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George McCrossen Papers

Identifier: MSS 356 BC

Scope and Content

Archive 356 consists of the personal papers of Santa Fe businessman and author, George McCrossen (1898-1983). The most significant section of the collection deals with McCrossen's business concerns in Santa Fe. Inventoried are the records (financial records, publicity, advertising and correspondence) of McCrossen Handwoven Textiles, Inc., which he operated with his brother, Preston, from 1934-1948 (Box 1: Folders 1-14). Information regarding District Court (County of Santa Fe, State of New Mexico) Case No. 38426: George McCrossen vs. McCrossen Handwoven Textiles, 1963-1977 (Box 1: Folder 15) is included. In 1947, McCrossen went into business for himself creating an agency known as McCrossen Advertising Services (Box 2) which he operated until his retirement in 1972. Included are several account files arranged in the following format: background research on the subject; printed publicity; photographs and correspondence. Account files include the First National Bank of Santa Fe, Rodeo de Santa Fe, artist Luman Martin Winter and the Santa Fe Sinfonietta and Choral Society (of which McCrossen was a long term president). Of particular interest are photographs promoting activities of the various native Indian populations and tourism dating from the 1930's. Included, as well, are some Laura Gilpin photographs that were used for advertising purposes. Photographic materials have been transferred to CSWR Pictorial Collections.

The collection also contains extensive information on McCrossen's life in Detroit (Box 3: Folder 2) particularly among the artistic community. This section reflects his experiences as a writer, critic and promoter of Detroit art. He was also involved with a popular Detroit magazine, Boulevardier (Box 2: Folder 2-A) as an Associate Editor, Art Director and contributor from 1925-1930. His affiliation with the John Reed Club of Detroit (Box 3: Folder 4) included being the editor of its publication, The New Force, in 1933 and his promotion of the John Reed Club of Santa Fe (Box 3: Folder 5) are documented. Writing was a vital part of McCrossen's life. This is evident from a review of his literary efforts (Box 3) which include his personal diaries for the 1920's and 30's and 1967-1982. In Box 8, there is an extensive list of periodical articles by various artists whose work McCrossen collected between 1917-1971.

The most extensive section of the collection concerns his personal correspondence with family and friends (Box 4: Folders 1-26 and Box 5: Folders 1-22) including letters about B. Traven, the reclusive writer. Three letters from Irene Mermet (Traven's companion) addressed to Dora and George McCrossen in 1924 and 1925 are included (Box 5: Folder 19).

Material considered to be of secondary significance to the collection is the Dora Malet (first wife) correspondence. (Maintained within this section are letters from Dora's father, Frank Mallett, to his family while assigned to the American Consulate General (1903-1908) in Budapest, Hungary--Box 6: Folder 18.) The correspondence and personal papers of Mary McCrossen (mother) are also contained within this section. These personal papers of his wife and mother were mainteined by McCrossen after their deaths. While they do give an insight into familial relationships, they do not add to the main focus of the archive which centers around McCrossen as a businessman and author. Family history gathered by McCrossen consists of documentation regarding the Mathews, Garner and McCrossen families in Michigan dating back to 1756 (Box 7: Folders 13-18).

The final section includes the inventory of McCrossen's personal books (holdings) and where they can be located in the library.


  • 1756-1983 (bulk 1919-1940)


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

George McCrossen was born in Clyde, Michigan on April 1, 1898. While an infant, his family relocated to Saginaw, Michigan where he attended school. Because of family financial difficulties he left high school and worked on farms throughout Michigan. He then moved to the factories of Detroit where he acquired skills as a sign painter as well. A few months after the end of World War I, McCrossen took his newly acquired skills and headed to New York to join his artist brother, Preston. He also had hopes of joining the literary artistic community through his writing. However, after a short while, he found it necessary to return to Detroit where he held positions with Boulevardier, a popular Detroit magazine as an Associate Editor, Art Director and contributor. Later, he became an account executive with McManus, Inc., a large automobile advertising agency.

