Compiled by Bill Hillman
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana, California
Letters ~ Journals ~ Memorabilia ~ Interviews ~ Newspapers
|Fall: Wedding plans of George Tyler Burroughs and Mary Evaline Zieger are delayed due to the onset of war and George's enlistment in the New York militia. The wartime experiences are later related in Mary's Memoirs of a War Bride.|
|February 23: The wedding of Captain George Burroughs and Mary Evaline Zieger in Mary's hometown of Iowa City, Iowa.|
|April: George and Mary together observe the bombardment of Richmond.
June 22: Major George Burroughs is discharged from the Union Army. George and Mary Evaline make their home in Portland, Maine, where George goes into the furniture business with two partners. Two sons are born: George Tyler, Jr. in 1866 and Henry (Harry) Studley in 1868.
|August 31: George Tyler, Jr. is born in Portland, Maine to George and Mary Burroughs.|
|May 23: Henry Studley (Harry) is born in Portland, Maine
to George and Mary Burroughs.
Fall: George and Mary Evaline move to Chicago where George is successful in the distillery business -- Phoenix Distillery Co. and Abel Ames and Company -- and becomes very involved in political, civic, and social affairs. George's father, Abner Tyler Burroughs (born in 1805 on the family farm home in Warren, Massachusetts) soon moves to Chicago.
|October 8-10: The Burroughs family watch the great Chicago fire from the roof of their large, leased, three-story brick townhouse at 650 Washington Boulevard on the West Side. (Washington Blvd. was where Mary Todd Lincoln chose to live after the assassination of her husband in 1865.)|
|May 14: Frank Coleman, the Burroughses' third son is born.|
|February 25: Arthur McCulloch, a fourth son, dies twelve days after his birth.|
|June 3: Death of Sarah Ann (born October 7, 1830), sister to
Major George Tyler Burroughs.
September 1: Edgar Rice Burroughs is born to George Tyler & Mary Evaline (Zieger) in Chicago, Illinois. He is given the middle name of Rice after his colonial ancestor in Massachusetts, Deacon Edmund Rice (1594-1663).
* His father is a retired Civil War Major and rich whisky distiller.
* Ed is the youngest of four boys - George Tyler Jr., Henry Studley and Frank Coleman.
* The family lives in a three-story brick house on Chicago's West Side, 650 (later 646) Washington Boulvevard between Lincoln and Robey Streets
|* Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli notices markings on Mars'
surface that he described as canali.
January 1: Birth of Emma Centennia Hulbert -- childhood sweetheart and first wife of ERB. She is named in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
|1880: Young Ed writes his first poem: "I'm Dr. Burroughs come
to town, To see my patint Maria Brown."
March 26: Emma's father, Alvin Hulbert, an hotelier, is elected Alderman of the Twelfth Ward.
|* "Edward" or "Eddie" Burroughs enters the nearby Brown School which
he attends until the sixth grade. Other well-known graduates of Brown were
master showman Florenz Ziegfeld and entertainer Lillian Russell.
* Ed and his brothers become friends with the four Hulbert sisters - Leila, Julia, Jessie and Emma Centennia - who live at 194 Park Avenue.
August 15: A younger brother, Charles Stuart, is born but dies five months later on January 18, 1882..
|January 18: Ed's young brother,
Charles Stuart, dies - age 5 months.
February 19: GTB receives a letter from Eddie at the Riggs House in Washington, DC: "HOW ARE YOU. I MISS YOU VERY MUCH. WE ARE ALL WELL."
|March 17: Death of Abner Tyler (Thomas)(Born June 10, 1838) in Chicago, brother to Major George Tyler Burroughs.|
|Summer: Brothers George, Jr. and Harry spend one of many summers at a summer camp at Hartland, Wisconsin. They write home regularly.|
|* Brothers George Jr. and Henry (Harry) enroll in the Sheffield Scientific
School at Yale University.
* Lonely Ed starts a regular chain of correspondence with his brothers.
* His creative letters are full of sketches, cartoons, poems, stories and news.
August 3: A disastrous fire destroys the Burroughs Phoenix Distillery. Within a few years George has turned to a new business, the American Battery Company.
|* Eddie is taken out of public school and placed in a Mrs. K. S. Cooley's
Maplehurst School for Girls during a diphtheria epidemic.
* Ed falls while riding his bike and hits his head on the pavement. He is driven home in a daze. He is left with a scar on his head.
November 11: George is an official witness to the execution of the convicted Haymarket bombers who had been arrested after the Haymarket Square riots, a mass labor protest in May of 1886. George, a staunch Republican, later states, ""I do not believe in fanaticism anywhere."
