Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Test mss., 1824-1845, consist of correspondence of Charles H. Test, 1802-1884, judge, member of the Indiana General Assembly, and secretary of state of Indiana.

Career: born, July 9, 1802, in New Jersey of Quaker ancestry; son of John and Mary (Hall) Test; read law while earning a livelihood as a surveyor's assistant; admitted to the bar of Franklin County, Indiana, 1822; married Rebecca Davis, 1808-1842?, on December 21, 1824, mother of John, James D., Caroline, and Thaddeus; elected member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1826 and 1855, and Indiana Senate, 1840; appointed president judge for counties in the 6th Indiana judicial circuit, 1830; married Elizabeth W. Moore, -1884, in 1843, mother of Charles, Lydia, Mary and Edmund B.; served as Secretary of State for Indiana, 1849-1853; judge of Marion County criminal court, 1872-1874; died December, 1884.

In addition to biographical information in the collection, further data on Test may be obtained from the following sources: Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Indianapolis and Vicinity (Chicago, 1908), p. 91; Indiana Magazine of History, I: 154; Leander J. Monks, et al.; Courts and Lawyers of Indiana (Indianapolis, 1916), pp. 121, 156, 164, 205, 548, 563, 653, 664, 669, 701, 746, 773, 820, 860, 904, 978, 985, 1037, 1097, 1128, 1151; Andrew W. Young, History of Wayne County, Indiana (Cincinnati, 1872), pp. 193-194.

The collection consists of letters, 1824-1839, from Charles H. Test to his wife Rebecca (Davis) Test, most of which deal with his experiences as a member of the Indiana General Assembly, as a judge on the 6th Indiana circuit, and on a sojourn in New Orleans, Louisiana, from March 15, 1835, to April 11, 1836.

Also included in the collection are letters to Charles H. Test from his wife, Rebecca (Davis) Test; his father, John Test, 1771-1849, U.S. congressman; James D. Test, son of Charles H. Test and student at Indiana University, 1844-1845; and other relatives. The letters from James D. Test are written from Bloomington, Indiana, during his student days there, and contain information on the university, the Athenian Society, of which he was a member, and politics in Monroe County.

Among the correspondents represented in the collection are: William John Brown, Jesse David Bright, William Mitchell Daily, George Hedford Dunn, Paris Chipman Dunning, Jehu Tindall Elliott, George Washington Ewing, Samuel Hannah, Fernandez C. Holliday, David Hoover, Andrew Kennedy, Jonathan McCarty, Miles Murphy, Samuel Wilson Parker, Samuel E. Perkins, James Perry, John Pettit, Milton Stapp, James D. Test, John Test, Thomas Tyner, Johnson Watts, James Whitcomb, Joseph Albert Wright, and John Yaryan.

The letters are accompanied by a bound volume of typescripts of the original manuscripts in the collection.

Unbound typescripts of a few letters, of which the originals are not in the collection, are filed with the manuscript letters.

Collection size: 198 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.