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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Ellsworth, Elmer Ephraim (1837-1861) to Edwin Coates

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07343 Author/Creator: Ellsworth, Elmer Ephraim (1837-1861) Place Written: Springfield, Illinois Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 February 1861 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Ellsworth, famous for raising the New York Zouaves, writes to his friend Captain Coates. Declares "the time has come which will test our brotherhood...- Some of those malicious fiends in human shape who hate me so venomously have learned of my bright prospects from some indiscreet friend and have set on fort a movement to frustrate me which if it succeeds will be my ruin." Instructs Coates to call a meeting, and to present resolutions (pre-drafted by Ellsworth). Lists the persons who are to be present at the meeting, including Colonel Joseph Tucker Taylor, Philip Wadsworth, and George W. Gage, among others. Requests Coates's help in securing Ellsworth's appointment to a post, stating "it will be the best weeks work you ever done - for I shall certainly be Asst Sec of War & for every hour you work for me & will work days for your matter." The following day, writes again requesting that Coates have the resolutions and articles published in the Tribune (possibly the Chicago Tribune). Cites the locations he will be visiting (including Columbus, Ohio, New York, New York, and Washington, D.C.). Requests 50 copies of the Tribune if his resolutions are published. Emphasizes that no one should see this letter or the articles/resolutions.

People: Ellsworth, E. E. (Elmer Ephraim), 1837-1861.
Coates, Edwin, fl. 1861.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Office Seeker, Lincoln's Cabinet, Journalism, Politics

Sub Era: The American Civil War