Manuscript Group 1137, William Hamilton Osborne (1873 – 1942), Author, Lawyer, Papers, 1902 – 1937

 

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

 

1137. OSBORNE, WILLIAM HAMILTON (1873-1942), author, lawyer.

 

Papers, 1902 – 1937. 4 1/2 ft.

 

A native of Newark, N.J., Osborne studied law at Columbia
University Law School, began to practice as an attorney in the
1890s and subsequently served as counsel for the Authors League
of America. Osborne began his literary career in 1902 by
writing short stories for such magazines as Harpers Monthly
Magazine
, McClures, the Saturday Evening Post
and many others. The collection includes numerous manuscripts,
galley proofs, and published versions of Osborne’s novels, plays,
motion picture scripts, essays and short fiction ranging from
love stories to detective tales written between 1902-1937. The
correspondence in the collection consists primarily of business
letters between Osborne and his publishers. A detailed inventory
is available.

 

Gift of Mrs. William H. Osborne, 1980.

 

 

MG 1137

 

William
H. Osborne

 

Papers,
1902-1937

 

4.5
linear ft.

 

 

 

 

 

Osborne,
William Hamilton,

 

Lawyer,
Author.

 

 

 

Born Newark,
N.J. Jan. 7, 1873.  Parents, Joseph P. and Kate Hamilton
Osborne, both natives of N.J.  Educated at public schools in
Newark; graduated 1890 from Newark High School.  Studied law
at Columbia University Law School under Theodore W. Dwight
1890-1891; later at New York Law School 1892-1893, including post
graduate course.  LL.B.N.Y. Law School 1892.  Admitted
as attorney and counselor at law New York bar March 1894;
admitted as attorney at law N.J. bar Nov. 1894, counselor Nov.
1897.  Special Master and examiner in Chancery.  N.Y.
office, 120, N.Y. City.  Member of N.J. law firm Osborne
& Astley, office 800 Broad St. Newark, N.J.

 

 

Since 1902 short story contributor to many
magazines, including harpers Monthly Magazine, harpers Weekly,
McClures, Saturday Evening Post, etc. etc.  Author of
Novels, Red Mouse, published Dodd, Mead & Co. 1909, Running
Fight, 1910, Catspaw, 1911, Blue Buckle, 1913, Boomerang, 1915.
Also author 1915 of original motion picture serial “Neal of
the Navy,” produced by Pathe.  Occasional contributor
to legal magazines and weeklies upon legal subjects.

 

 

Member Washington Association of N.J.  Member
of Executive Committee of Author’s League of America.

 

 

Politics – regular Republican.  Church
– North Reformed, Newark.

 

 

Married at Rockaway N.J. June 1, 1898, Lydia
Gelston Spring of Newark, N.J.  Children, William Hamilton
O. Jr., and Frederick Spring O.

 

 

Residence 213 Highland Avenue, Newark, N.J.

 

 

 

 

 
213 Highland Ave., Newark, N.J.  Dec. 30, 1915.

 

N.J. Historical Society,

 
Attention of Miss. Johnson.

 

My dear Miss Johnson: –

 
Pursuant to your very kind request for sketch of myself, I
enclose one which I have made as brief as possible.  It is
not necessary to acknowledge receipt.

 
I am much flattered by the request – it is difficult for me
to understand how my career can be of any interest to an
historical society.

 

 
Sincerely,

 

 
Wm. H. Osborne

 

 

William Hamilton Osborne.

 

213 Highland Ave.

 

Newark, N.J.

 

 

 

N.B.  William Hamilton Osborne died
December 25, 1942.

 

 

 

MG 1137

 

William
H. Osborne

 

Papers,
1902-1937

 

4.5
linear ft.

 

 

 

Scope and Content Note

 

 

 

This collection is arranged alphabetically,
first by series title, then by content of folder.  The
correspondence folders, however, are arranged chronologically.
In several instances two copies of a manuscript are included in a
folder, eiher because the original copy is damaged or  because
two copies of the same story differ slightly in content.  Published
versions of Osborne’s work have been reproduced on acid free
paper to insure their long term preservation.

