Van Cleave, James R.B. Lincoln Centenary Letters, 1907 and 1909-1911 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of letters written to the Lincoln Centennial Association from 1907-1911. At the request of the Association, correspondents wrote their personal reflections and reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln. Most correspondence was written for the centennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 1909.
The Lincoln Centennial Association (now the Abraham Lincoln Association) was formed in Springfield, Illinois, in 1908, to facilitate the national ceremony of the centennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in 1909. James R.B. Van Cleave (1853-1931) was a life member of the Association. He served as Secretary of the Publicity Committee and was a member of the Committee on Souvenirs and Printing. For the centennial, Van Cleave was tasked to gather reminiscences from those who knew Lincoln personally or professionally.
This collection contains correspondence sent to the Lincoln Centennial Association (now the Abraham Lincoln Association) upon the anniversaries of the birth of Lincoln. Correspondents were those who knew Lincoln during his time in Illinois or those who worked closely with his administration. Eleven letters were written to Secretary James R.B. Van Cleave in honor of the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Lincoln (known as the Lincoln Centennial) in 1909. One letter, written by William Jaynes, was sent to Van Cleave in 1907, and recalled the time Lincoln jumped out of a window to "break a quorum" at a General Assembly session held in Springfield, Illinois, in 1839. One letter from Charles Tinker was sent to Van Cleave in 1910. Other items in the collection include a 1911 letter from Shelby Cullom to Judge J. Otis Humphrey and a 1909 essay, possibly given as an address, by Clark E. Carr, titled "President Lincoln as I saw him at Gettysburg."
The Library purchased this collection in 2022 with support from the Dr. Harlan Horner Estate.
View full finding aid and PDF box/folder list