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Letters, fragments, and signatures

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 340
Letters, fragments, and signatures, 1624-1970 (bulk 1800-1939) contains letters, manuscript fragments, autographs, bibliographic data, and other items related to noteworthy authors and politicians or associated with local and regional history. Materials have been organized into three series.

Items from notable authors and politicians, 1624-1952 and undated, contains materials removed from rare books purchased by Special Collections or transferred from the Augustana College Museum. Most folders contain only a single item created by a particular person, although some folders contain several items. Materials in this series largely consist of letters written by famous authors and politicians to various sources, although some folders may only contain autographs or bibliographic and biographical data about a person. Bookseller's descriptions, exhibition copy, or other identifying information often accompanies these items.

Of note in this series is a handwritten German memorandum from Hans Christian Andersen; several letters from the pioneering Swedish female author Fredrika Bremer; autographs of James Madison, James Morton, and Carl Sandburg; handwritten documents from several members of royal families, including King Charles XIV John of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, and Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse; an 1801 land grant issued to William McPheeterz by James Monroe during his tenure as governor of Virginia; and a Civil War letter from John A. Dahlgren reflecting on the death of his son, Ulric Dahlgren, as a result of Ulric's involvement in a botched Union Army raid and assassination attempt on Jefferson Davis, commonly known as the Dahlgren Affair.

Items of local and regional significance, 1825-1970, include orphan manuscripts and ephemera related to the American Midwest. Among other materials, this series includes an emigration permit for a farmer named Anders Mag Andersson, who was approved to settle in New Sweden, Iowa, in 1849; a Valentine's Day letter from a young girl named Hulda Haterius in Plattsmouth, Nebraska; a 1901 letter from a Davenport lawyer advising Mary Johannsen in a wrongful death lawsuit (somehow connected to alcohol consumption) against her late husband's employer; a letter from Private Harold Nelson to Augustana College student Dorothy Nelson describing the events of World War I; an 1825 immigration advertisement for Harmony, Indiana; and the original constution of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America, drafted at its founding in 1860.

Fragments, 1788-1904 and undated, include sheets from several retail store ledgers, including a 1788 ledger for a tailor shop in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and a single page of an undated, unidentified letter discussing the aftermath of World War II in Europe, including German refugees fleeing from the Russian zone.

Dates

  • 1624-1970 and undated
  • Majority of material found in 1800-1939

Creator

Language of Materials

English, Swedish, German, and French

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Extent

0.7 Cubic Feet (/ 2 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Overview

The collection of letters, fragments, and signatures, 1624-1970 and undated, contains letters, manuscript fragments, autographs, bibliographic data, and other items related to noteworthy authors and politicians or associated with local and regional history. This collection was assembled by Special Collections staff from orphan manuscripts and items removed from books in the Rare Book Collection.

Historical Note

The collection of letters, fragments, and signatures was assembled over time by Special Collections staff. The collection largely consists of items separated from books purchased for the Rare Book Collection and orphan manuscripts of local and regional significance. Most of the items from notable authors and politicians were preserved solely for autographs or literary significance, although a handful of items (including the Franklin D. Roosevelt letter and the Robert Todd Lincoln letter) were addressed to Augustana College faculty members. Locally and regionally significant items largely consist of orphan letters or singular documents related to a specific family, organization, or town in the Upper Mississippi Valley.

Arrangement

Items from notable authors and politicians arranged alphabetically according to the creator's last name. Locally and regionally significant items and fragments arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the items from notable authors and politicians were separated from books purchased for the Rare Book Collection or transferred from the Augustana College Museum. Provenance for locally and regionally significant items is unknown, with the exception of the J.A. Bexell postcards, which were received from Robert L. Cook in March 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Samantha Crisp, February 2016.
Title
Letters, fragments, and signatures, 1624-1970 and undated.
Status
completed
Author
Samantha Crisp
Date
February 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

Contact:
639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States