Randall, Ruth Painter. Papers, 1954-1965 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains papers and correspondence of Ruth Painter Randall, a Lincoln scholar and author and wife of the Civil War and Lincoln historian Dr. James G. Randall.
Ruth Painter Randall was born in Salem, Virginia on November 1, 1892. She graduated from Roanoke College with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in 1913, and then attended the University of Indiana to complete a Master's Degree in English in 1914. On August 21, 1917, she married James G. Randall, who became a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1920. Ruth assisted her husband with his studies of Abraham Lincoln, helping him with research for his book Lincoln the President: From Springfield to Gettysburg (1945) and contributing two chapters to that work. Soon after, she began to produce her own works, publishing her first book, Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage, shortly before her husband's death in 1953.
In the years that followed, she continued to produce works of scholarship on the Lincoln family, including Lincoln's Sons (1955) and The Courtship of Mr. Lincoln (1957). She also wrote other biographies concerning figures of the era, including Colonel Elmer Ellsworth (1960), and books geared toward younger readers, including I, Mary (1959), I, Varina (1962), and I, Jessie (1963) - biographies of the wives of Abraham Lincoln, General George Custer, and General John C. Fremont. Ruth Painter Randall died in Urbana, Illinois on January 22nd, 1971.
The collection includes a typed autobiographical account of Ruth Painter Randall's work, a statement concerning her biography of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, and a list of books and periodicals from her husband's collection which she donated to the University of Illinois Library in 1965. It also includes personal correspondence concerning several books sent to Randall in the 1960s.
Ruth Painter Randall's papers were donated to the Library sometime following her death in 1971.