MsC 688

Iowa Author

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1870 -- 1952
5 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: August 1999
Addenda: 2002

Acquisition Note: The Sabin collection was purchased by University of Iowa Libraries in 1974.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Abbreviations: For an explanation of the abbreviation and dating conventions used in the finding aids, see Abbreviations.

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

I. Series One -- General Subject Files

Boxes 1 -- 2

II. Series Two -- Legal and Household Documents

Box 3

III. Series Three -- Published Manusripts

Box 3

IV. Series Four -- Typewritten and Holograph Manuscripts

Boxes 3 -- 9

V. Series Five -- Typewritten and Holograph Manuscripts written under his Pseudonyms

Boxes 10

VI. Series Six -- Miscellaneous

Boxes 11 -- 12

VII. Appendix 1 -- List of Sabin's Pseudonyms

VIII. Appendix 2 -- List of Alternate Titles

2002 Addendum

Biographical Note

Edwin Legrand Sabin was born on December 23, 1870 in Rockford, Illinois. Before he was a year old, his father, the educator Henry Sabin, moved the family to Clinton, Iowa. Edwin Sabin grew up in that river town and graduated from Clinton High School in 1888. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Sabin then went to work as a reporter for various newspapers in Iowa and Illinois. In May 1893, he joined an expedition to the Bahamas organized by Charles C. Nutting, a professor of zoology and curator of the University of Iowa's natural history museum. Sabin resumed his newspaper work upon his return. While working in Chicago, he met Mary Nicole Nash. They were married on October 7, 1896.

Sabin began publishing poetry and short stories in nationally known magazines around the turn of the century. His work appeared in The Chautauquan, St. Nicholas, Country Life, and many others. In 1902, he wrote his first children's book. Slowly his attention began to focus on the West, and encouraged by his publisher he turned his talents in that direction. His western historical fiction was highly researched and he was proud of its accuracy. He and his wife moved to La Jolla, California in 1913, so he could be closer to his subject matter.

The years 1913 --1931 were fruitful ones for Sabin. His books for boys were being published and received critical acclaim. However, he was hit hard by the Great Depression. He tried to sell his services as a writing consultant and even tried to establish a correspondence school for aspiring writers. These schemes failed, as did his attempts to publish his own work. The public's taste had changed and his western stories, with strong moral lessons of good and evil, were no longer in vogue. Sabin died on November 24, 1954, completely destitute -- a ward of the county.

Scope and Contents

The following is an inventory of the papers of Iowa author Edwin Legrand Sabin, 1870 -- 1952. It is arranged in six series: 1) General subject files, including correspondence, 2) Household and legal documents, 3) Sabin's published manuscripts, 4) Typewritten and holograph manuscripts, 5) Typewritten and holograph manuscripts written using his pseudonyms, and 6) Miscellaneous files containing scrapbooks, oversize items and ephemera.

Appendix I is a list of six pseudonyms used by Mr. Sabin. Only four of the names can be documented. There is nothing definite on the manuscript E.P.N. that establishes it as Sabin's work and there is also some doubt as to the authenticity of Annie Lyman Palmer. The mailing address on the manuscript's submission page is not one generally used by Sabin. The manuscript may have been submitted to him for criticism.

Appendix II is a list of alternate titles. Some of the stories are word-for-word the same, but use a different title. Other stories, such as the Courage Is the Word group or the River Town group, are re-writes of the same basic story. Occasionally, as in the Bull Creek group, the complete copy is known by a different name from that of its rough draft.

To aid the researcher, it should be noted that the bracketed page numbers on the rough drafts refer to the corresponding pages in the complete copy. Although no guide has been drawn up, a close study of the manuscripts reveals that several of the short stories are chapters which have been lifted from the longer works.

The manuscripts in the group which includes Report from Anthony's Nose are probably autobiographical. The correspondence folders contain letters from characters named in the story, such as C. P. "Scoop" Chase and James and Donald Leslie. Reference to other characters can be found in the River Town research folder. A more complete account of the life and literary accomplishments of Edwin Sabin can be found in an article by Phillip D. Jordan in Books At Iowa, Number 22, April 1975.

Series I. General Subject Files

Box 1

Autograph and typewritten notes.

