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Harry Sinclair Drago Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: –
Date: Feb 1967

Biographical History

American novelist Harry Sinclair Drago (1888-1979 or 1980) was born in White Plains, New York. He held a number of jobs in the writing and publishing industry, including reporter and columnist for the Toledo Bee in Toledo, Ohio and Hollywood scriptwriter (1928-1933), but is best known for his historical fiction, most of which was set in the American Southwest. His novels include Oh Suzanna, Whispering Sage, Out of the Silent North, Buckskin Affair, Fenced Off, and Decision at Broken Butte.

Drago was a prolific writer, averaging three books a year, and published more than a hundred books over his career. In addition to his novels, he contributed articles and short stories to The Westerners and other publications and wrote several screenplays and novelizations; in his later years he turned his hand from historical fiction to non-fiction histories of the American West. He also wrote under several pseudonyms: Sinclair Drago, Grant Sinclair, Stewart Cross, Kirk Deming, Will Ermine, Peter Field, Bliss Lomax, and J. Wesley Putnam.

Drago was a member of the Publication Committee of the Westerners, New York Posse (branch), a non-profit educational organization of those whose interest is to preserve and record the cultural background and development of the West. His work received many awards, among them the Buffalo Award for best western book of the year (1960) for Wild, Woolly, and Wicked, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Award (1970) for The Great Range Wars, and the Western Heritage Award (1971).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Harry Sinclair Drago Papers consists of two accessions which have not been integrated. The collection includes correspondence, writings, photographs, manuscripts, and published material.

Manuscripts contains handwritten and typed manuscripts of articles, books, short stories and plays, both by Drago and others, as well as those sets of gallery proofs. Published material contains newspaper clippings about others, articles by Drago and others, one novelette, and one periodical.

The 1969 additions consist of biographical and background material, correspondence, writings and photographs. Biographical and background material (1969 additions) contains a brief printed autobiography, newspaper clippings about Western subjects, and personal ephemera.

Correspondence (1969 additions) contains incoming and a few outgoing letters. Most concerns Drago's writing, though there are a few personal in nature. Box 1 includes a selected index to correspondence with specific dates of letters; a summary of this with inclusive dates is reproduced at the end of this finding aid.

Writings (1969 additions), most undated, includes manuscripts, reviews of his books, and notes. Photographs (1969 additions) contains miscellaneous photos (Tom Mix, others).

Arrangement of the Collection

Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically first by type, then by author, and then by title. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type and then by author if applicable. Personal correspondence is arranged chronologically; business correspondence is arranged alphabetically (as received). Writings in the 1969 additions are arranged alphabetically by type and then by title.

Note that box numbers are not unique. Please specify accession and box number and title when requesting material.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Drago, Harry Sinclair, 1888-1979, Archives.


Authors, American.
Novelists, American.


Southwestern States, Fiction.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Harry Sinclair Drago Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Harry S. Drago. Gift of Dodd, Mead & Company Inc.

Table of Contents


Published material

Biographical and background material (1969 additions)

Correspondence (1969 additions)

Writings (1969 additions)

Photographs (1969 additions)

Selected index to correspondence


Selected index to correspondence

Following is a summary list with inclusive dates. A detailed index with specific dates is included in Box 1.