Landrum, Hawkins. Letter, 1841? | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of a photocopy and transcript of a letter sent from Hawkins Landrum of Macoupin County, Illinois, to George T. M. Davis, editor of the Alton Telegraph (Alton, Illinois).
Hawkins Landrum is a possible pseudonym or alter-ego for someone from Macoupin County, Illinois, who wanted to publish their political observations anonymously. This letter was possibly meant to be a satirical piece and purposefully made to sound as if a semi-literate person wrote it. Born in Malta, George T. M. Davis (1810-1888) moved to Illinois in 1832 where he began his law career. In 1841, he became the editor of the Alton Telegraph, and from 1844 to 1846, Davis served as the mayor of Alton. A prominent supporter of the Whig Party, Davis was a military and civil secretary for General John A. Quitman during the Mexican-American War before eventually resigning his post as the editor of the Alton Telegraph.
This collection contains a letter, written circa 1841 and addressed to George T.M. Davis, from Hawkins Landrum. It is possible that Landrum hoped that Davis would publish the letter in the Alton Telegraph, a newspaper that Davis edited. In the letter, Landrum discussed his move from "Caintuck" to "McCoupin" County in Illinois with his "unkel Jake," from whom he will inherit land and money. Landrum wrote that he was originally a Whig, but his political perspective changed after moving to Illinois. In his letter, Landrum gave his opinion on various subjects, such as tariffs, trades, banks, low wages, the Whig party, and the "Lokee" (Locofocos). Landrum also discussed his aspirations of running for the local office of the "county-Commissonir."
This collection was donated to the Library by Dr. David Schob in 1968. Schob received the copy from the Illinois State Historical Library, now part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where the original letter is housed.