Virginia S. Burlingame Papers, 1864-1989

Overview of the Collection

Burlingame, Virginia Struble
Virginia S. Burlingame Papers
2 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 2384, MtBC, us (collection)
The Virginia S. Burlingame Papers consist of literary manuscripts, research files, and ancestral family papers created or collected by her. Burlingame's literary manuscripts include original drafts or galley proofs of her three published books, along with many of her magazine articles which dealt with religious themes, travel, and Western history. Burlingame's ancestral papers include letters, documents, photos, and a transcribed diary created by John W. Wright, her maternal grandfather, who served in the Sixth Iowa Cavalry during the Civil War and took part in the 1864 campaign against the Lakota nation.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Additional Reference Guides

An alternative form of this finding aid can be found at

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Virginia Struble Burlingame was born August 16, 1900 to Dr. and Mrs. Linton W. Struble of West Liberty, Iowa. She grew up in Davenport Iowa and attended high school there. She went on to graduate from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, 1928 and Columbia University's library school in New York City, 1933. She taught for two years and was on the library staff of the University of Iowa at Iowa City (1926-1927) and the Kansas Teachers College in Pittsburg (1927-1930). On September 12, 1936, she married Montana historian Merrill Burlingame in Davenport. The couple made their home in Bozeman, Montana. She was a member of the Grand Avenue Christian Church, the Audubon Society and numerous environmental associations. Burlingame was the author of three children's books, Cactus, The Story of a Porcupine (Bethany Press: 1958); The Little Ducks Who Swam Away From Home (A.S. Barnes, 1961); Larry Two-Feathers of the Nine bar Ranch (Bethany Press, 1967). She also contributed more than fifty short stories and articles for children and adults dealing with a wide variety of historical and social topics. She had been active in her church on a local, state, and national level, attending three world conferences for the church. She died on November 19, 1993.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Virginia S. Burlingame papers consist of literary manuscripts, research files, and ancestral family papers created or collected by her. Burlingame's literary manuscripts include original drafts or galley proofs of her three published books, along with many of her magazine articles which dealt with religious themes, travel, and Western history. Burlingame published under at least three names: her married name; her maiden name, Virginia Strubel: and a pseudonym, John Linton Strubel. She was particularly interested in a nineteenth century steamboat captain, John C. Barr, and she attempted unsuccessfully to market a children's biography of Barr. Another topic of interest for Burlingame was John J. Healy, a Montana frontiersman who also went to Alaska during the Gold Rush. Her Healy research culminated in a series of television scripts which she also failed to successfully market.

The files have been arranged in alphabetical order, with folder titles in quotes indicating a manuscript she created under that title. In some cases, the published version of the article accompanies the manuscript, along with publisher correspondence and royalty check stubs. One cased photograph of John W. Wright, originally placed in Box 5, folder 29, has been removed for preservation purposes and stored elsewhere.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

The Virginia Burlingame papers were donated to Montana State University Library in three installments. In 1964, Virginia donated manuscripts and galley proofs for her three children's books, Cactus, Larry Two Feathers, and The Little Ducks Who Swam Away From Home, which were assigned accession numbers 91 and 92. A letter written by John Greenleaf Whittier to Burlingame's grandfather, John W. Wright, was donated by Virginia and her aunts in 1965 as accession 97. The balance of the material came to the University in 1994 as part of the research materials donated by her husband, Merrill G. Burlingame of Bozeman, Montana.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2009 April 20

