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Manuscript Collection: Cyrus Byington

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: Cyrus Byington (1793-1866), Presbyterian minister and missionary to the Choctaws under the American Board of Foreign Missions, was educated at Andover Theological School. He married Sophia Nye of Marietta, Ohio, 1827. Over 300 letters, mostly concerned with family matters, contain news of weather, missions, and missionaries. In addition to the originals, there are transcripts made by Grant Foreman. These documents include a manuscript draft of Byington's Choctaw grammar, an 1870 published edition of the grammar and an 1852 edition of the English and Choctaw Definer. There is a sixty-page transcript of an 1862-63 diary (original at Smithsonian), notes of Peter Hudson (Choctaw) on people and places in letters, a diary (47 pages), and a transcript of an 1846 report of Iyanubbi Female Seminary. The Byington papers have been microfilmed and there is a chronological calendar of the letters. The notes by Peter Hudson were dictated to Grant Foreman's secretary in the 1930's. A number of them are in the Choctaw language.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
1819 - 1932
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use 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.


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.

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.