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Lyman Trumbull papers

Identifier: LG-19

Scope and Content

The papers of Lyman Trumbull consist of microfilm containing letters received, with a few drafts or copies of replies. Organized chronologically, the collection is dated 1843-1894, but only two documents fall outside the period of his service in the U.S. Senate. The years 1868-1871 are scantily represented.

A few documents are related to Trumbull’s law practice and business ventures, but the papers are essentially political in nature. There is much material concerning the elections of 1856, 1860, 1866, and 1872. While Illinois state politics is a dominant theme and the majority of correspondents are from that state, many of the papers are related to national issues. Among the subjects with which the correspondence is concerned are appointments and patronage, the Kansas-Nebraska bill, secession, the Civil War, Reconstruction and the Civil Rights bill, and the Liberal Republican movement of 1872. There is little material relating to the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

Among the corespondents are William H. Bissell, Montgomery Blair, Orville Hickman Browning, John Dean Caton, Zachariah Chandler, Salmon P. Chase, Shelby M. Cullom, David Davis, Mark W. Delahay, Jesse Kilgore Dubois, Jesse W. Fell, David Dudley Field, James W. Grimes, Hannibal Hamlin, James Harlan, Ozias M. Hatch, William Henry Herndon, Stephen Augustus Hurlbut, Norman B. Judd, Gustave Phillip Koerner, John A. McClernand, Joseph Medill, Richard J. Oglesby, John M. Palmer, Charles Henry Ray, Horace White, and Richard Yates.

The finding aid at the Library of Congress was revised in 2009 and can be found at


  • 1843 - 1894


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Reproduction and publication restricted, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Biographical Sketch

Lyman Trumball (1813-1896), U.S. Senator from Illinois (1855-1873), aligned with Radical Republicans in Congress. He sponsored the 13th Amendment and the Civil Rights bill.

1813, October 12 Born, Colchester, Connecticut

1836 Admitted to the bar

1837 Began law practice, Bellevue, Illinois

1840-1842 Democratic member of the state legislature

1842-1843 Secretary of State of Illinois

1843 Married Julia Mary Jayne

1848-1855 Justice, Supreme Court of Illinois

1855-1873 U.S. Senator

1854 Opposed the Kansas-Nebraska bill

1864 Introduced resolution which led to the 13th Amendment

1865-1867 Aligned with Radicals in Congress; sponsored Civil Rights bill

1868 Voted against the impeachment of President Johnson

1872 Prominent in the Liberal Republican movement

1873 Resumed law practice, Chicago, Illinois

1876 Counsel for Samuel Tilden in disputed presidential election

1880 Unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois

1896, June 25 Died, Chicago, Illinois


0.5 Cubic Feet (, 22 reels (4,500 items))

Language of Materials




Ownership and Custodial History

Purchased from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Location of Originals

Lyman Trumball Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 2nd St. and Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540, USA.

Reproduction Note

Microfilm. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1968. 22 reels ; 35mm.

Lyman Trumbull Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US