First and Only Weekly Webzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 1174

John Coleman Burroughs at work in his studio
From Tarzana, California
A Danton Burroughs
John Coleman Burroughs
Family Archive Feature
Danton Burroughs

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Burroughs
A Potpourri of Letters & Photos
The Personal Correspondence File of
John Coleman and Jane Ralston Burroughs
(The Danton Burroughs Family Archive)

To: Mr. Hulbert Burroughs ~ Pomona College, Claremont, Calif.
From Jack Burroughs
Post Card Post Mark: Mount Wilson, Calif. ~ Oct. 14, 1929

Dear Hulbert:-
Am up here with the Science Club -- left yesterday afternoon. The 1 hr. 8 min from toll house/
I'm afraid I've been too many places during our small lifetime to get a heck of a thrill up here. We leave for home soon -- I hope. However, took some notes on lecture lst night.
Love, Jack

Mr. Hulbert Burroughs
#9 Clark Hall
Pomona College
Claremont, California
Post Mark: Los Angeles, Calif ~ 4:30 PM ~ Oct 17, 1929

October 15, 1929

Dear Hulbert: -
This is my first letter to you at college, my son, and it will be filled with much advice and good learning from your brother who has lived, and studied deeply the subtle ways of men -- which after all are not so hidden and subtle as they are human! "Flattery is most beguiling so let it tempt thee not, my lad!" -- Those are the very words which lie buried deeply in the scriptures , Doakes, 1:2 -- as you no doubt now recall.

But let us return to earthly things, in fact let us dwell for the time only in our galaxy.

Doubtless you received my postcard from Mr. Wilson. It was a very interesting outing. I took many notes upon the back of some P.T.A. printed matter on Mr. Hage's lecture, Friday evening. The lecture ws made in the dark -- likewise my notes. I intended to write the whole thing up when I got home, but, strangely, I cannot decipher my hieroglyphics sufficiently as yet. As far as I could tell Mr. Hage has not changed his talk much since last summer when you, Judson, and I marvelled at his vast knowledge of astronomy and clever wit; -- extent of universe, milky way, moon, shovelling snow off domes and remark about -- fun for a little while, bringing lense? up road and the gentleman who hurriedly descended from his perch on top of mirror when driver decided to take short cut (laughs). He also received much laughter and became instantly popular with his "passing away" remark -- 'member when he stated that after we look thru eyepiece we then "pass away" -- Ha - ha- hooie!

However ins spite of himself, it was instructive and I shall continue to stare and study my data off it. 

After the lecture we all went out to lookout point to view the lights. I didn't get the thrill that I got before, naturally. Nevertheless, it was beautiful, and stupendous but really slightly cloudy. I was glad to hear Mr. Davis tell us all to go to bed as it was then about 11:30 I guess and I was tired. I roomed in a cabin with Kenneth Knudson and another boy. We flipped for beds and I slept singly, thank gosh! They tussled around in bed for about half an hour and then (quite animal like) fell asleep. Along about two o'clock "Cothworths?" Barney awoke us. Kenneth shrieked for him to get into bed -- he vanished. Next morning some old maid teacher who followed after spread the tale that Barney was visiting the girls (Anna Scott, Kate Dryden, etc.) in his pajamas. Coteswort pretends he's quite disgusted still -- it being now around in school -- but I believe I have told you my views on the subtle ways of men!

Janette and Barney rode with Bob Holloway's Ford -- rumble seat after game -- both looked quite dishevelled. It brought to my mind when she and Dick went to big fives? with us. We visited both observatories. In Pasadena we went thru the factory where they made the big 100 inch lense. I tried to take in all I could of the different machines, tools, etc. but the period of time between 12 o'clock and 5 o'clock is not much time to sleep and my brain was more foggy than usual. (Sunrise at 6 o'clock, you know -- all must rise in time to dress)

So much for that!

Hi-y- meeting last night -- Hooie!

Magician demonstrated in assembly today -- getting out of ropes, cutting strings, mind reading, slates, Hooie!

I have a lot of work to do, it's piling up -- no hooie~ I imagine you have to, so I'll say adios. 

See you soon.

P.S. Fights are tomorrow night. "Speedy Ponce (undefeated) fights Kid Hooie (also undefeated) I think it might e good. 

To Mr. Hulbert Burroughs
No. 9 - Clark Hall
Pomona College
Claremont, California
Post Mark Van Nuys, Calif ~ 9:30 AM ~ Nov. 7, 1929
November 6, 1929

Dear Hulbert:-

It seems a long time since you were home and my ear has consequently slightly recovered from your vicious treatments. Nothing  much of general import has occurred that has not probably been forwarded to you by the intelligence service here; but perhaps I could enlighten you as to my doings -- they are very few.

Things were very typical around here during Mrs. Corwin's ? illness -- what happened is too bad, but I'm glad it is all over -- a little more of it was it seems that the whole household moved pans away -- trying days for Father!

