961
MckWilliams, David (6 letters) 1956
McPeek, Gwen (2 letters) 1959
Merrill, Lindsey (2 letters) 1982
Box 1, Folder 6 N-R
Nester, Barchana (1 letter) 1983
Neurris, Anna L. (1 letter) undated
Norris, Mary L. (3 letters) 1959
Osserwaarde, Jack H. (1 letter) undated
Paeff, Bashka (12 letters) 1959-1976
Peaslee, Ruth G. (1 letter) 1959
Petteys, Leslie (6 letters) 1980-1989
Pierce, Mabel (7 letters) 1957
Pleasants, Virginia (8 letters) 1980-1981
Ralston, Jack L. (1 letter) 1972
Ricciardi, J. (2 letters) 1950-1959
Richardso, Nina Maud (5 letters) 1950-1952
Box 1, Folder 7 S-V
Schwab, Arnold T. (1 letter) 1977
Shaffner, Ruth (42 letters) 1950-1978
Shaw, Mrs. Edward L. (2 letters) 1969
Smith, Carleton Sprague. (1 letter) undated
Smith, Helen K. (1 letter) 1988
Spohnholz, Conrad S. (4 letters) 1974
Stark, Lewis M. (1 letter) undated
Sweeney, James Johnson (1 letter) 1959
Turner, N.B. (5 letters) 1958-1959
Varice, Louisa (1 letter) 1974
Vuilleumier, Norman E. (1 letter) 1958
Wilkins, Helen (1 letter) 1961
Box 1, Folder 8 Unnamed incoming correspondence
Ben (2 letters) 1940s
Calaverres (1 letter) 1938
Marjorie (1 letter) 1950
Frances (2 letters) 1956-1981
George (1 letter) 1961
H. W. Gray Company (1 letter) 1959
J+J Lubrand Antiquarian Co. (1 letter) 1984
Justine (1 letter) 1975
L. A. (1 letter) 1981
Trinity Church (1 letter) 1959
Winifred (1 letter) 1959
Rachel Z. (1 letter) 1981

Subseries B: Outgoing correspondence, alphabetical by last name, 1950-1988

Box 1, Folder 9 A-L
Allen, Uma (3 letters) 1952-1953
Ammer, Christine (2 letters) 1978-1980
Austin, Henry R. (1 letter) 1950
Blackmore, Caroyln (1 letter) 1960
Dengel, Eugenie (4 letters) 1978-1980
Eskin, Virginia (2 letters) 1975
Grennell, George (1 letter) 1976
Hoyt, Ethel B. (1 letter) 1976
Hunt, Randolph (1 letter) 1976
Jackson, C.F. (1 letter) undated
James/Jones, Edward T. (2 letters) 1969-1970
Keyes, Frances Parkinson? (1 letter) undated
Kilroy, Dean (1 letter) undated
Krogstad, Norman (1 letter) 1959
Box 1, Folder 10 M-S
McAllaster, William (1 letter) undated
McLean, Mary (1 letter) 1976
Merrill, Lindsey (1 letter) 1982
Paeff, Bashka (4 letters) 1976-1978
Pettys, Leslie (3 letters) 1980-1988
Powell, Cynthia (1 letter) 1986
Schirmer, G. (1 letter) 1959
Shaffner, Ruth (6 letters) 1950-1978
Sponholtz, Conrad (1 letter) 1976
Stevens, Nan Bagby (1 letter) 1958
Box 1, Folder 11 Outgoing correspondence, corporate or unnamed
Charles (1 letter) 1950
City of Boston, Registrar of Deeds (1 letter) 1959
Cottey Junior College (1 letter) 1960
Eastman School of Music (1 letter) 1971
MacDowell Colony (1 letter) 1950
St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church (2 letters) 1950-1959
Town Clerk, Henniker, New Hampshire (1 letter) 1971

Subseries C: Miscellaneous correspondence, 1945-1987

Box 1, Folder 12 Miscellaneous correspondence
Harry C. Hatch to Ella Lord Gilbert (1 letter) 1960
Jack H. Osserwaarde to Ruth Shaffner (2 letters) 1976-1977
Eugenie Dengel to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) 1977
Robert Dahnert to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) 1959
Esther W. Bates to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) 1945
Ginny to Eugenie Dengel (2 letters) 1976-1980
Barbara A. White to Eugenie Dengel (1 letter) 1980
Christy Cach to Eugenie Dengel (1 letter) undated
Mrs. W. M. Longstreth to Eugenie Dengel (1 letter) 1980
Nina Maud Richardson to Mrs. Rogers (1 letter) 1952
Gilbert Chase to Laurence Willhide (1 letter) 1963
Gary A. Tomlinson to Leslie Petteys (1 letter) 1987
Anne Dhu Shapiro to Leslie Petteys (1 letter) 1987

