William Allen White Papers

Collection Summary

Title: William Allen White Papers
Call Number: MS 88-21
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by M. Alice Isely
Processed By: LTM, 11-10-1987; JEF, 2-18-1998; MN, 5-24-2010
Note: None
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The William Allen White Papers contain two personal letters written to H. H. Southworth of Chicago, Illinois, dated 1908 and 1909. It also contains a photograph of White, inscribed to Alice Isely, 1937, and a pamphlet entitled “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” written by White in 1896.


Newspaper editor William Allen White (1868-1944) was an important figure in the political, social and literary history of the United States and Kansas. Born in Emporia, Kansas, in 1868, he grew up in El Dorado, Kansas, attended the College of Emporia and the University of Kansas and worked on newspapers in Topeka and Kansas City before buying the Emporia Gazette in 1895. His famous editorial “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” was published in 1896. Until his death in 1944 he wrote countless editorials as well as articles and books that earned him the title of the “Sage of Emporia.” (Source: Kansas State Historical Society)

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 Contains a letter written to H. H. Southworth in Chicago, Illinois, from White in Emporia, Kansas, December 23, 1908. White and Walt Mason send Southworth Christmas greetings and a wish for the new year.
Box 1 FF 2 Contains a letter written to H. H. Southworth in Chicago, Illinois, from White in Emporia, Kansas, January 6, 1909. White says that he is sorry for forgetting to autograph a book he sent to Southworth. He tells Southworth to send the book back and he will sign it.
Box 1 FF 3 Contains a photograph of W. A. White, inscribed to Miss Alice Isley, July 1937.
Box 1 FF 4 Contains a pamphlet by William Allen White entitled "What's the Matter with Kansas?" It was printed in 1896 by the Emporia Gazette. In a satirical way White points out that Kansas is losing wealth, population and standing compared with other Midwestern states.