Manuscript Collections - Isabel M. Paterson Papers


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ISABEL M. PATERSON PAPERS, 1857-1998 (bulk, 1910-1965)
10 linear feet, 1 linear inch (23 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Isabel Paterson was born to Francis and Margaret Bowler on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada on January 22, 1886. The family settled on a cattle ranch in Alberta. Isabel spent only a few years in school and moved out on her own when she was a teenager. In 1910 she married Kenneth Birrell Paterson and began her journalism career writing editorials for the Inland Herald. She also wrote drama reviews for two Vancouver newspapers.

Paterson separated from her husband in 1918 and after World War One moved to New York where she worked on the feature page of the New York American and in the editorial department of Hearst’s Magazine. In 1922 she joined the New York Herald-Tribune to write book reviews and pieces for the Sunday Books section. In 1924 she began her column Turns With a Bookworm which combined reviews, literary anecdotes, and her political views. 

Paterson began writing novels when she was 28. The first two, The Magpie’s Nest and The Shadow Riders, were westerns about women struggling to achieve independence. Her most famous book was The God in the Machine, an important libertarian work. Major themes in her work include liberty, political freedom, individualism, and entrepreneurship.

Dismissed from the New York Herald in 1949, Paterson continued to write and refused Social Security benefits. Isabel Paterson died at the home of Muriel and Edward Hall in Montclair, New Jersey on January 10, 1961. SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The collection was acquired from Paterson’s estate over three accessions in 1995, 1997, and 1999.

The papers are divided into five series:

NAME AND SUBJECT FILES (2 linear feet, 10 linear inches) contain material from 1908 to 1998 arranged alphabetically. The series is mostly correspondence, although it also includes articles, clippings, photocopies of photographs, quotes, and poems. It also contains files from scholars working after Paterson’s death. Notable writers include Will Cuppy, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand. Materials on highly acidic paper have been removed for preservation purposes and replaced with copies.

WRITINGS (2 linear feet) include article drafts, correspondence about Paterson’s works, notes, and book manuscripts. Includes manuscripts for The Singing Season and a Book Digest version of The God of the Machine. The material dates from 1911 to 1964. Correspondents include editors John Chamberlain of Freeman and William Buckley, Jr. of The National Review.

LEGAL PAPERS (5 linear inches) date from 1910 to 1979 and include documents relating to Paterson’s property, estate settlement, naturalization as a U.S. citizen in 1928, and writing contracts.

BOOK COLLECTION (3 linear feet, 6 linear inches) contain two subgroups which date from 1857 to 1970. The first contains copies of annotations from the books in the second subgroup and is arranged alphabetically by title of the book. The second contains books owned by Paterson, often with underlining and annotations in her own hand, arranged alphabetically by author of the book.

TURNS WITH A BOOKWORM (1 linear foot, 4 linear inches)






GROUP A – B, 1927-1949
American Legion Controversy, 1951
Balch, Earl, 1945
Busey, Garreta

Letters from Isabel Paterson, 1936 and undated
Letters to Isabel Paterson, 1928-1949
Letters to Muriel Hall, 1962-1965

GROUP C – D, undated
Coleman, Alta May, undated
Censorship, 1946
Cox, Stephen, 1988-1998
Cuppy, Will to Isabel Paterson, undated (3 folders)
Edmunds, Everard, 1956
Education in the United States, 1953-1959
Elson, Robert T., 1957


Farley, Lillian Fisher, 1927, 1958, 1960
Farley, Lillian (Dina) Fischer, 1924-1960 (2 folders, copies from NYPL)
Field, Rachel, 1930
Gilbert, Rodney, 1957
Glenn, Isa, 1931-1932
Griffith, H. M., 1952
Hall, Ted, undated
Hall, Muriel, 1961, 1979-1992 (2 folders)
Henry, R. S., 1942-1964 (5 folders)


Herdman, Ramona, 1950-1959
Hitchcock, Harry, 1929
Hoiles, R. C., 1950-1962          
Kirk, Russell, 1964-1965
Knowlton, Marcus and Meredith, 1959
Lane, Rose Wilder, 1932-1945 [31-imp-b03-f06-lane]
Lecomte de Nouy, Mr. and Mrs. Pierre, 1947-1956
LeFevre, Robert, 1960-1964
Luckhart, Grace, 1927-1961 and undated
Manion, Clarence, 1949
McGinnis, Dick, undated
Mitchison, N., undated
Paterson, Isabel to Muriel Hall, 1944-1957 (5 folders)


Paterson, Isabel to Muriel Hall, 1958-1960
GROUP R, 1935-1949
Rand, Ayn

From Isabel Paterson, 1943-1948
To Isabel Paterson, 1943-1950

Roberts, Nat, 1929-1935 and undated
Rascoe, Burton, 1945
GROUP S, 1938-1960
Scholars Interested in Isabel Paterson, 1969-1973
Social Security, 1937-1955
Stribling, T. S., undated
Sprague, Ted and Grace, undated
]Stone, Grace, undated
GROUP T-Y, 1923-1946
Teale, Edwin Way, 1949-1950
Unidentified, 1908-1916


