Letters from Ernest Hemingway’s Sons Now Available for Research

by Christina Fitzpatrick, Processing Archivist and Stacey Chandler, Reference Archivist 

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EH05687P. Patrick “Mouse” Hemingway, Jack “Bumby” Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, and Gregory “Gigi” Hemingway at Club de Cazadores, Cuba, c. 1945. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The JFK Library is pleased to announce the opening of additional correspondence in the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers. The letters written by John “Jack” Hemingway and Patrick Hemingway to their father are now open for research use. The newly-opened material consists of 32 folders across three boxes in the Incoming Correspondence series. In addition to the letters to Ernest, the folders also contain a handful of letters from Jack and Patrick to other family members. Letters from Gregory Hemingway remain closed for research at this time.

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EH1697N. Patrick “Mouse” Hemingway, Jack “Bumby” Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, and Gregory “Gigi” Hemingway stand with blue marlin on the docks, Bimini, July 1935.

The letters follow both Jack and Patrick throughout their lives, from early childhood in the 1930s and 1940s, until their father’s death in 1961. “Bumby” (Jack) and “Mouse” (Patrick) wrote regularly while they were away at boarding school. Jack served in the U.S. Army and the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, and then worked as a stockbroker and salesman. Patrick graduated from Harvard University and moved to East Africa to build a safari and big-game hunting business, later teaching and working in African wildlife management and conservation.

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EH8143P. Ernest Hemingway and Jack “Bumby” Hemingway with a fish in Key West, Florida, 1928. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Like their father, Jack and Patrick loved hunting and fishing and often sent Ernest detailed accounts of their sporting adventures. From time to time, the boys also inquired about Ernest’s plans for a new book or article. In addition to documenting the lives of both Jack and Patrick, the letters provide many new perspectives on Ernest Hemingway as a father, a writer, and an individual in private life.

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EH2884P. Patrick “Mouse” Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway, and Gregory “Gigi” Hemingway with three cats (Good Will, Princessa, and Boise) at Finca Vigia, Cuba, November 1946. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The letters from Jack and Patrick Hemingway are open for viewing in the research room at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library only and they may not be copied, reproduced, quoted, or published without express permission from the Hemingway family. (This applies to all material filed under the headings “Hemingway, John Hadley Nicanor” and “Hemingway, Patrick” in Series 3. Incoming Correspondence.) The John F. Kennedy Library does not control the copyright or use of Ernest Hemingway’s materials; please review the Hemingway Collection “Permission to Publish” page for detailed information about clearing permissions.

All are welcome to visit the Library to work with the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers and related Hemingway collections. The collections are open for research from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). Researchers can learn more about visiting or make an appointment to view the materials by emailing a Reference Archivist at Kennedy.Library@nara.gov.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is the repository for the world’s largest collection of Ernest Hemingway’s materials. For more information about Hemingway and related archival materials at the Library, ask an archivist or take a look at the Guide to the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers; our blog post exploring the connection between John F. Kennedy and Ernest Hemingway; and our research guide to the Hemingway collections in the archives.

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