William Cabell Grayson Collection


William Cabell Grayson Collection


Grayson family






The documents within the William Cabell Grayson collection contain many correspondence, ephemera, and newspaper clippings from the years 1909 to 1953. The records are mostly correspondence to and from William and to and from his parents (his mother and George L. Harrison, his stepfather). The collection also includes correspondence to and from William’s brothers Cary and Gordon and ephemera that belonged to them. The records offer an insight into the lives of the Grayson family and the strong emphasis they must have placed on keeping in touch with their loved ones. Besides, family life, the records also provide a glance of the upper middle class in the 1930s and 40s. One subject that is heavily covered within the back and forth correspondence is travel. William seems to have traveled all over the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe and he makes some great comments about each of the places he goes. Also, because of his military involvement during World War II, the records give some information regarding the U.S. Marine Corps. Other topics that are touched on are collegiate experiences of the time, social status, marriage announcements and sports. However, the main subject matter is personal communications in which William says hello to his parents and lets them know that he is ok and he misses them. Only briefly does he talk about any other areas that may be of interest to research. There are several authors of correspondence that are of note within this collection. The most numerous of these are written by George L. Harrison and they range from 1930 to 1951. However, again it should be noted that they are mainly to say hello and communicate travel information. In some cases though, Harrison mentions sports and politics. The collection also contains invitations and thank you notes from President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Senator Carter Glass, Bernard Baruch, and Edith Wilson. In addition to correspondence, this collection also contains a numerous amount of mixed media. The scope of this material shows the varying interests that the Grayson family, and William Grayson in particular, participated in and enjoyed. Topics within range from sports, horse racing, entertainment, dances, several of the Grayson sons’ alma maters, travel, military memorabilia, wedding and engagement announcements, and multiple other forms of media that the Grayson family would have been exposed to during the inclusive dates of this collection. The records within this collection are mainly concerning the Grayson family’s life and social interactions. They paint a good picture of what upper middle class family life was like within the dates that this collection encompasses.


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library



Collection Items

William Cabell Grayson Collection Finding Aid
Papers from 1930s and 1940s from William, son of Cary T., including material from his service in WWII.
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