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Harold W. Felton, Folklore Papers

Title: Harold W. Felton, FOlklore Papers

Creator: Felton, Harold W. 1902-1991

Dates: 1881-1988, bulk 1920-1980

Quantity: 33 boxes (18 linear feet)

Collection Number: MS 0040

Language: English

Restrictions: None

Copyright: To inquire about usage, please contact Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. For more information see the Use Guidelines

Preferred Citation: Harold Felton, Folklore Papers (MS 0040). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

Biography:

Born in Neola, Iowa, on 1 April 1902, Harold William Felton graduated from Neola High School in 1919. He attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for one year before transferring to the University of Nebraska, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925 and a law degree in 1928. During college he worked as a stage manager at the University of Nebraska's Temple Theatre and as an assistant in the dramatics department. In the summertime, Felton worked as a farmer, mule skinner, and as an actor on the Chautauqua circuits.

After graduation, Felton practiced law in Omaha for five years before he went to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 1933. He married Hildegard "Helen" Kessler on 23 August 1933. The Felton's moved to Manhattan in New York, where Harold worked in the chief counsel's office of the IRS. He remained with the IRS for 37 years before retiring in 1970.

Felton wrote numerous children's books and books dealing with American folklore and tall tales. His interest in folklore developed from a fascination with Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. He began collecting books and stories about the legendary lumberjack at an early age. In the early 1940s, Felton decided to write a book about Bunyan. His first book, Legends of Paul Bunyan, was published in 1947. Throughout his life, Felton continued to research and write about other legendary figures such as Pecos Bill, John Henry, Fire Fightin' Mose, and Bowleg Bill.

Harold William Felton died on 12 July 1991.

Scope and Content:

The Harold W. Felton papers mainly relate to his career as an author and folklorist. The papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts of published works, unpublished manuscripts, research notes, galley proofs, book jackets, and book reviews. Other items include biographical materials, photographs, and sound recordings.

Felton's writings and research files compose the majority of the collection. This series of materials illustrates Felton's continuing dedication to the study of American folklore and his devotion to recording the stories of such heroes of American myth and legend as Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and John Henry. Felton's manuscript files, along with his correspondence, also help to show the process he went through in order to get each of his books published. For more specific information about each series of materials in the collection, refer to the Series Description.

Subjects:

Beckwourth, James Pierson, 1798-1866 -- Juvenile literature

Felton, Harold W., 1902-1991

Fink, Mike, 1770-1823? -- Juvenile literature

Gannett, Deborah Sampson, 1760-1827 -- Juvenile literature

Johnson, James Weldon, 1871-1938 -- Juvenile literature

Levy, Uriah Phillips, 1792-1862 -- Juvenile literature

Love, Nat, 1854-1921 -- Juvenile literature

Morgan, Gib, 1842-1909 -- Juvenile literature

O'Keefe, John Timothy, 1853-1895 -- Juvenile literature

Parker, Ely Samuel, 1828-1895 -- Juvenile literature

Phips, William, Sir, 1651-1695 -- Juvenile literature

Bunyan, Paul (Legendary character)

Cowboys -- Juvenile literature

Cowboys -- Legends

Fire departments -- Juvenile literature

Folklore -- United States

Freeman, Elizabeth, 1744?-1829 -- Juvenile literature

Henry, John (Legendary character)

Justin Morgan (Horse) -- Juvenile literature

Pecos Bill (Legendary character) -- Juvenile literature

Rose, Edward -- Juvenile literature

Stormalong, Alfred Bulltop -- Legends

Tall tales

Ward, Nancy -- Juvenile literature

Series Description: Series 1: Correspondence

The correspondence includes letters to and from Felton. Some letters are from elementary school children reviewing Felton's books, while others are letters between Felton and his publishers. Other letters relate to requests for information and permission to publish materials by other authors. The letters are arranged chronologically.

Series 2: Writings and Research

This series contains manuscripts, proofs, research notes, book jackets, and reviews as well as some correspondence related to Felton's published works. Also included in this series are unpublished manuscripts and various research-related subject files. Boxes 1 through 9 contain materials related to Felton's published works. The materials are organized chronologically by publication date. Boxes 10 through 19 contain unpublished manuscripts and various research files. Included in these boxes are drafts of opinion articles, such as, "Airport Lies at La Guardia," and lyrics to songs, such as, "Song of Bunyan" and "The Song of Pecos Bill." Scripts to plays, such as, "Afternoon Sketch Extravaganza,""The Angel Intrudes," and "The Silken Bully" are also a part of this series. "Amusing Definitions" and "Chief Counsel's Digest" are files of jokes and anecdotes collected by Felton. Other research files include information on individuals, such as, George Simons, James Mars, and Henry Ossian Flipper. The files in this section are arranged alphabetically.

