Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Farmer mss., 1818-1874, are papers of Eli P. Farmer, 1794-1881, clergyman, farmer, and politician, who was born in Franklin County, Kentucky, served in the War of 1812 and moved to Indiana in 1822. He became a licensed Methodist minister in 1826 and spent much of his time in the ensuing years traveling about Indiana preaching, holding revivals, and attending camp meetings. At the same time he farmed land which he had bought in Monroe County, Indiana, several miles west of Bloomington. He served as a Whig in the Indiana state senate, 1843-1845. When the Civil War broke out, he helped to raise the 82nd Indiana Infantry Regiment and followed it into battle, assuming the duties of Chaplain.

Biographical accounts of Farmer appear in The Bloomington Hawkeye, Feb. 10, 1881, p.2, col. 2; The Republican Progress, Bloomington, In., Feb. 16, 1881, p.3, col.5; and James Leaton's History of Methodism in Illinois from 1793 to 1832 (Cincinnati, 1883), p. 250-52. The terms of his will are given in The Republican Progress, Bloomington, Ind., July 6, 1881, p.3, col. 3.

The papers consist of Eli P. Farmer's autobiography, dictated when he was eighty years of age; his arithmetic sum-book, dated 1818, a year in which he attended school in Kentucky; a memorandum book, 1834; and a few miscellaneous papers.

Collection size: 11 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.