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Harry Sinclair Drago Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Drago, Harry Sinclair, 1888-1979.
Title: Harry Sinclair Drago Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1926-1968
Quantity: 15.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American novelist and short story writer who specialized in historical fiction set in the Southwestern States. Collection includes correspondence (1925-1967); typescript books and stories; and published material by and about Drago.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

American novelist Harry Sinclair Drago (1888-1979 or 1980) was born in White Plains, New York. He held a number of jobs in the writing and publishing industry, including reporter and columnist for the Toledo Bee in Toledo, Ohio and Hollywood scriptwriter (1928-1933), but is best known for his historical fiction, most of which was set in the American Southwest. His novels include Oh Suzanna, Whispering Sage, Out of the Silent North, Buckskin Affair, Fenced Off, and Decision at Broken Butte.

Drago was a prolific writer, averaging three books a year, and published more than a hundred books over his career. In addition to his novels, he contributed articles and short stories to The Westerners and other publications and wrote several screenplays and novelizations; in his later years he turned his hand from historical fiction to non-fiction histories of the American West. He also wrote under several pseudonyms: Sinclair Drago, Grant Sinclair, Stewart Cross, Kirk Deming, Will Ermine, Peter Field, Bliss Lomax, and J. Wesley Putnam.

Drago was a member of the Publication Committee of the Westerners, New York Posse (branch), a non-profit educational organization of those whose interest is to preserve and record the cultural background and development of the West. His work received many awards, among them the Buffalo Award for best western book of the year (1960) for Wild, Woolly, and Wicked, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Award (1970) for The Great Range Wars, and the Western Heritage Award (1971).

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Harry Sinclair Drago Papers consists of two accessions which have not been integrated. The collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, manuscripts, and published material.

Manuscripts contains handwritten and typed manuscripts of articles, books, short stories and plays, both by Drago and others, as well as those sets of gallery proofs. Published material contains newspaper clippings about others, articles by Drago and others, one novelette, and one periodical.

The 1969 additions consist of biographical and background material, correspondence, writings and photographs. Biographical and background material (1969 additions) contains a brief printed autobiography, newspaper clippings about Western subjects, and personal ephemera.

Correspondence (1969 additions) contains incoming and a few outgoing letters. Most concerns Drago's writing, though there are a few personal in nature. Box 1 includes a selected index to correspondence with specific dates of letters; a summary of this with inclusive dates is reproduced at the end of this finding aid.

Writings (1969 additions), most undated, includes manuscripts, reviews of his books, and notes. Photographs (1969 additions) contains miscellaneous photos (Tom Mix, others).

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Arrangement of the Collection

Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically first by type, then by author, and then by title. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type and then by author if applicable. Personal correspondence is arranged chronologically; business correspondence is arranged alphabetically (as received). Writings in the 1969 additions are arranged alphabetically by type and then by title.

Note that box numbers are not unique. Please specify accession and box number and title when requesting material.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Drago, Harry Sinclair, 1888-1979, Archives.


Authors, American.
Novelists, American.


Southwestern States, Fiction.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Harry Sinclair Drago Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Harry S. Drago. Gift of Dodd, Mead & Company Inc.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: –
Date: Feb 1967
Revision history: Nov 1967 - additions (--); 12 Nov 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 12 Dec 2007 - 1969 additions (MRC)

