Skip to main content

SCOUT

Special Collections Online at UT

Charles Lanman Collection of Political Autobiographical Sketches

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3683

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of biographical and autobiographical letters, written circa 1858 – 1868, concerning 52 Tennessee legislators who lived between 1757 and 1918. The letters were sent to Charles Lanman at his request from the legislators or their surviving relatives for use in Lanman's Dictionary of the United States Congress. Each letter contains biographical information on the statesmen’s lives and careers including specific information on personal achievements, education, and their respective trades. The collection also contains eight, early Talbotype photographs – one of the earliest forms of photography introduced by William Talbot in 1841 – of the following senators:

Atkins, John DeWitt Clinton (1825-1898); Avery, William Tecumsah (1819-1880); Bell, John (1797-1869) Etheridge, Emerson (1819-1902); Jones, George Washington (1806-1884); Ready, Charles (1802-1878); Savage, John Houston (1815-1904); Zollicoffer, Felix Kirk (1812-1862)

This collection consists of 52 folders containing a number of biographical and autobiographical letters written circa 1858 – 1868, concerning 52 Tennessee legislators who lived between 1757 - 1918. The letters were sent to Charles Lanman at his request from the 52 legislators or their surviving relatives for use in Lanman's Dictionary of the United States Congress. Each letter contains biographical information on the statesmen’s lives and careers including specific information on personal achievements, education, and their respective trades. The collection also contains eight, early Talbotype photographs – one of the earliest forms of photography introduced by William Talbot in 1841 – of the following senators:

Missing Title

  1. Atkins, John DeWitt Clinton (1825-1898)
  2. Avery, William Tecumsah (1819-1880)
  3. Etheridge, Emerson (1819-1902)
  4. Jones, George Washington (1806-1884)
  5. Ready, Charles (1802-1878)
  6. Savage, John Houston (1815-1904)
  7. Zollicoffer, Felix Kirk (1812-1862)
  8. Bell, John (1797-1869)

Dates

  • 1860 March 17 – 1868 January 14, undated

Language

The material in this collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.25 Linear Feet (1 quarter box)

Abstract

This collection consists of biographical and autobiographical letters, written circa 1858 – 1868, concerning 52 Tennessee legislators who lived between 1757 and 1918. The letters were sent to Charles Lanman at his request from the legislators or their surviving relatives for use in Lanman's Dictionary of the United States Congress.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Lanman, author, amateur explorer and artist, was the grandson of U.S. Senator James Lanman, and served for a time as Librarian of the United States House of Representatives. Other positions he held included librarian at the War Department and, subsequently, at the Washington City Library. He authored thirty-two distinct works in his lifetime, of which the Dictionary of The United States Congress and his personal biography of Daniel Webster, whom he served as private secretary, are best known. His work as an artist, although an amateur, brought him recognition and election to the National Academy of Design in 1846.

The Dictionary of The United States Congress was first published in 1859, and republished in 1869 as the Dictionary of The United States Congress and the General Government. The importance and value of publishing basic biographical information about the nation's earliest elected congressmen drove Lanman to undertake the work. The dictionary remains in print today, covering each successive Congress.

Previous Citation

This collection was previously listed as MS.0790 (Charles Lanman Papers, 1834-1869) and MS.0791 (Charles Lanman Papers, 1865-1868). All materials are contained herein.

Acquisition Note

This collection was purchased by Special Collections in 1974 and 1975.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480