Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

McKinney, C. to Erastus R. McKinney

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02179.01.009 Author/Creator: McKinney, C. Place Written: Lacon, Illinois Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 September 1861 Pagination: 4 p. ; 24.1 x 19.3 cm.

Summary of Content: re: recent fire in the town that burnt down a distillery, family news

Background Information:


Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Military HistoryCivil WarUnion ForcesInfantrySoldier's LetterUnion Soldier's LetterDisasterFirefightingIndustryAlcoholChildren and Family

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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