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Full text of "The Lincoln Collection of the Illinois State Historical Library"

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Ancle. Paul M 

The Lincoln collection of the 
Illinois State Historical Library 
I9U0. 




LINCOLN ROOM 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 
LIBRARY 




MEMORIAL 

the Class of 1901 

founded by 

HARLAN HOYT HORNER 

and 

HENRIETTA CALHOUN HORNER 



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THE Lincoln 
COLLECTION 

of the 

ILLINOIS STATE 
HISTORICAL LIBRARY 



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THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

of the ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL LIBRARY 




By 
PAUL M. ANGLE 



This is the first of a series of booklets describing 
the resources of the Illinois State Historical Library. 
Published by the Library , at Springfield, 1940. 

PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://archive.org/details/lincolncollectionOOangle 



oc 












THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTORICAL LIBRARY 

CENTENNIAL BUILDING 

Springfield, Illinois 



TRUSTEES 

Oliver R. Barrett Kenilworth 

Lloyd Lewis Chicago 

Irving Dilli ard Collinsville 

LIBRARIAN 

Paul M. Angle Springfield 



THE ILLINOIS STATE 
HISTORICAL LIBRARY 



The Illinois State Historical Library had its origin 
forty-one years ago when the Secretary of State 
transferred 442 volumes of American history to the 
newly-appointed Trustees. Today (1940) its collection 
of books and pamphlets numbers approximately 75,000. 
On its shelves are 10,000 bound volumes of newspapers 
and 60,000 feet of newspaper microfilm. Many thou- 
sands of manuscripts, photographs, paintings, prints, 
broadsides and posters round out holdings which crowd 
its present quarters almost to the limit. 

THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

Early in the history of the Illinois State Historical 
Library the Trustees decided that an inclusive collection 
of Lincolniana should be an objective of primary im- 
portance. Abraham Lincoln was not only the greatest 
Illinoisan; he was also the greatest American. More- 
over, he was a resident of Springfield for nearly a quarter 
of a century; his home stood — and still stands — there; 
his body lay in final peace at the limits of the city. Time 
was to bring about another appropriate coincidence then 
unforeseen, for the building in which the Library is now 
housed stands on the site of the residence of Ninian W. 
Edwards, in which Lincoln and Mary Todd were mar- 
ried. 



6 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

LINCOLN MANUSCRIPTS 

More than two hundred autograph letters and docu- 
ments of Lincoln constitute the heart of the collection. 
Chronologically these range from a signature on a peti- 
tion to the Sangamon County Commissioners' Court 
dated March, 1831 — one year after Lincoln's settlement 
in Illinois — to a telegram to Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks 
sent from City Point, Virginia, on April 5, 1865 — ten 
days before his death. In size they vary from small cards 
to an eight-page letter. In character and importance 
they cover the whole range of Lincoln's writings. 

The collection is especially rich in early documents. 
Included are a number of poll books in Lincoln's hand- 
writing, testifying to his service as an election clerk at 
New Salem; several surveys represent that phase of his 
life. Legal documents as early as 1837 illustrate the be- 
ginnings of his professional career, while others show 
his steady progress from an obscure practitioner to lead- 
ership at the bar of Illinois. 

In many letters the human qualities of Lincoln stand 
out. Two of the most interesting, for example, concern 
William Florville, a colored barber of Springfield whom 
Lincoln referred to as "our 'Billy the Barber.' In the 
first letter, written from Bloomington, Sept. 27, 1852, 
to C. R. Welles, Lincoln asked Welles to facilitate his 
attempt to get Florville a decree for the conveyance of 
certain town lots, and added, "Billy will blame me, if 
I do not get the thing fixed up this time." On Feb. 10, 
1860, hardly more than three months before his first 
presidential nomination, Lincoln wrote from Spring- 
field to ask a fellow-lawyer in Bloomington to pay the 
taxes on Florville' s lots. He himself had been paying 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 7 

the taxes for several years, he explained, but forgot to 
do it on his last trip to Bloomington. 

