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Melville D. Landon correspondence

 Collection — Folder: S255
Identifier: S0255

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a signed, autographed letter from Melville D. Landon in New York on 1879/01/12 and a newspaper clipping regarding his books and lectures, as well as travel on railroads.


  • 1879/01/12


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Melville De Lancey Landon was born to John and Nancy Marsh Landon in Eaton, New York on Sept. 7, 1839 and was probably the youngest of five children. he attended Madison (later Colgate) University and then Union College, graduating in 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the battalion organized by Cassius M. Clay for the defense of Washington. At the same time he served as a clerk in the Treasury Department. In 1863 he served with the rank of major on Gen. A. L. Chetlain's staff in Tennessee. At the request of Secretary Chase he resigned and took up cotton growing in Louisiana and Arkansas with free labor, 1864-67, cultivating 1,700 acres in 1867. After the Civil War, he traveled extensively in Europe and Russia, serving as secretary to his former commander Clay, then minister to Russia and wrote many columns based on his travels.

Melville married Emily Louise Smith in Manhattan, New York on Mar. 22, 1875, and they had one child, Ethel. He became a humorous lecturer and journalist and writer under the pen-name Eli Perkins, publishing a number of books. In 1879 he edited the Complete works of Artemus Ward with a biographical introduction. He was president of the New York News Association, possessed considerable wealth, and at his residence in New York entertained many artistic and literary celebrities. He died Dec. 16, 1910 at Yonkers, New York from locomotor ataxia. He is buried at Eaton Village Cemetery in Eaton, New York.

Information found within the collection.

"[Landham], Melville". 1850 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2015/08/28.

"Landon, Melville". New York New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937. Retrieved 2015/08/28.

"Landon, Melville D.". U.S. Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959. Retrieved 2015/08/28.

"Landon, Melville [Delancy]". Find a Grave Memorial. Retrieved 2015/08/28.

"Landon, Melville De Lancey". Dictionary of American Biography, 1936. Retrieved 2015/08/28. [INSPIRE][Actually I found this after I had found all the other citations! - Have to remember to use INSPIRE more for the Gale biographies!]

"Landon, Melville De Lancey". New York State Literary Tree. Retrieved 2015/08/28.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records transfer from a library scrapbook on 1935/09/28.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/08/28 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2015/08/28 by Edythe Huffman.
Melville D. Landon correspondence
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.