Justin George Turner papers: Finding Aid mssTurnerj

Finding aid prepared by Staff, 1979 and updated by Brooke M. Black, November 19, 2012.
The Huntington Library
© 2012
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191


Last updated by Brooke M. Black in April 2024.

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: Justin George Turner Papers
Creator: Turner, Justin G.
Identifier/Call Number: mssTurnerj
Physical Description: 0.84 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1953-1969
Abstract: This small collection of Lincolniana collector Justin George Turner (1898-1976) chiefly relates to the Civil War Centennial Commission and all of its related activities especially in California.
Language of Material: English.


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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Justin George Turner papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Gift of Justin George Turner, December 1969 and July 1974.

Biographical Note

Justin George Turner (1898-1976), attorney, investment executive, historian, author, and collector of Lincolniana. Turner moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 1943. He was involved in many educational and historical institutions and associations. In 1961-1965, he was president of the California Civil War Centennial Commission. He was also president emeritus of the University of Judaism. He co-authored a book entitled Mary Todd Lincoln: Her life and letters.

Scope and Content

This small collection chiefly relates to the Civil War Centennial Commission and all of its related activities especially in California. There are also pieces related to the Civil War Round Table, a national organization; the California Heritage Preservation Association; the Confederate Research Club; and the Pen Club, an organization headed by Allan Nevins and which celebrated both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln with annual luncheons attended by prominent historians such as Nevins and Ray Billington. There are seven letters from Edmund Gerald Brown, former governor of California, addressed to Justin Turner and other letters from historians. All are related to the Civil War Centennial. There are 624 letters of which 339 of these letters are written by Turner. In addition to this there is a group of form letters, printed announcements, memos, and drafts that number 217 pieces. There are 23 copies of speeches and memos and 56 pieces of ephemera. There are nine items regarding the Washington/Lincoln luncheons. There are several items that pertain to the history of Jewish people in the United States and the American Jewish Historical Society. Prominent participants include: Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Gage Merrell, Bruce Catton, and Moshe Davis. The subjects include: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, the Civil War, American history, the Huntington Library and the American Jewish Historical Society. The great majority of letters are carbon copies. There is a photograph of Merrell Gage, sculpture famous for his "Face of Lincoln," and a photograph of William L. Shaw, a chairman of the Civil War Centennial Commission of California.


The papers are organized in the following 2 series: 1. Letters and other papers written by Justin G. Turner; and 2. Letters by authors other than Turner, photographs, and ephemera.


Former call number: mssTurner, Justin papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Historians -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archives
Jews -- United States -- History
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Societies, etc.
Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 20th century
Professional papers -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
Billington, Ray Allen, 1903-1981
Brown, Edmund G. (Edmund Gerald), 1905-1996
Catton, Bruce, 1899-1978, recipient.
Davis, Moshe.
Gage, Merrell, 1892-1981
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968, recipient.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882
Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971, recipient.
Reagan, Ronald, recipient.
Washington, George, 1732-1799
American Jewish Historical Society.
California Civil War Centennial Commission -- Archives
California Heritage Preservation Association
Civil War Round Table (Chicago, Ill.)
Confederate Research Club.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.
United States. Civil War Centennial Commission.

Box 1

Turner Letters and Addresses, Washington/Lincoln Luncheons (1954-1968)

Box 1, Folder 1

Turner, Justin G. Letters to A – D (1954-1968). 88 items.

Box 1, Folder 2

Turner, Justin G. Letters to F – H (1953-1968). 92 items.

Box 1, Folder 3

Turner, Justin G. Letters to J – R (1956-1968). 80 items.

Box 1, Folder 4

Turner, Justin G. Letters to S – Z (1956-1968). 81 items.

Box 1, Folder 5

Turner, Justin G. Memorandum re: Laminating Machine (1959-1964). 2 items.

Box 1, Folder 6

Turner, Justin G. Miscellaneous Addresses (1962-1965). 8 items.

Box 1, Folder 7

Turner, Justin G. Miscellaneous Memos (1968). 13 items.

Box 1, Folder 8

Turner, Justin G. Miscellaneous Items re: Washington/Lincoln Luncheons (1964-1967). 9 items.

Box 2

Letters to Turner, Civil War Centennial Material (1953-1969)

Box 2, Folder 1

A – D. Letters to Justin G. Turner (1953-1969). 59 items.

Box 2, Folder 2

E – H. Letters to Justin G. Turner (1953-1965). 60 items.

Box 2, Folder 3

I – M. Letters to Justin G. Turner (1953-1963). 49 items.

Box 2, Folder 4

N – S. Letters to Justin G. Turner (1956-1967). 71 items.

Box 2, Folder 5

T – Z. Letters to Justin G. Turner (1953-1969). 9 items.

Box 2, Folder 6

Letters to and from various persons (1956-1964). 37 items.

Box 2, Folder 7

California Civil War Centennial Commission (1962-1963). 10 items.

Box 2, Folder 8

California Heritage Preservation Committee (1965). 12 items.

Box 2, Folder 9

Civil War Centennial Commission (1959). 2 items.

Box 2, Folder 10

Civil War Centennial Commission Letters (1960-1963). 24 items.

Box 2, Folder 11

Civil War Round Table Association: Quizzes (1959). 10 items.

Box 2, Folder 12

Civil War Round Table Association: Ephemera (1956-1968). 59 items.

Box 2, Folder 13

Civil War Round Table Association: Newspaper Clippings and Other Printed Material (1956-1969). 31 items.

Box 2, Folder 14

Civil War Round Table Association: Northern California Chapter Printed Material (1961, Apr. 25). 1 item.

Box 2, Folder 15

Confederate Research Club: Printed Material (1957-1960). 17 items.

Box 2, Folder 16

"City and Community" by Moshe Davis (1969, October). 1 item.

Box 2, Folder 17

Historical Society of Southern California (1961, Dec.). 1 item.

Box 2, Folder 18

Jewish Civil War (1968). 2 items.

Box 2, Folder 19

Lincoln Memorabilia (1969). 3 items.

Box 2, Folder 20

Miscellaneous Memos and Drafts (1953-1962). 12 items.

Box 2, Folder 21

Newspaper Clippings (1952-1956). 5 items.

Box 2, Folder 22

Photographs (1957). 2 items. Also: Two notes.

Box 2, Folder 23

Printed Notices, etc. (1952-1961). 25 items.

Box 2, Folder 24

Ephemera and Printed Material (1953-1967). 55 items.