Inventory of the Ward H. Lamon Papers, 1848-1894

Processed by ; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by James Ryan.
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Ward H. Lamon Papers, 1848-1894

The Huntington Library

San Marino, California

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Department
  • The Huntington Library
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • San Marino, California 91108
  • Phone: (626) 405-2203
  • Fax: (626) 449-5720
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
© 2000 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ward H. Lamon Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1848-1894
Creator: Lamon, Ward Hill, 1827-1893
Extent: 2490 pieces
Repository: The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Col. Lamon's papers were purchased in 1912, from his daughter Mme. Dorothy (Lamon) Teillard, by George D. Smith. They were acquired by Mr. Huntington in January, 1914


Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ward H. Lamon Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Ward Hill Lamon (1827-93), law partner and friend of Abraham Lincoln, was born near Winchester, Va. and brought up on a farm in Berkeley County, now West Virginia.
Lamon's association with Lincoln began in 1852, in Danville, Ill., and continued there for five years. Then he moved to Bloomington where he became very active in the newly formed Republican Party, and in furthering the cause of his friend; the middle of February, 1861 found him en route to Washington, D. C., as companion and virtual body guard of the President elect, and a few months later, upon the outbreak of war, he was appointed Marshal of the District of Columbia.
After Lincoln's death, Lamon resigned (June, 1865) to become a law partner of Judge Jeremiah S. Black practicing as a claims attorney in Washington, afterwards he also opened a law office in Martinsburg, W. Va., which, during the 70's, became his headquarters. Throughout this period he made repeated efforts to secure some kind of official appointment, but always without success, until finally, discouraged and in poor health, he moved to Denver, Colo., where he remained for nearly ten years practicing law, speculating in mining properties, and writing for the press.
In 1886 he returned to Washington and spent the rest of his life in writing and travel.

Persons represented by ten or more pieces:

Hamilton G. FANT
William H. HANNA
William Henry HERNDON
Charles Edward HOVEY
David O. LAWS
William Ward ORME
Charles H. RUSSELL
John Wilson SHAFFER
Leonard SWETT
John Palmer USHER
Lawrence WELDON

Some important or interesting items:

  • Black, Jeremiah Sullivan. Letter to Ward H. Lamon, ... the millions of white men through all the country with wealth and intelligence have far less power in regard to their own affairs than the same number of persons in Russia and Turkey... York, Mar. 7, 1869
  • Frémont, Jessie (Benton). Letter to Lamon, ...I had written and copied a great deal to you. But the usual leakage at Washington makes public Gen. Thomas' & Gen. Hunter's plans. This explains to all why Hunter does not advance & why orders from Gen. Frémont are left unattended to... [St. Louis, Oct. 31, 1861]
  • Herndon, William Henry. Analyses of the character and mind of Abraham Lincoln. 1865, Dec. 12 & 26; 1866, Jan. 23; 1870, Mar. 3 (4 pieces)
  • Lamon, Ward Hill. Unpublished typescript of the history of Abraham Lincoln's public and private life from his inauguration until his assassination, intended to be volume II, of Lamon's Life of Lincoln. [Denver, 1886]
  • __________. Speech in support of Andrew Johnson. 1866.
  • Lincoln, Abraham. Seven legal documents, including a brief of the suit: Illinois Central R. R. vs. the County of McLean. 1854- 58
  • __________. Autograph draft of the text of the statement, which was signed by Lamon, regarding the so-called Antietam Episode. Sep. 12, 1864
  • Logan, Stephen Trigg. Six letters from Judge Logan to Lamon, his son-in-law. Springfield, 1861 - 65.
  • Maguire, John. Letter to Lamon giving recollections of Lincoln's attitude on the cotton traffic in 1864-5. [ ca. 1870]


Subject matter:

Additional Note

  • A. Recommendations and applications for office appointments under Lincoln, addressed to Lamon as intermediary
  • B. Lamon's Brigade - a regiment of loyal Virginians recruited & equipped by Lamon as Colonel
  • C. Abolitionist senators attack on Lamon in 1862
  • D. Office correspondence
  • 1. U. S. Marshall of the District of Columbia, 1861 - 65.
  • 2. Lamon's claims practice after the War
  • E. Personal correspondence
  • 1. Hardships of relatives and friends living in the loyal border counties of Virginia, 1861 - 65.
  • 2. News and political gossip of cronies in Illinois
  • 3. Financial transactions
  • a. Speculation during the War
  • b. Dealings in Colorado mining properties
  • 4. Lamon's efforts to secure a government appointment
  • a. Republican candidate for West Virginia in the 45th Congress.
  • b. Applications for the office of Governor or Judge in the West, or a counsular appointment abroad
  • F. Cotton traffic and blockads running, 1864 - 65
  • G. Lincoln biographies
  • 1. Correspondence with Herndon, and purchase of his records
  • 2. Controversy over Lamon's Life of Lincoln, published in 1872.
  • 3. Preparation of the second volume, never published
  • 4. Syndicated newspaper articles