Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Browne mss., 1878-1949, are the papers of Lewis Browne, 1897-1949, author, radio commentator, lecturer, and world traveler.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Diaries; III. Writings; IV. Articles; V. Illustrations; VI. Miscellaneous; and, VII. Printed matter. An inventory is available.

The correspondence is with novelists, poets, dramatists, journalists, educators, scientists, politicians, diplomats, physicians, army officers, artists, actors, lawyers, businessmen, and clergymen. Among the subjects covered are the American Socialist Party allied occupation of Austria, California election of 1934, communism, emigration and immigration, Hebrew Union College, Industrial Workers of the World, migration and persecution of Jews, Jews in Cincinnati, Jews in Mexico, pacifism, and World War II. There is extensive correspondence between Browne and his parents from 1914 to 1948 as well as with his sister, Rebecca (Browne) Tarlow from 1929 to 1946. A few letters were written by Myna Eisner (Lissner) Browne to Browne's parents during 1933. Browne also provides a provocative commentary about the life he led and the education he received at the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio, during the early twentieth century as well as his impressions of the renown leader of American reform Judaism, Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise.

Signatures had been removed from a card by George Bernard Shaw dated March 21, 1918; and from letters by Joseph Conrad, March 27, 1918; by Israel Zangwill, April 3, 1918; by John Galsworthy, May 16, 1918; by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, June 1918; and by Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, December 13, 1918. Signatures of these men had been removed from other documents and clipped to the above-mentioned card and letters. These signatures have now been permanently attached to the card and the letters listed above.

Correspondents represented in the collection include Louis John Alber, David Harold Appel, Emanie Nahm Arling, Angelica Balabanoff, Roger Nash Baldwin, Robert Barbour, Harry Elmer Barnes, Samuel Nathaniel Behrman, Albert Maurice Bender, Arnold Bennett, Henry Joseph Berkowitz, Harold Berman, Edward L. Bernays, Charles McTyeire Bishop, Ernest Block, Sumner Newton Blossom, Myron S. Blumenthal, Katherine (Evans) Boyle, Kay Boyle, Fred Gladstone Bratton, George Platt Brett, 1858-1936, George Platt Brett, 1893-1984, Heywood Campbell Broun, George Stewart, Myna Eisner (Lissner) Browne, Meyer N. Bruskovsky, Gustav Bucky, Ralph Fletcher Burnight, Jonathan Cape, Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, Shirley Jackson Case, Bennett Alfred Cerf, Charles Spencer Chaplin, Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb, Lester Cohen, Morris Raphael Cohen, Alan Copeland Collins, Saxe Commins, Joseph Conrad, David Livingston Crawford, George Creel, Abraham Cronbach, Clarence Seward Darrow, Eugene Victor Debs, Floyd Dell, James Clarkson Derieux, Gottard Deutsch, Hermine G. (Bacher) Deutsch, Lloyd Cassel Douglas, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Theodore Dreiser, William James Durant, Max Eastman, Havelock Ellis, Henry Englander, Charles Prospero Fagnani, Robert P. Fairbanks, James Thomas Farrell, William B. Feakins, Louis Nicholas Feipel, Lion Feuchtwanger, Arthur Davison Ficke, William John Fielding, Parker Fillmore, Maurice Fishberg, Charles Henry Fisher, Jacob Fishman, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Solomon Foster, Bruno Frank, Walter Frank, Charles Benjamin Franklin, Gaston Gallimard, John Galsworthy, Lawrence Gilman, Albert Goldman, Sidney Emanuel Goldstein, Victor Gollancz, Philip Goodman, Jan Gordon, Stephen Graham, Stanton Griffis, Louis Grossmann, Harold Kleinert Guinzburg, Granville Stanley Hall, Alfred Harcourt, Maurice Henry Harris, Arthur Garfield Hays, Gerald Heard, James Henle, Magnus Hermansson, John Woodbridge Herring, Max John Herzberg, James Hilton, Curtice Nelson Hitchcock, John Haynes Holmes, Guy Livingston Howe, Benjamin W. Huebsch, Rupert Hughes, Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Ferdinand Myron Isserman, Frederick John Foakes Jackson, Mary Jenness, Prescott Ford Jernegan, Charles Johnston Kennedy, John Goodwin Kidd, Julius M. Klein, Blanche (Wolf) Knopf, Rose Kohler, Louis Kronenberger, Philip Fox La Follette, Isaac Landman, Harold Strong Latham, Algernon Lee, William Colston Leigh, John Jacob Lentz, Brother Zachary Leo, Kenneth Leslie, Meyer Levin, Grace Livingstone (Hegger) Lewis, Leon Lawrence Lewis, Sinclair Lewis, Yu-t'ang Lin, George Arthur Lincoln, Ephraim Lipson, Robert Littell, Horace Brisbin Liveright, Thayne Miller Livesay, Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, Stephen Longstreet, Ludwig Lore, Joseph Patrick McEvoy, George Macy, John Williams Macy, Thomas Mann, Jacob Rader Marcus, Don Marquis, Harry Edward Maule, Milton Sanford Mayer, Henry Louis Mencken, Robert Andrews Millikan, Michael Monahan, George Foot Moore, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Julian Morgenstern, William Morris, Janet McMillen (Bingham) Nathan, Robert Nathan, Charles Nemser, David K. Niles, Adolph Sigmund Oko, Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, Walter O'Rourke, Patrick Brett O'Sullivan, Constantine Aleksandrovich Oumanskii, Harold Reginald Peat, Claude Denson Pepper, William J. Perlman, Chesley Reynolds Perry, Wilhelm Mauritz Pettersen, Alfonso Washington Pezet, Seraphine (Eppstein) Pisko, Robert Russell Potter, Arthur James Putnam, Harold F. Reinhart, Joseph Banks Rhine, Craig Rice, Elmer L. Rice, John Merle Rife, Woodbridge Riley, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Gladys Lloyd (Cassell) Robinson, Marcel F. Rodd, Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Cecil Roth, Bertrand Russell, 3rd earl Russell, Harry Saltpeter, Margaret (Higgins) Sanger, Aaron Sapiro, Harry S. Schneiderman, Ruth Seid, Salomón de la Selva, George Bernard Shaw, Ida Marcia (Camelhor) Silverman, Mary Craig (Kimbrough) Sinclair, Upton Beall Sinclair, Isidore Singer, Esther (Elder) Smith, Paul Jordan Smith, Preserved Smith, Herbert Solow, Robert Gordon Sproul, Samuel R. Stern, George Stewart, Oscar Solomon Straus, Hudson Strode, John Ward Studebaker, Louis Matthews Sweet, Anson Stiles Thacher, James Westfall Thompson, Ernst Toller, Ernest Robert Trattner, Lev Trotskii, Jim Tully, John Roberts Tunis, Louis Untermeyer, Irita (Brooks) Van Doren, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, De Witt Wallace, Cynthia S. Walsh, Gordon S. Watkins, Percy Waxman, Elsa Weihl, Gertrude S. Weiner, Herbert George Wells, William Allen White, Thyra (Samter) Winslow, Ella Winter, Jonah Bondi Wise, Stephen Samuel Wise, Clement Wood, William Hoyt Worrell, James Maxon Yard, Arthur Henry Young, Edith (Ayrton) Zangwill, Israel Zangwill, Louis Zara, Benjamin David Zevin.