In letters and documents of the war years, Lincoln's 
humanity shines from the drab horror of the conflict. 
"A poor widow, by the name of Baird," he informed 
Stanton on March 1, 1864, "has a son in the army, that 
for some offence has been sentenced to serve a long time 
without pay or at most, with very little pay. I do not 
like this punishment of withholding pay — it falls so 
very hard upon poor families." Whereupon he ordered 
that the soldier be allowed to re-enlist on the usual 
terms. Again, on March 15, 1864, he wrote to Stanton 
asking him to see "the gallant Drummer-boy, Robert H. 
Hendershot, whose history is briefly written on the fine 
drum presented him which he now carries. He must 
have a chance, and if you can find any situation suitable 
to him, I shall be obliged." Perhaps the most revealing 
item in the entire collection, however, is a small pass, 
dated April 9, 1864, permitting "John Ehler, a boy 10 
years old," to join a certain soldier in the 61st New York 
Infantry in the Army of the Potomac. On the back are 
these words, written two days later: "They say that by 
the destruction of a bridge this boy has been unable to 
pass on this. Might it not be renewed for the little fel- 
low? A. Lincoln." 

Many letters in the collection relate to matters of out- 
standing importance, both in Lincoln's life and in the 
affairs of the nation. The Library owns the remarkable 
series of letters which Lincoln wrote to Elihu B. Wash- 
burne of Galena between 1854 and 1860. Without much 
exaggeration this series could be described as a history 
of the Republican Party in Illinois during these critical 
years, and the letters certainly define and describe Lin- 



8 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

coin's position in the party for this period. Another 
series of seven letters and telegrams to Gen. George B. 
McClellan throw light on one of the most heart-break- 
ing episodes of the Civil War — the Peninsular campaign 
— and portray Lincoln's mounting doubt of his com- 
mander's capacity. At the same time, they reveal the 
President's genius for phrase-making. Not frequently 
do military communications contain a sentence like Lin- 
coln's telegram of July 5, 1862, to McClellan, when 
there still seemed to be some hope that Richmond might 
be taken: "If you can hold your present position, we 
shall 'hive' the enemy yet." And not often does a com- 
mander-in-chief write with the patience-worn-thin that 
marks Lincoln's telegram of October 24, 1862 to the 
same officer: "I have just read your despatch about sore- 
tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for 
asking what the horses of your army have been doing 
since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?" It 
is not surprising that the Library's collection should 
contain an order dated November 5, 1862, in which the 
first sentence reads as follows: "By direction of the Pres- 
ident, it is ordered that Major-General McClellan be re- 
lieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac, 
and that Major-General Burnside take command of that 
army. ... A. Lincoln." 

Lincoln's relations with other major commanders are 
exemplified in many letters in the Library's possession. 
Of several letters and telegrams to "Fighting Joe" 
Hooker while Hooker was at the head of the Army of 
the Potomac, perhaps the most interesting is the tele- 
gram of June 5, 1863, in which Lincoln offers this advice: 
"I have one idea which I think worth suggesting to you, 
and that is, in case you find Lee coming to the north of 



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Marriage License of Lincoln and Mary Todd 

With the return of the Rev. Charles Dresser, the officiat- 
ing clergyman. 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 9 

the Rappahannock, I would by no means cross to the 
south of it. . . .1 would not take any risk of being en- 
tangled upon the river, like an ox jumped half over a 
fence and liable to be torn by dogs front and rear with- 
out a fair chance to gore one way or kick the other." 
Most characteristic, as far as Lincoln is concerned, of 
the six letters to Gen. John A. McClernand in the collec- 
tion, is the one (August 12, 1863) in which he applied 
balm to McClernand' s wounded pride. "My belief," 
Lincoln concluded, "is that the permanent estimate of 
what a general does in the field is fixed by the 'cloud of 
witnesses' who have been with him in the field; and that 
relying on these, he who has the right needs not to 
fear." Illustrating well the calm mastery to which Lin- 
coln finally attained is a letter (December 2, 1864) to 
Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks which opens with this sen- 
tence: "I know you are dissatisfied, which pains me very 
much, but I wish not to be argued with further;" and 
closes: "This is certainly meant in no unkindness, but 
I wish to avoid further struggle about it." 

