James P. Magill papers
Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
James Phineas Magill was born in 1885, son of Andrew and Mary Eleanor Magill. He attended Westtown Boarding School and received his B.S. from Haverford College in 1907. In 1920, he married Ruth Marshall. Magill, a Quaker and member of Germantown Monthly Meeting, was an investment banker, a partner of Eastman, Dillon in Philadelphia. He was an overseer and treasurer of William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia from 1929 to 1959. He served on the Board of Managers of Haverford College from 1959 to 1969, as well as on the boards of University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and others. His contributions forwarded several programs at Haverford College.
These papers, primarily in the form of letters to James Magill (Haverford College class of 1907), reflect his philanthropic concerns, friendships, and interests, particularly in the arts and medicine. There are letters from authors, artists, scholars, scientists, and politicians, including George Bass, Alfred Bendiner, Hugh Borton, Nathaniel Burt, Norman Cousins, A.J. Cronin, Richardson Dilworth, Walker Hancock, Samuel Kramer, Eva Le Gallienne, Jacques Lipchitz, Katharine McBride, Fosco Maraini, William Menninger, Felix Morley, Frank Morley, John Powell, Froelich Rainey, Lessing Rosenwald, Gayle Stine, George Taylor, and Franklin Watkins. These are housed in boxes 1-5.
In addition, there is miscellaneous material, such as awards given to Magill and photographs of him and his family.
Original processing information unknown. Reboxed and finding aid revised September 2022 by Sakina Gulamhusein.
- To Haverford Archives: photographs of the library, photographs of faculty and board members, pamphlets about Haverford, memorial to Christopher Morley by the Library Associates, map of the college, reprint of a paper by William Cadbury, Jr. and paper by Lewis Green.
- To stacks or Philips Wing: pamphlets, maps, art photographs
- To Cricket: Cricket program at Haverford.
- To P.G.: pamphlets
- Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
1. Amanda to ""my dear Nephew"". 8-6-11. [consoling letter on the death of his mother.] 2. to — (fragment). [n.d.]. [archaeological work in Guatemala]. 3. Ann to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. 4 July 1966. [encloses poems about them.] 4. [Andre (Stegeman)], Francoise to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. [n.d.] [note of thanks]. 5. Artzybasheff, Boris. Three Christmas cards, Printed. 1945, 1946, 1949. [description of underwater archaeological expedition in Turkey.] 6. [Bass], Ann and George to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. July 28, . [description of Bodrum, Turkey, shipwreck expedition site.] 7. [Bass], Ann to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. June 29 . [description of Bodrum, Turkey, shipwreck expedition site.] 8. Bass, George to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. Sept. 26, 1963. [describes trip to Bodrum and archaeological excavations.] 9. Bass, George to Dr. Rainey. July 18, 1963. [report on progress and future of underwater archaeology.] 10. [Bass], George to Mr. Magill. July 29, 1967. [as an archaeologist, he is interested in world problems.] 11. Bass, George F. to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. 14 November 1967. [ancient shipwreck discovered off Turkish coast, report of expedition and "historic" envelope enclosed]. 12. [Bendiner, Alfred to Ruth and Jim. 9 letters from a variety of places, some with drawings. Signed article by Bendiner about Venice.] 13. Bernstein, Richard to Mr. Magill. July 4, 1965. [tells of his acceptance of a position at Haverford, and asks if he (Magill) will serve on board of Philosophy Education Society.] 14. Borton, Hugh to Ruth. March 30, 1966. [thanks her for funds for portrait of JPM] 15. Borton, Hugh to Ruth and Jim. May 18, 1966. [thanks them for additional gift of $100,000 towards library.] 16. Borton, Hugh to Jim. Nov. 3, 1967. [describes trip to Japan and settling in Tokyo.] 17. [Borton, Elizabeth to Ruth and Jim. Nov. 28th, 1967. [Christmas letter describing trip to Japan and impressions.] 18. Bowen, Catherine Drinker. 5 letters. 1958-70.
19. Brown, Sylvia to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. 4 September 1969. [thanks him for contributing money for a book on the history of Jordans, England]. 20. Burt, Nathaniel to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. 1957. 21. Cousins, Norman to Mr. Magill. 21 November 1961. [apologizes for lack of decorum]. 22. Cousins, Norman to Mr. Magill. 29 November 1961. [is leaving for Africa and will visit with Schweitzer]. 23. Cronin, A.J. to Mr. Magill. Nov. 1st [1955?]. [concerned about the international situation; mentions Anthony Eden.] 23a. David, Charles Wendel to Jim. Mar. 3, 1965. [frustration with static condition of grant to have Penn papers published under editorship of Fred Tolles.]
