Guide to the Clifford Merrill Drury Papers 1932-1958
Cage 144

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Drury, Clifford Merrill
Clifford Merrill Drury Papers
Cage 144
Date [inclusive]
150.0 items.
General Physical Description note
1.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Correspondence, manuscripts of his works, photographs, notes, clippings and printed material concerning the Whitmans, Walkers, and Spaldings. Correspondents include Samuel T. Walker and Ruth Karr McKee.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 144, Clifford Merrill Drury Papers . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

1897 Born, near Early, Iowa
1918 Graduated, Buena Vista College; U.S. Army at the Medical School of Yale University
1919-1922 Attended and graduated. San Francisco Theological Seminary.
1921-1923 Assistant pastor, First Church, Berkeley, California
1922 Ordained, Presbyterian Minister
1923-1927 Pastor, Community Church, Shanghai, China
1927-1928 Attended University of Edinburgh
1928-1938 Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Moscow, Idaho
1932 Ph.D., University of Edinburgh
1938-1963 Professor of Church History, San Francisco Theological Seminary
1944-1956 Official Historian, U.S. Navy, Chaplain Corps
1955 Litt.D., Whitworth College
1964 Lecturer, Fuller Theological Seminary
1964-1969 D.H.L., Whitman College

Major Publications

1936 Henry Harmon Spalding, Pioneer of Old Oregon
1937 Marcus Whitman, M.D., Pioneer and Martyr
1940 Elkanah and Mary Walker, Pioneers among the Spokanes
1948-1954 History of the Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy. 6 v.
1949 A Tepee in his front yard
1952 Presbyterian Panorama
1958 Diaries and letters of Henry Harmon Spalding and Asa Bowen Smith
1963-1966 First White Woman over the Rockies. 3 v.
1967 William Anderson Scott, No Ordinary Man
1968 Rudolph James Wig
1973 Marcus Whitman Re-examined. 2 v.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection of the papers of Clifford M. Drury, historian and biographer, falls in three categories: correspondence, manuscripts of published works, and minor publications. The correspondence, arranged chronologically, is from that period, 1932-1947, when Drury was actively researching and writing his biographical trilogy on the Whitmans, Walkers and Spaldings. The letters detail aspects of his search for material, his transfer of much of that material to the Washington State University Library, and the publication of his monumental biographies. While the bulk of these letters are from Dr. Drury's own files, some are strays from the files of WSU president E.O. Holland who actively supported Drury's research. In addition to the correspondence there is a typescript of Drury's address at a convocation at WSU in 1937 and a file of clippings, notes, photographs and other papers collected as research material.

Four of Drury's major works are represented here in typescript as received from the printer. These include those sections deleted from the published works in the interest of conserving space. In addition to reprints of a few of Drury's articles there is a copy of Helen Bliss' Bibliography of the works of Clifford Merrill Drury, 1934-1969.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1977
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers of C.M. Drury, historian and biographer, were acquired by Washington State University Library between 1938 and 1972 as a complement to the research material, manuscripts, transcripts, photocopies and other papers concerning the Oregon Missionaries that were received by the library as a result of Dr. Drury's efforts.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Although the greatest bulk of the Clifford Merrill Drury papers were deposited at the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane, in 1966, some additional material on Drury and his researches may be found in the Eells, Spalding, Walker and Whitman collections which Dr. Drury was instrumental in acquiring for the Washington State University Library.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Missionaries -- Northwest, Pacific--History--Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Cowley, H. T. (Henry Thomas), 1837-1917
  • Drury, Clifford Merrill, 1897- --Archives
  • McKee, Ruth Karr, 1874-
  • Spalding, Henry Harmon, 1803-1874
  • Walker, Elkanah, 1805-1877
  • Walker, Samuel Thompson, 1852-1939
  • Whitman, Marcus, 1802-1847


  • Missionaries
  • Pacific Northwest History
  • Pioneers
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory


Box Folder

Correspondence. Correspondents: Board of Foreign Missions, David Brown, W.O. Forbes, Ernest E. Hubert, L.V. McWhorter, Edmond S. Meany, Samuel T. Walker, Western Reserve Academy. 1932-1934   13.0 items.

1 1

Correspondence. Correspondents: J.M. Cornelison, Robert S. Fletcher, W.W. Foote, Mary C. Harrison, E.O. Holland, R. Murray Jones, Kathleen Marsh, O.F. Marshal, Eula Green Miller, Richard G. Montgomery, Moscow (Idaho) Chamber of Commerce, Vivian Purves, C. Ben Ross, Spalding Memorial Library, Samuel T. Walker. 1935   41.0 items.