 

 

Osborne’s correspondence spans the
years of his literary career – from 1902 to 1937, five years
before his death.  The letters deal chiefly with his career
as an author and provide little insight into other aspects of his
life.  William Hamilton Osborne wrote novels, plays, motion
picture scripts, essays, and short stories ranging form love
stories to detective tales.  This collection includes
numerous manuscripts from each of these categories.

 

 

Students of popular American fiction will
find this collection especially useful inasmuch as it may serve
to assess the nature of American reading tastes in the early
twentieth century.  In addition, researchers interested in
matters concerning local color will also find the William
Hamilton Osborne papers valuable.  Most of Osborne’s
stories are set in the New York-New Jersey area during the early
part of the twentieth century.  He occasionally refers to
local institutions, such as the Crazy Jane Society of Morristown.
He also draws upon his professional experiences as a lawyer for
subject matter.  The dialogue is realistic and contemporary
with his times.  According to newspaper clippings his
stories were well received by critics, who described them as
having sound plots with swift action.  Some of his
contemporaries, however, commented that he wrote typical
detective stories, followed the laws of romance, and used too
much narrative.

 

 

 

 

Series Description

 

 

1137.1
Correspondence, 1902-1909.
Approx. 80 items.

 

This consists
primarily of literary correspondence between Osborn and
publishers.  Included in this group is a record of payments
to Osborne for his stories.

 

 

1137.2
Correspondence, 1910-1914.
Approx. 35 items.

 

Literary
correspondence, including two letters from lawyers praising
“The Running Fight.”

 

 

1137.3
Correspondence, 1915-1917.
Approx. 55 items.

 

Includes a
discussion of “The Running Fihgt” and “Neal of the
Navy,” a few letters from editors rejecting a manuscript,
and letters discussing contracts.  One letter addressed
“To Whom It May Concern” certifies that Osborne is a
lawyer in Good standing.

 

 

1137.4
Correspondence, 1918-1937.
Approx. 87 items.

 

Includes letters
from the American Defense Society, the Vigilantes, the Author’s
League of America, and a request for Osborne’s biography for
the New Jersey’s First Citizens publication.

 

 

1137.5
Correspondence, Undated.
Approx. 15 items.

 

Contains a revised
synopsis of a story, an item labeled Editorial Correspondence,
and a letter from the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences,
requesting Osborne to speak to a group of students on the art of
story writing – a list of questions is included.

 

 

1137.6
Essays and Nonfiction material. 12 items.

 
Items Include:

 
– “Can Our children trust us?”

 
A pro-World War I essay.

 
– “The Nan of the Sixth of September”

 
A tribute to Lafayette.

 
– “Murders and Movies”

 
On how every author acts as his own lawyer.

 
– Newark Moot Court Society

 
Brief of the Defendant’s Counsel – Riggs against
Palmer.

 
– A proposed radio talk on the practical side of storytelling

 
– “The Situation in Seattle”

 
About the Seattle shipbuilding industry. – 2 copies.

 
– “The Slaughter of Innocents”

 
A discussion of divorce laws in the U.S.

 
– “A Study in Crime”

 
Based on the actual case of The People against Pietro Giannone.

 
– “Your Landlord and Your Lease”

 
– An Autobiography

 
– Untitled travel guide to Canada, British Columbia, and Northern
United

 

States.

 

 

1137.7
Galley proofs.
Approx. 12 items

 
– “Conquest of New York”

 
– “Every Soldier His Own Lawyer” – an 8 part
series.

 
– “The Gratitude of Olga” – published 1905.

 
– “The Story of Debvoise” – published 1904.

 
– “The Thoroughbred”

 

 

1137.8
Legal Transactions, 1910-1917
7 items.

 
– Contract witht eh publisher for “Catspaw” –
1910.

 
– Rights to “The House of a Thousand Scandals” –
1912.

 
– Unsigned agreement between Osborne and Richard R. Seill Jr.,

 

concerning
“Neil of the Navy” – 1915.

