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Prepared by Joanne Sawyer, 2004
2 Record Storage Boxes, 2 cubic feet; one half-size
document box; five oversize folders; two oversize
scrapbooks; framed items; and six linear feet of individual
volumes by, about, and relating to Lindsay.  A recent gift of letters from Olive Lindsay Wakefield to Helen Shoemaker church has been appended to this collection.

Prepared for the Web by Lisa Johnson and Kevin Close, January, 2005.  Rev. February, 2006


Olive and Nicholas Vachel Lindsay C. 1900

Scope and Content

The Nicholas Vachel Lindsay collection consists of published and unpublished 
works by and about Lindsay, starting with his years as a student at Hiram College 
and continuing to his death in 1931.  The writings include both prose and poetry 
but some of the most unexpected findings for the researcher will be Lindsay’s 
original illustrations to his work.  The papers include correspondence mainly 
with family and Hiram friends. Photographs, sound recordings, and miscellaneous 
memorabilia relating to Lindsay’s career round out the collection. 


Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, always called “Vachel,” was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1879.  Growing up in a family closely affiliated with the religious movement known as the Disciples of Christ, Lindsay and his sister, Olive, attended Hiram College, a Disciples institution in Hiram, Ohio, from 1897 to 1900 and 1897 to 1901, respectively.  Lindsay’s family intended for him to become a doctor, but Lindsay was drawn instead to art and poetry.  Thus, he left Hiram after three years to attend the Art Institute of Chicago and later studied art in New York City.  From art, he turned to poetry, which was his true métier.

Lindsay received his first recognition in 1913, when Poetry, a Magazine of Verse published his poem “General William Booth Enters into Heaven,” about the founder of the Salvation Army.  This poem reflected his concern with social questions.  Racial harmony was another of Lindsay’s concerns, and his poem on that subject, “The Congo,” remains probably his most well known poem.  

Lindsay spent much of his relatively short life walking across the country, performing and distributing copies of his poetry (as in “Rhymes to be traded for bread”) in exchange for bed and board.  His poems were very dramatic, and he performed them almost as drama, rather than as mere recitations. 

Lindsay married Elizabeth Connor in 1925, when he was 45 and she was 23.  With their children, Susan, born in 1926, and Nicholas, born in 1927, they settled into the Lindsay family home in Springfield, Illinois in 1929.  

Never financially stable, Lindsay experienced a decline in his creativity during the 1920s, when he believed that people were more interested in his dramatic performances, rather than the themes his poetry actually conveyed.  Although he received a D. Litt. from Hiram College in 1930—a degree he always longed for—he remained depressed and committed suicide in 1931 by drinking poison. 

His place in the American canon has faded somewhat through the years, although there is presently a resurgence of interest in the social themes of his poetry and in his interest and prescience about the use and popularity of motion pictures.  The VACHEL LINDSAY ASSOCIATION in Springfield, Illinois maintains the Lindsay home and periodically republishes Lindsay’s works as well as new material about him. 

BOX 1          


Oration.  “The Power of the Platitude,” n.d. [during Hiram College years, 1897-1900].
                Copy of original with covering letter. 

Drawing.  “Working Them For Society,” June, 1899.  Initialed. 

Poem.  “Comrades of Hiram,” May 27, 1900.  Gift of Mr. & Mrs. William T. Church,

Poem.  “Silence Borne From Afar,” June 1, 1902.  Photocopies of signed original. 

Drawing and Poem.  “The Soul of the Stars,” 1905.  Signed. 

Poem and Drawing.  “The Battle,” 1905.  Signed. 

Poem and Painting.  “The Last Song of Lucifer,” 1908.  Signed and framed. 

Painting.  “Lucifer,” 1908.  Signed and framed. 

Drawing.  “The Spencerian System of Penmanship,” 1925.  Signed. 

Poem.  “Spencer Taught on Hiram Hill When All the Land Was Young,” 1926.  Signed. 

Drawing.  “Greetings from Vachel, Elizabeth, Susan, and Nicholas Lindsay,” 1929.

Poem.  “To My Dear Friend and Good Companion, Ella Ogle Shoemaker,” 1930.
            March 10, 1930.  Signed. 

Poem.  “The Ezechiel Chant,” 1930.  Carbon of original with Lindsay’s corrections. 

Poem.  “The Dream of King David,” n.d. 

Poem.  “Bates Is King of Hiram,” n.d. 

Poem.  “Song of Hiram, Ohio,” n.d.  Typed with Lindsay’s corrections. 

Poem.   “On Drawing Pictures of the Moonrise,” n.d.  Typed with carbon. 

Epigram.  “Out of Rhythm Come Words and Form,” n.d.  Signed. 

Poem.  “The Kallyope Yell,” n.d.  Photocopy of signed original. 

Drawings.  Two framed pen and ink drawings given by Lindsay to the Cleaver sisters and
                 by them to Hiram College in 1957. 

