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Peggy Hull Deuell papers

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS 130

Overview

Peggy Hull and Peggy Hull Deuell were the professional names used by Henrietta Eleanor Goodnough, a journalist, war correspondent, and native of Kansas. The collection contains clippings, correspondence, poems, photographs, maps, a palmistry chart, notebooks, story ideas, names and addresses, astrology notes, scrapbooks, and other related materials detailing her career, personal life, and travels around the world in the first half of the 20th century.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1795-1966 ( 1910-1966)

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Peggy Hull Deuell

Peggy Hull Deuell, the first female accredited U.S. war correspondent, was born Henrietta Eleanor Goodnough on December 30, 1889, near Bennington, Ottawa County, Kansas. Mrs. Deuell had one elder brother, Edward. Their parents, Edwy Goodnough and Minnie Finn Goodnough, divorced in 1892 over suspicions of the mother's infidelity and ability to care for her children. The divorce split the siblings up, and Peggy went to live with her mother and maternal grandparents.

As a child and teen, Peggy flaunted societal expectations of how young girls were expected to act. She was usually found amongst boys, often getting into fist fights with them. She was a great reader, had a flair for the dramatic, and understood the power of her femininity, though it was her ambition to do what the boys did. She was not a tomboy, but used her looks to her advantage in her career as a journalist.

In 1907, Peggy left high school to train as a pharmacist with her father's relations. However, she shortly returned to her mother, who resided in Junction City, KS. There, Peggy got her first job as a reporter for the Junction City Sentinel and also worked in a local department store on the side.

In 1909, Peggy moved to Colorado to work for a small paper when she got a job with the Denver Republican. It was during this time that she met her first husband, George Hull. They married in 1910 in Salina, KS. He was a well reputed journalist and writer, and together they went to San Francisco and then to Honolulu, Hawaii to work. She dabbled in public relations work and promotion of the Islands, but her relationship with Mr. Hull strained despite her financial success.

By 1914, Peggy returned to the U.S. mainland and took various jobs in Denver, Minneapolis, and Cleveland. In Denver, Peggy met Harvey V. Deuell, who would become her third and final husband. Peggy moved on but Deuell did not follow, so she ultimately settled in Cleveland at the Cleveland Plain Dealer where she was given the opportunity to report on the Ohio National Guard when it deployed to the New Mexico border following Pancho Villa's Raid on Columbus, NM in March 1916.

In this venture, Peggy became the first female war correspondent. Though she was not allowed to enter Mexico, she reported on camp life of the National Guard units defending the border. Soon though, it became apparent to Peggy and her Ohio newspaper that it would be best for her to begin covering the war from El Paso with the El Paso Morning Times. In order to fit in among the servicemen, she fashioned her own uniform and went on a two-day march with the National Guard troops. Peggy won the troops over by not complaining about the distance, heat, and personal pain she felt accompanying them.

Peggy convinced her editor with the El Paso Morning Times to send her to Britain and France to cover U.S. soldiers arriving to aid the Allies in 1917 in WWI. Despite lack of official accreditation from the War Department, Peggy eventually made her way to Paris where she used new acquaintances and former ones from the Mexican Border War to get to a U.S. training camp at Le Valdahon, France, near the front line, to interview troops for the papers back home.

Peggy used this time at the base to write about the everyday experiences of doughboys waiting to be sent to the front. Her stories about the seemingly mundane details of camp life and social events were carried in numerous papers in the U.S. The accredited male war correspondents became upset because they were stationed in Paris and did not have the same connections and access Peggy had. Ultimately, she had to return to the U.S. in November 1917.

In 1918 Peggy saw another opportunity to cover an aspect of WWI that would receive little coverage for U.S. readers otherwise. She convinced the editor at the Cleveland Press to send her as war correspondent to Siberia to cover the U.S. Expeditionary Force defending the White Russian faction from the new Bolshevik government. She received official accreditation as a U.S. War Correspondent, making her the first woman to gain that distinction.

In late 1919, Peggy left Vladivostok, Siberia and sailed to Shanghai. She spent some weeks there waiting to return to the U.S. and enjoyed the small Western settlement. She got a job with the Shanghai Gazette and wrote of shopping, the intelligentsia, and evening parties. While she returned to the U.S. in 1920, by 1921 she was traveling again to Shanghai to work for the Gazette.

On February 22, 1922, in Shanghai, Peggy married for the second time, to Englishman Captain John Kinley. Instead of returning to the press, Peggy sailed with her husband and created sideline businesses for passengers on his ship. In 1924, Captain Kinley got a new job in Shanghai harbor, so Peggy resumed running in the elite social circle of Shanghai and got a job as a columnist for the Shanghai Times.

By 1926, Peggy was back in the United States, agitating against an act passed in 1907 that discriminated against female U.S. citizens who married men of other nationalities. This law had been repealed only six months after Peggy's marriage, but she still fell under the old rules. She went to the press to write about her situation in hopes of changing immigration rules, and to prevent her deportation. In the end, the enforcement of these rules was not implemented by the government, and she had remained in the U.S. long enough to requalify for citizenship. In 1927, she went to New York, and found work at the Daily News where her former colleague, Harvey Deuell, was the City section editor.

Over the next two years, Peggy and Deuell became close, and Peggy decided that she must return to Shanghai to file for divorce from Kinley rather than conducting it via post. Peggy arrived in the middle of renewed hostilities between China and Japan, where Japan invaded and subsequently occupied Manchuria until 1945. Peggy had not wanted to cover another war, but when the Japanese attacked near Shanghai, Deuell, her editor, told her to report on the situation. In May 1932 Peggy got her divorce and returned to the U.S., where she married Harvey Deuell on June 17, 1933.

The Deuells' marriage was short-lived; Duell died of a heart attack in October 1939 after his 1935 promotion to managing editor for the Daily Times. During their marriage Peggy had retired from journalism, busying herself with needlework, writing her memoir, and learning to cook from her staff. She struggled with alcoholism during this time.

As the U.S. involved itself in WWII and her close friends joined the military, Peggy became impatient to cover war again. It took a year and a half to find a paper to sponsor her, receive War Department approval, and a commission to go to Hawaii. By January 1944 she was in Hawaii but not permitted to travel any nearer to conflict zones. Though disappointed, Peggy kept her head down and talked with troops in the Navy hospital on the Islands to get an idea of what the front was like and what other soldiers were facing. She became well-known and well-liked by the servicemen who had survived their wounds, and would receive unit patches from the men.

Peggy retired to Carmel Valley, California. She died of cancer on June 19, 1967 at the age of 76.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (4 document cases + 6 volumes, 14 oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Physical Location

RH MS 130

Physical Location

RH MS R5

Physical Location

RH MS B28

Physical Location

RH MS C31

Physical Location

RH MS E66

Physical Location

RH MS-P 130

Physical Location

RH MS R351

Physical Location

RH MS R381

Physical Location

RH MS Q377

Physical Location

RH MS Q440

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Henri Ernest Marchon, 1973.

Processing Information

Military uniform pieces and insignia formerly located at RH MS Q45 now located at RH MS R351 and RH MS Q377.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Peggy Hull Deuell Collection
Subtitle
Peggy Hull Deuell papers
Author
Finding aid prepared by lgg, 1973; kpz, 1973; revised by cl, 2010; revised by msb, 2016; mwh, 2018; ew, 2021.
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/3310580224
Preferred citation
Peggy Hull Deuell Collection, RH MS 130, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334