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Milton A. Travers papers

Identifier: MC-032

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of the papers left by Milton Travers upon his death. Divided into 2 series, it includes both personal documents and material relating to his research and writing. Series I contains Travers’ personal papers. Included within this series are five typescript daily diaries that Travers wrote between December 1941 and December 1942. These are very different from the rest of the collection in that they have no relation to his writing or later interests. They focus solely on the events of World War II and daily life in New Bedford, MA during this time. There is a gap of approximately fifteen years between these diaries and the rest of the collection. This series also contains Travers’ correspondence and newspapers clippings of personal interest to him, as well as pamphlets and publications relating to those interests. Series II is comprised of material relating directly to his research and writing. Included are several manuscripts by Travers, one of which appears to be unpublished, as well as a manuscript written and signed by Donald Smith. Also included in this series are his research notes, story ideas, bibliographies and newspaper clippings that Travers used in his books. Finally there are several groups of negatives and prints of Native American subjects, as well as original illustrations and maps used in his books.


  • 1941-1970

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Milton A. Travers was born in Fairhaven, MA in 1919. In his youth, an elderly friend fostered his interest in the history of the local area. Though Travers received a business degree and opened a retail store in New Bedford with his brothers, he continued to study local history. In the course of this study, he developed an interest in the history of the Wampanoag tribe. This tribe inhabited the land east of the Providence River to Cape Cod and the islands, but there was no definitive work on their history. Travers began to study the tribe in depth and eventually became the local expert on their history. In total, he wrote four books on the Wampanoags, as well as numerous small pamphlets. After retiring from his business, Travers attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; he received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the university in 1984. He didn’t limit his learning to books, and he was actively involved throughout southeastern Massachusetts in historical societies and Native American interests, most particularly the Gay Head Indian Museum on Martha’s Vineyard. In later years he continued to share his knowledge by becoming a substitute teacher in the Dartmouth school system. He remained active in the historical community until his death in August 2000. Bibliography of Travers’ works: The Wampanoag Indian federation of the Algonquin Nation; Indian neighbors of the Pilgrims. New Bedford: Reynolds-De Walt, 1957 The Wampanoag Indian tribute tribes of Martha’s Vineyard. New Bedford: Reynolds-De Walt, 1960 The last days of the great Wampanoag Indian Sachems; a factual story of the last days of King Philip’s War, 1676. Boston, MA: Christopher Publishing House, 1963 One of the keys, 1676-1776-1976: the Wampanoag Indian contribution: a list of words and definitions from the language of the historical Indians of southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Rhode Island. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth Massachusetts Bicentennial Commission, c1975.


.8 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

From the estate of Milton Travers, received October 5, 2002. Accession number 02-06.

Processing Information

by Moira Bowen (Simmons College), December 2002.

MC 32, Milton A. Travers papers
Moira Bowen (Simmons College)
December 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA