Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The McDonald, A. H. mss., 1832-1907, are papers of Archibald Henderson Spencer McDonald, 1836-1900, Civil War soldier and printer. Also included are a few personal letters and papers, 1832-1859, of his parents, James Alexander McDonald, 1780-1846, and Charlotte A. (Spencer) McDonald, 1804- , and a few letters, 1887-1897, addressed to Will Wood Pfrimmer, 1856-1935, superintendent of schools in Newton County, Indiana, 1889-1899, and poet.

Career of Archibald Henderson Spencer McDonald: born, January 23, 1836, Livingston County, New York. His family migrated to Logansport, Indiana, late in the fall of 1843. On August 30, 1861 McDonald was mustered into Company A, 26th regiment, Indiana infantry. Commissioned 2nd lieutenant, February 10, 1862; 1st lieutenant, July 1, 1862; captain, March 12, 1864; 1864-1866 served as a Commissary of musters in the Department of Louisiana for the 2nd division, 13th army corps, stationed at Brownsville, Texas, and later at New Orleans, Louisiana; discharged, March 7, 1866; formed a partnership with D. E. McDonald and Nathaniel Burbank to carry on a job printing business in New Orleans under the name of McDonald & Co., March 10, 1866; firm discontinued business, August 8, 1867, and McDonald became storekeeper for bonded warehouse no. 9, first district of Louisiana, which office he held until June 29, 1868; returned to Logansport and died there, May 20, 1900.

The collection consists primarily of McDonald's official military papers, 1861-March 6, 1866. These are in the main General orders, Special orders and Circulars. Those from January 1862-June 1863 originated largely in the Headquarters, 2nd Division, Army of the Frontier. Those from July 1863-March 6, 1866 are almost entirely concerned with McDonald's work as a Commissary of musters, 2nd Division, 13th Army corps, with orders originating in its Headquarters. Included also are McDonald's muster-in and muster-out records and his official letter copybook, March 28, 1864-March 31, 1866.

Other papers of McDonald in the collection include a few personal letters to him, most of them of later date than his discharge from the army, a few papers connected with the job printing business of McDonald & Co., some of its 1866 and 1867 imprints being included, and a few papers concerned with McDonald's work as storekeeper of bonded warehouse no. 9. There is also a group of letters in 1885 from various persons to Daniel Wolsey Voorhees, U. S. senator, recommending McDonald for a federal appointment as Special examiner in the Pension office.

Among the correspondents represented in the collection are Phineas Taylor Barnum, Samuel Breck, Rufus Champion, John G. Clark, Schuyler Colfax, William Cumbuck, Richard Lew Dawson, Charles Warren Fairbanks, J. S. Fisk, J. L. Frost, James Barnet Fry, Edwin Pollock Hammond, Francis Jay Herron, Wickham Hoffman, Mrs. Mary (Clemmer) Hudson, Mrs. Emma Mont McRae, Solomon Meredith, Oliver Perry Morton, James Edward Murdoch, Lazarus Noble, Potter Palmer, Benjamin Strattan Parker, William Patterson, Charles Adams Platt, John B. Reed, Gilbert James Rice, Mrs. Lucretia (Howe) Rice, George W. Richardson, John Clark Ridpath, Kline G. Shryock, Benjamin O. Spencer, Richard Slater Storrs, Mrs. Marthena (Funkhouser) Swafford, Joseph Cruikshank Talbot, Henry William Taylor, Mrs. Elizabeth Shepherd (Lamb) Thompson, Joseph Parrish Thompson, James G. Vincent, Mrs. L. May Wheeler, Silas Wright.

The first folder in the collection contains biographical and genealogical material respecting the McDonald family.

Collection size: 1,056 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.