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.

Thomas, H.K., (fl. 1878) to Blanche Kelso Bruce

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09400.051 Author/Creator: Thomas, H.K., (fl. 1878) Place Written: Bovina, Mississippi Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 December 1878 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 20.1 x 12.3 cm.

A short note outlining Thomas's fear that white democrats are trying to push him out of his position as Post Master of Bovina Mississippi, with the help of Pease. He requests that the Senator Bruce help him to keep his position until a vote can be decided to discover the wishes of the patrons. There is a small raised image of a woman's face and the word "Verona" underneath it in the top Left corner of the document.

Blanche Kelso Bruce was born into slavery near Farmville, Prince Edward County, Va. on March 1 1841. He was tutored by his master's son, but left his master at the beginning of the civil war and taught school in Hannibal Mo. After the civil war Bruce became a planter in Mississippi, and a member of the Mississippi Levee Board, and Sheriff and Tax Collector for Bolivar County from 1872-1875. Bruce was then elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, where he served from March 4 1875 - March 3 1881. Bruce was the first African American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. In 1881 Bruce was appointed by President James Garfield as the Register of the Treasury. Bruce then went on to serve as the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Colombia from 1891-1893, returning to the office of Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death on March 17, 1898.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources