Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Eugene Field Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Field, Eugene, 1850-1895.
Title: Eugene Field Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1885-1895
Quantity: 6 items (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the American author, journalist, and editor. Two signed holograph poems and two signed holograph essays. The poem "A Song of the Christmas Wind," some lines of which also appear in the untitled manuscript in the collection, was printed on December 26, 1885 in "Sharps and Flats" (the newspaper column Field contributed to the Chicago Morning News editorial page from 1883-1895).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Eugene Field (1850-1895) was an American author, journalist, and editor, best remembered for his children's poems such as "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod."

Eugene Field was born in September 1850 to Roswell and Frances (Reed) Field. Field's father was an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri and served as legal counsel to Dred Scott during the Dred Scott Case, 1846-1857 (Scott v. Sandford , 60 U.S. 393 (1857)). When Field was six years old, his mother died and Field and his brother, Roswell Jr. were placed in the custody of his cousin, Mary Field French in Massachusetts.

After attending several different colleges including Williams College, Knox College, and the University of Missouri, Field travelled abroad to Great Britain, France, and Italy with a friend. Upon returning from Europe, Field married Julia Sutherland Comstock on October 16, 1873, with whom he had eight children.

During this time Field began exploring editorial careers, working for several newspapers such as the St. Joseph Gazette, St. Louis' Journal, Kansas City Times, and Denver Tribune. In 1883, Field was hired at the Morning News where he would spend the rest of his career.

Field died suddenly on November 4, 1895 at his home in Buena Park, Chicago at the age of 45.

Selected Works

1881 The Tribune Primer
1887 Culture's Garland: Being Memoranda of the Gradual Rise of Literature, Art, Music and Society in Chicago, and Other Western Ganglia
1889 A Little Book of Western Verse Selected Poems
    Selected Poems
  • "Little Boy Blue"
  • "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"
A Little Book of Profitable Tales
1892 With Trumpet and Drum
Second Book of Verse
1893 Echoes from the Sabine Farm
The Holy-Cross and Other Tales
1894 Love-Songs of Childhood Selected Poems
    Selected Poems
  • "The Dinkey Bird"
  • "The Duel"
  • "The Fly-Away Horse"
  • "Seein' Things"
1896 The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
The House: An Episode in the Lives of Reuben Baker, Astronomer, and of His Wife Alice
Songs and Other Verse
Second Book of Tales

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Eugene Field Papers comprises a single letter and five manuscripts of the American author, journalist and editor (1850-1895). Remembered chiefly for his children's poems ("Little Boy Blue," "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"), Field also wrote "Sharps and Flats," a newspaper column he contributed to the Chicago Morning News editorial page from 1883 to 1895. "A Song of the Christmas Wind," some lines of which also appear in the untitled manuscript in the collection, was printed in "Sharps and Flats" on December 26, 1885.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into two series: Correspondence and Writings. The latter series is arranged alphabetically by title.

Return to top


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.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Field, Eugene, 1850-1895.


Authors, American -- 19th century.
Journalists -- United States.
Newspaper editors.

Genres and Forms




Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Eugene Field Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of George and Lena Arents, 1973.

Correspondence gift of Sol Feinstone.

"Little Willie" gift of John Mayfield.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Dec 1993
Revision history: Dec 1996 - revised (KM); 28 Oct 2008 - converted to EAD (LDC)

Return to top


SC 115 20 Feb 1894 - "Dear Miss Smith"
SC 115 "Ambition's Fools" undated - autograph manuscript essay (5 pages)
SC 115 "How the Good Knight Attended Upon Sir Slason" 25 Dec 1885 - autograph poem
SC 115 "Little Willie" 19 Oct 1895 - autograph poem
SC 115 "A Song of the Christmas Wind" Dec 1885 - autograph poem (2 pages)
SC 115 Untitled draft ["As on my dancing way I go..."] circa 1885 - signed holograph manuscript (9 pages)

Return to top