Biographical information

Book reviews, 1932 -- 1935.

Chase, Charles P. "Scoop".

Correspondence, 1900 -- 1951. Including: Folder 3, TLS: Grace Raymond Hebard, Oct.4, 1933; Johnson Brigham, Feb. 9, 1934. Folder 4, ALS: W.J. Ghent, Oct.9 1936. Folder 5, TLS: H. Bedford-Jones; Bernard DeVoto; Robert G. Cleland; Iowa Authors Club Bulletin, Feb. 1940. Folder 7, greeting cards, 1948 -- 1951. (8 folders)

Box 2

Correspondence, 1952 -- 1970 (2 folders).

Literary Market Place Directory, 1942. Including personal memoranda.


Projected series.

Rejection notices, undated.

Stationary and calling card.

Writing course.


Authors associated; A-B-C of Writing.

Correspondence. 1932 -- 1941.

Typewritten manuscripts. Including: Storywriting Excercises; The Business of Plotting; The Critic and the Writer; How Do You Get Plots?; Technic; Don't Be Bluffed; Are You Direct?; Precision; A-B-C of Writing: I. What About It?, II. Fiction Is As Fiction Does, III. The Idea, IV. The Plot.

Typewritten and autograph notes.

Other programs.

Series II. Legal and Household Documents

 Box 3

 Automobile papers, dog license, 1936 -- 1952.

Bills and receipts, 1925 -- 1952.

Certificate of accomplishment, State University of Iowa, 1947.

Copyrights and contracts, 1902 -- 1953 (3 folders).

Insurance, 1943 -- 1952.

Real estate, 1913 -- 1943.

Royalties, 1920 -- 1952.

Sale of Sabin estate, 1957.

Stocks, 1904-1918.

Taxes, 1940 -- 1951.

Welfare, 1951.

Series III. Published Manuscripts

Sabin, E.L.

Bad Man From Bitter Creek, complete.

Brother Parcelius, complete.

Christmas News, complete poem.

Crossed Wires, complete.

Earthquake Weather, complete.

Easter, complete poem.

Henry Overbets His Hand, complete, 2 copies.

The Hermit Thrush, complete poem.

In Town, complete poem.

An Indian Blanket, complete poem.

The Last Buffalo, complete.

Love of Woman, complete.

Manhandling Murray, complete.

On the Western Sheep Range, complete.

Peoria, Illinois, complete.

Query, complete poem.

The Rough Log, complete.

The Song of Roland, complete.

The Striking Snake, first page only; the rest of the published story is incorporated in, Courage Is the Word.

The Winning of Jennie Dale, complete.

A Yellow Bowl, complete.

Young Mrs. Anderson, complete.

Sabin, E.L. and A.M. Loosley:

Cactus and Pink She-Stock, complete.

Poetry scrapbook.

Series IV. Typewritten and Holograph Manuscripts

[Poems (Including poems by Sabin under his pseudonyms W.H. Asper and E.P.N.)]

Box 4


Alerted, complete.

Alibi, complete.

Annals of a River Town, incomplete.

Avaunt Ye, Evil!, complete.

Bad Medicine Big Water, complete.

Beaver, complete.

Bellona in Washington, complete.

Black Ivory, incomplete.

Bloodhounds on the Trail, complete.

Bread Upon the Waters, complete.

California and the Double Eagle, complete.

California Joe: He Could Trail an Ant, complete.

California Joe (by Col. P. Ingraham from Beadle's Boy's Library).

Cleopatra VI: Most Dangerous of the Species, complete.

The Constitution and the Guerriere, rough draft.

The Constitution and the Squadron, rough draft and notes.

Crazy Horse Makes a Brave End, complete.

Cruise of the George Washington, rough draft.

The Black Bean, rough draft and notes.

Bull Creek, rough draft.

Courage is the Word, complete copy and duplicate pages. (2 folders)


Decoy, complete.

Dirty Money, complete.

Do Not Despair, complete.

Dog, rough draft and complete copy.

Dog and Car, complete.

Eaton of North Africa, rough draft and complete copy.

The Faithful Heart, complete.

Friends of LaFayette, incomplete.

German Spoken, complete.

