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The Draper Manuscripts

About Lyman Copeland Draper

Lyman Copeland 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" in the South. 

With the support of Peter Remsen, his cousin's husband, Draper was able to pursue a variety of occupations that allowed him considerable time to gather reminiscences, documents and information for what was intended to be a series of volumes on the settlement and history of the "Trans-Allegheny West." 

Draper's research involved extensive field work and Draper took several research trips in the l840s gathering materials for his proposed volumes. After the death of Peter Remsen, Draper's need for regular employment led him to become the corresponding secretary of the recently organized State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Although he had somewhat less time to devote to his own historical researches, Draper's correspondence and collecting continued to his death. 

His manuscript collection was bequeathed to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Further biographical information on Draper may be obtained from William B. Hesseltine's excellent biography, Pioneer's Mission: The Story of Lyman Copeland Draper (Madison, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1954).


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