Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr. Collection

Finding aid created by
S. Albinhamad; M.Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr. Collection,
Creator: Dawson, Lawrence R., Jr.
Inclusive dates: 1911, 2007, and undated
Extent: 1.75 cubic foot (in 4 boxes)
Abstract:
The collection includes Dawson's research, writing and related correspondence, mostly about his research and manuscript drafts for materials on Henry Whiting, Hezekiah G. Wells, Della T. Lutes and minstrel / vaudeville performer Billy Clark.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160
Email: clarke@cmich.edu
Website: http://clarke.cmich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 54073, 3199, 74736

Access Restrictions:

Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr. Collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr. Collection, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement

Arrangement is alphabetical and chronological.


History

Biography:

Lawrence R. Dawson: Professor Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr., was a Professor of English at Central Michigan University. He retired in 1988, receiving the status of Professor Emeritus of English. He lived in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. In 2000 he resided in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Henry Whiting: Henry Whiting (died 1851) was born in Lancaster, Mass. in 1788. Whiting entered the U.S. Army in 1808, becoming a Second Lieutenant a year later, and a First Lieutenant in 1811. He worked as an aide to General J.P. Boyd and General Alexander Macomb, and in 1817 was promoted to Captain. Whiting was made brigadier-general of the U.S. Army on Feb. 23, 1847. He was a regent of the University of Michigan, and Secretary of the Michigan Historical Society, 1828-1833, and wrote on scientific and other subjects. Henry Whiting died in St. Louis, Mo. on Sept. 16, 1851.

Hezekiah G. Wells: Hezekiah G. Wells (died 1885) was a lawyer and politician associated with the growth of Kalamazoo and Michigan in the nineteenth century. Born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1812 or 1813, he came to Michigan in 1833. He was a lawyer, active in politics as a Whig and later as a Republican. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1835 and 1850. He helped draft a new state constitution in 1873. He was a Kalamazoo County Judge in 1847. He was influential president of the State Board of Agriculture. He was Presiding Judge of the 1874 and 1882 Courts of Commissioners of Alabama Claims.

Della T. Lutes: Della T. Lutes (1872-1942) was a popular Michigan author of several books and numerous magazine articles. (For further information, see the finding aid for her papers, which are housed at the Clarke Historical Library.)

Billy Clark: Billy Clark (died 1939) was a Grand Rapids, Michigan, resident and a minstrel performer of blackface comedy routines. He worked with Primrose and West and Hammer and Fields minstrel companies, and was a featured vaudeville performer on the Keith and Orpheum circuits. Mr. Clark was an unusual performer in that he wrote his own music, painted his owned scenery, and wrote his own comedy sketches. Following the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906, Clark, Al Jolson, and other comedians of the day were noted as having helped the citizens recover their morale. Clark died in 1939 at age 64 in Grand Rapids. He was survived by his sister, Mrs. Edgar B. Delano. (This information is from his obituary in the Grand Rapids Herald, December 2, 1939.)


Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes Dawson's research, writing and related correspondence, mostly about his research and manuscript drafts for materials on Henry Whiting, Hezekiah G. Wells, Della T. Lutes and minstrel / vaudeville performer Billy Clark. Boxes 1-3 are .5 cubic foot boxes and Box 4 is .25 cubic foot. The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically.

Box 1 includes: Dawson’s research, writing, and related correspondence, 1970-1999 and undated. Most of the collection consists of Dawson’s research, photographs, drafts of manuscripts, and correspondence about republishing Della T. Lutes’ Country Kitchen cookbook. The same types of materials exist from his efforts to publish an article about Billy Clark, a Michigan minstrel. There is also a typed, 45-page paper with a variety of U. S. Centennial poetry from Michigan newspapers, compiled by Dawson. The Clarke Historical Library also houses the Lutes papers and three scrapbooks about Clark and minstrel shows.

