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Henry Watterson papers (microfilm)

Identifier: 1973_428-UA

The papers of Henry Watterson are preserved on microfilm and include letters, telegrams, editorials, speeches, newspaper clippings, family history, photographs and Watterson's autobiography. This collection records the newspaper editor's career and documents, through his editorials and correspondence, his stand against protective tariff, his objection to the Civil Service Act, endorsement of the Gold Democrats in 1896, his opinions on William Jennings Bryan, the rift and subsequent reconciliation with Woodrow Wilson, his views on American involvement in World War I, his opposition to woman's suffrage and other political/social/economic issues. Among Watterson's correspondents (Series #1) were William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Buel, David Starr Jordan and Wayne MacVeagh. Topics of his editorials and correspondence included politics, journalism and reconstruction. Several of his editorials (Series #2) were written on William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. Also present is Watterson's autobiography (Series #3) which ran as a serial in the Courier-Journal in 1919. Watterson's favorite topics for speeches were Abraham Lincoln and journalism and are included in Series #5 - Speeches. Series #6 is comprised of newspaper clippings from around the country and Series (#7) is a collection of genealogical materials of Henry and Rebecca Watterson and includes various memorabilia. Biographical information: In addition to serving as editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Watterson was chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 1876 and served as a member of the United States Congress, 1876-1877. He was the author of several books and the most successful, "Marse Henry" (1919) was serialized in the Courier-Journal and the Saturday Evening Post under the title "Looking Backward."


  • 1857-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1882-1821


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.


7 reels of microfilm

Existence and Location of Originals

Originals are held by the Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Ky.

Henry Watterson Papers (microfilm)
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752