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About This Collection The Hay Library’s famed collection of manuscripts authored or signed by Lincoln, now comprising nearly 1,100 pieces in all, represents the accumulation of many years of active collecting by private individuals and Friends of the Brown University Library. These materials came to the Library in a number of ways. The original core of the collection included 134 manuscripts by Lincoln and another 183 by close associates of Lincoln. These materials came to the Library in 1923 as part of the Lincoln collection compiled by Charles Woodbury McLellan, one of the five great Lincoln collectors in the early 20th century. Since then, manuscripts have been added both by gift and by purchase. The first major addition to the collection was made by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who provided the Library with a major gift of 485 manuscripts, mounted in seven scrapbook volumes, in 1926. This magnificent gift included telegrams (sometimes called t-mails) and letters integral to the conduct of the Civil War as well as family correspondence. A later gift by Rockefeller on the occasion of his 60th class reunion consisted of 45 manuscripts from Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury during the Lincoln Administration, including an original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. During the 1950s, the Friends of the Brown University Library raised funds for the purchase of several significant Lincoln manuscripts which had been presented for public auction. These items included the muster roll of Lincoln’s militia regiment during the Black Hawk War of 1832, a fragment of one of Lincoln’s speeches, and a leaf from Lincoln’s annual address to Congress in 1864. A number of important Lincoln manuscripts also came to the Hay Library through the family of John Hay. The bulk of Hay’s papers, including his diaries of the Lincoln White House years and a number of Lincoln manuscripts that Hay retained from those years, were donated to the Library in 1906 by Hay’s widow, Clara Stone Hay. Additional Lincoln manuscripts have come to the Library over the years from Hay’s children, Clarence L. Hay, Alice Hay Wadsworth and Helen Hay Whitney, and their descendants. This digital collection of the Brown University Library’s Lincoln manuscripts was created with the assistance of the Abraham Lincoln Papers Project , Daniel W. Stowell, Director. The manuscripts in this digital collection will also appear in the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project.
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