This collection contains the family papers of the Taylor-Langworthy families of Princeton, Ill. In 1850, Joseph I. Taylor (1822-76) married Sarah Ann Langworthy (1824-1909). They eventually had seven daughters. Sarah's father, Cyrus Langworthy, had moved to Princeton in 1834, where he was elected sheriff in 1837, 1838, and 1840, and became a member of the state legislature in 1842. Sarah's brother, Lucius Lucene Langworthy, served in Co. I, 12th Ill. Vol. Inf. during the Civil War and fought in the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and participated in Sherman's March to the Sea.
The Taylor family papers contain correspondence between Joseph and Sarah, including several letters written by Joseph during a European and Near Eastern tour in 1867; papers from his legal practice including case notes, bills and receipts and a fee book; expense records and plans for the construction of Taylor's house and office; and Taylor's literary works, including the book he wrote on his tour, A Gyre Thro' the Orient. In addition, there are twenty diaries, 1856-76, kept by Joseph, containing his opinions on politics, the ethics of fellow members of the bar, the morals of the townspeople, the Civil War, military bounties, and the draft. There are also many interesting references to Abraham Lincoln, whom Taylor met on an Ohio raft trip in 1849.
The Langworthy family papers contain 45 Civil War letters written by Lucius Langworthy to his parents, his sister, and other members of his family. In addition, the collection contains Cyrus Langworthy's land records, pension papers, and certificates of election. Also included are land records, receipts of various individuals, and a medal from the 1912 Grand Army of the Republic National Encampment.
The Illinois Historical Survey acquired the collection in 1976 from Mary W. Walter, great-granddaughter of Joseph Taylor and Sarah Langworthy Taylor.