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Meredith Nicholson papers

Identifier: L250

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the correspondence of Meredith Nicholson ranging from 1893 to 1942. The correspondence includes original letters sent to Maurice Thompson, Stephen Noland, Louis Bailey, C.B. Coleman, Indiana State Library librarians, and others. The collection also contains photocopies of correspondence between Mr. Nicholson and Charles Scribner's Sons editors Robert Bridges, Maxwell Perkins, John Hall Wheelock, and E.L. Burlingame. The photocopied letters include Nicholson's views on politics and the influence of the Ku Klux Klan on elections in the 1920s, a poem that he read at the dedication of the Indiana Monument at Antietam Battlefield on September 17, 1910, a discarded prologue to And They Lived Happily Ever After (1925), and a literary manuscript about Meredith Nicholson and his writings (circa 1923). Two other items of note are a handwritten draft of an introduction Nicholson wrote for a 1922 edition of Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi and author's proofs for his 1905 novel, The House of a Thousand Candles.


  • 1893-1942, undated


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

Meredith Nicholson was born on December 9, 1866 in Crawfordsville, Indiana to Edward and Emily Nicholson. A high school dropout, Nicholson worked a variety of jobs and briefly studied law before settling into a career as a writer. He worked as a reporter for the Indianapolis News (1884-1897) and published his first book, Short Flight, a collection of poems, in 1891. Nicholson went on to write 25 novels and 5 volumes of essays, including The Hoosiers (1900), The House of a Thousand Candles (1905), and The Hoosier Chronicle (1912). He was active in the Indiana Democratic Party and served as United States Minister to Paraguay (1933-1934), Venezuela (1935-1938), and Nicaragua (1938-1941). Other than his diplomatic service and three years in Denver, Colorado, Nicholson spent most of his life in Indianapolis. He died at the age of 81 on December 21, 1947.


"Meredith Nicholson House: About the Author." Indiana Humanities. Accessed June 28, 2016.

Russo, Dorothy Ritter, and Thelma Lois Sullivan. Seven Authors of Crawfordsville, Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society, 1952.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as donations from Louis Bailey 1933/01/27; Nellie Coats on 1947/12/22; C.B. Coleman in 1942/05; Mary Dyer Lemon on 1963/04/16; William Lewis on 1978/10/19; Julie Newman on 1970/02/06; Meredith Nicholson on 1933/05/02; Paul Richards on 1967/05/08, 1967/11/12, 1967/07, and 1971/01/11; James A. Stuart on 1956/18/15; and from the Indiana State Library in 1942, 1947, and 1951/05/02.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/07/01 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2016/07/D01 by Laura Eliason.
Meredith Nicholson papers
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.