 
– Agreement between Osborne and Pathe Freres – 1915.

 
– Agreement with Richard Neill Jr. discussing payments –
1915.

 
– Agreements between Osborne and Small, Maynard & Co.
concerning

 

“How
to make Your Will” – 1917.

 
– Contract with David Perkins concerning the royalties for “The
Running

 

Fight.”

 

 

1137.9
Miscellaneous material.
24 items.

 
– A certificate naming Osborne as Examiner in the Chancery of New

 

Jersey.
June 17, 1913.

 
– Certificate appointing Osborne as Special Master for Essex
County –

 

June
17, 1913.

 
– Pamphlet listing prominent contributors to Success Magazine.

 
– Contract between the Broadway Play Producers, Inc. and Alice
Leal

 

Pollock
concerning her play – James j. Mulholland and Wife.”

 
– A Library of Congress card acknowledging the copyright of one
of his

 

works.

 
– Miscellaneous notes and two copies of notices rejecting
manuscripts.

 
– A sketch of Osborne for a magazine.

 
– 1913 copyright for “Green Eyes”

 
– 1909 copyright for “An Elopement”

– 1908 copyright for “Standing Room Only”

 
– November 1894 certificate stating that Osborne has become an
attorney

 

and
Counselor at Law.

 
– 2 Newsletters titled:  The Farmer’s Non-Partisan
League and Flushing

 

Celebrates
the New “Fourth.”

 

 

1137.10
Newspaper clippings, ads, reviews for “The Red Mouse”
and “Neil of the

 

Navy”
– 17 items.

 

 

1137.11
Newspaper clippings, ads, and reviews for “The Running
Fight,” “The

 

Prospector,”
“The Blue Buckle,” “Catspaw,” “Boomerang.”

 

Approx. 52 items.
Includes pictures of a play, a playbill naming the cast of
performers, a typed advertisement by Osborne.

 

 

1137.12
Newspaper copies and manuscript copy of the series – Modern
Magazine

 

Fiction
At Close Range.
10 items.  Manuscript copies includes

 

sections 3, 4, and
5 of series.

 

 

1137.13
Miscellaneous Newspaper clippings and ads for plays.  22
items.

 

Includes:
biographical articles about Osborne as a lawyer and author.
A review of an actor in the play “The Running Fight.”
An article on the Republican platform in 1916.  An ad for
Lake Placid news.  Pages 5-8 of the Newark News – 1903.

 

 

1137.14
Newspaper articles that need repair.
3 items.

 
Consist of biographical articles on Osborne and other authors.

 

 

1137.15
Novel and Synopsis
2 items.

 

Chatty.

 

 

1137.16
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Heavy Hand
.

 

 

1137.17
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Hypocrite
.

 

 

1137.18
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Running Fight
.

 

 

1137.19
Novel
1 item.

 

South
Dakota
.

 

 

1137.20
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Standing Alibi of H. Stainleigh Storme
.

 

 

1137.21
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Taint In the Blood
.

 

 

1137.22
Novel
1 item.

 

Tub
O’Blood
.

 

 

1137.23
Novel
1 item.

 

The
Woodchoppers
.

 

 

1137.24
Novellettes.
2 items.

 
Barbed Wire Entanglements

 
Just A Step Too Far

 

 

 

 

 

1137.25
Plays A-B
3 items.

 
The Akoond of Swat

 
Brand From The Burning

 

Bribed

 

 

1137.26
Plays C
2 items.

 
2 copies of the Cat and The Canary.

 

 

1137.27
Plays E-L
6 items

 
An Elopement – 1909

 
Hearts Sincere – the 4 individual acts.

 
Loaded Dice

 

 

1137.28
Plays N
Approx. 11 items.

 
Neal of the Navy – 1915 Motion Picture Script

 
Nick Carter’s Son

 
Attached to plays are letters and Osborne’s notes.