PUBLISHED WORKS:  annotated or inscribed by Lindsay.

The Art of the Moving Picture.  NY: Macmillan, 1916.  Inscribed.  Gift of Harry D.
                Kitson, 10/1957. 

The Chinese Nightingale.  NY: Macmillan, 1917.  Inscribed. 

The Art of the Moving Picture.  NY: Macmillan, 1922.  Inscribed to the Bonney Castle
                Club with drawing and signature, October 9, 1930. 

The Golden Book of Springfield.  NY: Macmillan, 1920.  Heavily annotated and signed. 

A Handy Guide for Beggars.  NY: Macmillan, 1920.  Inscribed. 

Going-To-The-Sun.  NY: Appleton, 1923.   Inscribed. 

The Candle in the Cabin.   NY: D. Appleton, 1926.  Presented to the Hiram College
                Lindsay Reading Room, 1932.  Drawing by Lindsay on flyleaf.

Selected Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1931.  Inscribed with drawing, November 28, 1931. 

PUBLISHED WORKS:  presented to the Lindsay Reading Room.

The Golden Book of Springfield.  NY:  Macmillan, 1920. 

General William Booth Enters Into Heaven and Other Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1924.

Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty.  NY: Macmillan, 1928. 

The Congo and Other Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1930. 

Collected Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1931. 

OTHER COPIES OF PUBLISHED WORKS:  not annotated or inscribed.

General William Booth Enters Into Heaven and Other Poems.  NY: Mitchell Kennerley,

Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty.  NY: Mitchell Kennerley, 1914. 

The Congo and Other Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1915. 

The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems.  NY: Macmillan, 1917. 

The Golden Whales of California.  NY: Macmillan, 1920. 

Going-To-The-Sun.  NY: D. Appleton, 1923.  One copy, gift of Charity Cannon Willard,

Going-To-The-Stars.  NY: Appleton, 1926. 

The Litany of Washington Street.  NY: Macmillan, 1929 


Wyckoff, Walter A.  The Workers—The East.  NY: Scribner’s, 1899. 

Wyckoff, Walter A.  The Workers—The West.  NY: Scribner’s, 1899. 


Drawing.  “Faith, Repentance, Baptism,” 1902. 

Drawing.  “Paganism,” 1902. 

Poem.  “We Who Are Playing To-night,” May 22, 1905.  Signed. 

Drawing and Poem.  “Drink for Sale,” 1908.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine
                Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Poem.  “The Last Song of Lucifer,” 1908. 

Drawing and Poem.  “The Moon-Worms,” 1910.  Framed.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield
                and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 10/1990. 

Drawings.  “The Village Improvement Parade,” 1910.  Two copies, one signed.

Poem and Drawing.  “The Wedding of the Lotus and the Rose,” 1912.  Gift of Vachel L.
                Lindsay and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Poem and Drawing.  “Censers are swinging over the town,” 1913.  #280 of a limited
                edition.  Gift of the Vachel Lindsay Association, 4/1990. 

Poem and Drawing.  “The Soul of the City Receives the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” 1913. 

Poem.  “Rigamorole, Rigamorole,” in The Poetry Quartos, 1929.  Gift of Reign Hadsell,

Poem and Drawing.  “The Ezechiel Chant,” 1930.  Drawing signed.  Three copies. 

Poem.  “On the Building of Springfield,” n.d.  Signed. 

Drawing.  “Xanadu,” n.d.  Signed. 

Drawings and Limericks.  “The Spring Harbinger,” n.d.  Two copies, one the gift of
                Elizabeth Kenyon Andress, 10/1968; the other, the gift of Vachel L. Wakefield
                and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Poem.  “I Heard Immanuel Singing,” n.d. 

Poem.  “Proclamation of the Gospel of Beauty,” n.d.  Three copies, gift of Vachel L.
                Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1966. 

Poem.  “God Help Us To Be Brave,” n.d. 

Envelope.  From the second imprint of “A Map of the Universe.”  Torn.  Contains torn
                pieces of  “A Map of the Universe.” 

Printed Copy.  “Rhymes to be traded for bread.  Printed expressly as a substitute for
                money,” 1912. 

Advance Copy.  “General William Booth Enters Into Heaven and Other Poems,” 1913.

Hardbound Copy.  “The Tramp’s Excuse and Other Poems,” 1909.  Gift of the Cleaver
                Sisters, 7/1957. 

Paperback Copy.  “The Village Magazine,” 2nd and 4th imprints.  One envelope.  Gift of
                Vachel L. Wakefield and Catherine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967.  Second copy of
                second imprint, gift of the English Department, Hiram College, 1984.


Poem and Drawings.  “Babylon,” 1923.  Two copies. 

Poem.  “When the Stuffed Prophets Quarrel,” 1924.  Gift of Mrs. Arthur J. Culler,

Drawings and Poem.  “A Map of the Universe,” 1926.  Four signed copies, #667, #1115,
                #1476, #1758, three with envelopes.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine
                Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Poem and Drawing.  “The Queen of Bubbles,” 1926.  Signed copy, #1114. 

