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   Charles T. Cotton Diaries 1850-1877.

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Preferred Citation

[Collection Name]. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.:MS# 0288
Bib ID:4079830 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Cotton, Charles T., ca. 1830-1877?
Title:Charles T. Cotton Diaries 1850-1877.
Physical description:0.5 linear ft. (15 items in 1 box).
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is located on-site.  More information »



This collection is arranged in one series

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Scope and Content

Cotton's 15 nonconsecutive manuscript pocket diaries for the period from 1850 to 1877. The diaries outline his life and travels. The entries for the Civil War years are especially interesting. He often describes the capital's fear of enemy invasion, recent nearby incursions, troop movements, and the general preoccupation with all aspects of the war. He called on President Lincoln, attended his second inauguration, and notes the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. He describes the capital's joyous mood at the fall of Richmond and the gloom over the assassination of Lincoln. He attended the military court to see the conspirators. Later volumes talk about Pension Bureau affairs and his health and that of his family.

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Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Preferred Citation

[Collection Name]. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

15 diaries Cataloged 01/25/94 HR

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 26, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2012-05-29 xml document created by Judi Zupnick

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

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HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Appointment books.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Financial records.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Civil service.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Law clerks.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Natchez (Miss.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New Hampshire.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public officers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Saint Paul Metropolitan Area (Minn.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States.--Pension Bureau.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States.--President (1861-1865 : Lincoln).--Emancipation Proclamation.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Washington (D.C.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Washington (D.C.)--Social life and customs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Diarist and federal clerk in the U.S. Pension Bureau. Cotton was born in Natchez, Mississippi and taught school in nearby Pine Ridge. In 1851, he left Natchez and traveled via New Orleans and Havana to New York City and on to New Hampshire where he had relatives. By the summer of 1855 he was in St. Paul, Minnesota Territory where he clerked in a law office. At the end of 1859 he visited Natchez and Memphis, Tennessee. He moved to Washington, D.C. and in 1863 he was employed as a federal clerk in the Pension Bureau where he remained for the rest of his life. In later years he was the Recording Secretary of the Southern Republican Association.

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