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Orlando Barnes papers

Identifier: 00010

Scope and Contents

The material in the Barnes collection encompasses the period 1846 to 1899. Barnes graduated from the University of Michigan in 1850 and settled in Lansing to practice law. After establishing his reputation, he became attorney for the Jackson, Lansing, and Saginaw Railroad. He also assumed a promotional position with the Railroad, and eventually became its secretary and general manager.

Barnes was philosophically minded and frequently wrote on various social matters. The bulk of this collection consists of these undated narratives, particularly on slavery and utopianism. The remainder of the collection is composed of newspaper clippings pertinent to the subject of his writings, several orations by Barnes, and a few letters addressed to him. These letters are largely personal in nature. They include a letter of introduction dated August 5, 1872 from Zachariah Chandler.


  • Creation: 1846 - 1899


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Orlando Barnes was active in Democratic politics throughout his adult life. He was a state representative in 1863-1864. He served as mayor of Lansing from 1877-1878. He was defeated for governor in 1878 and for the U.S. Senate in 1883. From 1880 on he was chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1891 he was appointed to the State Prison Board.


1 Cubic Feet (, 4 Volumes)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Mrs. Barnard Pierce, transferred by the MSU Museum.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University

Property Rights: Michigan State University

Orlando Barnes Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

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