Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site
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Issue 0943
Edgar Rice Burroughs
 From Tarzana, California
Memories from the 
Danton Burroughs
Family Archive
Danton Burroughs
Major George Tyler Burroughs, Sr.
Major Burroughs' Civil War exploits truly come to life through the memoirs of his wife,
Mary Evaline Burroughs: Memoirs of a War Bride.
and through his own words as evidence in the following letter from the Danton Burroughs Archive.
NOTE: The letter is very old and hard to read (see excerpt below).
Indecipherable words are replaced by blank underlines.
Words of questionable translation are put into italics.

Copy of the original 1861 letter

Headquarters 71st Regt. NYSM
Navy Yard, Washington D.C.  June 27 1861

Dear Friends

Your very beautiful & highly appreciated favor of the 17th was duly recd & read with increasing interest, as each succeding page revealed more & more clearly the sentiments of true, uncompromising loyalty. I trust you will pardon me for allowing others, my friends, to read your letter. We are soldiers together & a letter like yours is read with a common interest, not for flattery, but as a simple act of justice, I cannot refrain from telling you that all who read it passed the highest _____ upon it. My neighbor, an old New York School teacher said "That is first rate, such a letter is worth receiving." My 2nd Lieut. - a handsome talented New Yorker told me, that I ought to get it published &c. I think you need no further evidence that kind & sympathysing words in war are welcome in the Soldier's Camp & need no appology.

The waits the past few months have tended __ to gather more firmly the hearts of patriots, whereon they may be formed. None are strangers now in the true and loyal North. Nobly did old Massachusetts respond to the call of the nation in her hour of danger & tho' her sister states of the North were not slow in following her example.  As one of her most loyal sons I feel a just pride that she was first, giving good evidence that tho' slumbering, the old Revolutionary Spirit of the Fathers is not dead in their sons, tho occasionally was needed to call out their dormant images.  I am not prepared to say that the Ladies have not manifested as much spirit & enthusiasm in the matter as the men. Most generously have they come forward & contributed by their labor in the manufacture of clothing & other articles necessary for the comfort & health of the Soldiers. Mothers gave up their sons, wives their husbands, sisters their brothers, that the old world-honored flag might not loose any of its glory or be torn from its high eminence by the hand of traitors.

I almost feel like thanking God for this very war. I know not but that the earlier impressions of some of you may have been not beneath the shadow of the "Peculiar Institution" of the "Sunny South," the land of the Ralmittan & the Palm, I would not give offence, but freely as I would tell my sisters, I must say that I feel thankful for this war because I believe that this Institution of human Slavery will now receive its death blow. Morally I believe slavery to be wrong. God made all the nations of the earth of one blood & he did not intend that the stronger should tyrannize over the weaker, the White over the Black -- for the last thirty five years it has been the prime cause of all the National troubles. Socially its tendency is to exalt one man over another, it makes its perpetrator haughty, arrogant, lazy. Not by his own honest toil does he obtain his support but through the wrongs of a made oppressed race. It curses all with whom it comes in contact, while in __  __  __. I could but notice the deplorable ignorance of the poor white people, they are absolutely more to be pittied than the slaves. One man told me that he had never been in Washington in his life (a distance of fifteen miles) that he "reckoned" _____ would be better off if she was free, that his boys had never had any schooling worth mentioning, they did not know enough to learn a trade & therefore all mechanical labor done in his section of the country was done by men who came from the North. That the rich man's sons were educated for it & so received an office as soon as they were old enough. Do not these facts speak volumes?

I trust I may live to see this land free in reality, as in now in name. The oppressed of all nations have looked towards America as the asylum from all these wrongs and oppressions. Great as this Nation has already become, let her rid herself of this blighting evil & her possiblities are unlimited. Owing to the peculiarities of our Constitution, which permits slavery in States, I would not meddle with it then, but on that soil where the fool of a slave man yet trade, consecrated by God to freedom for ever I would gladly give my life to save it -- from the blighting effects of slavery. Allow me to thank you for so kindly mentioning the 71st. They have ever been willing to do their duty, at all times, since they came here. While a few like Napoleon believe that "God is on the side of the heaviest -- artillery" we have many good praying Christians here who if called into battle would trustingly commend themselves to God's care & keeping & I truly think such men make the best fighters. Real courage is steel which  prompts a man who knows & realizes the danger, boldly to face it --who can do it better than the man who feels that his peace is made with his Maker & to live or die is gain? If he lives, he wins a Crown Immortal.

