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Minnie Moore Willson papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Minnie Moore Willson Papers

James M. Willson Papers

Aultman / Cantrell Files

General Files

Photographs

Postcards



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Minnie Moore Willson papers, 1888-1949 | University of Miami Special Collections

By Esperanza B. Varona

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Collection Overview

Title: Minnie Moore Willson papers, 1888-1949Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1888-1949

ID: ASM0203

Creator: Willson, Minnie Moore (1859-1943)

Extent: 78.0 Boxes

Arrangement:

SERIES I: MINNIE MOORE WILSON PAPERS, consists of nine boxes of correspondence, manuscripts and other materials related to Minnie Moore Willson from 1889-1937. Boxes 1-3 contain correspondence to and from Minnie Moore Willson. Boxes 4-8 contain manuscripts and box 9 contains general material related to Willson.

SERIES II: JAMES MALLORY WILLSON PAPERS, consists of 44 boxes of correspondence, legal material, financial material and business files from 1888-1938. This series is divided into four sub-series : Correspondence (boxes 10-41), Legal Material (boxes 42-45), Financial Material (boxes 45 and 46) and Business File (boxes 47-53).

SERIES III: AULTMAN/CANTRELL CORRESPONDENCE, consists of 4 boxes of correspondence, financial material and general material on Elizabeth Aultman Cantrell and S.B. Aultman from 1906-49. This series is divided into three sub-series: Correspondence (boxes 54-55), Financial Material (box 56) and General Material (box 57).

SERIES IV: GENERAL FILES, consists of 18 boxes of Correspondence (boxes 58-59), Financial Material (boxes 60-61), Florida Printed Material (boxes 62-63), Indian Material (boxes 64-66),  Kissimmee Material (box 67), Periodicals (boxes 68-70), General Material (boxes 71-73) and Blocks from Books (boxes 74-75), dated 1889-1949

SERIES V: PHOTOGRAPHS, consists of 2 boxes of photographs and negatives arranged by topic.

SERIES VI: POSTCARDS, consists of 1 box of postcards, arranged by topic.

Formats/Genres: Certificates, Clippings, Deeds, Documents, Financial statements, Fletcher, Duncan Upshaw, 1859-1936 - Correspondence, Florida - History - Maps, Letters, Manuscripts, Notebooks, Notes, Pamphlets, Periodicals, Printing blocks, Receipts (financial records), Reports, Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Biographical Note

Minnie Moore Willson was born to a well-to-do country family near the town of West Newton, Pennsylvania, on August 14, 1859. Willson was a relative, through her mother, of President James Polk. Minnie Moore married James Mallory Willson, a native of Somerset, Kentucky, but a resident of Chicago, Illinois, on September 3, 1890 in West Newton Pennsylvania.

Willson's acquaintance with Kissimmee, Florida, began in the early 1880s. Wilson visited the area during the winter season and developed an interest in the Seminole Indians. Both Willsons were nature lovers and Minnie wrote for a number of wildlife magazines. The Willsons were active members of the Audubon Society of Florida and through Mrs. Willson's writings and influences, the town of Kissimmee served as one of the first towns in the state to become a bird sanctuary.

Through contacts with the Southern Baptist Organization, James Willson helped organize Baptist missionary crusades for the Seminole Indians. The Willsons were instrumental in the society known as "Friends of the Florida Seminoles". This organization dealt with the Indians through education and attempts to raise their standard of living. The Willsons proved instrumental in the passage of an act by the Florida Legislature in 1913, setting apart 100,000 acres in the extreme southern portion of the state for use by the Seminoles. The Willsons worked closely with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the resident Indian Agent, and the National Indian Association, and their efforts culminated with passage of the bill.

Minnie Moore Willson served as first president of the Kissimmee Women's Club and thereafter was elected honorary president for life. She was also a member of the American Pen Women and other literary groups. Willson published The Seminoles of Florida in 1895. The book contained a vocabulary of the language by James Willson and the volume achieved unusual success. The Seminoles of Florida was rewritten, enlarged and re-edited in later years.

Willson also wrote short stories, the most famous of which was a collection of "slave" stories taken from an old slave woman from Virginia who lived among the Seminoles and claimed to have cooked the "treaty dinner" that marked the end of the Seminole War. Willson's last works included a short history of Osceola County and a monograph of the Indian Chief, Osceola. Minnie Moore Willson was an invalid a great part of her life, suffering from headaches and hip problems that required two major operations. Willson died on August 12, 1937. James M. Willson, also an invalid the last few years of his life, died on August 5, 1943.

Subject/Index Terms

Bowlegs, Billy, 1808?-1863 or 4
Florida - History - 20th century
Indians of North America - Civil rights - History - 20th century
Kissimmee (Fla.)
Moore-Willson, Minnie, b. 1863
Naturalists - Florida
Owen, Ruth Bryan, 1885-1954
Seminole Indians - Claims
Seminole Indians - Florida
Undurraga, Antonio de
United States - Race relations

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Minnie Moore Willson Papers Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to asc.library@miami.edu.

Preferred Citation: Minnie Moore Willson Papers, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

Processing Information:

Processed by Esperanza D. Varona and Pedro Ariz, Adria A. Watson, Annabelle Ramos and Ana Martinez, 1991.

