Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Ellison Correspondence consists of correspondence of Robert Spurrier Ellison, 1875-1945, relating to his collection of Western Americana. It is mainly letters of William H. Murray, book scout, to Mr. Ellison relating to the Joseph Lane and Joel Palmer mss. Some of the Lane material mentioned by Murray is not included in the Lane collection as it was turned over to the Indiana University Library.

Also included in the collection is a letter of August 15, 1927, from Andrew Jenson to Robert Spurrier Ellison and one of December 15, 1927, from A. William Lund, Mormon historians, commenting on the Mormon handcart emigrants and the unfavorable attitude toward the Mormons of authors Harry Leon Wilson in his Lions of the Lord and William Fraser Rae in his Westward by Rail. A letter, April 29, 1929, from Wilson to Ellison defends his book. Two letters from Charles Wesley Smith to Peter Decker and a letter from Peter Decker to Robert Spurrier Ellison deal with Stuart's Washington Territory.

Six letters from General William Carey Brown, 1934-1937, dealing with the Battle of Little Big Horn, 7th regiment U. S. cavalry with a list of men in companies A-F, and personal matters; a letter from Mrs. Elizabeth (Bacon) Custer about autographing a Custer booklet, Feb. 19, 1927, and letters from Frank Phillips, Oct. 30, 1940, and Leon C. Phillips, Oct. 31, 1940, to Clarence Isaiah Pontius dealing with a farewell party on the retirement of Ellison as president of Stanolind Crude Oil & Pipe Line Company and as local president of the Boy Scouts of America.

Correspondents include Horace Marden Albright, William Alonzo Allen, Paul McClelland Angle, Clarence Booth Bagley, Lucy Ball, Frances (Birkhead) Beard, Herbert Cody Blake, William Cody Bradford, Morris Henry Briggs, Earl Alonzo Brininstool, William Carey Brown, Robert Bruce, Miles Cannon, Horace Bailey Carroll, George Mosely Chandler, Orrin Sylvester Clark, Courtney Ryley Cooper, Robert Ernest Cowan, Elizabeth (Bacon) Custer, Glen Dawson, Charles P. Deatherage, Peter Decker, Frederic M. De Witt, Fred Dustin, Charles Francis Eberstadt, Robert Spurrier Ellison, Edwin P. Essick, Anna Maria (Vincent) Green, Frank J. Green, Daniel Wallace Greenburg, James Bradshaw Griffith, William J. Hamilton, Grace Raymond Hebard, William Francis Hooker, John Gilson Howell, Charles Kelly, Andrew Jenson, John Alexander Kress, John Thomas Lee, Alexander Leggat, Clarence Guy Littell, Francis Marion Lockard, Fred Lockley, James Fairfax Loughborough, A. William Lund, Douglas Crawford McMurtrie, Andrew J. McNemee, Joseph G. Masters, William H. Murray, Chase Salmon Osborn, Alson Bowles Ostrander, Frank Phillips, Leon C. Phillips, C. F. Robertson, John Elijah Rosser, Joseph Schafer, Charles Angelo Siringo, Charles Wesley Smith, George W. Soliday, Elsa Spear, Frank V. Stearns, Louise Stegner, Isabel Allis (Brown) Stuart, Zena Irma Trinka, George Burwell Utley, Herman Lansing Vail, Stallo Vinton, and Harry Leon Wilson.

Photographs added to the collection include two of Buffalo Bill Cody. A folder of printed brochures and leaflets and a folder of newspaper clippings, 1904-1944, complete the collection.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1946, 1947, 1967, 1991

Related Manuscripts: Ellison mss., Ellison mss. II

Collection size: 444 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.