In 1932 McCrossen relocated his family to Santa Fe, New Mexico to help his brother operate a new business -- McCrossen Handwoven Textiles. This company (among others in the area) was involved in rebuilding the textile crafts industry in New Mexico. This association worked well until 1948 when a family dispute caused George to leave the company. In 1947 George had laid the groundwork for McCrossen Advertising Services which he ran successfully until his retirement in 1972. He was recognized for the excellent campaigns he created for various Santa Fe firms.

Throughout his life, McCrossen was dedicated to liberal, humanitarian and civic causes which is reflected in his organizational affiliations and his extensive writings on a variety of subjects. Before his death on February 6, 1983, he realized a long held dream with the publication of his book (Our Dualistic World - Vantage Press) in which he discussed many of his personal reflections and life's experiences.

Mr. McCrossen was married three times and is survived by his sons (and their families) Eric and Preston of Albuquerque and Stanley of Santa Fe.


12 boxes (9.8 cu. ft.)

Related Archival Material

Albuquerque and New Mexico Pamphlet Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Most photographs have been transferred to the George McCrossen Photograph Collection.

Some books have been cataloged. See List of Separated Materials after Container List.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Millis, Walter. The Road to War: America 1914-1917. Houghton Mifflin Co.: Boston and New York, 1935.Page 31 mentions Frank Mallett.

List of Separated Materials

Please Note: The following works have been cataloged for CSWR.
Section II: Books and periodicals belonging to George McCrossen and their placement:
These books have been catalogued.
These books have been catalogued for the General Stacks.
This book has been catalogued for Fine Arts Library.
This book has been catalogued for Parish Business Library.
These books have been retained in the archive itself.
The following titles were removed from the archive.
  • --The Mystery of B. Traven, by Judy Stone. William Kaufmann, Inc.: Los Altos, California, 1977,128 pages.
  • --The Secret of the Sierra Madre: The Man Who Was B. Traven, by Will Wyatt. Doubleday and Co., Inc.: New York, 1980. (First U.S. edition) 326 pages, signed.
  • --B. Traven: An Introduction, by Michael Baumann. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, 1976, 184 pages.
  • --The Last Thirty Days of Christ, by Sadakichi Hartmann. Privately printed: New York, 1920. 109 pages, signed.
  • --Tanka and Haikai: Japanese Rhythms, by Sadakichi Hartmann. Script edition 1920, Calligraphy by John C. Catlin,16 pages.
  • --A Few Figs From Thistles, by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Published by Frank Shay: New York, 1920,20 pages.
  • --The Titan, by Theodore Dreiser. Horace Liverright: New York, 1925. 552 pages, signed and snapshot of Dreiser in Hollywood, May 1940.
  • --Raiders of the Deep, by Lowell Thomas. Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc.,: New York, 1928.
  • --Boulevardier: (* Denotes duplicates retained in McCrossen Archive-Box 2, Folder 2-A) V. 1 No. 1 October 1925* No. 2 December 1925* No. 3 March 1926* No. 4 April 1926* No. 5 May 1926* No. 6 June 1926* V. 2 No. 1 September 1926* No. 2 October 1926* No. 3 November 1926* No. 4 December 1926* No, 5 January 1927* No. 6 March 1927* No. 7 May 1927 V. 3 No. 7 May 1928 No. 8 June 1928* V. 4 No. 1 September 1928 No. 3 November 1928 No. 6 March 1929 V. 5 No. 8 May 1930
  • --The Way to Design, by Ignatz Sahula-Dycke. McCullers Press: Dallas, 1943, limited edition (500 copies)61 pages.
  • --Satan's Paradise, by Agnes Morley Cleveland. Houghton Mifflin Co.: Boston, 1952. Inscribed to Helen McCrossen.
  • --B. Traven: An Introduction, by Michael L. Baumann, University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, 1976.184 pages.
  • --The Mystery of B. Traven, by Judy Stone. William Kaufmann, Inc.: Los Altos, California, 1977.128 pages.
  • --The Secret of the Sierra Madre: The Man Who Was B. Traven, by Will Wyatt. Doubleday and Co., Inc.: New York, 1980. First U.S. edition, 326 pages, inscribed.
  • --An Island, by Neal Grace, illustrated by Shell Strange. Mercantile Printing Co., Inc.: Worcester, Massachusetts, 1975, inscribed.
  • --The Road to War, America 1914-1917, by Walter Millis. Houghton Mifflin Co.: Boston and New York, 1935.
  • --News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness, chosen and introduced by Robert Bly. Sierra Club Books: San Francisco, 1980. Inscribed from Mark and Gail Shafarman.
  • --Commence Shooting!: A Navy Manual on War Photography, Time, Inc., 1942.
  • --The Unemployed, Alex Baskin, advisory editor. Archives of Social History: New York, 1975, inscribed.
  • --Quest for Knowledge, Book I: Our Dualistic World, by George McCrossen. Vantage Press: New York and Los Angeles, 1983. 102 pages. (Box 3, folder 28).
  • --Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood. Mentor Books: New York, 1954. 143 pages. (Box 3, Letterbox 1)
  • --If You Don't Weaken: The Autobiography of Oscar Ameringer. Holt and Co.: New York, 1940, signed. (Box 3, Letter box 1).
  • --Physics and Philosophy, by Sir James Jeans. Dover Publications: New York, 1981. This is a reproduction of work originally published in 1943 by Cambridge University Press and the MacMillan Company. (Box 3, Letterbox 1)
  • --The Mathews (Mathes) Family in America, by I. C. Van Deventer. Alexander Printing Co.: Kansas City, Missouri, 1925. 105 pages. (Box 7, Folder 14).
  • --Roget's International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: A Complete Book of Synonyms and Antonyms, by C. O. Sylvester Mawson. Thomas Crowell Co.: New York, 1924.
  • --A Smaller Classical Dictionary, edited by E. H. Blakeney. Datton and and Co.: New York, 1913.

