Wells was a Michigan professor of English who corresponded extensively with Rawlins about Rawlins’ very critical Peary book: Peary and the North Pole: Fact or Fiction (1973).
Folder 14, item 16: Rawlins to Wells, July 2, 1970: Rev. Hayes’ 1936 death (before he could reply to Hobbs [pro-Peary biographer and geographer of Michigan]—who was, as you say, a “flaming zealot”—wait til you see some of the shenanigans I’ve caught him doing with the evidence!) was the third time Peary was saved by the knell. The other timely deaths were those of Congressman Helgesen (1917) and (I now learn) Ward (1935).
item 17: Wells to Rawlins, July 9, 1970: I had a letter…from Rev. William Hays, in which he said that America, with its proud history, was sometimes regrettably careless in appraising its heroes.
item 35: Edward Weyer to Rawlins, Nov. 14, 1970, re the Snow Baby: I seem to recall we were on the same program a few years ago when the Explorer’s Club received Peary’s library.
I thought the world of Matt. Henson. And his widow gave the Explorers Club something like $5000! Very fine people both of them.
Folder 14 has a good deal of correspondence about Ward’s “The Peary Myth” and why Yale UP didn’t publish it, mainly because Isaiah Bowman said it was libelous and would cause incalculable consequences.
Toward end of folder 14 is a Rawlins’ letter to Wells concerning a review of Rawlins’ book in Sky and Telescope, Sept. 10, 1973, in which Rawlins refers to Hobbs as (“Ann Arbor’s most notorious flagwaver and Hun-sniffer.”) Hobbs was virulently pro-Peary and did much to pursue the smear campaign against Frederick cook.
Bentley also has William Herbert Hobbs’ Papers, Bentley 851610 Aa2, with finding aid.