* George and Harry write home regularly from Yale.
|April 9-May 11: A report card issued by Mrs. Cooley indicates
that Ed is a better-than-average student (Geography 98, Reading 95,
May 17: A news story in Chicago papers reports how the Burroughs family took in James M. Johnson, an ailing Confederate negro after the war. He was given an education, made practically one of the family and eventually became a prosperous businessman in Chicago.
Summer: Ed's health and stamina improve as he spends much time riding on Warren Avenue from Ogden Avenue to Western. The first stretch of experimental asphalt pavement has been laid on that stretch.
Fall: Ed enters the Harvard School on 21st Street and Indiana Avenue. Ed rides to school by pony, horsecar and cable-car. He was among the children of the South Side's wealthy and powerful who came to the Harvard School in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood to learn Latin and Greek. The school, in the Kenwood District, educated many of the Hyde Park area's finest and at least one of its infamous, Nathan Leopold, who was convicted along with Richard Loeb of killing Bobby Franks, who was a Harvard student at the time. The school was established in 1865 by Edward S. Waters, a Harvard University graduate, to prepare boys for study at his alma mater and other Eastern colleges. Among its other famous alums were the sons of the Armours, Drakes, Fields, Kelloggs, Walgreens, Burnhams and Rosenwalds.
|* George and Harry graduate from Yale and return to Chicago to work
in their father's American Battery Company. Harry soon develops lung problems
from battery fumes.
* Harry and Yale classmate Lew Sweetser purchase land for a cattle ranch (the Bar Y) along the lower Raft River in Cassia County, southeastern Idaho.
* Ed's first proposal to future wife, Emma Hulbert.
February 16: death of Mary Rice Burroughs wife of Abner Tyler (Born July 12, 1802 in Brookfield, Mass.) Grandmother to ERB
|July 3: Idaho becomes a state
Fall: Frank Coleman enrolls in the Phillips Academy English Department for two years (1890 & 1891). The Academy Principal from 1873 until his death in 1901 was Dr. Cecil F.P. Bancroft. Tuition: Fall Term $30, Winter Term $25, Spring Term $20.
|* Sometime after February Ed leaves Harvard School in mid-semester
"on account of ill-health." Chicago is experiencing an epidemic of "La
* Wedding day: Harry and Ella Frances Oldham.
* Ed's father sends him to work on his brothers' ranch. The 15-year-old greenhorn experiences many adventures in the "wild west." He does ranch chores, rides the range, delivers mail and supplies from American Falls and develops a life-long love of horses and horsemanship. He impresses the cowboys by riding -- bareback -- the wild horse they call "Killer."
August or September: Ed reluctantly returns to the East. One can almost imagine Mary Zieger Burroughs' surprise when her young son returned home wearing a Stetson hat, black leather vest, Levis, cowboy boots with spurs and a .45 caliber Colt Single Action Army revolver riding low on his hip.
Major George T. promptly enrolls the young cowboy in Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.
September 7: Ed's Harvard School report card gives his marks as Arithmetic 62 - English 67 - Algebra 79 - Latin 83 and as a character reference explains that Ed is "of good moral character and he left our school on account of ill-health."
|1892: Ed is a regular contributor of cartoons
and poems to a school paper, the Mirror.
January 20: The school newspaper reports that Ed has been named president of his class. Soon after, Principal Bancroft sends George Burroughs a request for the withdrawal of his son over poor marks.
* Major Burroughs immediately enrolls his son in Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, 26 miles northwest of Detroit. (He would be here for five years)
April 13: Ed, confined to barracks, attempts to escape the Academy after climbing through a window but is apprehended and taken before Commandant Charles King.
April 14: Ed makes a successful escape and uses a railway passbook to return to Chicago. Ed returns to MMA the day after his desertion to accept his punishment.
April 15: Upon his return home Ed complains of the harsh treatment he has received.
April 16: Major Burroughs receives a telegram from Captain Charles King, the Academy Commandant: "Your son deserted Thursday. Letter will follow." Ed later says: “I think it was the word ‘deserted’ in the telegram that got me, and the next day I was back at Orchard Lake walking punishment. But walking punishment has its compensations, one of which was that the old boys could not subject us to any of the refined and unrefined torture of hazing, which was carried on to an exaggerated extent at Orchard Lake at that time.”
