University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Royal Dixon Papers

Overview of the Collection

Creator Dixon, Royal, 1885-1962Snowden, Chester, 1900-1984
Collection Title Royal Dixon Papers
Dates 1914-1962
Identification 03/2015-007
Physical Description 2.50 linear feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Royal Dixon was a well-regarded naturalist in the early twentieth century. He was born in Huntsville, Texas to Elijah and Francis Elizabeth Dixon. The date of his birth has been contested and ranges anywhere from 1880 to 1885. He began his academic career at Sam Houston State Teachers College then on to the Morgan Park Academy, Chicago. Later, he was a special student at Chicago University and Columbia University. He served as the N.Y. Curator for the Department of Botany, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (1905-1910) and as a columnist for the Houston Chronicle (1910-1927). He also began the Dixon School Creative Writing which were primarily classes taught in his home. He was the founder of the First Church for Animal Rights. Dixon was active in working to increase rights for immigrants in the United States and wrote several essays asking for increased rights for the immigrant community. He lived much of his adult life with his partner Chester Snowden, a well-regarded local artist. Snowden worked with Dixon frequently by contributing work for his writing. After a debilitating car accident, Snowden took over as Dixon’s power of attorney and handled all of Dixon’s affairs.

He published several works on the role of nature in society including The Human Side of Plants, The Human Side of Animals, The Human Side of Birds and The Human Side of Trees. Dixon also wrote several short stories.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes writings by Royal Dixon as well as other authors close to Dixon, biographical material, materials related to his teaching and his leadership of organizational  activity, correspondence, research notes from his writings, and newspaper clippings the author collected. The collection is arranged to the folder level preserving the original arrangement as much as possible.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Topical Term:
Creative writing
Emigration and immigration
Sexual minorities -- Southern States

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Royal Dixon Papers. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.


Second accession March 16, 2015; Third accession May 11, 2015.

Detailed List of Contents


Full-length works
Box Item
1 1 Bird Personalities - boxed unbound typescript undated
2 The Ape of Heaven - bound typescript undated
3 The Lost Angel - bound typescript undated
4 Earth Hunger, Part First - bound typescript 1945
5 Earth Hunger, Part Second - bound typescript undated
Box Item
3 1 Earth Hunger Illustrations by Chester Snowden undated
Short stories
Box Folder
2 1 “Cultural Renaissance of the New South”, “Nature’s Creatures Well Prepared for Battle” undated
2 “The White Hope of Raccoon Country” 1958
3 “Miss Emily’s Hope”, “The Conductor’s Story”, “None Knows the Day” undated
4 “The Miracle”, “The Old Sherriff’s Story” undated
5 “Buber Licks His Pa before Breakfast” undated
6 “Were Adam and Eve Black?”, “The Swamp Woman”, “Miss Lucy’s Farm”, “The Old Pine Tree”, “Scandal at Shiloh Church” undated
7 “The Three Angelinas” undated
Other writings
Box Folder
2 8 Syndicate and Fracture Articles; Houston Press 1961-1962
9 “Miracles of Science” - essays undated
10 “My Invisible Advisor” - typescript undated
11 Half Dark Moon - typescript and materials 1939-1947, undated

Biographical and autobiographical materials

Box Folder
2 12 Chester Snowden’s notes on Royal Dixon 1892-1962, undated
13 Biographical correspondence 1916-1947, undated
14 Biographical notes - Royal Dixon 1893-1966, undated
15 Biographical and autobiographical notes 1936-1961, undated
16 Biographical and autobiographical notes including Waxahachie car accident 1924-1966, undated
17 Biographical notes and correspondence 1936-1966, undated
18 Biographical notes and ephemera 1919-1960, undated
19 Royal Dixon’s notes on meditation and spiritual study 1967-1974, undated
20 Who’s Who in the West - Royal Dixon entry materials 1880-1962, undated


Box Folder
2 21 Correspondence regarding manuscripts - general 1916-1961
22 Correspondence regarding The Ape of Heaven including legal documents 1923-1942, undated

Teaching and Leadership of Organization Materials

Box Folder
2 23 Ethical Cultural Group - clippings, notes, and minutes 1933-1939, undated
24 Lecture notes for writing class undated
25 Student writing samples - graded 1929-1930

Research Notes

Box Folder
2 26 Notes from lectures on herbs and plants 1930-1934
27 Research notes - Philology 1914-1948, undated

Writings by Other Authors

Writings by Chester Snowden
Box Folder
2 28 “Christmas in Tawnybleeton” - typescripts and clippings 1966-1976, undated
29 “Christmas in Tawnybleeton” - final copy and correspondence undated
30 “Christmas in Tawnybleeton” - final copy undated
31 “Miss Emily’s Hope” undated
32 “The Hermitage” undated
33 Poems 1932-1962, undated
Other writings
Box Folder
2 34 Poems written to Royal Dixon- various authors 1919-1954, undated

Newspaper Clippings

Box Folder
2 35 Newspaper clippings - copies 1931-1936, undated
36 Newspaper clippings - original 1931-1936, undated