This collection consists of five letterpress books dating from 1869 to 1873. The volumes contain reproductions of Columbus Delano's correspondence, which were made directly from the originals using a transfer process.
As a Whig and then as a Republican, Columbus Delano represented the Ohio districts in Congress from 1845-1847 and 1865-1869. At the beginning of President Grant's administration he was appointed Commissioner of Internal Revenue. In 1870, he became Secretary of the Interior. The letterpress books document his work at the Bureau of Internal Revenue through his third year as Secretary of the Interior. A large number of the letters deal with appointments and patronage, with a few concerning Native American affairs and personal matters.
The letterbooks were donated to the Library in 1916 through the assistance of David Kinley, Dean of the Graduate College (1905-1917). In 1974, they were transferred to the Illinois Historical Survey, the predecessor of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.