Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Colfax mss., 1853-1884, are papers of Schuyler Colfax, 1823-1885, South Bend, Indiana, newspaperman, speaker of the House of Representatives, and vice-president of the United States. They include letters to Colfax, 1855-1862, from Alfred Wheeler, who was in charge of Colfax's newspaper office, St. Joseph Valley register, South Bend, Indiana, in his absence. These letters relate to office business, i.e. printing, new subscribers, collections, employees, etc.; to Colfax's articles for the paper; to comments on Colfax in other papers; and to local, state and national politics, including comments on George Grundy Dunn, congressman from Bedford, Indiana, Colfax's political prospects, the reception in South Bend of the news of the nomination of Fremont for President in 1856, Lincoln's nomination in 1860, and the local attitude towards the slavery issue.

The collection contains also a group of letters, 1855- 1868, from Colfax to Charles Grandison Powell, journalist of Westville, Indiana, relating especially to patronage in LaPorte County, Indiana.

Other letters from Schuyler Colfax are addressed to Samuel Bowles in enthusiastic recollection of their journeys through the West, February 1, 1869; to [Henry Charles Carey?] defending Theodore Medad Pomery as chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee, August 7, 1867; to James Barnet Fry defending himself against Fry's charge of inefficiency, July 5, 1863; to Isaac Israel Hayes offering congratulations on his election to the legislature, November 11, 1876; to E.W. Jackson of Concord, New Hampshire, chiefly concerning politics in New Hampshire, December 12, 1854-March 5, 1860; to Ott Palmer of Indianapolis as a letter of introduction, March 31, 1884. A letter of Edwin Denison Morgan to Schuyler Colfax agrees with Colfax's views regarding the vice- presidency, July 10, 1856.

Some of the manuscripts are in an oversize folder.

See also Willard Harvey Smith, "The political career of Schuyler Colfax to his election as vice-president in 1868." Ph.D. dissertation, Department of History, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1939. (D40 .S663).

Collection size: 38 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.