Susanne K. Knauth-Langer Info and Correspondence from Donald Dryden

Susanne K. Knauth-Langer biographical research and email correspondence by Donald Dryden, Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke Bldg., Box 90743, Durham, NC  27708,

Since Donald has been conducting biographical research on Susanne for years, I consider him the authority for information regarding Susanne.



Dear Mr. Huthsteiner:


I hope that you are the person who is the author/webmaster of the Huthsteiner Genealogy website and that you still have an interest in maintaining it, for I have a few minor corrections to offer, along with a source for more detailed biographical information on Susanne Katerina Knauth Langer, a reference to a history of the banking house of Knauth, Nachod, and Kuehne that you may not be aware of, and a request for some information from you about the Knauth family history.


I have been doing biographical research on Susanne K. Langer for a number of years, stemming from an interest I have had in her writings since 1966.  I met her and spent an afternoon at her farmhouse in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1976; and in 1995 I spent six weeks helping the staff of the Houghton Library at Harvard inventory her papers (with support from her son Leonard, who is still living in Annisquam, Massachusetts, and with whom I have continued to maintain contact).  I have also conducted interviews with family and friends over the years and have collected miscellaneous information related to her life and work as I have come across it. I wrote up preliminary results of this research in an extended biographical essay, "Susanne K. Langer,"  which was published in the  Dictionary of Literary Biography: Vol. 270. American Philosophers Before 1950, edited by Philip B. Dematteis and Leemon B. McHenry (Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2003), pp. 189-199); and I am attaching a PDF version of the essay in case you are interested. It is still the only biographical essay in English based on original research, interviews with family and friends, and work with the Langer papers; and it details Langer's academic career and philosophical development.


A few years ago, Leonard Langer gave me a copy of a manuscript, "A Banking Retrospect: Seventy Years of Reminiscenses," written in 1959 by Theodore W. Knauth, which gives a detailed history (98 single-spaced typed pages) of the banking house of Knauth, Nachod, and Kuehne. I would be happy to make a photocopy of the ms. to send you, if you're interested and have not already seen it; but it's also possible that Susanne Dunbar Barrymore (current address: 33 San Marcos Trout Club, Santa Barbara, CA  93105) -- who wrote some editorial comments and questions on the ms. and has been doing some research of her own on family history -- has an electronic version on disk that she could send you and that you might want to post on the website.



Donald Dryden, Department of Philosophy

Duke University, 201 West Duke Bldg., Box 90743, Durham, NC  27708



From Donal Dryden :


Here's what I can tell you about Theodore W. Knauth (from the "Banking Retrospective" typescript):  Franz Theodor Knauth (his grandfather) was born in Leipzig (actually, in Gohlis, a village outside the city walls of Leipzig, but not part of the much larger city of today) in 1803 and later went by the shortened name of Theodor Knauth (as he appears on your Knauth family tree and at the head of the "Theodor Knauth and Fanny E. Steyer Family" genealogy page).  He died in 1874.  Apparently Fanny Elizabeth Steyer was his second wife, twenty-five years his junior, whom he married in 1850.  I can't find the name of the first wife, only the information that they were married in 1842, and that she died in 1848, leaving him with three small children (who are not named in the typescript).  Your family tree lists Theodor's children as Selma, Manuel, Percival, Octavio, and Antonio (the father, with Else M. Uhlich,  of Ilse, Susanne, Berthold, Charlotte Ursula, and Johannes Peter Knauth).  I don't know if any of these were the offspring of Theodor's first marriage, or if any of the three children mentioned in the typescript survived.  In any case, Percival Knauth, who was married to May Whitman Knauth, died at the age of 48; and Theodore W. Knauth, the author of the "Banking Retrospective," was their son, who was born in 1885 and died in 1962.  (I haven't been able to find any reference in the typescript to any siblings.)  The "Banking Retrospect" is dated 1959.