Hatch, Eric (1901-1973)
Scope:
The Eric Hatch collection includes manuscripts, printed material, correspondence, professional material, audio, photographs, financial and legal material, and other items.

Manuscripts by Hatch in the collection include the books My Man Godfrey (Little, Brown, 1935); Fly By Night (serialized in Redbook, 1935); Unexpected Uncle (Farrar and Rinehart, 1941); The Unexpected Warrior (Rinehart and Co., 1947); Five Nights (Bantam, 1948); The Beautiful Bequest, illustrated by Barbara Corrigan (Little, Brown, 1950); Crockett’s Woman (Gold Medal, 1951); The Golden Woman (Gold Medal, 1952); Spousery: Her Edition (Franklin Watts, 1956); A Guide to Historic Sites in Connecticut (non-fiction, Wesleyan University Press, 1963); The Little Book of Bells, illustrated by Eric Sloane (Duell, Sloan and Pierce, 1964); The Judge and the Junior Exhibitor (non-fiction, Duell, Sloan and Pierce, 1964); The Year of the Horse (Crown, 1965); The Colonel’s Ladies (Crown, 1968); Two and Two is Six (Crown, 1969); and What Goes On in Horses’ Heads (Putnam, 1970). Unpublished books include The Pharoah, written with Constance Hatch (1951); How Long Are the Years, How Short the Time (1962); The Implosion; Angela; Tiger in the Tower; The Cannon; Mrs. De Lacy; The Middle Country Road; The Girl Next Door; Courtesan of the Caribbean; The Fountain is Not in Florida; The Desert is Forever; The Governor ; and The Siege of Howell Mountain, also titled Tranquility Valley and Tale of a Sleeping Soldier (unfinished, 1969-1973).

Plays by Hatch include Little Darling (first produced on Broadway in 1942, published by Samuel French in 1943); Kelly, a three-act play (1947); The Pipes of Pan (ca. 1953); Heaven is Very Well Run (ca. 1969); and Not Guilty – of Much .

Teleplays by Hatch include The Lovely Menace and Not Guilty – of Much (1950) for Lux Theatre ; Hour of Crisis (episode 234) and The Peaceful Warrior (episode 246, 1952), for Kraft Television Theatre ; The Comeback (1952); and Call Me Mrs. Also present is Charles E. Skinner’s adaptation of The Colonel’s Ladies (1969).

Short works by Hatch include numerous short stories and articles for various periodicals, some unpublished, as well as radio station editorials broadcast on station WBIS in Connecticut, owned and operated by Hatch (1970-1971). Other manuscripts by Hatch include “Let Freedom Ring,” a famous speech given by Hatch on Independence Day; various speeches, talks, addresses; early poems; and various fragments and unfinished works.

Also in the collection are manuscripts by various family members of Hatch, including numerous poems and several other items by May D. Hatch (mother of Eric Hatch).

Printed material in the collection primarily consists of the published versions of Hatch’s writings (mainly short stories and articles). Periodicals include The Saturday Evening Post, This Week, Liberty, Argosy, The Star Weekly, Redbook, Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal, McCall’s, and others.

Notable items include the serialization of the novel Irene, the Stubborn Girl in Liberty magazine (1935), later adapted into the film version of My Man Godfrey ; and the serialization of The Unexpected Warrior in The Saturday Evening Post (1946). Also present are many reviews of Hatch’s books; clippings about the World War II service of Hatch and his wife, Constance De Boer Hatch; and items pertaining to historical commissions and societies, as well as horses and horse shows.

Correspondence in the collection consists of several personal and professional letters, dating from 1912 to 1973. Significant topics include Hatch’s suit for custody of Eve Hatch (1929-1934), his military orders in World War II (1944-1945), his activities as a Colonel in the Litchfield Artillery, his duties as Chairman of the Connecticut Historical Commission, and his work as a horse-show judge. Notable correspondents include Humphrey Bogart, Abraham Ribicoff, John Dempsey, Thomas Meskill, Lowell Weicker, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Letters to and from Hatch’s family are also included, dating from 1881 to 1956. The letters fo Frederick Hatch (father of Eric Hatch) date from 1918 to 1919, and include a letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt. Other letters include several pieces of fan mail (ca. 1959-1965) and several sympathy letters to Constance Hatch after Hatch’s death in 1973,including a letter from Abraham Ribicoff.

Professional material in the collection includes documents pertaining to Hatch’s World War II service as a psychological warfare administrator (1944-1945); Constance Hatch’s pilot’s logbook, as well as her civil aviation medical forms (1946); Hatch’s appointment as Ambassador of the Air Force by the U.S. Army Air Defense Command (1966); and various items regarding the Connecticut Historical Commission and the Connecticut Bicentennial Commission, including meeting minutes, interoffice memoranda, press releases, reports, accounts, and policy papers (1970-1973).

Audio recordings in the collection are primarily in the reel-to-reel magnetic tape format. Topics include the broadcast of My Man Godfrey on Lux Radio Theatre (1938), also in a long-playing record version; a speech by Hatch in Mt. Morris, Illnois (1963); the “Hot Seat” program on station WDRC (1963); an Independence Day address by Hatch (1966); a Memorial Day speech in Litchfield, Connecticut (1970); broadcasts from WBIS; and others. Also included is a long-playing record of Let Freedom Ring (Colpix Records, CP-515, 1963).

Photographs in the collection include several prints of Hatch with family and friends (1940s-1970s), with some negatives and a few tintypes. Other photos include film stills from My Man Godfrey, portrait photos of Hatch, and photos of Hatch on horseback or at horse-shows.

Financial and legal material in the collection consists of various records pertaining to Hatch’s carreer, including agreements, ID cards, contracts, royalty statements, tax returns, and daily calendars (1957-1975). Also present are various records regarding the Hatch family, including stock holdings, estate records, bills, wills, and agreements (1880s-1930s).

Other items in the collection includes material regarding Hatch’s interest in horses and the preservation of historic sites; school compositions of Eve Hatch; notebooks from Hatch’s school days, including some early poetry; sheet music for “Daybreak Darkling Song,” with words and music by May Hatch; a spin-stabilized, experimental projectile for smooth-bore, muzzle-loading cannon, made of turned aluminum; Hatch’s honorary Doctorate of Literature from the London Institute for Applied Research (1972); a scrapbook regarding Let Freedom Ring, including articles, letters, and other documents (1964); and an oil painting by Hatch.

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Notable Figures
1. Hatch, Eric
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Radio Subject Guide