This collection consists of Pierre Menard's personal and business records, letter book, and microfilm containing personal and business correspondence of Menard, his family, and others.
Pierre Menard was born near Montreal, Canada. He moved to Kaskaskia in 1790, where he established himself as a prominent merchant and public figure. He took an active role in the early development of Illinois government, serving as a judge, militia colonel, representative in the territorial legislature, and sub-agent for the Kaskaskia United States Indian Department. Menard was elected the state's first lieutenant governor from 1818-1822.
This collection contains a letter book with 124 copies of letters by Menard. Also included is a letter from Sylvestre Saucier to his sister, Menard's wife, Angelique. Other materials include original account books, business ledgers, blotters, ferry books, journals, as well as school texts used by Menard's sons. There are several volumes recording items gifted to and traded with Native Americans. There are also transcripts and photocopies of various letters to and from Menard.
The collection also contains microfilm editions of the Menard Papers in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The microfilmed collection includes the personal correspondence and business papers of Pierre Menard and his family, the business ledgers of various merchants including Pierre Menard, Edmond Menard, Menard and Valle, Bryan and Morrison, and Burr and Christy. The microfilm also contains the business papers of French trader and Menard's business partner, Barthelemi Tardiveau. Included in the physical collection is a copy of the Illinois State Historical Society publication Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Pierre Menard Collection in the Illinois State Historical Library.
The collection was acquired by the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, before 1950. The collection's microfilm was acquired in 1973 from the Illinois State Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). The letter from Saucier was donated to the University of Illinois Library by the Nebraska State Historical Society in 2009.