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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.


  • circa 1880-1930s


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 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. Edwin 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. Edwin and Edna were the parents of Lena Horne. Lena was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 17, 1917. Edwin and Edna divorced in 1920. Edwin 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.

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

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

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


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


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.
Edwin Fletcher and Cora Calhoun Horne family collection
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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