HUTCHINS HAPGOOD, (1869-1944)
Hutchins Hapgood, journalist and author, was born on May 21, 1869 in Chicago, Illinois.
Hutchins Hapgood received his early education in the Alton public schools. Like his father and two brothers, he attended Harvard University, receiving the B.A. degree in 1892 and the M.A. in 1897. In the interim he spent two years in study at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg, Germany, reading sociology and philosophy, and also traveled extensively. For a time he was an instructor in English composition at Harvard and the University of Chicago. After trying his hand at various jobs, Hapgood eventually decided to become a journalist like his older brother Norman.
Charles Hutchins Hapgood had a tremendous influence upon the character of his sons. Although not a religious man, he imparted to them a strong moral sense, an abhorance of great wealth, and a basic belief in progressive socialism. This, coupled with a liberal Harvard education and appropriate connections, led Hutchins Hapgood into the thick of muckraking journalism.
His first newspaper job was with the New York Commercial Advertiser under the tutelage of Lincoln Steffens. Here he met Steffen's assistant, Neith Boyce, whom he married on June 22, 1899.
In 1904 Hapgood became the drama critic for the Chicago Evening Post.
Returning to New York, he later became an editorial writer for the Evening Post, the Press, and the Globe. While maintaining his career as a journalist, Hapgood also wrote books. During the first decade of the twentieth century, he produced the bulk of his major works, including Paul Jones (1901), The Spirit of the Ghetto (1902), The Autobiography of a Thief (1903), The Spirit of Labor (1907), An Anarchist Woman (1909), and Types from City Streets (1910). The anonymously published Story of a Lover (1919), describing the "open" marriage which he and Neith maintained, was initially suppressed as pornographic. Hapgood's last great work was his autobiography, A Victorian in the Modern World (1933).
Hutchins Hapgood was a close friend of Mabel Dodge Luhan and an habitue of her salon at 23 Fifth Avenue. Other close friends included Bernard and Mary Berenson, Jacob Epstein, Max Eastman, Anton Johanson, Walter Lippmann, Robert Morss Lovett, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Maurice Sterne, and Mark Sullivan. He and Neith were founding members of the Provincetown Players.
Hapgood's career declined following the death of his eldest child, Boyce, in 1918 and the end of the muckracking era. The last several years of his life he spent with Neith in Key West, Florida, at their home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and on a farm in Richmond, New Hampshire.
Hutchins Hapgood died on November 19, 1944, in Provincetown, and was buried in the family plot in East Cemetery, Petersham, Massachusetts.
For further biographical information, see The Hapgoods: Three Earnest Brothers (1977) by Michael D. Maraccio and A Victorian in the Modern World (1933) by Hutchins Hapgood.
NEITH BOYCE HAPGOOD, (1872-1951)
Neith Boyce's first full-time job in journalism was as a reporter with the New York Commercial Advertiser, where she was the assistant to the city editor, Lincoln Steffens. She married Hutchins Hapgood on June 22, 1899.
Neith soon left journalism and devoted her time to writing and to the demands of motherhood.
Her major works include: The Forerunner (1903),
The Folly of Others (1904), Eternal Spring (1906), The Bond (1908), Two Sons (1917), Proud Lady (1923), Harry: A Portrait (1923), and Winter's Night (1927).
Together with her husband, Neith socialized with the leading members of the artistic world of the United States (both resident and expatriate) during the first two decades of the twentieth century.
Hutchins Hapgood, ca. 1916
"'This is more than a picture show. And one can learn here not only about art but about everything. It stirs us to think about politics and industry and social relations and human values, fills us with a wonder as to whether we may not be keener about all those things than we have been, whether we have not been sunk in a dogmatic slumber. . . . An artist told me on my last visit that this exhibition was the only event that had ever made him want to live fifty years longer. We had been talking of the really wonderful way in which the public had responded; the vital way . . . The artist . . . was moved by the sudden realization that the public would respond to anything that is alive, even if it is art. He had his doubt of the crowd removed, shattered."
