Folklore and folktales collected by Charles E. Brown

Folklore Pamphlets, 1921-1945

Charles E. Brown (1872-1946) was curator of the Museum of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and secretary of the Wisconsin Archaeological Society. He also collected a substantial body of folklore on Wisconsin Indians, lumbering, steamboating, local history, and related topics which he published in pamphlet form. Brown created these pamphlets for the Wisconsin Archaeological Society, the Wisconsin Folklore Society, courses he taught during University of Wisconsin summer sessions, and simply as privately published booklets for the amusement of his friends and colleagues. Most are only 4-8 pages long. In the printed booklets, Brown did not usually cite sources for the tales, but his correspondence and research notes are available in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives in boxes 2-10 of Wis Mss HB.

The two links at the bottom of this page will open a collection of 47 pamphlets totaling 444 pages that were issued between 1921 and 1945 (all that are known to exist). They have been grouped loosely according to subject and appear in the following order:

Native American Folklore: Indian Folk Lore (1921), Moccasin Tales (1935), Birchbark Tales (1941), Lake Mendota Indian Legends (1927), Indian Flower Toys and Games (1931), Lake Mendota: Prehistory, History and Legends (1933), Winabozho, Hero-God of the Indians of the Old Northwest (1944), Indian Star Lore (1930), Wigwam Tales (1930)

Lumbering and Logging: Paul Bunyan Tales (1922; revised editions, 1927 and 1929), Paul Bunyan and Tony Beaver Tales (1930), Paul Bunyan, American Hercules (1937), Paul Bunyan Classics (1945), Paul Bunyan Natural History (1935), Flapjacks from Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty (1941), Brimstone Bill (1942), Johnny Inkslinger (1944), Bunyan Bunkhouse Yarns (1945), Shanty Boy (1945), Ole Olson (1945), Sourdough Sam (1945)

Other Wisconsin & American Folklore: Ghost Tales (1931), The Ridgeway Ghost (1943), "Cousin Jack" Stories (1940; Cornish folklore), Prairie Stories (1934), Whiskey Jack Yarns (1940; river rafting folklore), Old Man River (1940), Sea Serpents (1942), Bluenose Brainerd Stories (1943), Bear Tales (1944), Ben Hooper Tales (1944), Hermits (1945), Lost Treasure Tales (1945), Flower Toys and Games (1923), Insect Lore (1929), Cowboy Tales (1929), Little Stories about George Washington (1932), Gems: Magic, Mystery and Myths of Precious Stones (1932), Old Stormalong Yarns (1933), Cloud Lore (1935), Gypsy Lore (1935), Flower Lore (1938), The Trees of the Campus (1925), Wisconsin Indians (1933), French Pathfinders of Wisconsin (1934)

Related Topics: Early Native Peoples
Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
Immigration and Settlement
Mining, Logging, and Agriculture
The French Fur Trade
Early U.S. Settlement
Great Lakes Steamships and Canals
Development of the Railroads
19th-Century Immigration
Lead Mining in Southwestern Wisconsin
Logging and Forest Products
Farming and Rural Life
Creator: Brown, Charles E. (Charles Edward), 1872-1946.
Pub Data: 47 individual titles published in Madison, Wis., 1921-1945
Citation: Use the bibliographic data on the cover or title page of each individual pamphlet, concluding with the phrase, Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 2/2/2023