1840-1859

    Entries drawn from collection & document descriptions

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...

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

The diary kept by Horatio Collins King during the spring of his senior year.

Location: MC 1999.9, B2, F6

Subject: Dickinson College Student Life

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...

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...

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 commencement ceremonies held July 8, 1858. Authoring an original speech was among the graduation requirements for Dickinson College seniors at that time...

Location: Orations-1858-B397t

Subject: Education, Politics and Government

Format: Speeches and Sermons

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...

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]...

Location: I-Friends-2011-3

Subject: Literary Pursuits

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: Legal and Government Documents

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...

Location: I-SpahrB-1954-9

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

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 his attendance at Garrett Bible Institute in Evanston, Illinois. In March 1860, Thomas (Class of 1860) saw Abraham Lincoln during his...

"Manifest Destiny," by Zebulon Dyer
July 14, 1859

Zebulon Dyer prepared this oration, entitled “Manifest Destiny," for the commencement ceremonies held July 14, 1859. Authoring an original speech was among the graduation requirements for Dickinson College seniors at that time. Transcript...

Location: Orations-1859-D996m

Subject: Education, Politics and Government

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

"The Central Idea of History," by William L. Cannon
July 14, 1859

William L. Cannon prepared this oration, entitled “The Central Idea of History," for the commencement ceremonies held July 14, 1859. Authoring an original speech was among the graduation requirements for Dickinson College seniors at that time....

Location: Orations-1859-C226c

Subject: Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

"The Power of Thought," by George Baylor
July 14, 1859

George Baylor prepared this oration, entitled “The Power of Thought," for the commencement ceremonies held July 14, 1859. Authoring an original speech was among the graduation requirements for Dickinson College seniors at that time. Transcript...

Location: Orations-1859-B358p

Subject: Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to W. C. N. Swift
August 4, 1859

President James Buchanan writes to W.C.N. Swift and voices his opinion that the Massachusetts delegation at the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina "should be composed of sound national men who will act in unison."...

Location: I-Friends-2001-3

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Spencer Baird to Osmond Tiffany
October 8, 1859

Spencer Fullerton Baird (Class of 1840) writes to Osmond Tiffany, responding to the latter's request for documents about the Pacific Rail Road and the Mexican Boundary.

Location: I-Friends-1982-7

Subject: Business and Industry, International Affairs, Science and Technology

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Andrew Curtin to John Hart
October 24, 1859

Pennsylvania politician Andrew Gregg Curtin writes to John V. Hart with updates about a financial matter .  Curtin hopes that once "Beckwith" is paid for the timber he sold to the Tyrone and Lock Haven Rail Road Company, he will have more money...

Location: I-Purchase-1955-11

Subject: Business and Industry, Economics and Finance

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to John Wilstach
October 27, 1859

President James Buchanan responds to John A. Wilstach's letter about domestic issues and foreign affairs. "I shall take great pleasure in reading your remarks on these important subjects at my earliest convenience," as President Buchanan...

Location: I-Friends-2005-4

Subject: International Affairs, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Horatio King to Ginery Twichell
November 14, 1859

Assistant Postmaster General Horatio King writes to Ginery Twichell, president of the Boston and Worcester Railroad. King assumes that bids for new lines to Portland, ME and New Orleans, LA will be kept secret until "the whole matter is referred...

Location: I-Friends-1983-10

Subject: Business and Industry, Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from Harriet Lane to Mr. Childs
November 19, 1859

Harriet Lane writes to a Mr. Childs from the White House in 1859 regarding changes to a publication about her uncle President James Buchanan. Besides making corrections, Lane also wants Mr. Childs to use a different portrait of President Buchanan...

Location: MC 1998.10, B4, F16

Subject: Politics and Government

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

Letter from James Buchanan to James Henry
April 7, 1864

Former President James Buchanan's letter to his nephew, James Buchanan Henry, includes a list of individuals who have discharged their bonds or mortgages since April 1. Buchanan also provides instructions on various financial matters as well as a...

Location: MC 1998.10, B4, F8

Subject: Economics and Finance, Personal and Family Life

Format: Letters/Correspondence

Time Period: 1840-1859

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