Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Thompson mss., 1837-1899, are letters and papers of Richard Wigginton Thompson, 1809-1900, lawyer, judge, Indiana state legislator, U.S. congressman, U.S. secretary of navy.

Included in the collection are letters and copies of letters written by Thompson relating to his various activities and interests. There are letters to his wife and sons; letters relating to some of his law cases and to personal business matters; political letters, concerned in the main with the Republican Party in Indiana; a letter of August 6, 1890, relating to the tariff; letters, December 29, 1860-March 6, 1864, relating to the Civil War, those of October 16, 1862-March 6, 1864, being his official letters as provost marshal of the Terre Haute district; and letters, July 10, 1877-March 3, 1880, and a letter copybook, March 12, 1877-June 7, 1880, during his service as Secretary of the Navy under President Hayes.

In addition, the collection contains three bound volumes of Thompson's addresses, numbered volumes 2, 3, and 4. Volume 1 contains printed addresses and is cataloged in the Book Department (Lilly E415.6 .T45). The contents of volumes 2-4 are:

V. 2 [no. 1] Address delivered before the Literary Society, Terre Haute ... November, 1861; [no. 2] Address made at Terre Haute at the ceremonies over the soldier's graves in 1879; [no. 3] Address delivered before the Eclectic Literary Society of the Indiana State Normal School, Terre Haute, Indiana, February 18, 1882; [no. 4] On George Washington; [no. 5] An address delivered at the unveiling of the statue of Governor Morton, etc., Terre Haute; [no. 6] An address delivered at Asbury University, Greencastle, Indiana; [no. 7] Address on education; [no. 8] United States Senate.

V. 3 [no. 1] Address delivered at the dedication of the Terre Haute Female College and in the chapel on Thursday, September 2, 1858; [no. 2] Address delivered before the alumni association of Indiana State Normal School ... June 12, 1884; [no. 3] Address of presidents I have seen ... January 28, 1889, before the Terre Haute Literary Society; [no. 4] An address on the Rose Orphan Home; [no. 5] The origin of the French Revolution, address ... before the Literary Society of Terre Haute; [no. 6] The Language We Speak.

V. 4 [no. 1] The Necessity of Education; [no. 2] On the accusations of W.E. Chandler made against President Hayes; [no. 3] On the Victory of the Battle of Manila Bay; [no. 4] A Review of the Presidential Election of 1896; [no. 5] Address to the graduating class of the Naval Academy; [no. 6] Address to the young ladies of the Eclectic Society; [no. 7] Which has done, and is now doing the most good, man or woman?; [no. 8] An address delivered January 21, 24, 1864, Terre Haute, Indiana, on "The Monroe Doctrine"; [no. 9] Majorities and Minorities; [no. 10] Address delivered at the dedication of the "Terre Haute Female College" in the college chapel ... September 2, 1858; [no. 11] Address delivered before the alumni association of the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, June 12, 1884, on "The Lessons of Life"; [no. 12] Case of Terre Haute and Indianapolis Railroad Company, plaintiff, vs. Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad Company; [no. 13] The Late Senatorial Contest [in Indiana]; [no. 14] The Language We Speak; [no. 15] The Future; [no. 16] Education of Woman; [no. 17] Comments on the article "Spain, Living or Dying" appearing in November [1900] issue of Forum.

Collection size: 375 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.