This collection consists of personal papers from Orville Hickman Browning. Materials include copies and transcripts of correspondence, notes, speeches, and photographs.
An early leader in the national Republican Party, Orville Hickman Browning helped Abraham Lincoln secure the 1860 presidential nomination. Browning served in the U.S. Senate from 1860 to 1863, and as Secretary of the Interior from 1866 to 1868.
The collection contains copies and transcripts of 297 letters written to and from Orville Hickman Browning discussing military and political conditions as well as family matters. Also included in the collection are miscellaneous papers which contain notes, speeches, memos on cabinet meetings, and the address made before the Adams County Bar Association after his death. Photographs of Browning, his family, and Washington colleagues can also be found under miscellaneous photographs.
Correspondents include Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, as well as Charles Hardin, John A. McClernand, John Pope, William Seward, William T. Sherman, Joseph Smith, Edwin M. Stanton, Gideon Wells, and Richard Yates. The collection also includes letters exchanged between Isaac N. Arnold and Browning in 1872 regarding Ward H. Lamon's The Life of Lincoln, in which Browning reviews his relationship with Lincoln.
The original materials are located in the Illinois State Historical Library (now part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library), the Library of Congress, and in private hands.