The diaries, 1910-1946, vary both in size and content. A diary kept in 1914 contains excellent character descriptions of his parents, brothers, and sisters. Another diary, 1921, kept while he was at Waterbury, Connecticut, is of interest because of the comments about people and on conservative versus reform Judaism. Browne's European travel journal from May 22 to November 8, 1926, contains an excellent account of Jews in the countries he visited and the influence of Catholicism on French Jews in regard to services and dress. He remarks that there is no trace of discrimination against Jews in France. In the diary of a trip to Hawaii and Japan in 1932-1933 the comments about a concert by Hawaiian women beneath the palms, their singing, their dancing, and their wearing apparel as well as Japanese customs are amusing. The observations of the people, cities, and buildings on the trip to Russia and the Mediterranean in 1935 are entertaining. Seven pages of notes describing a lecture tour Browne made with Sinclair Lewis in November 1941 are significant because of an interesting character portrayal of Lewis made by Browne. Undated notes on the temples and priests in the Far East are interesting.

Writings include All Things Are Possible; Blessed Spinoza; The Gilded Ghetto; Godly Mischief, and essay in the liberal ministry (preface by Sinclair Lewis); The Graphic Bible; How Odd of God; Oh say Can You See; The Road to Nowadays; See What I Mean; Since Calvary; Something Went Wrong; Stranger than fiction; That Man Heine; This believing world; Wild Tongues; and Wisdom of Israel. A detailed description of each of the writings is available in the Library.

Among the short articles are: And David Saw, Around the World, Around the World With a Portable, Autobiography, Beware of the Brawn-Trusters!, By Jingo, The Case of Miss Hope O'Keefe, Chapters from the Life of Elijah Elman, Charles Garland's Experiment, A Conversation, Cross Winds, The Devotee Of Democracy, Even in Tahiti, Excerpts from a Rabbi's Diary, Experiences in Russia, Hot Shots from Rowanis, If Jesus Were Here Today, It's a Small World After All, The Jew, A Jew Goes to Russia, Jonah, The Making of a Radical Rabbi, The Mother of "Boh-Boh" Mike, Must We Wipe Out the Germans?, Old Sarah, On American Judaism, On the Contrary, The Plight of the Liberal Synagogue, A Primer for Moderns, The Rabbi, Rotary of the Booster's Club, Soldiers Can Forget to Cough, Teitelbaums of Tahiti, Those Hot-Aryans, The Tresca Case, Twelve Great Jews Of Tomorrow, The Undying Book, What Can the Jews Do About It?, What is the Heritage of the Jews?, What's Wrong with the Jew?, Why Are Jews Like That?, You Think Jews Are Clever.

Illustrations consist of pencil sketches and pen and ink drawings by Lewis Browne and his wife Myna Eisner (Lissner) Browne for Browne's writings.

Miscellaneous material deals with the twentieth century revolutionary figure, Lev Trotskii including notes by Lewis Browne about Trotskii and typescripts of an article about Natalia Ivanova (Sedova) Trotskii (Mrs. Lev Trotskii). There are two articles by Ludwig Lore, an American-Socialist-editor, about Trotskii's visit to the U.S. in March 1917. Of interest is also a leaf with possibly authentic signatures of Lev Trotskii and Alexandra Kollontai alongside a hen drawing. There are also a few short articles by lesser known writers. Also included: a small notebook entitled "Fiction Notes--Tour Notes" which contains an outline for a novel, radio broadcasts, speeches, teaching material, school notes, book reviews by Browne, and reviews of his books.

Newspaper clippings, other printed material about Browne or his writings, etc. and galley proofs with corrections for All Things are Possible, Blessed Spinoza, How Odd of God, Oh Say Can You See, See what I Mean, Something Went Wrong, Stranger than Fiction, That Man Heine, The Wisdom of Israel, The World's Great Scriptures complete the collection.

Purchase. 1969

Collection size: 4,786 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.