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American Notables Collection: 19th and 20th Century U.S. Writers

Identifier: American Notables Collection-19th and 20th Century U.S. Writers

Scope and Contents

This collection primarily consists of correspondence with some miscellaneous papers and documents of prominent writers, theatrical, and public figures. The earliest correspondence includes a cover letter by Elihu Burritt, a journalist and writer, submitted to the New York Ledger in 1862 related to an article written by him on time spent with Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). It also includes a play written by John Baldwin Buckstone (1802-1879) in 1851 titled “Good for Nothing: a comedy in one act.” Other prominent correspondence are addressed to and from WIlliam Gillette; an American stage actor, involving visits to his newly constructed castle in the early 1930s, as well as the American poet, Nikki Giovanni, primarily relating to a teleconference with Norman Mailer in 1973 for a poetry class at the University of Florida. The collection also includes letters from John Ernst Steinbeck to his publisher in 1933.

This collection contains the works of other 19th century writers such as Horace Greeley, Edwin Wilson Morse, and several letters by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The correspondence by Greeley relates to his perspective on the Civil War in the United States, while the correspondence by Morse are sent to James Arthur Tufts relating to personal matters. The letter by Hawthorne dates from 1860 and deals with articles sent to Hawthorne from Calvin Stowe.

Some of the folders contain accompanying biographical files of writers.


  • Creation: 1831 - 1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided to researchers, in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

This composite collection consists of materials from the following prominent writers, actors, and public U.S. figures from the 19th and early 20th centuries: William R. Denham, John Dos Passos, William H. Gillette, Nikki Giovanni, Horace Greeley, Ferde Grofé, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Washington Irving, Edwin Wilson Morse, Eugene O'Neill, James Whitcomb Riley, Aurelia Gay Mace, Winfield Townley Scott, and John Steinbeck.


.75 Cubic Feet (2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged alphabetically by author.

Guide to the American Notables Collection: 19th and 20th Century U.S. Writers
In Progress
Michelle C. Sigiel, with previous work by Tonya S. Anderson, Michael J. Breen, Nikki Giovanni, and David R. Rebman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Watkinson Library - Archival Collections Repository

Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford Connecticut 06106