The Ghost-Dance Medicine Was Bad - Lieutenant Bull Head Does His Duty, complete.

Glory Waters, incomplete.

Good Dog, incomplete.

Hamlet in Search of a Kingdom, rough draft.

Heart of a Dog, complete.

How's the Fishing?, complete.

Hunting Blood, rough draft and complete copy.

I Lived In a River Town, incomplete.

I'll See Ye Blow Sky-High!, incomplete.

The Indian Bow and Arrow, complete.

Dude Ranch, synopsis and notes.

Editor of the Herald, complete.

Box 5
Editor of the Herald, rough drafts, notes, and fragments. (3 folders)

Fighting Man; Zachary Taylor, His Country's Soldier, rough draft.

Fighting Man; Zachary Taylor, the People's Hero, rough draft.

Guns for Gangster Pay, advance exhibits and fragments.

In the Camps of the Sioux, incomplete.


John Colter Makes a Race of It, complete.

Judge Roy Bean: the 'Law of the Pecos', complete.

Just Around the Corner, complete.

Kit Carson Crosses the Last Divide, complete.

The Lady and the God, rough draft, incomplete copy, and notes.

The Last Man, complete.

Lesson No. 1, incomplete.

The Long Wait, rough draft and complete copy.

Lost Mines, notes. 

Box 6
The Land We Love, rough draft and notes; fragments of correpondence and other manuscripts on verse.

Long Trail's End, complete.


Madame Bonapart, complete.

Man on a High Seat, complete.

Martyr Pioneers of the Cross in America, complete.

Miracle in the Desert, complete.

Mr. and Mrs. Finch and Mr. Owl, complete.

Mr. Ninkum and the Necktie Young Woman, complete.

Nice Uniform, complete.

Not All Are Drowned; Invitation To a River Town, incomplete.

Old Nick, complete.

An Old-Time Seaman, complete.

Preacher Smith: Pioneer on the Gospel Trail, complete.

Proud Man, complete copy and duplicate pages.

The Return of Santa Claus, incomplete.

River Town Days, incomplete.

Numbers Don't Make Odds, complete.

Open For Summer Guests, complete.

Report from Anthony's Nose; Meet Me on the Levee, complete.

Box 7
Report from Anthony's Nose; Meet Me on the Levee, rough draft, newsphotos, and research. (3 folders)

River Town, rough draft, notes and fragments, and complete copy. (3 folders)

The Romance of California, rough draft, notes, and research (2 folders).

Box 8


Sahara Freedom, incomplete.

Soldier Stuff, complete.

A Solitary of the Night, complete.

The Song of Roland, incomplete.

Stones of the Alamo, incomplete.

Taft has Company, complete.

That 'Eaton Expedition', rough draft and complete copy.

They Did Not Pass, incomplete.

This is Our Land; the Parade of the States, advance exhibit.

This was War, incomplete.

Time of Plenty, rough draft and complete copy.

Treasure of Cibola, complete.

Treasure Stampedes, complete.

Trial of Faith, rough draft and complete copy.

Voices from Congress, complete.

Sargeant Darley: Laclede Rangers, rough draft and notes.

The Shadow of Sitting Bull, incomplete.

The Shadow of Sitting Bull; A Story of Centennial Year, 1876, incomplete.

Soldier Blood, rough draft.

Texas and Zachary Taylor, rough draft.


We Bought Peace, rough draft.

Weak Joint, complete.

When New York Lamented Zachary Taylor, complete copy and rough draft.

When Peace was on the Bargain Counter, incomplete.

When the Upper Mississippi Quit Business, complete.

White Juju, incomplete.

The Will of the People, complete.

The Will of the People; Death of a President, complete.

The Wind Wagon: All Aboard and Hang onto Your Hat!, complete.

The Woman from France, complete.

The Yanks Were There, rough draft.

Young Man Afraid, complete.

White Blood and Red, two complete versions, duplicate pages and notes.

Box 9
Zachary Taylor-- Old Rough and Ready, research, including photographs, and rough drafts. (4 folders)

Zachary Taylor-- The People's Hero, Rough draft, notes and fragments. (2 folders)

Unidentifiable manuscript fragments.


