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Lincolniana in the LSU Libraries: Special Collections houses a variety of materials

by Jewett, Leah Wood Issue: Winter 2009

LSU Librariesí Special Collections houses items in several collections pertaining directly, and indirectly, to Abraham Lincoln. The sources listed in this column represent a sampling of the libraryís holdings. Researchers can find a complete listing of materials Ė both manuscript items and publications Ė by accessing the online catalog at using the keywords ďAbraham Lincoln.Ē


Among the manuscript collections is a handwritten copy of President Lincolnís letter of August 5, 1863, to General Nathaniel P. Banks regarding military and political activities in Louisiana. Addressed to Benjamin F. Flanders by Lincoln, the libraryís copy is part of the Benjamin F. Flanders Papers, Mss. 671, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLVMVC).

In early 1863 Flanders served as congressman for the First Congressional District of Louisiana. General Philip Sheridan appointed him governor of Louisiana in 1867; he later held the office of mayor of New Orleans, among other political positions.


My dear General Banks

Being a poor correspondent is the only apology I offer for not having sooner tendered my thanks for your very successful, and very valuable military operations this year. The final stroke in opening the Mississippi1 never should, and I think never will, be forgotten.

Recent events in Mexico, I think, render early action in Texas2 more important than ever. I expect, however, the General-in-Chief, will address you more fully upon this subject.

Governor Boutwell3 read me to-day that part of your letter to him, which relates to Louisiana affairs. While I very well know what I would be glad for Louisiana to do, it is quite a different thing for me to assume direction of the matter. I would be glad for her to make a new Constitution recognizing the Emancipation proclamation, and adopting Emancipation in those parts of the state to which the proclamation does not apply. And while she is at it, I think it would not be objectionable for her to adopt some practical system by which the two races could gradually live themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out better prepared for the new. Education for young blacks should be included in the plan. After all, the power, or element, of "contract" may be sufficient for this probationary period; and, by itís simplicity, and flexibility, may be the better.

As an Anti-Slavery man I have a motive to desire emancipation, which pro-slavery men do not have; but even they have strong Enough reason to thus place themselves again under the shield of the Union; and to thus perpetually hedge against the recurrence of the scenes through which we are now passing.

Gov. Shepley4 has informed me that Mr. Durant5 is now taking a registry, with a view to the Election of a Constitutional Convention in Louisiana. This, to me, appears proper. If such convention were to ask my views, I could present little else than what I now say to you. I think the thing should be pushed forward, so that if possible, its mature work may reach here by the meeting of Congress.

For my own part I think I shall not, in any event, retract the Emancipation proclamation; nor, as Executive, ever return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.

If Louisiana shall send members to Congress, their admission to seats will depend, as you know, upon the respective Houses, and not upon the President.

If these views can be of any advantage in giving shape, and impetus, to action there, I shall be glad for you to use them prudently for that object. Of course you will confer with intelligent and trusty citizens of the State, among whom I would suggest Messrs. Flanders6, Hahn7, and Durant; and to each of whom I now think I may send copies of this letter. Still it is perhaps better to not make the letter generally public. Yours very truly

A. Lincoln

[Endorsed on back]

Hon. B. F. Flanders

The [sic] within is a copy of a letter to Gen. Banks. Please observe my direction to him. Do not mention the paragraph about Mexico.

A. Lincoln

Aug. 6, 1863

1 - In the letter Lincolnís congratulates General Nathaniel P. Banks for the successful siege against Port Hudson, Louisiana, which secured federal control of the Mississippi River.

2 - His comments regarding Texas refer to the building French threat in Mexico (Emperor Napoleon III sought to acquire Mexico for France while lending military support to the Confederacy).

3 - Boutwell served as governor of Massachusetts from 1851-1852, and was a congressman representing the state at the time of Lincolnís letter.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, (Accessed 1/30/2009).

4 - George F. Shepley served as governor of federally-occupied Louisiana from 1862-1864.

