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Joshua Reed and Lura Maria Giddings collection

Identifier: L332

Scope and Contents

The collection includes Joshua Giddings' letters to his daughter, wife, and other members of his family, written from Washington, D. C. (1840-1858) and Montreal, Canada (1862-1864), journals and diaries of Lura Maria Giddings (1858-1870), Lura's biography of her father, the memoirs of Joshua Giddings, and family photographs.


  • 1799-1870


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

Joshua Reed Giddings was born in Tioga Point (later Athens), Bradford County, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1795. Giddings moved with his parents to Canandaigua, New York, before eventually settling in Ashtabula County, Ohio in 1806. Giddings served during the War of 1812, after which he embarked on a career studying law. By February 1821, Giddings passed the bar and began practicing law in Jefferson, Ohio. He began his career in politics in 1826, being elected to the State House of Representatives in Ohio, serving one term. In 1838, Giddings was elected, as a Whig, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Elisha Whittlesey, serving as U.S. Representative from Ohio until 1859. During his time in office, he changed political parties three times: from Whig, to Free Soil party, and eventually a Republican. Giddings was strongly opposed to slavery, and was active in the Underground Railroad and worked to stop the expansion of slavery. Following his time as a U.S. Representative, Giddings was appointed consul general to the British North American Provinces by President Abraham Lincoln on March 25, 1861, serving until his death, May 27, 1864.

Lura Maria Giddings was the daughter of Joshua Reed Giddings and Laura Waters. She was the older sister of Laura Giddings Julian. Lura was born in 1825 and died in 1871.


Stewart, James Brewer. Joshua R. Giddings and the Tactics of Radical Politics. Cleveland: Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1970.

United States Congress. Biographical DIrectory of the United States Congress. Accessed February 25, 2011.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Grace Julian Clarke.


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:

S0750: Laura Giddings Julian papers

L081: George W. Julian collection

L033: Grace Julian Clarke collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2011/02 by Brent Abercrombie. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/02 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid revised 2019/11/14 by Lauren Patton.
Joshua Reed and Lura Maria Giddings collection
Description rules
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.