Charles Shively Collection


Charles Shively Collection


Shively, Charles


The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston


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Items in the Charles Shively Collection Collection

Request from Cambridge Hospital Patient Accounts for Gordon Copeland's income information in order to obtain Free Care.
This packet contains a letter from the Cambridge Hospital Patient Accounts Department, addressed to Charles Shively's partner Gordon Copeland, stating that his Free Care status had been denied due to lack of income verification. The letter encloses…

This printed letter appears to be a summary of the author's academic and personal affairs of the year 1995 - it may have been sent out to a number of recipients, as it is not addressed to anyone, and is printed from a computer with a handwritten…

Application for use of Old Cambridge Baptist Church, for December 8 1995 memorial service of Gordon Copeland (partner of Charles Shively).
This document is a copy of the form that Charles filled out to reserve the sanctuary of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church (Cambridge MA) for Gordon's memorial service on December 8, 1995. Charles wrote that he anticipated 50-75 people to attend, and…

"Airman's Clearance Certificate" - paperwork part of Gordon Copeland's discharge from the Air Force on April 3, 1953. (Gordon was Charles Shively's partner.)
This document three-page document begins with a form titled "AIRMAN'S CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE," which states that Gordon had finished his work on the activities that he was responsible for at the Biggs Air Force Base in Texas, prior to being…

Letter from Gordon Copeland to the Boston Veterans' Affairs office, regarding the benefits that the Air Force had denied him since 1953 due to his "undesirable discharge" (discharge based solely on accusation of homosexuality), dated July 3, 1979.
This type-written letter, from Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner) to the Boston Veterans' Affairs office, requests "to activate a character of service determination to determine my access to VA benefits." The letter is dated July 3, 1979 - during…

Copy of a letter from Gordon Copeland to the Secretary of the Air Force, Discharge Review Board, dated July 3, 1979.
This document is a type-written draft of a letter from Gordon Copeland, addressed to the Secretary of the Air Force, Discharge Review Board. Gordon writes, "I hope that an upgrade of my undesirable discharge will be possible without a personal…

Letter of membership recruitment for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), addressed to Charles Shively, with handwritten notes on the back regarding Gordon Copeland's appeal for upgrade to honorable discharge.
This letter is addressed to Charles Shively, and signed by the executive director of the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The letter states that John Mitzel has recommended Charles for membership, and describes the achievements and value of…

This pamphlet, created by the ACLU of South California Gay Rights Chapter, instructs veterans on how to apply to upgrade their discharge to honorable discharge, if they had been discharged "less than honorably" due to being (or being accused of…

Newspaper clipping, reporting a fire at 135 Commonwealth Ave (Boston MA) that almost killed Gordon Copeland.
This scan is of a xerox of a newspaper clipping that describes "a blaze at on the top floor at 135 Commonwealth Ave" in which "Gordon W. Copeland," (Charles' partner) "34, an occupant... was taken to City Hospital after being overcome by smoke. He…

Schedule of personal estate in detail, schedule of real estate in detail
This undated document is a handwritten tally of someone's personal estate ($146,188.78) and real estate ($45,000). There is no name on the document. It was filed in a folder of Gordon Copeland's documents.

Mortgage document regarding a property in Cambridge, MA
This legal document is regarding the sale of a property in Cambridge between Charles Shively and Timothy and Evelyn Kelleher, for $16,000 to be paid over 10 years with 9% interest.

Postcard from England. Perhaps from Gordon Copeland's mother to her father on a vacation to England in 1932.
This scan is actually of a xeroxed copy of a postcard saved in Charles' files. On the same sheet of xerox paper was also a studio portrait of Charles' partner, Gordon Copeland, at age 18 months, taken in 1932 in England (close to Gordon's father's…

Portrait photograph of Gordon Copeland at age 18 months, with a woman (possibly his mother).
This is a photocopy of a portrait photograph of Charles' partner, Gordon Copeland, at age 18 months (as noted on the back). He is standing beside a woman in a dress with lace on the shoulders. She may be Gordon's mother (Marie Thompson Copeland), or…

Love poem for Gordon Copeland, typed and handwritten drafts, dated 9 July 1965 (over 30 years before Gordon's passing).

[the typed version]

I love you Gordon
like clouds of form
brightening mornings
smoothing evenings
sleeping the night with force

I love you Gordon
tearing brackets
from bracelets
shackles cracking
freezing ices
in our drinks

I love…

Draft of Gordon Copeland's Obituary
This typed paragraph appears to be a draft of Gordon's obituary run in the Boston Globe on Thursday, December 7, 1995 (also included in this collection). (Gordon Copeland was Charles Shively's partner.) This draft is not signed or dated.

Gordon's discharge from the Air Force, April 3, 1953
This discharge paper records the character of Gordon's separation from the U.S. Air Force as "Undesirable." He had enlisted on July 20, 1950 in Providence RI. He had completed 2 years, 8 months, and 13 days, and had been assigned to the Biggs Air…

Gordon Copeland's Certificate of Death
Gordon Copeland's Certificate of Death records his passing on November 23, 1995. The certificate states that he passed away at age 64, and that the immediate cause of death was "hepato cellular carcinoma" with 3 months between onset and death, and…

Last Will and Testament (envelope and 4 page document) of Gordon W. Copeland, Jr. (Charles Shively's partner), signed April 5, 1985.
This document, dated April 5, 1985, is the Last Will and Testament (envelope and 4 page document) of Gordon W. Copeland, Jr. (Charles Shively's partner). Gordon left six precious items to his sister and younger descendants (the list is archived here…

List of personal property referred to in Gordon Copeland's Last Will and Testament, April 5, 1985.
This 1-page document is a list of personal property referred to in Gordon Copeland's Last Will and Testament, April 5, 1985. The list refers to 6 items (jewelry, a watch, and a pitcher) to be inherited by Gordon's sister, children, grandchildren, and…

Death Certificate of Timothy Joseph Kelleher
This document is Timothy Kelleher's Medical Examiner's Certificate of Death. The certificate states that Timothy passed away on December 3, 1977, "en route to the Cambridge Hospital" and the causes are listed as "Coronary Heart Disease" and "Sudden…

Birth Certificate of Gordon Copeland (Charles' partner)
This is Gordon's birth certificate. He was born on June 17, 1931 in Providence RI. His father, also named Gordon, was born in Chatham, England, and his mother, Marie Thomas, was born in Syracuse, New York.