5 - Lincoln hoped to have Thomas J. Durant, Louisiana Attorney General, register voters in order to hold a convention to revamp the stateís constitution, particularly in regard to slavery.

Source: Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

6 - Benjamin F. Flanders.

7 - Michael Hahn, who had served with Flanders in Congress in early 1863, was elected Republican governor of Louisiana in 1864.

Other manuscript collections of interest

Letters and diaries including commentary regarding Lincolnís election:

Thomas Jefferson Boyd Papers, Mss. 99

E. John Ellis Diary, Mss. 2795

Horatio King Letter, Mss. 2855

And 1864 re-election:

Christian D. Koch and Family Papers, Mss. 202

McBeth Letters, Mss. 2202

J. D. Rich Papers, Mss. 4783

Frederick Steele Letters, Mss. 2727

Henry Vigaud Papers, Mss. 1281

First-hand accounts of his inauguration and festivities:

Thomas Thomson Taylor Papers, Mss. 1647, 1653

John Withers Diaries, Mss. 1566

Commentary on Lincoln and his politics:

Henry Winter Davis Letters, Mss. 2408, 2392

Agťnor de Gasparin Letters, Mss. 1350

William Pitt Kellogg Letters, Mss. 2968

Francis M. Skillin Letters, Mss. 4667

Thomas Thomson Taylor Papers, Mss. 1653

Correspondence to Lincoln from Civil War officers and politicians from Federally-occupied Louisiana:

Nathaniel P. Banks Letter Book, Mss. 2326

Benjamin F. Flanders Papers, Mss. 671

Images of Lincoln:

Wayne Binning Collection, Mss. 2043

Joseph P. Hornor Collection, Mss. 2036, 2055, 2107

Picture Collection, Perine-Giles-Sartain Engravings, Mss. 0349

Eugene M. Violette Collection, Mss. 615, 893

Lincolnís Assassination and Funeral:

Civil War soldiers and civiliansí letters and diaries describing their reactions to the news of Lincolnís death.

 Albert A. Batchelor Papers, Mss. 919
 Priscilla Munnikhuysen Bond Papers, Mss. 2155
 Louis A. Bringier and Family Papers, 43, 139, 544
 E. John Ellis Diary, Mss. 2795
 William H. Ellis Papers, Mss. 2274
 Isaac Erwin Diary, Mss. 2933
 Good Hope Plantation Records, Mss. 161
 Richard Alexander Hall Letters, Mss. 3229
 A. F. Whelan Diary, Mss. 4747W
 Frank Witherell Papers, Mss. 1498, 1503, 1555, 1776

Newspaper accounts of the assassination of President Lincoln (April 16-18, May 6, 1865). Edwin M. Stanton Registers and Papers, Mss. 522, 1698, 1747

 A telegram describing the circumstances of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln,
 the persons involved, and the murder trial. It relates Jefferson Davis' comments on
 the murder.
Alexander Delmer Telegram, Mss. 3271

 Diary entries from a soldier who participated in his funeral as an escort.
 Henry N. Schlick Papers, Mss. 1686

 Letters comment on Lincoln's assassination and describe his funeral.
 Thomas Thomson Taylor Papers, Mss. 1647, 1653

 Reproductions of the playbill from Fordís Theater the night Lincoln was shot,
 posters for his funeral and reward for his killer, and the famed Bixby letter.

 Facsimile Collection, Mss. 1680, 1687

Legal document in Lincoln's hand directing the DeWitt county clerk of court to issue process in the case of Thomas Turning(?) v. William S. Candiff, 1851.

Abraham Lincoln Process Order, Mss. 4757

Letter (1862) from Lincoln addressing his policy on returning seceded states, specifically Louisiana, to the Union.

William Newton Mercer Papers, Mss. 292, 1051, 1233

Letter from Wallis (journalist) to James Gordon Bennett (editor of New York Herald) relating to Lincolnís upbeat attitude after the capture of New Orleans, LA.