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
1/1 AAUW
1/2 Alaska and the Yukon
1/3 Alaska and the Yukon-pamphlets and brochures Alaska Sportsman
1/4 Alaska Sportsman
1/5 Alaska Sportsman
1/6 "Alaska Over a New Route"
1/7 Arctic
1/8 "Are You an In or an Out?"
1/9 Augustana College
1/10 Baker, Isaac P.
1/11 Barr, John C. - Family correspondence
1/12 Barr, John C. - Research correspondence
1/13 Barr, John C. - Outline
1/14 Barr, John C. - Manuscript drafts
1/15 Barr, John C. - Chronology
1/16 Barr, John C. - Publishing correspondence
1/17 "Bird Brain"
1/18 "The Bird Tree"
1/19 Black America
1/20 "Branches of the Vine"
1/21 "The Brown Cranes"
1/22 Brown, John
2/1 "Cactus" - Galley Proofs
2/2 "Cactus" - Reader's letters
2/3 "Cactus" - Publicity
2/4 Cariboo Trail
2/5 Carson, Charlie
2/6 Cattle Brands
2/7 "The Cheyenne Indians Get a Break"
2/8 "Christmas 1966"
2/9 "Christmas Eve on the Ranch"
2/10 "Church Attendance During Vacation"
2/11 Civil War
2/12 "Clad With Zeal as a Cloak"
2/13 "Devotions"
2/14 Diamonds
2/15 "Editorial"
2/16 Encyclopedia Britannica
2/17 "Evergreen State"
2/18 Everts, Truman
2/19 "Fillers"
2/20 Food and drink
2/21 Forest lookout
2/22 Fort Benton
2/23 Freighters
2/24 Friends wedding
2/25 "Frontier Mother"
2/26 "The Golden Eagle"
2/27 "A Good Steady Job"
2/28 Hapner, Laura
2/29 Hayden survey
2/30 Healy, J.J. - Alaska Journal
2/31 Healy, J.J. - Clippings
2/32 Healy, J.J. - Davidson to Vadez letter
2/33 Healy, J.J. - Research notes
3/1 Healy, J.J. - "John Healy and the Idaho Mines"
3/2 Healy, J.J. - Scripts "Fiddle Footed Irishman"
3/3 Healy, J.J. - Scripts "Fiddle Footed Irishman"
3/4 Healy, J.J. - Scripts "Fiddle Footed Irishman"
3/5 Healy, J.J. - Scripts "Fiddle Footed Irishman"
3/6 Healy, J.J. - Scripts "Fiddle Footed Irishman"
3/7 Healy, J.J. - Research correspondence
3/8 Healy, J.J. - "The Horse Tamer" by Jesse Green
3/9 Healy, J.J. - "Healy Makes a Horse Trade"
3/10 "The Hilder Memorial"
3/11 "How Now, Parnelli?"
3/12 Ideas
3/13 "An Incident on the Frontier"
3/14 "The Indian Tipi"
3/15 Indians
3/16 Indians
3/17 Iowa
3/18 "It's For the Birds"
3/19 "Klondike Cat"
3/20 Klondike Kate
3/21 "A Knock on the Door at Night"
3/22 "Larry Two Feathers"
3/23 "The Last of the Montana Road Agents" by Jesse Green
3/24 "The Lazy Willow Warbler"
3/25 "The Little Ducks who Swam Away"
4/1 "Little Things"
4/2 "Lord Belvedere"
4/3 "The Lost Lamb"
4/4 "Lulu Learns a Lesson"
4/5 "A Monument in Gingerbread"
4/6 "Mister Everts and the Wilderness"
4/7 Mettler Inventory
4/8 Miscellaneous
4/9 Mining Camps
4/10 Montana Mistique
4/11 Montana travel
4/12 "Nothing But the Sky Above"
4/13 "Old Empty Top"
4/14 Oregon
4/15 "The Patient in the Other Bed"
4/16 "The People's Bishop"
4/17 Pony Express
4/18 Presbyterian Church in Montana
4/19 "The Ptarmigan"
4/20 "The Rabbit and the Flood"
4/21 "The Railroads of Iowa"
4/22 Rankin, Jeanette- "Courage Comes High"
4/23 Rodeo
4/24 "Romance of Whoop-Up"
4/25 RCMP
4/26 "St. Mary's Church"
4/27 "Save, Save, Save!"
4/28 Scorpions and spiders
5/1 "Second Choices"
5/2 "Sidney, the Trumpeter Swan"
5/3 Sign Language
5/4 "Sleepy Jake's Rabbit"
5/5 "So You're Trailering to Alaska"
5/6 Songs
5/7 "Sparrows"
5/8 "Stage Coach Robbery"
5/9 "Stage Coaching in Montana"
5/10 Steam Boating
5/11 "Surly Sam"
5/12 "Swamper's Gold"
5/13 "The Tenderfoot's Arrival"
5/14 "There's Gold in them thar Fish"
5/15 "Three Forks of the Missouri"
5/16 "The Tom Harlow Gang"
5/17 "Too Many Signs"
5/18 TV markets
5/19 TV play
5/20 Vocabulary
5/21 "The Wayward Son"
5/22 "What To DO With Your Spare Time"
5/23 "Wild Bill"
5/24 "Woman Hater"
5/25 "In The Wonderland of the Yellowstone"
5/26 Wright, John W. - diary
5/27 Wright, John W. - Letters and documents
5/28 Wright, John W. - Research letters
5/29 Wright, John W. - Photographs
5/30 "Yellowstone Creatures"

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Dakota Indians-Wars, 1862-1865-Personal narratives
  • Soldiers-United States-Diaries
  • Sully Expeditions, 1863-1865
  • Women authors, American-Montana-Bozeman
  • Women biographers-Montana-Bozeman
  • Women historians-Montana-Bozeman

Personal Names

  • Barr, John C
  • Healy, Johnny, 1840-1908

Corporate Names

  • United States-Army-Iowa Cavalry Regiment, 6th (1863-1865)

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Burlingame, Virginia Struble-Larry Two-Feathers (creator)
    • Struble, Virginia W-Cactus (creator)
    • Struble, Virginia W-Little ducks who swam away from home (creator)
    • Wright, John W., 1840-1884 (creator)