April 18: King sends a letter detailing Ed's offenses. Soon after Ed makes the decision to return to the Academy and take his punishment. King shows mercy and gives Ed a second chance and writes: "Cadet Burroughs' offenses have been most serious, but not irretrievably so." Ed expresses what would become a lifelong admiration of King who, through his hundreds of published stories of soldiers, was somewhat of a living legend at that time.
October 19: A letter to home suggests that he is lonely and misses his family but he has channeled his excess energies into football.
December 14: Superintendent Rogers reports that: "Cadet Burroughs has made excellent progress in his studies during the last three months and is satisfactory in discipline...."
December 26: Nephew Studley Oldham Burroughs (future illustrator of ERB books) is born in Chicago to Harry and Ella Burroughs.
|*George, Harry and Lew Sweetser form the Sweetser-Burroughs Mining
Company. They built a steam dredge, the Argus, to mine gold on the Snake
River. They live in a large houseboat.
January 26: One of a series of Ed's letters concerning his various illnesses and dissatisfaction with the school. "...I am terribly sick at my stomach today but my head and throat are better."
April 4-6: Columbian Saddle Horse Show at the Detroit Riding Club: Ed rides with the Orchard Lake Cadets' in exhibition drills with and without saddle and equipment. Ed and his horse, Captain, win second prize. The audience and newspapers are enthusiastic.
April 25: Ed sends a letter home describing school pranks followed by an appeal for money to buy a fiery cavalry horse - "Captain."
Summer: Ed helps out at his father's American Battery Co. exhibit in the Electricity Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago. World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago: Ed drives the first automobile in Chicago - an electric "nine-seater horseless surrey" - in an impressive exhibition staged by his father's American Battery Company.
September 16: An award presented by the Exposition judges refers in glowing terms to George's product as "the only storage battery made in this country deemed worthy of any notice whatsoever.
November 18: Played left halfback in a football game in which his Michigan Military Academy team defeated Ypsilanti 36-22. (Friend Bert Weston was right tackle).
December 11: Ed is reprimanded for participating in a hoax involving a Springfield rifle duel to the death with another student.
December 15: Ed sends a letter home describing "the duel" episode and his "first, last and only stage experience" as a bewhiskered actor in the not-so-successful, cadet touring stage play, "The End of His Tether"
December 20: The Academy reports Ed's continuing improvement in his studies: Average 89.4%.
|1894: Anthony Hope's Prisoner of Zenda is published.
January 30: Ed is a probable founder of the The Military Mirror. He is a regular contribuor of drawings and articles to the Cadet newspaper, The Adjutant.
April 12: Lt. Ed Burroughs is temporarily demoted to the rank of Cadet and is confined to reduced limits until the 10th of June, for a "gross neglect of duty while Officer of the Day."
April 20: A homesick and discouraged Ed indignantly explains his side of the above offense in a letter to his father. A letter of apology to the superintendent helps get Ed off the hook. He later climbs back up through the ranks until he is promoted to Captain.
Fall: To the amazement of everyone, the MMA team, of which Ed was captain and quarterback, held the heftier, more experienced team from the University of Michigan to a tie.
|March 12: Mary Evelyn (later Mrs. Cartlon D. McKenzie) is born
in Chicago to Harry and Ella Burroughs
May 10: Ed receives document from the War Department stating that the President has selected Ed to write a West Point entrance examination. Inspired by Capt. King, Edgar dreamed of going to West Point and becoming an officer in the U.S. Army. Unfortunately to get into the military academy a candidate had to be appointed by a member of Congress and Illinois had already used up its quota of entrants. Ed wrote to his brothers and Lewis Sweetser in Idaho, asking if their Congressman Wilson could get him appointed as a cadet from that state.
June: Adjutant, the academy's monthly magazine reports that quarterback Ed Burroughs is placed on the Champion Prep School Team of the West, 1894.
June 13: Ed takes the West Point written exam with 118 other Idaho teens but only the top 14 are accepted, and Ed isn't one of them.
June: Ed graduates from Michigan Military Academy and gives an address to the 1894 Graduating Class at Michigan Military Academy, Orchard Lake, Michigan.
July 4: Ed is offered the position of assistant commandant at the Michigan Military Academy - an office which includes the duties of cavalry and gatling gun instructor, tactical officer, Foot-Ball/Baseball manager and professor of geology. Knowledge picked up while teaching this course serves him well in his future stories about prehistoric men and monsters.
Summer: Ed experiences many adventures while working as bill collector for the Knickerbocker Ice Company in Grand Crossing, Ill.
December: The Adjutant mentions again that Ed had made the championship team of the year. Ed Burroughs is listed as: "Captain-Quarterback, Height 5-10, Weight 165, Age 20 years, 4 mos."
