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Riggin Family papers

 Collection — Box: 71
Identifier: MS-SC1272

Scope and Contents

Early letters between Harry and James discuss business in Sangamon and Madison County, local and national politics and the election of 1822. The majority of letters are to Augustus from James, James Jr., William and Betsy. There are a few from him. The letters between the young men discuss attending school at McKendree and Illinois colleges, social activities, studies and family news. Some letters refer to Augustus teaching in Middletown, Beardstown, and Petersburg and then his run for office. Letters from relatives in Louisiana discuss family news, crops, slaves, and give a clear picture of attitudes towards their slaves, slavery and the political climate. One 1868 letter discusses attitudes towards the freedmen and the northern government in charge. Letters re: James' problems with jobs, drinking and his long life institutionalized. Genealogical notes on the Riggin and Rogers families. Legal papers and deeds.


  • Created: 1822 - 1903


Biographical / Historical

Family who came from Tennessee in 1817 and settled first in Troy, Illinois and then in Athens, Illinois. Harry and James Riggin came to Illinois and first settled in Troy which they helped found. Harry eventually moved to Athens where he opened a small trading post on his farm in 1825 which he managed for several years. James moved to Lebanon in St. Clair County and helped found McKendree College. James married Elizabeth Rogers and Harry married Miriam Rogers. The sisters' brother, Dr. Timothy Rogers, owned a plantation and slaves in Louisiana. Augustus, son of Harry, attended McKendree College, graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville and taught school at several towns in the area. He read the law, but never practiced. Instead he ran for County Clerk losing in 1840, but winning the next two elections and then retiring to farm. James H. and William were James' sons. William attended McKendree College and became a doctor, James worked as a clerk, changing jobs often, developing a drinking problem and spending much of his life in the Jacksonville Insane Asylum.


Ca. 200 items

Language of Materials