Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of three main categories; correspondence 1872-1948, writings, (1881-1915), and unsorted material. Among the primarily professional letters are a few personal items, such as condolences on the death of McKelway's son. who was the Paris correspondent of the Eagle. The correspondence is divided into outgoing and incoming; most of it is outgoing. Included is some editorial correspondence, primarily items which record the reactions of individuals who saw their interests either furthered or damaged by Eagle editorials. Most of the correspondence, however, is concerned with educational matters. Significant documents include letters from Whitelaw Reid (1839-1912), A. S. Draper (1848-1913), Seth Low (1850-1916), Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947) and John Bigelow (1854-1936); a letter, 1909, of Samuel Clemens is also or interest. The letters of Mrs. McKelway are interspersed through the correspondence, along with separate folders containing letters of McKelway's niece and nephew. In addition, there are folders of undated documents. The greater part of the writings are originals and copies of McKelway's addresses and speeches, which deal primarily with public affairs and educational issues along with matters pertaining to Brooklyn and Brooklyn's future. Included is a speech concerned with the John Y. McKanecase; McKelway's efforts towards McKane's conviction for fraud in the Gravesend Elections of 1883 were his major reform effort. Some speeches were composed in honor of various public figures, in particular Grover Cleveland, whom McKelway actively endorsed. Other writings include Brooklyn Eagle editorials, book reviews and obituaries. The unsorted documents incorporate McKelway's clippings and various photographs; also included is a folder of condolences sent to McKelway's wife at his death. Furthermore, there are several folders of various documents, along with separate folders of material concerned with the New York Board of Regents, and one folder of addresses and speeches by individuals other than McKelway. One box of bound volumes of Chamber of Commerce speeches, with one speech by McKelway, is included; another box contains an index file of McKelway's speeches. Finally, of no apparent interest to the rest of the collection is a manuscript of a novel entitled Didaschelle, a satirical work written in an unidentified hand.
Three series: I. Correspondence, 1872-1948; II. Writings, 1881-1915; III. Unsorted Material