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Edwin Markham Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940.
Title: Edwin Markham Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1914-1942
Quantity: 6 folders (SC)
Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts, miscellany of the American poet and author.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Edwin Markham (1852-1940) was an American author and poet. Born and raised in California, he taught literature there until 1879 when he became Superintendent of Education for El Dorado County. Five California schools are named for him. In 1901 he relocated to Staten Island in New York, where he established the Poetry Society of America in 1910. In addition to his teaching, he wrote poetry and essays and lectured in numerous venues.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edwin Markham Collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, and a small amount of miscellany.

Correspondence contains four letters, two outgoing and two incoming. In one, writing to John Elfreth Watkins, he says of his mother that she "held her ground the head of a family for thirty years," and that "...the first and only play she ever took me to from our mountain home was Ten Nights in a Bar Room. None of her boys ever took to strong drink."

Manuscripts contains manuscripts for two essays and a poem, as well as one stanza of his well-known poem "Outwitted."

Miscellany consists of a broadside, a cancelled check, and a few clippings.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Letter are in chronological order. Manuscripts are in alphabetical order by title. Miscellany is in alphabetical order by type.

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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


Markham, Edwin, 1852-1940.

Associated Titles

Evening prayer.
Gray norns.
Sidney Lanier.


American poetry -- 20th century.
Poets -- American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts (document genre)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edwin Markham Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Original collection gift of Sol Feinstone, John S. Mayfield.

"Outwitted" stanza gift of Martha Ash, 2015.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Dec 1996
Revision history: 29 Sep 2015 - Martha Ash gift added (MRC); 7 Dec 2016 - extent corrected (MS)

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SC 148 to Elfreth, John 7 Apr 1914
SC 148 Desmond, A. E. (to John S. Mayfield) 14 Nov 1925
SC 148 Markham, Anna Catherine (to John S. Mayfield) 15 Jun 1930
SC 148 to Mayfield, John S. 15 Jun 1930
SC 148 "Evening Prayer" - autograph manuscript poem
SC 148 "The Gray Norns" 25 Nov 1917 - autograph manuscript poem
SC 148 "Outwitted", single stanza - written in Markham's hand
Gift of Martha Ash, 2015. Formerly belonged to her stepmother, Amy Vanderbilt.
SC 148 "Sidney Lanier" - autograph manuscript essay
SC 148 Broadside advertisement for Markham's California the Wonderful
SC 148 Cancelled check for $5, payable to Markham
SC 148 Clippings 1924, 1932, 1942

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