Skip to main content

Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix Diary

Identifier: MSS-4279

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a 156-page handwritten diary kept from April 23, 1914-March 29, 1915, at locations in Mexico, Texas, and New York City. The diary is unsigned, but events match known details in the life of magazine writer Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix, who published a novel, My Brother's Keeper, in 1915. In the diary, the author describes spending time in New York in the summer of 1914 completing My Brother's Keeper, as well as a visit from New York to a resort in Virginia, where, she notes, other women introduce her by saying she is from Wytheville and that her "mother was a Jackson from South Carolina" (July 30). Other than the New York-Virginia portion, which takes up about a fifth of the material, the diary primarily relates Hendrix's activities in Texas and Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, with mentions of key figures including Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Lucio Blanco, and Venustiano Carranza. In an entry for April 30, 1914, she writes: "Received a message direct from General Villa today, telling me to have no fear, that he is my friend and wants to see me on important business when he returns to the border." The diary begins in Ysleta, now part of El Paso, Texas. It describes numerous visits with "the consul" in Matamoros, Mexico (across the border from Brownsville, Texas); the author's efforts to aid Mexican refugees in Brownsville; her conversations with Mexican refugees and others; her thoughts on news about the Revolution, including comments on the resignation of General Huerta (July 17, 1914); and letters she wrote appealing for American aid to Mexico. There is also a thirty-seven-page typed transcription of the diary in the collection, provided by the vendor.


  • 1914-04-23 - 1915-03-29

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix (1866-1951), originally from Wytheville, Virginia, was the daughter of William J. Davis and Sarah(?) Jackson. Census, marriage, and death records indicate that she was born Frances E. Davis, and that she married Boyd Fielder under the name Lizzie Davis in October 1884. She was widowed around age twenty-eight and became a magazine writer.

According to a letter published in the Congressional Record for September 1, 1913 (which she originally sent to Texas Senator Morris Sheppard), Hendrix's only family at the time consisted of two daughters and two brothers, attorney James L. Davis and Captain W. R. Davis. The letter states that around 1906, Hendrix moved to El Paso, Texas, where she worked for a local newspaper, but soon was able to live off her earnings from Texas land investments, allowing her to devote more time to her interest in Mexico. In 1909, she was hired by McClure’s magazine to write a series of articles in reply to “Barbarous Mexico,” a recent piece in American Magazine. (John Kenneth Turner, author of “Barbarous Mexico,” would publish a book of that name in 1910 critical of the regime of Mexican president Porfirio Díaz.) Through this work, Hendrix came to know Díaz; she would later meet Pancho Villa. Hendrix began to surface in the press as a person deeply involved in affairs related to the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). The collection’s vendor description states that “Some of Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix's letters about Mexico published in periodicals referred to her as working for the American consulate in Matamoros” and quotes a letter “that Hendrix provided to the Daugherty investigation in 1922,” in which she described gathering information for the US Consulate about the “net of intrigue in which Mexico was becoming involved” and learning more about individuals close to Venustiano Carranza, leader of the Constitutionalist Army (organized in 1913). One newspaper article reported on her: “Carranza Woman Spy Here on War Mission: Will Plead to Wilson for Mexico Constitutionalists” (Chicago Examiner, August 21, 1913). A telegram from March 27, 1915, written by Hendrix about her aid to Mexican refugees on the border in Brownsville, Texas (across from Matamoros, Mexico), was published in the Catholic weekly magazine America (April 3, 1915, issue).

Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix published a novel, My Brother’s Keeper (W. B. Conkey Company, 1915). There is also an record for a film treatment for “Polly Put the Kettle On” (1917) written by Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix, and an item in California's Santa Ana Register refers to a "Mrs. Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix, manager of the H and H Production Company" (March 24, 1930). Her obituary in the Pomona Progress Bulletin indicates that she had two surviving daughters, Helen F. Lopez and Anna Willis. The obituary says that she moved to Los Angeles in 1918 and to Pomona, California, in 1932, where she lived until her death on June 23, 1951.

She surfaces in the press under a number of different names and "also known as" designations, including "Mrs. Elizabeth Hendrix-Roberts" (marriage announcement of daughter Anna Saunder Fielder, El Paso Herald, January 31, 1912) and Frances E. Hendrix ("Notice to Creditors," Pomona Progress Bulletin, December 22, 1954). A newspaper item in the El Paso Herald for March 2, 1918--by a group of El Paso attorneys, regarding titles to property in the El Paso valley--refers to their challenger as “Mrs. Elizabeth C. Hendrix, also known as Mrs. Elizabeth C. Monckton, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Roberts, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Fielder, Mrs. Elizabeth C. Rogers and associates.”


1.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains an unsigned, handwritten diary with details matching the life of magazine writer Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix, of Texas, who associated with key players in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). The diary covers her activities in Texas, Mexico, and New York during 1914-1915, including work on her novel My Brother's Keeper (1915). There is also a typed transcript of the diary.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix Diary was acquired by The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections in 2020.

Digital Materials

This collection is part of the digital Latin America collection. Please view the individual folder or item in this finding aid for a link to those materials.

Related Materials

See: MSS.4242, Wilfred A. Joubert Papers from Suriname and Mexico, The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections

Processing Information

Processed by Erin Ryan, March 2021.
Guide to Elizabeth Chandler Hendrix Diary
Erin Ryan
March 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266