The William Keeney Bixby Papers
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

Scope and Contents Note

Personal papers and miscellaneous autographs, 1678-1931.

The Bixby Collection includes a variety of materials, ranging from Bixby's personal correspondence relating to his collecting interests, through his connection with Washington University and the St. Louis Burns Club, and including many items from his manuscript collection.

The correspondence in each series is arranged chronologically. Items in other subseries are arranged alphabetically. The correspondence in Series I relates primarily to Bixby's collecting interests, publication of items in his manuscript collection, and his work on the Capitol Decoration Committee of Missouri, 1921-1927, 681 items. Series II contains items relating to gifts made by Bixby to Washington University, 1913-1927, 66 items. Series III contains items relating to the Burns Club of St. Louis but is in no way a complete archive of the Club's activities or of Bixby's relation to it, 80 items. Series IV contains autograph letters and related documents of notable individuals, primarily of significance in American and English literature and history, 891 items. Series V concerns Eugene Field and includes correspondence, numerous original manuscripts, editorial materials, printed items, and miscellaneous personal items, 281 items. A list of the correspondents included in each series preceeds the section of the register devoted to that series. Included at the end of the register is a list of 15 items relating to John Paul Jones tipped in U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing. John Paul Jones commemoration at Annapolis... (Washington, 1907).

1999 items

19 boxes


Individuals represented in Bixby's personal correspondence include Lawrence F. Abbott, Elmer Bragg Adams, Henry Augustus Brudenall-Bruce, 5th Marquess of Ailesbury, J.R. Aitken, Edwin Anderson Alderman, Charles Dexter Allen, Abram Piatt Andrew, William Loring Andrews, John Dustin Archbold, W.E. Baillie, Baillie's Institution, Erwin S. Barrie, Bernard Quaritch, Firm, John Bianchi, John Shaw Billings, Hiram Bingham, Edwin Howland Blashfield, Henry Stiles Bradley, Ira Hutchinson Brainerd, Clarence Saunders Brigham, William Brown, Adolphus Busch, J.L. Buskett, Wm. C. Buskett, Wm. N.C. Carlton, Andrew Carnegie, Stephen Grover Cleveland, Harris D. Colt, Sidney Colvin, Thomas Augustine Daly, Charles A. Decker, Alice P. DeHasse, Thomas W. Dewing, Franklin Dickey, Wm. K. Dickson, George Francis Dow, H. Rieman Duval, R. Henry W. Dwight, Edmund Henry Eitel, Ezsex Institute, Julia Sutherland Field, Roswell Martin Field, Joseph Wingate Folk, Worthington Chauncey Ford, Harry Buxton Forman, David Rowland Francis, Daniel Chester French, Mrs. Edwin D. French (Mary), Edwin David French, John P. Frieden, Robert Singleton Garnett, Frederick T. Gates, George Jay Gould, Thomas Watt Gregory, Henry Guppy, Frank Wakeley Gunsaulus, Henry Howard Harper, Henri Harpignies, Albert B. Hart, Burton Jesse Hendrick, Henry Sotheran, Firm, Louis Hertle, Walter M. Hill, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Herbert Hoover, David Franklin Houston, Joseph J. Houwink, Elbert Hubbard, Henry E. Huntington, Charles L. Hutchinson, Abraham Jacobi, Francis J.H. Jenkinson, Clare Jerrold, Walter Copeland Jerrold, Geo. S. Johns, Robert Underwood Johnson, Francis W. Kelsey, Charles Welbourne Knapp, M. Knoedler, Firm, Theodore W. Koch, Arthur A. Kocian, Frederick H. Kreismann, John LaFarge, Gardiner Martin Lane, Wm. C. Lane, Henry W. Lanier, Richard H. Lawrence, John Davison Lawson, James Wideman Lee, Frederick Wm. Lehmann, Paul Lemperly, Robert Todd Lincoln, Clarence C. Little, Charles Dealtry Locock, Henry Cabot Lodge, Amy Lowell, John Livingston Lowes, Edward Verrall Lucas, Wm. Gibbs McAdoo, V.F. McCalchy, Wallace MacMullen, Falconer Madan, Edwin Markham, Edward Percival Merritt, Sir Humphrey Summer Milford, Richard E. Miller, Edwin Knox Mitchell, Silas Weir Mitchell, Wm. Samuel Morse, Sir John Murray, John Murison, Charles Nagel, Alfred Edward Newton, Charles Dyer Norton, Sir Wm. Osler, Cora Herndon Painter, Sir Horatio Gilbert Parker, George F. Peabody, John Pickard, Henry Smith Pritchett, Herbert Putnam, Howard Pyle, Wm. A. Read, James A. Reed, Wm. Marion Reedy, Elisabeth Mills Reid, Whitelaw Reid, Geo. H. Richmond, Ernest Cushing Richardson, James Whitcomb Riley, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root, Wm. Michael Rossetti, Henry Sherburne Rowe, Wm. H. Sampson, F. B. Sanborn, Walter Henry Sanborn, Charles M. Schwab, John C. Schwab, Sir John Shelley, Samuel Luckett Sherer, John Franklin Shields, Wm. Green Shillaber, Clement King Shorter, Francis H. Smith, Wm. R. Smith, Edwin Wm. Stephens, B.F. Stevens, Firm, Walter B. Stevens, Melville Elijah Stone, James Sullivan, Baroness Bertha von Suttner, Egerton Swarthout, Florence G. Sylvester, Frederick Oakes Sylvester, Wm. H. Taft, Wm. Watts Taylor, Slason Thompson, Kate Nichols Trask, Dwight Wm. Tryon, Emory S. Turner, Gabriel Weis, Wm. Henry Welch, Wellesley College, Harry Elkins Widener, Francis Wilson, Mary H. Wilson, George Parker Winship, John P. Woodbury, Sir Charles Theodore Wright, Lucien Wulsin.