24. [Desjardins], Paul and Rosemary to Jim and Ruth. 28 letters. 25. Dilworth, Richardson to Jim. May 30th, [is grateful for honorary degree received from Haverford.] (There are 47 additional letters, including period when Dilworth was mayor of Philadelphia and ran for Governor of Pennsylvania)
25a. Francis, Frank to Mr. Magill. 20th July 1968 [sorry he will not see Magill in London]. 26. Greenaway, Emerson to Jim. 13 letters. 1967-1973.
27. Hancock, Walker to Jim and Ruth. 24 May 1954. [descriptions of Florence and Pietrosanta, Italy.] (There are 120 Hancock letters filed) 28. Hancock, Walker to Jim. August 8, 1954. [expects to see Magill in Italy where Hancock's statue is being cast.] 29. Hancock, Walker to Ruth. September 12, 1960 [getting ready to cast statue of a Mr. Litchfield.]
30. Hancock, Walker to Jim. April 15, 1964. [preparing for work on Confederate Memorial and 2 other pieces.] 31. Hancock, Walker, to Jim. May 8, 1964. [projects being worked on.] 32. Hancock, Walker to Ruth a d Jim. November, 1964. [mentions Stone Mountain work.]
33. Hancock, Walker to Jim. September 9, 1966. [describes sculpting job in correction of Stonewall Jackson carving on Stone Mountain.] 34. Hancock, Walker to Ruth. May 3, 1967. [must convince West Point Committee of Generals about size of MacArthur statue.]
35. Hancock, Walker to Jim. September 1, 1971. [re a relief he is executing in plaster for the Washington Cathedral.] 36. Hancock, Walker to Jim. December 8, 1971. [condolences on the death of Ruth.] 37. Hancock, Walker to Jim. Christmas, 1971. [has completed the figure of a Confederate soldier.] 38. Hancock, Walker to Jim. March 2, 1972. [is sending Magill a cast of his sculpture ""Young Shepherd"".] 39. Hancock, Walker to Jim. June 17, 1972. [is to do seated marble statue of James Madison for the Library of Congress.]
40. Huggins, Charles B. to Mr. Magill. 8 letters in 1973. [concerning Magill's generosity to the University of Chicago and Magill's health]. 41. [Kramer], Samuel to Ruth and Jim. January 7, 1964. [attending a "Congress of Orientalists" in India; met by the President of India; heard Nehru speak.] 42. [Larson], Roy to Jim. 2/14/64. [re Jim's service on the art commission.] 43. [Larson], Roy to Ruth and Jim. July 9, [n.d.] [description of his European visit.] 44. Le Gallienne, Eva to Ruth. one more. 30-i-53 [Mrs. Zimbalist has arranged her program; her company has received praise while in N.Y.] 45. Lipchitz to Mr. and Mrs. Magill. April 24, 1955. [he has sent them a small sculpture in which they were interested.] 46. Lipchitz to Mr. Magill. May 1, 1955. [quote price on a piece of his work "Improvization on the chisel."] 47. Lipchitz, Jacques to Mr. Magill. Jan. 9, 1960. [tells them the two pieces of sculpture in which they were interested are still available, but very expensive.] (also 3 more letters) 48. Magill, James P. to Edwin Bronner. February 28, 1973. [concerns location of Thomas P. Cope's diary and Cope Clipper ship paintings.] 49. Magill, James P. to Edwin Bronner. June 22, 73. [touches on several subjects, including Watergate.] 50. Magill, James P. to Ruth Magill (""Wufie""). [all n.d.] [one mentions his oil well and that a new one is being drilled with Getty.] (total of 19 letters filed) 51. McBride, Katherine to Mrs. Magill. November 7, 1969. 52. Maraini, Fosco to Mr. Magill. (7 letters). 1956-61. March 10, 1956. [thanks him for progress report on a pilot film].
