Finding Aids
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John Sherman Letters

An inventory of his letters at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Sherman, John, 1823-1900.
Title: John Sherman Letters
Inclusive Dates: 1852-1898
Quantity: 64 items (SC)
Abstract: Papers of the American statesman. Sherman was a U.S. Congressional representative from Ohio, 1855-61; U.S. Senator, 1861-77; U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1877-81; U.S. Senator, 1881-97; and U.S. Secretary of State, 1897-98. Cf. Dictionary of national biography. Letters on fiscal policy, political issues, appointments, and the Republican Party, written to Anson Burlingame, Hamilton Fish, Ulysses S. Grant, and others.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

John Sherman (1823-1900) was an American statesman who served as U.S. Congressman (1855-61), U.S. Senator (1861-77, 1881-97), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1877-81), and U.S. Secretary of State (1897-98). He is best remembered for authoring the Sherman Antitrust Act aimed at limiting monopolies and cartels in the United States.

1823 Born in Lancaster, Ohio on May 10th
1844 Admitted to the bar in Ohio
1848 Married Margaret Sarah Stewart
Delegate to Whig Convention
1855-1861 U.S. Congressman representing Ohio
1861-1877 U.S. Senator representing Ohio
1877-1881 U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Rutherford Hayes
1880 Sought Republican Presidential nomination
1881-1897 U.S. Senator representing Ohio
1890 Sherman Antitrust Act
1897-1898 U.S. Secretary of State under President William McKinley
1900 Died in Washington, D.C. on October 22nd

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Sherman Letters are a collection of 64 outgoing items which reflect the statesman's public career as a U.S. Congressional Representative from Ohio (1855-1861), U.S. Senator (1861-1877, 1881-1897), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1877-1881), and U.S. Secretary of State (1897-1898).

The letters include discussions concerning Sherman's support for various pieces of legislation, his recommendations for governmental appointments, and miscellaneous issues raised by his constituents as well as other public officials. A number of letters are responses to invitations to appear at ceremonial functions. Responding to the receipt of Charles E. Lester's book, The Glory and Shame of England, Sherman writes (07 Feb 1869):

I have twice visited that country and could not but feel that we have here imported by our ancestors the best elements of England - her laws and liberal institutions - and have left behind in the old country the elements of her decay - her intolerance, oligarchy and unequal distribution of wealth.

The Sherman letters also contain discussions of some of the leading issues facing 19th century America: the national debt, the politics of Reconstruction, and the doctrine of manifest destiny. In the aftermath of bitterness following the Civil War, Sherman writes (19 Apr 1866):

I wish earnestly to prevent a break between Congress & the President for I see no occasion for it. There is real danger that the chill arising from the difference of opinion in the Civil rights & other bills may settle into downright enmity. Both united can control the politics of the country which each has proven enough to destroy our party. I do think the stubborn will of the President & the dogmatic ultraism of a few men in Congress will break us up. Perhaps in standing between I may lose the good opinion of both but at least I will do what is right.

And regarding the doctrine of manifest destiny, Sherman states (08 Dec 1890):

...I am against the acquisition of any more territory except Canada whenever it is ready to fall into our lap.

A forty-year veteran of public life in the nation's capital, Sherman was not above this display of partisanship in a letter to Ernest Ackerman (Feb 1894):

You will perceive that the McKinley bill largely reduced the amount of taxes while the revenues from imported goods steadily increased until the election of the Democratic President, when the panic commenced.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains one series, Correspondence, which is arranged chronologically. A Selected index to correspondence is located at the end of the finding aid.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Bok, Edward William, 1863-1930.
Burlingame, Anson, 1820-1870.
Campbell, Lewis D. (Lewis Davis), 1811-1882.
Clapp, A. M. (Almon M.)
Cowdin, Elliot C. (Elliot Christopher), 1819-1880.
Dalzell, James McCormick, 1838-1924.
Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893.
Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885.
Greenough, Charles P. (Charles Pelham), 1844-1924.
Hodnett, John Pope.
Hoyt, Charles Hale, 1859-1910.
Hurst, J. F. (John Fletcher), 1834-1903.
Leggett, Mortimer Dormer, 1821-1896.
Lester, C. Edwards (Charles Edwards), 1815-1890.
Metcalf, Lorettus Sutton, 1837-1920.
Pinchback, Pinckney Benton Stewart, 1837-1921.
Ramsdell, George A. (George Allen), 1834-1900.
Rhodes, James Ford, 1848-1927.
Rives, John C. (John Cook), 1795-1864.
Sherman, John, 1823-1900.
Stoddard, William O., 1835-1925.
Ward, William Hayes, 1835-1916.
Washburne, E. B. (Elihu Benjamin), 1816-1887.
Wilson, James Grant, 1832-1914.

