Posted by: Aaron Lisec | December 17, 2009

Christmas, 1941

Greeting card, Trovillion Private Press

Hal and Violet Trovillion designed beautiful holiday cards every year for their friends and patrons of the Trovillion Private Press, based in Herrin, Illinois.  These cards are preserved along with correspondence and records of the Press in our manuscript collection (#136).

Inside, Trovillion holiday card, 1941

For the 1941-42 holiday season, in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, the Trovillions chose a quotation that conveyed the somber, determined mood of the country.  They attributed the words to Walt Whitman, but they actually come from “Be Patient With God,” a poem by Edwin Markham (1852-1940) that was popular in the first quarter of the 20th Century and reprinted in motivational literature aimed at Christian businessmen.  These publications were not always fastidious about crediting the sources for their inspirational verses, especially as the years went by, and you can trace this using Google books in the public domain.

Attribution aside, the lines may have given their readers a moment of comfort in one of the darkest months in American history, when even in quiet southern Illinois the war was poised to reach into every household.


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