Guide to the Garnette Hamilton Collection
NMAH.AC.0273

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0273
Creators:
Hamilton, Garnette
Jackson, Rose Marie,
Dates:
1957-1987.
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.3 cubic feet
2 boxes
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The material consists of newspaper articles, photographs, pamphlets, souvenirs, and newsletters on Hamilton's reign as Queen of the Hoboes as well as a brief history of the Hoboes of America Organization from 1908 1987. Among such items are newspaper articles on Garnette Hamilton herself, Hoboes of America's motto, accomplishments, responsibilities, requirements for admission, and the meaning of the word hobo. This last point was very important to Hamilton and the Organization. In almost every article, Mrs. Hamilton stressed the difference between the words hobo, tramp, and bum. These words do not mean the same thing and Mrs. Hamilton wanted to make sure the public was informed of these differences. The photographs concentrated on Hamilton and the Hoboes of America's annual conventions. Also included are stubs and souvenirs of past conventions. The newsletters contain poetry written by hoboes, letters to the editor (Hamilton), and personal notes on various members. Each newsletter was dedicated to a different hobo member.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Garnette Olive Hamilton was crowned Queen of the Hoboes for life in 1957. Her official title is "Queen of the Knights of the Road, Air and Seven Seas Inc." In 1955 her nephew joined the Hoboes of America Organization, and her love of travel and interest in this unusual organization soon prompted her to join also. Hamilton became one of the first women to be accepted into the organization.
The Hoboes of America Organization was formed in 1908 by Jeff Davis. The organization's purpose was to act as an non profit service group to aid local charities as well as to encourage runaways to return home. In 1957, Hamilton's good deeds for others in need, as well as her friendliness, earned her the title of Queen of the Hoboes for Life in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles, as well as Empress of India. She gave many interviews as Queen of the Hoboes and appeared on Jack Linkletter's Show in 1959. Hamil¬ton has been the editor and publisher of the Hobo Newsletter for the last sev¬en years and remains Queen of the Hoboes (1988).
The items shown here are from a collection of hobo documents and memora¬bilia donated by Garnette Olive Hamilton.

Administration
Processing Information note
Collection processed by Mona Morris, 1987
Author
Finding aid prepared by Mona Morris
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
The Hamilton Papers were received from Mrs. Garnette O. Hamilton of Canton, Ohio in August, 1987. An additional notebook of Hobo poetry was received from its compiler, Ms. Rose Marie Jackson, in January, 1989.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Garnette Hamilton Papers, 1957-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Ownership and Custodial History
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of Garnette Olive Hamilton.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Davis, Jeff Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hoboes of America (organization). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Community service--20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hoboes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newspapers--20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papers--1950-1990 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs--Black-and-white photoprints--Silver gelatin--1950-2000 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Retirees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Runaway teenagers--1950-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks--1950-2000 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Service organizations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tramps--1940-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travel--1950-1990 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
archivescenter@si.edu