Finding Aid: William R. Leigh Manuscript Collection

Institution: Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
Language of Material: English
Description: 500 + items
Period covered: 1883 - 1927
Subject matter: William R. Leigh (1866-1955), traveler and artist, was a painter of wild animals, primitive people, and local color. His home was in New York City, but he traveled and studied in Europe when he was a young man, and later he traveled in Africa with the Carl Akely Expedition and with the Martin Johnsons (1926).
The collection is the gift of his wife, Ethel Traphagen Leigh, presented by her brother, Edward Traphagen, after her death. It was received by the Gilcrease Institute in 1963.
The manuscripts consist of many letters, some personal and some concerning his African safaris. In addition there are a number of letters written to his mother while he was studying in Germany and touring other countries of Europe. Also included are numerous manuscripts of poems and stories plus a lengthy typescript of his autobiography.

Background: Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s. The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Restrictions: Please, contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.
http://gilcrease.utulsa.edu/Visit/During-Your-Visit/Policies/Reproductio...

Availability: This collection is open for use by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). Contact the Library at 918-631-6441 or renee-harvey@utulsa.edu in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Arrangement Title Description Date
Letter from Blazer to Leigh congratulating Leigh on publication of "Western Ponies" and The Sink Hole"

Folder 276

December 27, 1932
Letter from Blazer to Leigh containing notes on the forts in Mescalero country

Folder 277

January 14, 1933
Letter from Blazer to Leigh including notes on Mescalero war paint and scalps and the Jarilla mountains

Folder 278

September 23, 1933
Letter from Blazer to Leigh acknowledging his receipt of Leigh's book, "Traders to the Navajos" and reference to letters sent to addresses Leigh provided

Folder 285

December 8, 1934
Letter from Blazer to Leigh with notes on Mescalero customs and commentary on Billy the Kid

Folder 265

January 13, 1932
Letter from Blazer to Leigh with list of Mescalero words and phrases

Folder 267

February 4, 1932
Letter from Blazer to Leigh with more about Mescaleros

Folder 269

February 25, 1932
Letter from Blazer to Leigh regarding work on "Crooked Finger's Elk" manuscript and receipt of a copy of "Western Pony"

Folder 274

August 17, 1932
Letter from Blazer to Leigh thanking him for a check received, noting Leigh's progress on his book, and details of the Mescaleros' story of origin

Folder 279

December 30, 1933
Letter and envelope from Blazer to Leigh noting Blazer's sparse information to report on Mescalero death observances

Folder 280

January 12, 1934
Letter and envelope from Blazer to Leigh congratulating Leigh on completion of his 200,000 word book

Folder 281

April 20, 1934
Letter from Blazer to Leigh regarding Leigh's received manuscript and Blazer's assistance with revisions

Folder 282

June 9, 1934
Letter and envelope from Blazer to Leigh regarding his revision work on Leigh's manuscript and Leigh's approaching visit

Folder 284

July 20, 1934
Letter from A.N. Blazer to Leigh with some Mescalero Apache details and praise for Leigh's story "Flash of Genius" in Munsy magazine

Folder 260

June 1, 1923
Letter from Gladwell Richardson to Leigh concerning the effect of the depression on Indian country

Folder 273

June 10, 1932
Letter and envelope from Blazer to Leigh about lack of hope getting his engine marketed and wishing Leigh luck with publishing his book

Folder 286

January 12, 1937
Two miscellaneous envelopes addressed to Leigh from Blazer

Folder 287

1932 - 1934
Letter with envelope from Leigh in Nairobi, Kenya Colony to Ethel Traphagen Leigh, New York, reporting incidents on ship, arrival at Mombasa and Nairobi, and impressions of both cities

Folder 6

March 25, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing visit of Aga Khan and with Kline, trip to escarpment of Rift Valley, and observation of Indian-Black tensions

Folder 7

March 27, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagan Leigh describing living conditions and complaints of new laws

Folder 8

April 3, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagan Leigh containing several personal preferences

Folder 9

April 10, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagan Leigh describing white ants, burrowing animals, foods, native customs and attire

Folder 10

April 11, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagan Leigh describing the sights and sounds of Lucania [sic] Camp

Folder 13

April 27, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh at Lukenia to Ethel Traphagan Leigh describing Ackeley's difficult arrival, his letters and his glimpse of Kilimanjaro

Folder 14

May 12, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagan Leigh describing the killing of an eleven foot python, the acquisition of animals for Ackeley's collection, and the unsuccessful search for a plains camp site

Folder 15

May 20, 1926
Card entitled "Clip Springer Group" made by A. A. Jansson to celebrate Ackeley's birthday

Folder 15

early 20th century
Letter with envelope from Leigh in Lukenia to Ethel Traphagan Leigh containing references to friends, camp news, and to two klepsprengers watching him paint

Folder 16

May 23, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing activities and wildlife in Lukenia

Folder 17

May 29, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh in Uganda to Ethel regarding being too trusting of Jansson due to his immaturity, and describing the weather

Folder 43

November 27, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh in Nairobi to Ethel describing the replica 34"X 66" of his Congo study he is doing for the King of Belgium

Folder 51

February 4, 1927
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing difficult trip to Nairobi

Folder 18

June 4, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing racial tensions and criticizing white inhabitants of Nairobi

Folder 19

June 5, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing the country, animal life, Sanburu tribe and the start of two water hole scenes

Folder 20

June 15, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel Traphagen Leigh describing the Samburu, passing caravans, the Eastman group, and finishing water hole study

Folder 21

June 20, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing difficulties, his painting of Mt. Kenya and adventures into the swamp

Folder 23

July 8, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing Ackley's plan to join Eastman group while he goes to Lake Nevosha

Folder 24

July 21, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing bout with Malaria, colors in his study of Mt. Kenya, and descriptions of two villages

Folder 25

August 1, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing Rockwell's buffalo specimens, views on Africa and white development, and racial issues

Folder 26

August 8, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing daily diet, filming spearmen, and spearing techniques

Folder 27

August 17, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing lion hunts progress on painting background for wild dog group and canvas for plains animals

Folder 28

August 21, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing sounds of night, lions, and fires

Folder 29

September 6, 1926
Letter from Leigh to Ethel describing drive to Nairobi

Folder 30

September 14, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel describing Ackeley's hospitalization, request to paint landscape to be given to governor, and comments about Jansson and others in the party

Folder 31

September 19, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding upcoming trip to Belgian Congo, painting at Lake Hannington and black-white relations

Folder 32

September 26, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding finishing a view of Kenya painting and stretching canvases

Folder 33

September 30, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding plans for paintings and studies

Folder 34

October 1, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding frame for King's painting and paintings for Eastman

Folder 35

October 10, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding trip to eight day trip to the Congo and purchase of a native harp to be used in future painting

Folder 36

October 14, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding trip to Kabali

Folder 37

October 21, 1926
Letter with envelope from Leigh to Ethel regarding the journey on foot

Folder 38

October 27, 1926