Poem and Drawing.  “The Virginians Are Coming,” American Mercury, July 1928.
                Two signed copies, #652 and #687. 


Drawing and Poem.  “In May We All Perch,” Hiram College Advance, June, 1899. 

Article.  “Adventures of a Literary Tramp: Second Adventure, The man with the Apple-
                Green Eyes,” Outlook, vol. 91 #2, January 9, 1909: 86-90. 

Article.  “The New Localism.  An Illustrated Essay for Village Statesmen: By Nicholas
                Vachel Lindsay,” Vision, A Quarterly Journal of Aesthetic Appreciation of Life.  Spring,
                1912.  Gift of English Department of Hiram College, 1984. 

Article.  “Walt Whitman,” The New Republic, December 5, 1923: 3-5. 

Article.  “The Wonderland of a Nation,” The Dearborn Independent, vol. 27 #35,
                June 18, 1927: 1-2; 23-24. 

Article.  “The Litany of Washington Street,” The Dearborn Independent, vol. 27 #47,
                September 10, 1927: 1-2; 28; contd. in vol. 27 #48, September 17, 1927: 7-8; 28. 

Poem.  “Every Soul Is a Circus,” Poetry, a Magazine of Verse, vol. 33, October, 1928:
                1-10.       Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1966. 

Article and Drawing.  “The Mohawk in the Sky,” Palms, vol. V #6, March, 1928: 171-2.

Article.  “The Parallel Between Short Stories and Poems,” Palms, vol. V #6, March,
                1928: 186-89. 

Lindsay as Contributing Editor.  Palms, Poems.  Published six times a year at Aberdeen,
                Washington, by John M. Weatherwax:  vol. V #1, October, 1927; vol. V #2,
                November, 1927; vol. V #3, December, 1927; vol. V #4, January, 1928; vol. V
                #5, February, 1928; vol. V #6, March, 1928. 

Article.  “Thanksgiving for George Washington,” The Christian Century, July 1, 1931:

Poem.  “The Philosopher,” Ladies’ Home Journal, October, 1931: 14; 163.  [page 163

Article.  “Down Near the Railroads,” Spokane Daily Chronicle, n.d. [pre-1930]. 

Poem.  “The Illinois Village,” n.d.  Clipped from popular magazine. 


McFarlane, Peter Clark. “A Vagabond Poet,” The National Weekly, September 6,
                [1913?]: 7-8; 32.  Two copies. 

Anonymous.  “Poetry, the New Manner,” The Nation, vol. 100, January 7, 1915: 12. 

Anonymous.  “Current Poetry,” The Literary Digest, December 15, 1917: 36.  

Higley, P.H.  “Vachel Lindsay Evolves a Hieroglyphic Art,” The Literary Digest
                International Book Review, 
December, 1925: 41-2. 

Anonymous.  “About Vachel Lindsay’s Books,” [1930?].  Promotional literature. 

Anonymous.  “The Rodin of American Poetry,” The Century Magazine, n.d. [pre-1931?]:

Higgins, Violet Moore.  “Vachel Lindsay Re-Enters into Cleveland,” n.d. [pre-1931?]. 

Untermeyer, Louis.  “Vachel Lindsay: 1879-1931,” Saturday Review of Literature,
December 12, 1931: 368.  Two copies. 

Teasdale, Sara.  “In Memory of Vachel Lindsay,” Saturday Review of Literature,
December 12, 1931: 368.  Two copies.  Original signed, removed from frame


Anonymous.  “Vachel Lindsay Entering Heaven,” The Literary Digest, December 26,
                1931: 19.

Conrad, Lawrence H.  “Lindsay’s Poetry,” The Saturday Review, n.d. [post-1931?]: 446. 

Anonymous.  “Vachel Lindsay,” The Saturday Review, n.d. [post 1931?]. 

Masters, Edgar Lee.  “The Tragedy of Vachel Lindsay,” The American Mercury, vol. 29,
                July, 1933: 357-69.

Thalinger, Thelma Wiles.  “Vachel Lindsay: Pen and Ink Symbolist,” Magazine of Art,
vol. 31, August, 1938: 450-56.  Two copies. 

Wakefield, Olive Lindsay.  “Vachel Lindsay, Disciple,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5,
                April-July, 1944: 82-107.  Two copies, one the gift of Christian Theological
                Seminary, 2/1959. 

Wakefield, Olive Lindsay.  “Unpublished Letters of Vachel Lindsay,” The Shan
vol. 5, April-July, 1944: 108-117.  Two copies. 

Wakefield, Olive Lindsay.  “From the Flyleaf of Vachel Lindsay’s Bible,” The Shane
vol. 5, April-July, 1944: 117.  Two copies. 

