Beals, Carleton (1893-1979)

The Carleton Beals collection includes manuscripts, printed material, research material, subject files, photographs, correspondence, and other material.

Non-fiction book-length manuscripts by Beals in the collection include the published works Lands of the Dawning Morrow (Bobbs-Merrill, 1948); The Long Land: Chile (Coward, 1949); Adventure of the Western Sea: The Story of Robert Gray (Holt, 1956); John Eliot: The Man Who Loved the Indians (Messner, 1958); House in Mexico (Hastings House, 1958); Brass Knuckle Crusade: The Great Know-Nothing Conspiracy (Hastings House, 1960); Nomads and Empire Builders: Native Peoples and Cultures of South America (Chilton, 1961); Cyclone Carry: The Story of Carry Nation (Chilton, 1962); Latin America: World in Revolution (Abelard, 1963); Eagles of the Andes: South American Struggles for Independence (Chilton, 1963); War Within a War: The Confederacy Against Itself (Chilton, 1965); Land of the Mayas: Yesterday and Today (Abelard, 1967); The Great Revolt and Its Leaders: The History of Popular American Uprisings in the 1890s (Abelard, 1968); Colonial Rhode Island (Thomas Nelson, 1970); Great Guerilla Warriors (Prentice-Hall, 1970); The Nature of Revolution (Crowell, 1970); Stories Told by the Aztecs Before the Spaniards Came (Abelard, 1970); and The Incredible Incas: Yesterday and Today (Abelard, 1973).

Unpublished non-fiction books by Beals includes Ezra Stiles, Sage of the Revolution; The Happiest Man on Earth (biography of St. Francis of Assisi); Panama (also titled Canal Zone and Ocean to Ocean ); Maximilian and Carlotta (also called On the Road to the Hill of Bells and A Dream of Marble Halls: The Life, Death and Madness of Maximilian and Carlotta, written in the late 1960s – early 1970s), under contract to be published by Prentice-Hall but later rejected; Paradise on This Side (about utopian communities in the United States; written in the late 1970s); and an autobiography. In addition, the collection includes book manuscripts which exist only in provision form, with notes, outlines, and sample chapters; titles include King’s Rogue: The Story of Abel Buell, The Great Innovator; Candace Roberts – Life on the Peguabuck; The Green Dragon (about the Amazon jungle); The Golden Galleons: The Story of the Martyrdom of Felipe de Jesus in Nagasaki, Japan; Golden Mistress, also titled Glorious Betsy ; and 1929 .

Fictional book-length manuscripts by Beals in the collection consist of his novel Black River (Lippincott, 1934). In addition, the collection includes unpublished novels by Beals, including Bart Blackbone; Bride of Fortune; Bridge of Royal Delights, also called Strange Marriage ; Café of Cartoons; Eternal Waters (written under the pseudonym Curtis Gram), also called Indra and Siren of Singapore ; Golden Key (writing as Curtis Gram); Hungry Hill; The Lost Ikon; Return of Quetzalcoatl ; an untitled novel; and his novella “The Pilgrimage.”

Beals’ journalism is represented in the collection by numerous published and unpublished articles, primarily regarding Latin America. Also present are hundreds of Beals’ news dispatches: from Mexico, for the North American Newspaper Alliance, TASS and other agencies (1926-1930); from Cuba (1933-1935); from Decatur, Alabama, where Beals covered the Scottsboro case for The New York Post and The Philadelphia Record (1934; includes drafts of articles); and from Havana, for The Nation (1959).

Plays by Beals in the collection (all unproduced) include Cyclone Carry, a musical comedy about Carry Nation; Huitzilopotchli, about the Mexican Revolution; Imilla, based on the legends of various Indian tribes from Mexico; Somebody, a three-act play; an untitled adaptation of Beals’ unpublished novel Bridge of Royal Delights ; and two other untitled plays.

Other manuscripts by Beals include short anecdotes submitted as “filler” to various magazines; record album text for Under the Fifth Sun (Columbia, 1963); numerous short stories; hundreds of poems; and Beals’ translation of Juan Jose Arevalo’s book Anti-Communism in Latin America (Lyle Stuart, 1963).

Manuscripts by other authors in the collection include two plays by James Purdy, Children is All and Cracks (short play); Vicenti Levi Castillo’s novel The Hidden Summits of Llanganati ; and Ross Duff Whytock’s book The Great Sam Brannan .

Printed material in the collection primarily consists of tearsheets of Beals’ published articles, book reviews, short stories, poems, etc., taken from the publications in which they appeared; these items date from ca. 1921 to 1976. Notable items include Beals’ articles about the Nicaraguan guerrilla leader Augusto Cesar Sandino, whom Beals interviewed in 1928; approximately fifty broadsheets with lyrics of Mexican popular songs (corridas); and various pamphlets, posters, newspapers, and magazines from the United States, Spain, and Latin America.

Research material in the collection consists of hundreds of files created by Beals, each with a subject heading. Their contents include clippings, pamphlets, drafts of articles, notes, and other items concerning the various topics on which Beals wrote during his career. Topics include Latin America, especially Cuba and Mexico; United States politics and foreign relations; art; and literature. Notable items include: several pamphlets from the 1930s relating to the Aprista movement in Peru and its founder, Haya de la Torre; accounts of Beals' collaboration with Cuba-based Prensa Latina press agency; the text of a speech Beals gave to an author’s group at Rockefeller Center, New York City; outline, chapter synopsis and lists of characters regarding Beals’ unpublished novel Marka ; “Spain in Conflict,” address given by Beals before the Foreign Policy Association; newspaper accounts of the 1938 storm which severely damaged Beals’ Connecticut home; and information regarding the Trotsky Commission of Inquiry held in Mexico City, 1937, of which Beals was a member.

Subject files in the collection consist of chronological “personal files” created by Beals, covering the years 1922 to 1962 (as well as some unfilled material from 1960-1979). These contain the covers of magazines in which Beals’ articles appeared, though not the articles themselves; also included are announcements of Beals’ lectures, articles about him, reviews of his books, leases, contracts, publicity material, and other items. Notable material includes Beals’ teaching contract with the Mexican government (1923); his press pass to the airfield where Charles Lindbergh landed near Mexico City (1927); the calling card of Haya de la Torre (see above); documents and articles relating to Beals’ 1928 journey to interview Augusto Cesar Sandino (1928; see above); material on Beals’ participation in the Mexico City “Trotsky Trials” (1937); questionnaires from the Latin American poll Beals conducted for Look magazine (1941-1942); records of Beals’ 1959 journey to Haiti and Cuba, where he covered the Castro revolution; and records of Beals’ 1961 visit to Cuba and other Latin American countries.

Photographs in the collection includes Beals’ personal photographs, portraits, images used as illustrations for Beals’ books, and other items.
Personal photographs include early photos of Beals as well as numerous travel shapshots taken during Beals’ many trips overseas. Countries and regions represented include Central America, Europe, Nicaragua, North Africa, Mexico, and others; notable photos include those taken en route to interview Sandino (1928).   Portraits include images of Beals (including a studio portrait of Beals by Tina Modotti), Fulgencio Batista, Diego Rivera, Augusto Sandino, Leon Trotsky, and others. The portraits of Mexican public figures (Antonio Soto y Gama, Plutarco Elias Calles, et al.) include caricatures by Matias Santiago.  Book illustrations are present for Beals’ books Brass Knuckle Crusade (1960); Nomads and Empire Builders (1961); Cyclone Carry (1962); War Within a War (1965); Colonial Rhode Island (1970); and The Incredible Incas (1973).  Other photographs include numerous commercially-supplied prints of Panama and other South American locations, as well as many photographic postcards from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and other countries.

Correspondence in the collection is exhaustive, spanning Beals’ life and career between 1916 and 1979. The letters are a mix of personal and professional correspondence, and retain Beals’ chronological arrangement.
Notable correspondents from the field of journalism and publishing include Charles Angoff, Hamilton F. Armstrong, Bruce Bliven, Norman Cousins, Herbert Croly, John Farrar, Lewis Gannett, Arnold Gingrich, Ernest Gruening, Hiram Haydn, Freda Kirchwey, George Kirstein, Alfred A. Knopf, George Leighton, Walter Lippmann, H. L. Mencken, Henry Mussey, Harry T. Saylor, Gilbert Seldes, Lawrence Spivak, Lincoln Steffens, Dorothy Thompson, and Oswald G. Villard.  Notable artistic and literary correspondents include Franz Boas, Pearl S. Buck, Erskine Caldwell, Malcolm Cowley, Hart Crane, John Dewey, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, W. E. B. DuBois, Walker Evans, Clifton Fadiman, John Gunther, Carlos Merida, Tina Modotti, Clifford Odets, Alan Paton, Katherine Anne Porter, Diego Rivera, Richard Rodgers, William L. Shirer, Frank Tannenbaum, Orson Welles, and Shelley Winters.
Notable public figures William E. Borah, Prescott Bush, Frank Church, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Ramon Grau San Martin, Harry F. Guggenheim, Cheddi Jagan, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Ribicoff, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and Robert S. Sproul.  Other notable letters include telegrams and letters regarding Beals’ conscientious objector status and his subsequent arrest by military authorities (1917-1918); letters written by Beals in Italy to his mother Elvina S. Beals (1921-1923); cables and letters relating to Beals’ trip to Nicaragua to meet Sandino in 1928, primarily between Beals and the editorial offices of
The Nation ; letters and documents regarding Beals’ criticism of the U.S. State Department’s role in Cuba, particularly that of Ambassador Harry F. Guggenheim (1932-1936); a death threat Beals received in Havana (1933); notice that a manuscript Beals mailed had been seized by the Office of Communications and Public Works because it contained writing “of a character denigrating to our country” (1935); Beals’ reply to a request from the U.S. War Department for suggestions regarding Latin American support for the war effort (1942); letters, clippings and reports regarding Dr. Arthur J. Kraus, dismissed from the faculty of City College of New York in 1933 for his political activities (1949); correspondence with Carrie Fitch, granddaughter of Carry Nation (1963-1964); and letters regarding Beals’ dispute with Prentice-Hall over his unpublished biography Maximilian and Carlotta (1968-1972).

Other material in the collection includes Beals’ marriage and divorce documents; documents relating to the Mexican Communist Party; summons to appear before the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security (1962); contract with the Prensa Latina news service, as well as various publishing contracts (1940-1963); various awards; military intelligence reports on Beals from the U.S. State Department and War Department archives; articles, pamphlets, reports, and letters related to the “Heart documents” (1929) and the Trotsky trials (1937); Fair Play for Cuba Committee literature (early 1960s); bibliographies, through 1973; several notebooks; two audio cassette recordings; and numerous royalty statements (1923-1978) as well as other financial records.

Notable Figures
1. Beals, Carleton, 1893-1979
Associated Subjects
1. Journalism Subject Guide
2. Military History Subject Guide
3. Photography Subject Guide
4. Nicaragua – Revolution, 1926-1929
5. Short stories
6. Journalism
7. Poems
8. Authors, American
9. Sociology
10. American literature--20th century
11. Latin America
12. Political science
13. Journalists
14. Photographs