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Walter Gaston Shotwell Typescript

Manuscript Collection No.131
Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List


0.2 cu.ft. in 1 box. 1930's.

Provenance: The Shotwell Typescript was donated to the Ohio University Libraries by Mr. and Mrs. William Worthington of Crooksville, Ohio in August 1978 (Mrs. Worthington is the grand-daughter of Mr. Shotwell.) Lisa Wood processed the materials in April 1996.

Property Rights: The Ohio University Libraries owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: To our knowledge Mr. Shotwell retained the copyright to this typescript; no copyright was transferred to the Ohio University Libraries as part of the gift. By current federal law, the material will enter the public domain after December 31, 2002. Consideration of all other copyrights and possible literary rights is the responsibility of the researcher and the publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Libraries.

Photoduplication: The Ohio University Libraries will entertain requests to photocopy reasonable amounts of material from the collections for the convenience of individual researchers.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection name and number, and Ohio University Library in all footnotes and bibliographical references.

Related Materials: The general collection in Alden Library includes copies of Mr. Shotwell's three published books.

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William Gaston Shotwell was born on December 27, 1856 in Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio. In 1871 he entered the preparatory school of Franklin College in New Athens, Ohio. From 1873 to 1877 he studied at Franklin College and graduated first in his class. From there Shotwell went on to Yale University where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1878. He returned to Cadiz to study law with his father and Chauncey Dewey, a respected lawyer and banker. In 1880 Shotwell was admitted to the bar and received his master of arts degree from Franklin College. He married Belle McIlvaine on Christmas day 1884. She was the daughter of Ohio Supreme Court Justice George W. McIlvaine.

Shotwell privately practiced law from 1880 to 1887. In 1887 he was elected prosecuting attorney for Harrison County, Ohio. He served two terms in this office before returning to private practice in 1893. Shotwell sought elected office again when he ran for Common Pleas judge for the Eight District of Ohio in 1899. He served three terms and retired from the bench in 1913 to pursue his writing career.

Shotwell was exposed to abolitionist sentiments by his parents and professors at Franklin College. As an attorney, he willingly served African-American clients and became known as a "friend to colored people." This background inspired his first book, The Life and Times of Charles Sumner (1910). His second book, The Civil War in America (1923), was notably pro-Union. Shotwell's third published work, Driftwood: Being Papers on Old-Time American Towns and Some Old People (1927), is a collection of essays. A fourth work, a biography of writer Washington Irving, was pending publication when Shotwell was tragically killed in a hit-and-run car accident on March 11, 1938.

Source: Beauregard, Erving E., "Walter G. Shotwell: Jurist- Author," Ohioana Quarterly 36:2 (Summer, 1994), 79 - 86, 148 - 150.

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The Walter Gaston Shotwell Typescript is a copy of Shotwell's unpublished biography of author Washington Irving. The typescript has a detailed table of contents and a preface. It has 21 chapters in 282 pages. Many corrections have been made in pencil or typed on the typescript. Shotwell's biography discusses Irving's life from his childhood to his death. He explores both Irving's business and literary careers, provides a chronology of his travels in the United States and Europe, and studies his personal relationships.

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Box 1

  • Folder 1 - "The Life of Washington Irving," Table of Contents, Preface, chapters 1 - 14, (p. 1 - 168)
  • Folder 2 - Same - chapters 15 - 21, (p. 169 - 282)

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