Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Frances Margaret Fox letter

Recently we received an addition to the papers, 1877, 2011 (27.5 cubic ft. in 57 boxes, 1 Ov. folder) of Frances Margaret Fox (1870-1959), a noted Michigan children's author of fictional and true stories, from Mackinaw City.

During the winters, Frances went to Washington, D.C., where she met a lot of fascinating people who told her interesting stories which she then intensely researched in the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and National Archives. She also wrote to people pursuing other stories and supporting documentation. Many of her stories were initially published in religious (sabbath school) and secular magazines for children. Her Little Bear stories were particularly popular and were eventually published as separate books by Rand McNally & Company. She was a nationally recognized authors from at least the 1920s through the early 1950s. Her non-fiction books about birds and the migration of flowers to the U.S. were very popular with adults. The Clarke has 63 and the Library of Congress has 38 of her books in their collections. She was also responsible for selecting the historically significant downtown street names in Mackinaw City, at the request of the City Commissioners. After she died, her ashes were deposited in the Straits.

From her history and work it is clear that Frances loved history, inspirational stories, researching and  archival collections. I wanted to share the additional  letter because in it she notes,"The true stories are fascinating and precious, too, because if not gathered now, in another 50 years they will be lost to the world." Frances was my kind of person. She also overcame a very challenging childhood to become a self-employed writer, no small accomplishment for a single woman in that time period. I have a lot of respect for her.

Here's the letter with the envelope right above the sentence  I quoted.


Here's the whole letter which was a thank you letter for a list of names of people with interesting stories sent to her by Mr. E. H. Buck of Aloha, MI, November 28, 1931. She wrote to him from Cheboygan, Michigan. Aloha Township is located just south of Cheboygan on Mullet Lake.



You can read more about her or her collection in our catalog and review her list of publications cataloged in the Clarke here http://catalog.lib.cmich.edu/search/a?SEARCH=fox+frances+margaret&SORT=D


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