To select any single letter or document in the Li- 
brary's collection and say, "This is easily the finest," 
would be a rash undertaking, but one of the candidates 
for the honor surely would be Lincoln's letter of August 
26, 1863 to James C. Conkling, together with the several 
telegrams which relate to it. This letter, which was 
sent to be read at a mass meeting in his old home, has 
been described as Lincoln's last stump speech. Certainly 
he rarely reached greater heights of eloquence than !~~ 
attained in its conclusion, when he said : "Peace does not 
appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and 
come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in 
all future time. It will then have been proved that 



10 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

among free men there can be no successful appeal from 
the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take such 
appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the cost. And 
then there will be some black men who can remember 
that with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady 
eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped man- 
kind on to this great consummation, while I fear there 
will be some white ones unable to forget that with ma- 
lignant heart and deceitful speech they strove to hinder 
it." 

Many letters and documents not written by Lincoln 
himself relate so directly to his life that they constitute 
an integral part of the Lincoln collection. The Library 
possesses, for example, the unique document licensing 
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd to marry, which bears 
on its face the return of Charles Dresser, the officiating 
minister: "Solemnized on the same 4th day of Nov. 
1842. ' ' It owns many letters written by members of Lin- 
coln's family, including two childish notes of great ap- 
peal by Willie Lincoln. (One of these, written from 
Washington on May 3, 1861, describes the thousands of 
soldiers in the national capital and mentions partic- 
ularly Elmer Ellsworth, whose death three weeks later 
plunged the entire North into sorrow.) It owns the tele- 
gram, dated April 15, 1865, in which Robert Lincoln 
asked David Davis to come at once to Washington and 
take charge of his father's affairs. And it possesses all 
the papers in the estate of Abraham Lincoln, deceased. 

PRINTED LINCOLNIANA 

The heart of the Illinois State Historical Library's 
collection of printed Lincolniana is the Henry Horner 
Collection, presented to the library by Governor Henry 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 11 

Horner on April 23, 1940. This collection, the result of 
forty years of discriminating work, has been supple- 
mented by the Library's own extensive holdings in 
printed Lincolniana, so that it now numbers approxi- 
mately 4,500 titles — books, pamphlets and broadsides — 
relating wholly or in major part to Abraham Lincoln, 
his immediate family, or his ancestry. In addition, 
duplicate copies of many titles have been retained so 
that they may be lent to scholars and to other libraries 
much more freely than in the past. 

To describe a collection of this size in detail is obvi- 
ously an impossibility. Perhaps, however, some idea 
of its scope and quality will be conveyed by mention of 
a few of its many rare and unusual items. 

Of the first (1860) campaign biographies listed by 
Ernest James Wessen, 1 the Henry Horner Collection con- 
tains at least one edition of all except three — the very 
rare Vose campaign life, and one Welsh and one German 
biography. On the other hand, the collection includes 
two titles listed by Wessen which are not to be found in 
any of the other large public collections: I. Codding, A 
Republican Manual for the Campaign, Princeton, Illinois, 
1860; and an anonymous work in German, Das Leben von 
Abraham Lincoln, nebst einer kur%en Ski%& des Lebens von 
Hannibal Hamlin, Chicago, 1860. 

Most of the books and pamphlets in any large Lin- 
coln collection can be procured, with patience, for rel- 
atively small sums. There are others, however, which 
are infrequently available, and the rarity of which is 
demonstrated by the high prices they command. Most 
of these — perhaps all — are to be found in the Henry 



1 "Campaign Lives of Abraham Lincoln, 1860," in Paters in Illinois History, 19V . 
Springfield, 111., 1938. 



LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF MHffl* 



12 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

Horner Collection. Without attempting an inclusive 
list, one may specify as typical the Fish bibliographies of 
1900 and 1906; the Oakleaf bibliography; Frederick Hill 
Meserve, The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln (one of 102 
copies); Ben: Perley Poore, The Conspiracy Trial for the 
Murder of the President, including, of course, the rare third 
volume; an edition of this same work in ten parts in 
paper, no other copy of which is known to exist; and the 
folio edition of Tributes to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln, 
Washington, 1885. One of the two known copies of the 
Life of Abe Lincoln, of Illinois, a diminutive (1 }/£" x 2^ ;/ ) 
satirical campaign biography of eight pages, published 
in 1860, is included in the collection. So also is an ap- 
parently unique copy of Lincoln's " House Divided" 
speech printed by the True Republican Press at Syca- 
more, Illinois, in 1858. Rarely found in other collec- 
tions are original time tables of the Lincoln funeral 
train: (1) from New York to Albany on the Hudson 
River Railroad (2) from Buffalo to Erie on the Buffalo 
and Erie Rail Road, and (3) from Indianapolis to Chi- 
cago over three separate railroads. 

Over the years "association" copies — that is, copies 
of books "associated" in unusual or especially appro- 
priate ways with certain individuals — accumulate in any 
large collection. The Henry Horner Collection contains 
many such, but there are three which deserve particular 
mention. The first is a copy of Joseph G. Baldwin's 
Plush Times of Alabama and Mississippi, a humorous 
book, popular in its day, of which Lincoln was very 
fond. The copy which he himself read, worn by its 
travels over the old eighth judicial circuit and damaged 
by the Chicago fire, is naturally highly prized. The sec- 
ond is Isaac N. Arnold's own copy of his book, The His- 



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The "Good Neighbor" Policy in 1861 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 13 

tory of Abraham Lincoln, and the Overthrow of Slavery. The 
mere fact of the author's ownership would lead any li- 
brarian to prize the book, but this volume has impor- 
tance as well as interest: heavily marked and annotated, 
it was obviously used by the author in the preparation 
of his later and better known work, The Life of Abraham 
Lincoln. The third volume is a copy of Ward Hill La- 
mon's The Life of Abraham Lincoln, inscribed and pre- 
sented by the author to John Hay, and bearing many of 
Hay's marginal notes and corrections. The facts that 
both Lamon and Hay were intimate associates of Lin- 
coln, and that both men wrote important books about 
him, raise this particular volume well above the level 
even of association copies. 

PAINTINGS AND MEMORABILIA 

The Lincoln Collection includes a large number of 
prints and photographs, but two paintings give real dis- 
tinction to the pictorial section. Both were painted 
from sketches drawn from life. One is by George H. 
Story, the other by William Coggswell. Both men were 
portrait painters of reputation in their day. Neither 
portrait is great art, but each possesses value as an his- 
torical document. Excelling the portraits in artistic 
merit, but lacking their documentary value, are six 
miniatures, five of Lincoln and one of Mrs. Lincoln, 
recently painted by the late William Patterson. The 
work of a fine artist thoroughly familiar with his sub- 
ject, the miniatures should preserve a faithful record of 
Lincoln's appearance for centuries. 

Memorabilia, or what might be called association 
articles, can be found almost without end in institutions 
or in the hands of private collectors. Unfortunately, 



14 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

many if not most are of doubtful authenticity. In the 
Library's collection, however, are several articles of es- 
tablished genuineness — Lincoln's shaving mirror; the 
original doorplate from his Springfield home; a pair of 
his riding gloves, with a letter from Robert T. Lincoln 
to Gen. C. C. Augur stating that he was sending the 
gloves as a mark of appreciation for Augur's sympathetic 
aid at the time of the President's funeral. On deposit in 
the Library, though not its property, is the desk on 
which Lincoln wrote his first inaugural address. 

