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Clarence W. Rowley papers relating to Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2513

Scope and Contents

The Clarence W. Rowley Papers Relating to Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan contain correspondence, photographs, diaries, printed material, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia documenting the life of Clarence W. Rowley, particularly his relationship with William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and John L. Sullivan. The papers span the dates 1878-1941, but the bulk of the material covers the years 1910-1920.

Series I, Correspondence (Box 1) is organized into two subseries: General Correspondence and Third-Party Correspondence. Both are arranged alphabetically by correspondent. General correspondence contains letters and telegrams concerning Rowley's business and personal relationships. They concern the development of property in Arizona, the dissolution of the Dyer-Cody Arizona Mining and Milling Company following a financial scandal in 1911, and the subsequent incorporation of the High Jinks Gold Mining Company. Letters between Cody and Rowley detail their friendship and their business partnerships. Correspondence between Rowley and General Charles King documents Rowley's attempts to protect Buffalo Bill's posthumous reputation, and relates King's recollections regarding Buffalo Bill's campaign experience. A letter from Gordon "Pawnee Bill" Lillie in 1930 describes the establishment of Pawnee, Oklahoma, a western entertainment venture. Third-party Correspondence contains a small set of letters written to William B. Gale of the Boston law firm Gale & Gale, dated 1878 to 1882, from various legal figures; a letter written to John L. Sullivan in 1917; and a letter concerning debts from A. L. Brown to A. Rossi, possibly related to one of Rowley's business ventures in the Southwest.

Series II, Photographs (Boxes 2-4) is organized into five subseries: Clarence W. Rowley, Buffalo Bill, Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Great East Show, John L. Sullivan, and Other Photographs. The series contains both gelatin silver prints and cyanotypes. Clarence Rowley subseries contains formal portraits of Rowley, as well as photographs of Rowley mining, traveling, at home, and with friends. A set of photographs documents the meeting Rowley arranged between Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan in 1908. There are also many photographs of Rowley with Buffalo Bill, possibly taken during their 1911 tours; photographs of Rowley with various Wild West performers; a photograph of Rowley eating a camp meal with Theodore Roosevelt and others; and four photographs of Rowley's daughter, Patricia Ann Rowley.

Buffalo Bill subseries contains formal portraits, snapshots and postcards of Buffalo Bill and his family, including five photographs documenting Cody's tour of Fort Bliss, Texas, with General Hugh L. Scott. Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Great East Show subseries contains over fifty photographs of performers, and includes two photographs of exhibition grounds. John L. Sullivan subseries contains studio portraits and commercial prints of Sullivan as both a young and an older man, including photographs with his wife and family, and a numbered group of photographs relating to the July 4, 1910 boxing match in Reno, Nevada, between Jack Johnson and James Jeffries.

Other Photographs subseries contains a set of albumen prints on mounts created by Allen & Rowell, Boston, reproducing scenes from Paul Philippoteaux's Battle of Gettysburg mural, as well as snapshots and miniature photographs of unidentified animals, individuals, landscapes, and objects.

Series III, Personal Papers (Box 5) is arranged by type of material. It contains a circular relating to Rowley's bid for a seat on the Boston Common Council, business stationery, a clipping, and a group of diaries which Rowley kept from 1909 to 1919.

Series IV, Business Papers (Boxes 5-6) is organized into four subseries: High Jinks Gold Mining Company, John L. Sullivan Motion Picture Company, Montezuma Mining Company, and Montezuma Silver Mines Corporation. Each subseries is arranged by type of material. High Jinks Gold Mining Company subseries contains incorporation documents, by-laws, minutes, and notes. John L. Sullivan Motion Picture Company subseries contains a description of the business. Montezuma Mining Company subseries and Montezuma Silver Mines Corporation subseries both contain stock certificates and other corporate documents.

Series V, Subject Files (Box 6) is organized into two subseries: Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan. Buffalo Bill subseries contains a biographical sketch, clippings tracing Buffalo Bill's career and commemorating his death, and a folio of six chromolithograph prints titled The Indian: Buffalo Bill's Art Studies with Portraits of Himself. John L. Sullivan subseries contains clippings, printed ephemera, typescript speeches and poems, and records related to the settlement of Sullivan's estate.

Series VI, Other Papers (Box 6) is arranged alphabetically by type or title of material. The series includes a Henry Ward Beecher autograph, a report on the Campo Bonito and Southern Belle Mining and Milling Company by F.E. Fielding, a printed prospectus for the Cripple Creek Consolidated Mining and Milling Company, and a typescript resolution from the "citizens of Boston... assembled in Faneuil Hall" urging the United States to send an "expeditionary force of volunteers under the command of Theodore Roosevelt to France to co-operate with the allied forces in the war against the Imperial German government."

