Skip to Search



A Guide to the Edward W. Lawson Collection

Finding aid created by Stephen Jackson

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
September 2007


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lawson, Edward W., 1881-1960
Title: Edward W. Lawson Collection
Dates: 1566-1960
Bulk dates: 1929-1960
Abstract: Lawson was a prominent amateur historian in the St. Augustine Historical Society. The collection contains his research, correspondence, unofficial society meeting minutes, and assorted legal documents.
Extent: 9 Linear feet. 21 boxes.
Identification: Ms 61
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Edward W. Lawson was born in New York in 1881. Although trained as an engineer in New Jersey, after moving to St. Augustine in 1922 he quickly became associated with the St. Augustine Historical Society as a translator of Spanish-language materials. Lawson continued to work with the historical society, publishing translations of letters of the founder of St. Augustine, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and documents relative to the evacuation of Florida by the Spaniards (1763-1764). He was a controversial figure, however, because in 1957 he published an attack on the society entitled The St. Augustine Historical Society and its "Oldest House": a documented study in fabricated history. As a result of this publication Lawson was expelled from the society. He died three years later (1960) in St. Augustine.


Scope and Content

The first section in this collection consists of Lawson's correspondence with other historians, friends, and publishing organizations from 1938 to 1950. The next major section contains notes and materials from his research projects. Notable topics include Juan Ponce de León and Luciano de Herrera, and most topics deal with Spanish colonial St. Augustine. The third section contains a group of translations and transcriptions from numerous archives. This section includes translations of some of Woodbury Lowery's transcriptions entitled "Spanish Manuscripts" found in microfilm in the Library of Congress. There are also a number of transcripts from the British colonial period from the Public Records Office. These colonial office documents include numerous letters between the governors and lieutenant governors of Florida and the Secretary of State. Another part of this section contains translations of documents from the Archivo General de Indias. The vast majority of these transcriptions and translations deal with colonial St. Augustine.

The next section contains plays, novels, speeches, short stories, and radio programs, most of which were authored by Lawson. There is an English translation of Calderon de la Barca's "The Loving and Loyal Friend." Also included are manuscripts for several books by Lawson including: Ponce de Leon (1939), The Discovery of Florida and its Discoverer Ponce de Leon, and an unpublished novel entitled A Partner of the King. The speeches and radio programs deal mostly with St. Augustine history. Examples of Lawson's short stories include: "The Pioneer Mother," "Fountain of Youth," and "A Florida Christmas Tree."

The next section contains depositions and proceedings from a libel case that was of interest to Lawson. The case of Walter B. Fraser v. Curtis Publishing started in 1949 when the Curtis Publishing Company published an article in the Saturday Evening Post questioning the authenticity of the Oldest Wooden School House in the U.S. and its owner Walter B. Fraser. The case dragged on until 1955 when a settlement was reached. Deponents in the case included Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Norton Baskin, and J. Van Campen. Their depositions, as well as descriptions of the court proceedings, are contained in this collection.

The collection includes descriptions of historically important sites in St. Augustine, arranged an alphabetically. Notable topics among the miscellaneous material in the collection include Lawson's dispute with the St. Augustine Historical Society over the age of the Oldest House, and various publications concerning St. Augustine history. In the final section there is an assortment of note-cards that Lawson amassed as part of his research and his time at the St. Augustine Historical Society. Some of the notecards are unofficial meeting minutes for the Society.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

Documents relative to the evacuation of Florida by the Spanish: 1763-1764. Spanish typescripts presented to St. Augustine Historical Society- Translated by Edward Lawson. Florida History (Non-Circulating) F.2 S11 D637

Lawson, Edward W. The St. Augustine Society and its "oldest house": A documented study of fabricated history. 1957. Located in Smathers Special Collections-Florida History F.2 S11 L425s


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Edward W. Lawson Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert J. Hinners.


