Ferd Morton was a great communicator, a master of the verbal narrative, as the Library of Congress recordings attest, but he was also a consistent and excellent letter-writer. Throughout his life, he wrote regularly to family, friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, his family indicated that they did not keep his many letters, and none of the early letters to friends and acquaintances, quite often mentioned in the Indianapolis Freeman and the Chicago Defender, have yet been discovered.
Nevertheless, there are almost 250 letters and other communications, from the mid 1930s to a few days before his death in July 1941, which have been preserved either in autograph or in transcription. This body of correspondence is important to our knowledge and understanding of the man and the musician. We have compiled a chronological list of the surviving Morton correspondence, in what is probably the first comprehensive attempt to establish a readily searchable reference to these
© 2004 Peter Hanley