Draper Manuscripts - Digital Copy Order | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Draper Manuscripts - Digital Copy Order

Scans from the Draper Manuscripts

Draper Manuscripts - Digital Copy Order | Wisconsin Historical Society

Lyman Copeland Draper's manuscript collection was bequeathed to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Draper (1815-1891) was a lifelong student of early American history. Although he was born and raised in upstate New York, Draper made it his life's work to rescue from oblivion the history of the "heroes of the Revolution". Draper was the first corresponding secretary for the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and lived much of his life in Madison. 

Collection Overview

The collection as a whole covers primarily the period between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812 (ca. 1755-1815).  The geographic concentration is on what Draper and his contemporaries called the "Trans-Allegheny West," which included the western Carolinas and Virginia, some portions of Georgia and Alabama, the entire Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley.

Military records and information are found throughout the Draper Manuscripts. Particular strengths include the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, especially those actions which occurred in the West. The Guide to the collection specifically indexes Revolutionary War pension applicant information. Other strengths are Native American conflicts and westward explorations in which the military played a role, such as the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Only a small part of the collection consists of original documents of the Revolutionary period. The bulk of the files are Draper's research notes, correspondence and hand written reproductions made by him during his research trips. The collection as a whole is extremely varied and includes correspondence, interview notes, extracts from newspapers and other published sources, muster rolls, transcripts of official documents and much more.

Staff will spend up to 30 minutes per request.  

Payment covers the search time, regardless of whether a search is successful. 

Research Prices:  $15 per request (under 30 frames)

Wisconsin Historical Society members:  10% discount applied during checkout.

Document Delivery time:
Delivery could take up to 21 days.  Longer delivery time expected around holidays.  Contact historydocs@wisconsinhistory.org with questions.

Information needed to start request:

  • Full citation (volume, series, page #)
  • Names and/or places noted in the pages you are requesting.
  • Notes (please indicate any additional information to help us perform a successful search for you

If you do not have a full citation, please email our Reference staff at asklibrary@wisconsinhistory.org.  

Find more information about the Draper Manuscripts Collection.