This collection contains the papers of American professor and historian
Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932). Subjects covered: Turner's education; family affairs; business
affairs, particularly with his publisher Henry Holt and Co.; ideas about the
frontier, sectionalism, historical scholarship, professional matters generally, and
politics; Turner's activities and experiences at Johns Hopkins University,
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Harvard and the Huntington Library; teaching
career; work with the Harvard Commission on Western History; work with the
Dictionary of American biography project; and his role in the American Historical
Association, particularly the "Bancroft insurrection" of 1915.
American professor and historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) was born November 14,
1861, in Portage, Wisconsin, the son of Andrew Jackson Turner, a journalist,
politician, and local historian. After study at the University of
Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins, Turner embarked on a teaching career in American
history, first at the University of Wisconsin (1889-1910) and later at
Harvard University (1910-1924). With the publication in 1893 of his essay "The Significance of the Frontier
in American History," containing his thesis that American society owed its distinctive characteristics to experience with
an undeveloped frontier,
he became a figure of national importance historically. Though
he wrote little, he was active in American Historical Association, and he was a guide and mentor to the future historians
who passed through his
classroom. His final years were spent in research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, where
his activities became increasingly curtailed as his health deteriorated. He died in
Pasadena, California, on March 14, 1932.
Approximately 20,000 items in 259 boxes plus miscellaneous volumes. About 7,500 catalogued letters and documents;
photographs; maps; lantern slides; 5 boxes of papers written by his students; 34
file drawers of his working notes and other data.
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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.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services
Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.