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Guide to the Joaquin Miller Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Joaquin Miller collection
    Dates: 1857-1944
    Bulk Dates: bulk 1857-1933
    Collection number: H1938.1
    Creator: Miller, Joaquin, 1837-1913
    Collection Size: 12 boxes
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
    Claremont, CA 91711
    Abstract: The Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) Collection of manuscripts and printed books was assembled by Willard Samuel Morse and purchased by the library in 1938. Morse's correspondence and typewritten notebooks concerning the collection are included. Printed matter includes approximately 125 items, either of first or limited editions, many beautifully illustrated, and some with laid-in autographs. Photostats and clippings of newspaper and magazine articles number more than nine hundred pieces, while there are approximately two hundred portraits of Miller between 1859 and 1912. Original manuscripts, letters, and inscribed photographs numbering approximately seventy-five items complete the Miller Collection.
    Physical location: Please consult repository.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joaquin Miller collection. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

    Acquisition Information

    The Claremont Colleges acquired the Joaquin Miller Collections from Dawson's Book Shop (Los Angeles) in 1938. This material comprises original manuscripts and letters; rare books, inscribed and extra-illustrated; photographs of the poet; a large body of mounted cuttings and photostats gathered from newspapers and magazines. The collection was meticulously assembled by the well-known collector Willard Samuel Morse.


    Cincinnatus Hiner (not Heine) Miller, better known by his pen-name, Joaquin Miller, American poet and journalist (1837-1913), was born near Liberty, Indiana.
    His father, a Quaker schoolmaster brought the family west in 1852, settling in Oregon, where young Miller received a cursory education. When he was seventeen he set out for California and lived among the Indians and in mining camps. This was a period of highly colored adventuring and lasted until 1858 when he returned to Oregon and completed his education at Columbia: College in Eugene. After an interval as pony-express rider, Miller became a newspaper editor, in Eugene, in 1862 and 1863. It was at this time that he began to write verse. His first volume of poems was published at his own expense in 1868. In 1870, after visiting the eastern states, Miller went to England, posing as a romantic Wild West figure and budding genius. He was lucky enough to be sponsored by Tom Hood and to have his Songs of the Sierras published by Longmans. Overnight he became the "literary lion" of London. He "had it made." A compulsive traveler, Joaquin Miller wrote as he went, profusely--in prose and in verse--describing places visited, the life and character of the people and the political aspects of the time. His wanderings carried him to Europe, up, down and across the United States, to Canada, the Klondike, Mexico, China and Japan.
    When the real-estate boom of the late eighties brought new life to the west, Miller returned to California to establish a permanent base. He bought one hundred acres in the hills above Oakland and built a house and guest cottages which he called "The Hights" [sic.] and began to be accepted as one of the California circle of writers which included Ina Coolbrith, Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, Prentice Mulford, Edmond Clarence Stedman, George Sterling, Jack London, Samuel L. Clemens, and others.
    In his later years "the poet of the Sierras" became something of a legend, but his fame was based perhaps more on Joaquin the personality, than on Joaquin the writer of memorable verse.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Manuscript material by Joaquin Miller, consisting of autograph poems, articles, letters, and inscribed photographs, also inserts in extra-illustrated printed books (74 pieces).
    Willard Samuel Morse correspondence and notebooks with reference to his building his Joaquin Miller Collection. This includes: letters to and from members of the Miller family, 1912-1938 (22 pieces); in and out letters between Mr. Morse and various publishers, dealers, photographers and other collectors (84 pieces); Morse's loose leaf working-notebooks, type-written (3 vols.).
    Printed matter: books, first and limited editions of Miller's works, many of these are inscribed by him and extra-illustrated (by Morse) with insertions of original Miller autograph material (approx. 50 items); articles, poems, letters, stories, and ca. by Joaquin Miller, which appeared from 1857 to 1926 in eighty-three periodicals (approx. 500 items).
    Biographical materials on Miller, taken from periodicals and mounted, are arranged chronologically in loose-leaf binders for the period 1871-1944. (An index of the signed articles is included.) (approx. 325 items). Book reviews and notices of Miller's works, also mounted cuttings, are filed individually for the period, 1870-1931, in loose leaf binders (approx. 100 items).
    A collection of portraits of Joaquin (many are mounted, but few are dated) is available. Note: care has been taken to try to pin each one down to the probable year, for the period, 1859-1912. (Including duplicates 170 items)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Miller, Joaquin, 1837-1913
    Morse, Willard S. (Willard Samuel), 1856-1935
    Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.)

    Related Material

    Joaquin Miller letters at Denison Library
    (Facsimiles of the following letters are in Box 1 of the Joaquine Miller Collection)
    Letter to "My dear Mrs. Anderson" from Joaquin Miller, [circa 1877?], New York Autograph letter, signed, 2 pages octavo, City, Windsor Hotel.
    Letter to Warlee(?) from Joaquin Miller, August 13, 1876, Roberts Bros. Publishers, Boston Autograph letter, signed, 2 pages octavo.
    Letter to Maynard from Joaquin Miller, April 20, [190]6, The Hights, Dimond, California Autograph letter, signed, 2 pages small quarto.