Corporate Bodies

Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )

Subjects

Politicians -- United States.
United States -- History -- 1865-1898.
United States -- Officials and employees -- Selection and appointment.
United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century.

Genres and Forms

Correspondence.

Occupations

Legislators.
Politicians.
Statesmen.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Sherman Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Dec 1988
Revision history: 22 Jan 2009 - converted to EAD (LDC) ; 6 Jan 2017 - fixed index code (MRC)

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Inventory

Correspondence
SC 67, Folder 1 [General] 1852-1860 (9 letters)
SC 67, Folder 2 [General] 1861-1870 (8 letters)
SC 67, Folder 3 [General] 1871-1879 (7 letters)
SC 67, Folder 4 [General] 1883-1886 (7 letters)
SC 67, Folder 5 [General] 1887-1888 (8 letters)
SC 67, Folder 6 [General] 1889-1890 (6 letters)
SC 67, Folder 7 [General] 1892-1894 (6 letters)
SC 67, Folder 8 [General] 1897-1898, undated (7 letters)

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Selected index to correspondence

  • Ackerman, Ernest R. : 13? Feb 1894
  • Aitken, John W. : 09 Jan 1890
  • Beach, L. H. : 25 Jul 1887
  • Bok, Edward W. : 31 May 1895
  • Burlingame, Anson : 28 Mar 1859
  • Butler, Richard : 11 Aug 1890
  • Campbell, Lewis Davis : 08 Jan 1868
  • Clapp, A. M. : 17 Mar 1874
  • Conant, Charles F. : 31 Dec 1877
  • Cowdin, Elliot Christopher : 07 Dec 1868
  • Dalzell, James McCormick : 10 Mar 1888
  • Del Mar, Eugene : 24 Mar 1890
  • Fish, Hamilton : 12 May 1870
  • Foote, James L. : 23 Sep 1892
  • Goodban, W. F. : 24 Mar 1879
  • Grant, Ulysses S. : 14 Jun 1873
  • Greenough, Charles Pelham : 02 Mar 1896
  • Harrison, R. B. : 13 Aug 1884
  • Hodnett, John Pope : 20 Apr 1886
  • Hoyt, Alfred : 18 Mar 1895; 28? Jul 1898
  • Hoyt, Charles Hale : 26 Oct 1864; 16 Apr 1884; 14 May 1886; 23 Aug 1886
  • Hurst, John F. : 18 Jan 1897
  • Leggett, Mortimer Dormer : 04 Oct 1883
  • Lester, Charles Edwards : 07 Feb 1869
  • Metcalf, Lorettus Sutton : 11 Jun 1887
  • Pinchback, Pinckney Benton S. : 15 Mar 1897
  • Ramsdell, George Allen : 27 Aug 1897
  • Rhodes, James Ford : 21 Jun 1895
  • Rives, John Cook : 18 Feb 1860
  • Rothacker, O. H. : 28 Jun 1888
  • Scott, C. T. : 05 Aug 1893
  • Stoddard, William Osborn : 12 Feb 1889
  • Throndike, Rachel Sherman : 21 Feb 1892
  • Tinsley, Henry G. : 27 Aug 1887; 03 Sep 1887
  • Wakeman, Wilbur Fisk : 29 Feb 1892
  • Ward, William Hayes : 08 Dec 1890
  • Washburne, Elihu Benjamin : 17 May 1872
  • Wilson, James Grant : 26 Apr 1888
  • Young, W. P. : 06 Feb 1889

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