Charles Nordhoff Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by Huntington Library staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Xiuzhi Zhou; supplementary encoding and revision by Diann Benti in June 2017.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 1998
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Charles Nordhoff Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1907-1953
Bulk dates: 1909-1947
Collection Number: mssNordhoff Papers
Creator: Nordhoff, Charles, 1887-1947.
Extent: 943 items in 9 boxes
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains the professional and personal papers of American writer Charles Bernard Nordhoff (1887-1947), who collaborated with James Norman Hall to write The Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea, Pitcaim's Island, and other novels.
Language: English and French

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Charles Nordhoff Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Gift of Mrs. L.G.W. Nordhoff, June 1983.

Biographical Note

Novelist Charles Bernard Nordhoff (1887-1947), alone and in collaboration with James Norman Hall, drew from experiences in turn-of-the-century California, where he was raised, in France during his stint as a pilot and ambulance driver during World War I, and in the South Seas, notably Tahiti, as well as from historical events and native myths to produce successful and popular novels. During the course of his life he authored or co-authored sixteen books between 1919 and 1946, as well as numerous articles and essays.
Nordhoff was best-known for his collaborative efforts with Hall in the writing of Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea,and Pitcairn's Island. The two men's approaches combined well, as they often wrote alternating chapters in their works, integrating their styles more and more seamlessly as the years passed.

Scope and Content

Professional and personal papers of writer Charles Nordhoff (1887-1947). The material consists of typescripts of Nordhoff's works, correspondence to and from Charles Nordhoff to his co-author James Hall, to various publishers, and letters to and from a variety of friends and relations, including former Secretary of the Interior Gifford Pinchot, Adlai Stevenson, A.P. Watt, Ellery Sedgwick, and others. The collection includes typescripts of Nordhoff's works, extensive family and writing-related correspondence, numerous photographs, and copies of magazines, journals, and comic books in which articles or works by Nordhoff were published. There are approximately one dozen items in French, primarily incoming correspondence.
This relatively small but important collection appears to be the only extensive primary source of Nordhoff materials available.

Arrangement

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Hall, James Norman, 1887-1951 -- Correspondence.
Nordhoff, Charles, 1887-1947 -- Archives.
Nordhoff, Charles, 1830-1901 -- Family -- Archives.
Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946 -- Correspondence.
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1835-1914 -- Correspondence.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Archives.
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1939-1945.
Tahiti (French Polynesia : Island)
United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
United States -- Intellectual life -- Sources.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) United States 20th century.
Manuscripts from publication United States 20th century.
Personal papers United States 20th century.
Photographs United States 20th century.
Professional papers United States 20th century.

Alternate Authors

Hall, James Norman, 1887-1951.
Nordhoff, Charles, 1830-1901.
Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960.
Watt, A. P. & Sons.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Typescripts: Books, Novels and Other Published Works

Folder 1

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard, ed. In Yankee Windjammers.Book I In a Wooden Battleship

Folder 2

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard, ed. In Yankee Windjammers.Book II Whaling

Folder 3

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard (?). A Bit of Propaganda

Folder 4

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Brave Bugles, Sound the Charge!: A poem.

Folder 5

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Cook Book Preface.

Folder 6

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Essay on Modern Sea-Power(carbon)

Folder 7

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. The Cook Islands(carbon)

Folder 8

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Evil in Eden: Story outline

Folder 9

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Evil in Eden

Folder 10

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Evil in Eden [incomplete]

Folder 11

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Evil in Eden (carbon copy) [typescript differs from other typescript]

Box 2

Typescripts and Autograph Manuscripts: Books, Novels and other Published and Unpublished Works

Note

All items in this box are typescripts unless noted as autograph manuscripts.
Folder 1

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Happy Hunting Grounds (typewritten outline with autograph corrections).

Folder 2

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. A Layman Looks at the Navy (typescript with autograph corrections).

Folder 3

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Learn and Live. 4 copies, some with textual changes.

Folder 4

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. A Letter to the Editor. [1924-25?]

Folder 5

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Reminiscences.

Folder 6

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. "South Sea Sauce." Typewritten and manuscript notes on this food product Nordhoff attempted to create and market.

