Boynton Merrill, Jr. papers

Abstract

The Boynton Merrill, Jr. papers (dated 1645-2008, bulk 1960-1980; 4.18 cubic feet; 20 boxes) consists of research sources, book illustrations, manuscript materials, correspondence, cassette tapes, and one reel-to-reel tape, which relate to Merrill's research, writing and eventual publication of the book, Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Boynton Merrill, Jr. papers
Creator
Merrill, Boynton, 1925-
Extent
4.18 Cubic feet
Subjects
Authors, American.
Frontier and pioneer life--Kentucky.
Genealogists.
Murder.
Publishers and publishing--United States.
Slavery--Kentucky--History.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format into six series: Research sources, Photographic materials, Book materials, Correspondence, Audiovisual, and Mapcase materials.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Desiree' H. Perry
Preferred Citation
2010ms042: [identification of item], Boynton Merrill, Jr. papers, 1645-2008, bulk 1960-1980, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Boynton Merrill, Jr. was born in Boston in 1925. After serving in the navy during World War II, he received his degree from Dartmouth College and eventually moved to Henderson, Kentucky in the 1950's. A few years later, in 1976, he published a book of poems, titled A Bestiary, and Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy, which is a historical look at the murder committed by Lilburn and Isham Lewis, nephews to Thomas Jefferson.
Hall, Wade H. The Kentucky Anthology: two hundred years of writing in the Bluegrass State. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2005. Web. 1 September 2011.
Scope and Content
The Boynton Merrill, Jr. papers (dated 1645-2008, bulk 1960-1980; 4.18 cubic feet; 20 boxes) consists of research sources, book illustrations, manuscript materials, correspondence, cassette tapes, and one reel-to-reel tape, which relate to Merrill's research, writing and eventual publication of the book, Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy. Merrill's research materials include: the general history of Virginia and Kentucky, the political climate of that area, material concerning their slave Matilda, Kentucky government papers, and legal documents pertaining to Lilburn and Isham's crime. Also included are photographs of Lilburn Lewis' will and maps of Kentucky. The research materials only contain photocopied facsimiles of historic documents and no originals.
The bulk of Merrill's correspondence took place from 1975 to 1979, but ranges from 1967 to 2008. There are letters pertaining to requests for copies of books or articles, letters from the publishing company concerning editing and promotion matters, thank you letters from readers, queries about his genealogical research for the book, and copyright permission letters. Additionally, there are royalty statements from the publishing company, chapters that were edited out of the final book, as well as chapter inserts. There are also many lists and notes which Merrill wrote for his own reference as well as index cards with his bibliographic sources and book characters listed on them.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access note Collection is open to researchers by appointment
Use Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky holds the copyright for materials created in the course of business by University of Kentucky employees. Copyright for all other materials has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky. For information about permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Special Collections.

Contents of the Collection

Research sources, Bulk, 1800-1811, 1741-2008

The Research Sources series contain all of Boynton Merrill's research material as well as his handwritten lists and notes, including reminders to himself to find a certain piece of information, call someone, etc. There are annotated copies of the books and articles he used, as well as copies of the constitutions and laws of Kentucky. Merrill wrote a brief timeline of the Lewis family on index cards and made copies of legal documents having to do with Lilburne and Isham's crime. Also included is information on Virginian history and prominent families from the area.

