Massive scrapbook (14.5 x 11.5 inches) in full maroon leather; Dwight C. Bagley stamped in gilt on front. Spine backing is detached and tape repairs to gutters. Wear all around but book binding is holding; one page detached.
Family scrapbook intended for Dwight Cutler Bagley, grandson of John J. Bagley, Governor of Michigan 1873-1877. As noted on the first leaf, Dwight died of meningitis at the age of nine, "As there were no collections in here belonging to Dwight this book was started as a scrap book for John D. Bagley, New Years Day, 1919."
As implied, the scrapbook seems to be compiled by someone other than John D. Bagley; manuscript writing for many items is in a very shaky hand.
The scrapbook is multi-generational and primarily focuses on John D. Bagley and his grandfather John J. Bagley a Detroit businessman who made his fortune in tobacco and served as Governor of Michigan 1873-1877. John N. Bagley, the Governor's son and father to John D. also warrants items in the book. John N. Bagley continued the family tobacco business and commissioned a French Renaissance Revival mansion in 1889 in Detroit. The building still stands and is used for offices. Strangely, little is known about John D. Bagley who apparently worked as a real estate executive.
In addition to numerous family photos (mostly identified) we find numerous ephemeral items such as a pamphlet on Ostriches, many letters, Christmas cards, militariana, menus, and newspaper clippings.
John D. Bagley attended the Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the book includes a newspaper clipping on their baseball team plus two wonderful portraits of the team. Bagley also attended the Long Lake Lodge Summer School and Camp for Boys in North Bridgton, Maine and the book includes printed several booklets from that camp.
We also find two radio scripts from the broadcast "Early Grand Haven" on WGHN, a typed testimonial to John J. Bagley signed by his employees after his passing and a copy of John J. Bagley's last will and testament. The book includes an original handwritten partnership agreement between John J. Bagley and Edwin Butterfield for John J. Bagley and Company, "a company in the business of manufacturing and selling tobacco" dated August 1st, 1863.
Among the letters written to John D, Bagley are several letters each from two artists, Alexander R. James and Dugald Stewart Walker.
Alexander James, nephew to the writer Henry James, was best known as a portrait and landscape artist settling in Dublin, New Hampshire. His letters to Bagley include humorous and very accomplished sketches to illuminate his notes. There are also two prospectuses for art classes James taught at the Dublin School of Painting. The artist John S. Sargent gives a strong testimonial for these classes. Additional ephemera and photos of Alexander James in also present.
Dugald Stewart Walker was an American Illustrator was best known for his illustrations of "Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen" (1914). This scrapbook includes two fine inscribed photographic self-portraits and two bookplates by Walker in addition to his letters.
Overall, the scrapbook is full of treasures and worthy of a closer look for wonderful Michigan history and ties to the arts scene in pre-World War Two United States. Item #56