School goes along in the same old rut but it is not monotonous; it is a kindly provision of nature that after so many years such a living ceases to be monotonous after the first few weeks. However, like the proverbial drowning man, we grasp at any little thing that comes to relieve the sameness of it all. So I use Saturdays and Sundays to exercise my objective consciousness and I begin soon after school on Fridays or when the games commence.  So completely do I forget school that it is an effort to get half of my lessons for Monday mornings. 

Speaking of the games -o- two weeks ago Van Nuys won from Eagle rock  with a score of 7 to 0, and last week we won from Owensmonth? by a 6 to 0 lead. Dorothy Harris was chosen editor of the annual and she began choosing her assistants last week. On the staff are Kelly as business manager, Cotesworth? as advertisement manager, Bob McNeial? as circulation manager, Clarence Swansberg? as athletic editor and Florence French as Dorothy's assistant. There are many others, mostly girls on the staff. Dorothy chose me as assistant Boys' Athletic Editor -- a long and noble title --- She said she chose me on your merits so I have no especial reason to be elated, except of course as your brother, however insignificant. Accordingly, with the sole purpose of writing last week's game up I took notes ()most of which I did not use) on every play in the game that I could see or guess at. My position as a reporter was splendid. I sat considerably south of the center of our bleachers and on the very bottom plank with four hundred and forty seven Junior  High school men and women shrieking  loud huzzas and jeering, alternately kicking me in the back as they rose to scream and advice and warnings to our players. I deeply appreciated their continued help in telling me all at once the different plays up on the field, when they had leaned that I was a reporter, and what is more a mighty Senior. Looking into the sun was somewhat of a disadvantage but I was greatly aided when, at the end of the first quarter, the band came and sat in front of us. 

However I wrote my little story, borrowing from you in lst year's Crimson and Grey as to amount of words and general makeup, and "presented my true account" to Dorothy, Tuesday, much to her surprise. I nicely typed it. By the way, I was greatly surprised when I read the school paper might come out that same day and to lean that I had fudged correctly on nearly all the points of the game including yardage, men, etc. I slipped up on one point but that was when I was looking absolutely directly at "el Sol."

We fast approach examination day and bitter tests loom ahead! Miss Clark want me to enter the Constitutional contest representing her class -o- the mere thought of it gives me strange feelings in my stomach. I tell her that I do not choose to be an orator, but that is probably not the reason -- I am afraid purely and simply. I have to mail this thing and Mama's letter or you won't get them.


John Coleman Burroughs from NU Alpha Fraternity group picture 1931Hulbert Burroughs from NU Alpha Fraternity group picture
Jack and Hully
From The Burroughs Boys page

A typed letter from John Coleman Burroughs, Pomona College, Claremont, California,  to his father
Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ Tarzana, California
Post Mark: Claremont, California ~ 10 AM ~ June 8, 1934
Received and Filed June 9, 1934
ERB handwritten note on envelope: "RR: These are letters from the children. Pls file in my personal file "as is" ~ OB

June 7, 1934
Dear Papa,
It was awfully nice to hear from you. Sorry we can't seem to make connections. Why don't you try again -- I'm not working quite so hard as I have been for the last three weeks and could meet you any time you say at the airport.

I finally whipped my Saber-tooth into shape for the exhibition and my oral examination. I could have used more time as much of the work i had to leave in a half finished condition. Perhaps if I should have plenty of time to complete something I once started I would never turn out anything half so decent as I do. 

My comprehensive written examination supposedly covering my four years' college studies took place last Wednesday. I started writing at 10:30 in the morning and writing straight thru lunch and dinner hours finally finished at 7:30 that night. It was a good exam and made me do some much needed thinking over quite a range of subjects in connection with paleontology and art.

The oral only lasted an hour and three quarters. It's quite a thrill to have five college professors shooting questions at you for that length of time. To give you an idea of what I had to bull about let me tell you the departments each represented ----- Zoology, Art, Geology, Paleontology and Sculpture. It was all a lot of fun anyway.

Dr. Bryan, L.A. Museum curator, wrote and asked permission today to put my beast on exhibit there. He can have it if he wants. I figure its good publicity. Incidentally, I should hate to have to cart it around with me for the rest of my life. 

Phi Beta Kappa initiation took place last Thursday evening and so have my key to show you. We were entertained at dinner afterwards in Claremont Inn. Following this we were presented with an extremely fascinating paper entitled "The spectral Analysis of Certain Geochemical Substances". The lights had to be extinguished in order to show some lantern slides; when they again came on at the end of an hour or two, I am told that the speaker, guest of honor, and an unconscious chemistry professor were the only Phi Betes remaining. The rest of us had adjourned, meanwhile,  In justice to Truth, however, for which the Fraternity stands, let me say that there may have been one or two others remaining who were unable to find the door in the dark as readily as Bob Shaffer and I did. 

Perhaps I had better sign off now and get at my mechanical drawing plates with which I have run true to form and put off until the last week and which I have now eleven more to do. 

I hope you can come out before I graduate. I shall give you a personal tour of this gorgeous campus before I leave it forever. 