MANUSCRIPT COLLECTIONS 

Although not considered integral parts of the Lincoln 
Collection, several of the Library's collections of manu- 
scripts relate to subjects of such great concern to Lincoln 
that they have large value in the study of his life. Brief 
mention of the most important follows : 

THE GEN. CHRISTOPHER C. AUGUR COLLECTION 
THE GIFT OF HIS SON, MURRAY B. AUGUR 

This collection of several hundred letters and papers 
of one of the distinguished Union commanders relates 
principally to the Civil War and particularly to the siege 
of Port Hudson, where Augur was in command of the 
left wing of the Northern army. Represented are letters 
from Augur himself, Generals Nathaniel P. Banks, U. S. 
Grant, B. H. Grierson, Joseph E. Johnston (C. S. A.), 
Phil Sheridan, T. W. Sherman, and Admirals David G. 
Farragut and D. D. Porter. Of unusual interest is a letter 
from Sheridan to Augur written on Oct. 21, 1864 — two 
days after the Battle of Cedar Creek — in which Sheridan 
described his famous ride from Winchester and the battle 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 15 

itself. "Disaster in the morning," he summarized, 
"turned out a magnificent victory in the evening." 
From this collection and its donor came the Lincoln 
riding gloves mentioned in another connection. 

THE NATHANIEL P. BANKS COLLECTION 

This collection of the papers of a famous Republican 
leader and Union general consists of approximately 2,000 
letters for the years 1840 to 1894. The majority of the 
letters relate to the Post-Civil War period. Included is 
much important material on the formation of the Repub- 
lican Party, the campaign of 1856 and 1860, and on the 
military occupation of Louisiana while Banks was in 
command there. A fine series of letters from John C. 
Fremont after the Civil War is of particular interest. 

THE ORVILLE H. BROWNING PAPERS 

In addition to the original of the Browning Diary, 
published as Vols. 20 and 22 of The Illinois Historical Col- 
lections, this collection includes several hundred letters, 
chiefly in the period 1860-1870. Represented, among 
many others, are Schuyler Colfax, David Davis, Preston 
King, John A. McClernand, Gen. George E. Pickett (C. 
S. A.), S. C. Pomeroy, George D. Prentice, Admiral 
Charles Wilkes and Richard Yates. The collection is 
not a large one, but it is important because of the long 
and intimate association between Browning and Lin- 
coln, and because of the intrinsic value of many of the 
letters it contains. 

LINCOLN REMINISCENCES 

Ninety-six letters and statements written at the time 
of the Lincoln Centennial make up this collection. 



16 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

Many are from men then prominent in American life; 
many others were written by individuals who knew 
Lincoln more than casually. 

THE JOHN A. MCCLERN AND- WILLI AM J. BUTLER COLLECTION 

One may say without exaggeration that this is one 
of the finest collections of Civil War papers in existence. 
McClernand, Springfield lawyer and Democratic leader, 
entered the Union army as a brigadier general after the 
Battle of Bull Run. As a major general in command of 
the XIII Corps he served in the Vicksburg campaign 
until relieved by Grant two weeks before the fall of the 
city. Eight months later he regained ommand of his 
old corps, but acute illness soon forced him to return to 
Illinois. In November, 1864, he resigned his commis- 
sion. 

The McClernand Papers, which include nine letter 
and order books and more than 10,000 letters, extend 
from 1823 to 1896, but the great majority fall between 
1861 and 1864. For these years they represent the com- 
plete correspondence and records of a major general out- 
ranked in the West only by Halleck and Grant. The col- 
lection contains more than two hundred letters from 
Grant alone, while practically every prominent military 
and political leader of the North is represented. For the 
war in the West, this collection is indispensable. 

THE NATIONAL LINCOLN MONUMENT ASSOCIATION PAPERS 

The National Lincoln Monument Association was 
the organization which built the Lincoln Monument at 
Springfield and administered it until it was transferred 
to the State of Illinois. This collection consists of the 
Association's complete records. Three classes of ma- 



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The Torture of Patronage 
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Conclusion of the Conkling Letter, Aug. 26, 1863 

The word "poised," the close and the signature are in 
Lincoln's handwriting. 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 17 

terial may be differentiated: (1) Correspondence for the 
years 1865-1882; (2) Duplicate receipts for contributions 
to the monument, 1865-1868; (3) Circulars, contracts, 
reports, etc., for the duration of the Association's life. 
Altogether, these papers provide a detailed picture of 
the difficulties which beset the Springfield men who 
undertook to erect the monument which has since be- 
come a place of pilgrimage for many millions. 

