James Russell of Champaign, Ill. collected miscellaneous historical material, including information about the Charleston, Ill. riot of March 28, 1864, in which fighting between anti-war Copperheads and pro-war soldiers and civilians left five persons dead. This collection contains material regarding the riot, including 20th century newspaper clippings and editorials, correspondence, and research notes, as well as an assortment of almanacs, sales catalogs, clippings and pamphlets.
Also included is a ledger of Andrew Magner, who sold books and sundries in Charleston in 1859-65. The ledger was then used as a scrapbook by David Wilet, who from 1866 to 1880 covered many of Magner's entries by clippings of news articles, obituaries, and poems.
Helen Russell donated the collection to the Library in 1987.