James Willard Schultz Papers, 1914-1946

Overview of the Collection

Schultz, James Willard, 1859-1947
James Willard Schultz Papers
1914-1946 (inclusive)
0.5 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 191 (collection)
James Schultz was an early Montana settler who had extensive early contact with the Pikuni, Bloods, Crees, and Blackfoot Indians. The collection consists of copies of correspondence between Schultz and the Houghton-Mifflin Company regarding his books.
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and the University of Montana--Missoula.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

James W. Schultz was born in Booneville, New York, on August 26,1859. During a visit to St. Louis, Missouri, Schultz met trappers and fur traders from Montana at his uncle's establishment, the Planter's Hotel. Shultz listened to stories about the endless buffalo on the plains, and decided to go westward and shoot one. In the summer of 1877, he received $500 from his mother and her permission to go buffalo hunting in Montana. He promised to return in time for school at West Point in the fall, but found life in the west too exciting and never returned to live in the east.

Upon his arrival in Montana, Schultz went to Fort Conrad on the Marias River. There in 1880, he established a trading post with Joseph Kipp. Shultz remained at Fort Conrad from 1877 to 1885. During that time he traded with the Pikuni and Bloods and established another trading post at Carroll on the Missouri river where he also traded with the Crees.

Shultz became fascinated with the Native American way of life and joined the Blackfoot tribe. He developed further ties with the Blackfeet by marrying Fine Shield Woman of the Pikunis. Shultz lived with Fine Shield Woman until her death in 1884. They had a son from this union named Hart Merriam Schultz, "Lone Wolf," who later became a prominent artist in the southwest and illustrated some of his father's books.

After the death of Fine Shield Woman, Schultz moved to Los Angeles, where he became a literary critic for the Los Angeles Times. After a marriage to Celia B. Hawkins in 1907, Schultz finally settled down in 1932 with Jessie Louise Donaldson, a former professor at Montana State University. They collaborated together on the book The Sun God's Children.

Shultz explored the area that is now Glacier National Park with Dr. George Bird Grinnell in the 1880's. Many mountains, lakes, streams and glaciers still bear the names given during these explorations. This experience, along with Shultz's ties with the Blackfeet led him to begin to write stories about life out west. He published serials in Doctor Grinnell's Forest and Stream as well as Youth's Companion and American Boy magazines. His first book was My Life as an Indian, published in 1907. Numerous other books followed based upon the stories related by the Blackfeet and Shultz's experiences with them.

James W. Shultz was one of the few whites ever permitted to visit the sacred Blackfoot Tobacco Gardens in Bow River Valley, Alberta. Shultz was fluent in the language of the Blackfoot and well versed in their culture. He kept in contact with his adopted tribe until his death in 1947.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of correspondence from 1914-1946. Included are letters from Houghton-Mifflin Publishers to Shultz regarding his stories, manuscripts and books. The collection also has Houghton-Mifflin's inter-office correspondence spanning 1919-1943. Other correspondence includes letters between Shultz and Great Northern Railroad (1915-1938), as well as miscellaneous written communication with American Boy magazine, Riverside Press and Goldsmith Publishing. A set of indexes is included with the collection but is not a part of Shultz's papers.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to The University of Montana. Contact the Minnesota Historical Society for copyright information.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], James Willard Schultz Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana--Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Originals

Copied from the original records of Houghton-Mifflin Company located at the Minnesota Historical Society

Acquisition Information

Gift of David C. Andrews, 1990 and 1991.

Processing Note

This collection originally consisted of three separate collections. It was rearranged to place incoming and outgoing correspondence in the same file chronologically. Duplicates were discarded. There were no original documents in the collection, only facsimiles.

Related Materials

The Montana Historical Society holds a small collection of Schultz letters.

The Special Collections Department at Montana State University holds a substantial collection of Schultz correspondence.

The Houghton Library at Harvard University holds the Houghton Mifflin Company records, which include Schultz correspondence.

The Beinecke Library at Yale University holds a small collection of correspondence between Schultz and George Bird Grinnell.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Houghton Mifflin/Shultz 1914-1919.
1/2 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Houghton Mifflin/Shultz 1920-1923.
1/3 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Houghton Mifflin/Shultz 1924-1926.
1/4 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Houghton Mifflin/Shultz 1927-1930.
1/5 Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Houghton Mifflin/Shultz 1938-1946.
1/6 Houghton-Mifflin Inter-office Memorandums 1919-1943.
1/7 Correspondence with Assorted Publishers 1916-1939.
1/8 Shultz/Great Northern Railway 1915-1938.
1/9 J.W. Shultz Biographical Statement and Newspaper Clippings
1/10 Indexes

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Corporate Names

  • Goldsmith Publishing Company
  • Great Northern Railway Company (U.S.)
  • Houghton Mifflin Company
  • Riverside Press (Cambridge, Mass.)


  • Authors, American