Boxes 2-4 include: Dawson’s research, writing, and related correspondence, 1911-2007 and undated, on Della T. Lutes, Henry Whiting, Hezekiah G. Wells, and English poet Felicia Hemans (1793-1835). Also included are research materials on Michigan history, especially Michigan territorial verse, roads and taverns; the Mount Pleasant public library; Henry Rowe Schoolcraft; Mount Pleasant Woman’s Club; including the Mount Pleasant Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation and the Battle of Lake Erie.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Dawson, Lawrence R., Jr.
    • Lutes, Della T. (Della Thompson), b. 1872
    • Clark, William D., 1846-1909.
    • Whiting, Henry, 1788-1851.
    • Wells, Hezekiah G., d. 1855.
    • Hemans, Felicia Dorothea Browne, 1793-1835.
    • Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864.
    • Central Michigan University--Faculty.
    • Veterans Memorial Library (Mount Pleasant, Mich.)
    • Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan
    • Lake Erie, Battle of, 1813.
    • Poetry--Michigan.
    • Minstrel shows--United States.
    • Minstrel shows--History.
    • Michigan Authors.
    • United States--Centennial celebrations, etc.
    • Mount Pleasant (Mich.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Lawrence R. Dawson, Jr. Collection are open for research.. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    “Bicentennial Look at the Centennial: Michigan Commemorative Verse, July 4, 1876”, 1977
    Box   1 F   2
    Lutes, Della T., Correspondence and Manuscript Drafts, 1985-1989
    Box   1 F   3
    Lutes, Della T., Correspondence and Manuscript Drafts, 1990-1991
    Box   1 F   4
    Lutes, Della T., Correspondence and Manuscript Drafts, 1992-1999
    Box   1 F   5
    Lutes, Della T., Research and Photographs, circa 1980s
    Box   1 F   6
    Minstrelsy Correspondence and Manuscript Drafts (Some About Billy Clark), 1981-1989, 1996
    Box   1 F   7
    Minstrelsy Photographs (Copies) of Billy Clark, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Minstrelsy Research (Mostly Copies) on Billy Clark, circa 1970s-1980s
    Box   1 F   9
    Minstrelsy Research, General, 1980s
    Box   2 F   1
    The Battle of Lake Erie, 1982
    Box   2 F   2
    Correspondence Regarding Della T. Lutes, 1961-1998
    Box   2 F   3
    Correspondence Regarding Henry Whiting, 1982-1986
    Box   2 F   4
    Correspondence Regarding Hezekiah G. Wells, 1974-2007
    Box   2 F   5
    Correspondence to/from Della T. Lutes, 1911-1942
    Box   2 F   6
    Correspondence to/from Henry Whiting, 1812-1846, copies, 1984
    Box   2 F   7
    Correspondence to/from Hezekiah G. Wells, 1827-1884, copies,  [1980s?]
    Box   2 F   8
    Della T. Lutes Bibliography, Photographs, 1982-2000
    Box   2 F   9
    Della T. Lutes School, 1961-1962
    Box   2 F   10
    Felicia Hemans, 1993
    Box   3 F   1
    Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, 1993
    Box   3 F   2
    Henry Whiting Bibliography, 1983-1993
    Box   3 F   3
    Henry Whiting Writing, 1 of 2, 1980s
    Box   3 F   4
    Henry Whiting Writing, 2 of 2, 1980s
    Box   3 F   5
    Hezekiah G. Wells Bibliography, 1979-2007
    Box   3 F   6
    [Saginaw Chippewa] Indian Reservation, 2000-2001
    Box   3 F   7
    Michigan Territorial Roads and Taverns, Draft Articles, 1970-1999
    Box   3 F   8
    Michigan Territorial Verse Materials, 1983-1993
    Box   4 F   1
    (.25 cubic ft. box):Mount Pleasant, MI Public Library, 1981
    Box   4 F   2
    (.25 cubic ft. box):Mount Pleasant, MI Woman’s Club, 1981
    Box   4 F   3
    (.25 cubic ft. box):Writing, The Bards of Territorial Michigan, 1992
    Box   4 F   4
    (.25 cubic ft. box):Writing, A Word for What Was Eaten, undated
    Box   4 F   5
    (.25 cubic ft. box):Writing, Territorial Poems North-western Journal, undated