Subseries D: Research notes

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1 Secondary sources
Box 2, Folder 2 Ancestry and childhood
Box 2, Folder 3 Beach’s finances and royalties
Box 2, Folder 4 Beach chronology
Box 2, Folder 5 Beach’s compositions
Box 2, Folder 6 Beach acquaintances and contemporaries
Box 2, Folder 7 Contact information for Beach acquaintances
Box 2, Folder 8 P.E.O.
Box 2, Folder 9 MacDowell Colony
Box 2, Folder 10 Amy Beach Club and Singers
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1 Author index of choral works
Box 3, Folder 2 Newspaper clips
Box 3, Folder 3 Miscellaneous research items

Subseries E: Manuscript drafts

Box 3, Folder 4 Dictionary of American Biography article
Box 3, Folder 5 Manuscript drafts
Box 3, Folder 6 Manuscript indices

Subseries F: Miscellaneous

Box 3, Folder 7 Manuscript by Christine Ammer, 1978
Box 3, Folder 8 Miscellaneous items
Box 3, Folder 9 Map Drawer A7 Map of Forest Hills Cemetery (oversize)

Series II: Amy Cheney Beach documents, 1882-1944

Subseries A: Incoming correspondence, photocopies, alphabetical by last name, 1882-1944

Box 3, Folder 10 A-H
Allen, Uma (1 letter) May 11, 1937
Aus der Ohe, Adele (1 letter) September 27, 1911
Brooks, Phillips (1 letter) August 14, 1891
Brown, A. (1 letter) June 10, 1913
Burleigh, Harry (1 letter) April 2, 1939
Carreno, Teresa (1 letter) December 19, 1899
Chaminade, Cecile (2 letters) undated and June 15, 1939)
Chadwick, G.W. (1 letter) November 2, 1896
Davis, Walter J. (1 letter) June 24, 1934
Delano, Margaret (7 letters) 1 from 1900 and 6 undated
Douglas, Ernest (1 letter) June 3, 1944
Engel, Carl (1 letter) May 9, 1924
Fiedler, Max (1 letter) February 1914
Foote, Arthur (5 letters) undated
Gabrilovitch, Ossip (1 letter) December 31st, 1918
Ganz, Rudolph (1 letter) March 26, 1906
Goetschins, Percy (2 letters) December 15, 1907, and June 4, 1938
Gould, Elizabeth Porter (3 letters) March 1892, May 26, 1892, and April 13, 1897)
Grandjany, Marcel (2 letters) November 23, 1936 and December 14, 1936
Hammer, H. (1 letter) January 20, 1911
Holmes, Oliver Wendell (2 letters) November 12, 1886, and December 29, 1890
Homer, Louise (3 letters) undated
Homer, Sidney (1 letter) undated
Hopekirk, Helen (2 letters) undated and October 17, 1897
Hughs, Anges Lochart (1 letter) April 2, 1904
Hughs, Edwin (1 letter) April 6, 1935
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1 I-P
Jewett, Sara Anne (1 letter) undated
Johnson, John (1 letter) December 1, 1935
Kroeger, E.R. (1 letter) May 8, 1905
Lang, Mary R. (1 letter) August 8, 1910
Langley, S. P. (to Dr. Beach) (1 letter) December 27, 1890s
Lenard, Clive R. (1 letter) November 26, 1887
Lejinksi, Ethel (1 letter) October 4, 1932
Lhevinne, Josef (1 letter) January 15, 1940
Lindercrone, Lillie H. (6 letters) 15 December, 1892, June 27, year unknown, January 8, 1893, March 8, 1893, November 17, 1894, and September 27, 1896
Lowerly, Leo (1 letter) January 31, 1942
Lutkin, Peter (1 letter) July 12, 1922
MacDowell, Marion (4 letters) October 29, 1936, January 12, 1939, April 19, 1941, and April 24, 1941
Mason, William (1 letter) October 3, 1884
Nikisch, Amelie (1 letter) April 23, 1892
Noble, Tertius (1 letter) April 21, year unknown
Nold, Raymond (1 letter) April 21, 1924
Nordica, ____? (1 letter) September 10, year unknown
Paine, John K. (3 letters) December 8, 1901, March 2, 1902, and 1 undated, located under Chadwick, G.W., March 11, 1899
Palmer, Bertha H. (1 letter) January 13, 1893
Paris, Walter (1 letter) December 22, 1898
Parker, Horatio (2 letters) January 11, 1903, and December 10, 1904
Patti, Adelaide (2 letters) December 1884, and March 26, 1892
Paurte, Emil (5 letters) December 4, 1900, February 26, 1900, August 16 (year unknown), 1898, and September 8, 1905
Perry, Nona (1 letter) October 22, 1884
Phillip, Isadore (1 letter) undated
Powell, Maud (3 letters) April 16 (year unknown), December 6, 1893, and undated
Pugno, Raoul (1 letter) November 4, 1902
Putnam, Herber (1 letter) January 19, 1911
Box 4, Folder 2 Q-W
Raudenbush, George King (1 letter) November 4, 1942
Reese, Elizabeth Phelps (2 letters) October 31, 1894, and November 7, 1894
Samarcff, Olga (1 letter) 1906
Sembrich, Marcella (2 letters) December 12, 1899, and December 10, 1906
Seward, Oliver Ripley (1 letter) November 26, 1882
Sgernbutz, J. (1 letter) March 28, 1912
Sockman, Ralph (1 letter) November 17, 1943
Sommeck, O. G. (1 letter) January 7, 1911
Spencer, Rob (1 letter) undated
Speyer, Lenora (1 letter) March 23, year unknown
Spofford, Harriet Prescott (1 letter) October 25, year unknown
Staesset, Albert (1 letter) March 4, 1931
Stephens, Nan Bagby (1 letter) March 23, 1944
Story, Emma Eames (2 letters) September 14, 1904 and December 9, 1904
Taylor, Deems (1 letter) March 19, 1937
Thornton, Wilder (1 letter) December 27, 1942
Box 4, Folder 3 Typed copies of Beach’s incoming letters
Aggasiz, Louis (2 letters) April 11, 1903, and undated
Alves, C. Katie (2 letters) February 15, 1892 and April 29, 1892
Bauer, Harold (1 letter) January 15, 1925
Bisham, David (1 letter) undated
Brackett, Walter M. (1 letter) undated
Busch, Carl (1 letter) April 7, 1906
Brown, Abbie Farwell (1 letter) May 21, year unknown
Carreno, Teresa (2 letters) December 17, 1899, and May 25, 1900
Chadwick, George (1 letter) April 18, 1889
Clark, Anna L. (1 letter) September 25, 1888
Coats, Florence Earle (10 letters) May 5, 1898, October 30, 1901, August 22, 1903, 1904, March 8, 1905, March 15, 1905, March 28, 1907, September 8, 1908, June 29, 1911, undated
Eames, Emma (1 letter) April 27, year unknown
Foote, Arthur (2 letters) July 7 and November 27, years unknown
Parker, Horatio (1 letter) December 10, 1904

