Papers, primarily correspondence touching upon many aspects of Horace A. Tenney's career as editor, member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, assistant state geologist, and political leader in Wisconsin. Among the topics discussed are the development of the state constitution in 1847, the Barstow-Bashford controversy, the selection of saline lands for the University in the 1850's, the formation of the Republican Party, the Liberal Republican and Greenback movements in the 1870's; and local politics, particularly in Madison and Milwaukee.
Letters from Leonard J. Farwell describe his business operations in Chicago and Missouri after his removal from Wisconsin. Letters from other pioneer newspaper men, especially Josiah A. Noonan, Horace Rublee, and Stephen D. Carpenter, show the influence of newspaper writers upon the shaping of state events. A small group of letters written by George D. Kellogg during the Civil War describe military operations in the lower Mississippi River Valley, and some routine correspondence relates to Tenney's service as paymaster of the army after 1862. After his appointment as federal inspector of post offices at the close of the war he received a number of letters from Michigan and Wisconsin regarding appointments and postal routes and expressing dissatisfaction with the mail service. Other correspondents are Edward P. Allis, Ezra S. Carr, Paul Chadbourne, Amasa B. Cobb, Edward Daniels, Cushman K. Davis, Henry Dodge, James R. Doolittle, Timothy O. Howe, Levi Hubbell, George Hyer, Solomon Juneau, Byron Kilbourn, Rufus King, Azel P. Ladd, Increase Lapham, William P. Lyon, John G. McMynn, Morgan L. Martin, O. T. Maxon, Josiah Packard, George H. Paul, John Fox Potter, Alexander Randall, Edward G. Ryan, Carl Schurz, Marshall Strong, Moses M. Strong, John Tweedy, and C. C. Washburn.
The collection also includes a few letters written by Tenney to his wife in the 1870's, letters from his parents, and other family members' correspondence extending through three generations. There are typewritten copies of letters, 1797-1832, written by Cornelius Cadle, a merchant of New York City, on business and family matters, and a record of the Cadle family in England and America.
Other papers include a memorandum book that Tenney kept while selecting saline lands in Pierce County in 1853; a volume of names of members of the first State Republican Central Committee in 1857 with names of voters by counties; a collection of records acquired while he was paymaster during the Civil War; a volume of reminiscences of his war experiences, written in 1874; notes on speeches and articles; and genealogical data.
The few photographs were made about 1900 and show the Tenney family homestead(s?) at Bradford (now Groveland), Mass. and tombstones of family members, 1748-1803, in the Bradford churchyard.
Presented by Edward L. Baker, March, 1920; by Mrs. Erick J. L. Cotton, 1948 and May, 1957; by J. B. Guenther, 1948; by Charles K. Tenney, 1907; and by Mrs. Horace K. Tenney, 1933. Some items purchased in 1942.
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