Contents List

Box
1 Misc. Correspondence. 1938-1950
1 Correspondence- Mark Boyd. 1959-1960
1 Misc. Correspondence. 1952-1960
1 Misc. Correspondence. 1953-1956
1 Correspondence- Walter Frazier. 1953-1958
1 Misc. Correspondence. 1957-1960
1 Correspondence- Cullom and Ghertner Company. 1945-1946
1 Correspondence- K.S. Lawson. 1929-1947
1 Correspondence- George L. Patton. 1948
1 Correspondence concerning a trip to Spain. 1951
1 Correspondence- Writer's Workshop. 1940-1942
1 Correspondence- University of Florida Press. 1950-1959
1 Correspondence- G.A. Zabriskie. 1946-1947
2 Research Projects- Columbus
2 Research Projects- De Brahm, Maps, Descriptions and Photostats
2 Research Projects- Fandino
2 Research Projects- Freducci Map
2 Research Projects- Le Moyne Plates- Negatives
2 Research Projects- Luciano de Herrera
2 Translations- Reports of Luciano Herrera from Papeles de Cuba. 1776-1777
2 Research Projects- Martin de Arguelles "The first man born in Florida". 1941
2 Research Projects- Preliminary List of Original Colonists, Adults
2 Research Projects- Panton, Leslie, Forbes and Co.
2 Research Projects- Ponce de Leon 1 of 2
2 Research Projects- Ponce de Leon 2 of 2
2 Research Projects- St. John's River and Spanish Oil Jar
2 Research Projects- Vocabulary
3 Research Projects- Diary of 1742 Arredondo Voyage
3 Research Projects- Vasques de Ayllon
3 Research Projects- Description of East Florida (1769) by John Bartram
3 Research Projects- Continent of Florida
3 Research Projects- De Brahm report on East Florida. 1751-1771
3 Research Projects- Encyclopedias
3 Research Projects- George Fairbanks
3 Research Projects- Forts and Geronimo
3 Research Projects- Heraldry
3 Research Projects- Map Keys: de la Rocque, Juan de la Puente, Martinez
3 Research Projects- Reynolds- Comments on his Pamphlets. 1951
3 Research Projects- Ruins: Port Orange Sugar Mill, Mission
3 Research Projects- Turnbull letters from the Shelburne Papers
3 Research Projects- Spanish Land Grants
3 Research Projects- Suez Canal
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. October 24, 1655- January 22, 1669
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. January 25, 1669- March 9, 1787
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba (Index). March 21, 1787
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. April 6, 1792- July 11, 1797
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. July 14, 1797- March 7, 1894
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. April 6, 1792- March 1, 1794
4 Translations from Papeles de Cuba. March 7, 1794- May, 1795
5 Translations- Lowery, Miscellaneous. 1568-1681
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. II. 1577-1580
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. III. 1580-1593
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. IV 1 of 2. 1598-1603
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. IV 2 of 2. 1598-1603
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. V. 1601-1625
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. VI (With Index). 1604-1619
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. VI. 1609
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. VII. 1643-1657
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. VII. 1647-1655
5 Translations- Lowery, Vol. IX. 1566-1681
5 Transcripts- Marriage Registry of Father Camps. 1776-1783
5 Transcripts- Velasco pages 2-111
5 Transcripts- Velasco
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O.5/540- East Florida Correspondence. 1763-1766
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/550- East Florida Correspondence. 1768-1769
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/551- East Florida Correspondence. 1769-1770
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/552- East Florida Correspondence. 1771-1772
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/553- Correspondence. 1773
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: Colonial Office Papers- Correspondence. 1773-1774
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/555- Correspondence. 1774-1775
