Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Frank Harris and Arthur Leonard Ross Papers

An inventory of their papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Harris, Frank, 1855-1931.
Title: Frank Harris and Arthur Leonard Ross Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1895-1973
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Collection includes correspondence, legal papers, printed material, clippings, and photographs of Frank Harris. Irish-American author, and of his lawyer and literary executor, Arthur Leonard Ross.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Frank Harris (1856-1931) was an Irish-American author. Born James Thomas Harris in Galway, Ireland, he ran away at the age of 15 and came to America where he worked at various odd jobs. Eventually he came to Lawrence, Kansas, where two of his brothers had settled, and where he attended the University of Kansas, worked at his brothers' butcher shop, and changed his name to "Frank Harris." In 1875 he embarked on a lengthy tour of Europe, visiting England, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Russia, and Ireland, and upon his return to England began writing articles and book reviews. In 1883 he became editor of The Evening News and then in 1886 of the Fortnightly Review. In 1894 he left that position, bought The Saturday Review, and transformed it into a respected literary journal. In addition to his editorial and publishing work he continued to write, producing his first book of short stories in 1895 and another in 1900. Other works of this period include The Bomb (1908), The Women of Shakespeare (1911), and Oscar Wilde (1916).

From 1914-1921 he lived in America; while there, he published two volumes of Contemporary Portraits, edited Pearson's magazine, and became friends with American anarchists Emma Goldman and Thomas Bell. The first volume of his autobiography was published in Berlin in 1922, and in 1923 he settled in Paris, where he wrote two more volumes of Contemporary Portraits, On the Trail: Being My Reminiscences as a Cowboy, and Pantopia (1930), as well as numerous short stories.

Arthur Leonard Ross (d. 1975) was an American lawyer, Harris's attorney, and literary executor of the Frank Harris Estate.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frank Harris and Arthur Leonard Ross Papers consists of correspondence and legal papers, printed material, clippings, and photographs.

Correspondence, much of which is photocopies, includes items from Winston Churchill, Hesketh Pearson, and Oscar Wilde. Legal papers consists of correspondence and documents relating to the case of Ross vs. Esquire. Printed material contains addresses, articles, books, a play, and miscellaneous. Clippings cover the years 1900-1968. A few assorted Photographs complete the collection.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically, except for that with Churchill, Pearson, and Wilde, which is separated out and placed at the end of the series. Legal papers are subdivided into general correspondence (arranged chronologically) and that relating to Ross vs. Esquire (arranged alphabetically by type). Printed material is also arranged alphabetically by type.

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


Harris, Frank, 1856-1931.
Ross, Arthur Leonard.


Authors, American.
Irish Americans.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Legal documents.



Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frank Harris and Arthur Leonard Ross Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: circa 1965
Revision history: 26 Jun 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 16 Jul 2012 - LCNAF updates (MRC); 30 Sep 2016 - oversize package rehoused (MS)

Return to top


Box 1 [General] 1895-1921 - photocopies
Box 1 [General] 1923-1935, 1956-1957 - photocopies and typescript copies
Box 1 Churchill, Winston S. 1905-1908 - photocopies
Box 1 Pearson, Hesketh 1963
Box 1 Wilde, Oscar undated - photocopies
Legal papers
Box 1 [General] 1909-1930 (3 folders)
Box 2 [General] 1931-1938 (7 folders)
Box 3 [General] 1939-1973, undated (7 folders)
Box 4 Batchelor, Ward & Co. 1949, 1955-1965 (3 folders)
Box 4 Harris vs. Stokes 1941-1961 (2 folders)
Box 4 Perowne, Gedge & Co. 1955-1963
Box 4 Ross. vs. Esquire 1928-1936
Box 5 Ross. vs. Esquire 1937-1940, undated (3 folders)
Ross vs. Esquire documents
Box 5 Plaintiff's exhibits
Box 5 Published briefs and transcripts
Box 5 Trial documents
Published material
Box 6 Douglas, Lord Alfred. "The Murder of Lord Kitchener" and "The Truth About the Battle of Jutland and the Jews" undated - speech made at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London; reprinted from the Border Standard
Box 6 Ross, Arthur Leonard. "The Constitution - A Living Charter" 23 Sep 1935 - address delivered over station WNYC
Box 6 Anonymous. "Notes: Mrs. Frank Harris Wins a Suit. Frank Harris: In Memoriam," in Life in Letters, American Autograph Journal, pp. 198-200. Sep 1941
Box 6 Barzun, Jacques. "The Artist as Scapegoat," in The Mid-Century, pp. 8-11. Jul 1959
Box 6 Bell, T.H. "Oscar Wilde's Unwritten Play," in The Bookman, pp. 139-150. April/May 1930
Box 6 Burnett, Whit. "Portrait of the Arti st at 70-odd: Frank Harris in the Year of His Life and Loves (A Cold Look: 1926)," in Story, pp. 43-51. 1964
Box 6 Scully, Frank. "Now it can be sold: the ghost story behind the Harris biography of Shaw, offered to the latter as a little birthday token," in Esquire, pp. 32-33, 189-193. Aug 1936
Box 6 Wilde, Oscar. Letter to Frank Harris, reprinted from p. 707 of unknown periodical. 1897
Box 6 Williams, Terrence. "Harrisiana," in Books and Libraries at the University of Kansas, v. 2, no. 5, p. 10 Sep 1964 (2 copies)
Box 6 Huffaker, Claire. Cowboy. - adapted from screenplay by Edmund H. North and Reminiscences of a Cowboy by Frank Harris. Greenwich: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1958.
Box 6 New York University Law Alumni Directory 1973 - notation on Arthur Leonard Ross, p. 229.
Box 6 Harris, Frank. Beyond Good and Evil: A Play in Three Scenes. undated
Box 6 Miscellaneous 1900-1968
Box 7 Miscellaneous
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous

Return to top