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Horatio Winslow Seymour Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Seymour

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection contains primarily clipping scrapbooks of editorials from Seymour’s years as editorial manager at the New York World. The majority of incoming correspondence consists of readers’ letters regarding his editorial columns while in Chicago. Several prominent Chicago figures wrote to Seymour praising his editorials including John P. Altgeld, Marshall Field, Frank O. Lowden, George Pullman, John R. Walsh, and Booker T. Washington.

There is one personal scrapbook compiled by Seymour starting at age ten, and three photographs. There is also a small amount of outgoing correspondence to his daughters written while convalescing in Pasadena, a biographical manuscript written by daughter Louise, and materials collected from colleagues after his death also by his daughter Louise.


  • Creation: 1867-1948
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1903 - 1918



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Horatio Winslow Seymour Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Horatio Winslow Seymour 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.

Biography of Horatio Winslow Seymour

Newspaper editorial writer and publisher.

Horatio Winslow Seymour was born at Genoa, Cayuga County, New York on July 29, 1854. His parents were Andrew M. and Louisa M. Goodyear Seymour, who divorced in 1863 or 1864. Louisa then married John N. McWhorter, who died when Seymour was about nine years of age. After that time Seymour was cared for by his uncle, H. G. Winslow, of Racine, Wisconsin.

Seymour’s first position in the newspaper business was in the printing department of the Racine Advocate. His experience at the Advocate would prove invaluable in the years to come when navigating union disputes as president of the Chicago Newspaper Publishers Association. In 1873 he became city editor of the Milwaukee News, and two years later took the position of telegraph editor of the Chicago Times. His thorough and capable work soon attracted the attention of the veteran editor, Wilbur F. Storey, and in 1879, was promoted to night managing editor.

In 1883 he left the Times and became an editorial writer on the Chicago Herald. There he developed into a highly respected columnist who wrote several influential pieces on tariff reform, labor, and government which were collected in the books Editorials that Won; Arguments that Live, and Government & Co., Ltd. Seymour left the Herald in 1895 when it was sold to James W. Scott and changed its editorial focus to support Republican issues. That same year, Seymour, along with investors Martin J. Russell and John R. Walsh, created the Chicago Chronicle to fill the void for Democrats in the Midwest.

The Chronicle was forced out of business in 1907 by the sudden closeout of its major financial backer, the Chicago National Bank. Seymour was quickly enlisted by Joseph Pulitzer to fill the position of editorial supervisor at the New York World. He spent virtually the rest of his career overseeing the editorial department and writing for the World. He left briefly during 1911 after the death of Joseph Pulitzer, and went to the St. Louis Republic, but was convinced to return by Pulitzer’s son Ralph after nine months.

Seymour was married to Annie Jones of Racine, Wisconsin in 1876. They had three daughters, Louise, Mary, and Anna. He suffered ill health starting in the early 1900s and wintered in Pasadena, California for his remaining years. He died of angina pectoris on December 17, 1920.


1.7 Linear Feet (4 boxes)


Editorial columns, clippings, manuscripts, correspondence, three photographs, and family materials from publisher and editorial writer Horatio Winslow Seymour.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material followed by materials collected by daughter Louise, and lastly photographs and scrapbooks.

Collection Stack Location

1 31 2


Gift of daughter Louise Seymour Jones, ca. 1948.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2007.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Horatio Winslow Seymour Papers, 1867-1948, bulk 1903-1918
Lisa Janssen
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