Richard L. Dawson Papers
2 mss. boxes

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Processed by: Jennifer Duplaga, 2004


Richard Lew Dawson was born the son of Riley and Catherine Dawson on January 20, 1852 in Franklin County, Indiana. Dawson was a writer of humorous sketches and poetry and often gave his characters Hoosier dialects. His works appeared in popular newspaper and magazines, such as the Chicago Current, Saturday Herald, the Indianapolis Journal, the Sentinel, and Century Magazine. He was one of the founding members of the Western Association of Writers, formed in 1866. Dawson died April 23, 1921.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection contains the papers of Richard Lew Dawson, including: drafts of his larger poetry and essay collections; original handwritten stories, poems and music; editorials and newspaper columns written by Dawson; and advertisements and programs from his speaking engagements. Also included in the collection is a series of newspaper articles regarding the history of the modern calendar, together with Dawson's own homemade perpetual calendar. The correspondence includes letters from T.E. Dawson, Richard Lew Dawson's grandfather, to his parents during the Civil War. The bulk of the letters are to Dawson from correspondents such as J.W. Carr, Henry M. Buttes, Mary Rodifer Wilson, Barton Evermann, John D. Shelley and W. W. Grant. The Dawson family records include the grammar school attendance records for Lovinia Dawson; Methodist Episcopal Church quarterly tickets for Riley and Catherine Dawson, an obituary for T.E. Dawson and a handwritten copy of U.S. Grant's first field order during the Civil War.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1:

1.	Correspondence, 1857-1921
2.	Dawson family, 1859-1900
3.	Miscellaneous, 1864-1916
                1864, July 13 Beck Sullivan wedding card
   	1870, Nov. 2 Josie Condy wedding invitation
   	1882, June 10 Lily Thompson 7th grade graduation card
   	1895, July 23 Newspaper article, "Sabbath School Celebration"
 	 1913, Feb. 22 Joaquin Miller poem, "To Juanita"
   	1913, Feb. 22 Picture of Joaquin and Juanita Miller
   	1913, Feb. 22 Christmas card with Juanita Mill poem
   	1913, Feb. 22 Joaquin Miller poems
                1913, Oct. 7 Newspaper article on the principle churches of 
                 Indianapolis in 1858
   	1915, Apr. 15 Newspaper article with picture of Dr. Mary R. Wilson
   	n.d. Index to Literary California
   	n.d. Three torn envelopes with notes from Kitty Thompson Wirick
   	n.d. Business card for Richard Lew Dawson
  	 n.d. Small sketch of flowers
  	 n.d. Publication information for The Model Republic
  	 n.d.  Newspaper article about the aurora
   	n.d. Short biography of William Colby Cooper
4.	Advertisements and speaking engagements, 1872-1911
5.	Dawson editorials/newspaper column, 1882-1920
6.	Stories, poems and music, 1883-1918 (folder 1 of 2)
7.	Stories, poems and music, 1883-1918 (folder 2 of 2)
8.	Calendar, n.d. (Dawson perpetual calendar, newspaper clippings, etc.)
9.	Draft- "Fifth Ward School," n.d.
10.	Draft- "Florida Nights," n.d.
11.	Draft- "Growing Upward," n.d. (folder 1 of 2)
12.	Draft- "Growing Upward," n.d. (folder 2 of 2)
13.	Draft- "Old Hoosier Ways," n.d. (folder 1 of 3)
14.	Draft- "Old Hoosier Ways," n.d. (folder 2 of 3)
15.	Draft- "Old Hoosier Ways," n.d. (folder 3 of 3)
Box 2.
1.	Draft- "Red Roses and True," n.d.
2.	Draft- "Songs from Sea to Sea," n.d.
3.	Draft- "Speaking Pictures," n.d.
4.	Draft- "The Taming of McGoogle," n.d.
5.	Draft- "Under the Apple Tree," n.d.
6.	Draft, "Weeds and Johnny-jump-ups," n.d.
7.	Edgar Allen Poe, n.d. (newspaper clippings, Dawson essay, etc.)

Collection Information


Size of Collection:

2 mss boxes

Collection Dates:



Kitty Wirich, 1934, 1937, 1946



Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.

Alternate Formats:


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Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.