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/555- Tonyn's Correspondence. 1773-1775
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/556- Correspondence. 1776
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/557- Correspondence. 1776-1777
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: Tonyn Correspondence. 1776-1785
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/557- Court Transcripts. 1776-1777
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/558- Correspondence. 1777-1778
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/558- Tonyn and Turnbull Correspondence. 1778
6 Transcripts- P.R.O.: C.O. 5/558- Tonyn and Turnbull Correspondence. 1778
6 Transcripts- Gage Papers- Correspondence. 1764-1768
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Deeds, Lands. 1789-1792
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Accounts of Jesse Fish. 1673-1680
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Escrituras. 1799-1800
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Scandals. 1783-1799
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Bishops and Curates Correspondence. 1809
7 Translations: East Florida Papers- Hospital Regulations. 1775-1776
7 Translations: Webb Memorial Library- Proceedings against Don Juan Hudson
7 Translations: Address de San Miguel. Narrative of the labors... suffered. 1592
7 Translations: Georgia Department of Archives and History- Governor George Matthews. 1793-1796
7 Translations: Georgia Department of Archives and History- Gov. David Mitchell. 1809-1814
7 Translations: Cuba National Archives regarding Florida. 1764-1798
7 Translations: Wills. 1790s
7 Translations: Father Camp's Register- Baptisms 1 of 2. 1777
7 Translations: Father Camp's Register- Baptisms 2 of 2. 1777
8 Translations and Transcripts- Archivo General de Indias 1 of 2. 1560-1797
8 Translations and Transcripts- Archivo General de Indias 2 of 2. 1560-1797
8 Translations and Transcripts- A.G.I.: St. Augustine's Properties
8 Translations and Transcripts- A.G.I.: Drake's Attack on St. Augustine. 1588
8 Translations and Transcripts- Barcia: Shipwrecks. 1533-1602
8 Translations and Transcripts- Cedulas, Hispanic American Historical Review. 1573, 1921
8 Translations and Transcripts- Cronicas de Galicia: "Misterious Head" by Lpe. Diaz de Senrra. 1845
8 Translations and Transcripts- King Phillip II- Ordinances regarding St. Augustine. 1573
8 Translations and Transcripts- Garcilasco de la Vega: Lt. Gen. Vasco de Figueroa. 1589
8 Translations and Transcripts-Bartolomew de las Casas by F.A. McNutt. 1909
8 Translations and Transcripts- Father Pedro Martinex. 1533-1566
8 Translations and Transcripts- Diary of Francisco Lopez de Mendoza. 1565
8 Translations and Transcripts- National Archives of Mexico. 1799
8 Translations and Transcripts- Mexico National Archives- Supplies for St. Augustine. 1752
8 Translations and Transcripts- M.L. Moreau- Descripcion de la Parte Espanola de Santo-Domingo. 1509
8 Translations and Transcripts- Fernando de Navarrete. 1946
8 Translations and Transcripts- A.G.I. Regarding General William Bowles. 1792
8 Translations and Transcripts- A.G.I. Correspondence. 1671-1678
8 Translations and Transcripts- A.G.I. Regarding St. Augustine. 1655-1670
8 Translations and Transcripts- Yvarra Lawsuit. 1583
8 Translations and Transcripts- La Florida, La Mision Jesuitica (1566-1572), y la Colonizacion Espanola. 1941
9 Letters of Pedro Menendez de Aviles 1 0f 4. 1555-1574
9 Letters of Pedro Menendez de Aviles 2 0f 4. 1555-1574
9 Letters of Pedro Menendez de Aviles 3 0f 4. 1555-1574
9 Letters of Pedro Menendez de Aviles 4 0f 4. 1555-1574
9 Notes about Pedro Menendez de Aviles. 1568-1941
9 Notes and Correspondence about Pedro Menendez de Aviles
10 Play: The Loving and Loyal Friend
10 Ponce de Leon by Edward Lawson 1 of 2. 1939
10 Ponce de Leon by Edward Lawson 2 of 2. 1939
10 The Discovery of Florida and its Discoverer Ponce de Leon by Edward Lawson 1 of 2
10 The Discovery of Florida and its Discoverer Ponce de Leon by Edward Lawson 2 of 2
