Francis Fowler McKinney papers: 1941-1972
Summary Information
Title: Francis Fowler McKinney papers
Creator: McKinney, Francis Fowler, 1891-1972
Inclusive dates: 1941-1972
Extent: 4 linear feet
Historian and biographer from McMillan, Michigan. Correspondence, notes, and manuscripts concerning the research, writing and publication of "Education in Violence," a biography of Civil War general George H. Thomas; also research materials on other Civil War topics, travel narratives, and miscellanea.
Call number: 851766 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Francis F. McKinney (donor no. 3129)

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is not held by the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Francis Fowler McKinney papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Francis McKinney was born February 25, 1891 in Washington D.C. He attended the University of Michigan (1911-1913) where he was managing editor of the Michigan Daily; he then graduated from the U-M Law School in 1916. During World War I, he served as an ensign aboard the USS Carolina, 1917-1919. After the war, he was employed in a variety of professions, as a surveyor, in advertising, as a journalist and writer, and in the automobile industry. In 1949, he retired, moving to Sagitaw Farm in Lakefield township, Luce county in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

In his retirement, McKinney devoted himself to historical research and to the writing of historical monographs, particularly on the Civil War period. His biography of Civil War general George A. Thomas was published by Wayne State University Press in 1961. Some of his shorter articles were published in the Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review. McKinney's biography of Revolutionary War general Francis Marion remained unpublished at the time of his death on December 7, 1972.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The McKinney collection is comprised mainly of his historical research and writings, mainly on Civil War topics and the career of General George H. Thomas. The series in the collection are: Personal and miscellaneous; Correspondence; Historical research and writings; and Travel writings.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Authors, American -- Michigan.
  • Education in Violence : The Life of George H. Thomas and the history of the Army of the Cumberland.
  • McMillan (Mich.)
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Travelers.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Dwellings -- Virginia.
  • Flags.
  • Medical aspects of war.
  • Military officers.
  • Monuments and memorials -- Washington (D.C.)
  • Virginia -- Dwellings.
  • Washington (D.C.) -- Monuments and memorials.
  • Women -- War.
  • Photographs.
  • Thomas, George Henry, 1816-1870.
  • Custer, George Armstrong, 1839-1876.
  • Thomas, George Henry, 1816-1870.
  • Walker, Mary.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Personal and miscellaneous [series]
Box   1  
Biographical and miscellaneous
Box   1  
Minutes and by laws of the Sagitaw Corporation
Box   1  
Tax materials (4 folders)
Correspondence [series]
Box   1  
Undated, 1941-1970 (8 folders)
Historical research and writings [series]
Box   1  
History of Fort Wayne, Michigan 1851-1861, 1961
Box   1  
"Trial of General Buell" Undated
Box   1  
"The First Regiment of Michigan Engineers and Mechanics" 1955
Box   1  
"Michigan Cavalry in the Civil War" 1955-1957
Box   1  
"The Capture of Jefferson Davis"
Box   1  
Review of "A Civil War Artist" 1957
Box   1  
"The Northfield Raid and its Ann Arbor Sequel" 1954
Box   1  
Brig. General Elon John Farnsworth 1959
Box   1  
"New Evidence of Drunkenness Tags Grant as a Security Risk" undated
Box   1  
Review of "Stonewall Jackson, The Good Soldier" 1958
Box   1  
Manuscript to "Francis Marion: Unique Warrior, 1780-1783" (2 volumes)
Box   2  
Manuscript to intended volume on the life and career of Lt. Howard B. Cushing (different titles) (3 copies)
Box   2  
Manuscript to "Education in Mobility; A study of the Northern Cavalry in the Civil War"
Education in Violence
Box   2  
Reviews 1961-1962
Box   2  
Indexing 1960-1961
Box   2  
Revisions of Chapter 18 1959
Box   2  
Publication 1954-1955
Box   2  
Wayne State University Press 1956-1960 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Research note cards (1 box)
Box   3  
Manuscript to text (incomplete) (14 folders)
Box   3  
Photographs collected by McKinney for use in his biography of Civil War general George H. Thomas, Education in Violence

(photos include portraits of Thomas and other Civil War military figures; photographs of Thomas' home in Virginia (taken in 1951) and the Thomas monument in Washington, D.C.; also portrait of Civil War era physician, Mary Walker)

Box   3  
Travel writings [series]
Box   4  
Manuscript to "Abroad during the Suez Crisis" 1959 (2 folders)
Box   4  
Manuscript notes to "Abroad during the Suez Crisis" 1959
Box   4  
Manuscript to "Through twelve nations by car in 1961 and 1962"
Box   4  
"Mexico and the Far West" 1960
Box   4  
Western trip 1965