Finding Aid File

Guide to the Henry Stillwell Clapp Collection, BCMS.0051

Summary Information

    Repository

    Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection

    Creator

    Clapp, Henry Stillwell, 1893-1980

    Title

    Henry Stillwell Clapp Collection

    ID

    BCMS.0051

    Date

    1917-1919

    Extent

    1.55 Linear feet , 1 document box, 1 oversize box

    Location

    Brooklyn Collection Morgue, Shelf 11.4

    Language

    English

    Abstract

    Materials collected by Private Henry Stillwell Clapp while on active duty during World War I. Items include correspondence, clippings and military documents.

    Preferred Citation

    This collection should be cited as the Henry Stillwell Clapp Collection, Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection.

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Biographical Note

Henry Stillwell Clapp (1893-1980) was a salesman living in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. He enlisted in the United States Military on June 19, 1917. Upon enlisting, Clapp immediately requested a transfer to more active duty and was assigned to the 27th Division, also known as O’Ryan’s Roughnecks, 102nd Military Police. Clapp was deployed to France where he fought in Ypres-Lys and the Somme Offensive.

A short article describing his experience with the 102nd Military Police ran in the November 22, 1918 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Shortly after, he enrolled in a journalism class at the London Correspondence College. It’s unclear if he pursued journalism after returning to civilian life.

After the War, Clapp returned to Brooklyn where he married Ida May Todd and had two children. The couple filed for divorce on November 9, 1933 in Reno, Nevada. Clapp died in Pennsylvania in 1980.

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of items received and collected by Henry Stillwell Clapp while serving in World War I, the bulk of which was originally kept by Clapp in a canvas letter folder probably purchased at a military goods store. The letter folder is included in the collection with items most likely present at the time of purchase, including a pocket bible, address book, pay record book and English and French Conversation Book. Additional military documents include a claim of exemption and transfer request.

This collection also includes correspondence sent and received during Clapp’s deployment in France, the majority of which are between Clapp and his mother, Isabelle Clapp. They discuss gossip from home, updates on family members and news of the German surrender. Clapp also collected clippings from various newspapers concerning the war effort, including several copies of the “Walks and Talks” column written by Julius Chambers and published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He also collected various bits of poetry and famous quotations.

While on deployment Clapp enrolled in journalism class by mail at the London Correspondence College. Items from the class include a lecture, request for payment and general correspondence. Coursework includes notes on Hamlet, a book report, and an essay on artistic vision and responsibility.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in six series by type.

Series I: Military Items and Official Documents include a canvas letter folder, the contents of which have been removed with the exception of items presumably included at the time of purchase. These items have been left in the folder pockets as arranged by Clapp. Other military documents are arranged by type, with one oversize item separated and housed in box 2.

Series II: Outgoing Correspondence was often kept by Clapp in original envelopes, sometimes storing multiple letters per envelope. Correspondence has been foldered by envelope to reflect Clapp’s original order. Folders have been arranged by date.

Series III: Incoming Correspondence was often kept by Clapp in original envelopes, sometimes storing poems, clippings and multiple letters per envelope. Correspondence has been foldered by envelope to reflect Clapp’s original order. Folders have been arranged by date.

Series IV: Clippings in this series were kept by Clapp in a pocket of the canvas letter folder. See Series I-III for clippings inlcuded with correspondence or military documents. Oversize clippings have been separated and housed in box 2.

Series V: London Correspondence College items are arranged by type and organized chronologically whenever possible.

Series IV: Poetry and Quotations are arranged by type.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection , 2018

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
718.230.2762
bcref@bklynlibrary.org

Access

Collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at the Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.

Use

While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.

Provenance

This collection was purchased from Kaaterskill Books in December 2017.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Jaffe, Steven H. New York at war : four centuries of combat, fear, and intrigue in Gotham. Basic Books. 2012.

Leonard, John W. The story of New York in the World War : with a brief account of the various divisions, regiments, troops and units made up wholly or in part of enlistments in and from New York City together with activities of relief and industrial organizations, war-work plans, and Liberty Loan drives. National Service Magazine. 1920.

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Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

  • Correspondence schools and courses
  • Soldiers--United States
  • World War, 1914-1918

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Military Items and Official Documents, Box 1 

Cloth Letter Folder 

Includes: Pocket Bible, Address Book, The Soldiers’ English and French Conversation Book, Herring Furniture Company Notebook, Stamp Book, Pay Record Book

Folder 1: Claim of Exemption , 1917 

Folder 2: Informational Notecards , 1917 

Folder 3: Transfer Request , 1917 

Box 2, Folder 1: Gun Training Notes , circa 1917 

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Series II: Outgoing Correspondence, Box 1 

Folder 4: Connie , 1918 (Jan.) 

Folder 5: Clapp, Isabelle , 1918 (Aug.) 

Folder 6: Clapp, Isabelle , 1918 (Oct.) 

Folder 7: Clapp, Isabelle , 1918 (Nov.) 

Folder 8: Helen , 1918 (Dec.)  

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Series III: Incoming Correspondence, Box 1 

Folder 9: Clapp, Isabelle , 1918 (June-Dec.) 

Folder 10: Holiday Cards , 1918 (Oct.-Dec.) 

Folder 11: Holiday Cards , 1918 (Dec.) 

Folder 12: Helen , 1919 (Feb.) 

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Series IV: Clippings 

Box 1, Folder 13: Clippings , circa 1917-1919 

Box 2, Folder 2: Oversize Clippings , circa 1917-1919 

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Series V: London Correspondence College, Box 1 

Folder 14: Correspondence and Lecture , 1918 (Nov.-Dec.) 

Folder 15: Notes and Reports , circa 1918 

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Series VI: Poetry and Quotations, Box 1 

Folder 16: Poetry and Quotations , circa 1918 

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