Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Cleghorn mss., 1836-1893, consist of correspondence and papers of William W. Cleghorn, 1815-1878, Indian trader, and material pertaining to his estate.

Career of William W. Cleghorn: born, October 23, 1815, Edinburgh, Scotland; son of James Cleghorn, clergyman, who emigrated to America with his family in 1828 and settled in Hartland, Niagara county, New York; 1831, William W. Cleghorn came to Indiana; 1832, accompanied Indians who removed to the Osage river country in southern Kansas and remained in that area as an Indian trader with headquarters at Westport, Missouri; 1843, married Ann Sharp alias Akat, widow of Luther Rice alias No-a-quet and mother of William Marshall Rice; 1854, employed by George W. Ewing as clerk and assistant in mercantile business at Westport, Missouri; 1856, engaged in a similar capacity for Ewing & Miner in the fur and skin business in Indiana; April 27, 1864, married Martha Smith of Lockport, New York, and settled on a farm in Hudson township, LaPorte county, Indiana, where he died on December 29, 1878.

Biographical material on William W. Cleghorn may be found in Jaspar Packard's History of LaPorte County, Indiana (LaPorte, 1876), p. 161 and in papers in the collection.

The papers in the collection consist of Correspondence with Indian traders and relatives, 1850-1864, which relates to the fur trade and some Indian claims. There are receipts, financial statements and reports relative to the Indian trade at Westport, Missouri, 1838-1847; the Ewings and their business in Missouri and Indiana, 1842-1856; the estates of Luther Rice and Ann (Sharp) Cleghorn, 1842-1854; and the guardianship of William Marshall Rice. Included also are two bills of sale for the purchase of four slaves, September 26-27, 1848. The material between 1879 and 1893 is principally concerned with the Cleghorn farm and estate.

Among the correspondents represented in the collection are George Washington Ewing, William Griffith Ewing, Byron D. Miner, and William Marshall Rice.

Also included in the collection is a photograph of William Cleghorn and one of his wife, Mrs. Martha (Smith) Cleghorn.

Collection size: 294 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.