Margaret Wade Campbell Deland Collection, 1925-1991

Click here for Container List

Volume: .25 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized as a single series.

Biographical Note: Margaret Deland was born Margaretta Wade Campbell in Alleghany, Pennsylvania on February 23, 1857. Losing her mother at childbirth and her father just two weeks later, Margaret relied on her aunt, Lois Wade, for care. She grew up in Manchester, Pennsylvania, studying at the Pelham Priory School in New Rochelle, New York. and then attended Cooper Union in New York City. She taught drawing for a short period of time at what is now Hunter College, and then in 1880 she married Lorin F. Deland. The couple settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, summering in Kennebunkport, at their home "Graywood."

Deland was very active in Kennebunkport society. Concerned with social and cultural issues affecting women, Margaret opened her home to 60 unwed mothers and their children for a period of four years. During this time she wrote frequently, and her first published piece, a poem called "The Succory" appeared in Harpers magazine. A collection of her poems, The Old Garden and Other Verses, was published in 1886 and in the years following she wrote several more novels, poems, and short story collections.

Her first novel, John Ward, Preacher, was published in 1888, and tells the story of a Calvinist minister and his Episcopalian wife who cannot accept the doctrine of eternal damnation. This novel became quite controversial, and sales skyrocketed. The conflict of ideas is a theme that pervades Deland’s subsequent novels, which chronicled the comedy and drama of middle class life. The most popular of these were her short story collections loosely based on the Manchester of her childhood. These include Old Chester Tales (1899), Around Old Chester (1915), An Old Chester Secret (1920) and New Friends in Old Chester (1924).

Her “problem” novels were also well received, such as The Awakening of Helena Richie (1906) and The Vehement Flame (1922). She also wrote two autobiographies: If This Be I, As I Suppose It Be (1935) and Golden Yesterdays (1941). In 1926 she was elected to the National Society of Arts and Letters and awarded with the Legion of Honor by the French government for her relief work in France during World War I. Deland died on January 13, 1945 at the age of 87 in Boston. She was a prolific writer of newspaper articles, short stories, and novels, publishing over 30 books in her lifetime.

Description: This collection includes a 1941 letter signed by Deland, a fascinating hand made gift book, photographs and slides of Graywood, published work in periodicals, and a matted and framed ink drawing of Deland's Kennebunkport living room, 1950.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Margaret Wade Campbell Deland Collection, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:
001.  Autographed Christmas card w/ photo of Graywood, undated
002.  TLS from Margaret Deland to Mrs. Walter H. Claffin, November 26, 1941
003.  Correspondence from artist Beverly Hallam to Westbrook College President William Andrews re: her memories of Graywood, 7/1/1991
004.  Interviews, reviews
005.  Review of The Kays, undated
006.  Obituary, 1945
007.  Photographs: M.D. portrait reproduction; Graywood interior
008.  9 slides of Graywood
009.  6 photographs of M.D., dog and friends, 1940s
010.  Christmas card: Reproduction of Dec. 1916 Woman's Home Companion cover
011.  Published work in periodicals (copies)
012.  "A Sailor's Chantey" sheet music (words by Margaret Deland, music by Walter Damrosch)
013.  "Pen Portraits..." Harper and Brothers booklet, undated
014.  "Confession"booklet calling for donations to the Hampton Institute, ca. 1925
015.  "Though Inland Far We Be," Hampton Institute Press, 1932
016.  "Blue Cat Special, September 17, 1939: Joseph Parsons 70th birthday souvenir" (Illustrated and bound manuscript which contains a poem by Deland)
017.  Autograph letter "My dear Mr. Bok" undated
018.  ALS to Walter E. Stoddard, 1928-1929
019.  TLS from Deland to Mr. Hammond, 5-18-1929