53. Menninger, William C. (2 letters and a notice of his death). 1962-66. 54. Morley, Felix to Jim. (11 letters) 1968-71 October 25, 1968. [thanks Magill for portrait of him (Morley) for Haverford.] 55. Morley, Felix to Jim. November 6, 1968 [thinks Russians might use this time of political confusion to take over the western sector of Berlin; pleased at ""Mac"" Mathias' election.] 56. Morley, Felix to Jim. March 2, 1969. [has completed a historical novel.] 57. Morley, Felix to Jim. May 8, 1969. [thinks student representative to the Board of Managers a good idea at Haverford.] 58. Morley, Felix to Jim. April 11, 1970. [is against coeducation at Haverford, which would constitute "a great divide"; sends copy of a letter enlarging on this subject.]
59. Morley, Frank to Mr. Magill. (110 letters). 1968-74. October 5, 1968. [re a book on Friends at Jordans Meeting House and preparations for publication.] 60. Morley, Frank to Jim. March 2, 1969. [about his book The Long Road West.] 61. Morley, Frank to Jim. August 2, 1969. [discusses Magill's proposed visit to England.] 62. Morley, Frank to Jim. December 3, 1969. [biographical information on Thomas Mayne Reid.] 63. Morley, Frank to Jim. 17 :ii: 70. [more information on Mayne Reid.] 64. Morley, Frank to Jim. August 22, 1970. [has begun work on founder of The Times Literary Supplement, Bruce Richmond.] 65. Morley, Frank to Jim. November 18, 1970. [is sending photo of Mayne Reid's bed along with explanatory note for possible display in Morley alcove at Haverford College; possible gift to Haverford by D. McCord of Morleyana.]
66. Morley, Frank to Jim. January 8, 1971. [has sent first copy of his book, The Long Road West, to Magill.] 67. Morley, Frank to Ruth. 18th June, 1971. [encloses article about himself and his life.] 68. Morley, Frank to Jim. 20th 10th mo. 1971. [anecdote about Rendel Harris rustling up Frank Morley, Sr., for math dept. at H.C.] 69. Morley, Frank to Jim. 3 December 1971. [re his book about the 1920s.]
70. Morley, Frank to Jim. 5 March 1972. [about the booklet "Christopher Morley and Captain Mayne Reid" and autographing of same.]
70. Morley, Frank to Jim. 5 March 1972. [about the booklet "Christopher Morley and Captain Mayne Reid" and autographing of same.] 71. Morley, Frank to Jim. 13 January 1973. [ideas on college growth.] 72. Morley, Frank to Jim. 31 January 1973. [possibility of his preparing a literary atlas of Britain.] 73. Morley, Frank to Henry [Regnery]. 19 April 1973. [concerning career of author Albert J. Nock.] 74. Morley, Frank to Jim. 18 September 1973. [Felix has written memoirs of the period when he was president of H.C.; sees this as a possible publication of the Library Associates.] 75. Morley, Frank to Jim. 1 February 1974 [does not feel "private" letters in a library's collections should be read by "all & sundry"; inflation in U.K.]
76. Oakley, Cletus to Mr. Magill. April 30, 1964. [sends Magill several math texts and bibliography.] 77. Powell, John H. to Ruth and Jim. (272 letters). Weds. noon, 1959-70 1959. [has completed fourth act of his play on Walter Raleigh, and "adult western."] 78. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 1 October 1959. [his play has been returned from Knopf.]
79. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. June 5, 1961. [opinions on Richardson Dilworth and other Philadelphians; some Powell family history and Native American history of the area, Ottumwa, Iowa.] 80. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. July 25, 1961. [gives his impressions of the characters in his play, The White Queen and eclectic casting.] 81. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. [July, 1961] [has completed writing The White Queen. 82. Powell, Jack to Jim. August 16, 1961. [encloses letter from his agent concerning the production and publication of his play.] 83. Powell, Jack to Jim. August 19, 1961. [has decided to write a biography of John Dickinson.] 84. Powell, Jack to Jim. September 1, 1961. [recounts scenes from a trip with his mother to Nebraska.] 85. Powell, Jack to Jim. October 27, 1961. [has sent articles for publication to Good Housekeeping.] 86. Powell, Jack to Jim. November 10, 1961. [has received a hopeful letter concerning the publication of his play.]
87. Powell, Jack to Miss Howell. February 14, 1962. [has revised his play "The Trust of Time", with description of changes.] 88. Powell, Jack to Jim andRuth.  [must give a speech and go to conferences about his plays.] 89. Powell. Jack to Jim and Ruth. July 13, 1962 [hard at work on his Dickinson biography.]
90. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. February 4, 1963. [expresses concerns about power plants, what he would like to write about (Westtown School, Robert Frost).] 91. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. April 3, 1963. [etymological derivation of the name Iowa.] 92. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. April 16, 1963. [working on a project for the Library Company — collating a lost inventory of Dickinson papers.] 93. Powell, Jack to "dear everybody." September, 1963. [has completed the first of 4 chapters on the Constitutional Convention.]
94. Powell, Jack to Bernard Segal. 27 January, 1964. [appreciative note of Segal's selection for a judicial post.] 95. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 27 January `64. [thanks them for clippings which give information he recycles to others.] 96. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 8 April 1961. [has finished his play — relates opinions of critics.] 97. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 16 July, 1964. [local and national political scene.] 98. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 31 July 1964. [local and national political scene.]
99. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 22 February 1965. [considering taking a position in Department of History at University of Arizona.] 100. Powell, Jack to Ruth abd Jim. 20 June 1965. [is being interviewed abd photographed for an article about him as author for Time.]
101. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 26 January 66. [sends a new edition of his Bring Out Your Dead.] 102. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. 14 March 1966. [has turned down a position at University of Florida.] 103. Powell, Jack to Ruth. March, [1966?]. [gives a progress report on his work.] 104. Powell, Jack to Ruth. May 10, 1966. [has accepted a 1-year appointment at University of Texas; reports which classes he will teach.] 105. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. . [thanks them for photo of Watkins portrait of JPM.] 106. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 26 September 1966. [tells of problems of Mexican-American students at El Paso.] 107. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 12 December 1966. [recommends a man for an administrative position at Haverford College.]
108. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 21 June 1967. [events in his current and past life — including dealings with the U of P Press, Philadelphia libraries and Universities. 109. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. [ca. July,1967]. [congratulates Jim on his honorary Haverford degree.] 110. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 18 August 1967. [has finished and mailed his book of essays to a publisher.] 111. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. September 7, 1967. [is in the hospital for surgery and must undergo therapy and more operations.]
112. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. May 5, 1968. [has given a speech on history and attended a convention.] 113. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. October . [is reading proof for his book.]
114. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. . [is reading his own article in a book entitled The Uses of Prose.] 115. Powell, Jack to [Bernard Bergman]. . [thanks him for praise of his book of essays.] 116. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. 5 February 1969. [his new book, The General and the Jack Ass, has been published.] 117. Powell, Jack to Bernard Bergman. 13 June 1969. [includes 2 photos of Powell.] 118. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. July 22, 1969. [has read and enjoyed Felix Morley's book; cites reviewing work he must do.]
119. Work, Celina to Mr. Magill. [thanks him for gift turned over to Wapello County (Iowa) Historical Society in memory of John H. Powell.] . N.D. 120. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. Sept. [Trust of Time took him 2.5 years to write; White Queen a little more; will finish a third play, "The Miscreant."] 121. Powell, Jack to? (fragment). [does not know whether to append notes to his play.] 122. Powell, Jack to Ruth and Jim. [work he has done thus far on his life of Dickinson.] 123. Powell, Jack to Ruth. [advises to read Hearings before the special committee on education as it is a record of present state of education in America.] 124. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. June. [contains humorous proposed interview with Time magazine.] 125. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. [political opinions on Dilworth, Green Clark, etc.] 126. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. [opinions on people and places.] 127. Powell, Jack to Jim and Ruth. [has a new second act and revised third act for "White Queen".]
128. Pritchard, James to Jim. March 11, 1966. [tells of excavation in Jordan of a large Persian palace.] 129. Pritchard, James to Jim. 29 April 1970. [excavation in Lebanon produces Phoenician city.] 130. Pritchard, James to Jim. 13 May 1974. [reports strafing runs in the area; further excavations which produced a Byzantine church and beginning of Phoenician period.] 131. [Rainey], Fro[elich] to Jim. April 16, [n.y.] [excavation project in Italy.] 132. [Rainey], Fro[elich] to Jim. April 6, [n.y.] [problems in getting started with excavation in Egypt.] 133. Rosenwald, Lessing. 5 letters and one by Mrs. Edith Rosenwald
134. Shute, James L. 21 letters, To Ruth and Jimmy. 1963-74. June 1, 1963. [description of his living quarters; is writing a dramatization for TV of a book and films for Lincoln Center.] 135. Shute, James to Ruth and Jimmy. March 10th, 1964. [is doing a film for Nelson Rockefeller to use in his campaign.] 136. Shute, James to Ruth and Jimmy. August 10th,1964. [had spent 2 months in Europe looking for a place to retire to; description of a folk festival in Arles.] 137. Shute, James to Jimmy and Ruth. September 11th . [is doing a film commemorating Eisenhower's 75th birthday for a Republican fund-raiser.] 138. Shute, James to Jimmy and Ruth. March 5, 1967. [has taken up residence in Florence.] 139. Shute, James to Jimmy and Ruth. December 20th, 1968. [tells of his experiences in Europe and/why he has returned to N.Y.] 140. Shute, James to Jimmy. February 26th, 1974. [gives details of a trip to Europe to study medieval history.] 141. Shute, James to Ruth and Jimmy. December 4th, [n.y.] [again at work on a film for Republican party and one for the U.S.I.A.]
