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John S. Gray research papers

Identifier: Ayer-Modern-MS-Gray

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly Gray's exhaustive research notes and bibliographies on subjects related to U.S. Indian relations, particularly relating to post Civil War military operations in the West, the fur trade, the Pony Express and other stage lines, and western scouts (including Indian scouts). Also Dr. Gray's published and unpublished writings, including those published in Brand Books of the Chicago Corral of Westerners, and correspondence with fellow researchers, publishers, and federal, state, and local archives. There are also a few photographs and some files concerning Gray's career at Northwestern University.


  • Creation: 1942-1991



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The John S. Gray research papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The John S. Gray research papers 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 at

Biography of John S. Gray

Northwestern University physiologist and historian of the American West.

Born August 11, 1910, John S. Gray received his B.S. from Knox College in 1932; he received his M. S. in Physiology in 1934 and his Ph.D. in 1936. He became an instructor at Northwestern University in 1936. In 1946 Gray was awarded his M.D. and was named Chairman of the Department of Physiology that same year, a position he held until his retirement in 1974. When administrative duties precluded him from performing biomedical research, Ray Billington, a fellow Northwestern professor, encouraged Gray to begin doing research in history. Gray quickly focused his research on American frontier history, especially the Indian wars. As an active member of the Chicago Corral of the Westerners, Gray was a frequent contributor to the Brand Book of the Chicago Corral; he also authored two books: Centennial Campaign: The Sioux War of 1876 (1976); and Custer's Last Campaign: Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed (1991). After his retirement Gray moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he died on December 25, 1991.


11 Linear Feet (27 boxes)


Meticulous research notes, writings, and correspondence of Dr. John S. Gray, Professor of Physiology at Northwestern University and a member of the Chicago Corral of Westerners. Dr. Gray's research focuses on the American West, particularly U.S. - Indian relations.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Research Notebooks, 1953-1991
Boxes 1-19
Series 2: Correspondence, 1942-1991
Boxes 20-22
Series 3: Works, 1957-1983
Boxes 23-24
Series 4: Research Notes, 1953-1991
Boxes 25-27


3a 55 11


Gift of Mrs. John S. Gray, 1993.

Processed by

Jill Gage, 2001.

Inventory of the John S. Gray research papers, 1942-1991
Jill Gage
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