Record Details

Catalog Search

Richard W. Thompson correspondence and papers 1818-1931, bulk 1841-1899.

Image of item

Electronic resources

Available copies

  • 4 of 4 copies available at Evergreen Indiana.

Current holds

0 current holds with 4 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Indiana State Library - Indianapolis [Mss I] ISLI B001 (Text) 9194-9798 Manuscripts Available -
Indiana State Library - Indianapolis [Mss I] ISLI L158 (Text) 00000106297518 Manuscripts Available -
Indiana State Library - Indianapolis [Mss I] ISLI OBC003 (Text) 1918-1714 Manuscripts Available -
Indiana State Library - Indianapolis [Mss I] ISLI V207 (Text) 1948-7848 Manuscripts Available -

Record details

  • Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes, 3 volumes, 2 oversized folders

Content descriptions

General Note:
Processing information: Collection processing completed 2006/01 by Christina Baich. Finding aid updated 2015/10/30 by Bethany Fiechter.
Restrictions on Access Note:
The collection is open for research use.
Summary, etc.:
The collection consists principally of Thompson's political correspondence, including correspondence regarding state and national Whig and Republican party politics, and Thompson's role in political campaigns (1840s-1880s); letters from constituents during his terms in Congress regarding political appointments and local politics (1841-1849); Civil War correspondence, including correspondence regarding state and national politics and Thompson's duties in Terre Haute (1861-1865); his correspondence as Secretary of the Navy, including letters from Congressmen and others making recommendations for appointments and correspondence regarding naval contracts and policies (1877-1880); and his correspondence regarding a canal across Panama (1880-1881). Also included is correspondence regarding his legal work, including the settlement of Shawnee, Menominee, and other Indian claims (1850s), railroads and the Wabash and Erie Canal (1850s-1880s), and Vigo County land; his correspondence with his wife and parents (1830-1853); correspondence with Harper & Brothers regarding The Papacy and the Civil Power (1876-1880); political speeches; his essay on Henry A. Wise; his notebook of expenses and speech notes(1865); his wife's diary (1838); correspondence between relatives in Adair County, Kentucky, and Culpeper County Virginia (1818-1830); and newspaper clippings. The volumes include a Civil War scrapbook containing printed orders and clippings from Thompson's service in the Indiana militia; a political scrapbook containing clippings and Thompson's notes on domestic and international political affairs; and a manuscript of Thompson's commentary on Letters on the Spanish Inquisition by T.J. O'Flaherty, Catholic Pastor of Salem, Mass.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials Note:
Richard W. Thompson Correspondence and Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Indiana State Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction Note:
Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library. Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.
Immediate Source of Acquisition Note:
Various donors 1931-1948.
Biographical or Historical Data:
Richard Wigginton Thompson was born on June 9, 1809, in Culpeper County, Virginia. In 1831, he moved to Kentucky and settled shortly thereafter in Lawrence County, Indiana. He began practicing law in Bedford, Indiana, after being admitted to the bar in 1834. Thompson served in the Indiana House of Representatives (1834-1836) and the Indiana Senate (1837-1838). In 1836, he married Harriet Eliza Gardiner with whom he had eight children. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1841 and 1847. The Thompsons moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1843. He served as the city attorney there in 1846 and 1847. During the Civil War, he was the commander of Camp Thompson, Indiana, and provost marshal of the Terre Haute district. President Lincoln appointed him collector of internal revenue for the seventh Indiana district, a post that Thompson held for one term (1864-1866). From 1867 to 1869, Thompson was judge of the fifth circuit court. President Hayes appointed Thompson Secretary of the Navy. Thompson resigned from this post in 1881 to become chairman of the American Committee of the French Panama Canal Company. He also served as a director of the Panama Railroad Company (1881-1889). In addition to his life of public service, Thompson was the author of four books including The Papacy and the Civil Power. He died on February 9, 1900, in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Subject: Thompson, Richard W. (Richard Wigginton), 1809-1900 > Correspondence.
Wise, H. A. (Henry Augustus), 1819-1869.
Whig Party (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Indiana. General Assembly. House of Representatives.
Indiana. General Assembly. Senate.
United States. Congress. House > Officials and employees > Selection and appointment.
United States. Department of the Navy > Officials and employees > Selection and appointment.
Wabash and Erie Canal Railroad.
Political campaigns > United States > 19th century.
Indians of North America > Legal status, laws, etc.
Lawyers > Indiana > Bedford.
Lawyers > Indiana > Terre Haute.
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Correspondence.
Vigo County (Ind.)
Adair County (Ky.)
Culpeper County (Va.)

Additional Resources