John W. Stevenson papers

Abstract

The John W. Stevenson papers (dated 1868-1885; 2.25 cubic feet; 5 boxes) consist of diaries, letter books, receipts, and a will, documenting the life and career of Kentucky lawyer and politician John W. Stevenson.

Descriptive Summary

Title
John W. Stevenson papers
Extent
2.25 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Legislators -- Kentucky.
Lieutenant governors -- Kentucky
Governors -- Kentucky.
Legislators -- United States.
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1876.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- Kentucky
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Alison Sperry
Preferred Citation
58m3: [identification of item], John W. Stevenson papers, 1868-1885, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Governor of Kentucky and United States Senator, John White Stevenson was born in Richmond, Virginia. He read law in Virginia and, on the advice of James Madison, moved west to open his practice. After living in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Stevenson moved to Covington, Kentucky in 1841. Four years later he was elected to the Kentucky state legislature as a representative from Kenton County. He was a member of the 1849 state constitutional convention and further familiarized himself with the state's laws by coauthoring with James Harlan, Code of Practice in Civil and Criminal Cases. After serving as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions of 1848, 1852, 1861, he served in the House of Representatives (1857-1861). A strong Confederate sympathizer, Stevenson returned to politics after the Civil War, with his election to the lieutenant governorship of Kentucky in 1867. Upon the death of Governor John LaRue Helm, Stevenson was elevated to the governorship. He failed to serve the full term, however, for he defeated Senator Thomas McCreery and won a seat in the United States Senate in 1871. At the end of his term in 1877 he returned to his law practice in Covington and to teaching criminal law and contracts in the Cincinnati law school. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 1880, and in 1884 was elected president of the American Bar Association.
Scope and Content
The John W. Stevenson papers (dated 1868-1885; 2.25 cubic feet; 5 boxes) consist of diaries, letter books, receipts, and a will, documenting the life and career of Kentucky lawyer and politician John W. Stevenson. Stevenson's diaries (9 volumes) document daily life and contemporary political issues. The letter books (6 volumes) cover 1877-1884 and document Kentucky politics and the affairs of the Episcopal church. Many of the letters relate to the 1876 Presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden; Stevenson's visit to Louisiana as one of the visiting statesmen who went to examine the election returns; discussions of Hayes term as President; and the nomination of the Democratic candidate.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Diaries, 1868-1885

Bound notebook, 1868

  • Box 1, folder 1
Notebook is blank except for a handwritten title page, Presented to J.W. Stevenson by James J. Berry, Esq. March 1868 in Newport, Ky..
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Diary, 1877

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Diary, 1878

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Diary, 1879

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Diary, 1880

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Diary, 1881

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Diary, 1882 January-June

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Diary, 1882 May-June

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Diary, 1883

  • Box 2, folder 4-6
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Diary, 1884

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Diary, 1885

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Letter books, 1877-1884

Letter book, 1877 April 18-1878 July 28

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Letter book, 1878 September 9-1880 January 6

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Letter book, 1880 January 10-1880 August 4

  • Box 4, folder 1
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Letter book, 1880 August 12-1881 May 14

  • Box 4, folder 2
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Letter book, 1881 April 2-1882 November 28

  • Box 4, folder 3
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Letter book, 1882 November 29-1884 December 10

  • Box 5, folder 1
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Receipts and will, 1885

  • Box 5, folder 2
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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