Series 3: Biographical materials

The biographical materials contain family histories, applications and petitions by Felton to become a lawyer, and newspaper clippings. Also included in this series are two scrapbooks.

Series 4: Photographs

This series consists of photos used as illustrations in Felton's books as well as personal photos of Felton and others.

Series 5: Sound Recordings

This series contains two reel-to-reel audio recordings and four vinyl records.

Series 6: Oversized materials

This series consists of oversized items, including: illustrations, galley proofs, maps, and other research materials mainly related to Felton's published works.

Container List: Series 1: Correspondence Box 1. Folder 1. Correspondence, 1937-1970 Box 1. Folder 2. Correspondence, 1971-1988, undated Series 2: Writings and Research Box 1. Folder 3. Legends of Paul Bunyan (LPB), correspondence, 1944-1945, Jan. Box 1. Folder 4. LPB, correspondence, 1945, Feb.-Dec. Box 1. Folder 5. LPB, correspondence, 1946-1947 Box 1. Folder 6. LPB, research and articles Box 1. Folder 7. LPB, research and articles Box 1. Folder 8. LPB, illustrations Box 1. Folder 9. LPB, book jackets Box 1. Folder 10. Pecos Bill, Texas Cowpuncher (PBTC), correspondence, 1949-1959 Box 1. Folder 11. PBTC, draft Box 2. Folder 1. PBTC, research materials Box 2. Folder 2. John Henry and His Hammer (JHHH), correspondence Box 2. Folder 3. JHHH, draft Box 2. Folder 4. JHHH, research Box 2. Folder 5. JHHH, book jackets Box 2. Folder 6. Cowboy Jamboree: Western Songs and Lore (CJ), drafts Box 2. Folder 7. CJ, book jackets Box 2. Folder 8. CJ, reviews Box 2. Folder 9. Fire Fightin' Mose (FFM), correspondence Box 2. Folder 10. FFM, drafts Box 2. Folder 11. FFM, drafts Box 2. Folder 12. FFM, research Box 2. Folder 13. FFM, book jackets Box 2. Folder 14. FFM, reviews Box 2. Folder 15. Bowleg Bill, Sea Going Cowpuncher, illustrations Box 2. Folder 16. Bowleg Bill, Sea Going Cowpuncher, reviews Box 2. Folder 17. New Tall Tales of Pecos Bill (NTTPB), correspondence Box 2. Folder 18. NTTPB, draft, part 1 Box 3. Folder 1. NTTPB, draft, part 2 Box 3. Folder 2. NTTPB, draft, part 3 Box 3. Folder 3. NTTPB, book jackets Box 3. Folder 4. NTTPB, reviews Box 3. Folder 5. Mike Fink, Best of the Keelboatment (MFBK), drafts Box 3. Folder 6. MFBK, illustrations Box 3. Folder 7. MFBK, book jackets Box 3. Folder 8. MFBK, reviews Box 3. Folder 9. World's Most Truthful Man (WMTM), correspondence Box 3. Folder 10. WMTM, drafts, part 1 Box 3. Folder 11. WMTM, drafts, part 2 Box 3. Folder 12. WMTM, research Box 3. Folder 13. WMTM, research Box 3. Folder 14. WMTM, reviews Box 3. Folder 15. Sergeant O'Keefe and His Mule Balaam (SOHMB), correspondence Box 4. Folder 1. SOHMB, drafts Box 4. Folder 2. SOHMB, research Box 4. Folder 3. SOHMB, book jackets Box 4. Folder 4. SOHMB, reviews Box 4. Folder 5. A Horse Named Justin Morgan (HNJM), drafts, part 1 Box 4. Folder 6. HNJM, drafts, part 2 Box 4. Folder 7. HNJM, research notes Box 4. Folder 8. HNJM, book jackets Box 4. Folder 9. HNJM, reviews Box 4. Folder 10. William Phips and the Treasure Ship (WPTS), drafts, part 1 Box 4. Folder 11. WPTS, drafts, part 2 Box 4. Folder 12. WPTS, research Box 4. Folder 13. WPTS, book jackets Box 4. Folder 14. WPTS, reviews Box 4. Folder 15. Jim Beckwourth, Negro Mountain Man (JBNMM), correspondence Box 4. Folder 16. JBNMM, article drafts Box 5. Folder 1. JBNMM, drafts Box 5. Folder 2. JBNMM, illustrations Box 5. Folder 3. JBNMM, reviews Box 5. Folder 4. Edward Rose, Negro Trail Blazer (ERNTB), drafts Box 5. Folder 5. ERNTB, article drafts Box 5. Folder 6. ERNTB, proofs Box 5. Folder 7. ERNTB, research notes Box 5. Folder 8. ERNTB, illustrations Box 5. Folder 9. ERNTB, reviews Box 5. Folder 10. True Tall Tales of Stormalong: Sailor of the Seven Seas (TTTS), drafts Box 5. Folder 11. TTTS, reviews Box 5. Folder 12. Nat Love, Negro Cowboy (NLNC), correspondence Box 5. Folder 13. NLNC, article drafts Box 5. Folder 14. NLNC, drafts, part 1 Box 6. Folder 1. NLNC, drafts, part 2 Box 6. Folder 2. NLNC, proofs Box 6. Folder 3. NLNC, research materials Box 6. Folder 4. NLNC, book jackets Box 6. Folder 5. NLNC, reviews Box 6. Folder 6. Mumbet: The Story of Elizabeth Freeman (MSEF), correspondence Box 6. Folder 7. MSEF, drafts Box 6. Folder 8. MSEF, proofs Box 6. Folder 9. MSEF, research notes Box 6. Folder 10. MSEF, research materials Box 6. Folder 11. MSEF, reviews Box 6. Folder 12. James Weldon Johnson (JWJ), correspondence Box 6. Folder 13. JWJ, drafts, part 1 Box 6. Folder 14. JWJ, drafts, part 2 Box 6. Folder 15. JWJ, reviews Box 6. Folder 16. Gib Morgan, Oil Driller (GMOD), drafts, part 1 Box 7. Folder 1. GMOD, drafts, part 2 Box 7. Folder 2. GMOD, research notes Box 7. Folder 3. GMOD, book jackets Box 7. Folder 4. GMOD, reviews Box 7. Folder 5. Ely S. Parker, Spokesman for the Senecas (EPSS), drafts Box 7. Folder 6. EPSS, research notes Box 7. Folder 7. EPSS, reviews Box 7. Folder 8. Pecos Bill and the Mustang (PCM), draft Box 7. Folder 9. PCM, reviews Box 7. Folder 10. PCM, condensed version Box 7. Folder 11. Nancy Ward, Great Cherokee, drafts Box 7. Folder 12. Nancy Ward, Great Cherokee, research Box 7. Folder 13. Nancy Ward, Great Cherokee, reviews Box 7. Folder 14. Deborah Sampson: Soldier of the Revolution (DSSR), drafts, part 1 Box 7. Folder 15. DSSR, drafts, part 2 Box 7. Folder 16. DSSR, research Box 7. Folder 17. DSSR, book jacket Box 7. Folder 18. DSSR, reviews Box 8. Folder 1. Uriah Phillips Levy (UPL), correspondence Box 8. Folder 2. UPL, drafts, part 1 Box 8. Folder 3. UPL, drafts, part 2 Box 8. Folder 4. UPL, drafts Box 8. Folder 5. UPL, drafts Box 8. Folder 6. UPL, master proofs Box 8. Folder 7. UPL, research Box 8. Folder 8. UPL, research Box 8. Folder 9. UPL, illustrations Box 8. Folder 10. UPL, reviews Box 8. Folder 11. Canaan: a Small New England Town During the American Revolutionary War, contacts Box 9. Folder 1. "Afternoon Sketch Extravaganza" Box 9. Folder 2. "Airport Lies at La Guardia," drafts Box 9. Folder 3. American History - the Revolution Box 9. Folder 4. Amusing definitions (A-K) Box 9. Folder 5. Amusing definitions (L-Z) Box 9. Folder 6. "The Angel Intrudes" Box 9. Folder 7. Bibliographies Box 9. Folder 8. Book jackets Box 9. Folder 9. Felton book reviews Box 9. Folder 10. Books searched for tall tales Box 9. Folder 11. "Bowleg Bill: a Musical Fantasy" Box 9. Folder 12. "Paul Bunyan" Box 9. Folder 13. Paul Bunyan, research Box 9. Folder 14. "Song of Bunyan" Box 9. Folder 15. Chief Counsel's Digest, A-B Box 10. Folder 1. Chief Counsel's Digest, C-E Box 10. Folder 2. Chief Counsel's Digest, F-H Box 10. Folder 3. Chief Counsel's Digest, I-L Box 10. Folder 4. Chief Counsel's Digest, M-P Box 10. Folder 5. Chief Counsel's Digest, Q-T Box 10. Folder 6. Chief Counsel's Digest, U-Z Box 10. Folder 7. Crandall, Prudence Box 10. Folder 8. Current, Phrases Box 10. Folder 9. Eaton, Peggy Box 10. Folder 10. "The Farmer Boy from Missouri" Box 