Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clayton B. Martin papers

Abstract

The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clayton B. Martin Collection (dated 1934-1948, undated; 0.70 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprises correspondence between Martin and his wife Dorothy, his finances, and military experience.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clayton B. Martin papers
Date
1934-1948, undated
Creator
Martin, Clayton B., 1915-1999
Extent
0.1 Cubic feet
Subjects
Correspondence.
Debtor and creditor.
Domestic Life--United States--20th century
Education, secondary--Religion
Mental health
Mental illness
Premarital sex
Psychiatric hospitals--United States
Soldiers--Correspondence.
World War, 1939-1945.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by form.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Qaaim Stainback
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0122 : [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clayton B. Martin papers, 1934-1948, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Clayton B. Martin was born on August 1, 1915, in Washington, D.C., to John and Jessie Martin. Over the course of his life, Martin suffered from periods of mental illness, for which he was institutionalized several times. In July 1939, Martin had a mental breakdown following a period of extreme debt. Later that year, in October, he was hospitalized at Gallinger Psychiatric Hospital (now known as the District of Columbia General Hospital). In 1940, he married Dorothy Macomber, whom he met through a church singles club. They had three children: Dan, Rod, and Billy.
Martin enlisted in the military on January 26, 1944, to serve during World War II. While in the military, he had several episodes of mental illness. He was discharged later that year after being determined physically unfit to serve. In addition to enlisting in the service, Martin obtained employment at the U.S. Postal Service, and in 1947, Clayton enrolled in the Columbia (South Carolina) Bible College in the hope of becoming a minister. It is unknown whether he graduated. Martin’s last place of residence was Orlando, Fla., and he died on December 24, 1999, although it is unclear as to whether he died in Orlando or Kissimmee, Fla.
American Letters collector Wade Hall is a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Since 1962, he has lived in Louisville, where he has taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He has also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He holds degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall is the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher’s Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Social Security Death Index, 1935-current
Scope and Content
The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clayton B. Martin Collection (1934-1948, undated; 0.70 cubic feet, 2 boxes) comprises letters between Martin and his wife Dorothy, invoices and letters related to Martin's finances, and letters related to his military experiences. Letters between Martin and his wife consist of topics such as their marriage, family, and daily events in Dorothy's life while Martin was enlisted in 1944 to fight during World War II. Those letters include discussions of several stays at mental institutions and references to his mental health. Letters from his mother and father and other family members make reference to these institutions as well. There are also letters to a previous girlfriend, Dorothea Stevenson, regarding intimate details of their relationship before he married Dorothy. Other letters or invoices focus on transactions made by Martin with businesses such as Sears and Roebuck, Pinebrook Book Store, and Garmore and Company concerning bounced checks and money owed for material goods. There are also two separate series related to personal belongings of Martin and his family, such as books of poetry or schoolwork; and religious items related to his time spent in the Columbia (S.C.) Bible College, prayer requests for friends, and writings about Christian scripture.
The Clayton B. Martin Collection is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access note Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky holds the copyright for materials created in the course of business by University of Kentucky employees. Copyright for all other materials has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky. For information about permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Special Collections.

Contents of the Collection

Personal correspondence, 1938-1948, undated

The Personal correspondence series comprises letters from Martin's first girlfriend, Dorothea Stevenson; his wife, Dorothy Macomber; his mother and father; and correspondence regarding the Columbia (S.C.) Bible College he enrolled in hoping to become a minister. The letters detail Martin's shift from sexual activity to a more devout life after marrying Macomber, who he met through a church event. They also discuss his time spent in mental institutions for unspecified mental illness and his financial troubles.

, 1938 October-1939 January

  • Box 201, Folder 1
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, 1939 January-March

  • Box 201, Folder 2
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, 1939 March-1940 February

  • Box 201, Folder 3
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, 1940 February-October

  • Box 201, Folder 4
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, 1944 February

  • Box 201, Folder 5
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, 1944 March

  • Box 201, Folder 6
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, 1944 April

  • Box 201, Folder 7
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, 1944 May-June

  • Box 201, Folder 8
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, 1944 July-September

  • Box 202, Folder 1
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, 1944 December-1946 December

  • Box 202, Folder 2
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, 1947 December-1948 January

  • Box 202, Folder 3
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, undated

  • Box 202, Folder 4
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Financial correspondence, 1937-1945

The Financial correspondence series comprises letters and invoices sent to Martin demanding payment for items and debts. Some of the letters indicate that Martin would buy or finance items with promises to pay that later went unfulfilled.

, 1937 March-1939 June

  • Box 202, Folder 5
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, 1939 August-1941 April

  • Box 202, Folder 6
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, 1941 August-1945 August

  • Box 202, Folder 7
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Personal papers, 1934-1941

  • Box 202, Folder 8
The Personal Papers series is a collection of pamphlets, grade school notebooks, poems and psychological tests. Most of the items belong to Martin, but some, like the poetry book, are labeled as belonging to his wife, Dorothy Macomber.
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Religious materials, 1934-1948

  • Box 202, Folder 9
The Religious materials series includes Martin's church membership certificates, scripture books and prayers, church bulletins, and a small book of poetry written while enrolled in the Columbia (S.C.) Bible School. There are also two typed lists of Prayer Requests for people in his life, events he was interested in, and other people he met.
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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