• IdentificationMidwest MS LeMoyne
  • TitleInventory of the John V. LeMoyne Papers, 1851-1889, bulk 1852-1875 Midwest.MS.LeMoyne Midwest.MS.LeMoyne
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description0.8 linear feet (2 boxes)
  • Date
    • Bulk, 1852-1875
    • 1851-1889
  • Location1 24 2
  • AbstractMainly incoming letters to Chicago lawyer and Congressman, John V. LeMoyne, from his Washington, Pennsylvania family, including his abolitionist father. Many of the letters caution against real estate speculation and reveal strong religious beliefs.
  • OriginationLeMoyne, John V., 1828-1918

Gift of Mrs. D.B. McDougal via the Chicago Historical Society, February 6, 1964.

The John V. LeMoyne Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The John V. LeMoyne Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

John V. LeMoyne Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Dan Zamudio, 2000.

John Valcoulon LeMoyne was born in Washington Park, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 17, 1828, and was the son of Madeleine Romaine Bureau LeMoyne and Francis Julius LeMoyne. His father was a well-known abolitionist who was later nominated as the first vice presidential candidate for the Liberty Party. In 1876, Francis J. LeMoyne erected the first crematorium in the United States near Washington, Pennsylvania.

John LeMoyne studied law in Pittsburgh and was admitted to the bar in 1852. That same year he toured the West, deciding to move to Chicago and begin his law practice. He married with his wife, Julia, the following year. In 1872, LeMoyne became a candidate for the 43rd Congress on the Liberal Party ticket, but was defeated. He ran again for the 44th Congress as a Democrat and won. He served in Congress from May 6, 1876 to March 3, 1877. After losing the re-election, John continued his law practice in Chicago and was known as a "lawyer of excellent standing and ability". He retired in 1887 and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he died on July 27, 1918.

Mainly in-coming correspondence to John V. LeMoyne, received between 1852-1875. The majority of the letters are from family members and friends in Washington, Pennsylvania, including Mary Anderson, Nettie Kennedy, Francis Julius LeMoyne, Frank LeMoyne, Jane LeMoyne, Julia LeMoyne, Madeline LeMoyne, Madeline Romaine Bureau LeMoyne, Nannie LeMoyne, Romaine LeMoyne, Thurston LeMoyne, Lizzie Shaler, Charlotte Wills, John Wills, and Wilma Wills. These letters focus on family affairs in Washington, Pennsylvania, and show his mother's strong religious beliefs. There are also a few letters from LeMoyne's father cautioning his son against speculating on Chicago real estate. Among other matters, letters from friends discuss opportunities in the West (Texas, California, Oregon) and the business climate in Milwaukee.

Also included are business and calling cards, a Gentian Club (Pittsburgh?) contract and members list, a letter from St. James Church in Chicago accepting LeMoyne's resignation as choir director, and a Shakespeare ticket.

The letters are arranged alphabetically by author. A few miscellaneous letters (mainly from friends) and the calling cards, etc., are filed at the end of the collection.

  • Names
    • LeMoyne, Francis Julius, 1798-1879 -- Correspondence
    • LeMoyne, John V., 1828-1918
    • St. James Church (Chicago, Ill.).
  • Subject
    • Chicago
    • Family -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    • Family Papers
    • Great Fire, Chicago, Ill., 1871
    • Manuscripts, American -- United States
    • Religion
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    • Washington (Penn.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources