Ohio History Journal

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In this QUARTERLY we publish the first of a number of articles we

shall from time to time reproduce from the collection of the famous

Draper manuscripts in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society,

located at Madison, Wisconsin. A large portion of these manuscripts,

there preserved, pertain to the early history of Ohio.

The past summer (1910) it was the privilege of the Editor of the

QUARTERLY to visit Madison and through the courtesy of Dr. Reuben

Gold Thwaites, Secretary and Superintendent of the Wisconsin Historical

Society, certain of the Ohioan manuscripts were selected for transcription

and publication in this and future numbers of the Ohio State Archae-

ological and Historical Society QUARTERLY. Many of these have never

before been made public and we are thus enabled to present our readers

much valuable history at "first hand."

What are the Draper manuscripts? We answer that question from

the article by Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites on "The Draper Manuscripts,"

published in his volume of "Essays on Western History."

Lyman Copeland Draper was a native of Erie County, New York,

the year of his birth being 1815. His paternal grandfather was a

Revolutionary soldier and his maternal grandfather fell in the War of

1812, in which contest his father also took part. The lad's taste therefore

for historical lore of his own country was a natural inheritance. AS a

boy he heard the tales of frontier warfare from those who had par-

ticipated therein, and he read the stories of the colonies. When only

eighteen years of age he began to write historical sketches for the

newspapers. In his nineteenth year he entered college at Granville, Ohio,

now known as Denison University. After two years of undergraduate

work, lack of means compelled him to leave and seek aid elsewhere.

This aid he received from Peter A. Ramsen, who had married Draper's

cousin. The well-to-do relative, appreciating the boy's ambition and

ability, placed him in the Hudson River Seminary, at Stockport, New

York, where he pursued his studies "which were followed by an extended

course of private reading, chiefly historical," -the historians of the

Western border. In 1838 he entered upon the plan of writing a series