The primary correspondence in this collection consists of letters to Louisa A. Withee
from her son son Haskell, her sister, Helen Manville, and Helen's daughter, Marion Pope.
Some of these date from the Manvilles' European tour (1890). Subsequent items discuss,
apart from family matters, the Chilean earthquakes of 1906 and 1909, as well as American
business prospects in South America. Letters from Charles Pope to his Aunt (by marriage),
Louisa Withee, concern business dealings. The Popes seemingly acted on Louisa's behalf
with respect to insurance and other business matters. The collection also contains a few
family photographs, although most are unidentified.
Ancestors of Louisa Withee's husband were farmers in Wisconsin and it is of interest that
a town in that state bears their name. Louisa Withee remained in Wisconsin her entire
life. Louisa's sister, Helen Wood Manville, and Helen's daughter Marion, were
widely-traveled published authors. Helen Manville's (1839-1912)collected poetry appeared
as Heart Echoes (1875). Marion Manville Pope (1859-1930)published Over the Divide and
Other Verses (1888), Up the Matterhorn in a Boat (1897) and Between Two Goals (1917). In
1891 Marion Manville married Charles Pope, an American businessman working in South
America, and Helen Manville moved with her daughter and son-in-law to Chile. In 1911 Pope
concentrated his business activities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Charles Pope made
lengthy business trips to New York and London on some of which his wife and mother-in-law
joined him. Most of their contact with Louisa Withee and other Wisconsin relatives,
however, was by mail. It is not clear from this correspondence what Charles Pope's
business was, although one might guess that he was involved in the import trade. Helen
Manville seems to have been torn between living with her daughter in South America and
remaining in Wisconsin near family. This issue was resolved only by her death (1912).
Louisa Withee's son, Haskell, also figures in the correspondence since he was spent some
time in Europe with the Popes.
Collection is open for research.