10. Folder 11. Flipper, Henry Ossian Box 10. Folder 12. Flipper, drafts Box 10. Folder 13. Folklore articles Box 10. Folder 14. Folklore articles Box 11. Folder 1. Folklore lectures Box 11. Folder 2. Folklore work Box 11. Folder 3. Grammar Box 11. Folder 4. "John Henry" Box 11. Folder 5. "John Henry," opera Box 11. Folder 6. "I Know Her," part 1 Box 11. Folder 7. "I Know Her," part 2 Box 11. Folder 8. "Income Tax: Facts and Fancies" Box 11. Folder 9. "In That Darkest Hour" Box 11. Folder 10. "I Stood One Day by a Breezy Bay" Box 11. Folder 11. "Joey," drafts Box 11. Folder 12. "John Stories: Tales from the Folklore of Black Americana," drafts and notes Box 11. Folder 13. "John Tales" Box 12. Folder 1. "Brother Jonathan's Wonderful Hunt" Box 12. Folder 2. "Jonathan's Wonderful Hunt," drafts and notes Box 12. Folder 3. Johnson, Cole and Johnson Box 12. Folder 4. King, Martin Luther, Jr. Box 12. Folder 5. Lyrics Box 12. Folder 6. Lyrics Box 12. Folder 7. "The Man Upstairs" Box 12. Folder 8. Mars, James Box 12. Folder 9. Massachusetts Box 12. Folder 10. Mention, Daddy Box 12. Folder 11. Music, lyrics by Felton Box 12. Folder 12. "Nine O'Clock Appointment" Box 12. Folder 13. "Old Pete" Box 12. Folder 14. Old phrases Box 12. Folder 15. "Once Upon a Lovely Day," part 1 Box 13. Folder 1. "Once Upon a Lovely Day," part 2 Box 13. Folder 2. "Song of Pecos Bill," part 2 Box 13. Folder 3. Pecos Bill, research Box 13. Folder 4. Publications, The American Mercury Box 13. Folder 5. Publications, The American Scholar Box 13. Folder 6. Publications, children's books, 1954-1968 Box 13. Folder 7. Publications, miscellaneous Box 13. Folder 8. Publications, stamp books Box 13. Folder 9. Publications, Time Magazine Box 14. Folder 1. Publications, The Tomahawk of Alpha Sigma Phi Box 14. Folder 2. Publications, Tudor City View Box 14. Folder 3. Research materials Box 14. Folder 4. Research materials Box 14. Folder 5. Research materials Box 15. Folder 1. Research notes, index cards Box 16. Folder 1. Research notes, index cards Box 17. Folder 1. Research notes Box 17. Folder 2. Research notes Box 17. Folder 3. Research notes Box 17. Folder 4. Research notes Box 17. Folder 5. Research notes Box 17. Folder 6. Research notes, bibliographies Box 17. Folder 7. Research notes, bibliographies Box 17. Folder 8. Research notes, lectures Box 17. Folder 9. Research notes, states A-N Box 17. Folder 10. Research notes, states N-T Box 17. Folder 11. "Roommates" Box 17. Folder 12. "The Silken Bully" Box 18. Folder 1. Simons, George Box 18. Folder 2. Songs, by Felton Box 18. Folder 3. Speeches, by Felton Box 18. Folder 4. Speech notes Box 18. Folder 5. "Squanto" Box 18. Folder 6. "Tall and Small Tales About Fishing" Box 18. Folder 7. Tall Tales, proposed book Box 18. Folder 8. Tall Tales, proposed book Box 18. Folder 9. Tall Tales, newspaper clippings Box 18. Folder 10. "Tall Tales of Jim Bridger" Box 18. Folder 11. "Tall Tales of Mountain Men," drafts Box 18. Folder 12. "Tall Tales of Oregon Smith" Box 18. Folder 13. "The Tame Trout and Other Backwoods Fairy Tales" Box 18. Folder 14. Theory Box 19. Folder 1. "The Thirteenth Apostle" Box 19. Folder 2. "Travel by Freighter," drafts Box 19. Folder 3. Travel information, Cape Cod Box 19. Folder 4. Travel information, Montana Box 19. Folder 5. Travel information, New England Box 19. Folder 6. "Uncle Monday," drafts and notes Box 19. Folder 7. "We the People, the Little Red, White and Blue Book" Box 19. Folder 8. Work in