 

 

1137.29
Plays P & S
Approx. 5 items.

 
The Paymaster’s Wife

 
The Poor Relations – 1910

 
South Dakota – 2 copies

 
Standing Room Only – 1908

 

 

1137.30
Scenarios for plays and motion pictures.
Approx. 22 items.

 
Clang of Cavalry

 
Cleaning Up

 
The Fortunes of John Storme

 
Hitting the Rainbow Trail (Part I & II) – 1918

 
Huckleback, the housemover

 
The Lucky Loaf

 
Nancy Lee of Annapolis (2 copies)

 
The Passion Paramount

 
Pretty Polly – 1915

 
A Rollicking Ramble

 
The Room With The Red Rug

 
The Runaway Girl – 1916

 
Sairey Gamp – 1915

 
Secret of the Purple Powder

 
Secret of the Red Room

 
The Spider’s Web

 
The Stigma

 
2 untitled pieces

 

 

1137.31
Short Stories A-B
12 items.

 
After Bigger Game

 
Alias Louis Vardon

 
All Roads Lead to Rome (part 3)

 
Ambush

 
An Amazing Indiscretion

 
At the Café Thermidor

 
Bill Jones

 
The Bishop of the Street

 
The Bookworm and the Bully

 
The Bottom Rung

 
A Brand From the Burning

 

 

1137.32
Short Stories – C
13 items

 
The Cake of Scented Soap

 
Camp Followers – 1916

 
The Car that Found Itself

 
Casting the First Stone

 
Catastrophe

 
Chance

 
The Cleverness of Covington’s Client

 
The Coming of the Magnet

 
Contributory Negligence

 
Corrupting Mrs. Carnaby

 
Corsage Bouquet

 
The Counterfeit Corot

 

 

1137.33
Short Stories D- E
18 items.

 
The Dangerous Mrs. Deane

 

Dangerous
Road

 
Dash of Spice

 

Dead
Man’s Ear

 

The
Decoy (2 copies)

 

Denoument

 

Diamond in the Sky

 

Dog
Tags

 

Dynamite
or Matter of a Wrist Watch

 

Dynamite,
Playing with Dynamite

 

The
Ear of Ellenbogen

 

Eavesdroppers

 

An
Effective War Machine

 

The
Elbow Touch on Mortgage Hill

 

End
of a Gamester

 

There are also
notes and 1 letter attached to An Effective War

 

Machine
– 1918.

 

 

1137.34
Short Stories F-I
17 items.

 
The Fatty Forbes Foundation

 
The Fewer the Higher

 
Finnesse

 
The Fire Bug

 
Fondness For Peanuts

 
Far Shorty Cullen’s Kids

 
Frightfulness

 
Half a Carat Less

 
Handsomely Trimmed

 
The Haunted Corridor

 
Hearsay Evidence

 
A Hot-Bed of Ices

 
House Devil

 
Houseboat Mystery – 1915

 
If you See It On the Screen, It’s So

 
Improvidence or the Rainey Day

 
Infamous Inoculation – 1918

 

 

1137.35
Short Stories J-L
13 Items

 
Jilted (2 copies)

 
Jim Cradlebaugh, Headliner

 

Just
a Step Too Far

 
Just One moment, Please

 
A Kick in the Shin Bone

 
Kow Tow de Luxe

 
The Lady With The Black Eye

 

The
Last Stand

 

Let
‘em Alone

 

Little
Chap from Nowhere

 

Lucre
of Lucille Lorraine

 

1919
letter attached to Just a Step Too Far.

 

 

1137.36
Short Stories M-O
13 items.

 
The Magic Motor Horn

 

Malcontent

 

The
Man Trap

 

Man
With the Husky Voice

 

The
Manly art of Self Offense (2 copies)

 

Mr.
Carver Comes to Town – with 1918 letter attatched.

