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Guide to the Stevenson S. MacWhinney Papers
1915-1920 (bulk 1918)
 MS 399

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Melissa Haley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Stevenson S. MacWhinney Papers contain correspondence, diaries, army records, maps, ephemera, clippings, and artifacts relating to Sgt. MacWhinney's tenure in the American Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. The bulk of the material dates from 1918.

Stevenson S. MacWhinney's letters and diaries, which make up the greater part of the collection, document the daily life of an American soldier on the Western Front. While he mentions combat, shelling, marches, and gas warfare, he also discusses the routine aspects of army life such as food, bathing, sports and entertainment, clothing, sleeping conditions, health, religious services, and lice infestations. MacWhinney's letters do not go into great detail about his own emotions about the war, and he occasionally withheld information he knew would be disturbing to his family, such as a bout with malaria. His diary entries, though brief, sometimes reveal facts and feelings that his letters avoid.

The remaining, smaller series, which include items like registration and permission notices, a pay record book, and equipment lists, further detail MacWhinney's army life. These series also provide a visual context of his experience through maps, postcards, and unit patches.


Correspondence arranged chronologically.

This collection is organized into the following seven series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence, 1915-1919, undated
  2. Series II. Diaries, 1916-1919
  3. Series III. Army Records, 1917-1919, undated
  4. Series IV. Maps, 1918, undated
  5. Series V. Ephemera, 1920, undated
  6. Series VI. Clippings, undated
  7. Series VII. Artifacts, undated