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Hamilton Cochran Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Nov 1966

Biographical History

Hamilton Cochran (1898-1977) was an American writer of historical novels with a nautical background.

Born in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cochran attended Swarthmore Preparatory School but when World War I broke out in his senior year he left school and enlisted in the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He served 18 months on the USCGC Algonquin and then for a brief time in the Merchant Marine. Returning to school he majored in journalism at the University of Michigan and after graduation did advertising work in New York City. From 1931-1932 he served as Commissioner of Public Welfare for the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, where his interest in the history of the area, particularly the dramatic tales of pirates, resulted in his first book, These are the Virgin Islands (1937).

Cochran then joined the advertising department of the Saturday Evening Post and a year later was named manager of the automotive division. He worked for Standard Oil for several years and served in the Coast Guard again during World War II, but his main interest was sea travel, of which he logged more than 100,000 hours. Over his career he wrote thirteen books -- both fiction and non-fiction -- as well as numerous poems and articles. His best known title was Blockade Runners of the Confederacy. He and his wife, Enid Slee, had three daughters.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Hamilton Cochran Papers contains biographical material, book illustrations, correspondence, manuscripts, memorabilia, and printed material.

Biographical material contains a few assorted items related to Cochran's life and work.

Book illustrations contains original artwork (paintings, cover art, sketches, etc.) for five of Cochran's books.

Correspondence is both incoming and outgoing, mostly between Cochran and his publishers.

Manuscripts includes articles, books, plays, poems, radio talks, and speeches.

Memorabilia consists mostly of scrapbooks of clippings and other material about five of Cochran's books. There are also a few photographs.

A small amount of Printed material completes the collection, including clippings and published translations of two of Cochran's books in Swedish.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged by name of correspondent. All other series are arranged alphabetically by title, topic, or type.


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


Cochran, Hamilton, 1898-1977.

Corporate Bodies

Confederate States of America. -- Navy.


Authors, American.
Dueling -- History.
Historical fiction.
Novelists, American.
Pirates in literature.
Sea fiction.


Confederate States of America -- History.
United States -- History.
Virgin Islands -- History.

Genres and Forms

Book illustrations.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Hamilton Cochran Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Book illustrations




Printed material