Subseries 1.4
Mary Raoul Millis papers, 1879-1934
Boxes 11-17

Biographical Note

Mary Raoul Millis, the oldest Raoul daughter, was born January 22, 1870, in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. She first attended day schools in Savannah and later spent two years at boarding school in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Her 1889 debut in New York was followed by a year in Europe (1890-1891). In 1893, she married John Millis, an officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She spent the next twenty years in the various locations where he husband was stationed by the army. Mary left John Millis and moved to Atlanta in 1914, where she remained until her death in 1962. In 1909, under the influence of her brother William Greene Raoul, Jr., Mary joined the Socialist Party. She continued her association with the Party in Georgia, serving as state secretary from 1915 to 1919, presidential elector in the general election of 1928, state representative for the campaign committee of 1932, and educational director of the Atlanta local in 1933. In 1933, she also chaired the Angelo Herndon Freedom Committee. Mary was the mother of three children, Ralph Millis (1894-1938), historian Walter Millis (b. 1899), and Janet Millis (b. 1903).

Scope and Content Note

Papers of Mary Raoul Millis include letters to her mother and other family members, letters from her husband John Millis), and letters from friends and relatives. Also included are papers relating to her involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Socialist Party in the early 1930's. Correspondence relating to her last illness (1957-1958) is located in Subseries 1.12, papers of Eleonore Raoul, and copies of her family memoir and unfinished autobiography can be found in Series 4.

Mary Raoul Millis' letters, written primarily to her mother, cover the fifty years from 1879 to 1929. The majority fall between 1886 and 1912, the period of her adolescence and her nearly twenty years as an army wife. The early letters discuss studies, beaux, social events, family activities and travels to New Orleans (1886, 1893), Mexico (1887, 1892), and Europe (1890-1891).

The letters following Mary's marriage to John Millis in 1893 give many details about life at the various posts where he was assigned - New Orleans (1893-1894), Washington, D.C. (1894-1898), Willets Point, New York (1898-1900), Seattle (1900-1905), Manila (1905-1907), and Cleveland (1908-1912). The Seattle letters are particularly descriptive of life and society in this city at the turn of the century. Lengthy journal letters (1905) document the Millis family's voyage to the Philippines, stops in Japan and China, and their early experiences in Manila. Other letters from this period concern army life on the Islands and the return voyage to the United States via Hong Kong (1907). The Cleveland letters (1908-1912) concern Mary's interest in Socialism and Christian Science and reflect her increasing unhappiness in marriage which led to a separation in 1912.

John Millis' letters to Mary, written during the period of their courtship and early marriage (1893-1900), concern his work supervising levee and channel construction on the Mississippi and Red Rivers (1893-1894), activities with the Light House Board in Washington, D.C. (1894-1898), and frequent inspection tours. Other letters to Mary from friends, Wadley relatives, and her mother-in-law, Jane Millis, concern social events, Mary's marriage, and Raoul and Millis genealogy (1896-1897). Additional genealogical data on the Millis family is located among the miscellaneous material in this box, as are Mary's early writings.

The American Civil Liberties Union correspondence is primarily between Mary Raoul Millis and ACLU director Roger Baldwin (1931-1933). Topics include the formation of a civil liberties committee in Atlanta, chain gang abuses, the Scottsboro trial, a raid on the International Labor Defense's Atlanta offices, blacks and the local Atlanta police situation, and Mary's refusal to serve as state chairman of the ACLU in Georgia because of the race issue (1933). Correspondence relating to the Socialist Party in Georgia is mainly between Mary Raoul Millis and Clarence Senior, executive secretary of the party. Most of the letters concern plans, activities, the election of 1932 and Norman Thomas's candidacy, and the status of the Party in Georgia, Alabama, and the South in general. Many of Mary's letters discuss the problems of organizing blacks into the Party in Georgia, a step which she opposed. Miscellaneous materials relating to the Socialist Party include lists, bylaws, campaign literature and election ballots.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Letters to Mary Wadley Raoul
Box Folder Content
11 1 1879-1885
11 2 1886, March-June
11 3 1886, September-October
11 4 1886, November-December
11 5 1887, January-February
11 6 1887, March-April
11 7 1887, October-December
11 8 1888-1889
11 9 1890-1891
11 10 1892
11 11 1893
11 12 1894, January-March
11 13 1894, April-July
11 14 1894, October-December
12 1 1895, January-March
12 2 1895, April-July
12 3 1895, August-December
12 4 1896, January-June
12 5 1896, August-December
12 6 1897, January-June
12 7 1897, July-September
12 8 1897, October-December
12 9 1898, January-May
12 10 1898, June-September
12 11 1898, October-December
12 12 1899, January-June
12 13 1899, July-December
12 14 1900
13 1 1901, January-February
13 2 1901, March-May
13 3 1901, June-August
13 4 1901, September-December
13 5 1902, January-April
13 6 1902, May-September
13 7 1902, October-December
13 8 1903, April-August
13 9 1903, September-December
13 10 1904, January-April
13 11 1904, May-July
13 12 1904, August-December
13 13 1905, January-May
13 14 1905, June-September
13 15 1905, October-December
14 1 1906, January-May
14 2 1906, June-August
14 3 1906, September-December
14 4 1907, January-March
14 5 1907, May-November
14 6 1908, March-July
14 7 1908, August-December
14 8 1909, January-May
14 9 1909, June-December
14 10 1910, January-May
14 11 1910, June-December
14 12 1911, January -June
14 13 1911, July-October
14 14 1912
14 15 1922-1925
14 16 1926-1929
14 17 Undated (Pre-1894; New Orleans; Washington, D.C.; Willets Point, N.Y.; Seattle)
14 18 Undated (Manila; Japan)
14 19 Undated (Cleveland)
14 20 Undated
Letters from John Millis, 1893-1894
15 1 1893, March-June
15 2 1893, July-August
15 3 1893, September
15 4 1893, October
15 5 1893, November
15 6 1894, July
15 7 1894, August
15 8 1894, September
15 9 1894, October-December
16 1 1895, January-June
16 2 1895, July
16 3 1895, August-October
16 4 1896, January-June
16 5 1896, July
16 6 1896, August
16 7 1897
16 8 1898, February
16 9 1898, March
16 10 1898, August-November
16 11 1899-1900 and undated
Letters from various persons
17 1 1885-1888
17 2 1889
17 3 1890-1891
17 4 1892
17 5 1893
17 6 1894-1895
17 7 1896-1897
17 8 1898
17 9 1899
17 10 1900-1901
17 11 1902
17 12 1903-1904
17 13 1905-1907
17 14-15 Undated
17 16 American Civil Liberties Union - Correspondence, 1931-1933
17 17 Socialist Party - Correspondence, 1920, 1928-1932, July
17 18 Socialist Party - Correspondence, 1932, August-September
17 19 Socialist Party - Correspondence, 1932, October-1934
17 20 Socialist Party - Miscellaneous
17 21 Miscellaneous (general)
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