Vogt, Gertrude, 1950-1961
Wall, Mildred, 1952-1961
Welles, Mary and Samuel, 1936-1943 and undated
Welles, Ted, 1949-1985
Wylie, Elinor, undated

Cuppy, Will – Clippings, 1927 and undated
New York Herald Tribune – Obituaries, 1953-1983
Paterson, Isabel

Address Book and Business Cards, 1942 and undated
Articles about Isabel Paterson, 1912-1943
Christmas Cards, undated
Family Correspondence, 1933-1954
Linoleum Block, undated (Paterson portrait?)
Miscellaneous, 1944-1959 and undated
Notebook – Turns With a Bookworm, undated (blank, illustrated cover)


Newspaper Clippings, 1916-1960
Photographs, undated (copies)
Quotes, 1958-1960
Tombstone, 1962
Rand, Ayn

Lecture Report by Ed Barthelmes for Time, Feb 18, 1960
The Only Path to Tomorrow, Condensed from The Moral Basis of Individualism, 1945
An Open Letter to Ayn Rand by John Chamberlain in National Review, undated
Thomas, M. J. – Poems, undated



Annotated by Isabel Paterson, 1939-1944
The Astonishing Creature – The Baby, May, 1949
Humanitarian with Guillotine, 1955
Learning to Read, 1957 (working title, Reading Without Tears, Cows or Chickens)
A Man of Destiny, 1956
Murphy, 1928
Newark Evening News, 1960
New York Herald Tribune, 1924-1938
The Oracles are Dumb, 1956
Sketches for Newspaper Articles, undated
The Southern Breakthrough, 1955
Turns with A Bookworm, 1932-1948
We Were the Cowith-an, undated
What Do They Do All Day?, undated
Written by Other Authors, 1930-1964



Ashville Chamber of Commerce, 1924
GROUP B, 1942-1949
Benson, Arthur C., undated
Book Reviews, 1932
Bradley, J.G., 1949
Buckley, William F., Jr., 1954-1962
Buffett, Howard, 1952
Cabell, James Branch, 1930-1936
Chamberlain, John, 1953
Colum, Padraic, 1944
Columbia Lecture Bureau, 1949
Crane, Jasper, 1944-1954
Fake, Guy L., 1943-1948
Fuller, Selma and Henry, 1953
Gannett, Frank, 1945
G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1942-1944
Greenewatt, C. H., 1952-1959
Georgia Review, 1948-1949
GROUP H, 1934-1958
Harper Brothers, 1915
Hicks, Hamilton, undated
GROUP J, 1951
Josenhans, M. Alma, undated
GROUP L, 1931-1948
GROUP M, 1931-1947
Marsh, Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone with the Wind), 1947
Mitchison, Maomi, undated
New York Herald Tribune, 1949-1952
Opitz, Edmund, A., 1959
GROUP P – R, 1944-1956
Palmer, Paul, 1945-1947
Read, Thomas, 1935, 1964
Rejection of Manuscripts, 1914-1915
Ridenour, Louis N., 1946
GROUP S, 1922-1959
Saturday Evening Post, 1957-1959 (Frederick Nelson)
Stout, Wesley W., 1939-1944
GROUP T – Y, 1949-1957
Unidentified, 1950-1956
Van Doren, Irita, 1940
Wall, Mildred, 1958-1959
Wilder, Thornton, 1927


Natural Law, 1951-1954
Never Ask the End, 1933-1949
Rejection Letters, 1942
Theory of Equilibrium, 1951-1955
Vogt, Gertrude, 1950-1961
Miscellaneous copies, 1911-1964 and undated (4 folders)

Draft Notes

General, undated
How Can I Get Past the (Deleted) Conservatives?, undated
Law and Liberty, undated
Republican Party, 1954
States Rights Proposal, 1951-1952



Did I Ask to Be Born?

Working Copy
Final Copy

Fragments from Novels, undated
God of the Machine

Summary for Book Digest, 1943
Correspondence, 1945
Notes by Ted and Muriel Hall, undated
Notes of Isabel Paterson, undated

Joyous Gard, 1958

Annotated copy (2 folders)
Clear Copy, Chapters 1-13


Clear Copy, Chapters 14-25

Early Copy, Pages 14-191 (2 folders)
Attempts to Get Published, 1951-1958


Chapters 1 and 2
Chapter 1
Burned Copy, Chapters 15-25 (2 folders)

The Singing Season

Chapters 1-30 (2 folders)
Correspondence, 1923

Reviews of Paterson Books, 1916 and undated



Banking, 1925, 1956-1959
Disposition of Papers, 1961-1979
General, 1910-1957
Immigration Papers, 1920-1928
Real Estate

