Merrill-Magowan Family Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Merrill-Magowan Family Papers consist of 32 linear feet of material documenting the personal and professional activities and relationships of three generations of family members, dating from 1880 to 2002. The bulk of the material dates from the 1920s through the 1970s. In addition to illustrating relationships between family members, the papers are an extremely rich source for the study of United States social history, providing a view of the personal impact of economic, social and cultural issues on an upper class American family in the twentieth century. The collection also contains genealogical materials and reports.
The bulk of the collection relates to Charles Edward Merrill, his daughter Doris Merrill Magowan and her husband Robert Anderson Magowan. Also included in the collection are papers of Eliza Church Merrill and other family members; and a manuscript copy of James Ingram Merrill's first novel, The Seraglio. Family correspondence makes up the largest portion of the material, with business records appearing in bulk in the papers of Charles E. Merrill, founder of the investment banking and brokerage firm Merrill Lynch. Merrill also had a practice of sending copies of his letters to family members to his daughter Doris, and these can be found in her papers. Merrill's business correspondence provides a view of Wall Street culture before, during and after the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the following years of the Great Depression. Family members' World War II service is well represented by extensive correspondence, a scrapbook and a diary kept regularly by Robert A. Magowan during his time in the Navy. These materials are supplemented with artworks, diaries, memorabilia, photographs, writings and newspaper clippings, and a set of Family Heritage Albums.
Several members of the Merrill family attended Amherst College, including Charles E. Merrill (AC 1908), James Ingram Merrill (AC 1947) and Charles E. Merrill's nephew, Charles Merrill Matzinger (AC 1937). Material related to Amherst College can be found throughout the collection, especially in the Charles Edward Merrill papers and the family heritage albums (Series 11).
This collection is organized into eleven series:
Organization of the collection
The Merrill-Magowan Family Papers are arranged by family member. Materials are arranged by type within each series. Oversize items are stored separately. Cross reference sheets to materials stored in these locations are placed throughout the papers and a listing of the contents of the oversize boxes is available as part of the folder-title list.