10 The Fountain of Youth: A Memorial to Don Juan Ponce de Leon
10 Biography of Ponce de Leon 1 of 2. 1940
10 Biography of Ponce de Leon 2 of 2. 1940
10 Diego's Voyage to the Indies 1 of 2. 1593-1597
10 Diego's Voyage to the Indies 2 of 2. 1593-1597
11 A Partner of the King by E.W. Lawson 1 of 4
11 A Partner of the King by E.W. Lawson 2 of 4
11 A Partner of the King by E.W. Lawson 3 of 4
11 A Partner of the King by E.W. Lawson 4 of 4
11 Translation: Pirate Attack on St. Augustine. 1669
11 Speech for the Semi-Centennial of the St. Augustine Historical Society. 1935
11 Program: Cendayo Inventory. 1939
11 "The Minorcans" by Edward Lawson. 1953
11 Luncheon Speech to the U.S. District Attorneys and Four Governors. 1945
11 Speech to the Florida Academy of Sciences and the Florida Historical Society. 1945
11 Speech to the Rotarions about St. Augustine
11 Speech to the Daughters of the American Revolution regarding the First Fourth of July in Florida. 1946
11 Speech to the Rotarions regarding Ponce de Leon and Menendez
11 Speech to the Rotarions regarding St. Augustine
11 Stories: Fountain of Youth, Major Cresswell, A Florida Christmas Tree, Homeward Bound. 1956-1958
11 Stories: A Shot from the Dark, A Leader in Her Community, Albert Alligator, They can be Caught. 1941
11 Stories: The Pioneer Mother, The Perfect Squelch, Integration. 1956
11 Stories: Romance of a Balcony, St. Augustine, Aunt Ana and Saint Aloysius. 1945
12 Unsold Radio Scripts. 1941-1957
12 Radio Program about Drake. 1938
12 Radio Programs: French in East Florida, Pioneer Women of the Northeast, etc. 1939-1955
12 Radio Histograms. 1942
12 Years of Fate
12 Speech to Exchange Club about the Founding of St. Augustine
12 Ancient City Histogram by Kate Lawson. 1937
12 Court Case: Walter B. Fraser v. Curtis Publishing. 1949-1955
12 Libel Case. 1949-1955
12 Libel Case: Deposition of Harold Goforth and John O. Shares. 1951
12 Libel Case: Depositions of A.E. Baya and John Fletcher. 1951
12 Libel Case: Depositions of David Dunham, Albert Colee, J. Carver Harris. 1951
12 Libel Case: Depositions of Edith Pope, J. Van Campen, Frank Harrold, F. Usina, W.I. Drysdale. 1951
12 Libel Case: Depositions of Norton Baskin, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlins, Felix Salvador, Captain Joe Sanchez. 1951
12 Libel Case: Deposition of E.W. Lawson. 1951
12 Libel Case: Deposition of Ben Hibbs. 1952
12 Libel Case: Deposition of Robert Fuoss. 1952
12 S.E.P. Case: Carbons of Brief Exhibits. 1949-1951
13 S.E.P. Suit and Related Papers. 1950
13 Libel Case: Depositions of Harry Almond and Matthew Stirling
13 Libel Case: Transcript of Proceedings. 1952
13 Libel Case: Depositions of Nina Hawkins, Harvey Lopez, John Dillon, Albert Manucy. 1951
13 Publication: The First Landing Place of Juan Ponce de Leon. 1956
13 Publication Regarding St. Augustine
13 Libel Case: Deposition of Walter Fraser. 1951
13 Libel Case: Depositions of R.F. Sabate and Emily Wilson. 1950
13 Libel Case: Deposition of Verne Chatelain. 1951
13 Libel Case: Depositions of Verle Pope and X.L. Pellicer. 1950
13 Publication on the Oldest House. 1935
13 St. Augustine Sites: Arnau House
13 St. Augustine Sites: Arrivas House, Tadeo
13 St. Augustine Sites: Avero House
13 St. Augustine Sites: Block House
13 St. Augustine Sites: Burt House, Anna G.
13 St. Augustine Sites: Castillo de San Marcos
13 St. Augustine Sites: Cathedral
13 St. Augustine Sites: Cemetery
13 St. Augustine Sites: Coquina House
13 St. Augustine Sites: Dummett House
13 St. Augustine Sites: Fatio House, Francis J.
13 St. Augustine Sites: Flagler Hospital
14 St. Augustine Sites: Fountain of Youth
14 St. Augustine Sites: Fountain of Youth Cross
14 St. Augustine Sites: Fountain of Youth Memorial Globe
14 St. Augustine Sites: Gates, City
14 St. Augustine Sites: Garnett, Orange Grove
14 St. Augustine Sites: Government House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Hamilton House, Alexander
14 St. Augustine Sites: Hotels
14 St. Augustine Sites: Houses
14 St. Augustine Sites: Humphry House, Gad
