Bullitt Family Papers – Oxmoor Collection, Additional Papers, 1920-1968

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Bullitt Family

Title: Papers-Oxmoor Collection additional papers, 1920-1968

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 4 cubic feet

Locator Number: Mss./A/B937d

Biographical Note

William Marshall Bullitt was the son of Thomas and Annie Logan Bullitt. He too was a successful lawyer. In 1912 President Taft appointed Bullitt Solicitor General of the United States. He held the position for less than a year, as Taft was not re-elected. In 1914 he made a run for one of Kentucky’s senate seat but lost. That ended Bullitt’s political career. Bullitt turned his attention to his law career and made his law firm one of the most successful and largest firms in the state. In 1918 he accepted a position with the Red Cross as deputy commissioner and traveled through Europe immediately after the war. Bullitt became an influential figure in Louisville. He sat on many bank, insurance, and company boards. He was also a member of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Nora Iasigi Bullitt was the daughter of Oscar and Amy Iasigi and was born in Massachusetts in 1881. Before her marriage to William Marshall Bullitt in 1913 she wrote several articles that were published, and was an avid sculptor. She and Marshall had three children together. She became active in local groups, including the Historic Homes Foundation and was an extensive traveler her entire life.

Thomas W. Bullitt was the son of William and Nora Iasigi Bullitt. He was born in Massachusetts in 1914. He attended prep schools in England and Massachusetts before entering Harvard University and Harvard Law School. After his graduation in 1941 he briefly joined his father’s law firm. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Bullitt joined the army and was eventually sent to England to assist Field Marshal Montgomery. Bullitt’s military career lasted until 1946 when he returned to Louisville and began practicing law again with his father in the firms Bullitt & Middleton and Bullitt, Dawson & Tarrant. After his father’s death in 1957, Bullitt was left the bulk of the Oxmoor estate and he began right away thinking of developing some of the property. Bullitt completed the building of the Oxmoor shopping center in the 1970s and drew up a master plan of development for the rest of the estate after his death. Bullitt was an avid horseman and established the Oxmoor steeplechase. Bullitt had no children so upon his death in 1991 the estate went into trust. Sixty acres, including the main house and all the outbuildings have been preserved through a preservation easement.

Nora Bullitt Leake was the daughter of William and Nora Iasigi Bullitt. She was born in Louisville in 1916. She attended boarding schools in Massachusetts and briefly attended Bryn Mawr College. She married Eugene Leake in 1939 and they lived in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Maryland as they followed Leake’s career opportunities as an artist. They had two daughters together. She died in 1980.

Barbara Bullitt Watkins Christian was the daughter of William and Nora Iasigi Bullitt. She was born in Louisville in 1919. She attended boarding schools in Pennsylvania. She married Lowry Watkins in 1942 and together they had 3 children together. After their divorce in 1960 she married Virgil Christian. Barbara was active in the Republican Party and an avid horsewoman. She died in 2000.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of letters dated 1920-1968 written by Thomas, Nora, and Barbara Bullitt to their parents William Marshall and Nora Iasigi Bullitt. The letters dated 1920-1938 were written by the children while they were away at boarding schools and mostly concern their education, family life, and social life. The letters dated 1939-1968 were written after the Bullitt children began their careers or married and concern current events, social events, and descriptions of family life. There were several letters from the Bullitt grandchildren as well.

Folder Listing

Folder 1: Correspondence, 1920-1922

Folder 2: Correspondence, 1923-1924

Folder 3: Correspondence, 1925

Folder 4: Correspondence, 1926

Folder 5: Correspondence, 1927

Folder 6: Correspondence, 1928-1929

Folder 7: Correspondence, January-August 1931

Folder 8: Correspondence, September-December 1931

Folder 9: Correspondence, January-February 1932

Folder 10: Correspondence, March-April 1932

Folder 11: Correspondence, May-September 1932

Folder 12: Correspondence, October-December 1932

Folder 13: Correspondence, January-March 1933

Folder 14: Correspondence, April-September 1933

Folder 15: Correspondence, October-December 1933

Folder 16: Correspondence, January-March 1934

Folder 17: Correspondence, April-August 1934

Folder 18: Correspondence, September-December 1934

Folder 19: Correspondence, January-March 1935

Folder 20: Correspondence, April-August 1935

Folder 21: Correspondence, September-December 1935

Folder 22: Correspondence, January-March 1936

Folder 23: Correspondence, April-June 1936

Folder 24: Correspondence, July-December 1936

Folder 25: Correspondence, January-February 1937

Folder 26: Correspondence, March-August 1937

Folder 27: Correspondence, September-December 1937

Folder 28: Correspondence, January-February 1938

Folder 29: Correspondence, March-April 1938

Folder 30: Correspondence, May-June 1938

Folder 31: Correspondence, July-December 1938

Folder 32: Correspondence, January-February 1939

Folder 33: Correspondence, March-July 1939

Folder 34: Correspondence, August-October 1939

Folder 35: Correspondence, November-December 1939

Folder 36: Correspondence, January-February 1940

Folder 37: Correspondence, March-June 1940

Folder 38: Correspondence, July-December 1940

Folder 39: Correspondence, January-March 1941

Folder 40: Correspondence, April-July 1941

Folder 41: Correspondence, August-December 1941

Folder 42: Correspondence, January-May 1942

Folder 43: Correspondence, June-September 1942

Folder 44: Correspondence, October-December 1942

Folder 45: Correspondence, January-March 1943

Folder 46: Correspondence, April-May 1943

Folder 47: Correspondence, June-September 1943

Folder 48: Correspondence, October-December 1943

Folder 49: Correspondence, January-February 1944

Folder 50: Correspondence, March-May 1944

Folder 51: Correspondence, June-December 1944

Folder 52: Correspondence, 1945-1946

Folder 53: Correspondence, January-June 1947

Folder 54: Correspondence, July-December 1947

Folder 55: Correspondence, 1948

Folder 56: Correspondence, 1949

Folder 57: Correspondence, 1950-1952

Folder 58: Correspondence, 1953

Folder 59: Correspondence, January-August 1954

Folder 60: Correspondence, September-December 1954

Folder 61: Correspondence, 1955-1957

Folder 62: Correspondence, 1958

Folder 63: Correspondence, 1959

Folder 64: Correspondence, 1960

Folder 65: Correspondence, January-May 1961

Folder 66: Correspondence, June-December 1961

Folder 67: Correspondence, January-May 1962

Folder 68: Correspondence, June-December 1962

Folder 69: Correspondence, January-May 1963

Folder 70: Correspondence, June-December 1963

Folder 71: Correspondence, 1964

Folder 72: Correspondence, January-April 1965

Folder 73: Correspondence, May-December 1965

Folder 74: Correspondence, 1966-1968

Folder 75: Correspondence, undated.

Subject Headings

Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971

Antisemitism – United States

Apthorp, Octavia Iasigi, 1857-1944

Atherton, Cornelia Anderson, 1886-

Bermuda – Description and travel

Bingham, Mary Caperton, 1904-

Bingham, Robert Worth, 1871-1937

Brandeis, Louis Dembitz, 1856-1941

Breckinridge, Mary, 1881-1965

Bullitt, A. Scott (Alexander Scott), 1877-1932

Bullitt, James Bell, 1874-1964

Bullitt, Nora Iasigi, 1881-1976

Bullitt, Priscilla Keator Pillsbury, 1915-

Bullitt, Thomas Walker, 1914-1991

Bullitt, William C. (William Christian), 1891-1967

Bullitt, Wm. Marshall (William Marshall), b.1873

Cameron, Nora Leake, 1942-

Camp Pickett (Va.)

Children – Correspondence

Children’s art

Christian, Barbara Bullitt Watkins, 1919-2000

Crowninshield, Louise Du Pont, 1877-1958

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

Depressions – 1929

Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971

Dow, Joy Wheeler, b.ca.1909


Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-

England – Description and travel

Europe – Description and travel

Family life

Floods – Kentucky – Louisville

Fort Campbell (Ky. and Tenn.)

Fort Knox (Ky.)

Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965

Frontier Nursing Service, inc.

Goldwater, Barry, 1938-

Grabisch, Agatha Bullitt, 1875-1948

Graham, Martha

Greeting cards

Harvard University

Hindenburg (Airship)

Hungary – Description and travel

Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973

Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963

Korean War, 1950-1953

Leake, Eugene, 1911-

Leake, Nora Bullitt, 1916-1980

Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1902-

Louisville (Ky.) – Social life and customs

Loving, Emma, 1874-1952

Massachusetts – Social life and customs

Miller, Neville, 1894-1977

Morton, Rogers Clark Ballard, 1914-1979

Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-

Oxmoor Steeplechase

Presidents – United States – Election – 1936

Presidents – United States – Election – 1944

Presidents – United States – Election – 1964

Radcliffe College

Religion – United States

Richardson, Nina Leake, 1944-

Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945

Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1914-1988

Santa Claus


Social service – Kentucky

Stoll, Alice Speed, 1906-1996

Strikes and lockouts – Coal mining


United States – Relations – Japan

Vallely, Barbara Porter Watkins, 1943-

Varé, Daniele, 1880-1956

Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975

Watkins, Lowry Rush, ca.1897-1981

Watkins, Lowry Rush, 1946-

Watkins, Marshall Bullitt, 1955-1996

Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944

Women in politics

World War, 1939-1945

Wyatt, Wilson W. (Wilson Watkins), 1905-1996

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