Series V. Typewritten and Autograph Manuscripts
(under Sabin Pseudonyms)

Box 10

Asper, William H.

Bag Limit, complete.

Business Conversation; Mrs. Tillicum at the Telephone, complete.

Fiddler's Truce, complete.

Historic Utterances, complete.

The Life and Works of Andy Anderson, complete.

Never! Never! Never!, complete.

On Being Jawfull, complete.

Ouch! complete.

Quizogisms, complete.

Recall For Private Peters, complete.

Soldiering, incomplete.

Veiled Delusions, complete.

We'll Feed You Out!, rough draft and complete carbon copy.

White Feather, complete.

Lamore, Carol

The Heart Does Not Forget, complete.

Love Makes a Bargain, complete.

Palmer, Annie Lyman [Not a documented pseudonym]: [Note: A newspaper clipping brought to us by researcher Sandra Spalding in 2002 seems to refute the notion that Palmer was a pseudonym for Sabin. A photocopy of that piece from the La Jolla Journal is in the collection.]

"Well Known Chicagoan Locates in La Jolla." La Jolla Journal. Thursday, June 14, 1928, [page 1].

Released from Bondage, complete and carbon copy, synopsis containing music. (3 folders)

Rawkins, Watson

The Mississippi River That Was, notes, fragments, and complete copy. (2 folders)

Scott, Yoric

Being A Dog, complete.

Blood Feud, rough drafts and complete.

Dead Reckoning, complete.

Desert Broke, complete.


Series VI. Miscellaneous

Box 11

Scrapbook. [Most of the clippings pertain to education, including articles by and about Herny Sabin].

Box 12

Scrapbook on Zachary Taylor and his era. (Including newspaper articles by Edwin Sabin.)

Reprint of Saturday Evening Post, May 6, 1905. (Including Edwin Sabin Story: The Sunday-School Picnic, p. 6).

Reading Glasses and Case.

Kit Carson Days. Photograph of 1914 and 1935 editions; publicity pamphlets for 1933, 1935, and 1936 editions.

Photograph of sixteen books authored by Edwin L. Sabin.

Appendix I

List of Sabin Pseudoyms

Asper, William H.


Lamore, Carol

Palmer, Annie Lyman (See note above.)

Rawkins, Watson

Scott, Yoric

Appendix II

List of Alternate Titles

1) Forbidden Waters

Glory Waters

Guns For Gangster Pay

Pay Them with Guns

The Rough Log

2) Courage is the Word

Long Trail's End

Numbers Don't Make Odds

The Striking Snake

3) Annals of a River Town

I Lived in a River Town

Meet You on the Levee; Come on in, the Water's Fine

Not All are Drowned; Invitation to a River Town

Report from Anthony's Nose

River Town

River Town Days

River Town; Life on the Upper Mississippi

4) The Black Bean



5) Bull Creek

Dude Ranch

Open for Summer Guests

6) Dog

The Faithful Heart

The Heart of a Dog

7) Eaton of North Africa

That 'Eaton Expedition'

8) Good Dog

His Dog

9) Fighting Man; Zachary Taylor, his Country's Hero

Fighting Man; Zachary Taylor, his Country's Soldier

Fighting Man; Zachary Taylor, the People's Hero

Texas and Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor--Old Rough and Ready

Zachary Taylor--the People's Hero

10) The Land We Love

This is Our Land; The Parade of the States

11) The Making of California

The Romance of California

12) Blood Feud (Yoric Scott)

Sahara Freedom (E.L. Sabin)

13) In the Camps of the Sioux

The Shadow of Sitting Bull

The Shadow of Sitting Bull; A Story of Centennial Year, 1876

Soldier Blood

White Blood and Red

14) The Mississippi River that Was (Watson Rawkins)

When the Upper Mississippi Quit Business (E.L. Sabin)

15) Recall for Private Peters (W.H. Asper)

Soldiering (W.H. Asper)

2002 Addendum

Items provided by Sandra Spalding

Listing of places E. L. Sabin lived, with dates

Sabin, E.L. "Col. John Hannay, An Appreciation." La Jolla Journal, April 10, 1923, p. 24. Typescript transcription.

Transcripts of articles about E. L. Sabin from various newspapers, 1907 -- 1952.



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