Harris, W.C. Letter, 1860 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains one letter written by W.C. Harris of Monroe County, Iowa, to his friend, Joseph W. Gray, dated August 22 and 24, 1860. Harris discussed his life on the prairie, the condition of Iowan crops, his support for the presidential campaign of Abraham Lincoln, and his upcoming participation in a Republican pole raising event.
W.C. Harris was a farmer in Osprey, Monroe County, Iowa, and a Republican supporter of the presidential campaign of Abraham Lincoln. W.C. Harris may have been William C. Harris (1842-1913), who was born in Franklin County, Ohio, and enlisted for military service on November 7, 1861. William C. Harris served in the Union army for three years and was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), a Union veterans organization founded in 1866 by Illinois veterans Benjamin Franklin Stephenson and William J. Rutledge.
This collection contains one letter written by W.C. Harris to Joseph W. Gray in August 1860. Harris wrote the letter while residing in Osprey, a town in Monroe County, Iowa, which only existed for a few years with the Osprey Post Office operating from 1855 to 1877. In the letter, Harris discussed his health, the abundance of corn and wheat crops, and his ardent support for Abraham Lincoln. He asserted his belief that Lincoln was the only candidate capable of putting an end to slavery, which he viewed as a great curse on the United States. Harris also expressed his confidence that Lincoln would receive the support of Iowa in the election and would ultimately be elected president. In addition, Harris discussed his intent to participate in the upcoming Republican pole raising event, a feature of political party rallies in the mid-1800s involving the planting of a long pole with the ceremonial attachment of a flag or liberty cap in support of a presidential candidate.
The Library purchased this collection in 2017 with support from the Dr. Harlan Horner Estate.