Skip to main content

Oliver Perry Newberry Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Newberry

Scope and Content of the Collection

Mainly correspondence of Oliver Perry Newberry, 1860-1867, primarily relating to his Civil War activities, and cabinet, carte-de-visite and a few tintype photographs of Newberry family and friends dating primarily from the 1880's.

Correspondence consists mainly of letters from Oliver Perry Newberry to his mother, brother Walter Cass Newberry, and wife. There are also several letters written to him by his mother and wife. These letters concern Newberry's wartime service and give news of family. There is one pre-war letter regarding business matters and several post-war letters regarding Oliver Perry's problems settling in to civilian routines. In addition there are two 1890's letters from a former Norwegian servant addressed to Walter Franklin Newberry in Chicago.

There are forty photographs, mostly unidentified, mainly taken by studio photographers in Cameron, Mo., Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado. One immediate family member, daughter Ella Perry Newberry, is identified.


  • Creation: 1860-1895



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Oliver Perry Newberry Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum, and items in each folder will be counted before and after delivery to the patron (Priority I).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Oliver Perry Newberry 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 Oliver Perry Newberry

Cameron, Missouri, resident and Civil War soldier.

Known as O. P. or Perry, Oliver Perry Newberry was born in Sangerfield, Oneida County, N.Y., in 1831. The son of Amasa Stoughton Newberry and Cornelia Perry (Pangborn) Newberry, O. P. Newberry's brother was Walter Cass Newberry and his uncle was Walter Loomis Newberry, the founder of the Newberry Library. According to a printed Newberry family genealogy, O. P. Newberry spent three years (1849-1852) in California prospecting for gold and then served as a captain in Gen. Walker's filibustering expedition (1852-1853) against Sonora, Mexico. He was wounded and left for dead on the field, but later managed to find his way back to the U.S. In 1855, Newberry settled in Cameron, Missouri, where he worked as an engineer on the construction of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad and farmed lands inherited by his wife, Lydia Elizabeth (McCorkle) Newberry, to whom he was married in 1858. They had three children, Walter Franklin (b. 1860), Ella Perry (b. 1862), and Amasa Samuel (b. 1867).

During the Civil War, Oliver Perry Newberry served as a first lieutenant of Company I in the 13th Missouri Regiment of Volunteers, as captain of Company I in the 25th Missouri Regiment of Volunteers, and as major in the 5th Missouri State Militia (2nd org.). Newberry returned after the war to his family in Cameron, where according to his wife's letters, he was unable to adjust to civilian life, drinking too much and working too little. In his own correspondence Newberry reported he was in a confused state. He died in 1874.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Mainly correspondence of Cameron, Missouri resident Oliver Perry Newberry, 1860-1867, primarily relating to his Civil War service in the Union army; and cabinet, carte-de-visite and a few tintype photographs of Newberry family and friends dating primarily from the 1880's.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence, 1860-1895
Box 1
Series 2: Photographs, approximately 1860-approximately 1890
Box 1

Collection Stack Location

1 26 5


Purchased from Mitchell J. Strucinski, Mar. 21, 1973.

Processed by

Martha Briggs, 2002

Inventory of the Oliver Perry Newberry Papers, 1860-1895
Martha Briggs
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