The letters concern gifts which Bixby made over the years to Washington University. Items often include lists of books and manuscripts. Correspondents include Bixby, Frederic A. Hall, Winthrop H. Chenery, and James A. McMillen. One letter apparently from McMillen to Edward Caldwell of McGraw-Hill Publishing Company includes a list of Eugene Field materials presented by Bixby to Washington U.


The letters relate to activities of the Club. They are often responses to invitations which had been sent to Burnsians outside St. Louis. Correspondents include Henry H. Harper, J.D. Price, George Williamson, Thomas Sutherland, Roy Sherman, D. McNaught, Mathew Smith, W. Hakes, W. MacNeile Dixon, William Marion Reedy, J.C. Ewing, K. O'Malley, and Eugene H. Angert. Most are addressed to William K. Bixby.


Individuals represented in the Field correspondence include Edward W. Bok, Wm. C. Buskett, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Eugene Field, Roswell M. Field, Edmund C. Garrett, Marcus Lemon Gray, Frnak W. Gunsaulus, Edward Everett Hale, Marcus A. Hanna, Henry H. Harper, George E. Hoskinson, Thomas Joseph Hutchinson, Victor F. Lawson, Helena Mokjeska, Edgar Wilson Nye, Opie Percival Read, James Whitcomb Riley, Charles S. Shepherd, Slason, Thompson, and Francis Wilson.


Included are printed versions of Field's poems, stories, and translations.


Program for 1906 program at the Naval Academy.

List of tipped in letters and manuscripts. (All items numbered consecutively in upper right hand corner)
  1. 1) Commodore George Henry Preble (Navy Yard, Boston) to Henry B. Dawson 1873: Sept. 29. Complains at not receiving an issue of the `Historical' and explains the progress of his various writings. Includes photograph of the original flag of the Bonhomme-Richard. ALS, 3 pp.
  2. 2) Envelope, n.d. Captain John Barry to Thomas Wharton, Jr. (President of the Council of Safety), Philadelphia. Signed by John Paul Jones. (Possibly the envelope is a Jones letter to Barry)
  3. 3) Commodore Stephen Decatur to Commodor Richard Dale, Philadelphia. Washington May 1, [ ] explaining why his son has not yet been promoted. ALS, 4 pp.
  4. 4) Robert Morris (Signer of the Declaration of Independence) to John Nicholson. 1799: June 25 (Marked No. 3) regarding some business matters. ALS, 1 p.
  5. 5) Regulation of subsistence to be paid to every officer and soldier on the foregoing establishment. n.d. Incomplete. Statement and schedule of fees. Signed on each page by George III, King of England. 2 pp. A.D.
  6. 6) Document approving a U.S. cargo ship. In English and Dutch. 1833: Aug. 12 Signed by various officials including Andrew Jackson (Pres.) Partially printed. 1 p.
  7. 7) Commodore Isaac Hull to Robert Smith (Secretary of the Navy) Norfolk, 1807: Dec. 23 soliciting a navy agent appointment for his father. ALS, 2 pp.
  8. 8) Pay order, State of Pennsylvania, 1785: Apr. 8 for assembly attendance to Adam Orth. Signed by John Bayard, Speaker, Adam Orth and John Nicholson. Partly printed. 1 p.
  9. 9) Ambassadore Horace Porter, Secretary to President U.S. Grant to Moses H. Grinnell, Collector of Customs, 1869: Apr. 30, New York, introducing Edward Fitzgerald. Executive Mansion letterhead, with envelope.
  10. 10) Admiral D.D. Porter, Navy Department to John J. Almy, U.S.N., 1869: May 11 thanking him for his contribution to The Naval Monument Fund. LS, 1 p.
  11. 11) Peter Pontury Barton to Admiral Lord Shudham, Stoke, Blenheim, 1778: June 12 begging to be released from naval service. Relates how his ship was taken by the American Congress in 1778 at Charlestown, South Carolina. ALS, 2 pp.
  12. 12) Petition to the Judges of the Circuit Court of [Washington, D.C.] 1825: June 8 settling seizure of property of Franklin Wharton for debts by Ladd and John Wheelwright. Statement concerning by Francis Scott Key. Signed by parties in question and Francis Scott Key and lawyers. AD, 2 pp.
  13. 13) G.[ ] Dade, Chief Engineer, U.S. N. to Captain [Edward] Preble. 1872: Feb. 29 enclosing an affadavit for unidentified purpose. (Affadavit not included) ALS, 1 p.
  14. 14) Jonathon Gumby, Collection Officer, Snow Hill, to O.H. Williams, Collector of Baltimore. [1792] Aug. 30 concerning shipping regulations. ALS, 2 pp.
  15. 15) Pay order, State of Pennsylvania, 1783: Sept. 5 for assembly attendance to John Steinmetz. Singed by John Steinmetz, Jr., receiving on behalf of his father, Frederick Muhlenberg, Speaker, and John Nicholson. Partially printed D 2 pp.