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Harry W. Lawton papers
MS 122  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Harry W. Lawton papers contain correspondence, press clippings, photographs, manuscripts, magazines, and other materials from Lawton's life and career. Lawton was an American writer, journalist, editor, and historian who wrote several books on Native Americans in Southern California, particularly in the Riverside and Banning areas. Part of the collection also consists of materials about Harry Lawton's son, Jonathan Fredrick Lawton, a screenplay writer. Harry Lawton's involvement with the University of Calfornia, Riverside, and Riverside community is evidenced in his work with the Malki Museum, citrus industry, indigenous groups, Riverside's Chinatown, and the Creative Writing Department at UC Riverside, which Harry Lawton founded.
Background
Harry W. Lawton was a journalist, historian, author, and professor in Riverside County. Born in 1927, he grew up in Riverside, California. Harry Lawton received his degree from Riverside College and later attended the University of California, Berkeley. After owning the Haunted Bookstore in Berkeley, he left for Riverside in 1953 to become a journalist. He worked on local stories as a columnist for the Press Enterprise from the early 1950s to mid-1970s. In 1960 he published his book Willie Boy: A Desert Manhunt which was adapted in 1969 into the film Tell Them Willie Boy is Here starring, Robert Redford. The book told a version of the 1909 story of a Chemehuevi-Piute Native American from Banning, California who was accused of murder and eventually killed. Harry Lawton became a professor in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of California, Riverside in 1965, retiring in 1991. While at UC Riverside he focused on the citrus industry, helped with the excavation of Riverside's Chinatown, and founded the Creative Writing Department. He created the first annual Writer's Week in 1977 which continued to be a part of the UC Riverside creative writing program long after Lawton passed away. The event invites writers to give talks to students about their works and experiences as authors. Harry Lawton was involved with the Malki Museum in Banning and the non-profit Malki Museum Press as well as working alongside Native American civil rights groups. In 2005 he passed away at the age of 77 in Dana Point, California.
Extent
17.27 linear feet (13 boxes, 1 flat file folder)
Restrictions
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Availability
This collection is open for research.