TABLE OF CONTENTS
Elvira Sheridan Badger Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.
Gift, Frances Badger, 1991; Camille MacDonald Weiss, 2011.
Leigh Ann Ripley, 2005.
The Elvira Sheridan Badger Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Elvira Sheridan Badger Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.
Louisville, Kentucky, and Chicago, Illinois, wife and mother.
Elvira Cecelia Sheridan Badger was born April 4, 1832, in Charleston, South Carolina to John J. and Martha Sheridan. Shortly after the birth of Elvira's brother, Joseph, in 1834, the Sheridan family moved from South Carolina to Louisville, Kentucky. Elvira married Alpheus C. Badger, a prominent banker, in the early 1850's. The couple had six children: Belle, Elvira, Ada, Sheridan, Alpheus, and Abraham.
Following the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the Badgers moved to Chicago where Alpheus became a prominent financier. The family resided on Michigan Avenue and later on Calumet Avenue. Elvira Cecelia Sheridan Badger died November 22, 1911.
Six volumes of Elvira C. Sheridan Badger's diaries spanning the years of 1859-1903, and one diary fragment, 1877-1878, together with two volumes of antebellum parlor music bound for Elvira C. Sheridan prior to her marriage, later diary transcriptions and narratives, a 20th-century family photograph, and a facsimilie of a notebook kept by Alpheus Shreve Badger pertaining to the freeing of his slaves from 1852.
The diaries provide daily accounts of weather conditions, family illnesses, visitors, and other activities. Entries also discuss the 1860 presidential election, Union sentiment in Louisville, the pro-Union sentiments of the diarist and her New Hampshire-born husband, the family's decision to free their slaves and their relations with them. Civil War battles are also noted, as are the family's reasons for moving to Chicago and Elvira's feelings on leaving family in Louisville and her impressions of her new home. Later Chicago diaries describe a prosperous life on Calumet Ave., where the family moved in 1870. The Chicago fire is mentioned, as are the neighbors (Leiter family of dry goods firm Field and Leiter).
Music volumes bound for Elvira C. Sheridan include piano sheet music of marches, polkas, ballads, waltzes, sonatas, etc., dating primarily from the 1840's. Among the selections are songs and pieces composed to commemorate battles, presidential candidates, and other events of the day. Many were published in Louisville by W.C. Peters. One 1841 march, "Citizens Guards' March," has a printed dedication to Maria Louisa Todd (later Mrs. Abraham Lincoln) on the cover.
There is also an unidentified photograph probably of family descendents, as well as a few later transcriptions of diary and a brief narrative regarding the family, slavery, and the Civil War.
Materials arranged alphabetically by type of document.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.