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Charles Henry Lanphier Papers

Identifier: MS-BC403

Scope and Contents

The majority of this collection consists of letters to Lanphier during the years 1846-1863, while he managed the newspaper. There are a few family letters from the 1830’s, including six from his brother. One of these, July 8, 1838, gives an exceptionally good account of a surveyor’s life on the prairie. Most of the letters are from prominent Democrats from Illinois and the United States. The letters deal with great issues of the time: The Mexican War; railroad legislation; the state bank of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill; the Lecompton Constitution; and the proposed revision of the Illinois constitution. Letters about campaigns and elections, especially in the 1850s, are numerous. The senatorial contest of James Shields, Joel Matteson, Lyman Trumbull, and Abraham Lincoln received considerable attention. There are a number of letters from Stephen A. Douglas, Thomas L. Harris, John A. McClernand, Anthony L. Knapp, William Ralls Morrison and David L. Gregg, who wrote interesting accounts of his life in Honolulu and his duties in the Court of King Kamehameha IV. Other major correspondents include: James Cameron Allen, William Joshua Allen, William H. Bissell, John C. Breckenridge, Sidney Breese (8 items), Thomas Campbell (12 items), Samuel K. Casey, Bernard Gregory Caulfield, John Dement, Isaac R. Diller, Stephen Arnold Douglas (27 items), Francis S. Eastman, William L.D. Ewing, Orlando Ficklin, Simeon Francis, Augustus C. French (5 items), Melville W. Fuller, Calvin Goudy, David L. Gregg (10 items), Thomas Langrell Harris (59 items), Murray McConnell, George W. McConnell, James A. McHatton, James McRoberts, Samuel Scott Marshall (7 items), William Ralls Morrison (36 items), John Pearson, Ebenezer Peck (4 items), George Hunt Pendleton, Samuel Pike, W.G. Prentice, George Ellis Pugh, John Reynolds, William Alexander Richardson, James W. Sheahan (14 items), James Shields (9 items), George Washington Smith (4 items), Robert Smith, William Snyder, William McKendree Springer, Alexander Starne, J.W. Stevenson, William Thomas, Anthony Thornton, Richard Wellington Townshend, Lyman Trumbull, William H. Underwood, Clement Laird Valley Vallandigham, George Walker (8 items), George R. Weber, John Wentworth, Richard Yates, and Timothy Robert Young. The Douglas letters have been published in Robert W. Johansenn’s The Letters of Stephen A. Douglas, published by the University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1961. The entire Lanphier collection has been reproduced in a facsimile edition under the title “Glory to God and the Sucker Democracy,” compiled by Charles C. Patton and printed privately by Frye Williamson Press, Springfield, Illinois, 1973.


  • Created: 1830-1886


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research


1.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Charles Henry Lanphier (1820-1903) was a Springfield Illinois newspaper man, who managed The Illinois State Register and People’s Advocate. He was elected public printer in 1846 and clerk of the circuit court in 1864. The majority of this collection consists of letters to Lanphier during the years 1846-1863, while he managed the newspaper. Notable correspondents include Stephen A. Douglas, Thomas L. Harris, John A. McClernand, Anthony L. Knapp, William Ralls Morrison, and David L. Gregg.

Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged in two series: Series 1, Correspondence; and Series 2, Printed material. Series 1 consists of correspondence arranged chronologically, followed by transcripts of the Stephen A. Douglas letters arranged chronologically, followed by uncataloged correspondence arranged chronologically. Series 2 includes five bound volumes of "Glory to God and the Sucker Democracy," selected pages from that publication, and one volume of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society featuring "Life of Steven A. Douglas" by Frank E. Stevens.
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Connie Butts and Karl Janssen
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923