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James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Mallinckrodt

Scope and Content of the Collection

Sixteen personal journals, seventeen letter books, two letter drafts, four additional notebooks, and several items from Mallinckrodt’s brother, nephew, and mother. Every decade from the 1860s to the 1920s is represented except for the 1890s. Materials dated before 1915 represent Mallinckrodt’s time living in St. Louis, and those after 1915 are based in Salt Lake City. Mallinckrodt was an obsessive diarist, recording his innermost thoughts and passions on even the most mundane subjects. The journals and letter books are mostly numbered by Mallinckrodt, with the numbering system starting over at least once after his move to Salt Lake City.

Personal journals from 1864-1915 provide a colorful illustration of life in postbellum St. Louis. The journals and letter books from 1915-1921 include information about life in Utah from the perspective of an outsider. He provides musings on family life, his perspective on his Salt Lake City neighbors and acquaintances, writing daily and sometimes hourly about events going on around him. Mallinckrodt occasionally lapses into German, but most text is in English. Many of the letter books are name-indexed and detail Mallinckrodt’s various business dealings. Included are letters written to Samuel Clemens, Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Ward Beecher. Some are letterpress copy books, and others are handwritten copies or drafts of letters.

Other materials include items from Mallinckrodt’s family members such as his nephew Philip Mallinckrodt’s business diary dealing with patent law, mostly from 1931. Also of interest is a notebook of quotes, poems, and songs recorded by Mallinckrodt’s mother, Louise Mallinckrodt (1817-1893) starting in 1837. The notebook is mostly in German with some entries in English at the end.


  • Creation: 1837-1939
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1864 - 1924



Materials are in English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

The James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt

German American soldier, author, printer, and businessman.

James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt (Jul. 20, 1842 – Feb. 22, 1925), son of two German immigrants, was born in Missouri and lived in St. Louis for the majority of his life. He was the author of a number of religious books and the satire Novissimum Organon, a religious and political commentary on postbellum life in the United States first published in 1881. Mallinckrodt served during the Civil War as an officer in Company D of the Missouri 17th Infantry Regiment, a German American unit of the Union army organized in St. Louis in 1861. He was promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on Jan. 1, 1864, and was discharged on Dec. 15, 1864. The same year, he assisted an unnamed printer, probably his brother John Mallinckrodt (1848-1922), in setting up a printing press in St. Louis. In the 1870s, he worked at a printing press, a machine shop, and as a surveyor. He also studied engineering and calculus. He was close with his sister Cecilia Mallinckrodt Kueffner (1843-1872), a noted poet within the family circle. In 1915, Mallinckrodt moved into his nephew Philip Mallinckrodt’s home in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he remained until his death in 1925.


2.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)


Personal journals and letter books of James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt (1842-1925), a German American solider, author, printer, and businessman. Materials provide a detailed look at life in St. Louis, Missouri, between 1864 and 1915, and Salt Lake City, Utah, between 1915 and 1924. Also includes materials from Mallinckrodt’s mother, brother, and nephew.


Arranged by type of material and chronologically with other Mallinckrodt family member materials and miscellaneous at the end.

Collection Stack Location

1 42 1


Purchase, Ken Sanders Rare Books, Mar. 2015.

Processed by

Catherine Grandgeorge, 2017.

Inventory of the James Ferdinand Mallinckrodt Papers, 1837-1939, bulk 1864-1924
Catherine Grandgeorge
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States