University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Chandler family letters, 1870-1949

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection includes primarily correspondence to and from members of the Chandler family from 1870-1949. The bulk of the letters date from 1925-47, and are addressed either to Grace (“Bird”) or Ellen (“Lulla” or “Kit”). Many of the letters document Grace’s handling of the family’s investments, as well as the financial challenges caused by the 1929 stock market crash. Correspondence to Ellen is of more personal nature, and includes a large number of letters from her future husband, James Sleator Quin. Included in the correspondence is a variety of ephemeral material, primarily receipts. In addition to the correspondence are two notebooks kept by Grace, one of which includes her poetry and thoughts on womanhood and spirituality.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ellen and Grace Chandler, daughters of Horace and Grace Chandler, were descendants of Parker Cleaveland, noted geologist of Brunswick, Maine. They were raised in Jamaica Plain, MA in the late 1800s and had one brother (Peleg). Grace travelled in Europe from 1904-1906, and throughout the 1920s and 30s, she resided in Washington, D.C., Grand Manan Island, and in Brunswick, Maine. Ellen lived primarily in the Boston area until the 1920s, when she and Grace took up residence in the Parker Cleaveland House in Brunswick. Grace never married, and took charge of managing the family finances and household affairs, including lodgers. Ellen married James Sleator Quin, a businessman on Grand Manan Island, in 1934, and the couple maintained residency at the Parker Cleaveland House after Grace’s death in 1938.