 

Mr.
Bacheller’s Apartments

 

Name
of a Name

 

One
Hundred and One Broadway

 

Opening
Contraband

 

An
Outrage or So – 1917

 

 

1137.37
Short Stories P
11 items.

 

Painless
Passing of Peter

 

Palpitating
Heart

 

Peter
Grimwood Goes to War

 

Pig
– Knitters

 

The
Pink ‘uns

 

Poker
Face

 

The
Poor Fish – 1910

 

The
Poor Ham

 

Pride
of Possession

 

The
Professor and the Plainclothes Man

 

The
Pyromaniac’s Reform

 

 

1137.38
Short Stories R
11 items.

 

The
Rat Fit of Yakima Way

 

Rats

 

Rendering
Life Burdensome

 

The
Renegade

 

The
Right Eye of Cardamon

 

Riotous
Living

 

The
Risk of Chance Acquaintance

 

Road
Closed – Detour – 1921

 

The
R.P.& Q. Train Robbery

 

Ruined
Beyond Recall

 

A
Rush to Cover

 

 

1137.39
Short Stories S
15 items.

 

Sanctuary

 

The
Scarlet Swimmer

 

A
Serpent’s Tooth

 

Settled
Out of Court

 

Shadowed

 

Signor
of Reclaimed

 

So
Help Me God

 

Society
Five

 

The
Sole Survivor – 1916

 

Sprucing
Up

 

The
Spy

 

The
Strange Case fo Chaloner

 

Strange
Conduct of a Shadowed Bird

 

Sudden
Shock

 

Suspended
Sentence

 

 

1137.40
Short Stories T-V
15 items.

 

Terror Driven

 

Theater Ticket
Scandal

 

Throttled

 

The Till Tapper

 

Tillie Tills

 

Tin of Poisoned
Partridge

 

To Save His Face

 

Tracked To Its
Lair

 

Troop Train –
1918

 

The Trouble Hunter

 

A Turn of the
Wrist (2 copies) – 1920

 

Untimely
Indiscretion

 

Unusual Event In
Oxford Street

 

Vive Le Sabot

 

 

1137.41
Short Stories W-Z
14 items.

 

Wanted

 

Wanted
– A Policeman (2 copies)

 

The
Watchman

 

The
Watermelon Feast At Firefly

 

What
Cassie Did

 

What’s
the Use

 

Who’s
Your Neighbor

 

With
the Wizard of Crooked Craig

 

The
Woman From Wingate Street

 

Woman’s
Job

 

Work
For the Average Man – 1918

 

Wraith
of Castaway Cove

 

Untitled
Story

 

 

1137.42
Stories By Gelston Spring
7 items.

 

The Benefactor

 

The Compromise
Candidate

 

3 pages of The
Defeat of Johnny Ougheltree

 

The Elixir of
Eternal Joy

 

The Garden of My
Youth

 

Hirsute Horner’s
Absence From the Fair

 

The House of
Happiness

 

 

1137.43
Material by other Authors
5 items.

 

Play – “The
Running Fight,” based on Osborne’s Novel, by Louis
Albion

 

&
David Perkins.

 
Play – “A Businessman” by Lee Arthur.

 

1918 letter
attached to 1 act play “Doctor Felsberg’s Patient”
by Herbert

 

Bates.

 
Untitled manuscript by Phil Norton.

 

 

1137.44
Untitled novel with missing pages
1 item.

 

 

1137.45
Untitled novel with missing pages
1 item.

 

 

1137.46
Untitled novel with missing pages
1 item.

 

1137.47
Miscellaneous stories with missing pages
1 item.

 

Titled pages
include:  Stairs, Moonshine, Road Closed – Detour, The
Traitor and the King, Two Faced Flossie, What Every Young Man
Wants, and Go to the Spruce, Thou Laggard.

 

 

1137.48
Published magazine Articles, 1904-1926
16 items.

 

N.B. Manuscripts
of these stories are not found in any of the preceding
series.

 

“Green Eyes,”
n.d. (2 copies)

 

“Blackmail”
n.d.

 

“The Taint O’
The Leg,” n.d.

 

“The Made-up
Photograph and the Millionaire,”  Saturday Evening

 

Post,
Jan. 9, 1904.

 

“Bill
Tewlegger and the Mastodon,”  The American Home

 

Monthly,
August 1907.

 

“A
Deal in Gun Barrels,”  Leslies Weekly, March 25,
1909.