Lindsay, Elizabeth Conner.  “A Poet and His Audience,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5,
                April-July, 1944: 118-125.  Two copies.

Cockrell, Dura Brokaw.  “Vachel Lindsay, Artist,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-
                July, 1944: 126-130.  Two copies. 

Welling, Corrine.  “The Poetry of Vachel Lindsay,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-
                July, 1944: 131-34.  Two copies. 

Clark, Thomas Curtis.  “Vachel Lindsay,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-July, 1944:
                135-36.  Two copies. 

Burnham, F.W.  “Vachel Lindsay, Some Notes,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-July,
                1944: 137-38.  Two copies. 

Holmes, Arthur.  “Vachel Lindsay’s Spirit,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-July,
                1944: 139-143.  Two copies. 

Rothenburger, William F.  “Vachel Lindsay,” The Shane Quarterly, vol. 5, April-July,
                1944: 144-47.  Two copies. 

Mencken, H.L.  Vachel Lindsay.  Washington, D.C.: Keystone Press, 1947.  With
                covering letter. 

Bader, A.L.  “Vachel Lindsay on the Santa Fe Trail,” American Literature, vol. 19,
                January, 1948: 360-62.

Marberry, M.M.  “Vachel Lindsay’s Lost Weekend in Urbana,” Horizon, vol. 9 #1,
                Winter, 1967: 112-15.  Gift of Thorn Pendleton, 9/1981. 

Ridgeley, Frances S.  A City Is Not Builded in a Day.  Springfield, IL: Vachel Lindsay
                Association, 1968.

South Eudora Lindsay.  Vachel Lindsay and the Bluegrass.  Frankfort, KY: 1968.  Two
                copies, one in Hiram Subject Collection. 

Stoyer, Lloyd.  “Vachel Lindsay at Hiram College,” Hiram College Broadcaster, vol. 41
                #2, Summer, 1970: 4-7. 

South, Eudora Lindsay.  From the Lindsay Scrapbook: Cousin Vachel.  Privately printed,

Camp, Dennis.  “Vachel Lindsay and the Chicago Herald,” Western Illinois Regional
vol. 2 #1, Fall, 1979: 156-172. 

[Cooper, Janet Derthick].  “The Life of Vachel Lindsay: Hiram’s Poet Laureate,” Hiram
                College Broadcaster, 
Spring, 1980: 11-13.

Hawley, Owen.  “Lindsay’s Walking Trip,” Western Illinois Regional Studies, vol. 3 #1,
                Spring, 1980: 156-172. 

Balderson, Jay.  Review of Letters of Vachel Lindsay, ed. Marc Chenetier, Western
                Illinois Regional Studies
, vol. 3 # 1, Spring, 1980: 91-4. 

Naff, Walter R.  “A Poet’s Misfit Dream,” Discipliana, vol. 40 #3, Fall, 1980: 35; 38-41. 

Apseloff, Stanford S.   “Vachel Lindsay: the Poet of Middle America,” Western Reserve
January-February, 1982: 38-41. 

Ward, John Chapman.  “Vachel Lindsay Is Lying Low,” College Literature, vol. 12, Fall,
                1985: 233-244. 

Gresham, Perry E.  “The Broncho That Would Not Be Broken,” Footnote to Disciple
#6, 1986. 

Ward, John.  “Walking to Wagon Mound Composing Booth,” Western Humanities
Autumn, 1986: 230-244. 

Hardwick, Elizabeth.  “Wind From the Prairie,” New York Review of Books, September
                26, 1991: 12-16. 

Horgan, Paul.  “Vachel Lindsay and ‘The Book of the Dead’,” American Scholar,
Autumn, 1993: 565-70. 


Keleher, Eve.  “The Last of the Troubadours, Peddler of Dreams,” [1932]. 


Inclusive dates:  July 19, 1925-Junek 1977.


Inclusive dates:  November 8, 1914-June 11, 1931. 


Program.  “The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Christian Church of Springfield, IL, October 4, 1908.”  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Flyer.  “The Art of the Moving Picture,” n.d. [probably about 1916].  Two copies, gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Program.  Lecture course on “Composite Citizenship of Springfield,” at YMCA, n.d.  Contains poem “The Sweet Singer of Israel.”  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Program.  “Vachel Lindsay, Readings from His Chants and Poems,” March 28, 1930.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Souvenir Program.  “The Village Improvement Parade,” recited by Mr. & Mrs. Lindsay, October 13, 1930.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967.  Two copies, #453 and #781, signed by Vachel and Elizabeth Lindsay; ten copies, unnumbered, signed by Vachel Lindsay. 

Tribute poem.  “In Memory of Vachel Lindsay,” written and signed by Sara Teasdale, December 6, 1931.  Framed. 

Tribute.  Read in the schools of Springfield with instructions for teachers, December 7, 1931.  

Tribute letter.  Extract from a letter written by Van Meter Ames reporting the Memorial Service for Vachel Lindsay in the American Church, Berlin, n.d. [1931?]. 

