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Charles Woodberry McLellan papers (MS.CWM)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: Manuscripts: 401-863-3723; University Archives: 401-863-2148
Email: Manuscripts: hay@brown.edu; University Archives: archives@brown.edu

Scope & content

The Charles Woodberry McLellan papers (1780-1953 (Bulk 1901-1927)) contain primarily correspondence relating to the acquisition of the McLellan Lincoln Collection and its eventual sale to Brown University. The papers include correspondence to and from Charles McLellan, as well as his sons Hugh and Malcolm. Also included in the collection are copies of documents by and about Abraham Lincoln, collection inventories, and biographical information about Charles W. McLellan.

The papers are organized into three series.

Series 1, (1894-1926) comprises one folder (Box 1, Folder 1) of miscellaneous personal, autobiographical, and biographical material relating to Charles W. McLellan. Included is a short biographical sketch describing his early career as a bookkeeper in Springfield, Illinois, where he knew Abraham and Mary Lincoln before Lincoln’s election to the presidency. Another short incomplete autobiographical sketch describes his beginnings as a collector of Lincolniana.

Series 2, Correspondence (1893-1953) is a collection of business and personal letters relating to McLellan’s acquisition of particular items of Lincolniana. Much of this correspondence occurs after Charles McLellan’s death in 1918, when his son Hugh assumed oversight of the collection. Correspondents include other major collectors of Lincolniana, such as Joseph Oakleaf (Box 1, Folder 25), Judge Daniel Fish (Box 1, Folder 9), Judd Stewart (Box 1, Folder 28), William H. Lambert (Box 1, Folder 15), and Frederick Meserve (Box 1, Folder 23). Also included is the correspondence between Hugh McLellan and Brown Librarian H. L. Koopman regarding the acquisition and contents of the collection in 1923 (Box 1, Folder 5). The series also contains a folder of personal correspondence between McLellan family members and friends (Box 1, Folder 21).

Series 3, Lincolniana (1780-1952) contains Lincolniana bibliographies, want lists, and inventories (Box 1, Folders 40, 42-43); facsimiles of documents in Lincoln’s hand (Box 1, Folder 35); transcriptions of documents by and about Abraham Lincoln (Box 1, Folders 36-38); and shelving plans for the Lincoln Room at the John Hay Library (Box 1, Folder 41).