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David Starr Hoyt Manuscripts


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Hoyt, David Starr, 1821-1856

David Starr Hoyt, from Deerfield, Massachusetts, was an officer in the Mexican War, and in 1856, led several thousand men to the fighting in Kansas. He was killed near Lawrence, Kansas, by "border ruffians" on August 12, 1856. Lawrence had been the site of a raid by the "border ruffians" on May 21, 1856 which made national headlines and is often regarded as one of the first shots of the Civil War. [From May 11, 1868 issue of The Gazette & Courier, a newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts.]

The collection consists of two manuscripts by Hoyt: 1) account of Hoyt's overland experiences in route to the California gold rush fields: autograph manuscript, dated 9 May - 2 July 1852, 22 leaves, numbered 10-32 (missing p. 25), probably transcribed from a journal; 2) account of Native Americans drawn from Hoyt's experiences as a member of Isaac Stevens's exploring expedition surveying a route for the Northern Pacific Railroad from Oregon to Wisconsin in 1853: signed autograph manuscript, 27 pp., with first page bearing a signed note from H. S. Hoyt, dated "Deerfield June 23, 1860." The overland manuscript records the daily activities of Hoyt's wagon train heading west, from near Ft. Leavenworth (KS) to Humboldt Valley (CA). In the Indian manuscript Hoyt provides general comments about the race of Native Americans followed by sketches of various Indian tribes under headings like Backfeet, Flatheads, Spokans, etc.

Arranged chronologically.

Images of this collection may be viewed online at

Purchased in Michael Brown Rare Books in 2011 (AM2012-3).

This collection was processed by John Delaney on 2011 July 25. Finding aid written by John Delaney on 2011 July 25.

No materials were separated during 2011 processing.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
John Delaney
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Overland Account, 1852 May 9 - July 2. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Account of Western Indians, 1853. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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