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Sheet Music for Piano Forte, ca. 1840-1849

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 9

Scope and Content of the Collection

From the Collection: 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 facsimile 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 descendants, as well as a few later transcriptions of diary and a brief narrative regarding the family, slavery, and the Civil War.


  • ca. 1840-1849

Conditions Governing Access

The Elvira Sheridan Badger Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).


Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States