    Separated Material

    Hubbard, Elbert. So here then is a little journey to the home of Joaquin Miller. East Aurora, N.Y.: The Roycrofters, [1903]. (HON SPCL PS 2398 H8 1903) Letter to James Carleton Young from Joaquin Miller, December 5, 1910, The Hights. Autograph letter, signed. 1 page octavo, inserted.
    Miller, Joaquin. Building of the City Beautiful. Cambridge; Chicago: Stone and Kimball, 1893. (HON SPCL PS2397 B8) Quotation from "Dawn in San Diego", by Joaquin Miller, February 10, 1894, The Hights Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf oblong, octavo, inscribed, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Building of the City Beautiful. Trenton, N.J.: A. Brandt, 1905. (HON SPCL PS 2397 B8 1905) Joaquin Miller inscription to Amy Rich, August 25, [1906], Boston . Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Chants for the Boer. San Francisco, The Whitaker and Ray company, 1900. (HON SPCL PS2397 .C3 1900) Joaquin Miller inscription to James Carleton Young, November 4, [190]2, The Hights Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. The Complete Poetical Works of Joaquin Miller. San Francisco: The Whitaker & Ray co., incorporated, 1897. (HON SPCL PS 2395 A4 1897) Joaquin Miller inscription, 1900, The Hights Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. The Danites. New York: The American news company, 1878. (HON SPCL PS 2397 D2, 1878) Joaquin Miller "Merry Christmas" inscription, December [25], 1897, New York Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. The Danites in the Sierra. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & company, 1881. (HON SPCL PS2397 .D2 1881) Joaquin Miller inscription, 1900, San Francisco, California Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. The Danites in the Sierras: an idyl drama, in four acts. The original London version. San Francisco: The California Pub. Co., 1882. (HON SPCL PS 2397 D2, 1882) Joaquin Miller inscription, 1882, New York Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. First Fam'lies of the Sierras. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & co., 1876 (HON SPCL PS 2397 F5, 1876) Joaquin Miller inscription, 1900, Oakland, California Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on dedication leaf of his q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Joaquin Miller's romantic life amongst the red Indians : an autobiography. London: Saxon & Co., 1890. (HON SPCL PS2398 A4 R6) Letter to [John H] Carmany from Joaquin Miller, September 7, 1873, London. Autograph letter, signed. 2 pages octavo, inserted.
    Miller, Joaquin. Light; a narrative poem. Boston: H.B. Turner & Co., 1907. (HON SPCL PS 2397 L6 1907) Letter to James C[arleton] Young from Joaquin Miller, May 4, [19]08. Autograph letter, signed. 1 page octavo, on flyleaf.
    Miller, Joaquin. Memorie and Rime. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1884. (HON SPCL PS2397 M5, 1884) Joaquin Miller inscription, March 22 [18]84, The Cabin, Washington, D.C. Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, inserted, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Shadows of Shasta. Chicago, Jansen, McClurg & company, 1881. (HON SPCL PS2397 Sh12) Joaquin Miller inscription, June 13, [190]9 Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf, octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Songs of Far-away Lands. London : Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1878. (HON SPCL PS2397.So5 F) Joaquin Miller inscription, [18]78, London Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf, octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. Songs of Summer Lands. Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co., 1892. (HON SPCL PS2397 So5 Su 1892) "Child of the Sun: the Silent Aztec", by Joaquin Miller [a poem in 4 stanzas of 6 lines each], 1886, Mexico City. Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf 1g. quarto, inserted.
    Miller, Joaquin. Songs of the Soul. San Francisco: Whitaker & Ray, 1896. (HON SPCL PS2397.So5 So 1896) Joaquin Miller inscription, June 2, [18]96, San Francisco, California Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 leaf octavo, on flyleaf, q.v.
    Miller, Joaquin. "Tally-Ho!" : a musical drama, in three acts. [s.l. : s.n.], c1883 Joaquin Miller inscription to Mr. Godwin (?), 1883. (HON SPCL PS2397 .T34) Autograph manuscript, signed. 1 page octavo, on paper cover.
    Miller, Juanita. Who? Washington, D.C.: John F. Ellis & Co., c1909. (HON SPCL FOL M1621.M54 W4 1909) Joaquin Miller inscription, February 2, 1910 Autograph manuscript, signed.1 leaf large folio, on title page.
    Reed, Anna. Gethsemane : and other writings. Petaluma, California: Northern Crown Pub. Co., 1915. (HON SPCL PS2397.2 L56) Letter to A[nna] M[orrisn] Reed from Joaquin Miller, August 7, [18]92, The Hights. Facsimile of autograph letter, signed (reduced), illustration, page 16.