Invitation.  Culver-Stockton College Vachel Lindsay Memorial Festival, November 16, 1934. 

Program.  Culver-Stockton Vachel Lindsay Memorial Festival, November 16, 1934.  One copy signed by Isaac R. Diller; two copies unsigned. 

Program.  Lake Springfield Dedication Celebration, July 12, 1935.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Flyer.  Olive Lindsay Wakefield Lecture recitals, n.d.  [1930s?]. 

Program.  “A Vachel Lindsay Program in Music,” by the Hiram College Centennial Choir, December 11, 1949. 

Commemorative Booklet.  “A Vachel Lindsay Program in Music,” by the Hiram College Centennial Choir, December 11, 1949.  Five copies, one the gift of Damaris Peters, 9/1983. 

Exhibit catalogue.  “The Graphic Art of Vachel Lindsay,” Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL, September 15-October 21, 1979.  Gift of The Vachel Linsday Association, Springfield, IL, 4/1980. 

Program.  “Out of Rhythm Come Words and Form.  Vachel Lindsay.”  A centennial exhibition of the work of Vachel Lindsay, Kennedy Center Art Gallery, Hiram College, November 4-29, 1979. 

Program.  “The Vachel Lindsay Centenary Festival,” Springfield, IL, November 8-11, 1979.  Gift of the Vachel Lindsay Association, Springfield, IL, 4/1980. 

Program.  “The Jungles of Heaven, an Evening of Vachel Lindsay Poetry,” by Nicholas Cave Lindsay, Illinois Centennial Building Auditorium, Springfield, IL, November 9, 1979.  Gift of the Vachel Lindsay Association, Springfield, IL, 4/1980. 

Tribute.  “The Village Magazine 1979.” Published in honor of the centenary of the birth of Vachel Lindsay, Springfield, IL, November, 1979.  Gift of the Vachel Lindsay Association, Springfield, IL, 4/1980. 

Flyer.  “the Poet and His home: The Vachel Lindsay Home, a National Historic Site,” n.d. 



Vachel Lindsay and Olive Catharine Lindsay, with other students, on the steps of Bowler Hall, 1899.  Gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967. 

Vachel Lindsay, enlargement from 1899 Spiderweb.  Two copies. 

Vachel Lindsay and Olive Catharine Lindsay, mounted, signed by Olive Catharine Lindsay, n.d. [pre-1921]. 

Vachel Lindsay and mother in front of Lindsay home in Springfield, IL, October 18, 1921.  [Gift of Ralph Schroeder, 1959?]. 

Vachel Lindsay, Stephen Graham, Mother Lindsay, n.d. [pre-1922]. 

Vachel Lindsay, Arthur Paul Wakefield and poetry class at Gulf Park College, Gulf park, MS, mounted, signed by Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, February, 1924.  Two copies, one the gift of Vachel L. Wakefield and Catharine Wakefield Ward, 1/1967; second copy, gift of Catharine Wakefield Ward, 5/1999. 

Vachel Lindsay by Harris and Ewing, clipping, n.d. [pre-1930]. 

Vachel Lindsay, by Harris and Ewing, mounted, n.d. [pre-1930]. 

Vachel Lindsay, Harris Reid Cooley, James M. Wood in academic dress, October 10, 1930. 

Vachel Lindsay in academic dress when he received honorary degree from Hiram College, October 10, 1930.  Framed. 

Vachel Lindsay in Hiram, October 10, 1930. 


Engraving plate of Lindsay in academic dress, 1930. 

Glass negative and transparency of Lindsay in academic dress, 1930. 

Etching of Lindsay by Israel Doskow, n.d., #10 of 50.  Framed and hanging on main floor of Hiram College Library. 


The Candle in the Cabin 

The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems  

Collected Poems   Two jackets. 

General William Booth Enters into Heaven and other Poems 

Going to the Stars 

Going to the Sun  

A Handy Guide for Beggars  

Johnny Appleseed

The Litany of Washington Street  

Vachel Lindsay, A Biography, by Edgar Lee Masters

The Way of Martha and the Way of Mary, by Stephen Graham 


Report folder on Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize Awards (1932-1941)
                Prize-winning poems from 1933 (printed copies)
                Clipping about 1933 contest
                Letter from Kenneth I. Brown to Winifred Osbourne about the prize, 1938 (copy)
                Letter from Kenneth I. Brown to Paul Fall about the poetry prize money,
                            September 9, 1940 (original)
                Memo to Mrs. Richardson about the prize money, September 16, 1940 (copy)
                Letter to Professor Ralph Goodale from Joseph Auslander, judge of the contest in
                            1941, May 22, 1941 (original) 

Folder containing prize-winning poems for 1936 and 1937 (originals) 

Pamphlets of winning poems for 1948 (three copies) 

Prize-winning poem (n.d.) “Midnight on Mindoro” (copy) 

Prize-winning poems for 1971 and 1972, Robert L. Torrey 

Prize-winning poem for 1983, “To Grandpa,” Karen Darling 

Prize-winning poem for 1985, “Nutrition Information,” Michael J. Gill 

Prize-winning poem for 1999, “In Spain,” Amanda Cobes 


Vachel Lindsay to A. Armstrong; inclusive dates: January, 30, 1920-December 29, 1923. 

