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John V. LeMoyne Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-LeMoyne

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly in-coming correspondence to John V. LeMoyne, received between 1852-1875. The majority of the letters are from family members and friends in Washington, Pennsylvania, including Mary Anderson, Nettie Kennedy, Francis Julius LeMoyne, Frank LeMoyne, Jane LeMoyne, Julia LeMoyne, Madeline LeMoyne, Madeline Romaine Bureau LeMoyne, Nannie LeMoyne, Romaine LeMoyne, Thurston LeMoyne, Lizzie Shaler, Charlotte Wills, John Wills, and Wilma Wills. These letters focus on family affairs in Washington, Pennsylvania, and show his mother's strong religious beliefs. There are also a few letters from LeMoyne's father cautioning his son against speculating on Chicago real estate. Among other matters, letters from friends discuss opportunities in the West (Texas, California, Oregon) and the business climate in Milwaukee.

Also included are business and calling cards, a Gentian Club (Pittsburgh?) contract and members list, a letter from St. James Church in Chicago accepting LeMoyne's resignation as choir director, and a Shakespeare ticket.


  • Creation: 1851-1889
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1852 - 1875



Materials are in English.


The John V. LeMoyne Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The John V. LeMoyne 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.

Biography of John V. LeMoyne

John Valcoulon LeMoyne was born in Washington Park, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 17, 1828, and was the son of Madeleine Romaine Bureau LeMoyne and Francis Julius LeMoyne. His father was a well-known abolitionist who was later nominated as the first vice presidential candidate for the Liberty Party. In 1876, Francis J. LeMoyne erected the first crematorium in the United States near Washington, Pennsylvania.

John LeMoyne studied law in Pittsburgh and was admitted to the bar in 1852. That same year he toured the West, deciding to move to Chicago and begin his law practice. He married with his wife, Julia, the following year. In 1872, LeMoyne became a candidate for the 43rd Congress on the Liberal Party ticket, but was defeated. He ran again for the 44th Congress as a Democrat and won. He served in Congress from May 6, 1876 to March 3, 1877. After losing the re-election, John continued his law practice in Chicago and was known as a "lawyer of excellent standing and ability". He retired in 1887 and moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he died on July 27, 1918.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Mainly incoming letters to Chicago lawyer and Congressman, John V. LeMoyne, from his Washington, Pennsylvania family, including his abolitionist father. Many of the letters caution against real estate speculation and reveal strong religious beliefs.


The letters are arranged alphabetically by author. A few miscellaneous letters (mainly from friends) and the calling cards, etc., are filed at the end of the collection.

Collection Stack Location

1 24 2


Gift of Mrs. D.B. McDougal (Madeleine McIlvaine McDougal) via the Chicago Historical Society, February 6, 1964.

Processed by

Dan Zamudio, 2000.

Inventory of the John V. LeMoyne Papers, 1851-1889, bulk 1852-1875Midwest.MS.LeMoyne
Finding aid prepared by Dan Zamudio
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States