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Richard Bissell Manuscript

An inventory of of his item at Syracuse University.

Finding aid created by: AM
Date: 30 Apr 2009

Biographical History

Richard Bissell (1913-1977) was an American author, playwright and critic. In addition to his literary pursuits, Bissell also worked in the Venezuelan oil fields, as a seaman, a factory superintendent, and as a river pilot on the upper Mississippi and Monongahela Rivers. Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, Bissell graduated from Harvard University in 1936, married Marian Van Patten Grilk in 1938, and had four children: Thomas, Nathaniel, Anastasia, and Samuel. Some of his well-known works include the novel 7 1/2 Cents, which served as the basis for his play and later screenplay The Pajama Game, A Stretch on the River, and My Life on the Mississippi; or, Why I Am Not Mark Twain. Bissell died in Dubuque on May 4, 1977.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Richard Bissell Manuscript consists of a three-page holograph signed book review by the American author, playwright and critic. The book reviewed is Voices on the River: the story of the Mississippi Waterways by Walter Havighurst. The review is noted as being typed and mailed by "Marian." A reprint of the published review from Minnesota History is included for reading clarity.


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.

Subject Headings


Bissell, Marian.
Bissell, Richard, 1913-1977
Havighurst, Walter, 1901-

Corporate Bodies

Minnesota Historical Society -- Periodicals.


Mississippi River -- History -- Book reviews.


Mississippi River.

Genres and Forms

Reviews (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Richard Bissell Manuscript,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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