General notes, undated

  • Box 1, Folder 1-2
To top

Albemarle County order books, 1791-1802

  • Box 17, Folder 1
To top

Albemarle County tax rolls, 1782-1812

  • Box 17, Folder 2
To top

Annus Mirabilis, 1835-1981

  • Box 17, Folder 3
To top

Appendix - Conclusions - Effects of the Crime, undated

  • Box 17, Folder 4
To top

Appendix - Murder of John Gooch, 1807

  • Box 17, Folder 5
To top

Background - General, 1808-1971

  • Box 17, Folder 6
To top

Bibliographical essay sources, undated

  • Box 1, Folder 3
To top

Book sources, 1815, 1891, 1964

  • Box 1, Folder 4
To top

Campbell, Dr. Arthur - Medical Bill Suit with Lilburne Lewis, 1809-1814

  • Box 17, Folder 7
To top

Census, 1810

  • Box 1, Folder 5
To top

Characters - Lilburne Lewis, 1812-1966

  • Box 17, Folder 8
To top

Children of Randolph and Lilburne Lewis, 1811-1830

  • Box 17, Folder 9
To top

The Circuit Court - Broadnax-Wallace, 1807-1931

  • Box 17, Folder 10
To top

Constitutions of Kentucky, 1789, 1792, 1800, 1850

  • Box 1, Folder 6
To top

Craven, Peyton and Jane J. Lewis, 1801-1817, 1956

  • Box 17, Folder 11-12
To top

C.W. Watts, Colonial Albermarle, 1984

  • Box 1, Folder 7
To top

Delany, Henry F., 1805-1972

  • Box 17, Folder 13
To top

Dickey, Rev. William, 1808-1969

  • Box 17, Folder 14
To top

Frontier finance, 1807-1897

  • Box 17, Folder 15
To top

Goochland County deed books, 1741-1798

  • Box 17, Folder 16
To top

Graphological analysis, 1967-1972

  • Box 17, Folder 17
  • Box 18, Folder 1
To top

Kentucky Senate and House Journals, 1808-1813

  • Box 1, Folder 8
To top

Kentucky Statutes, Vol. 1, 1822

  • Box 1, Folder 9
To top

Kentucky Statutes, Vol. 2, 1822

  • Box 1, Folder 10
To top

The Land - The Setting, 1807-1968

  • Box 18, Folder 2
To top

Legal Affairs - Court records, 1798-1971

  • Box 18, Folder 3
To top

Lewis, Charles L. Daughters, 1808-1974

  • Box 18, Folder 4
To top

Lewis family timeline, 1779-1809

  • Box 1, Folder 11
To top

Lewis family timeline, 1810-1826

  • Box 2, Folder 1
To top

Lewis, Isham, circa 1800, 1987

  • Box 2, Folder 6
To top

Lewis, Isham and Charles, 1801-1970

  • Box 18, Folder 5-6
To top

Lewis letters, 1810

  • Box 18, Folder 7
To top

Lewis, Lilburne - Estate, sale, and will, 1812-1819

  • Box 18, Folder 8
To top

Lewis, Lucy Jefferson and Charles L., 1775-1809

  • Box 18, Folder 9
To top

Lewis, Meriweather - Insanity, 1809-1969

  • Box 18, Folder 10
To top

Lewis, Randolph, 1792-1812

  • Box 18, Folder 11
To top

Lewis, Randolph - Estate, sale, and will, 1811-1813

  • Box 18, Folder 12
To top

The Lewis Story, 1839, 1857, 1894, 1936

  • Box 2, Folder 2
To top

Livingston County Circuit Court, 1810-1814

  • Box 2, Folder 3
To top

Livingston County Court papers, 1807-1810, circa 1816

  • Box 2, Folder 4
To top

Livingston County government officials, 1808-1814

  • Box 2, Folder 5
To top

Martin correspondence, 1783-1975

  • Box 18, Folder 13
  • Box 19, Folder 1
To top

Militia - Lilburne Lewis - Governor's journals, 1792-1812

  • Box 19, Folder 2
To top

Milton, Virginia, 1795-1955

  • Box 19, Folder 3
To top

Minor characters, 1748-1851

  • Box 19, Folder 4-5
To top

Monteagle - Buck Island - Land and houses, 1971

  • Box 19, Folder 6
To top

The Murder, 1760-1968

  • Box 19, Folder 7
To top

The Patrol - The Roads - Slaves, 1804-1951

  • Box 19, Folder 8
To top

People and Places Associated with the Lewis Family, circa 1811

  • Box 2, Folder 7
To top

Political elections and issues, 1803, 1807-1810

  • Box 2, Folder 8
To top

Princeton - Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1967-1972

  • Box 19, Folder 9
To top

The Revival - Religion - The Church, 1792-1969

  • Box 19, Folder 10
To top

Rice Family, 1809-1977

  • Box 20, Folder 1
To top

Rutter Family, 1814-1967

  • Box 20, Folder 2
To top

Slave Matilda, 1999, 2006

  • Box 2, Folder 9
To top

Summary of Virginia Land - Getting and losing - Maps, 1744-1899

  • Box 20, Folder 3
To top

Thomas Jefferson vs. Henderson suit - Milton land, 1802-1818

  • Box 5, Folder 12
To top

Thomas Jefferson and the Lewises - Letters, 1795-1933

  • Box 20, Folder 4-5
To top

Virginia families, 1942, 1964-1965

  • Box 3, Folder 1
To top

Virginia history, 1816-1961

  • Box 3, Folder 2
To top

Virginia land acquiring, 1766-1790

  • Box 20, Folder 6
To top

Virginia land dispersal, 1793-1825

  • Box 20, Folder 7
To top

Virginia lands and background - David Thomas, 1968-1971

  • Box 20, Folder 8
To top

Virginia - Misc. sources, 1807-1975

  • Box 20, Folder 9-10
To top

The Wedgewood Pitcher, 1944, 1967

  • Box 3, Folder 3
To top

Whitt, Clara L. correspondence, 1967-1977

  • Box 20, Folder 11
To top

Will and murder documents, 1812

  • Box 3, Folder 4
To top

Photographic materials, 1808-1994

The Illustrations series include pictures and maps that Merrill used in his book, Jefferson's Nephews. On being returned to Merrill, they were accompanied by a letter from one of his editors, Margaret Case, which is also included. There are map negatives of Kentucky and the counties, as well as pictures (and the corresponding negatives) of some buildings and the legal documents of Lilburne Lewis. Also included are the letters Mr. Merrill received from the photographer(s) and the receipts for the pictures.