George B. Wallis Letter, Mss. 1770

Order, dated Sept. 8, 1864, from the Department of the Cumberland conveying congratulatory messages from President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant to General William T. Sherman after the capture of Atlanta.

Army of the Cumberland Military Orders, Mss. 515

Petition to Lincoln to free an imprisoned New Orleans man.

Michael Hahn Petition, Mss. 4808

Legal documents concerning the investigation of Robinsonís order to shoot two soldiers and the lawsuits brought against him are included, as are the letters of endorsement regarding his military service and his petition to President Lincoln.

Harai Robinson Papers, Mss. 488

Noted historianís manuscripts and research files from his writings on Lincoln.

T. Harry Williams Papers, Mss. 2489, 2510

In addition to original materials, the libraryís extensive collection of Louisiana microfilm contains articles related to the elections and assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


The Judge Warren L. Jones Lincoln Collection

Alger, Horatio. Abraham Lincoln, the Backwoods Boy; or, How a Young Rail-splitter Became President.New York: J. R. Anderson & H.S. Allen, 1883.

Beecher, Henry Ward. Oration at the Raising of "The Old Flag" at Sumter; and Sermon on the Death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States. Manchester [Eng.]: A. Ireland and Co., 1865.

Grand Army of the Republic. Observance of the Centennial Anniversary of the Birth of Abraham Lincoln, February Twelfth, 1909. New York: The National Committee, G.A.R., 1910.

Greeley, Horace. A Political Text-Book for 1860: Comprising a Brief View of Presidential Nominations and Elections. New York: Tribune Association, 1860.

Holzer, Harold, Gabor S. Boritt, and Mark E. Neely, Jr. The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print. New York: Scribner Press, 1984.

Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1939.

Turzak, Charles. Abraham Lincoln, a Biography in Woodcuts. Chicago: Lincoln Village, 1933.

Union League of Philadelphia. Address by the Union League of Philadelphia to the Citizens of Pennsylvania, in Favor of the Re-election of Abraham Lincoln. Philadelphia: King & Baird, 1864.

United States Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington/ United States Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital. Washington: U.S. Govt., 1927.

Webb, Chase. Lawyer Lincoln, Comedy in One Act. New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc, 1939.

Whitman, Walt. Hymn on the Death of Lincoln. London: E. Arnold, 1900.

David Madden Collection of Civil War Fiction

Gale, Oliver Marble. A Knight of the Wilderness. Chicago: The Reilly & Britton Co., 1909.

Little, Richard Henry. Better Angels, by Richard Henry Little (R.H.L.) with an Introduction by Carl Sandburg. New York: Minton, Balch & Company, 1928.

Vidal, Gore. Lincoln: A Novel. New York: Random House, 1984.

The Michael Lehman Williamson Collection of Civil War Books for Young People

Bacheller, Irving. A Boy for the Ages. New York: Toronto, Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. 1937.

Cormack, Maribelle. A Recruit for Lincoln. New York: Appleton-Century, 1942.

Hanser, Richard and Hyatt, Donald B. Meet Mr. Lincoln. New York: Golden Press, 1960.

Harris, Joel Chandler. On the Wings of Occasions; Being the Authorized Version of Certain Curious Episodes of the Late Civil War, Including the Hitherto Suppressed Narrative of the Kidnapping of President Lincoln. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co. 1900.

Sandburg, Carl. Abe Lincoln Grows Up. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928.

Thayer, William Makepeace. From Pioneer Home to the White House; Life of Abraham Lincoln: Boyhood, Youth, Manhood, Assassination, Death. New York: J.B. Alden, 1882.

Special thanks to Tara Z. Laver, Curator of Manuscripts, for compiling the list of Lincoln-related manuscript collections.

Lincoln image from Charles Turzak, Abraham Lincoln, a Biography in Woodcuts. Chicago: Lincoln Village, 1933.

Lincolniana in the LSU Libraries: Special Collections houses a variety of materials
, by Jewett, Leah Wood, Civil War Book Review, (Winter 2009).