North, Sterling (1906-1974)
Scope:
The Sterling North collection consists of manuscripts, printed material, and correspondence.

Manuscripts by North in the collection include his children’s book Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to the White House (Random House, 1956), in drafts and proofs; Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era (Dutton, 1963), with drafts, proofs, a Reader’s Digest condensation, and Carl Burger’s original pencil-drawn illustrations; Hurry Spring! (Dutton, 1966), with drafts, galley proofs, and Carl Burger’s illustrations; Son of a Lamp Maker: The Story of a Boy Who Knew Jesus (Rand McNally, 1956), in several drafts and galley proofs; Thoreau of Walden Pond (Houghton, 1959); Mark Twain and the River (Houghton, 1961); Raccoons are the Brightest People (Dutton, 1966); and The Wolfling (Dutton, 1969).

The collection also includes several manuscripts by other authors, probably obtained during North’s work as an editor for Houghton-Mifflin from 1957 to 1964. They consist of American histories for young readers. These works (all published, where applicable, by Houghton) include Adventures of Lewis and Clark (1962) and Captured by Vikings, by John Bakeless; The Fishing Fleets of New England (1961), by Mary Ellen Chase; Mayo Brothers, by Helen Clapesattle; Robert E. Lee (1960) by Jonathan Daniels; Thomas Jefferson: The Making of a President (1964) by John Dos Passos; Jessie Benton Fremont, by Marguerite Higgins; Birth of Texas (1960) by William W. Johnson; Lafayette in America by Andre Maurois; U.S. Marines, by Lynn Montross; Wells Fargo (1961), American Horses (1962), and First Steamboat on the Mississippi, by Ralph Moody; Our National Heritage (1965) by Mario Pei; and Washington Irving (1960), by Anya Seton. These manuscripts are either stripping dummies or some other post-draft, pre-publication form.

Printed material in the collection consists of numerous reviews of Abe Lincoln, various advertisements and promotional pieces, and book jackets.

Correspondence in the collection is both personal and professional. In the personal correspondence, there are multiple letters to North from his children and family, mostly dating from the mid-1950s to the 1960s. There is also a section designated “celebrity mail” that contains letters from Van Wyck Brooks, Louis Bromfield, Pearl S. Buck, James Branch Cabell, John Dos Passos, Margaret Case Harriman, and Ben Hecht; these letters date from 1953 to 1963.

The professional correspondence includes files of letters and ancillary material relating to Abe Lincoln . Many of these letters were sent between North and his publishers at Random House between 1952 and 1957; also present are several letters from Lincoln scholars commenting on the book, and a letter from Norman Vincent Peale (1956). Likewise, there is some publisher correspondence about Rascal .

Professional letters pertaining to North’s editorial career include a number of copies of letters from John Dos Passos regarding his book on Thomas Jefferson for North Star Books as well as carbons of North’s letters to Dos Passos. Also present are several letters written by William O. Douglas between 1957 and 1962 regarding Douglas’ 1961 book Muir of the Mountains . The collection includes many letters to and from the other authors mentioned in the manuscripts section above, in connection to their work for North Star Books; these letters provide a good indication of North’s working relationship with these authors. Over seventy letters between North and other editors and publishers at North Star between 1957 and 1967 further highlight his professional relationships.

Notable correspondents found in these letters include Edwin V. Mitchell, Mario Pei, William E. Spaulding, and Cardinal Francis Spellman.
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Notable Figures
1. North, Sterling, 1906-1974
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Editing and Publishing Subject Guide