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Daniel D. Pratt collection

Identifier: L128

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of Daniel D. Pratt’s legal and political papers from the period 1831 to 1877. His legal papers include correspondence, briefs, legal and financial documents, and notes regarding his cases in Logansport and northern Indiana, including both criminal and civil cases. The collection also contains papers regarding collection of debts for eastern law firms and papers related to the settlement of the estate of Senator John Tipton. Additionally, there are correspondence and legal papers relating to the affairs of Indian traders in northern Indiana, including the G.W. and W.G. Ewing Co. of Fort Wayne with which Pratt was associated in the 1830s and 1840s. The collection also includes papers regarding Pratt’s other legal interests, including the Wabash and Erie Canal, railroads, and land development in Iowa and other western states. The political papers in the collection include correspondence regarding the work of the Indiana state legislature (1851-1853), state and national elections, particularly the 1860, 1868, 1872, and 1876 elections, and correspondence regarding the state and national Republican Party. Finally there are letters to Pratt related to issues before the U.S. Senate and his work on the Pensions and Claims Committees (1869-1876), and well as requests of those seeking political appointments.

In addition to legal and political papers, the collection also contains literary and temperance addresses delivered by Pratt in Rising Sun, Indianapolis, and Logansport (1830s-1840s), as well as papers and record books related to the Logansport school system (1860s). The collection contains family correspondence, including letters from son Charles D. Pratt regarding the family’s legal business while Pratt was in the U.S. Senate, and a journal of son James P. Pratt while a student at Wabash College (1857-1858). There are diaries and account records (1840s-1860s), newspaper clippings, and other printed materials. Finally, there are papers and correspondence of the executor of Pratt’s estate, Logansport attorney William T. Wilson (1877-1901).

Correspondents include: Oakes Ames, Conrad Baker, William W. Belknap, Horace P. Biddle, James T. Bryer, Charles Butler, Ovid Butler, John C. Calhoun, Henry P. Coburn, John Coburn, Schuyler Colfax, Roscoe Conkling, Will Cumback, John D. Defrees, Thomas Dowling, George H. Dunn, James W. Dunn, George W. Ewing, William G. Ewing, Hamilton Fish, Graham N. Fitch, Calvin Fletcher, John W. Foster, James S. Frazier, James A. Garfield, Isaac P. Gray, Walter Q. Gresham, Allen Hamilton, Hugh Hanna, Benjamin Harrison, James J. Hayden, Thomas A. Hendricks, Barnabas C. Hobbs, George W. Julien, Henry S. Lane, Hyacinth Lasselle, John H. Lathrop, Robert Milroy, Oliver P. Morton, Thomas A. Nelson, John B. Niles, Noah Noble, Cyrus Nutt, Godlove S. Orth, John U. Pettit, Gilbert A. Pierce, Albert Gallatin Porter, William Tecumseh Sherman, Thomas C. Slaughter, Caleb B. Smith, Benjamin Spooner, Robert S. Taylor, Richard W. Thompson, Henry C. Thornton, John Tipton, Spear S. Tipton, David Turpie, Joseph F. Tuttle, John P. Usher, Cyrus Vigus, Daniel W. Voorhees, Albert S. White, Simon Yandes.


  • 1816-1901


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

Daniel D. Pratt was born on October 26, 1813 in Palermo, Maine, and moved to New York State with his family at a young age. After graduating from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Pratt moved west to Rising Sun, Indiana, in 1832. He served as a law clerk in the office of Calvin Fletcher in Indianapolis from 1833 to 1836. After passing the Indiana bar, he moved to Logansport to begin his law practice. Pratt served as a Whig member in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1851 and 1853 and as secretary to the Republican National Committee in 1860. In 1868, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but resigned in January 1869 after being elected to the U.S. Senate. Pratt served as a Republican in the Senate from March 4, 1869 to March 3, 1875, and was chairman of the Committee on Pensions. In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. He resigned the following year, and died in Logansport on June 17, 1877.


10.8 Cubic Feet (76 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Vivian Durbin on 1932/03/21.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S1846: Daniel Darwin Pratt collection

L160: John Tipton collection

L323: Ewing family collection

L315: William T. Wilson collection

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Laura Williams during May 2012. EAD finding aid revised 2024/06/07 by Brittany Kropf.


Daniel D. Pratt collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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