Memorial Service Program for Gordon William Copeland, Jr., Charles Shively's partner, on December 8, 1995
This is the Memorial Service Program for Gordon William Copeland, Jr., Charles Shively's partner, on December 8, 1995, at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. The front has a small black and white photograph of Gordon along with the dates of his birth…

Four obituaries for Gordon W. Copeland Jr., Charles Shively's partner, who passed away on November 23, 1995.
This envelope contained four obituaries for Charles Shively's partner of 30 years, Gordon W. Copeland Jr. The obituaries record his passing on November 23, 1995, and note that he was a father, grandfather, brother, uncle. He attended Brown…

Letter to Charles from his mother, Florence, regarding the marriage of his brother,  Mearl Jr ("Butch") to a woman named Marilyn on March 6 (year not recorded).
In this letter, Charles' mother, Florence, breaks the news that his brother "Butch" (Mearl C. Shively, Jr.) has gotten married to "an awfully nice girl" named Marilyn L. Edwards on March 6 (Marilyn's 19th birthday - year not given). Florence also…

Letter to Charles regarding his grandfather's will (Mearl A. Shively) dated April 5, 1977.
This letter is from a law firm that was representing Charles' mother and presents a copy of his father's will and requests that Charles sign and return a waiver of notice and consent to probate.

letter to Charles from an attorney regarding the estate of his brother, Stephen C. Shively
This letter from May 10, 2000 introduces Jack Cornett as the attorney retained to administer the estate of Charles' brother, Stephen C. Shively, and presents a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration. The estate in…

Funeral Program for Florence L. Shively, Charles' mother.
This small funeral program has a yellow front page with painted picture of yellow flowers and a white church steeple, and reads "In Loving Memory." The inside contains the Twenty-Third Psalm ("The Lord is my shepherd...") and gives her dates of birth…

Obituary for Florence L. Shively, Charles' mother
This newspaper clipping is an obituary for Florence L. Shively, the mother of Charles Shively. She had died on Monday September 16, 1996, so this clipping is probably not long after that.
It was probably run in a local paper, as the article on the…

Letter dated September 27 1996, from Kathleen Staarman (paralegal) to Charles Shively presenting a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration.
This letter, dated September 27 1996, presents Charles Shively with a Waiver of Notice of Application to Relieve Estate from Administration, regarding the property at 1333 East Avenue in Hamilton Ohio that had previously belonged to Charles' mother.…

Packet of 3 documents from November 6 1996 regarding Charles' deceased mother's property (transfer of property rights to Charles's brother Stephen, and Charles' receipt of receiving household goods).
This packet contains a letter from a law firm, a document confirming that Charles received one fifth of the household goods from his deceased mother's home, and a Quit Claim Deed in which Charles grants ownership of his portion of his deceased…

Front cover featuring a photo of "The 1954 All Ohio Boys' Band," perhaps including Charles.
This newspaper clipping is from the front page of The Columbus Citizen, August 28 1954, featuring a headline regarding the Ohio State Fair: "Ohio's Finest Young Musicians --- The 1954 All Ohio Boys' Band." The caption says that the band has 320…

Local Ohio newspaper announcement of Charles Shively's graduation from Harvard undergrad.
This article is from the Sunday Echo, June 21, 1959. The paper appears to be based in Fairfield Ohio. The article announces Charles' graduation magna cum laude from Harvard University, having majored in American History. The article notes that…

Local newspaper article from May 10 1958 reporting on Charles Shively (noted as a Fairfield High School graduate) making Dean's List at Harvard.
This newspaper clipping is most likely from a local newspaper, as it describes Charles as a "Fairfield High School graduate." It briefly notes that Charles (son of Mr and Mrs Mearl Shively at 2117 Tuley Rd) made the undergraduate Dean's List at…

Last Will and Testament for Charles' grandfather, Mearl Avery Shively, July 30, 1971
This is the Last Will and Testament of Mearl Avery Shively, Charles' grandfather. This will was signed by Mearl Avery and two witnesses, in Batavia Ohio, on July 30 1971. This date is a year after the death of Charles' father (Mearl Avery's son),…

Business card for Michael D. Shively with the Massachusetts' Department of Correction
This is a business card for a Deputy Director at the Massachusetts' Department of Correction, named Michael D. Shively (Ph.D.). The History Project does not currently know what relation Michael has to Charles Shively. The card gives Michael's office…

Memorial Announcement for Charles Shively's father, Mearl Carlton Shively, by the U.A.W. (likely his union) 1970

In Memoriam
Born: December 15, 1915
Succumbed: January 28, 1970
3rd Shift Welder
Dept. 10,
Wayne Donley, President
Local 233, U.A.W.

Shively Coat of Arms
A small Kodak photograph of what seems to be the Shively coat of arms.

Portrait of Charles Shively as an adolescent.
This sepia-tone portrait photograph (headshot) is signed "Charles Allen Shively" with the date "[illegible] 1950." If this photograph is from 1950, Charles is 12 or 13 years old. He is wearing a white collar shirt. Blue ink from his signature has…