Source:Lyman C. Draper Manuscript Collection

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Inline Citation

Source:Draper Manuscript Collection
Source:Draper MSC

Description of the Draper MSC

From:Source:Thwaites, 1906

The Lyman C. Draper manuscript collection consists of 469 folio volumes. The geographical field covered is from the Hudson River to the Mississippi, from Charleston to Louisville, and the period from the year 1735 until the close of the War of 1812-15; with some material bearing upon the trans- Mississippi region, such as certain papers of William Clark and the journal of Sergt. Charles Floyd'(Lewis and Clark expedition). The classification is chiefly under the names of important border heroes or pioneers, for Draper collected with a view of using the material for a series of biographies: George M. Bedinger, Daniel Boone, Samuel Brady, Joseph Brant, Daniel Brodhead. George Rogers Clark, Jonathan Clark, William Clark, George and William Croghan. Josiah Harmar, William Henry Harrison, William Irvine, Simon Kenton, Robert Patterson. James Potter, William Preston. David Shepherd. Thomas Sumter, John Cleves Symmes. Tecumseh, and Louis Wetzel. There are six volumes of data relative to the Mecklenburg declaration of independence; others contain early manuscripts relative to Alabama. Georgia. Illinois, Kentucky, New York. Ohio. Pennsylvania, South Carolina. Tennessee. Virginia, and King's Mountain ; numerous volumes are devoted to Draper's interviews with pioneers or their descendants in many parts of the border states and the Middle West. It should be explained that but a small part of the Draper Manuscripts are contemporary documents; much the larger portion consists of Draper's interviews and correspondence while seeking information, all of which is freely interspersed with his critical comments and notes. His laborious methods of investigation furnish an interesting and instructive study to historical specialists.

Usage Tips

Finding Aid

Locating something within the Draper MSC requires the use of a finding aid. The collection utilizes a complex numbering system designed to aid in both the organization of the collection, and in locating materials within the collection. The original finding aid is provided in Source:Thwaites, 1906, and is available online (see source card for a link to Thwaites, 1906). However, that work refers to a more extensive finding aid then in preparation. This has presumably been completed, so a more detailed discussion of the Draper MSC is probably available.

Cautions

The Draper MSC is an invaluable resource for genealogists interested in the "trans-Allegheny" area which was the focus of Draper's attention. In addition to primary source documentation (original sources, in BCG terminology) which Draper collected (e.g., militia rosters and similar material contemporary with the events with which Draper was interested), he also carried out an extensive correspondence with eyewitnesses or descendants. The latter items are of much interest, but when dealing with descendant reminiscences it should be remembered that what they have to say is what they "believed" to be true, based on interpretation of stories that had come down to them. In some cases what they believed to be true is different from what contemporary sources indicate. On occasion Draper provides marginalia in the originals when he thinks a mis-statement has been made.

Physical Repositories

  1. Source:The Draper Manuscripts at the Wisconsin Historical Society Draper Manuscripts at Wisconsin Hist Soc. housed at the University of Wisconsin

Separate articles pointing toward various locations where copies (microfilm) of the Draper MSC are housed. These articles were created by an agent as place holders, and currently provided no useful content beyond the fact that the repositories house microfilm copies of the Draper MSC. These are identified below. The items listed here probably do not represent a comprehensive listing of repositories for the Draper MSC.

  1. Source:Draper Manuscript Collection Draper Manuscripts at Ohio Univ Libraries
  2. Source:Draper Manuscripts Draper Manuscripts at Truman State Univ
  3. Source:Research Collections in Microform: Draper Manuscript Collection - Bowling Green State University Draper Manuscripts at Bowling Green State Univ

Electronic Repositories

Roots Web holds a small (very) collection of Draper Manuscripts. Go here for an index to this collection.

Publications

A number of works have been published drawing extensively on the documents in the Draper MSC.


  1. Source:Thwaites, 1902 Thwaites presentation of Draper's unpublished and incomplete biography of Daniel Boone.
  2. Source:Thwaites and Kellogg, 1905 Items in the Draper MSC related to Dunmore's War
  3. Source:Thwaites, 1906 Finding aid for the Darper MSC

Lyman C. Draper

See Source:Turner, 1914 for a memorial biography of Lyman Copeland Draper.

FHL film numbers

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