Oversize contains material from Series I, II, and V. It includes oversize advertisements, photographs, and prints.

Dates

  • 1878 - 1941
  • Majority of material found within 1910 - 1920

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Clarence W. Rowley Papers Relating to Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were purchased from William Reese Co. on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2004.

Extent

4.09 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.rowley

Overview

Correspondence, photographs, printed material and other papers relating to Rowley and his relationships with Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan. Rowley's correspondence includes letters and telegrams concerning the development of property in Arizona, the dissolution of the Dyer-Cody Arizona Mining and Milling Company following a financial scandal in 1911, and the subsequent incorporation of the High Jinks Gold Mining Company to recoup losses. Correspondence between Cody and Rowley details their friendship and investment partnership. Also includes a small set of letters written to William B. Gale of the Boston law firm Gale & Gale, dated 1878 to 1882, from various legal figures; correspondence related to John L. Sullivan's death in 1918; and correspondence concerning Buffalo Bill's posthumous reputation, including letters between Rowley and General Charles King, who served with Cody in the Indian Wars, recollecting Buffalo Bill's campaign experiences. In a letter dated 1930 Jan 3, Gordon "Pawnee Bill" Lillie tells Rowley about the establishment of Pawnee, Oklahoma, his western entertainment venture. There is also a letter to Rowley from John L. Sullivan shortly before Sullivan's death in 1917.
Photographs include formal portraits of Clarence Rowley, as well as photographs of Rowley mining, traveling, at home and with friends. Hundreds of photographs relate to Rowley's trips West and to Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show. Candid and staged photographs, several captioned and autographed in Buffalo Bill's own hand, include portraits with his wife Louisa, photos of the TE Ranch, and snapshots of a tour of Camp Bliss with General Hugh L. Scott in 1914. Photographs relating to John L. Sullivan date from 1882 to 1910. Most are publicity shots picturing Sullivan in boxing poses, in the ring, or with other famous athletes. Includes a series of photos taken in 1910 at the James Jeffries vs. Jack Johnson fight in Reno, Nevada. Many of the other photographs picture Sullivan as an older man on his farm in Massachusetts. There is also a set of photographs documenting a meeting between Buffalo Bill and Sullivan in 1908.
Clarence Rowley's personal papers include eleven diaries from 1909 to 1919. The diaries contain brief daily notes on business and personal matters such as court dates, social functions, the births of Rowley's children, and Rowley's travels, including a 1911 trip with Cody. Rowley's business papers include incorporation documents, by-laws, minutes and other papers of the High Jinks Gold Mining Company; stock certificates, shareholder resolutions, and reports of the Montezuma Silver Mine Company; and a description of the John L. Sullivan Motion Picture Company.
Remaining Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan material is arranged in subject files, and includes printed material, clippings, speeches, and writings related to the two men. Buffalo Bill material includes a folio of six chromolithograph prints titled The Indian: Buffalo Bill's Art Studies with Portraits of Himself. Other papers include a Henry Ward Beecher autograph, a report on the Campo Bonito and Southern Belle Mining and Milling Company by F.E. Fielding, and a printed prospectus for the Cripple Creek Consolidated Mining and Milling Company.

CLARENCE W. ROWLEY

Clarence W. Rowley was a successful Boston lawyer who represented both William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and boxing champion John L. Sullivan. Early in his career, Rowley ran for a seat on the Boston Common Council. A circular promoting his candidacy to voters of Ward 18 noted that he was a "self-made man" whose family had resided in New England "for more than two centuries."

An investor in several mining and oil ventures in the West, Rowley was an officer, major stockholder, and chief legal representative for the Cody-Dyer Arizona Mining and Milling Company in Oracle, Arizona. When the company dissolved after financial troubles in 1911, Rowley and Cody founded the High Jinks Gold Mining Company to recoup losses. Rowley was also involved in the Southern Belle gold mining company in Arizona and the Montezuma Silver Mine Corporation in Goldfield, Nevada, and had some association with the Cripple Creek mine in Colorado.

Rowley maintained a friendship with Cody, and toured the West at his invitation in 1911. He was also business partners with John L. Sullivan, becoming Secretary and Treasurer of the John L. Sullivan Motion Picture Company when it was incorporated in 1917. He served as executor of Sullivan's estate after Sullivan's death in 1918.
Title
Guide to the Clarence W. Rowley Papers Relating to Buffalo Bill and John L. Sullivan
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Kathleen Burns
Date
February 2005
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

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