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Henry L. and Solon R. Soper collection

 Collection — Folder: S1219
Identifier: S1220

Scope and Contents

There are two items in this collection. The oldest item is a land grant from President John Quincy Adams for Henry L. Soper, of Queensville, Jennings County, Indiana. The document is dated May 7, 1828. The second item is a small, leather-bound diary written mostly in pencil by Lieutenant Solen R. Soper, who was in the 9th Indiana Legion. This was a 30-days unit enlisted in 1862. Solen guarded prisoners at Camp Morton and then on a Mississippi River boat, during which time this diary was written.

He wrote that they left Indianapolis on August 27, 1862, with 990 prisoners of war and a company of guards including six officers. Much of the diary is about the plantations and sights along the Mississippi River during the trip.

In the September 5th entry (page 4), he wrote: "Just below the town is the large and splendid plantation of the rebel General Pillow formerly owned by Gov. Morehead where he killed his own servant and had to sell the place in consequence of murder." On pages 6 and 7, Solen wrote: "The next place of note is the foot of no. 64 Robinson's Landing on Miss[issippi River] where our folks captured 50 bales of cotton on or about the 20th August. Also the plantation of Andrew Jackson Donaldson, adopted son of Old Hickory. He is a rebel and his planation presents the appearance of old and forsaken massive ruins." Concerning Napoleon, Arkansas, he wrote: "Napoleon is composed of whiskey shops, general stores, cut throats, and houses of ill fame, so I am informed by the pilots of the boats. They knew every house in the place." (pages 12-13) On September 12, he wrote: "We had some trouble with some of our guards. They hollered for Jeff Davis and got up considerable excitement and we rather set them up." (pages 29-30) On the last page, 38, he wrote: "The bottle is empty and is laying on the shelf as we go marching on. John Brown's body is hanging on the tree as we go marchin' on. The secesh flag is a dirty old rag as we go marching on."


  • 1828, 1862


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.

Historical Note

Henry L. Soper lived in Jennings County, Indiana, when he received a land grant from President John Quincy Adams in 1828. Solen R. Soper was in the 9th Indiana Legion which enlisted for 30 days in 1862.


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 and finding aid completed 2016/12/1 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Soper, Henry J. and Solon R. 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.