The Minnie Moore Willson Papers document the life and career of a noted Florida writer and advocate for the Seminole Indians of Florida. The Papers also include materials related to her husband James Mallory Willson, a prominent Kissimmee businessman and a defender of Seminole Indian rights. The Papers were purchased by the University of Miami in the late 1940s from the Elizabeth Aultman Cantrell Historical Museum in Kissimmee, Florida. Selected materials from the Papers, including books, maps, pamphlets and some periodicals were removed from the collection and sent to the appropriate areas in the Library.
The collection includes material from Minnie Moore Willson as well as material from her husband James Mallory Willson. The Minnie Moore Willson Collection consists of correspondence with individuals including Florida Senator Duncan Fletcher and Florida Representative Ruth Bryan Owen. Correspondence files also include letters with Seminole Indians such as Billy Bowlegs, Tony Tommie and other prominent Seminole Indian chiefs. The collection contains a number of manuscripts by M.M. Willson related to the Seminole Indians and such issues as the equality of blacks and Southern politics. Additional material relates to the creation of a bird sanctuary in Kissimmee, Florida.
James M. Willson's papers contain business records including correspondence, abstract of titles (original and copies) scrapbooks, and financial records from the 1880's to the 1930's (in the latter years Minnie Moore Willson handled the business correspondence due to illness). Correspondence deals with Mr. Willson's real estate and insurance business in the Kissimmee area. The files also contain manuscripts, correspondence and material collected or written by Elizabeth Cantrell, niece of James Mallory Willson. Correspondence to and from S.B. Aultman (Elizabeth Cantrell's father and brother-in-law of J.M. Willson)and letters with Dr. Howard Kelly, a family friend and widely known surgeon are also organized in these files.
The collection also includes several newspaper clippings from the late 1800's through the 1930's. The majority of these clippings are from Florida-based newspapers. Several maps of Florida have been removed from the collection and placed with Map Collection.
Also included are photographs of the Willsons, Seminole Indians, plants, and animals. The collection also includes postcards depicting scenes from Florida and the United States.