Connecticut Property, 1933-1949, 1952-1960 (2 folders)
New Jersey Property, 1942-1960

Royalties, 1933-1949
Taxes, 1926-1964
Will and Death Certificate, 1961
Writing Contracts, 1915-1942



Annotated Materials

A Bookman’s Daybook by Burton Rascoe, 1929
Dryden by G. Saintsbury, 1902
Einstein by P. Frank
Elizabeth by M. Waldman
Forty-Two Years in the White House by Irwin Hood (Ike) Hoover, 1934
Founding Fathers by K. Umbrett
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson
A Great Peacemaker: The Diary of James Gallatin Secretary to Albert Gallatin 1813-1827, 1914
Grey Eminence by A. Huxley
High Stakes and Hair Trigger by R. W. Winston
A History of the Church. Volume three – The Revolt against the Church: Aquinas to Luther, 1947
Kilvert’s Diary by W. Plomer
Letters of Madame by G. S. Stevenson
The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay by G. O. Trevelyan
The Life of Samuel Johnson by J. Boswell
The Man versus the State by Herbert Spencer, 1940
The Novels of Jane Austin by R. W. Chapman
Out of the Earth by L. Bromfield
Pensees by Pascal
The Pentateuch by J. W. Colenso
Phases of American Culture by the Jesuit Philosophical Association of the Eastern States, 1942
Portrait of Pascal by M. Duclaux
The Road to Xanadu by J. L. Lowes
Russia Under the Tzars by Stepniak
Sahara: The Great Desert by E. F. Gautier, 1935
Science and Christian Tradition by T. H. Huxley
The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy by E. Gilson
Taft and Roosevelt by A. Butt
They Told Barron by C. W. Barron


Travels in France and Italy by A. Young
The Unity of Philosophical Experience by E. Gilson
Voltaire by Brandes
The Wealth of Nation by A. Smith
Inscriptions to Isabel Paterson
National Review, Aug-Sep, 1960, Jan-Feb, 1970
The Freeman, 1950-1952


Book Collection

Adlington, Richard, The Duke: A Life of Wellington, 1943
Brandes, George, Voltaire, 1930 (2 vols)
Bromfield, Louis, Out of the Earth, 1950
Catlin, George, North American Indians, Volume 1, 1857
Chamberlain, Pressey Walters, Living, Reading, and Thinking, 1948
Fitzgerald, Edward, The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyan


Chesnut, Mary Boykin, A Diary From Dixie, 1949
Duclaux, Mary, Portrait of Pascal, 1927
Du Nouy, Lecomte, Human Destiny, 1947
Du Nouy, Mary, The Road to Human Destiny, 1955
Ford, Ford Madox, The Last Post, 1928 (two copies)
Frank Philipp, Einstein, 1947


Gilson, Etienne

The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy, 1940
The Unity of Philosophical Experience, 1947

Hughes, Philip, A History of the Church, Volume 3, 1947
Hughes, Richard, A High Wind in Jamaica, 1932
Huxley, T.H., Science and Christian Tradition, 1895
O”Neill, Moira, Songs of the Glens of Antrim, 1916
Plomer, Ed., Kilvert’s Diary, 1947
Potter, George Richard, Sir Thomas More, 1925
Pound, Arthur, Ed., They Told Barron, 1930


Pascal, Blaise, Pensees, 1941
Paterson, Isabel

The Fourth Queen, 1926
God of the Machine, 1943 (2 Copies)
God of the Machine, 1964 (reprint)
If It Prove Fair Weather, 1940 (2 Copies)


Golden Vanity, 1934
The Magpies Nest, 1917
Mai Domander La Fine, 1933
Never Ask the End, 1930
The Road of the Gods, 1930
The Shadow Riders, 1916

Tate, Allen, Jefferson Davis, 1929
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1954


Roscoe, Burton, Titans of Literature, 1932
Spencer Herbert, The Man Versus the State, 1940
Swinburne, Algernon Charles, Poems, 1905 (4 Volumes)
Wylie, Elinor, Collected Prose, 1933


Original Removed for Preservation

Paterson-Hall Correspondence, 1944-1955 (4 folders)
Paterson Correspondence, 1957-1958 (2 folders)
Manuscript Fragments, undated
Novel Fragments, undated
Will Cuppy to Paterson, undated


Turns With A Bookworm, Sep 1924-Aug 1932 (14 folders)


Turns With A Bookworm, Sep 1932-Aug 1939 (14 folders)


Turns With A Bookworm, Sep 1939- Jan 1949 (19 folders)


Weeded on Aug 4, 2015 by cgw

Writing – Correspondence – Nelson, Frederick, 1957-1959
Photocopies of the eight (8) pages in
Writing – Correspondence – Saturday Evening Post, 1957-1959

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