There is no more news to write, everything is quiet here & will doubtless remain thus until after the meeting of the extra Congress next month when the powers will probably be given the President to prosecute this plan vigorously. I think he will do it.  Thanking you for your kind wishes expressed in your letter, I would commend you since who controls the destinies of man and nations. That -- He may keep you & bless is the prayer of your "Stranger" friend.
Geo T. Burroughs

To Ulyses
India Cutter. Clara Conart. Mary Parkhurst. Ada Lanworthy

After the stock-market collapse of May 1901, Ed helped his father salvage the American Battery Company by going around to all the city's fire stations and selling them storage batteries for their new electric equipment. Ed left his father's employ in the spring of 1903 to join his brothers in Idaho and to start on a series of unsuccessful career moves until he earned success as a writer in 1911.

The Major's brother, Harry Rice Burroughs, died at his home down the street at 480 Washington Blvd. on March 18, 1904. He was 67 years old.

George and Mary Evaline Burroughs with grandson StudleyA Jackson Boulevard Townhouse

Upon his partial retirement around 1904, George and Mary Evaline moved to 493 (1418) Jackson Boulevard. George, Jr. took over the presidency of American Battery Co. About this time Harry fell ill and he, wife Ella, daughter Evelyn and son Studley lived for awhile on the third floor of this home. Major Burroughs helped them financially during this time. In the final years of his life much of his time was spent enjoying the company of his loving wife, dutiful sons and many grandchildren.

Major George Tyler Burroughs, age seventy-nine, died on February 15, 1913. He once was very doubtful that his son Ed would amount to anything but had lived to witness and revel in the launching of his spectacular writing career. Ed's third child, John Coleman, was born 13 days later... and on the same day the author made the decision to devote himself full time to writing.

Concerning her grandfather's death, Harry's daughter, Evelyn, commented: "I will always believe that he died of a broken heart. He was nearly eighty -- had seen one fortune go after many years of prosperity, but pulled himself out of that failure and was doing well with the American Battery Company. There, at the last he found that one of the distillery company partners had been over a number of years bilking him out of what should have been his, if he hadn't been so trusting. He went to bed, refused to eat, and just died."

An excerpt from the Memoriam presented in his honour by the Loyal Legion of the United States: Commandery of the State of Illinois reads:

"His life was that of a strong, vigorous, forceful nature, compelling rather than courting success. He loved truth and justice and abhorred all semblance of sham, subterfuge, or deceit. His personal friends were bound to him by lasting ties of respect and affection and among them he made no distinction of race, creed or social position. He is survived by his widow, Mary Evaline, and their four sons, George T. Jr., Henry S., F. Coleman, and Edgar Rice and by eight grandchildren."

Major George Tyler Burroughs, Sr.

This is the last letter written by Major Burroughs
~ a letter sent to son George on January 14th, only one month before his death on February 15th

TELEPHONE MONROE 3796                                                                                            1132-1134 FULTON STREET 
Januaray 14th 1913 
My dear Son Geo.
Your check for $15 to Harry's order came yesterday. I presume he will acknowledge it today. I thank you for your willing help. How much will be required no one can tell. We do know that the expenses for the present will be $20 -- for week (for board & attention). How much the incidental expenses will be I do not know, at her death. The regular expenses must be incurred. The transportation of the body to Greenwood will cost just double first class fare. I have obtained the amt. necessary to cover all expenses for her interment. They will be $30. Your mother wrote you, I think that Judge Petie will not keep me any after the amt advanced the 1st of March. Ranymann cannot do much if any more. This leaves me sum $100 for month for each Feby & March?  The first part of April I can, at present, only count on my government pension $90. I must have aid from you boys, or dycult in all function payments, unless the sircley property sells, we are cutting down the price, to almost anything we may be offered. Harry, Coleman and Ed are going to try to get a customer. I can do little or nothing in the matter because I am unable to get about. I wish you would see that your Bank spells our name  eventually.  I tried when I was out there, without effect to get it straight. They spell it Bourrughs. If you will see that they have it right on their books it will save some trouble, as Harry has to put two endorsements on the check. When only one should be necessary. I am very grateful to my children for their help at this time. I hope it will not be for long. 
Your mother has had no letter from Mrs. Osborne since January 1st and she feels quite worried. I am very glad that your business is good, that you are established on a permanent basis. I most earnestly hope you may have no drawbacks in the years to come. We are all in usual health and hope this finds you and your family well.
With love to all in which mother joins

The Complete George Tyler Burroughs, Sr. Biography is featured at

Compiled by Bill Hillman

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