Index Terms

  1. Alternative Press, see: Underground Press,
  2. Boulevardier Magazine--Detroit
  3. But They Would Be Forgotten
  4. Communism in Literature
  5. Communist Journalism, see: Journalism, Communist
  6. Communist Party. New Mexico.
  7. Conservative Literature--U.S.
  8. First National Bank of Santa Fe
  9. Gallup American Coal Company
  10. Gallup Defense Committee--Santa Fe
  11. Garner Family, 1756-1983
  12. Gold, Michael, 1894-1967
  13. Grace, Neal
  14. Hake, Gordon, 1899-1963
  15. Handloom Industry, see also: Textile Industry
  16. Handweaving Phenomenon in the Southwest: During the Two Decades, 1930-1950.
  17. Journalism, Communist--U.S.
  18. Journalism, Communist--U.S.S.R.
  19. Malet, Dora, 1904-1927
  20. Mallett, Dorothee Louise, see: Malet, Dora, 1094-1927
  21. Mallett, Frank
  22. Mathews Family, 1756-1983
  23. Matthews Family, see also: Mathews Family
  24. McCrossen Family, 1756-1983
  25. McCrossen, Mary E. Mathews, 1868-1947
  26. McCrossen, Preston E., 1894-198?
  27. The New Force
  28. Our Dualistic World
  29. John Reed Club--Detroit
  30. John Reed Club--Santa Fe
  31. Rodeo de Santa Fe
  32. Rowe, Guy, 1894-
  33. Santa Fe Sinfonietta and Choral Society, 1950-1963
  34. The Sleepy Lagoon Case, 1942
  35. Sneiderman vs. the United States
  36. Strange, Shell
  37. Sudomier, Wesley, -1966
  38. Topchevsky, Morris, 1899-1947
  39. Tourist Trade--New Mexico
  40. Traven, B., 1890?-1969
  41. Underground Press--U.S.
  42. Wicker, John P., 1859-1931
  43. Winter, Luman Martin, 1908-
Finding Aid of the George McCrossen Papers, 1756-1983 (bulk 1919-1940)
Processed by CSWR Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 356 BC::George McCrossen Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss356bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131