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Box 1 Barber, James, "The Eyes of the Post Office"
by Drago
Box 1 Bad Boy
Box 1 Buckskin Affair
Box 1 Buckskin Meadows
Box 2 The Champ
Box 2 Cowtowns of Kansas
Box 2 The Desert Hawk
Box 3 Desert Water
Box 3 Done in the Open
Box 3 Epitaph for a Marshall
Box 3, 4 Fenced Off
Box 4 Good Men and Bad
Box 4, 5 Great American Cattle Trails
Box 5 Gun with a Waiting Notch
Box 5 The Last Patrol (Dead Men's Gold)
Box 5 Lost Bonanzas 1964
Box 6 Many Beavers
Box 6 Mesquite
Box 6 Montana Road
Box 6 Nailed Down
Box 6, 7 No Parking
Box 7 Opening at the West
Box 7, 8 Outlaws on Horseback
Box 8 Plundered Range
Box 8 Rebel Basin
Box 8, 9 Red River Valley
Box 9 Spawn of the North
Box 9 The Steamboaters
Box 10 Sun in Their Eyes
Box 10 Sunrise on the Cimarron
Box 10 Wagon Road to Virginia City
Box 11 When the Fish are Rising
Box 11 The Wild Bunch
Box 11, 12 Wild Grass
by Drago as Will Ermine
Box 12 Decision at Broken Butte
Box 12 The Driftin' Kid
Box 13 Frenchman's River
Box 13 Laramie Rides Alone
Box 13 Lobo Law
Box 13, 14 Longhorn Empire
Box 14 Pay Off at Black Hawk
Box 14 Rider of the Midnight Range
Box 14 Rustler's Bend
Box 15 The Silver Star
by Drago as Bliss Lomax
Box 15 Appointment on the Yellowstone
Box 15, 16 Honky-Tonk Woman
Box 16 Last Call for a Gunfighter
Box 17 The Law Busters
Box 17 Riders of the Buffalo Grass
Box 17 Shadow Mountain
Box 18 Stranger with a Gun
Box 18 Trail Dust
by Drago
Box 19 All American
Box 19 Beyond the Sound of Bugles
Box 19 The Smilin' Kid
by Waller, Helen
Box 19 A Girl's Privilege
Box 19 Unidentified (3 items)
Galley Proofs
by Drago
Box 19 Buckskin Affair
Box 19 Red River Valley
by Drago as Will Ermine
Box 19 Longhorn Empire
Box 20 Unidentified
Box 20 by Drago
by Drago
Box 20 Cobra Song (with Charleson Gray)
Box 20 King of the Kongo
Box 20 The Lotus Lady
Box 20 Nothing to Wear (with Harry Carlisle) 1928
by Neville, John T.
Box 20 Rolling Thunder 1928
Short Stories
by Drago
Box 20 All the Brothers Were Bad
Box 20 A Man Learns Fast
Box 20 Cowards Don't Come Back
Box 20 Death Rides the River
Box 20 The Drifting Kid Moves On
Box 20 Dusty Saddles
Box 20 Main Event
Box 21 Night Haul
Box 21 Pardners of the Malpais
Box 21 Raw Land
Box 21 Savage Cargo (with Thomas Springer)
Box 21 Six-Gun Justice
Box 21 Sundown
Box 21 Washout at Ute Crossing
Box 21 Watchdog at Lonesome Creek
Box 21 Unidentified, Untitled
Story Synopses
by Drago
Box 22 Barbed Wire
Box 22 The Cheyenne Trail
Box 22 The Cowboy Kid
Box 22 The Cyclone Lover
Box 22 Drums of India
Box 22 Everything to Win
Box 22 Good Medicine
Box 22 Hello Cheyenne
Box 22 A Horseman of the Plains
Box 22 The Iron Road
Box 22 Ladies Must Pay
Box 22 McCoy Gangster Story
Box 22 On the Spot
Box 22 Painted Post
Box 22 The Pride of Arabia
Box 22 A Romance of the Underworld
Box 22 Six-Gun Ransom
Box 22 Tony Gets His Man
Box 22 Under Western Skies
by Redden, Francis J.
Box 22 The Solid Man
Box 22 Unidentified
Published material
by Drago
Box 1 Red River Station 1961
Box 1 The Wagon Road to Virginia City 1962
by Dobie, J. Frank
Box 1 E. Douglas Branch, Singularisimo 1962
by Traxler, Ralph
Box 1 The Texas & Pacific Railroad Land Grants
by Wilson, Glen
Box 1 Old Red River Station
Newspaper clippings
Box 1 About others 1875 (reprinted, 1955), 1926
by Drago
Box 1 More Precious than Gold
Publishers Weekly Vol. 164, no. 14 Oct. 3, 1953