Fall & Winter: Lieutenant E. R. Burroughs heads a group of 11 editors of The Adjutant
|* A Chicago newspaper reports that ERB's grandfather, 90-year-old Abner
Tyler Burroughs (husband of Mary Rice) has sold his farm in Massachusetts
and come to live with his daughter Caroline in Chicago. He boasted on election
day that he was the oldest voter in the city and, "Since there has been
a Republican Party, I have never voted any other ticket, and before that
party was born, as an old-time Whig, I voted for straight Republican principles."
* The Burroughses' long record of unwavering support of the Republican Party principles is abruptly broken in the McKinley-Bryan campaign. Bryan's fervor and his display of support for the workingman, plus Burroughs' intense dislike of the Republican boss Mark Hanna, leads to a surprising switch to the Democratic Party. The decision is prominently featured in Chicago newspapers.
April or May: Resigns from his Academy position to enlist in the U.S. Army.
May 13: Ed travels to Detroit to enlist in the army. Three and a half months shy of 21 he was caught lying about this age... but his father followed up with a letter of permission.
May 24: The new recruit arrives at Fort Grant, Arizona Territory to join Troop B, 7th U.S. Cavalry. The "Bloody Seventh" had seen action at the Little Bighorn, Wounded Knee and the Chicago Pullman strike. This was the start of many adventures, including a search for the Apache Kid, separated by long periods of boredom. He had expected to spend most of his time chasing Apaches but much of his time is spent on guard duty and digging ditches. He passes much of his time sketching and soaking up knowledge about the geography and history of the area. He becomes friends with Carson Napier, a cashiered British Army officer who had served in India and was starting a new life in the USA. "Carson Napier" later becomes the model for the hero of Burroughs' Amtor (Venus) stories, written between 1931 and 1941.
August: Ed, disillusioned with the life of an enlisted man at Fort Grant, starts sending letters imploring his father to help him buy his way out of the service. Worried about the hardships he is going through, his mother secretly sends him food and money.
August 29: After being hospitalized for two weeks and still suffering from dysentery and having been diagnosed with a "tobacco heart" condition (heart murmur or arrythymia), he rides out with Troop B in pursuit of the Apache Kid and other renegade Apaches.
September 1: Ed, on his 21st birthday at Duncan Arizona, receives a picture from Emma who is vacationing in Coldwater, Michigan.
September 15: Death of Mary Louise (born Dec 5, 1828), sister of George Tyler Burroughs.
Fall: Due to his lingering dysentery and his knowledge of horses he is assigned the softer job of running the headquarters' stable.
December 2: Ed writes Colonel J. Sumner Rogers at MMA - possibly obtain help in getting a discharge or transfer, or to set up a return to the Academy, or perhaps just to offer an apology for his past behaviour.
|March 11: Prompted by Ed's desperate, pleading letters, Major
Burroughs convinces influential Chicago businessmen to write letters to
Secretary of War Alger, requesting that young Burroughs be discharged for
a variety of good reasons.
March 19: Ed's father informs him via telegram that he has obtained a discharge through Secretary of War Alger. Ed's having lied about his age and a diagnosed weak heart were possible reasons for the discharge.
March 23: Official discharge issued. He had served only ten months of a three-year enlistment. His commanding officer rates his character as "excellent."
Spring: Ed joins brother Harry and Lew Sweetser at Nogales, Arizona to help in the moving of a herd of starving Mexican Texas Longhorn cattle to Kansas City via overcrowded boxcars.
Summer: He returns to Chicago. After having read all his letters of hardship his parents are surprised that he appears to be in excellent health and has even gained weight. His father puts him to work at the American Battery Company where he starts at the bench for $15 a week and learns the business from the ground up. Eventually he earns a position of company accountant. He resumes his courtship of Emma. Her father, Alvin Hulbert, is manager of several major city hotels, including the Tremont House.
Summer: Ed enrolls for a brief stint at the Chicago Art Institute on Michigan Boulevard. According to family members, Ed only wants to draw horses. He is issued a student ticket good until July 1, 1898.
Summer: He compiles and illustrates "My Wonderful Military Career."
July 9: Ed's grandfather, Abner Tyler Burroughs dies. He was born May 26, 1805.
August 5: A bicycle license is issued to ERB for a Reliance brand with a Diamond frame - address: 646 Washington Street.
