Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Esarey mss. III, 1889-1918, consist largely of typed and handwritten drafts by Indiana University Professor of History Logan Esarey, 1873-1942, relating to an incomplete biography of Joseph Ewing McDonald, 1819-1891, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and active member of the Democratic Party in Indiana. The drafts appear to have been built around transcriptions of speeches taken from printed sources and from clippings in McDonald's own scrapbooks, with limited background context added. Four letters to and one from Esarey document his attempt to locate all of McDonald's speeches and papers in 1917-1918. Two letters from McDonald to William Allen Woods and one from McDonald to "Mr. Editor," all written in 1889, concern a case of alleged voter fraud and disagreement between McDonald and Woods over the appropriate judicial charge to the jury.

Logan Esarey, a native of rural Indiana, had completed his bachelor's and master's degrees and begun his doctoral work at Indiana University when he was appointed Research Fellow in the Department of History in September 1911. With that appointment he became the driving force in the newly formed Indiana Historical Survey, which was to gather as many as possible of the resources for writing Indiana history to support the 1916 centennial of statehood. One of the projects, never completed, was the biography of Joseph E. McDonald to which these papers relate.

The collection is arranged in the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Miscellaneous.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Transfer. 2002

Related manuscripts: Esarey mss., Esarey mss. II

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.