Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1083.1

Nation papers


Early editorial and business papers of the review, the Nation Includes correspondence of founder and first editor, Edwin Lawrence Godkin, as well as additional materials related to the journal.


  • 1865-1893

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

This group of Nation papers includes: correspondence of the founder and first editor Edwin Lawrence Godkin; correspondence of James Miller McKim; and contracts, statements, receipts, and clippings.

Biographical / Historical

The political and cultural review, the Nation , was founded in 1865 by Edwin Lawrence Godkin who also served as the first editor. In 1881 Godkin sold the magazine to the New York Evening Post, where he became editor of the Post and Wendell Phillips Garrison became editor of the Nation. It became a weekly edition of the Post until 1914.

Originally it was self-described as "A weekly journal of politics, literature, science and art." Under Godkin, the Nation railed against Reconstruction excesses, abuses of the civil service and corruption in the goverment. It is America's oldest such continuously published periodical still extant.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Letters to Edwin Lawrence Godkin
  2. II. Letters from Edwin Lawrence Godkin
  3. III. Letters to James Miller McKim
  4. IV. Other letters
  5. V. Nation business papers
  6. VI. Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Manuscripts purchased from Mrs. Lawrence Godkin, (care of) Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard, 20 Vesey Street, New York, N.Y.; received: 1936Nov. Purchased with funds provided by The Friends of the Library: Mr. Oswald Garrison Villard, Mrs. Charles Dyer Norton, and Mr. James Byrne.

Related Materials

See also HOLLIS catalog for additional materials held by the Houghton Library relating to The Nation and to Edwin Lawrence Godkin.

Separated Materials

See also separately cataloged collection: Edwin Lawrence Godkin Papers, 1845-1927 (bMS Am 1083) that was originally part of this accession.

Processing Information

Recataloged from: MS Am 9012.5

Processing Information

This collection is boxes 12, 13, and 14 of MS Am 1083. Box 14 is shared with MS Am 1083.2.

Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). Nation papers, 1865-1893: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440