Overview of the Collection
Scope and Content
Overview of the Collection
Title: N. Howard Thorp Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1908-1999
Collection Number: mssThorp papers
Thorp, N. Howard (Nathan Howard), 1867-1940.
Extent: 870 pieces. 7 boxes.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection constitutes the literary archive of New
Mexico author N. Howard (Nathan Howard) "Jack" Thorp (1867-1940). It includes
original manuscripts of Thorp's stories, as well as songs, correspondence, a diary,
photographs and related publications.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services
Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.
John and Joyce Stauffer retain the literary rights of N. Howard (Nathan Howard)
“Jack” and Annette Thorp. Please refer all inquiries regarding permission to
publish or quote from their writings to the curator of the collection.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to
quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such
activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is
one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item]. N. Howard Thorp Papers, The Huntington Library, San
Gift of John and Joyce Stauffer, June 1999.
Howard (Nathan Howard) “Jack” Thorp was born on June 10, 1867, the youngest of three
sons of a New York City lawyer and real estate investor. He spent summers on his
brother’s ranch in Nebraska, and at the age of nineteen he moved to Nebraska and
then to New Mexico. Over the years he worked as a cowboy, operated ranches, worked
as a civil engineer, raised cattle and sheep, and served as cattle inspector for the
state of New Mexico. Thorp married Annette Hesch in December 1903, and the two of
them lived in Palma and Santa Fe before moving to Alameda, New Mexico in 1935.
Thorp began collecting and writing cowboy songs in 1889, and in 1908 his
Songs of the Cowboys was published in Estancia, New
Mexico. An expanded version of
Songs of the Cowboys was
published by Houghton Mifflin in 1921, and Thorp’s later publications included
Tales of the Chuck Wagon (1926) and
Pardner of the Wind: Story of the Southwestern Cowboy (published
posthumously in 1941 with Neil M. Clark). His fiction and poetry also appeared in
New Mexico Magazine, The Cattleman, The Atlantic Monthly,
Poetry, and Literary Digest.
His book-length story targeted towards a
Cowland, remains unpublished. Thorp
also worked for the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) New Mexico Federal
Writers’ Program from 1936-1939.
Thorp died at his Alameda, New Mexico, home on June 4, 1940.
Scope and Content
This collection constitutes the literary archive of New Mexico author N. Howard
(Nathan Howard) “Jack” Thorp. It includes original manuscripts of Thorp’s stories,
as well as songs, correspondence, a diary, photographs, and related publications.
Of note is the complete manuscript of Thorp’s unpublished
Cowland, various pack trip descriptions written for the New Mexico
Federal Writers’ Program, and the extensive files of cowboy songs written and
collected by Thorp. In the oversize box are some journals kept by Thorp,
correspondence (including 2 letters from Eugene Manlove Rhodes and 4 from Frank
Dobie), 3 photographs and printed materials. There is some correspondence which
concerns Thorp’s unsuccessful attempts to obtain and retain copyright for his song,
“Little Joe the Wrangler.”
The collection also includes some materials by and related to Thorp’s wife, Annette
Heslop Thorp (found in Box 7). Mrs. Thorp’s papers contain some original
manuscripts, many of which reflect Southwestern folklore, history and traditions.
Arranged in the following series: 1. Manuscripts (Boxes 1-4); 2. Songs (Box 5); 3.
Oversize materials (Box 6); 4. Annette H. Thorp (Box 7).
Thorp, N. Howard
(Nathan Howard), 1867-1940.
United States. Works
Project. New Mexico.
Authors, American -- 20th century --
Cowboys -- New Mexico --
Cowboys -- Fiction.
Cowboys -- Poetry.
Cowboys -- West (U.S.) --
Cowboys -- West (U.S.) -- Songs and
music -- Texts.
Cowboys' writings, American -- History
Folklore -- New Mexico.
Folklore -- West (U.S.)
Outdoor recreation -- New
Ranch life -- New Mexico.
Ranching -- New Mexico.
New Mexico -- History
West (U.S.) -- History
Letters (correspondence) -- New Mexico
-- 20th century.
Manuscripts -- New Mexico -- 20th
Manuscripts for publication -- New
Mexico -- 20th century.
Songs -- New Mexico -- 20th century.
Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank),
Rhodes, Eugene Manlove, 1869-1934.
Thorp, Annette Hesch.