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Raeburn Van Buren Cartoons

An inventory of his cartoons at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Raeburn Van Buren (1891-1987) was an American cartoonist and illustrator. He was a co-creator of the comic strip Abbie an' Slats.

Van Buren was born in Pueblo, Colorado in 1891 and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He learned cartooning on the job from Harry Wood of the Kansas City Star, and then moved to New York City where he began to contribute illustrations to magazines like Life, Puck, Judge and Street and Smith's pulp publication, Smith's Magazine. He served in New York's 27th Division during World War I and was art director of the Division's magazine, Gas Attack. After the war, he quickly rose to prominence as one of the industry's top freelance illustrators, contributing work to a wide variety of popular publications of the day—the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, the New Yorker, Esquire and many others.

In 1937, Li'l Abner cartoonist Al Capp hired Van Buren to provide the art for his newest comic strip Abbie an' Slats, for which Van Buren has received a great deal of critical praise. Capp served as writer on the strip for the first nine years then passed the scripting duties to his brother Elliot Caplin. Van Buren remained the sole artist on Abbie an' Slats for the duration of its 34 year run (1937-1971). Raeburn Van Buren died in 1987, shortly before his 97th birthday. He was inducted into the National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame in 1979.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Raeburn Van Buren Cartoons collection contains 160 original daily cartoons from the newspaper comic strip Abbie an' Slats (1954-1968). Daily cartoon: traces of graphite, zipatone, pen and ink on illustration board, approx. 6 ½ x 21 in.

Arrangement of the Collection

Cartoons are in chronological order.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred other cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Caplin, Elliot.
Van Buren, Raeburn, 1891-1987.

Corporate Bodies

United Feature Syndicate.

Associated Titles

Abbie an' Slats (comic strip)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Raeburn Van Buren Cartoons
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of United Feature Syndicate, 1968.

Table of Contents

Abbie an' Slats daily cartoons