Draper, Lyman Copeland, 1815–91, American historical collector and librarian, b. Erie co., N.Y. He spent years traveling through an area ranging from New York to Mississippi, gathering the stories of old pioneers and documentary material on frontier history for a projected series of biographies of Western heroes. His extensive collection was deposited with the Wisconsin Historical Society at Madison, of which he was secretary and librarian (1854–86); there he built up one of the notable historical libraries of the country. He founded and edited the first 10 volumes of the society's Collections and wrote King's Mountain and its Heroes (1881, repr. 1967 and 1971), but never completed the intended biographies. His collection, valuable to many researchers, contains the George Rogers Clark papers and other manuscript sources.
See biography by W. B. Hesseltine (1954).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.