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WILLIAM ELSEY CONNELLEY PAPERS

 Collection
Identifier: WH905

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection of William Connelley's papers consists mainly of manuscript drafts and research material for two of his books, Quantrill and the Border Wars, and Wild Bill and his Era: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok. Research material includes correspondence, interview transcripts and statements, newspaper clippings and notes. The collection also contains several files on the Connelley family genealogy. Papers date from 1880 to 1930.

SERIES 1 QUANTRILL AND THE BORDER WARS 1852-1930 BOX 1

The materials in the series include correspondence, interview transcripts and statements, copies of articles, newspaper clippings, notes, and articles that were used for research to write the book. Much of the research material is transcribed from the original newspapers, reports, and articles. The dates in brackets are the original publishing dates.

SERIES 2 BORDER WARS - LIFE AND TIMES OF WILD BILL 1858-1930 BOX 1-6

The series contains the manuscript draft of the book Connelley intended to publish under the series title. Material includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, transcripts of interviews and statements, and notes. Much of the research material is transcribed from the original newspapers, reports, and articles. The dates in brackets are the original publishing dates.

SERIES 3 PERSONAL 1920-1927 BOX 6

Material in the series consists primarily of correspondence and transcripts of statements concerning the family history.

SERIES 4 PHOTOGRAPHS 1872-1909 BOX 6

The series includes images and photographs acquired by Connelley during his research into the lives of William Clark Quantrill and Wild Bill Hickok. Photographs are black and white, and primarily depict portraits and structures. Illustrations in Connelley's published works are primarily line drawings based upon these photographs rather than the actual photographs. The series also includes numerous reference images, which appear to be copies of illustrations taken from other publications.

Dates

  • 1880-1930

ACCESS:

The collection is open for research.

OWNERSHIP:

Literary rights and copyrights have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.

PUBLICATION RIGHTS:

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

William Connelley was born in Kentucky on March 15, 1855. In 1875, he married Julia Francis Wittin. They had two children, a daughter, Bernadetta born in 1875, and a son Walter born in 1879. Julia died in 1881 and in 1885, William Connelley married a second time to Sarah Atalanta Fife. Elsie Louise (1890) and Edith MacGregor (1892) are the two daughters from their marriage.

William Connelley settled in Tiblow, Kansas (now Bonner Springs) with his brother, John in 1880. The following year William Connelley became a deputy county clerk in Wyandotte. Three years later he was elected county clerk, an office he held for four years. After working as a county clerk, Mr. Connelley became a schoolteacher. While teaching, he developed an interest in the lore of the Wyandotte Indians. This interest led him to research the North American Indians, and the history of Kansas, Kentucky, and the West. In 1921, Mr. Connelley had the distinction of preparing the only written vocabulary of the Wyandotte language. He made extensive studies of language and history of the Delawares, Shawnees, and other tribes.

Mr. Connelley held many jobs throughout his life including politician, retailer, teacher, and banker. He organized the Oil Producers Association and began a crusade against Standard Oil Company, which resulted in the dissolution of that company by the US Supreme Court. Later he became secretary of the Kansas Historical Society. Mr. Connelley held the job while he continued to research and write books on the history of Kansas and the West. William Connelley was a member of the Sons of American Revolution, American Historical Society, American Anthropological Association and the Nebraska, Missouri, and Ohio Historical Societies.

Mr. Connelley worked on his last book with his daughter Elsie. He conducted extensive research on the life of Bill Hickok. Although he wrote most of the book, his daughter contributed on a few chapters. Unfortunately, Mr. Connelley died in 1930 before the book was published. His daughter edited and revised many of the chapters and the book was published in 1935. The published version of Wild Bill and his Era: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok is different from the manuscript William Connelley wrote due to the revisions and omitted chapters. The original manuscript in its entirety is included in the collection.

Extent

6 Boxes

PROVENANCE:

The William Elsey Connelley collection was purchased from Fred Mazzulla in 1972.

SIZE:

Number of Boxes: 6

LOCATION:

WH905

PROCESSED BY:

Ellen Zazzarino

January 2000

REVISED AND ENCODED BY:

Merrie Jo Schroeder

August 2004

Dennis Hagen

June 2008

PROJECT MANAGER:

Ellen Zazzarino

Title
WILLIAM ELSEY CONNELLEY PAPERS
Date
Revised June 2008
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

Contact:
10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States