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COLLECTION Identifier: A-18

Papers of Margaret Fowler Dunaway, 1922-1964


Papers of poet Margaret Fowler Dunaway.


  • Creation: 1922-1964

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Fowler Dunaway as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.25 linear feet (3 file boxes)

The collection has been divided into two series: I. Correspondence and writings, and II. Journals.

Series I. Correspondence and writings

This series begins with letters from Margaret Fowler Dunaway, most of them written while she was traveling, to her children and husband, and travel articles written as letters to the editor of the Boonville Daily News.

The bulk of the series consists of letters to Margaret Fowler Dunaway from her children. Most are from her son, Don Carlos Dunaway, and his wife, Mary Burnham (Tip or Tippy), regarding their experiences in Argentina, Central America, Cuba, Spain, and Kuwait, where he worked as a representative of Standard Oil of New Jersey and then of Aminoil. There are also letters from Margaret Fowler Dunaway's daughter, Dorothy (Dots) Dunaway, about her travels and work in Europe.

The series includes letters from several persons with whom Margaret Fowler Dunaway corresponded about her writing, or to whom she had sent a copy of Hidden Lamps, and one folder of manuscript poems and essays. These writings are about religion, her children, famous persons, and other subjects, and include a booklet, "Songs of Hope."

Series II. Journals

The journals were originally organized by Margaret Fowler Dunaway in 13 binders. During reprocessing, the contents were transferred to folders for conservation purposes. The original volume numbers are indicated in the inventory.

The journals cover the years 1922-1943 and 1953-1964. They describe Margaret Fowler Dunaway's travels in the western United States (especially #45, 46, 47) and her life in Missouri and Cambridge. She writes about her children and grandchildren and comments extensively on religion and principles of child-rearing.

Throughout the journals she comments on world events, focusing in the earlier ones on the rise of Hitler and the beginning of World War II. The later journals emphasize domestic U.S. politics, especially the civil rights movement. The entries in the 1960s include lists of news headlines with little commentary.

Margaret Fowler Dunaway included manuscript copies of letters from her children in the journals, especially in the later ones.


Margaret Fowler, a descendant on her mother's side of the Widener family of Philadelphia, was a native of Missouri and spent most of her life in St. Louis and in Boonville, Missouri, with a short period of residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1931-1932. She traveled widely in the United States in the 1930s and in Europe, 1949-1951, writing about her travels in her journals and letters, and in travel articles. She married Maurice Don Carlos Dunaway (died 1959), an American of Spanish background; they had three children: Don Carlos Dunaway, Dorothy Elizabeth Dunaway, and Joan Dunaway. Margaret Fowler Dunaway was a member of the Christian Science Church, an affiliation which is reflected strongly in her writings.

Her published works include a volume of poetry, Hidden Lamps (St. Louis: Clark-Sprague, 1936); individual poems in the London Poetry Review and Poetry of Today; and several travel articles in the Boonville Daily News.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence and writings
  2. Series II. Journals

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 53-17, 56-80, 57-17, 57-47, 58-14, 59-15, 250, 530, 787, 72-3

The papers of Margaret Fowler Dunaway were given to the Schlesinger Library by Margaret Fowler Dunaway beginning in April 1953.


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-32
  2. Box 2: Folders 33-53
  3. Box 3: Folders 54-69

Processing Information

Reprocessed: June 1983

By: Krystyna von Henneberg and Mary Hilderbrand

Dunaway, Margaret Fowler. Papers of Margaret Fowler Dunaway, 1922-1964: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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