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Edwin Fletcher and Cora Calhoun Horne family collection

Identifier: L327

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Edwin Fletcher and Cora Calhoun Horne. It includes a tinype, ambryotype and photographs of the Horne family, including Lena Horne, her mother, father and grandparents. Also included is correspondence and clippings regarding civil rights and slavery. A single, handwritten letter from Benjamin Harrison alludes to his possible run for president of the United States.

The collection includes an oversize collection with two education certificates (OBC137) and panoramic photographs, which comprise: 5th Annual Big Brothers and Big Sisters Philadelphia meeting panoramic photograph, 1921 May; Bahai group meeting panoramic photograph, undated; International Council of Women, Washington D.C. meeting panoramic photograph, 1925; National Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Washington D.C. meeting panoramic photograph, 1923 May; unidentified women's meeting panoramic photograph, circa 1920-1930s (OP003).


  • circa 1850-1930s


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

Edwin Fletcher Horne was born in Tennessee during 1859. He was the son of a British captain of a Tennessee River trading boat and an American Indian mother. He married Cora Calhoun on October 27, 1887 in Birmingham, Alabama. Cora was a college graduate, feminist, civic leader, and suffragist.

The Horne family was heavily involved in civil rights during the 20th century. Edwin Horne was a teacher, drugstore proprietor, politician, and newspaperman who wrote regularly for The Freeman, an illustrated African-American newspaper based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was considered to be an influential advisor to Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States of America. Horne moved to New York where he became a prominent member of the civil rights community using his influence to help causes in education and entertainment.

Edwin Fletcher “Teddy” Horne, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1893 to Edwin Fletcher Horne and Cora Calhoun Horne. He married Edna Louise Scottron on November 17, 1915 and a daughter, Lena Horne, born in Brooklyn, New York on July 17, 1917. The couple divorced in 1920. Edwin Horne, Jr. remarried and Edna, an aspiring actress, left Lena with her grandparents, Edwin Fletcher Horne and Cora Calhoun Horne.

Lena Horne was a singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist. She is known as one of the most popular and influential African American entertainers of the 20th century.

Cora Calhoun Horne died in 1932 and Edwin Fletcher Horne died in 1939. They are buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Edwin Fletcher “Teddy” Horne, Jr. died in Los Angeles, California on April 18, 1970. Edna Louise Scottron died in 1985. Lena Horne died on May 9, 2010 in Manhattan, New York.

Sources: U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Alabama, Select Marriage Indexes, 1816-1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2014. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Brozan, Nadine. "Born In A Trunk: The Story Of The Hornes." New York Times, June 20, 1986. Accessed February 6, 2019.

"Lena Horne." Pittsburgh Music History. Accessed February 6, 2019.

Lena Horne Biography. Notable Biographies. Accessed on February 6, 2019.


0.35 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Radcliffe College, on behalf of Gail Lumet, on 1979/06/15.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/02/16 by Patrick Ridout. EAD finding aid created 2016/02/17 by Patrick Ridout. EAD finding aid revised by Bethany Fiechter on 2019/02/06 2021/10/28 by Lauren Patton.
Edwin Fletcher and Cora Calhoun Horne family 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.