Skip to main content

Tracy L'Engle Angas Papers

Identifier: MS Group 098

Scope and Content

The Tracy L'Engle Angas Papers reveal a broad picture of her career and personal life. Among the writings are examples of published stories and articles as well as manuscripts that are not known to have been published. Many of her radio shows, which she apparently both wrote and broadcast, are extant, as are manuscripts of her lectures and encyclopedia articles. As noted, she wrote a short autobiography and a memoir, Trying to Make Heaven My Home, which was privately printed, as were her Poems.

Tracy Angas appears to have been a prolific letter writer throughout her life. She retyped letters both by and to her and saved them in scrapbooks and notebooks. It is in this state that most of the correspondence is preserved, rather than in its original form. She did, however, save family letters, a number of which are preserved both from her early life and from her time in Europe during World War I. She was a correspondent with writer Zora Neale Hurston and, most fortuitously, nine original Hurston letters are preserved. Original letters are also preserved from Tracy's cousin, Newberry Award winning author Madeleine L'Engle. Tracy's correspondence is often very personal.

In addition to Hurston and Madeleine L'Engle, the collection contains original correspondence with H. L. Mencken, Princeton President Robert Goheen, Katherine Lee Bates, pianist Katherine Ruth Heyman, and novelist Ida A. R. Wylie, a Margaret Mitchell telegram, and a form letter with autograph signature from Albert Camus. One copybook contains personal correspondence written between 1910 and 1937. A very large amount of the correspondence is with a friend named Mary, who appears to be the actress Mary Morris, the original Abbie in O'Neill's Desire under the Elms. These letters are probably the most intimate in the collection. A second scrapbook consists of items from Europe during the war. Many items in this copybook read more like personal journal entries, sent to be shared with others, than truly personal letters. Much of this "correspondence" appears to have been sent to a Mrs. Quigg, whose identity is unknown, but appears to have been connected to Katherine Lee Bates and Wellesley. A later notebook includes numerous examples of personal correspondence from throughout Tracy's life, including several exchanges with both her L'Engle relatives and with the Angas family.

The third part of the collection includes memorabilia showing various aspects of Tracy's life. These includes her role in the 1924 drama, Roseanne, probably her biggest dramatic part, her participation in a historic dedication ceremony at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, various personal documents, and photographs. Excellent photographs exist of Tracy from the age of two weeks throughout the end of her professional life, approximately 1955, and one snapshot of her as a much older woman. In addition, there are family photograph of many members of the L'Engle family ranging from Captain John Claudius L'Engle (1800 - 1864) to her younger cousins and nephews. A photograph of her husband is included as are photographs taken by him when the couple visited sites in France where Tracy had served during the war.


  • Creation: 1860-1986
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1892-1986



The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Literary rights are held by Mrs. Frances A. Weaver of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Biographical/Historical Note

Katherine Tracy L'Engle was born in Atlanta on May 19, 1892, the daughter of Camille Saunders and Carrie Hubbard L'Engle. Although Georgian by birth, her ancestral home was Jacksonville and her family had only recently moved from there on account of her father's business. As a child, she also lived in New York City. Among other schools, Tracy attended Rogers Hall in Lowell, Massachusetts. She was graduated from Wellesley College in 1915.

Following graduation, she pursued a career as an actress. This was interrupted in 1918 - 1919 by a tour of volunteer duty as a YMCA canteen operator for the American Expeditionary Force in France and the occupation army in Germany. Later she followed a variety of careers, acting radio broadcasting from New York and Jacksonville, encyclopedia editing, writing, directing amateur theater in Jacksonville, lecturing on fashion and giving dramatic readings. She lived variously in New York, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine.

In 1955, Tracy married William Mack Angas, whom she had known in Jacksonville in her youth. Angas was a retired U.S. Navy vice-admiral and the civil engineering chairman at Princeton University. The couple had been involved in a courtship years before. The Angas' lived in Princeton until the professor's death in 1960. Mrs. Angas apparently lived the remainder of her life in Jacksonville. The autobiography and the memoir, found in the Papers, are two firsthand sources, but not entirely accurate, for information on Tracy Angas.


1.7 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Personal papers of Tracy L'Engle Angas, a Jacksonville, Florida woman who had careers in theater, broadcasting and lecturing.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the George A. Smathers Library of the University of Florida by the five daughters of William Mack Angas.

A Guide to the Tracy L'Engle Angas Papers
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
December 2008
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America