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[Drawings for The Old Santa Fe Trail]

Identifier: VAULT.oversize-Ayer-Art-Inman/Willing

Scope and Content of the Collection

Nineteen individually foldered pen and ink drawings on board of varying sizes, largely unsigned. The drawings feature sketches of everyday life and notable scenes found along the Santa Fe Trail, as well as portraits of well-known figures, including Kit Carson, General Custer, and James P. Beckwourth. When available the page numbers corresponding to specific drawings reproduced in The Old Santa Fe Trail have been noted.

Unless otherwise noted, all drawings are assumed to have been completed by Thomson Willing.


  • Creation: approximately 1890-1897



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The [Drawings for The Old Santa Fe Trail] are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time, proper art handling procedures strictly enforced (Priority I).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The [Drawings for The Old Santa Fe Trail] 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 Henry Inman

Henry Inman (1837-1899) was a U.S. Army officer and author. He was born in New York in 1837 to Henry Inman, the renowned American portraitist and his wife, Jane Riker Inman. After attending Athenian Academy in New Jersey, Inman enlisted in the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry in 1857, at the age of twenty. After the state of the Civil War, Inman was transferred to the 17th Infantry, the Army of the Potomac, and became a first lieutenant in 1864. In 1878, Inman took charge of the Larned Enterprise, a newspaper in Larned, Kansas, and, several years late, he became manager of the Kansas News Agency at Topeka. Inman, inspired by his interest in the frontier, wrote a comprehensive history of the Santa Fe Trail, published in 1897 as The Old Santa Fe Trail: The Story of a Great Highway, which featured illustrations by Frederic Remington as well as John Thomson Willing.

Biography of (John) Thomson Willing

(John) Thomson Willing was a lithographer and book illustrator from Toronto, Canada whose specialty was bookplate designs. He worked mainly in New York City and was a member of the Salmagundi Club, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Royal Canadian Academy.


1.2 Linear Feet (1 custom box)


Nineteen pen and ink drawings on board of varying sizes, largely unsigned with the exception of one drawing signed "C. F. Tiedemann 93," and another initialed "CFT." Fourteen of the drawings can be found as tail pieces and initials within Henry Inman's The Old Santa Fe Trail (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1897), a work that charts the illustrious history of the Santa Fe Trail, a nineteenth century transportation route that connected Franklin, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. These works offer insight into nineteenth century illustration, transportation, as well as the history and cultural appeal of the American West.


Original order was maintained.

Collection Stack Location

VAULT 51 8



Processed by

Gordon Dearborn Wilkins and Elizabeth McKinley, 2015.

Inventory of the [Drawings for The Old Santa Fe Trail], approximately 1890-1897
Gordon Dearborn Wilkins and Elizabeth McKinley
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