Vachel Lindsay to Braithwaite; inclusive dates: September 4, 1915-November 12, 1918. 

Vachel Lindsay to Kenneth I. Brown; August 21, 1931. 

Kenneth I. Brown to Vachel and Elizabeth Conner Lindsay; with Arthur Johnson; to Logan Hay; to Jessie J. Smith; to D. Llewellyn Evans; to Mrs. B.H. Blair; inclusive dates: December 2, 1930-July 11, 1933. 

Vachel Lindsay to Dell; December 10, 1909. 

Vachel Lindsay to John Drinkwater; May 12, 1926. 

Vachel Lindsay to Mr. Griffith, Editor, The American Scrapbook; April 21, 1928. 

Vachel Lindsay to Marcia Henry; inclusive dates: May 19, 1901-August 4, 1928. 

Vachel and Elizabeth Conner Lindsay with John S. Kenyon; inclusive dates: January 21, 1926-January 28, 1926. 

Vachel Lindsay to C.D. Marley; inclusive dates: October 5, 1918-January 1, 1919. 

Vachel Lindsay to Whitelaw Saunders; January 30, 1917. 

Vachel Lindsay to Professor Stuart P. Sherman; inclusive dates: October 22, 1915-November 24, 1923. 

Vachel Lindsay to Storey; August 20, 1912. 

Vachel Lindsay to Paul Wakefield; inclusive dates: June 21, 1902-August 3, 1902. 

Vachel Lindsay to Mrs. Webb; April 12, 1916. 

Martha Wilson from J.C. Squire; from Vachel and Catharine Frazee Lindsay; from Elizabeth Conner Lindsay; from Frederic G. Melcher; from C.C. Certain; from Mrs. M.S. Lewis; inclusive dates: October 31, 1921-August 20, 1939. 


Mrs. Charity Cannon Willard:

Material originally in possession of Lee E. Cannon, Professor of Modern Language, Hiram College, 1916-1956:

Carbon typescript of “the Ezechiel Chant,” with handwritten corrections, inscribed by Lindsay, 1916.
Poetry, A Magazine of Verse, vol. VIII #3, June, 1916, containing Lindsay’s “Booker T. Washington Trilogy,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1916. 

Professor & Mrs. E. Hale Chatfield:

Material originally in possession of Elizabeth Carlton Adams, Hiram College, Class of 1896: 

Narrative detailing Lindsay’s life and the circumstances of his poems;
Program, “Vachel Lindsay, Troubadour in Chanted Recitals of his poems to his own tunes”;
Letter from Vachel Lindsay to Bess Carlton Adams, April 11, 1916; original, signed;
Advertisement for “The Illinois Village” with Egyptian drawing;
Drawings for “The Village Improvement Parade,” Parts I and II; inscribed to Bess Carlton Adams with message, signed, April 14, 1916. 

Professor John S. Kenyon:

Donated as part of Kenyon papers, given to the Hiram College Archives by Martha Kenyon and Elizabeth Kenyon Andress, October 15, 1980: 

Large manila envelope addressed to J.S. Kenyon by Vachel Lindsay and containing the following:

            Original poem, “Sweetheart of a Demagogue,” and drawing, inscribed by Lindsay, 1902;
Original drawing of a woman, inscribed by Lindsay, 1902;
Original drawing, “Mouseratta, the Indian Goddess of Mice,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1903;
Printed poem, “We Who Are Playing Tonight” with original drawing, inscribed by Lindsay, 1905;
Original drawing, “Jaques,” inscribed by Lindsay, n.d.;
Hand-bound copy of The Tramp’s Excuse and Other Poems, 1909;
Printed poem and drawing, “The Wedding of the Lotus and the Rose,” 1912;
Front page of Illinois State Journal, Sunday, November 9, 1930, with comments by Lindsay, inscribed by Lindsay.  Oversize folder. 