14 St. Augustine Sites: Leche, Nuestra Senora de la
14 St. Augustine Sites: Leslie, Juan. House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Lindsley House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Llambias House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Macmillen, Col. Andrew T. House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Marin House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Oldest House 1 of 2
14 St. Augustine Sites: Oldest House 2 of 2
14 Lawson's Dispute with Historical Society over Oldest House
14 St. Augustine Sites: Father O'Reilly House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Palm Valley
15 St. Augustine Sites: Fort Picolata
15 St. Augustine Sites: Ponce de Leon Statue
15 St. Augustine Sites: Post Office
15 St. Augustine Sites: Prentice House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Presbyterian Memorial Church
15 St. Augustine Sites: Old Roads
15 St. Augustine Sites: Salazar Wheat Farm, Gov.
15 St. Augustine Sites: San Carlos House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Sanchez, Maria (Creek)
15 St. Augustine Sites: School and School House, Oldest 1 of 2
15 St. Augustine Sites: School and School House, Oldest 2 of 2
15 St. Augustine Sites: Slave Market
15 St. Augustine Sites: St. Augustine Streets
15 St. Augustine Sites: Spanish Church Sites
15 St. Augustine Sites: Don Toledo House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Treasury, Old Spanish
15 St. Augustine Sites: Trinity Episcopal Church
15 St. Augustine Sites: Watkins House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Windows, St. Augustine, 1765
15 St. Augustine Sites: Worth House
15 St. Augustine Sites: Ximenes House
15 St. Augustine, Misc.: Architecture
15 St. Augustine, Misc.: Census
15 St. Augustine, Misc.: City Council Minutes and Notes
15 St. Augustine, Misc.: City Lots
15 St. Augustine, Misc.: Description by Col. W.A. Macwilliams
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Founding of the City
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Dispute with Historical Society, Ordinary Society Business. 1956-1958
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Development Plan for the Historical Society. 1954
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Minorcans
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Human Landscaping
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Planning Board
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Regulations in the Colonial Period
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Resolutions. 1949
16 St. Augustine, Misc.: Restoration. 1955-1958
16 St. Augustine: Miscellaneous
16 St. Augustine History: Photo and Miscellaneous
16 St. Augustine History: Large Postcards
16 St. Augustine History: Postcards
16 Publication: The Fountain of Youth
17 St. Augustine History: Pamphlets
17 St. Augustine History: Pamphlets
17 St. Augustine History: Pamphlets
17 St. Augustine History: Pamphlets
18 Notecards regarding the St. Augustine Historical Society and research that Lawson was performing.
19 Notecards containing unofficial minutes of the Historical Society
20 Large set of cards of notes for "A History of St. Augustine"
20 Names Index - Alphabetical (on notecards)
20 Notes/English translations - Partial translation of the "Escrituras" - 1 notebook
20 Notes/English translations - Early Explorers (Ayllon, Narvaez, Coronado) - 8 notebooks
20 Notes/English translations - Letters of Pedro Menendez - 3 notebooks
20 Notes/English translations - Regulations for Founding New Settlements, Philip II
21 Notes/English translations - Miscellaneous (unofficial minutes of the Historical Society, real estate records, etc.) - 22 notebooks

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Florida -- History -- Spanish colony, 1565-1763.
Florida -- History -- To 1565.
Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- Historic buildings.
Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- History.
St. Augustine Historical Society.



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page