Draper Manuscripts: King's Mountain Papers, 1756-1887

Container Title
Series: 15 DD (Volume 15)
Scope and Content Note

Mainly miscellaneous notes and incoming letters to Draper during his King's Mountain research, followed by correspondence on the publication of King's Mountain and Its Heroes. His notes include copies of a group of letters (1763) by William Christian, William Ingles, Andrew Lewis, and Adam Stephen; one (1775) by Lewis to William Fleury; an oration (1810) on King's Mountain by Francis Preston; articles on the Shelby-Campbell dispute (found also in 8 DD); a letter (1822) on the same matter by Thomas Jefferson to Preston; papers on the alleged Toryism of William Green (found also in 12 DD); and bibliographical references to King's Mountain found in records in the Public Archives of Canada.

Research letters touch on a multitude of persons, events, and locations discussed in other volumes, but only a few names are treated in sufficient significance to list: John Anderson, William Campbell, Gilbert Christian, Elijah Clarke, Patrick Ferguson and his mistresses, David Kennedy, Charles McDowell, Daniel McKissick, James Henry Sheppard, and John Whetchel (Whitsall). Also included are Joseph Winston, and the Cherokee chiefs, Doublehead, Oconastota, and John Watts. Letters (1852-1853) by George Gilmer give extensive information on Meriwether Lewis, his death, Lewis and Meriwether genealogy, and Dr. Thomas Walker. An 1874 letter by South Carolinian James H. Saye dealt wholly with issues of the day-his views on Wisconsin's industrial and agricultural prospects, his opinion that Africans were inferior to Indians and whites, and his discussion of the Grant administration and of other national and South Carolina politics.

Filling the latter third of this volume is correspondence, 1879-1884. Many letters from publisher Peter G. Thomson detail the publication history of King's Mountain and Its Heroes. One of Thomson's early letters (1879) also contains his proposed plan for issuing Draper's study of the Mecklenburg Declaration (Series FF). Accompanying these business letters are a copy of Draper's letter explaining the tardy publication of his work to the King's Mountain Centennial Commission and letters from readers and book agents reacting to the book after its publication.