Sample of special paper imprinted with original Lindsay designs; contains note by Lindsay concerning evolution of paper.  Oversize folder; 

Maps of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky from Rand-McNally Atlas, on which Lindsay personally traced his walking tours for J.S. Kenyon, probably 1907; 

Mounted photograph of Lindsay at age 18 years 6 months, 1897 and 1898, inscribed by Lindsay; 

Original drawing, “The Literary Societies,” inscribed by Lindsay, [1900?]; 

Original poem and drawing, “Ambition,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1902; 

Manuscript copy of “Silence Borne from Afar,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1902, with envelope; 

Manuscript copy of “To the Sweet Singer of Israel,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1902; 

Manuscript copy of “The Mariposa,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1902; 

Original drawing of a woman, inscribed by Lindsay, 1902; 

Manuscript copy of “The Queen of Bubbles,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1903; 

Original poem and drawing, “The Sunday School Picnic,” 1903; 

Printed poem and original drawing, “We Who Are Playing Tonight,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1903; 

Printed poem and drawings, “The Tree of Laughing Bells,’ 1905; 

Printed poem, “God Help us To Be Brave,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1908; 

Printed poem, “The Last Song of Lucifer,” 1908 (two copies); 

Printed poem and drawing, “The Moon-Worms,” 1910—oversize folder; 

Partially printed, partially original poem and drawing, “The Poet in the Orchard of Art,” inscribed by Lindsay, [1920s]—oversize folder; 

Printed poem, “When the Stuffed Poets Quarrel,” 1924—oversize folder; 

Printed poem, “The Litany of Washington Street,” inscribed by Lindsay, n.d.; #50 of 55 copies printed for private distribution; 

Carbon copy of poem, “A Scandalous Address to Eugene O’Neill—Our Most American and Deservedly Our Most Honored Dramatist,” inscribed by Lindsay, 1926; includes clipping “Our Own Vachel”; 


N.V.L. to J.S.K., postcard fro Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 14, 1906;
N.V.L. to J.S.K., postcard from Paris, France, August 4, 1906;
N.V.L. to Myra Pow Kenyon, letter from New York, November 27, 1905, containing advertisement
                for Lindsay’s YMCA lecture series, “Education by Absorption”;
J.S.K. to N.V.L., letter from Indianapolis, IN, January 5, 1907;
N.V.L. to J.S.K., letter from Springfield, IL, December 26, 1925;
N.V.L. to J.S.K., letter from Springfield, IL, October 27, 1930;
N.V.L. to J.S.K., letter from Springfield, IL, June 27, 1931; includes clippings:
                N.V.L., “The Jazz Age,” Liberty, February 21, 1931: 27;
                N.V.L., “Make Springfield Artistic Capital of U.S.,” Illinois State Journal, June 17, 1931:
                    1; 17—oversize folder; 
                Editorial, “Unique Endowments for Springfield,” Illinois State Journal, June 17, 1931:
                    8—oversize folder 

Mrs. Dale Perren (Constance Robinson, Class of 1935):  


N.V.L. to Cornelia Wakefield, letter from New York, October 16, 1903, containing poem “Ghosts in Love” and clipping of “General William Booth Enters into Heaven’;
N.V.L. to Mrs. Walter Robinson, letter from Springfield, IL, May 21, 1913; 

Printed poem and drawing, “The Ezechiel Chant”; 

Published works:

The Chinese Nightingale, inscribed;
Going-To-The-Sun, inscribed

Mrs. Anne Pettit:


Martha Wilson:  

Original works:

“A Song for All American Children, In Praise of Johnny Appleseed,” typescript, 1920;
“Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight,” typed on Columbia University stationery, n.d.; 

Printed Works:

Drawings: 1913; 1919; 1920;
Poems and drawings, “The Virginians Are Coming Again,” The American Mercury, July, 1928; #668, signed;
Poem and drawing, “The Ezechiel Chant,” 1930; used as greeting card by Nicky, Susan and Elizabeth Conner Lindsay;
Envelope from Second Imprint of “A Map of the Universe”;


Program of the Verse-Speaking Choir, presented by the Chautauqua Story-Teller’s League, n.d.;
Tuck’s Magazine, Midwinter, 1915; two copies;
Lindsay Scrapbook, 1961

Cleaver Sisters (Miss Alice Cleaver and Mrs. R.E. Grimstead):

Lindsay scrapbook, n.d.;
Other items as indicated in inventory

Vachel L. Wakefield and Mrs. Catharine Wakefield Ward:

Items as indicated in inventory 

Elizabeth Kenyon Andress and Martha Kenyon:

Photocopy of a letter from Robert Graves to a friend, October 19, 1920, describing Lindsay’s triumph at Oxford University, quoted from the Morrow Anthology of Modern American Poets (1985) 

Miss Catharine Blair and Mrs. Benita Blair Mullins:

Printed broadsheet, “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, In Springfield, Illinois,” 1930; gift of 10/1985;
Poster for The Vachel Lindsay Association; gift of 10/1985 

Dr. W. Skerk:

Autograph letter to Braithwaite, n.d., on stationery of the St. Botolph Club, framed; gift of 6/1988 

Miss Mary Jane Adams:

Article, “Vachel Lindsay to Have Part in Empire Builders,” The Illinois Union June 17, 1929: 26 


Self portrait of Alice Cleaver, unframed  


Drawing, “Out of the Furnace Came the Gold,” n.d.; gift of Martha Wilson 


Delphic Literary Society stationery designed by Lindsay, 1899;

