Todd, David, and Charlotte Farnsworth. Letters, 1846-1874 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
Bureau County--Buda (Ill.)
Bureau County--Princeton (Ill.)
Bureau County--Providence (Ill.)
Cook County--Chicago (Ill.)
Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861
Henry County--Wethersfield Township (Ill.)
Illinois--Politics and government
Knox College (Galesburg, Ill.)
Knox County--Galesburg (Ill.)
Knox County--Henderson (Ill.)
Knox County--Victoria (Ill.)
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Lincoln, William Wallace, 1850-1862
Lovejoy, Owen, 1811-1864
Putnam County--Granville (Ill.)
Rock Island County--Rock Island (Ill.)
Seward, William H. (William Henry), 1801-1872
United States--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States--Politics and government
This collection contains the correspondence of David Todd and Charlotte Farnsworth, as well as correspondence to and from John Todd, David's brother. The letters discuss topics including religious beliefs, politics, slavery, Owen Lovejoy, Oberlin College, the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and life in Illinois.
David Todd (1821-1874) was a minister in Providence, Bureau County, Illinois. Prior to leading the Providence Congregational Church, David temporarily served as minister of the Congregational Church of Princeton, Illinois, while the Church's pastor, the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy, traveled east. David attended Oberlin College, earning his Bachelor of Divinity in 1846. While attending Oberlin, he became romantically interested in a fellow student, Charlotte Farnsworth (1825-1847) of New Hampshire, and they maintained a correspondence after he graduated. John Todd (1818-1894) was David Todd's brother and a fellow graduate of Oberlin. John Todd was one of several founders of the town of Tabor, Iowa, and was the pastor at Tabor Congregational Church.
The collection consists of 20 letters between David Todd and Charlotte Farnsworth, sent in 1846 and 1847. Charlotte's letters mainly discuss her academic and social life, as well as her attachment to David. David's letters describe the Illinois countryside, his desire to establish a church, and family matters. The couple's correspondence ends with Farnsworth's unexpected death in 1847. The collection also contains 48 letters, dated 1855-1870, from David Todd to his brother John Todd. Finally, the collection includes a single letter in 1864, from John Todd to David Worcester, and two letters from C. B. French to John Todd regarding David Todd's death in 1874.
In 1973, Margaret C. Shedd of Urbana, Illinois, loaned the letters to the Library for copying, and later donated the originals. In 1975, Grace Wilson, also of Urbana, Illinois, donated her transcription of most of the letters in a spiral-bound volume of 253 pages. This volume, titled "Letters of David Todd," includes an inventory of the letters and a biographical sketch of David Todd.