Folder 7

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. The Story of a Water Hyacinth (autograph juvenile manuscript), [ca. 1897?]

Folder 8

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Victory First(carbon)

Folder 9

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. War page for The Hurricane (carbon)

Folder 10

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Where the Crane Sings:typewritten outline.

Folder 11

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Wood Ducks: notes, outlines, and drafts (typewritten with autograph corrections)

Folder 12

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Wood Ducks.

Folder 13

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 6 items. Drawings and misc. notes.

Folder 14

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Autobiography (typescript with manuscript and typewritten corrections). [ca. 1935]

Box 3

Correspondence from Nordhoff

Folder 1

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 8 letters (1909) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 2

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 11 letters (1909-1910) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 3

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 3 letters (1916) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff.

Folder 4

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 8 letters (1917) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 5

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 20 letters (1918) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 6

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 8 letters and cards (1919) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff.

Folder 7

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 10 letters (1920) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 8

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 7 letters (1921) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and "Mary"

Folder 9

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 9 letters (1922) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 10

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 10 letters (1923-1924) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 11

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 10 letters (1925) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff, Walter Nordhoff, and "Mary"

Folder 12

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 12 letters (1926-1934) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff and Walter Nordhoff.

Folder 13

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 1 letter (March 27, 1942) to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff.

Folder 14

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 1 telegram (copy; n.d.) to James Norman Hall.

Folder 15

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 6 letters, to correspondents, A-E.

Folder 16

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 11 letters with 3 enclosures, to correspondents, F-M.

Folder 17

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 10 letters, to correspondents, N-S.

Folder 18

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 3 letters, 1942 and n.d., to Ellery Sedgwick.

Folder 19

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 7 letters, to correspondents, U-W.

Folder 20

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 1 letter (incomplete) to unknown recipient

Folder 21

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. 4 letters (n.d.), to Sarah Cope (Whitall) Nordhoff.

Box 4

Correspondence to Nordhoff and Family, Alphabetically by Sender

Folder 1

A. 8 letters, 1942-1947.

Folder 2

B. 30 letters, 1940-1942.

Folder 3

C-E. 20 letters, 1940-1943.

Folder 4

F-K. 14 letters, 1940-1942.

Folder 5

L-O. 32 letters, 1940-1953.

Folder 6

Hall, James Norman. 14 letters, 1 telegram, 1 document, 1940-1943 and no date.

Folder 7

Hall, James Norman. 7 letters, 1921-1924.

Folder 8

P. 25 letters, 1940-1942.

Folder 9

R-S. 21 letters, 1920-1943.

Folder 10

Sedgwick, Ellery. 6 letters, 1940-42.

Folder 11

Sedley, Henry. 6 letters, 1942-1943.

Folder 12

Stevenson, Adlai Ewing. 1 letter, February 11, 1942.

Folder 13

T-U. 35 letters, 1940-1943.

Folder 14

Watt, A.P. & Son [firm]. 75 pieces, 1942-1947.

Folder 15

V-Z. 12 letters, 1942-1953.

Folder 16

_____, Ludwig (?). 1 letter, November 23, 1942.

Folder 17

[Surnames unknown. "Eva," "Pete," "Shirley," "Ham," and "Gene."] 7 letters, 1940-43.

Folder 18

Nordhoff, Sarah Cope (Whitall)? To "Clara." 1 letter, March 25, 1942.

Box 5

Documents

Folder 1

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Income tax returns and receipts, 1933-1943. 7 pieces.

Folder 2

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Receipts, bills from A-L. 24 pieces.

Folder 3

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Statements, etc., from New England Trust Co. 1940-1941. 87 pieces.

Folder 4

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Statements, etc., from New England Trust Co. Jan.-June 1942. 107 pieces.

Folder 5

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Statements, etc., from New England Trust Co. Aug..-Dec. 1942. 118 pieces.

Folder 6

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Statements, etc., from New England Trust Co. 1943-1945. 18 pieces.

Folder 7

Nordhoff, Charles Bernard. Receipts, bills, etc., from P-Y, and misc. unknown. 1935-1943. 16 pieces.

