PA State Archives - MG-371 - Scope and Content Note - McCalment Family Papers

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Manuscript Group 371
5 cubic feet

The collection consists of a chronologically arranged series of personal letters written by David B. McCalmont, Sr. to his sons, Plumer and David, Jr. Dates span from February, 1925, to July, 1947. Letters addressed to "Dear Boys" or titled "Family Bulletin" are general in nature and contain information on family health, the family oil production business, local Franklin, PA, events, social obligations met, travel, family news, views (pro) on Prohibition, and local elections. Letters addressed to "Dear Old David" are directed towards his youngest son, David, Jr. and contain personal advice on dating and marriage, school activities (Glee Club, debate teams, rowing, etc.) and careers. Also in the collection are David Jr.'s letters from summer camp and from his senior year at Yale and letters from various family members (mother, sister Virginia, brother Plumer, etc.) to David, Jr. or to each other.

Overall, this correspondence chronicles the life of David, Jr. as seen through his father's eyes from early Hotchkiss Prep. School in Connecticut to Yale, through the war years, and to maturity. Academic successes and career failures (novelist, short story writer, lawyer, co-operative grocery store manager, naval air intelligence officer) are among those events discussed.

Additionally, David B. McCalmont, Sr. writes of his strong prohibition attitude, employee relations and business affairs during the Depression and afterward, ethnicity, religion, World War II, and oil production methods utilized in the 1930s Bradford oil fields.

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