1840-1859

    Entries drawn from collection & document descriptions

Letter from Harriet Lane to Lily Macalester
September 13, 1857

First Lady Harriet Lane writes to Lily Macalester about the going ons of Washington D.C., her trip to Pennsylvania, Macalester's trip to West Point, as well as various bits of gossip. Lane also comments on several political figures, including Secretary of War John B. Floyd and Senator Stephen...

Letter from Howell Cobb to David Tompkins
October 5, 1857

Treasury Secretary Howell Cobb writes to David Tompkins and accepts his election to the James Buchanan Literary Association of New Haven, Connecticut.

Location: I-Purchase-1966-1

Subject: Literary Pursuits, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Diary of Horatio Collins King, Fall 1857
October - December 1857

Horatio Collins King's diary during the fall of his senior year at Dickinson College. King is a member of the class of 1858. Transcript included.

Location: MC 1999.9, B2, F6

Subject: Carlisle and Cumberland County, Dickinson College Student Life, Education

Format: Diaries and Journals

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Horatio King to the Postmaster in Athens, PA
November 7, 1857

Assistant Postmaster General Horatio King writes to the Postmaster of Athens, Pennsylvania , and reprimands him for "the negligent and imperfect manner in which the cancellation of postage stamps is... performed in your office."

Location: I-SpahrB-1950-6

Subject: Business and Industry, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to Franklin Pierce
December 5, 1857

President James Buchanan writes former President Franklin Pierce and encloses "the first copy of the message which has been delivered to any person." The "message" that Buchanan refers to is likely his first State of the Union, which was published on December 8, 1857. Transcript included.

Location: MC 1998.10, B3, F25

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Simon Cameron to Samuel Ingham
January 9, 1858

United States Senator Simon Cameron writes Samuel D. Ingham, a former United States Secretary of the Treasury, to discuss President James Buchanan and other national political matters. "Our old friend [President James] Buchanan is really in trouble," Cameron explains, "for the first time in his...

Location: I-SpahrB-1963-1

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Rufus Choate to James Buchanan
January 12, 1858

Rufus Choate, a former US Senator from Massachusetts, writes President James Buchanan (Class of 1809) to request the appointment of Edward Riddle as a naval agent in Boston, Massachusetts. "Mr Riddle [is] eminently well suited to perform the duties of the place in question," as Choate explains....

Location: I-AsbellY-1978-1

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Diary of Horatio Collins King, Spring 1858
January - August 1858

Horatio Collins King's diary during the spring of his senior year at Dickinson College. King is a member of the class of 1858. Transcript included.

Location: MC 1999.9, B2, F6

Subject: Carlisle and Cumberland County, Dickinson College Student Life, Education

Format: Diaries and Journals

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from William Bigler to A. Boyd Hamilton
February 6, 1858

William Bigler writes to A. Boyd Hamilton and discusses President James Buchanan and several national political issues, including slavery, the Dred Scott decision, and the Lecompton Convention in Kansas. "I should sacrifice much before I would be found in the ranks of those who attempt to...

Location: I-SpahrB-undated-3

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Roger B. Taney to Joseph Henry
April 16, 1858

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney writes Professor Joseph Henry, the first Smithsonian Secretary, to explain that he cannot meet with the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. As the Supreme Court Justices are meeting to decide cases, Taney explains that "every one of us must...

Location: I-SpahrB-1969-7

Subject: Legal Affairs, Politics and Government, Science and Technology

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

"The Triumph of American Genius," by J. Howard Beckwith
July 8, 1858

J. Howard Beckwith prepared this oration, entitled “The Triumph of American Genius," for the Junior Prize (Grigg Prize) contest held on July 3, 1858. Twelve members of the Junior class gave speeches on a variety of subjects. Transcript included.

Location: Orations-1858-B397t

Subject: Education, Politics and Government

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

Journal of Horatio Collins King
1858-1859

Horatio Collins King, a member of the Class of 1858, records his thoughts and activities of his daily life in the first year after his graduation from Dickinson College. King's entries include notes on his travels through New England, Canada, and New York. In addition, King discusses social life...