Biographical and background material (1969 additions)
Box 1 Published material 1936, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1964, undated
Box 1 Photograph undated
Correspondence (1969 additions)
Box 1 1903-1939 (6 folders)
Box 2 1940-1956 (6 folders)
Box 2 1960
Box 2 1967
Box 2 Undated
Box 3 H. K. Fly Publishing Company 9 Jan 1919 - 20 Feb 1920
Box 3 William Morrow and Company 30 Oct 1933 - 1 May 1951
Box 3 Mary Leonard Pritchett 28 Dec 1935 - 9 Sep 1942
Box 3 Louis H. Silberkleit 12 Nov 1935 - 13 Apr 1940
Writings (1969 additions)
Box 3 Great American Cattle Trails undated - chs 1-10 typescript carbon ; chs 11-21 incomplete typescript carbon
Box 3 Farewell Frontier undated - original typescript revised and typescript carbon revised; incomplete typescript carbon revised; chs 1-6 incomplete original typescript revised
Box 3 Honky Tonk Woman (writing as Bliss Lomax) undated - chs 1-13 original typescript revised
Box 4 Honky Tonk Woman (writing as Bliss Lomax) undated - chs 14-26 original typescript revised; list of characters; original typescript revised
Box 4 Laramie Rides Alone (writing as Will Ermine) undated - original typescript revised
Box 4 The Last Patrol undated - cits; original typescript revised
Box 4 The Law Busters undated - typescript carbon; [synopsis] original ts
Box 4 The Match King by Einar Thorvaldson undated - incomplete original typescript revised
Box 4 Outlaws on Horseback undated - chs 1-12 typescript carbon revised
Box 5 Outlaws on Horseback 1965, undated - chs 13-28 typescript carbon revised; published material 6 Jan 1965
Box 5 Red River Valley book review 1962-1963, 1968 - newspaper clippings; correspondence
Box 5 Roads to Empire 1968 - chs 1-22 printer's copy typescript carbon revised; galleys revised; page proofs; final proofs
Box 6 The Steamboaters 1967, undated - chs 1-10 printer's copy original typescript revised; chs 11-21 printer's copy original typescript revised; galleys; page proofs, annotated; front matter, bibliography, index printer's copy original typescript revised; correspondence; final proofs, annotated; book reviews (photocopies of newspaper clippings)
Box 6 Trigger Gospel undated - book review; book cover; published material
Box 7 Miscellaneous undated
Photographs (1969 additions)
Box 7 Tom Mix and others undated

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Selected index to correspondence

Following is a summary list with inclusive dates. A detailed index with specific dates is included in Box 1.

  • A.L. Burt Company : 1929-1934
  • Century Publications : 1922-1949
  • Curtis Brown, Ltd. : 1939-1956
  • Doubleday, Doran and Co. : 1916-1937
  • Edward A. Ducker : 1935-1940
  • Farrar and Rinehart, Inc. Publishers : 1941-1944
  • Fox Film Corporation : 1926-1927
  • Frank A. Munsey Co. : 1923-1928
  • Franz. J. Horch : 1949-1951
  • H.N. Swanson Inc. : 1954-1955
  • John Burr : 1939-1952, undated
  • Lichtig-Englander : 1928-1951, updated
  • Macaulay Company : 1925-1939, undated
  • Marguerite Harper : 1952-1955
  • Popular Library : 1939-1952
  • Popular Publications : 1937
  • Robert Thomas Hardy, Inc. : 1935, 1940
  • Short Stories : 1925-1942
  • Smart Set : 1926
  • Street and Smith Publications : 1939-1953
  • Warner Brothers : 1937-1947
  • Western Printing and Lithographic Company : 1947-1954
  • World Publishing Company : 1943-1949

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