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Ray (Charles Henry) Papers
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
A collection of material related to Charles Henry Ray, American physician, abolitionist, politician, journalist, and editor.
Background
Charles Henry Ray (1821-1870) was a physician, abolitionist politician, journalist, editor and owner of the Chicago Tribune from 1855 to 1863. Ray was born in Norwich, New York; his father was Levi Ray (1796-1850). Ray attended the Norwich Union Seminary and from 1837 to 1838, he studied medicine under Thompson Meade of Poolville, New York. In 1838, he decided to join the military and became a surgeon's mate; in 1840 was commissioned Surgeon of the 105h Regiment of Infantry. An unknown scandal caused him to leave the military and he ended up in Bedford, Massachusetts where he enlisted as the surgeon on the whaling bark Newton bound for South Africa. Ray returned to Bedford in August 1843 and went to New York to study medicine; in 1844, he decided to move West. Ray went first to Iowa and, a year later, to Illinois, having obtained a letter of recommendation to John T. Stuart, a law partner of Abraham Lincoln. He settled in Springfield where he joined the Washingtonian Temperance Society. Together with Tench S. Fairchild, he tried to start a temperance newspaper and joined the Sons of Temperance. In 1846, he married Jane Yates Per Lee and moved to Mackinac, Illinois and set up a medical practice. Soon the family moved to Galena, Illinois where Ray became a proprietor of a newspaper The Galena Jeffersonian. Known for his strong abolitionist politics, Ray reported for his own newspaper and for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune on the Kansas-Nebraska Act crisis and became a powerful political force in the state. In 1855, in partnership with Joseph Medill, Ray bought the Chicago Tribune. Although he was skeptical about Lincoln's commitment of anti-slavery causes, he assumed the role of his advisor in 1856. In 1861, his first wife died, and three years later he married Julia Annah Clark, daughter of Lincoln Clark (1800-1886). In 1863, he sold his interest in the Tribune to Medill and devoted his time to business investments; most were unsuccessful and having lost money in these enterprises, he returned to Chicago and assumed the post of the editor of the Chicago Evening Post. He became a patron of the arts and founded the Chicago Historical Society. He died in Chicago on September 24, 1870.
Extent
7 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 1 expansion folder, 29 folders)
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.