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Walter Q. Gresham letters

 Collection — Folder: S541
Identifier: S0541

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters written by Walter Q. Gresham to various lawyers and to his friend, Tom Slaughter, as well as copies of letters written to Gresham during his service as a general in the U.S. Army, ranging from 1869 to 1898. A handwritten note from Grover Cleveland praising Gresham is also included.


  • 1869-1898

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Walter Quintin Gresham was born on March 17, 1832, near Lanesville, Harrison County, Indiana. He attended Indiana University and was admitted to the bar in 1854. He practiced law in New Albany, Indiana, with John H. Butler. In 1858, he married Matilda McGrain with whom he had two children.

In 1861, Gresham was a Representative in the Indiana General Assembly for Harrison County, but resigned to become lieutenant colonel of the 38th regiment of the Indiana Volunteers. During the Civil War, he also served in the 53rd regiment of the Indiana Volunteers and reached the rank of brevet major general in 1865. Following the war, he returned to his practice in New Albany. He also served as U.S. district judge for Indiana (1869-1883); U.S. postmaster general (1883-1884); and judge for the U.S. 7th circuit (1884-1893). In 1884, President Chester Arthur appointed him Secretary of the Treasury. He also served as a cabinet member under President Grover Cleveland as Secretary of State (1893-1895). He died on May 28, 1895, in Washington, D.C.


Dunn, Jacob Piatt. Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood, volume IV. Chicago: The American Historical Society, 1919.

Shepherd, Rebecca A., Charles W. Calhoun, Elizabeth Shanahan-Shoemaker, and Alan F. January, comp. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Volume 1, 1816-1899. Indianapolis: The Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts a donation from Otto Gresham on 1931/03/28 and Walter Benjamin during May 1952.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2006/06 by Christina Baich. Finding aid created 2006/06 by Christina Baich. EAD finding aid revised 2015/11/12 by Brittany Kropf
Walter Q. Gresham letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.