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John Dillingham letter

 Collection — Folder: S1840
Identifier: S1840

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a letter written by John Dillingham at Cincinnati, Ohio and sent to Lemuel Bassett of Lee, Massachusetts. Written between April 20 and May 1, 1823, the letter comments on the reading society in Lee, family education in the absence of common schools, slavery, river travel by flatboat, and the increasing use of steamboats and the building of these vessels in Cincinnati. He also discusses Christianity and other related topics and mentions "Uncle Hyde" and later Dr. Hyde, presumably Alvan Hyde, a longtime minister in Lee.


  • 1823


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 Dillingham, the author of the letter in this collection, was most likely the son of Major Nathan and Rebecca Dillingham. According to the vital records of Lee, Massachusetts, John Dillingham was born on February 16, 1797. His sister Rebecca married Rollin C. Dewey and they moved to Palestine, Lawrence County, Indiana in 1820. John Dillingham's 1823 letter mentions the Deweys in Palestine, Indiana. John was still alive in December 1835 when his father wrote out his will, but no other reliable information was found.

Sources: "John Dillingham." Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1998. Accessed May 19, 2021. "Nathan Dillingham." Massachusetts, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991. Accessed May 19, 2021.

Indiana Genealogy Trails. "The Story of Palestine, the First County Seat." Lawrence County, Indiana. Accessed May 19, 2021.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one letter.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Indiana State Museum.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1998 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created 2021/05/19 by Laura Eliason.
John Dillingham letter
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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