Maps and photographs, circa 1808, circa 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 5
To top

Maps and photographs, circa 1808, 1937, 1994

  • Box 3, Folder 6
To top

Book materials, 1974-1977, undated

The Book Materials series contains four folders dealing with matters just before the book was published: Merrill's list of acknowledgements, a rough first paragraph for a preface or introduction and the final editing session of Jefferson's Nephews as well as footnotes. The next three folders contain information concerning events that occurred after the book was published, including book reviews and advertisements, Merrill's speaking engagement for The Wednesday Club, and his nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. The last three folders are all written on index cards and contain character information, bibliographic sources, and indexing information.

Acknowledgements, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 7
To top

Final cutting of Jefferson's Nephews, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 8
To top

Footnotes - Final editing, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 9
To top

Front matter, undated

  • Box 3, Folder 10
To top

Book reviews and promotions, 1974, 1976-1977

  • Box 4, Folder 1
To top

The Wednesday Club, 1977

  • Box 4, Folder 2
To top

Pulitzer Prize nomination, 1976-1977

  • Box 4, Folder 3
To top

Characters in Jefferson's Nephews, undated

  • Box 7
To top

Bibliography cards, undated

  • Box 8-9
To top

Index, undated

  • Box 10-16
To top

Correspondence, 1967-2008, undated

The Correspondence series is comprised of Boynton Merrill's correspondence from when he began researching his book in 1967 to about 2008, with most of the letters sent and received in the years 1975-1976. The letters include: notes written by Merrill requesting copies of books or articles for research, thank you letters from his readers, queries about his genealogical research, letters to and from the Princeton University Press about the publishing and editing process, and obituaries of some of the people involved in the editing of the book.

General letter and obituaries, circa 1975-1976, 1980

  • Box 4, Folder 4
To top

Research letters, 1967-1968, 1971

  • Box 4, Folder 5
To top

Family letter, 1976

  • Box 4, Folder 6
To top

Reader response letters, 1972-2008

  • Box 4, Folder 7-8
To top

University Press letters - Editing, 1975-1977

  • Box 4, Folder 9-10
To top

Editor and proof reader letters, circa 1974-1980

  • Box 2, Folder 10
To top

Jonathan Daniel letters, 1967-1976

  • Box 2, Folder 11
To top

Reader's report - Dr. Thomas D. Clark, 1975

  • Box 2, Folder 12
To top

Robert Penn Warren letters, 1968-1980

  • Box 2, Folder 13
To top

Permission letters - not needed, 1967-1968, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 11
To top

American Philosophical Society permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 12
To top

Della Universita Di Pisa permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 13
To top

E.P. Dutton and Company, inc. permission, 1975-1976

  • Box 3, Folder 14
To top

The Evansville Courier permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 15
To top

Filson Club permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 16
To top

Historical Society of Wisconsin permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 17
To top

Kentucky Historical Society and Dr. Hambleton Tapp permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 18
To top

L.E. Biggs permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 19
To top

Library of Congress permission, 1975

  • Box 3, Folder 20
To top

Massachusetts Historical Society permission, 1975-1976

  • Box 3, Folder 21
To top

Missouri Historical Society permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 1
To top

Needed copyright permission, undated

  • Box 5, Folder 2
To top

Presbyterian Historical Society permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 3
To top

Princeton University Press permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 4
To top

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 5
To top

University of Missouri permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 6
To top

University Press of Kentucky permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 7
To top

University of Virginia permission, 1975-1976

  • Box 5, Folder 8
To top

Virginia State Library permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 9
To top

Wendell H. Rone permission, 1975

  • Box 5, Folder 10
To top

Western Kentucky University permission, 1975-1976

  • Box 5, Folder 11
To top

Audiovisual, undated

The Audiovisual Material series encompasses eight cassette tapes and one reel-to-reel concerning Col. Arthur Campbell and Col. Joseph Crochett.

Circuit Court tapes, undated

  • Box 6, Audio Item digitized
To top

Col. Arthur Campbell and Col. Joseph Crochett - reel-to-reel, undated

  • Audio Item digitized, Box 7
To top

Mapcase materials, 1645-1872

The Mapcase Materials series contains three research items which Boynton Merrill used for his book. These include: a hand drawn family tree of the Randolph and Isham line, a hand drawn timeline of major domestic, national, foreign, economic, and political events from 1790 to 1800, as well as a copy of a Caldwell County act, dated May 1, 1809, which was the year the county was formed.

Randolph and Isham family chart, 1645-1872

  • Case 6, Drawer 2
To top

Historical timeline, 1790-1800

  • Case 6, Drawer 2
To top

Caldwell County act, 1809 May 1

  • Case 6, Drawer 2
To top

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Requests

No items have been requested.