Collection ID: LMC 1057
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Collection context


Barnhart, John D. (John Donald), 1895-1967.
The Barnhart mss., 1813-1962, consists of the papers of history scholar John Donald Barnhart, 1895-1967.
2 Boxes
English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Barnhart mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

John Donald Barnhart, 1895-1967, was born on September 22, 1895, in Decatur, Illinois to Effie Frances Clothier and John D. Barnhart. He completed his A.B. degree at Illinois Wesleyan University (1916), his A.M. at Northwestern University (1919), and his Ph.D. at Harvard University (1930). He taught history at the University of Minnesota (1920-1921), Nebraska Wesleyan University (1921-1923), Harvard (1924-1925), West Virginia University (1926-1933), West Liberty State Teachers College (1934-1936), Louisiana State University (1936-1941), and Indiana University (1925-1926, 1941-1965). He was the editor of Indiana Magazine of History from 1941 to 1955 and retired from teaching in 1965. Barnhart wrote numerous articles, book reviews, and books, including Henry Hamilton and George Rogers Clark in the American Revolution in the West (1951), Valley of Democracy: the Frontier Versus the Plantation in the Ohio Valley (1953), Indiana: From Frontier to Industrial Commonwealth (1954), co-authored with Donald F. Carmony, and Indiana: the Hoosier State (1959), co-authored with Donald F. Carmony, et al. He was a member of the American, Southern, and Mississippi Valley Historical Associations and served as president of the Indiana History Teachers' Association (1947-1948), chairman of the Indiana Territorial Sesquicentennial Commission (1950), and president of the Indiana Historical Society (1957-1959). During World War II, he was chairman of the Indiana War History Commission, and he served as a member of the Advisory Committee on History to the Secretary of the Navy during the 1950s and 1960s. Barnhart died on December 25, 1967, in Bloomington, Indiana.

Scope and Content:

The Barnhart mss., consists of letters from and to eminent American historians, professors, educators, politicians, publishers, archivists, and friends, and material for his publications which includes letters from Ninian Edwards to Isaac Shelby, 1813-1814; notes and copy of 1860 census of Salt Creek township, Jackson County, Indiana; letters from steamboat captain, James A. Payne, to his step-daughter, Mrs. Katherine F. Sterrett, 1864-1878, on the unsettled conditions which prevailed in Louisiana after the Civil War. They were printed in an article entitled "Reconstruction on the Lower Mississippi" in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XXI, no. 3 (December, 1934), pp. 387-396.

There is also a World War I diary by Georgia Elizabeth Finley 1873-1943, a dietitian and former Indiana University faculty member in the Home Economics Department, who served with the American Red Cross in France in the Vosges Mountains from December, 1917 to February 1919; financial reports, notes, and minutes of Indiana War History Commission 1943-1951; and microfilms of material relating to the Old Northwest in other repositories as follows: (1) Godlove Stein Orth letters, Library of Congress and Indiana State Library. (2) Thomas Worthington papers, 1801-1827, Library of Congress. (3) "Slavery, inconsistent with justice and good policy" by D[avid] Rice, published Lexington, Kentucky, 1792 (4) Kentucky Gazette, 1791 Oct.-Nov. and 1792, Jan.-April, Library of Congress. (5) George Rogers Clark papers, 1766-1782, Jan. 12 and 1782, Jan. 17-1810, Dec. 9, Missouri Historical Society. (6) Centinel of the North- Western Territory, 1793-1796, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, and Philosophical Society of Ohio, Cincinnati. (7) Haldemand papers and documents of early and mid-eighteenth century (in French), Canadian Public Archives. (8) Jonathan Jennings letters, Indiana State Library. (9) Scioto Gazette, 1800, July 11-1802, Oct. 2, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio.

Note on Indexing Term - "World War, 1939-1945": During World War II Barnhart served as the chairman of the Indiana War History Commission. There are financial reports, notes, and minutes of the Commission dated 1943-1951.

The collection also contains a few printed items.

Acquisition information:
Acquired: 1968
Processing information:

Processed by Austin Alexander. Completed in 2012.


This collection is arranged following original order.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility)



This collection is open for research.

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[Item], Barnhart mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452