Box 6

Photographs and Ephemera

Folder 1

Cabinet card photographs, all of CBN, and all but four of these show CBN between ages of 2 and ~20. 17 photographs.

Folder 2

Photographs of CBN, both in childhood, ca. 1890 one cabinet card and one hand-colored oval photograph in concave frameless glass enclosure; also one lock of hair. 3 items.

Folder 3

Photographs of CBN, taken during his service in WWI, ca. 1914-18, all in uniform. 3 photographs.

Folder 4

Photographs of Walter Nordhoff, Sarah Nordhoff, and others. 16 pieces.

Folder 5

Diplomas, certificates, invitations, licenses, membership cards and miscellaneous ephemera. 17 pieces.

Folder 6

Passport, photo identifications, wallet.

Folder 7

War-date items in French, all to Nordhoff: three letters from a woman regarding the death of her child, ca. 1919, and four official pieces of correspondence to Nordhoff concerning his role as an officer pilot in the war.

Folder 8

Typed list of Nordhoff letters and manuscripts, 8 pp.

Folder 9

Blank stationery, pale blue paper with Nordhoff's Santa Barbara address.

Folder 10

Two items of ephemera, loose in box: Framed certificate in French from Minister of War, Undersecretary of State, to Nordhoff as 2nd Lieutenant, apparently accompanying a souvenir [not with this collection] in recognition of the efforts of Nordhoff and his fellow 217 officers and pilots in the Lafayette Flying Corps during WWI, dated Nov. 23, 1918; also, a box of 21 medals, medallions, pins, seashells, and other small items, n.d.

Box 7

Printed Items: Journals Articles by Nordhoff, Atlantic Monthly

Folder 1

Atlantic Monthly, ">Letters from France I", Oct. 1917.

Folder 2

Atlantic Monthly, "More Letters from France," Jan. 1918.

Folder 3

Atlantic Monthly, "Flying Thoughts," April 1918.

Folder 4

Atlantic Monthly, "Winged Words," Aug. 1918.

Folder 5

Atlantic Monthly, "Aerial Tactics," Sept. 1918.

Folder 6

Atlantic Monthly, "Squadrons of the Air," Jan. 1919.

Folder 7

Atlantic Monthly, "The Human Side of Mexico," Oct. 1919.

Folder 8

Atlantic Monthly, "An Island Memory," Sept. 1920.

Folder 9

Atlantic Monthly, "Rarotonga," Oct. 1920.

Folder 10

Atlantic Monthly, "Marooned on Mataora," Nov. 1920.

Box 8

Printed Items: Journals (cont'd.), Magazines, Comic Books, Clippings

Folder 1

Harper's Magazine, "Man Monday's Fishing," June 1926.

Folder 2

Harper's Magazine [no apparent Nordhoff-authored articles therein], Dec. 1943.

Folder 3

Recreation, "Mountain Quail Shooting in Lower California," Oct. 1902.

Folder 4

Journal of the Polynesian Society, "Notes on the Off-shore Fishing of the Society Islands," v. 39, nos. 2 and 3, 1930.

Folder 5

Three miscellaneous pamphlets, n.d.

Folder 6

Time, June 23, 1941.

Folder 7

Time, Jan. 19, 1942.

Folder 8

Obituary newspaper clippings for Nordhoff

Folder 9

The Master of Ballantrae, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Folder 10

Classics Illustrated, "Treasure Island" (comic book), No. 64 (n.d.)

Folder 11

Classics Illustrated, "Pitcairn's Island" (comic book), No. 109 (July 1953), with accompanying letter from secretary of Atlantic Monthly editor.

Folder 12

Misc. clippings, 1935-1953.

Box 9

Oversized Materials

Folder 1

Facsimile of engraving showing scene from Mutiny on the Bounty,n.d.

Folder 2

Photograph of Nordhoff and Hall posed at work

Folder 3

Diploma, apparently satirical, "awarded" to Nordhoff from "Harvard"

Folder 4

Certificate (printed form filled in) from La Fayette Flying Corps, numbered "115," signed by chief officers of corps, January 23, 1918.

Folder 5

Movie poster for Samuel Goldwyn's "The Hurricane." [stored with large oversized materials in Photographic Dept.]