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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
Scope and content
The Katherine Waddell Fonds consists of a scrapbook, letters and clippings kept by Waddell in relation to Archibald Lampman. Includes poetry manuscripts, and typescripts, sketches by Lampman, newspaper clippings, publications by Lampman, a letter about a memorial service for Lampman and a second letter about posthumous collection of his poetry.
Textual records Accession 1997-08 LMS-0274 90 (Paper)
Biography / Administrative history
Katherine Thompson Waddell was born on June 26, 1865 to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Waddell of Ottawa. She had two sisters (Mrs. H. W Brown and Mrs. James White). She started work for the Secretary's Branch of the Post Office Department in 1889 where she met Archibald Lampman. She was an active reader of Lampman's poetry and he wrote and sent her many poems over the course of their relationship. Waddell lived in Ottawa for over fifty years. She was ill for some time and died on November 25, 1926. Poet Archibald Lampman was born on November 17, 1861 in Morpeth, Ontario. In 1867 he contracted rheumatic fever which left him crippled for several years. This was a contributing factor in his death at age thirty-eight. Lampman attended F.W. Barron's school in Gore's Landing, Trinity College, Port Hope, and Trinity College, Toronto. Lampman took a teaching position in Orangeville, Ontario but he quickly changed career paths. In 1883 he accepted a job at the Post Office Department in Ottawa where he worked until his death. In 1887 he married Maud Emma Playter. They had three children together: Natalie Charlotte, born in 1892, Arnold Gesner, born in 1894, and Archibald Otto, born in 1898. Arnold Gesner died three months after his birth. In 1889 Lampman met Katherine Waddell. Many scholars have noted a significant change in Lampman's poetry after their meeting. The details of their relationship are relatively unknown; however, Lampman sent many poems to her. Although Lampman wrote over 300 poems, he only published two collections of his poetry during his lifetime: Amonth the Millet (1888) and Lyrics of Earth (1895). Lampman contributed to a column in the Toronto Globe from 1892-1893. The column was called At the Mermaid Inn' and Duncan Campbell Scott and William Wilfred Campbell were its other contributors. In 1895 Lampman was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Lampman died of pneumonia on February 10, 1899 in Ottawa. At the time of his death Lampman was in the process of printing Alycone and other Poems, however, his close friend Duncan Campbell Scott held its publication with plans for publishing a complete poetry collection in 1900. Four volumes of Lampman's poetry were edited and published posthumously by Scott.
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