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John Upfold Pettit papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S1058

Scope and Contents

This collection includes original letters from John Upforld Pettit, ranging from 1840 to 1853, addressed to his brother, Milton Howard Pettit, including several while serving as American consul at Maranham, Brazil (1850-1853). Also included is Pettit's 1979 publication, "Answer to the Toast, The Old Psi Upsilon."

There are also newspapers, ranging from 1797 to 1865 (OBC062).


  • 1797-1879


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

John Upfold Pettit was born on September 11, 1820, in Fabius, Onondaga County, New York. His father was George Pettit; his brother was Milton Howard Pettit. He attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York and Union College in Schenectady, New York, graduating in 1839. Pettit moved to Wabash County, Indiana, and was admitted to the bar in 1841. He married Julia Brenton in 1858, with whom he had six children. He served as colonel in the 75th Indiana Regiment. In 1863, he helped organize the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home in Knightstown, Rush County, Indiana. Pettit was a law professor at Indiana University (1869-1870); U.S. consul to Maranham, Brazil (1850-1853); and Judge, 11th Circuit Court (1853-1854), 22nd Circuit Court (1873), and 27th Circuit court (1873-1879). Pettit was elected as a U.S. House of Representative (1851-1861), serving as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department. Pettit served as speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1865. John Upfold Pettit died on March 21, 1881, in Wabash, Indiana and was buried in Falls Cemetery.


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

United States Congress. "Pettit, John Upfold." United States House of Representatives History, Art and Archives. Accessed October 21, 2021.,-John-Upfold-(P000278).


0.07 Cubic Feet (1 folder, 1 large oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records donation from Mrs. H.C. Pettit on 1933/01/24.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

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

OBC062: John Upfold Pettit newspapers

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid created 2015/04/16 by Linda Gellert. EAD finding aid revised 2021/10/20 by Lauren Patton; 2021/10/21 by Brittany Kropf.
John Upfold Pettit papers
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.