Minnie Gresham Machen notebook
- Machen, Minnie Gresham (Person)
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This collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
0.167 Cubic Feet (1 volume)
Mrs. Machen contributed articles to The Southern Presbyterian, The Central Presbyterian, and published The Bible in Browning in 1903. She was acquainted with the poet, Sidney Lanier, and his wife, Mary Day Lanier. Mrs. Machen attended a series of Shakespeare lectures presented by Lanier at the Peabody Institute, 1878-1879. When Edwin Mims was researching his biography of Sidney Lanier, he asked Mrs. Machen to record her reminiscences. Her impressions were used in Mim's published biography, Sidney Lanier (1905).
Mrs. Machen was the mother of Arthur Webster Machen (1877-1950), a Baltimore lawyer; John Gresham Machen (1881-1937), a Presbyterian minister and religious writer; and Thomas Gresham Machen (1886-1975), a Baltimore architect. The three men received their undergraduate degrees at The Johns Hopkins University.
Scope and Contents
The notebook begins with a lengthy description of a charismatic, religious service led by a minister named as Father Taylor, serving at the Seamen's Church in Boston, 1852. Two sermons of Father Taylor are recounted. This account is in the handwriting of someone other than Mrs. Machen. Persons attending the service identified themselves as Harvard Law School students, close friends, and Virginians. It is likely that these early pages of the notebook were written by Minnie Gresham Machen's husband, Arthur Webster Machen (1827-1915), a lawyer whose birthplace was Virginia.
Following the church narrative are Mrs. Machen's writings that include a few religious meditations and a family remembrance. Mrs. Machen noted that one essay, "The Art of Self Control," was later published in The Central Presbyterian. Of interest are Mrs. Machen's thoughts about Sidney Lanier. She copied into her notebook an extract from a letter written to Lanier's biographer, Edwin Mims. Mrs. Machen referred to Lanier's difficulties in the Reconstruction period and his later proposal to offer a lecture series on Shakespeare for women (eventually given, 1878-1879). Mrs. Machen's final entry in 1904, is a reflection on the nobility of poetry.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA