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Guyol, Louise Papers 

Dates: 1881-1960

Collection Number: AR/379 (Formerly COLL/540)

Finding aid (Word)

Biographical Note

Louise Hubert Guyol was born on 19 February 1878 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Guyol wrote a number of novels, sometimes under the alias of Guy Hubert, two of which were published; "The Funny House" (B. J. Brimmer, Boston, 1922) and "The Gallant Lallanes" (Harper and Brothers, New York and London, 1929). 

Guyol acted as a delegate for both the Louisiana State SPCA and the American Humane Education Society, which enabled her to form contacts that allowed for the easier acquisitioning of research material needed for future novels.

Guyol became a friend of Rear Admiral William Lauriston Howard in the late 1920s and convinced him to write a book based upon his voyage to Alaska in 1884-85. When Admiral Howard died on 3 February 1930, Guyol took it upon herself to write the story based upon Howard's diaries and her own research. The manuscript, "Little Straight Man," was completed in 1931.

Guyol held a number of positions within the newspaper and writing industry; including editor of several Boston Evening Transcript columns, contributing author to the Atlantic Monthly, and Americana (the Journal of the American Historical Society). She was also a member of the Boston Authors Club, a book reviewer for the Miami Herald (1944), in addition to her research and writing J. Elliott's biography of Old Sam Ward, "King of the Lobby."

Guyol further held a post in the Office of Censorship (1944), under Colonel George C. Van Dusen, to provide additional financial support to her writing career. 

"Little Straight Man" was not published, although Guyol did enter it into a number of literary competitions (1931, 36, and 45), and spent many years contacting different publishers (1930-50). The genre, style, and length, of "Little Straight Man" prevented it from publication in either book or newspaper format. She also attempted to sell the novel's primary themes to cartoonists of American exploration history.

Guyol planned a voyage to Alaska, to retrace Rear Admiral Howard's steps, and considered writing further travel novels based upon her and Howard's journeys. Guyol died on 21 November 1973.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of both correspondence and publications. The correspondence is primarily related to Louise Guyol, whilst the publications predominantly concern Alaska and Rear Admiral William Lauriston Howard's expedition to Point Barrow. The majority of the papers and publications have been reorganized and placed in chronological order.

The collection has been arranged into four series. Series I consists of correspondence addressed to or from Guyol, although papers merely concerning Guyol's publication attempts, written by others and not addressed to Guyol, have also been included here. Official TASS (Telegraph Agency of the USSR) Reports concerning the geological makeup of the region have also been placed in this series. Series I has further been split into two sub-groups, Incoming and Outgoing. All correspondence has been placed in chronological order and separated into years, although some folders contain a number of years of correspondence. Where no date could be found, correspondence has been placed into an "Undated" folder. The majority of the correspondence concerns Guyol's attempts to publish her book, although some letters focus upon a voyage to Alaska by Guyol, or a fiction novel based upon fact. Series IV subject files contain the relevant tourism brochures that accompany Guyol's proposed Alaskan journeys as well as a number of newspaper articles which particularly interested Guyol and were referred to occasionally in her correspondence. Research material sent to Guyol along with correspondence found in the "Incoming" folders can also be found in series IV.

Series II contains manuscripts and research material. The research material consists of notes taken by Guyol from Rear Admiral Howard's diaries. Further research material, not taken from Rear Admiral Howard's diaries, can also be found in series IV subject files. The manuscripts, all of which are different drafts of "Little Straight Man," have been separated, and where possible, dated. The final draft is also included here and is dated 22 January 1960. All but the final draft are incomplete, as the diaries of Howard were a late addition to the book.

Series III consists of a published government report of the expedition, which Rear Admiral Howard took part in, entitled "Expedition to Point Barrow." This has been split between ten folders in blocks of roughly seventy-five pages. Due to the poor condition of the original document all pages have been copied, except those that contain colored pictures. Pages 357 and 358 are missing.

Series IV is composed of subject files which directly relate to the research made by Guyol whilst writing "Little Straight Man," or which concern issues raised within Guyol's correspondence. The "Research Material" file contains ships' logs, reports, and chronologies that were use by Guyol in the researching of her book. The "Flora-Fauna, Alaska" folder consists of a number of journals, and other publications, which study Alaskan wildlife and plants. Guyol may have used these publications to understand better what Howard wrote about in his diaries. The "Brochures, Alaska" folder relates to a trip Guyol planned to make, and covers a number of years of tours. The articles found in the "Newspaper Articles" file cover a number of stories that interested Guyol, although they were not used in the researching of the book. A number of these articles were however mentioned within her correspondence. The "Small Notebook" and the "Research Notebook" folders contain notes made by Guyol during the researching and writing of the book. The "Photographs" file contains one photograph and one slide of an unknown individual.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Papers of Louise Guyol, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington D.C.

Subject Headings (LCSH)

Alaska--History, 1867-1959
Alaska—Description and Travel, 1896-1959
Barrow, Point (Alaska)


Published: Tue Aug 10 14:36:30 EDT 2021