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Thomas Lindsey Blayney Family Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Geneological and Biographical



Thomas Lindsey Blayney Family Papers, 1880-1946 | Carleton College Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Thomas Lindsey Blayney Family Papers, 1880-1946

ID: 03/122

Primary Creator: Blayney, Thomas Lindsey (1874-1971)

Extent: 1.0


Arranged files.

Geneological and Biographical.  The Geneological material is all related to the South family, covers the family from the 16th century to the 1910s.  The Biographical material relates entirely to Lindsey Blayney, and includes two autobiographical accounts, clippings, eulogies, and material compiled by his second wife.


Correspondence.  The few letters in the folder RelatingtotheIllness and death of Lucy Blaney (Lindsey's mother) were written by Lindsey's mother and father, 1880-81, to "Puss"--one of Lindsey's aunts.

The subseries of letters to Lindsey and Gertrude Blayney is the largest, and is composed primarily of letters from and school reports relating to their SONS, 1914-23.  The letters cover the period of the Blayneys' 1914-15 trip (during which time the boys stayed separately with relatives and family friends), the boys' stays at various military schools, and Mac's subsequent stint in the Texasoilfields.  In addition, the subseries contains letters from FRANK JONES, the Blayney family's former butler, 1912-23--along with asking favors of the Blayneys, Jones kept them informed of the news from Kentucky.  Finally, the subseries includes correspondence from VARIOUS RELATIVES (Blayney and South), 1898-1946.  Of special note is the letter (1945) from General Edgar Hume, Lindsey's nephew, which describes post-liberation Europe.

The next subseries is composed of letters addressed to Lindsey alone.  Those from GERTRUDE (1917-19) span the period of his military service; they reveal a depressed and troubled woman.  The MISCELLANEOUS (1900-46) correspondents include diplomats and academics, and date mostly from the period of his Kahn Fellowship travels and the period following Gertrude's death.

The correspondence addressed to Gertrude includes letters from LINDSEY (1917-19) during his military service--he speaks of his motivation for fighting the war and illuminates the nature of his relationship with his wife.  Also in the subseries are MISCELLANEOUS letters (1900-19), many on the occasion of the death of the Blayney's daughter (some are in German and French).


The next two subseries are letters to each of the Blayneys' sons, 1914-19.  Most of the letters are from Lindsey and Gertrude, and were sent while the boys were in military schools.  Some correspondence from friends is also included.

The final subseries contains letters addressed to members of the South, Blayney, Hume, and Judd families, mostly from Gertrude and Lindsey.  The most interesting folder contains the letters of MALORY SOUTH (Gertrude's mother) from Gertrude (and a few from Lindsey), 1895-1905.  The correspondence covers the period from Gertrude's wedding to Malory's death.  The second folder consists of letters from Gertrude to her sister ELLEN SOUTH HUME, 1893-1903.  Letters to EDGAR HUME, JR. (Ellen's son, later a brigadier general in World War Two), 1906-07, comprise the third folder.  The correspondence is from Edgar's parents. The fourth folder consists of scattered letters written from Lindsey to his brother John (and one to his mother), one from Gertrude to a niece, and one from Edgar Hume, Sr. to an aunt.

Receipts; Miscellaneous.  Both series derive mostly from the Blayneys' oriental and European travels on the Kahn Fellowship.

Photographs.  The majority of the photos are from the Blayneys' travels in Japanand China, and were enclosed in letters to their sons.  The next largest, and the most significant, group of photos are those of Lindsey and Gertrude while in Germanyin the 1900s.  (These are contact prints made while the Blayney papers were being processed; the negatives--including those from which no prints were made--were on nitrate film in poor condition and were destroyed.)  Other photos include Lindsey at age 2, the Carleton German Deapartment (1944-45), and "Mac's" daughter, husband, and child.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Correspondence among Lindsey Blayney (Dean of Carleton College, 1926-46), his wife Gertrude South, their sons, and various of their relatives.  (Much of the correspondence was sent by rather than to Lindsey and Gertrude, thus the puzzling provenance.)  The bulk of the letters relate to the Blayneys' travels in Europe and the Orient (1894-1904, 1914-15), but give insights, too, into their personal relationships and their attitudes toward child-rearing, education, and marriage.  Some correspondence pertains to Lindsey's military service during World War One.  See also Dean of the College Papers, 1926-46, for more material on Lindsey Blayney.

The record group contains materials relating to the family life of Lindsey and Gertrude Blayney, 1880-1946.  (For material relating to Lindsey Blayney's professional activities, see the papers of the Dean of the College, 1926-46.)  The record group contains the correspondence of both Lindsey and Gertrude, some correspondence written to their two sons, and some correspondence written to various South relations.  Also included is some geneological and biographical material, scattered financial documents, and some family photographs.

The bulk of the material relates to the Blayney's travels in Europeand the Orient (1894-1905, 1914-15).  There is, however, also material pertaining to the dynamics of their marriage, their attitudes toward their children and child-rearing, their relationship with other family members and friends, and Lindsey's military service during World War One.  The most notable gaps are from the period of Lindsey and Gertrude's courtship and the period after their arrival at Carleton in 1926.

The arrangement of the record group is entirely artificial, as the papers had no order whatsoever when processing began.  Four series were created for the record group:  Geneological and Biographical; Correspondence; Receipts; Miscellaneous.  The correspondence series is by far the largest and most substantive.

Biographical Note

Thomas Lindsey Blaney was born on 3 December 1874in Lebanon, Kentucky.  His father was the Rev. J. McClusky Blayney; his mother was Lucy Weisinger Lindsey.  Blayney graduated from  Centre College in 1894.  He left for Germany the next year to study and prepare for diplomatic service, returning only long enough in 1896 to wed and take back with him Gertrude South.  The Blayneys travelled extensively in Europeand North Africa for the next nine years (he becoming fluent in German, French, Italian, and Spanish). Blayney prepared for his doctorate at the Universityof Heidelbergand was employed as U.S. Vice Consul at Mannheimfrom 1901 to 1904.  He and his wife had three children while in Europe:  Lucy, 1897-1900; J. McClusky ("Mac"), 1901-    ); Edgar Lindsey, 1903-    ).

After returning to the U.S.(with a brief stint as professor of German at his alma mater), in 1905 Lindsey took a professorship at Rice Institute in Texas.  Nine years later he and Gertrude travelled for a year through Europeand the Orient on an Albert Kahn Fellowship.  Blayney returned to Rice and remained there until 1924, with an interruption for service in World War I.

Blayney became president of Texas State Women's College in 1924, whence he remained until he went to Carleton as Professor of German and Dean of the College in 1926.  Gertrude Blayney died in 1945, the year before Lindsey's retirement.  In 1948 Blayney married Ida Walz Kubitz, a professor of German at Carleton.  Blayney was severely injured in an automobile accident in 1957. He never fully recovered his health, and died 13 March 1971.

Administrative Information

Repository: Carleton College Archives

Acquisition Source: Donated by Ida Kubitz Blayney, apparently in the 1970s.  Provenance unclear.

Appraisal Information: Value Code: 2.5

Processing Information: LOCATION CHECKED

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Geneological and Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],

Series 1: Geneological and Biographical
(see also, Faculty File, filed separately)
Folder 1: Geneological
Folder 2: Biographical

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Geneological and Biographical],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous],

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