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Henry J. Shombre collection

 Collection — Folder: S1180
Identifier: S1180

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photostatic copies made in 1947 of a diary kept by Henry J. Shombre while traveling to the gold fields of California in 1849. The diary entries range from March 29 to June 17th and relate Shombre's experiences traveling from Hagerstown, Indiana to Fort Laramie in Wyoming Territory by canal boat, steamboat, and wagon train. The copies were made from the original diary housed at the Kansas Historical Society.

The collection also includes two photostatic copies of newspaper articles from an "Extra" edition of the Richmond Palladium (IN) printed August 29, 1856 and made from originals owned by Marguerite Hill. The newspaper reprinted two letters, one sent by John Hunt to the newspaper and another sent to J.L. Harris from "Dave," in which they describe the fighting in Kansas at the Battle of Fort Titus and the death of Captain Shombre. Along with the newspaper articles, the collection also contains clippings of Kate Milner Rabb's Indianapolis Star column, "A Hoosier Listening Post". Ranging from June 19 to July 2, 1934, Rabb's columns contain transcriptions of the letters from the Richmond Palladium and entries from Shombre's diary.


  • 1849-1934


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

Henry J. Shombre was born in 1826 in Liverpool, England and immigrated to the United States with his family. He traveled from Indiana to the gold fields of California in 1849. He was one of the few that returned home with money in his pocket and he used the thousand dollars he earned to attend college. He graduated from the law school of Cincinnati College and was admitted to the Wayne County, Indiana bar in 1852. Moved by the "Free State War" in Kansas, he organized a company of men from Richmond, Indiana and they arrived in Topeka on August 13, 1856. The men moved on to Lecompton and took part in the Battle of Fort Titus on August 16th. Captain Shombre, along with around fifty Free State men, attacked proslavery defenders at the fortified log house of Colonel Henry Titus and was mortally wounded. He died two days later on August 18th, 1856.


Information found within collection.

"A Forgotten Hero." Lawrence Daily Journal World (KS), January 24, 1913. Accessed October 21, 2017. "Henry J. Shombre." U.S. School Catalogs, 1765-1935. Accessed October 21, 2017.

Historic Lecompton. "Battle of Fort Titus." Accessed October 24, 2017.


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 as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/10/24 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2017/10/24 by Laura Eliason.
Henry J. Shombre collection
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.