New York American, 1913
Included among the artistic and literary figures with whom the Hapgoods correspondended are Ray Stannard Baker, Arthur F. Bentley, Bernard and Mary Berenson, Bayard Boyesen, George Cram Cook, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Max Eastman, Susan Glaspell, Hippolyte Havel, Robert Herrick, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Lewis Mumford, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Reed, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Maurice Sterne, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, and Ella Winter. Hutchins's social and political activism is reflected in the correspondence of Abraham Cahan, John Collier, Edward J. Flynn, Emma Goldman, Anton Johannsen, Charles and Marguerite Kaeselau, Matthew and Katherine Schmidt, and Lincoln Steffens.
During the final years of their lives, Hutchins and Neith worked on a project which aimed to relate the story of the Hapgood family to the history of the United States. This work, entitled The Story of an American Family, was eventually
published in 1953 (after the death of both Hutchins and Neith). It covered the years 1648 to 1917. In compiling the research materials for this book, Hutchins and Neith acquired copies of significant correspondence from prominent Hapgood family
members, most notably that between Norman Hapgood, Hutchins's older brother, and Supreme Court justices Louis D. Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter, Learned Hand, and presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The folder of Theodore Roosevelt's correspondence reflects the relationship between the president and Colonel Henry H. Boyce, Neith's father.
Scattered throughout the series is correspondence of close personal friends whom Hutchins and Neith knew from Key West, Florida, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Richmond, New Hampshire. These include Edward and Peggy Bruce, Oliver and Ada Chafee, John and Elizabeth Cowles, Colin and Eva Cruikshank, John and Jane Dewey, Elsie Everts, Leslie Hopkinson, Russell and Katrina Johnson, William and Sally Johnstone, Bill and Lucy L'Engle, Harry Lorber (their personal physician), Eddie MacGowan, Frances Stanwood, Lucile Swan, Ridgley and Olivia Torrence, and Sam and Adele Wolman.
The Hapgoods Family papers are held by Yale, & has detailed information, http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start="10"&q=http://webtext.library.yale.edu/sgml2html/beinecke.hapgood.sgm.html&e=642
Hutchins Hapgood, a co-founder of the Provincetown Players, travelled to Japan with Leo Stein, (who with his sister Gertrude would become an important collector and patron of modern painters), toured Japan together for several months after their graduations from Harvard in 1892. Their longest stays were at Kyoto, a center for ancient Japanese history and art, three
weeks in all, and Tokyo.
Hutchins Hapgood. A.MS. itinerary of trip to Japan. Ca. 1895-96.
This new migration of artists, joined by journalists, social reformers, and
intellectuals, resulted in what has become known as the Bohemian Era. Emma Goldman, John Reed, Margaret Sanger
and Hutchins Hapgood, women and men who were interested in radical ideas such as those espoused by Freud, Marx and Nietzsche, joined artists like John Sloan and William Glackens. All sought a new way of life, to live counter to the norms of
American society, which they saw as constricting and anathema to creative thought.
Susan Glaspell and her husband, Jig Cook, team up with Neith Boyce and her husband, Hutchins Hapgood to create America's first theatre dedicated to the production of new American plays. Starting in each other's homes in the summer of 1915, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, they move into an old fish shack on the wharf owned by labor writer, Mary Heaton Vorse. When the undiscovered Eugene O'Neill rolls into town the following summer with a trunk full of scripts the Players know they're on to something big.
The Art of Conversation: Salons are all the rage, from Gertrude Stein's in Paris to that of Mabel Dodge in New York City. Sit in on these conversations or those at Heterodoxy or at the Liberal Club and one is likely to find Emma Goldman chatting anarchy with Isadora Duncan, dancing by Bessie Smith giving birth to the blues as Margaret Sanger agitates on behalf of family planning and Lillian Wald for settlement houses...
When you ask Matt Maher, owner of the venerable McSorley's Old Ale House, for a brief history of the 145-year-old bar, he hands you an article from Harper's Magazine -- from 1913.
"Here, read this," Maher says. "Nothing's changed since this was written."
Indeed, it's still true, as Hutchins Hapgood wrote 86 years ago, that "entering the saloon, one seems to leave present in a quieter and more aesthetic place." And, "wrapped in the shadows of tradition, one feels a little solemn, as in a quiet retreat."