Hope I see you soon,


Harry Burroughs
1456 Fargo Ave. - Chicago
July 17 - 1934

Dear Jack:-

In rummaging through an old box full of letters and photographs I found the enclosed. Realizing that you were named after this very fine type of early American, John Coleman, it seemed fitting that you should have and preserve these reminders of your ancestor, as they have since 1863, been kept as valued mementoes by your Grandmother Burroughs, whose grand father Judge Coleman was, and, later, by your Aunt Nellie. 
When you have read the enclosed pamphlet "An Oration, by Hon. John M. Coleman" I am sure you will have a feeling of pride when you realize that the blood of such a fine character, and of such an uncompromising patriot runs in your veins. 

We all enjoyed seeing Hulbert again, though I regret we were in Quncy during the major portion of his stop in Chicago. 

I  phoned the Hotel this afternoon, intending to ask him out ot dinner again, but was told he was no longer registered there. Either he changed his abode, or else he disappeared from the city as mysteriously as he arrived.

If you find time to write, and the spirit moves you, I should very much like to know what you are now doing, as well something about your plans for the future,

Uncle Harry

To Hulbert Burroughs
10452 Bellagio Road
West Los Angeles, California
Post Mark: Los Angeles, Calif ~ 7:30 pm ~ June 17, 1936
June 17, 1936

Dear Hully:

The roses are very beautiful. It was most sweet of you to send them. I have been giving them aspirin to make them last longer!

If there is anything that I can do to help you along the photography line, please let me know. I'm sorry that you didn't like the tinting, but with a bit of practice, I might be able to please you anyway. I'd like to try.


Carbon of a typed letter from Hulbert to Jane
June 19, 1936 

My dear Miss Ralston:

Yours of the inst. received en totem, contentes fully noted and immediately filed (Burroughs system, Intents Pending).

Sorry you took my suggestion regarding your tinting work too literally. I am thoroughly confident you can do the work as you very ably demonstrated on that portrait of yourself which you gave to Jack. Perhaps I had best list the reasons I didn't like those you did of Kerm Maynard. First of all I gave you some very poor prints to work on. The faces were too dark for you to print on a smoother grade paper would be easier to work on. Secondly, I thought the skin color was not quite right. Not being a master at colors I can't explain why. However, your technique Miss Ralston, was very neat. (I am referring here, of course, to tinting).

Your kindness in offering to assist us is deeply appreciated. Jack tells me you are a whiz at book-keeping, etc., etc., etc., etc. Of course Jack is inimatable (?). There are many things to be done at various times, so I shall be taking advantage of your kind offer by calling on you for more good old sweat shop work. 

Thanks for your nice letter, Jane.

Pomona College
To: Hulbert Burroughs
10452 Bellago Road
West Los Angeles, California   Bel-Air
Post Mark: Los Angeles, Calif ~ Arcade Annex ~ 10 pm ~ August 11, 1936
Tuesday, August 11, 1936

Dear Hulbert

This brief anecdote comes at an appropriate time for you. As each birthday passes we always wonder more what it really is all about. I had forgotten about this or I would have mentioned it the night of our discussion about lie and fate. 

I shall give you best wishes and hope for many more happy birthdays now, rather than at the conclusion; you will understand all when you have finished reading.

Taken from "Portrait of a Paladin" (Story of the Cid of Spain by Vicente Huidobro) p. 192
"Something in the depths of your soul had said to you the life of matter is a cancer on t he soul. The soul goes wandering in the spaces of the Zodiac, on the long glides of dreams, drunk with its own magic. Suddenly it falls sick, there grows a tumour, it develops rapidly, malignant in its appetite, and there you have life. The tumour is Man. The roving bird, flashing so lightly in the circles which all the riches of its imagination are free to weave, finds itself sluggish, anguished, poor embedded and filthy. Like all sicknesses, the tumour has its time of appearance of crisis, and of ending. 

The tumour dies, and the convalescent spirit breaks the barrier of fatted molecules and returns to win back its health again. For as the body sickens to enter into death, so the soul sickens to enter into life."

NOTE: Dec. 6, 1936 ~ Jack: You are to be at Jane's' tomorrow at  5 - a surprise ~ Jane

December 12, 1936 Wedding Day for John Coleman Burroughs and Jane Ralston
Jane and Jack sitting on stairs
NOTE: Poem from Hulbert on company stationery: plus a rough draft on note paper.
El Portal Theatre Bldg.
North Hollywood, California
Phone: North Hollywood 2145

To Jack and Jane

A humble gift for the bride and groom
Something to hang on the wall of your room
If it weren't for the wolf in front of my door
I'd like nothing better than to give you more.

from Hully
Christmas 1936

Hully and Jack

To a Photographer from an Artist

Your prints of trees were on the floor
Aa I glided through the door.

Teeka lay in sweet repose
With a "tree" beneath her nose.

Nearby Tarzie scratched his assy,
Which sat upon a printed glossy.

Now if, like God, you make a tree,
Pray, leave it not where dogs can see!

JCB ~ Nov. 1937

John Coleman BurroughsJane Ralston Burroughs portrait by John Coleman Burroughs

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