John W. Echols collection (1890-1932, bulk 1890-1898)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, July 2012
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: John W. Echols collection
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1890-1932
Bulk dates: 1890-1898
Extent: 16 items
This collection contains material related to John W. Echols, who served as supreme president of the American Protective Association in the mid-1890s. Included are letters of recommendation, personal correspondence, a speech draft, printed circulars, and other items.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1989. M-2475.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

John W. Echols Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:
  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Speech
  • Series III: Printed Items

The correspondence series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


John Warnock Echols was born in Clarksville, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 1849, and attended Westminster College and Lafayette University. He practiced law in Washington, D.C., and in Virginia, and published the Washington Republic in the 1890s. In the mid-1890s, Echols was supreme president of the American Protective Association, an anti-Catholic society. During World War I, he served as United States Army librarian; after the war, he taught law in vocational schools. He and his wife, Katherine (or Katrina) Hine (1868-1954), had at least one son, Warnock. John W. Echols died in Vienna, Virginia, on March 13, 1932.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 16 items related to John W. Echols, who served as supreme president of the American Protective Association in the mid-1890s. Included are letters of recommendation, personal correspondence, a speech draft, printed circulars, and other items.

The Correspondence series (10 items) contains 9 letters and 1 telegram. Echols received 2 letters from friends, one of whom shared an anecdote about meeting Henry Ward Beecher, and a telegram from Mark Hanna, chairman of the Republican National Committee. Echols also wrote a draft letter to Cornelius Newton Bliss, Secretary of the Interior, about his desire for Dr. George DuBose to retain his current office. Five letters of recommendation for Echols (all dated November 1890) are addressed to Pennsylvania Governor Robert E. Pattison, concerning Echols's candidacy for the office of state attorney general. The final item in the series is a typed letter that Echols received from James Sargent, in which he shared his wish for an American victory during the Spanish-American War and anticipated the continued success of the American Protective Association (May 9, 1898).

The Speech series (1 item) contains a typewritten draft of a speech by Echols entitled "National Destiny," with manuscript annotations. The speech, which Echols delivered on July 4, 1892, lauds the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers and calls for United States citizens to remain vigilant about protecting their country. The speech includes an excerpt from Joseph Rodman Drake's poem "The American Flag," and concludes with lines from "The Star Spangled Banner."

The Printed Items series (5 items) is comprised of 2 printed American Protective Association (APA) circulars, a copy of the APA Supreme Council's constitution, and 2 newspaper clippings. The circulars, distributed to APA chapters in August and October 1896, discuss the upcoming presidential election, call for the complete separation of church and state within the United States, restate the organization's core principles, and urge voters to check their congressional representatives' voting records. The second circular also discusses Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. One newspaper clipping relates to United States Senator Patrick Walsh; the other is an obituary for John W. Echols.

Subject Terms

  • American Protective Association.
  • Anti-Catholicism--United States.
  • Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887.
  • Bliss, Cornelius Newton, 1833-1911.
  • Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925.
  • Church and state--United States.
  • DuBose, George.
  • Employment references.
  • Nationalism--United States--History--19th century.
  • Patriotic poetry, American.
  • Pattison, Robert E. (Robert Emory), 1850-1904.
  • Pennsylvania. Attorney General's Office.
  • Pennsylvania--Politics and government--1865-1950.
  • Presidents--United States--Election--1896.
  • Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
  • Spanish-American War, 1898.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • United States--Politics and government--1893-1897.
Subjects - Visual Materials:
  • Echols, John Warnock, 1849-1932.
  • American Protective Association.
  • Drake, Joseph Rodman, 1795-1820.
  • Echols, John Warnock, 1849-1932.
  • Hanna, Marcus Alonzo, 1837-1904.
  • Sargent, James.
Genre Terms:
  • Circular letters.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Constitutions.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Speeches.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]
Box   43, Small Collections Folder   41
 June 26, 1890-May 9, 1898
Speech [series]
Box   43, Small Collections Folder   42
 [July 4, 1892]
Printed Items [series]
Box   43, Small Collections Folder   43
 August 24, 1896-April 2, 1932, and  undated

Additional Descriptive Data


"J. W. Echols Burial Will Be in Fairfax." The Washington Post 2 April 1932.