142. Stine, Gayle to Mr. Magill. May 18, 1956. ["The Lovers", a play which Magill backed did not do very well.] 143. Taylor, George W. (labor arbitrator and educator). 1963-71. 6 letters. 144. Thompson, Craig to Jim. July 30, 1966. [is conducting a seminar at Duke; problem of getting a replacement for Haverford's Quaker bibliographer and other Haverford news.] 145. Thompson, Craig to Jim. June 30, 1968. [retirement from Haverford; acceptance of a teaching post at Penn.] 146. Thompson, Josiah to Jim Magill. n.d. 2 letters.
147. Watkins, Franklin C. (105 letters). to Jim. 1957-72; 6/5/57. [painting underway in a little private church which doubles as a library.] 148. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. . [saddened by the death of Rouault whom he considered the great painter of our time; is painting a man with a "grand head"]. 149. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth. Sept 5, 1958. [shows building where he has decided to paint a portrait (p.c.)] 150. Watkins, Franklin to Jim and Ruth. 10/9/59. [talk about price paid for Wyeth picture showing lack of foresight.] 151. Watkins, Franklin. Envelope with sketch. 14 March 1960. 152. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. 1/30/61. [has received his $100 contribution toward Dilworth portrait.] 153. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. 2/8/61 and 6/11/63. [sends list of contributors toward Dilworth portrait.] 153. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth. [ca. Dec. 1965.] [is finishing up the Magill portrait which will soon be ready for her to see.] 154. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth. 2/7/66. [is sending (probably) a color photo of his Magill portrait noting corrections that must still be made.] 155. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. August 8, 1966. [thanks Jim for color print of his portrait of him.]
156. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. [he may be painting Pope's portrait]. 1/15/72. N.D. 157. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. Naples, Fla. [has rigged up a studio in an old carport.] 158. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth (on Mrs. FCW letterhead). [thanks her for loan of one of his paintings for an exhibit]. 159. Watkins, Franklin to Jim (on FCW letterhead). [contains self sketch]. 160. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. [internal motivation upon beginning a painting.] 161. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth and Jim. p.c. shows Detroit, Mich. [at a tense point in the painting of a portrait.] 162. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. ["Art in the American Public mind is tainted salacious wise..."] 163. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. (on 460 Seventh St. letterhead. [hopes Jim will maintain P.A.F.A. connections, so his opinions may still be sought.] 164. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. (on Ralston Hotel letterhead) [is painting portrait of a man with a ""dandy"" head] 165. Watkins, Franklin to Ruth and Jim. (on FCW letterhead). [sketch of him as a patient being chased by a nurse.] 166. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. (on green FCW letterhead, Naples). [is working on 2 paintings, about one of which he is unhappy. ""Painting with me is always now.""] 167. Watkins, Franklin to Jim. (on FCW letterhead). [needs to borrow some FCW paintings for an exhibit and J.P.M. has the mother lode.]
168. Photograph of Watkins with portrait and subject
169. Letter informing Magill of his receipt of the Martin Foss Award in 1971 and other letters from students.
170. Text of Haverford honorary degree conferred in 1967; photo of ceremony; issue of Haverford News, May 30, 1967.
171. Papers dealing with construction and financing of the library, including Craig Thompson's speech and dedication poem. 171. Lease for apartment on Rittenhouse Square and papers concerning purchase of Magill home from Charles and Marie Jenkins, 1942-46. 172. Lists of paintings willed and given to Philadelphia Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
175. Photographs: family, "early" and "late" Magill; slides of Magill art
See also Box 4 for oversized photgraph
173. Guest book of Ruth and James Magill, 1955-1974. 174. J.P.M.'s grandmother's engagement ring and Ruth M. Magill's wedding ring. Also includes a box of slides and Magill's fountain pen
Originally with Box 3, Photograph 3