Acidic originals from boxes 2-3, 35-41 were copied onto acid free paper in Spring/Summer 2011. The acid free copies were put in place of the originals within the folders, and the originals were put in a folder at the end of each box.

Finding Aid Revision History: Revised and updated by Rudo Kemper, 2009. Revised and updated by Laura Capell, 2011.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Minnie Moore Willson Papers],
[Series 2: James M. Willson Papers],
[Series 3: Aultman / Cantrell Files],
[Series 4: General Files],
[Series 5: Photographs],
[Series 6: Postcards],
[All]

Series 1: Minnie Moore Willson PapersAdd to your cart.
This series consists of nine boxes of correspondence, manuscripts and other materials related to Minnie Moore Willson from 1889-1937. Boxes 1-3 contain correspondence to and from Minnie Moore Willson. Boxes 4-8 contain manuscripts and box 9 contains general material related to Willson.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1899Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1900Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1902Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1905Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1906Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1907Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1908Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence, 1908Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence, 1910Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1911Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Correspondence, 1912Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Correspondence, 1913Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence, 1914Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Correspondence, 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1916Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Correspondence, 1917Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Correspondence, 1918Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1919Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Correspondence, 1920Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Correspondence, 1921Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Correspondence, 1922Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Correspondence, 1923Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Correspondence, 1924Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Correspondence, 1925Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1926Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1927Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1929Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, January - June 1931Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, July - December 1931Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence, January - April 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Correspondence, May - December 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Correspondence, 1933Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Correspondence, 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1935Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, 1937Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Address BookAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Appeal to the Daughter's of the American RevolutionAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Betty and DixieAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: The Birds of the EvergladesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Blackie and WhitieAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Charles Wakefield CadmanAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: The Cry of the SeminoleAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Dixie, a Florida PetAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Early Days in the Kissimmee Valley (pencil)Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Early Days in the Kissimmee Valley (pencil)Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Early Days in the Kissimmee Valley (pencil)Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Early Days in the Kissimmee Valley (pencil)Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Early Days in the Kissimmee Valley (pencil)Add to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Eight Royal Palm Hammocks in FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: First Moving Pictures of AmericaAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: First Peace Treaty in AmericaAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: First Visit to KissimmeeAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: The Florida Everglades and the Seminole IndiansAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Florida Frontier LifeAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Florida's Gift to AmericaAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: The Florida SeminolesAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: The Florida Seminoles: An AppealAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: The Florida Seminoles Have Not Adopted a New ChieftainAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: The Florida Seminoles. Their Rights in the EvergladesAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Florida Otter PetsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: A Fragment of Seminole HistoryAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: History of Osceola County (Original)Add to your cart.
Folder 15: History of Osceola County (Original)Add to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: History of Osceola County (Manuscript)Add to your cart.
Folder 2: History of Osceola County (Typescript)Add to your cart.
Folder 3: I Hear America SingingAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Indian Hunting GroundAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Inspiration of Club WorkAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: The Kissimmee Valley GazetteAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: The Kissimmee Valley GazetteAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: The Last Known Wilderness of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Minnie Moore Willson Speaks on the SeminolesAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Music and its CharmsAdd to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The Music of the Seminoles (Handwritten)Add to your cart.
Folder 2: The Music of the Seminoles (Typescript)Add to your cart.
Folder 3: The Needs of the Florida SeminolesAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Notes on the Early History of St. John's Episcopal Church of Kissimmee, FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Old ElbertAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: On BirdsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Osceola, Florida's Most Distinguished CharacterAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Osceola, the Garabaldi of the SeminolesAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Osceola the SeminoleAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Osceola the SeminoleAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Osceola the SeminoleAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Osceola, the Seminole War ChieftainAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Princess HirrihiguaAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: The Race Problem from a Southern StandpointAdd to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Resolution of the Kissimmee Audubon SocietyAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: A Ringing Call to the Heart of America from the Woman who Fought for and Saved the Seminoles of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Romance of a Florida WinterAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Royal Palm Hammock to the Club Women of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: The Seminoles of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: The Seminoles of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: The Seminoles of Florida, A History and Incidents of their LifeAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: The Seminoles of Florida and their Rights in the EvergladesAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Seminole Squaws of the Everglades of Florida, First American SuffragistsAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Seminole VocabularyAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Snapshots from the Everglades of FloridaAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Tales from an Old Bandana Mammy, "Old Krismas"Add to your cart.
Folder 13: U-Le-Lah, the Pocahontas of Florida or the Princess of HirrihiguaAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: When the Boys Came Back from FranceAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Why Drain the Everglades?Add to your cart.
Folder 16: William ShakespeareAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Woman's SuffrageAdd to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Certificate of Deputy State Game and Fresh Water Fish CommissionAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: CouponsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Financial Record Book (original and photocopy)Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Florida AdvocateAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Florida Development BoardAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Florida Historical SocietyAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Greenwich House Music SchoolAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: International Writer's LeagueAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: National Audubon SocietyAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: NotebookAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Notes on J.M. and Minnie Moore WillsonAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: WPA JobAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Rollins College ScholarshipAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Seminole Indian ScrapbookAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Wedding of James and Minnie Moore WillsonAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Minnie Moore Willson Papers],
[Series 2: James M. Willson Papers],
[Series 3: Aultman / Cantrell Files],
[Series 4: General Files],
[Series 5: Photographs],
[Series 6: Postcards],
[All]



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