Above is a letter written on May 11, 1913 from a 13-year old Ernest Hemingway to his parents, apologizing for his poor behaviour during a play and while in church.
It’s from one of the cutest historical find I’ve seen in a while. The JFK Presidential Library (which contains a huge holding of Ernest Heminway artefacts) has digitzed Hemingway’s baby scrapbooks.
From 1899 to 1917, the scrapbooks made by his mother Grace Hall Hemingway document everything a modern parent might include in their own scrapbook for their children: birth announcements, first baby photos, photos with siblings, beach vacations, 1st drawings, Valentine’s Day cards, and a kindergarten certificate.
The neatest part? You can download the five volumes as one image file here: Ernest Hemingway’s Childhood Scrapbook at JFK library. If you have a few minutes (Of course you do! History kicks ass!) look through the file and get a sense of how much parents across time periods share the similarity of wanting to document the milestones in their children’s lives.
I couldn’t resist, here’s another cute section: page 20 and 21 from volume I. The left-hand side shows Hemingway at 7.5 weeks old in the park with his Dad and sister on the top, and his Mom and sister on the bottom (dated: September 11, 1899). The right-hand side contains photos of Hemingway in his christening outfit (dated: October 21, 1899).