Cornell University

Rare and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY 14853

Mack Buckley Swearingen Papers.

Collection ID: MSS# 2637.

Arrangement: The O’Connor correspondence is in “Box 26." The Swearingen correspondence is arranged first alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically within each correspondent grouping.

The Swearingen Papers contain six letters from O’Connor to Swearingen and five from Swearingen to O’Connor. The letters, which date from April 1962 to January 1963, are informal, with most of O’Connor’s letters addressed “Dear Mack” and Swearingen’s addressed “Dear Flannery.” O’Connor’s letters are signed originals while Swearingen’s letters are unsigned.

Swearingen was a native of Mississippi who studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and later earned his PhD from the University of Chicago (“Swearingen”). He first wrote to O’Connor after speaking with George Haslam, an Assistant Professor of Social Science at Georgia State College for Women (GSCW) until 1944. Haslam had told him that O’Connor had been in one of Swearingen’s classes while he was teaching at GSCW. In his letter to O’Connor, Swearingen apologizes for not remembering her and mentions that he has read A Good Man Is Hard to Find. O’Connor responded with a letter stating that while she did not recall being in any of Swearingen’s classes, she did remember seeing him on campus. The letters discuss O’Connor’s speaking engagements, people they both knew, a review written by Granville Hicks, events of mutual interest at GSCW, Catholicism, the South, and being a southern Catholic writer.