 

“The
Fight and Victory,”  Illustrated Sunday Magazine,
July 9,

 

1911.

 

“An
Eye-Opener,”  Sunset,  Sept. 1913.

 

“The
Boudoir Scene,”  Sunset, March, 1914.

 

“Adrienne
Gascoyne,”  Illustrated Sunday Magazine,  August
1,

 

1915
(2 copies).

 

“Half
and Half,”  The Blue Book Magazine, Nov. 1915.

 

“Two
Fools and a Frolic,”  Pictorial Review,  Sept.
1915.

 

“The
Stroheim Stethoscope,”  The Munsey Magazine,
Jan. 1926.

 

“The
Sole Survivor,”  Collier’s, May 27, 1916.

 

 

1137.49
“The Scheme of Sutcliffe, Swindler,” McClure’s
Magazine
, April, 1903,

 

pp.
598-605.

 

 

1137.50
“Pound Losers and Pound Keepers,”  Frank Leslie’s
Popular Magazine
,

 

May,
1903, pp. 97-99.

 

 

1137.51
“Bullock Jr. and the Octopus,”  McClure’s
Magazine
, October, 1903, pp.

 

578-585.

 

 

1137.52
“The Alarm of Angelone,”  Everybody’s
Magazine
, October, 1905, pp.

 

466-472.

 

 

1137.53
“The Jilting of Genevieve,” Woman, December,
1906, pp. 369-384.

 

 

1137.54
“Squeezing the Lemon,”  The New Broadway
Magazine
, September,

 

1908,
pp. 394-398.

 

 

1137.55
“Giannone’s Girl,” Lippincott’s Monthly
Magazine
, December, 1909, pp.

 

709-720.

 

 

1137.56
Press notices concerning William Hamilton Osborne   Bookman,
May

 

1911;
Bookman Advertiser, n.d.

 

 

1137.57
“Neal of the Navy,” 1915.

 

 

1137.58
“Sairey Gamp,” 1915

 

 

1137.59
“A Pair of Green Spectacles,” Case and Comment: The
Lawyer’s

 

Magazine,
June 1915, pp. 55-62.

 

 

1137.60
Re. “Neal of the Navy,” from Moving Picture World,
June 26, 1915, pp.

 

2054,
2055, 2074.

 

 

1137.61
“Mrs. Archibald’s Emeralds,” Munsey’s
Magazine
, May, 1917, pp. 677-

 

685.

 

 

1137.62
“An Outrage or So,”  The Black Cat: Clever
Short Stories
, November,

 

1917,
pp. 8-15.

 

 

1137.63
“Seattle’s Secret,”  The Pioneer
(March, 1918, San Francisco), II, no. 12;

 

Seattle
Spirit
(March 21, 1918), II.

 

 

1137.64
Infamous Inoculation,” Saturday Evening Post, March
9, 1918.

 

 

1137.65
“The Troop Train,” Saturday Evening Post, May
11, 1918.

 

 

1137.66
“Camp Follower,” Snappy Stories, April 18, 1919,
pp. 103-122.

 

 

1137.67
“On the Sly,” Saturday Evening Post, Sept. 6,
1919.

 

 

1137.68
“The Final Chuckle,” People’s, December
1919, pp. 7-14.

 

 

1137.69
“An Amazing Indiscretion,” Metropolitan, May
1920.

 

 

1137.70
“Seeing Things Again,” Saturday Evening Post,
May 8, 1920.

 

 

1137.71
A Rush To Cover,” Saturday Evening Post, May 15,
1920.

 

 

1137.72
“Handsomely Trimmed,” Saturday Evening Post,
August 21, 1920.

 

 

1137.73
“A Turn of the Wrist,” Saturday Evening Post,
September 4, 1920.

 

 

1137.74
“Swift Work,” Saturday Evening Post, November
13, 1920.

 

 

1137.75
“Road Closed – Detour,” Chicago Sunday Tribune,
October 16, 1921.

 

 

1137.76
“The Stroheim Stethoscope,” Munsey’s Magazine,
January 1926.

 

 

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