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Robert Dale Owen collection

Identifier: L122

Scope and Contents

The collection includes Robert Dale Owen's correspondence and writings (1826-1877), as well as correspondence of Lottie Kellogg Owen and the Kellogg family of New York and Philadelphia (1827-1904). The Owen papers include his family correspondence with father, Robert Owen (1852-1854), daughter, Rosamond (1872-1877), and a letter regarding New Harmony from his brother, William Owen (1827). Additional writings and papers relate to spiritualism, politics, social issues, condolences following the death of his father, correspondence with publishers regarding his autobiography and other published works. The collection also includes a Chickasaw dictionary and phrase book (1828).

The Kellogg family papers include Lottie Kellogg Owen's correspondence and papers regarding the settlement of Robert Dale Owen's estate (1877-1880s), correspondence of the Kellogg daughters and family members (1839-1900), and correspondence of Alexander Osbourn of Philadelphia to his wife Jennie Kellogg Osbourn (1835-1853). Also included is a letter from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to Frances Wright (1830).

There is also an oversize folder of materials ranging from 1838 to 1854 (OB202).

Correspondents include Henry Ward Beecher, Augustus C. Dodge, William Dean Howells, Anne Henrietta Leonowens, Robert Owen, William Owen, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nicholas P. Trist.


  • 1826-1904


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

Robert Dale Owen was the son of reformer Robert Owen (1777-1858). The younger Owen accompanied his father to establish experimental community at New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana in 1825. In Indiana, Owen worked as an editor of several social reform journals, including the New Harmony Gazette, New York Free Enquirer, and the Crisis (1820s-1830s). Owen was a member of the Democratic Party, and served in the Indiana House of Representatives twice (1836-1839, 1851-1852). He also was a member of the United States House of Representatives (1843-1847). Additionally, Owen served as U.S. charge d'affaires and minister to Naples, Italy (1853-1858). Following his political career, he worked as a writer and speaker on social, political, and philosophical issues: emancipation, women's rights, and spiritualism. He married Lottie Walton Kellogg of New York in 1876. Owen died a year later in 1877.


1.05 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 1 medium oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a purchase from Anthony T. Russo 1934/03/26.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999. Finding aid created in 1999. EAD finding aid revised 2015/06/01 by Brent Abercrombie. Oversize collection reprocessed and EAD finding aid revised 2021/09/10, 2024/03/27 by Lauren Patton.
Robert Dale Owen collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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