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John Rowan collection

 Collection — Folder: S1541
Identifier: S1541

Scope and Contents

This collection contains seven photostats of letters and documents from John Rowan in Kentucky and Washington, D.C., ranging from 1828 to 1861, concerning legal matters, politics, appointments, and simlar matters.

1. Document regarding opinion of Judge Trimble, circa 1825-1831. 2. John Rowan letter to Samuel L. Lathan, 1828/03/18 - re: recommndation of Midshipman Philip Thomas Trapnal. 3. Document regarding railroad from Jeffersonville to New Albany, Indiana, 1836/12/08. 4. John Rowan letter to G. E. Badger, 1841/04/23 - re: recommendation of John G. Grayson, son of the late Captain Alfred Grayson. 5. Document regarding leasing an apartment in Naples, Italy, from December 1848 until the end of May 1849. 6. Payment receipt for a furnished apartment on the Riviera from November 6 to December 6, 1849. 7. Captain W. H. Rowan letter to mother, 1861/07/22 - regarding Civil War, Bull Run, etc.


  • 1828-1861


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 Rowan was born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1773. In 1790, he moved to Bardstown, Kentucky, and soon became a defense lawyer. In 1794, Rowan married Anne Lytle. He fought a duel in 1801 with Dr. James Chambers and killed him. The duel was over a disagreement about who was the expert in classical languages. John served as secretary of state, was elected to U.S. Congress, served in the Kentucky General Assembly, sat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and was U.S. senator. Between 1795 and 1818, Rowan built Federal Hill, his home which became famous because a Rowan family relative, Stephen Collins Foster, wrote "My Old Kentucky Home Good Night" in 1852. In 1922, Madge Rowan Frost sold her ancestral home and grounds to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it is now a state park.


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 records donation from Josiah Kirby Lilly in 1935.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/03/19 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid revised 2024/05/01 by Brittany Kropf.
John Rowan 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.