Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Worker standing over slain "marauder" in propaganda poster from Russian RevolutionWe just put up a new exhibit, "Revolution!" that is full of really flashy materials reflecting the exuberance and experimentation of many artists and writers right after the October 1917 Russian Revolution. So, of course, today we give you the most bland looking thing in the exhibit. We think it deserves its own moment in the sun uneclipsed by the bold designs surrounding it.

Letter sent by Thomas Cotton to his family.This is a letter written by Thomas Cotton, Dartmouth Class of 1917, from Moscow on November 30th, 1917. He had just graduated from Dartmouth, headed out to Russia to do work with the YMCA, and found himself smack-dab in the middle of the Russian Revolution. His letter home to his family is full of chatty news: he tells them of social events going on around town for Americans; gives an account of running into his "old college chum" just arrived ("the old grinnin' son-of-a-gun he is worth ten ordinary men"); and relays Thanksgiving and Christmas wishes. But he also takes time to reassure them of his safety in a quiet reference to the turmoil:
By this time you people have quit worring [sic] about the safty [sic] of yours truly. Of course there's a lot of excitement at the front but there has been no danger come to any of our men yet. I am sure that the Russian people are the last on earth that would harm Americans.
Come in and take a look at the exhibit now through November 10th. After that, you can see Cotton's letters by asking for MS-632.