Subseries B: Outgoing correspondence, 1900-1944

Box 4, Folder 4 Outgoing correspondence, photocopies
Chaminade, Cecile (1 letter) undated
Dillon, Fannie (5 letters) April 10, 1900, September 27, 1915, April 16, 1915, August, 16, 1921, September 26, 1925
Ralston, Marion (5 letters) July 22, November 17, 1926, October 17, 1933, October 29, 1933, May 25, 1935
Shaffner, Ruth (8 letters) 1932, December 25, 1935, May 1941, June 11, 1943, May 5, 1944, and 3 undated

Subseries C: Miscellaneous correspondence, 1942-1945

Box 4, Folder 5 Miscellaneous correspondence
Amy Brigham to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) December 30, 1945
Helen to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) November 1, 1945
Nancy Byrd Turner to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) January 7, 1945
Cainlyn Wells to Ruth Shaffner (1 letter) December 25, 1942
William Jericke to Mr. Tickner (1 letter) October 19
Carl Zerrabu to Mr. Schwadt (1 letter) undated

Subseries D: Typed diaries, 1925-1944

Box 4, Folder 6 Typed diaries
Box 4, Folder 7 Typed diaries

Subseries E: Newspaper clippings

Box 4, Folder 8 General Beach-related newspaper clippings
Box 4, Folder 9 Early performance reviews (transcriptions)
Box 4, Folder 10 Dr. Beach and other relations
Box 4, Folder 11 Beach obituaries

Subseries F: Miscellaneous

Box 5
Box 5, Folder 1 Poems, either to or collected by Beach
Box 5, Folder 2 Miscellaneous writings, Beach
Box 5, Folder 3 Composition books—Beach contemporaries
Box 5, Folder 4 UNH Commencement address and mortar board
Box 5, Folder 5 Beach-related photos
Box 5, Folder 6 The Music Quarterly, Vol. XXVI, No. 3
Box 5, Folder 7 CMS Proceedings, The National and Regional Meetings, The College Music Society
Box 5, Folder 8 Beach biographical sketches (6 letters)

Box 5, Folder 9 Opera list of Beach compositions by Walter S. Jenkins

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