Historians from the Past: Lyman Draper

Lyman Copeland Draper (Wikimedia Commons)
Lyman Copeland Draper from the Fronts-pieceof his book, King’s Mountain and its Heroes, 1881 (Wikimedia Commons)

For the last century, everyone studying the frontier in the American Revolution has owed a debt to Lyman C. Draper.   Not many people are familiar with him, but he compiled one of the deepest and most extensive collections of original material related to the Trans-Appalachian Frontier, particularly during the American Revolution.  His hard work and extensive efforts represent a life dedicated to history that enabled his successors to continue his remarkable work .

Born in western New York in 1815, Draper’s grandfathers were both veterans of war with the British, either during the American Revolution or the War of 1812.  Given the number of veterans moving west to start farms after the war, a young and impressionable Draper heard their stories.  Draper’s family eventually settled in Lockport, NY on the Erie Canal and that is where he attended Continue reading “Historians from the Past: Lyman Draper”