THE NICOLAY AND HAY COLLECTION 

This collection, the gift of Alice Hay Wadsworth, 
consists in the main of notes and memoranda used by 
John G. Nicolay and John Hay in the preparation of 
their famous biography, Abraham Lincoln: A History, to- 
gether with portions of the original manuscript and 
proofs. Although the collection is by no means com- 
plete, it contains much important material, including 
original letters by Robert Todd Lincoln, Nathaniel P. 
Banks, William Tecumseh Sherman, Simon Cameron, 
Adam Gurowski and others. Many letters, often con- 
taining information of value, were called forth by the 
serial publication of Abraham Lincoln: A History in the 
Century Magazine, and these are included in the collec- 
tion. Also included is a file of letters received from the 
Century editors during serial publication. 

One unique Lincoln item found its way into the 
Nicolay and Hay Collection. This is a sheaf of tele- 
grams from Governors of the Union states giving official 
returns in the presidential election of 1864, all tied to- 
gether. On each telegram is the name of the state in 
Lincoln's careful handwriting. Obviously, this was his 
own file. 

The Nicolay and Hay Collection includes another 



18 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 

unique manuscript of considerable interest and impor- 
tance. This is the transcript of John Hay's letters and 
diaries made by Henry Adams soon after John Hay's 
death. This material, with names represented only by 
capital letters, was privately printed in a small edition 
in 1908. In this printing, however, occasional passages 
from the diary and some letters were omitted. 

The Henry Adams transcript remains of importance 
in spite of the much fuller and more scholarly Dennett 
edition (Lincoln and the Civil War, in the Diaries and Let- 
ters of John Hay) because it contains some material which 
is not to be found in either the Dennett edition or the 
privately printed Letters and Diaries. 

THE JESSE J. RICKS COLLECTION 

This collection, named for its donor, comprises more 
than a hundred letters of men prominent in American 
life during Lincoln's lifetime. Most of the letters have 
intrinsic importance. In the collection, to name only a 
few, are letters from William H. Bissell, John Brown, 
Orville H. Browning, Henry Clay, Edward Coles, David 
Davis, Jefferson Davis, John A. Dix, Edward Everett, 
U. S. Grant, Horace Greeley, Andrew Jackson, George 
B. McClellan, John A. McClernand, Richard J. Oglesby, 
F. B. Sanborn, John Reynolds, Lyman Trumbull and 
Richard Yates. The collection also contains several hun- 
dred letters written to Norman L. Freeman, Illinois 
lawyer and politician, during the years 1852-1858; as 
well as an unusual book-length manuscript entitled 
"The Woodcutter, or a Glimpse of the 19th Century at 
the West." This is a description and critique, done 
with considerable insight and a great deal of asperity, 
of American life and -manners. Apparently written 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 19 

about 1840, it is the work of Paul Brown, who described 
himself on the title page as the author of "Disquisition 
on Faith," and "A Dialogue on Commonwealths." 

Several Greeley items in the Ricks Collection deserve 
mention, even though they fall outside the Lincoln pe- 
riod. One is the manuscript notification of Greeley's 
nomination for the Presidency in 1872, signed by J. R. 
Doolittle, chairman of the Liberal Republican National 
Convention. Another is the manuscript of Greeley's let- 
ter of acceptance, while the third consists of the proof 
sheets of Greeley's letter of acceptance with his own 
corrections in the margins. 