1 2

Correspondence. Correspondents: Burt Brown Barker, William Douglas, Joe Evans, Charles A. Hawley, E.O. Holland, Ernest E. Hubert, Nard Jones, Richard G. Montgomery, National Archives, Mrs. Alfred W. Peterson, Leroi C. Snow, Albert R. Sweetser, John P. Thomson, Samuel T. Walker, Mrs. George W. Welker. 1936   34.0 items.

1 3

Correspondence. Correspondents: C.R. Armstrong, Ruth Karr Mckee, C.R. Miller, Mary Eleanor Nichols, G. Donald Smith, U.S. Treasury, Elda R. Walker, Samuel T. Walker. 1937-1947   26.0 items.

1 4

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Addresses and notes 

Box Folder

" The Walkers," an address by C.M. Drury delivered at convocation at the State College of Washington. May 18, 1937   4 page typescript.

1 5

Clippings, notes, photographs re: The Walkers, Pierre Dorian, Shoshone Indians, Rev. John Roberts. Also container list (1960). 1934 1960   20.0 items.

1 6

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Box Folder

Marcus Whitman, M.D., Pioneer, patriot and martyr of Old Oregon. (Published by Caxton, 1937) (printers copy).   Approx. 600 leaf typescript

1 7-9

Elkanah and Mary Walker, pioneers among the Spokanes. (Published by Caxton, 1940). (printers copy)   Approx. 400 leaf typescript. Approx.50 photographs

2 10-11

Elkanah and Mary Walker, pioneers of the Spokanes. (author's copy)   Approx. 250 leaf typescript.

2 12

A tepee in his front yard or a biography of Henry T. Cowley. (printer's copy) (Published by Binfords & Mort, 1949).   Approx. 190 leaf typescript.

2 13

Henry T. Cowley, pioneer of Spokane. (Cowley Family Copy).   Approx. 160 leaf typescript (carbon)

3 14

The Spalding and Smith diaries of the Nez Perce Mission, 1838-1842. (author's copy) (Published by A.H. Clarke, 1958).   Approx. 390 leaf typescript (carbon)

3 15-16

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Box Folder

Bliss, Helen - Bibliography of the works of Clifford Merrill Drury, 1934-1969. Reprinted from the Journal of Presbyterian History, v.48, n.2 (Summer, 1970) 143-157 . 

3 17

Publications of C.M. Drury: 

Box Folder

The Beginnings of Talmaks, "Galloping over the butte," the introduction of the Fourth of July address of Talmaks Camp Meeting 1958. Craigmont, Idaho, Printed by Rev. David H. Crawford. 1958    8 pages

3 18

Beginnings in the Synod of Oregon. Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, v. 37, n. 4 (December, 1959) 208-231. 

3 18

I, the Lawyer; head chief of the Nez Pierce. The Westerners, New York Posse, Brand Book, v.7, n. 1 (1960) 1-3, 14-21. illus. 

3 18

Negative report on Oregon: W.H. Ashley, W.P. Hunt, and J.S. Green. The Westerners, Los Angeles Corral, Brand Book, no. 13, (1969) 192-202. 

3 18

Reminiscences of a historian. (Spokane?, 1972) First appeared in Pacific Northwesterners, v.16, n.4 (Fall, 1972) 16 page 

3 18

Growing up on an Iowa farm. Annals of Iowa, 3rd series, 42:3 (Winter 1974) 161-197. (Added 18 March, 1974) 

3 18

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Marcus and Narcissa Whitman 

Box Folder

The search for the White Man's book of heaven, being a paper read at the meeting of the Presbytery of Northern Idaho at Kamiah October 10, 1932   3 page typescript.

4 19

Comments on methods followed by me in the preparation of...Marcus and Narcissa Whitman December 13, 1972   2.0 typescript.

4 20

Correspondence and critical notes of Albert W. Thompson and Herman J. Deutsch, Pullman, Washington, re: manuscript of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. 1970-1972   Approx. 150 page typescript.

4 21

Manuscript of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. Approx. 1000 page typescript. 

4 22-25

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Nine years with the Spokane Indians 

Box Folder

Nine years with the Spokane Indians; the diary, 1838-1848, of Elkanah Walker. 1976   Approx. 800 page typescript with manuscript corrections and changes.

5 1-6

Nine years: Comments by A.W. Thompson   Approx. 50 page typescript.

5 7

Nine years: Comments by H.J. Deutsch   approx 4 page manuscript

5 8

Nine years: Correspondence with Larry Parker and others concerning translation of Walker's Spokane primer; also Parker's translation 1974   Approx. 100 page typescript and manuscript (photocopies)

5 9

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