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Guide to the Don Edward Fehrenbacher Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Access Terms
  • Related/Analytical Title
  • Related/Analytical Title

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC0211
    Creator: Fehrenbacher, Don Edward, 1920-1997.
    Title: Don Edward Fehrenbacher papers
    Dates: 1928-1997
    Physical Description: 11.5 Linear feet (25 boxes)
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Green Library
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    Custodial History

    Gift of Prof. Don E. Fehrenbacher, 1979-1997, and of Mrs. Don E. Fehrenbacher, 1999.

    Information about Access


    Ownership & Copyright

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Cite As

    [Identification of item], Don Edward Fehrenbacher Papers, SC 211, Stanford University Archives, Stanford, Calif.


    Don Edward Fehrenbacher, noted Lincoln scholar and winner of the Nobel Prize in history in 1979 for his book The Dred Scott Case,was the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies at Stanford University. He earned his B.A. at Cornell University in 1946 and his graduate degrees at the University of Chicago (M.A. 1948 and Ph.D. 1951). He taught at Coe College in Iowa, 1949 to 1953, before coming to Stanford in 1953.
    His awards included a Guggenheim fellowship in 1959-60, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1975-76, and the Lincoln Prize for Civil War studies in 1997. He was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University, 1967-68, and the Harrison Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, 1973-74.
    His other books included Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850s, A Basic History of California,and The Era of Expansion 1800-1848.With his Stanford colleague David Potter, he coedited The South and the Concurrent Majority.
    Fehrenbacher was appointed Professor Emeritus in 1984; he continued to lecture and publish during his retirement and was a consultant on Ken Burns' epic film The Civil War,which aired in 1990. He died in December 1997.

    Scope and Content

    These papers document Fehrenbacher's career as historian, writer, and professor at Stanford University. Included are his incoming and outgoing correspondence, 1945-1997; syllabi, lectures, and examinations from his classes; manuscripts, drafts, and some research files from his books The Dred Scott Caseand The Minor Affair;reference files, notes, lectures, and published articles (largely from his research on Abraham Lincoln), ca. 1948-1988; and reviews of his published works.
    The correspondence, arranged chronologically, is with other historians, publishers, professional associations, Stanford colleagues, and his students, with some family letters included. Correspondents include McDonald Forrest, Bernard Weisberger, William T. Hutchinson, Lionel E. Fredman, Norman Graebner, Michael Burlingame, Carl N. Degler, David M. Potter, George H. Knoles, Richard W. Lyman, and Earl Pomeroy.

    Access Terms

    Burlingame, Michael,, 1941-
    Degler, Carl N.
    Fredman, Lionel E.
    Graebner, Norman A.
    Hutchinson, William T., (William Thomas), 1895-1976.
    Knoles, George Harmon.
    Lyman, Richard W., 1923-2012.
    McDonald, Forrest.
    Pomeroy, Earl S., (Earl Spencer), 1915-2005.
    Potter, David Morris
    Stanford University. Department of History. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;
    Weisberger, Bernard A.,, 1922-
    Manuscripts (for publication).
    Slavery--Law and legislation--United States.
    United States--History--Study and teaching.

    Related/Analytical Title

    The Dred Scott case : its significance in American law and politics.

    Related/Analytical Title

    The Minor affair : an adventure in forgery and detection.


    The following is a partial listing of correspondents in Series 1 and the year(s) where their letters may be found.
    Craven, Avery 1962, 1963, 1965
    Degler, Carl N. 1963
    Fleming, Donald 1966
    Frankenstein, Alfred 1957
    Fredman, Lionel E. 1958
    Graebner, Norman 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966
    Hutchinson, William T. 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1969, 1970
    Knoles, George H. 1968, 1972
    Littell, C. F. (Judge) 1958, 1961, 1962, 1965
    Lyman, Richard 1968
    McDonald, Forrest 1957, 1958
    Pomeroy, Earl 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
    Potter, David 1962, 1963, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970
    Sharp, William F. 1965
    Weisberger, Bernard 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1970