Envelope addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Vachel Lindsay, 2318 West Pacific, Spokane, Washington;

Envelope address to Mrs. Arthur Paul Wakefield, Care Thomas Cook & Sons, Ltd., Genoa, Italy; in hand of Vachel Lindsay, November 10, 1927;

Program, Addresses and Poem from Inauguration of Kenneth I. Brown as President of Hiram College, October 10, 1930, when Lindsay was awarded honorary Litt. D.; 20 copies;

Fan with photograph of Lincoln Home in Springfield, IL; gift of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth I. Brown, December, 1931 or January, 1932;

Bookmark bearing Lindsay’s drawing “Meditation, “ 1920; text describes use of Lindsay map of the U.S. in 1932 Spiderweb;  17 copies;

Print of “A Vachel Lindsay Map of the United States,” 1932; 15 copies;

Engraving plate for “A Vachel Lindsay Map of the United States,” 1932;

Postcard showing Vachel Lindsay Memorial Bridge over Lake Springfield, Springfield, IL, [post-1932];

Inventory of Lindsayana Collection in Springfield, IL, December 23, 1949;

Lindsay bibliography, anonymous, [1967?];

Hiram College Annual Spiderweb, 1899; 1900; 1901, with art by Lindsay; 1932 Spiderweb dedicated to Lindsay;

Song “Daniel” for Francis Proctor and Hiram Centennial, 1949-50;

Manuscript biography of Lindsay [by Charity Cannon?], n.d.;

Typescript biography of Lindsay, anonymous, n.d.; 2 copies;

Poem, “Johnny Appleseed,” by Vachel Lindsay, music by Eunice Lea Kettering, n.d.; 2 copies;

Brochure, “The Vachel Lindsay Home,” n.d. 


Books owned by Lindsay:

Montgomery, D.H.  The Leading Facts of English History.  2nd ed.  Revised.  Boston: Ginn and Co., 1896.

Poe, Edgar Allan.  The Works of.  10 vols.  New York: Harper and Brothers, 1849.  Each volume monogrammed “NVL.” 


Vachel Lindsay reading “The Congo” and “John L. Sullivan, the Strong Boy of Boston”; “Chinese Nightingale”; “The Congo”; “Flower-Fed Buffaloes”; “General William Booth Enters into Heaven”; “John L. Sullivan, the Strong Boy of Boston”; “Kansas”; “The Moon’s the North Wind’s Cookie”; “Mysterious Cat”;

Vachel Lindsay reading “the Congo,” “The Chinese Nightingale,” “The Mysterious Cat,” “General William Booth Enters into Heaven,” “The Moon’s the North Wind’s Cooky,” “The Flower-Fed Buffaloes.”  Caedmon Cassette (CDL 51041) and recording (TC 1041); 2 copies 


Drawing, “Vachel Lindsay Recites John Brown,” by a London artist, n.d.


Olive Lindsay Wakefield was the older sister of Nicholas Vachel Lindsay. She completed her education at Hiram and married Arthur Paul Wakefield, son of a notable Hiram professor, E.B. Wakefield. Paul Wakefield was a physician and Olive and Paul served the mission field in China from 1905 to 1927. After Vachel’s death in

1931, Olive Lindsay traveled the U.S. lecture circuit giving poetry readings of Lindsay’s material as well as miscellaneous lectures on China, American democracy, her childhood with Vachel in Illinois, etc. The following material is related to Olive Lindsay Wakefield. 

Charles F. Church on behalf of his Great-Aunt, Helen Shoemaker Church, 1899. 

Edgar Lee Masters. Vachel Lindsay: a Poet in America. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1935. Personal copy of Helen Church. Clippings inside text announcing the birth of Susan Doniphan Lindsay as well as her marriage to John Conrad Russell, (Viscount Amberley), son of Bertrand Russell. Clipping of book review of Lindsay biography, The West-going Heart: a Life of Vachel Lindsay by Eleanor Ruggles, Norton, [1959]. 

Letters to Helen S. Church from Olive Lindsay Wakefield:

  • 8 January 1936 – Christmas card from Olive to Helen. Original Vachel Lindsay design illustrating his poem, “Star of My Heart.” selected by Olive for her cards. Includes four page letter and three cards advertising Mrs. Wakefield’s lecture series.
  • 20 January 1936 – Olive to Helen, four pages as well as a brochure advertising Mrs. Wakefield’s lecture “recitals.” (encapsulation)
  • 10 March 1941 – Olive to Helen announcing her schedule for a visit to Chicago and expressing wish to meet Helen while in town.

28 July 1958 -- Letter to Helen (Mrs. William T.) Church from Thelma R. Bumbaugh, acting head librarian acknowledging the  gift of Vachel Lindsay related material from Mrs. Church to the library.

One wallet size photo of Olive Lindsay Wakefield. “Just to say Hello!  Olive” no date.

Nicholas Vachel

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