THE PAPERS OF RICHARD YATES AND RICHARD YATES 
THE GIFT OF MRS. RICHARD YATES 

Included in this collection are the papers of Richard 
Yates (1815-1873) and Richard Yates (1860-1936). Both 
men, father and son, were distinguished public servants. 
The elder Yates represented his state in Congress both 
as a member of the House of Representatives and as a 
Senator, and guided its destinies as Governor during the 
critical years from 1861 to 1865. The younger Yates was 
Governor of Illinois from 1901 until 1905, a member of 
the national House of Representatives for seven con- 
secutive terms, and an able occupant of other positions 
of public trust. 

The bulk of the Yates Papers, which approximate 
10,000 in number, cover the years 1852-1873 and relate 
to the career of Richard Yates, the Civil War Governor. 
They are especially rich in political material for the 
critical period prior to 1860, and present a vivid picture 
of a state at war. The collection has only recently been 
made available, and is therefore virgin material. 



20 THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 



NEWSPAPERS 

Although not considered integral parts of the Lincoln 
Collection, the Illinois State Historical Library pos- 
sesses newspaper files which are practically indispensa- 
ble to the close student of Lincoln's life. With the ex- 
ception of sixteen months in 1843 and 1844, its file of 
the Sangamo Journal (later called the Illinois Journal and 
now known as the Illinois State Journaf) is practically 
complete from the first issue (November 10, 1831) until 
Lincoln's death. (The file is unbroken from 1865 to the 
present time.) The editors of this paper were close 
political and personal friends of Lincoln, and as a result 
it reported his activities fully and sympathetically. His 
first campaign announcement (1832) appeared in its 
columns, and his great speeches at Peoria on October 16, 
1854 and at Springfield on June 16, 1858 (the "House 
Divided" speech) were first printed in its pages. In 
addition to these high points of his career, hundreds of 
lesser activities are recorded. 

Hardly less important is the file of the Illinois State 
Register which, except for the year 1859, is complete 
from the date of its establishment in Springfield (1839) 
to the present. What the Journal was to Lincoln and the 
Whigs and Republicans, the Register was to Douglas and 
the Democrats. Not only did the Register record faith- 
fully the political career of Lincoln's foremost rival; it 
also gave expression to that not inconsiderable portion 
of the Illinois body politic which looked upon Lincoln 
and his followers with disapproval. Taken together, 
Register and Journal furnish the full background for Lin- 
coln's progress from obscurity to fame and martyrdom. 



THE LINCOLN COLLECTION 21 



IN GRATITUDE 

Were it not for the public-spirited generosity of many 
individuals, the Lincoln Collection of the Illinois State 
Historical Library would never have attained its present 
status. In the text of this booklet some of those who 
have contributed to the enrichment of the Lincoln Col- 
lection have been mentioned — Gov. Henry Horner, Mrs. 
Alice Hay Wadsworth of Geneseo, New York, Mr. 
Jesse J. Ricks of New York City; Mrs. Richard Yates, 
now residing at Royal Oak, Michigan; and the late Mr. 
Murray B. Augur of Chicago. To others the Trustees 
of the Library are equally indebted — to Mrs. William 
F. Dummer of Chicago, the donor of a splendid series of 
letters from Lincoln to her husband's father, Henry 
Enoch Dummer of Beardstown and Jacksonville; to the 
late Dr. Otto L. Schmidt of Chicago, long President of 
the Library's Board of Trustees, and to the surviving 
members of his family, for benefactions too numerous 
to mention; to the late Clinton L. Conkling of Spring- 
field for the superb letter which Lincoln sent to his 
father, James C. Conkling, and for the gift of many 
other papers of importance. Hundreds of authors have 
given copies of their writings in order that the Library's 
Collection might approach completeness; many pos- 
sessors of valuable material, not in position to make 
outright gifts, have made substantial concessions in 
order that their possessions might be preserved for 
posterity. To all these, on behalf of the people of the 
State of Illinois, the Trustees of the Illinois State His- 
torical Library make public acknowledgment of their 
gratitude. 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 
973.7L63AAN4L C001 

THE LINCOLN COLLECTION OF THE ILLINOIS S 




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