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M-540 Meriwether, Lee Collection

ABSTRACT: Typescript and scrapbook created by Lee Meriwether.

SCOPE: This collection includes a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, dated between 1895 and 1897. The clippings, which relate to Meriwether’s career as Labor Commissioner in St. Louis and his role in the trial of Arthur Duestrow, are compiled in a book with pre-gummed pages. The inside front cover includes a label for the patented design of “Mark Twain’s Scrapbook.”

The collection also includes an unpublished typescript for a novel, attributed to Meriwether. The novel, entitled The Experiment of Robert Rex, concerns labor unrest.

EXTENT: Two boxes.

HISTORY: Lee Meriwether (1862-1966) was born in Columbus, Mississippi to Minor Meriwether and Elizabeth Avery Meriwether. The family moved to Memphis before finally settling in St. Louis. Meriwether became a lawyer and practiced law well into the twentieth century, but he was also known for his work as a journalist and author, diplomat, Missouri Labor Commissioner, and St. Louis mayoral candidate. He lived to the age of 103 and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

In 1895, Meriwether was one of the attorneys for the prosecution in a sensational criminal case against Arthur Duestrow. Duestrow, a wealthy and well-known St. Louisan, was arrested in February 1894 for the murder of his wife and their young son. Though he pleaded innocent by reason of insanity and the first trial resulted in a hung jury, he was eventually convicted and publicly executed.

ACCESS: This collection can be viewed on-site in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room.  Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus.

Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is “From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis."