Frances (Fanny) Anne Kemble ALS

Frances (Fanny) Anne Kemble ALS

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Kemble, Fanny, 1809-1893
Title: Frances (Fanny) Anne Kemble ALS
Dates: circa 1800s
Quantity: 0.023 Linear feet (1 folder; MS 2705, 2706, 2708-2710, 2714, 2719, 2720, 2724, 2730, 2734, 2735, 2739, and 2740 housed together in 1 document box)
Coll. Number: ms2740(m)

Biographical/Historical Note

"Kemble [married name Butler], Frances Anne [Fanny] (1809-1893), actress and author, was born on 27 November 1809 in Newman Street, London, not far from Covent Garden, the centre of the life of her theatrical family. ... In 1838 Fanny with husband [Pierce Butler] and children went to Georgia to spend the winter on their plantations. From apparently knowing nothing of slavery, she was thrown into the thick of the problem. Butler was moderately considerate to his slaves, but nothing could disguise the horrors of a system in which one man lived by owning others, treating them precisely as he fancied in order to get the best investment out of them. Worst of all, Fanny recognized that the considerable wealth the Butlers enjoyed, and to which she owed every mouthful she ate, came from the hated system. As it turned out, she spent less than four months on the plantations, but that was enough to stoke her moral indignation over the atrocities she saw. Once more, as she had done on first going to America, she kept a journal of her experiences, which in 1863 finally saw print as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. ... Less than a month after her first reading in London, Fanny had been summoned to America, where her husband filed divorce proceedings on the grounds of desertion; batteries of expensive lawyers were hired on both sides, but Butler finally agreed to a settlement without the formality of a trial, to prevent revelation of evidence extremely embarrassing to him. It was a long and bitter divorce, but it was settled with surface amicability; Fanny was to have $2500 a year and access to the children, who were to live with their father. Butler tried every stratagem to keep from fulfilling the conditions, to the extreme pain of Fanny, who resumed her maiden name." - Robert Bernard Martin. "Kemble , Frances Anne (1809-1893)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. [ (Retrieved August 6, 2009)

Thomas Gold Appleton was a writer and artist, born in Boston, Massachusetts to Nathan Appleton, a merchant, and Maria Theresa Gold. Nathan Appleton, whose family had settled in New England in 1635, helped develop Lowell, Massachusetts into an industrial center and amassed a fortune that made it possible for Thomas to persue his interests freely. Appleton was admitted to Harvard College as a sophomore in 1828. After graduation in 1831, he remained in Cambridge through 1832 studying law to please his father, but he had no liking for the profession. In 1833 he went to Europe for the first of many trips, some of which were years long, throughout his bachelor life as an essayist, poet, painter, connoisseur of the arts, traveler and conversationalist, welcome everywhere for his warmth and wit. Thomas Gold Appleton - American National Biography Online (Retrieved June 9, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of one letter written by the British actress and author Fanny Kemble and addressed to the Boston philanthropist Thomas Gold Appleton in which Kemble speaks of Appleton hiring one of her servants. The letter is dated "Monday 8th" but no year is listed.

Index Terms

Actresses--Great Britain--Correspondence.
Appleton, Thomas Gold, 1812-1884 -- Correspondence
Domestics--Selection and appointment.
Kemble, Fanny, 1809-1893 -- Correspondence
Kemble, Fanny, 1809-1893 -- Employees

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Frances (Fanny) Anne Kemble ALS, circa 1800s.. MS 2740(M). Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: Fanny Kemble letter to Dr. Mutter, 1834?; Fanny Kemble collection, 1830s-1840s.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Letter, circa 1800s