This small section features highlights from the Society's Library Archives collections.
Autobiographical sketch by Thomas Lewis: When Thomas Lewis (1808-1900), an Illinois attorney whom Abraham Lincoln had sponsored at the bar, was in his eighties, he assembled a short business manual called "Everybody's Calendar, Receipt and Expense Book for Four Years" and published it in 1896. In front of its reference data he inserted a 20-page memoir, including two very brief anecdotes about his meetings with Lincoln in the 1840s. These add nothing new to scholars' understanding of the president, but Lincoln's iconic status makes almost anything with a Lincoln connection interesting. This memoir is reproduced here.
Lewis printed his pamphlet on poor quality paper with a high acid content, similar to newsprint, and had it crudely bound between cardboard covers. He probably distributed a small number of copies to friends and sold the rest to local businesses in Kansas City. Because most of its contents were only relevant for four years, most copies of the pamphlet were probably thrown away at the turn of the century. Most of the copies given to friends undoubtedly perished long ago because the booklet's materials and workmanship were so crude. Only one complete copy is known to survive, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Ill.
Martha Florey of Madison, a descendent of Thomas Lewis, recently gave the Society a copy of Lewis' pamphlet. Florey received the booklet decades ago, but it lay unnoticed among papers and clothing inherited from her grandmother. This copy was inscribed by Lewis to his great-great grand-niece, Ethel Logan....
Read more >>
Beverly Jefferson Obituary: November 12, 1908, as published by the Madison Democrat
"Colonel Beverly Jefferson, Veteran Hackman
A likeable character at the Wisconsin capital and a familiar of statesmen for half a century, called by death.
Beverly Jefferson, pioneer boniface and for forty years the owner and manager of an important transfer line at the Wisconsin capital, is dead. He had lived at the Park hotel for 25 years, and was known widely as Colonel Jefferson among traveling men and politicians. The news of his death came in a telegram to Colonel George A. Lougee from Dr. Fred M. Jefferson at 11 o'clock yesterday morning. Mr. Jefferson died at the home of his son, Dr. Jefferson, in Chicago. He had been a sufferer from organic trouble for ten years, his illness taking the form of a general breakdown and towards the last...
Read more >>
Chamberlin, page 41: from "Pennsylvania Volunteer"
...guards and exercising the men in all the more important company and battalion movements. Here he several times witnessed the arrival of the President, who, after the onerous duties of the day at the White House, was driven to his summer retreat in an open carriage, accompanied by an insignificant detail of cavalry from "Scott's Nine Hundred" (generally nicknamed "Scott's Blind Thousand"). Here, too, he frequently met little Thomas Lincoln, vulgarly known as "Tad", who spent much of his time in the camp, in which he seemed to have a weighty sense of proprietorship. The President also was not an infrequent visitor in the late afternoon hours, and endeared himself to his guards by his genial, kindly ways. He was not long in placing the officers of the two companies at their ease in his presence, and Captains Derickson and Crotzer were shortly on a footing of such marked friendship with him that they were often summoned to dinner or breakfast at the Presidential board. Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the President's confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln's absence, he frequently spent the night as his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and--it is said--making use of His Excellency's night-shirts! Thus began an intimacy which continued unbroken until the following spring, when Captain Derickson was appointed provost marshal of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania District, with headquarters in Meadville. First Lieutenant Thomas Getchell succeeded to the captaincy of the company.
Of their service at the Soldiers' Home, one of the most pleasing recollections of Captain Crotzer and his men is of the unvarying kindness of Mrs. Lincoln, who arranged among other things, that a midnight luncheon should always be ready for the guards on duty, as in turn they were relieved from their posts. Nor can they forget their first Sunday in the little camp, remote from the stir and noise of Washington, when, having been drawn up in lines in the bright morning sunshine...
Read more >>
Extract of a Letter from an Officer: dated at Fort Cumberland, July 18, 1755, as published by the Boston Gazette.
"The 9th Inst. we passed and repassed the Monongahela, by advancing first a Party of 300 Men, which was immediately followed by another of 200. The General, with the Column of Artillery, Baggage, and the main Body of the Army, passed the River the last Time about One a Clock. As soon as the whole had got on the Fort Side of the Monongahela, we heard a very heavy and quick Fire in our Front; we immediately advanced in order to sustain them; but the Detachment of the 200 and 300 Men gave Way, and fell back upon us, which caused such Confusion, as struck so great a Panick among our Men, that afterwards no military Expedient could be made use of that had any Effect upon them : The Men were so extremely deaf to the Exhortations of the General, and the Officers, that they fired away, in the most irregular Manner, all their Ammunition, and then run off, leaving to the Enemy, the Artillery, Ammunition, Provision and Baggage ; nor could they be persuaded to stop till they got as far as Geist's Plantation, nor there only in Part, many of them proceeding as far as Col. Dunbar's Party, who lay six Miles on this Side.
The Officers were absolutely sacrificed by their unparalleled good Behaviour, advancing sometimes in Bodies, and sometimes separately, hoping by such Example to engage the Soldiers to follow them, but to no Purpose.>BR> The General had five Horses killed under him, and at last received a Wound through his Right Arm into his lungs, of which he died the 13th Instant. Secretary Shirley was shot thro' the Head; Capt. Morris wounded ; Mr. Washington had two Horses shot under him, and his Clothes shot thro' in several Places, behaving the whole Time with the greatest Courage and Resolution. Sir Peter Halket was killed on the Spot. Col. Burton, and Sir John St. Clair wounded ; and enclosed I have sent a List of the Killed and Wounded, according to as exact Account as we are yet able to get.
Read more >>