Location: MC 1999.9, B3, F1

Subject: Education, Legal Affairs, Personal and Family Life, Travel and Tourism

Format: Diaries and Journals

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to E. L. Molineux
September 1, 1858

President James Buchanan explains why he cannot grant E. L. Molineux's request that a merchant clerk of New York City receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Transcript included.

Location: MC 1998.10, B3, F26

Subject: Education, Military Affairs and Conflict, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Jeremiah Black to Jacob Thompson
November 2, 1858

United States Attorney General Jeremiah Sullivan Black writes to Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior, with a legal opinion on the question of whether widows of officers and soldiers could receive a government pension if they remarry. "Upon the whole it is clear," as Black concludes, that...

Location: I-BeachW-1974-1

Subject: Legal Affairs, Military Affairs and Conflict, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Biographical Sketch of President James Buchanan by Lily Macalester
1859

Lily Macalester writes this biographical sketch of President James Buchanan in 1859. Macalester is friends with First Lady Harriet Lane, Buchanan's niece. Transcript included.

Letter from James Buchanan to New York City Burns Club
January 15, 1859

President James Buchanan writes the Burns Club of the City of New York to decline the club's invitation to a dinner celebrating Robert Burns's centennial birthday. Buchanan also expresses his personal views on the poet's life and work. "[Burns] has ever been a favorite poet of mine," as Buchanan...

Location: I-Friends-2011-3

Subject: Literary Pursuits

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to Charles Wentz
April 22, 1859

President James Buchanan writes Charles E. Wentz regarding possible political appointments for Col. Samuel Stambaugh. "I have offered him two good offices; but he will accept neither of them," as Buchanan explains. Transcript included.

Location: MC 1998.10, B4, F2

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to Lewis Cass, John B. Floyd, and Jeremiah S. Black
May 4, 1859

President James Buchanan writes to Secretary of State Lewis Cass, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, and Secretary of State Jeremiah S. Black regarding orders that they need to send to federal officials in Utah. "The State of Affairs in Utah renders it necessary that new & harmonious...

Location: MC 1998.10, B4, F2

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Jacob Thompson to John Leonard
May 9, 1859

United States Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson forwards a commission from President James Buchanan (Class of 1809) to John A. B. Leonard. The commission appoints Mr. Leonard as "Secretary to sign patents for lands."

Location: I-AsbellY-2002-63

Subject: Land and Real Estate, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Spencer Baird to A. Haen & Company
May 29, 1859

Spencer Fullerton Baird writes to A. Haen & Company about the redrawing of some plates. Dr. John Newberry has left, and Baird has no authority in the matter but will write to Newberry.

Location: I-BeachW-1983-2

Subject: Science and Technology

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Henry Wise to Unknown Recipient
June 13, 1859

Governor of Virginia Henry Alexander Wise comments on various national political issues and on the 1860 presidential election. Wise tells his correspondent that "I hope you will deal hardly by the Softs and expose their connection at Cincinnati in...

Location: I-SpahrB-1954-9

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

"Posthumous Glory," by Clarence G. Jackson
July 9, 1859

Clarence G. Jackson prepared this oration, entitled “Posthumous Glory," for the Junior Prize (Grigg Prize) contest held on July 9, 1859. Transcript included. 

Location: Orations-1859-J12p

Subject: Religion and Spirituality

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

"The Central Idea of History," by William L. Cannon
July 9, 1859

William L. Cannon prepared this oration, entitled “The Central Idea of History," for the Junior Prize (Grigg Prize) contest held on July 9, 1862. Transcript included.

Location: Orations-1859-C226c

Subject: Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

"The Power of Thought," by George Baylor
July 9, 1859

George Baylor prepared this oration, entitled “The Power of Thought," for the Junior Prize (Grigg Prize) contest held on July 9, 1859. Transcript included.

Location: Orations-1859-B358p

Subject: Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

Journal of Charles F. Thomas
July 9, 1859 - November 13, 1861

Charles F. Thomas' diary includes intermittent entries dating from leaving Dickinson College in July 1859, to attending at Garrett Bible Institute in Evanston, Illinois, and to working as a Methodist circuit rider in Pennsylvania as the Civil War begins. In March 1860, Thomas saw Abraham Lincoln...

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