Chicago, September 11, 1930 Mr. Louis J. Bailey, Director, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, Indiana. Dear Mr. Bailey: You will be interested in learning that I have located the original of one of Mr. James Whitcomb Riley's most famous poems, and certainly an outstanding piece among the many literary monuments which distinguish the state of Indiana. It is the original manuscript of The Old Man and Jim. The copy was written on rough paper in Riley's "printing" hand, and carries the marks of the nail upon which the compositor slung the pages when he set them up. Furthermore, it is lined horizontally along the middle of each manuscript page, in the usual way, the mark of the finished "job." I deemed it my duty to make a few photostat copies of this very remarkable piece, so that persons interested in Mr. Riley's work would learn more about it. I am sending a copy to you and one to the Indianapolis Public Library, and to some of our national institutions and very large libraries. The manuscript does not belong to me, but I have asked the gentleman who owns it to guard it carefully, and if he ever plans to part with it, to give it to the Indianpolis State Library, as it naturally belongs where a classical piece of this kind should finally rest. With all good wishes, Very sincerely yours, J. C. Bay, Librarian
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This item is owned by the Indiana State Library. Permission to publish or reproduce this item is required and must be obtained from the Manuscripts Section, Indiana State Library. Please call 317-232-3671 for more information.