* Ed writes the poems: "Horses and Dogs," "89 S.S.S.!," and "Chicago"
|* War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells is published
February 22: Ed writes his former MMA commandant, Captain Smith - now stationed at Fort Niobrara, Nebraska - to inquire about enlistment so that he might take part in Spanish-American War.
April: Leaves by train to join his brothers for spring roundup in Pocatello, Idaho. The Burroughs brothers live in a houseboat. At a Denver stopover he meets old 7th Cavalry friend. They celebrate by hiring a band for a parade and by gambling away the rest of their money.
April 26: Seeking army employment, Ed writes Colonel Rogers for assistance.
May 19: Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt sends Ed a letter rejecting his offer for enlistment in the Rough Riders who were preparing to drive the Spanish out of Cuba. "I wish I could take you in, but I am afraid that the chances of our bing over enlisted forbid my bringing a man from such a distance." It is rumoured that Ed received a commission in the Nicaraguan army but his family would not let him go.
June: After roundup, with Harry's help, Ed buys a stationery shop (newspapers, books & magazines, music, cigars, photo services) on West Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho. ERB's printed billhead suggests that the shop is a camera shop. He delivers papers by horseback.
June 25: Pocatello Tribune: "Local Brevities" column reports: "--Mr. V.C. Roeder has sold his book and stationery store to Mr. E.R. Burroughs who is now in charge. Mr. Roeder has not yet decided upon what he will do, but if he does not go to war with the volunteer engineers now being recruited by Mr. F.F.J. Mills at Salt Lake, will probably locate some place in California. Mr. Roeder's departure from Pocatello is a matter of genuine regret to all. He is one of the old timers in Pocatello and will be missed by everybody. Mr. Roeder's successor, Mr. Burroughs, is a recent arrival in Pocatello but a young gentleman of due x abilities, and we have no doubt "Roeder's", as it has always been known, will continue as popular as ever under his management."
July: Sweetser, and partners Burroughs and Sparks, load 14 car loads of cattle at American Falls and pass through Pocatello on their way to Omaha.
August: ERB advertises that he can supply Pocatello readers with any periodical from America or elsewhere. His store is probably one of the few places in town where photographs could be developed. Ed takes many photographs and offers them for sale in the newspaper (many of these photos are still in existence).
August 27: The newspaper reports that ERB, the stationer spent a couple of days Salt Lake on business and "You can rent a camera the by the day or week at E.R. Burroughs" and ERB is "...circulating some elegant advertisements for the Junius Brutus cigars...."
October 1: Ed has a supply of photo bills printed for the store. Minidoka is later written on the backs of some of these bills.
November: Business is bad and Ed is considering selling the store. Idaho is very much a part of the "wild west" and is not ready for music, fancy magazines and photography.
|1899: Ed contributes poems to the Pocatello
Tribune: "The Black
Man's Burden" - a parody of Kipling's "The
White Man's Burden." The Tribune serializes stories by Jules
Verne, H.R. Haggard, and back in February 1898 it featured "The Translation
of a Savage" by Gilbert Parker.
January: Darwin's Descent of Man is added to Ed's book collection. He draws a cartoon of an ape on the fly leaf, labeling it "Grandpa."
January?: Ed sells the stationery shop back to the former owner, V.C. Roeder.
Winter: A hard winter. Ed journeys on his black horse, Crow, at Mule Shoe Ranch on the Snake River to help his brothers with the spring roundup.
Spring: Ed carries out his roundup activities while suffering mountain fever and later is hospitalized by an accidental heavy blow to the head from a policeman's billy club while watching a saloon fight. This is the start of many hallucinations and headaches.
March 25: Ed wrote letters to the War Department and Congressman Wilson in which he tried to secure an appointment in the army. The replies were not encouraging.
Summer: Ed along with friends R. H. Patchin and Frank Martin travel in a private railway car as guests of Frank's father Colonel L.M. Martin from Chicago, New York, Quebec, Toronto and back to Chicago. They become involved in a brawl with hoodlums in Toronto. Ed is rapped on the head and is taken to the hospital at 2 am to have the wound sewed up. He suffers headaches for years from the blow he received in the fight, and even attributes a number of short periods of amnesia to the rap. Another consequence of the injury is a prominent scar Tarzan-like scar on his forehead and a lifelong infliction of nightmares and dream fantasies.
July 16: Ed, now in New York, writes Colonel Rogers again requesting help in obtaining a commission. He again meets with no success.
Summer: Ed returns to Chicago to work as treasurer of the American Battery Company (1899 to 1903).
Compiled by Bill Hillman
1940-42 ~ 1943-45
BILL HILLMAN .
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