progress Box 19. Folder 9. "York," drafts Box 19. Folder 10. "Uncle Monday," research Series 3: Biographical MaterialsBox 20. Folder 1. Applications, petitions Box 20. Folder 2. Family history Box 20. Folder 3. Who's Who listings Box 20. Folder 4. Newspaper clippings Box 20. Folder 5. Newspaper clippings Box 21. Folder 1. Scrapbook Box 22. Folder 1. Scrapbook Series 4: Photographs Box 23. Folder 1. Jim Beckworth, Negro Moutain Man Box 23. Folder 2. Edward Rose, Negro trail blazer, illustrations Box 23. Folder 3. Mumbet: The Story of Elizabeth Freeman, Ashley House Box 23. Folder 4. Uriah Phillips Levy Box 23. Folder 5. Harold Felton and others Series 5: Sound Recordings Box 24. Folder 1. Reel-to-reel tape, talk on folklore, by Felton Box 24. Folder 2. Reel-to-reel tape, unidentified Box 24. Folder 3. Long-play albums, "The Lion's Cage," unidentified Series 6: Oversize Box 25. Folder 1. Bowleg Bill, Sea Going Cowpuncher, illustrations Box 25. Folder 2. Pecos Bill, Texas Cowpuncher, research materials Box 25. Folder 3. Legends of Paul Bunyan, research materials Box 25. Folder 4. Legends of Paul Bunyan, illustrations Box 25. Folder 5. Legends of Paul Bunyan, book jackets Box 25. Folder 6. Nat Love, Negro Cowboy, illustrations Box 25. Folder 7. Nat Love, Negro Cowboy, research materials Box 25. Folder 8. Mumbet: The Story of Elizabeth Freeman, galley proofs Box 25. Folder 9. Sergeant O'Keefe and His Mule Balaam, research materials Box 25. Folder 10. Edward Rose, Negro Trail Blazer, galley proofs Box 25. Folder 11. Worlds Most Truthful Man, research materials Box 25. Folder 12. Miscellaneous research materials Box 26. Folder 1. Legends of Paul Bunyan, illustrations Box 26. Folder 2. Cowboy Jamboree: Western Songs and Lore, reviews Box 26. Folder 3. Uriah Phillips Levy, proofs Box 26. Folder 4. Nat Love, Negro Cowboy, proofs Box 26. Folder 5. Nat Love, Negro Cowboy, book jackets Box 26. Folder 6. Edward Rose, Negro Trail Blazer, research materials Box 27. Folder 1. Scrapbook, research materials Box 28. Folder 1. Paul Bunyan, illustrations 1-43 Box 29. Folder 1. Paul Bunyan, duplicate illustrations Box 30. Folder 1. Paul Bunyan, miscellaneous illustrations Box 31. Folder 1. Children's stories Box 32. Folder 1. Miscellaneous materials Box 33. Folder 1. Folklore maps
Related Material and Resources: Felton, Harold W. Bowleg Bill; Seagoing Cowpuncher. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1957.Felton, Harold W. and Edward S. Breck. Cowboy Jamboree: Western Songs and Lore. New York, Knopf, 1951.______________. Fire fightin' Mose. New York, Knopf, 1955.______________. John Henry and His Hammer. New York, Knopf, [c1950].______________ and Richard Bennett. Legends of Paul Bunyan. New York, A. A. Knopf, 1947.______________. Lemuel Haynes. Falls Village, CT, Falls Village-Canaan Historical Society, 1989.______________. Mike Fink, best of the keelboatmen. New York, Dodd, Mead, [1960].______________. New tall tales of Pecos Bill. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall, [1958].______________. Pecos Bill, Texas cowpuncher. New York, Knopf, [c1949].______________. Uriah Phillips Levy. New York, Dodd, Mead, c1978.Grant, Ed, and Harold W. Felton. The world's most truthful man; tales told by Ed Grant in Maine. New York, Dodd, Mead, [1961]. Ney, James W., and Harold W. Felton. The Good English program: concepts/skills/experiences. River Forest, IL, Laidlaw, [c1979].



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