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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Wilkinson, Morton S 1819 � 1894 Letters, 1859 � 1889

Page address:

Minnesota State University, Mankato,
Memorial Library, Southern Minnesota Historical Center
Wilkinson, Morton S. (1819 - 1894). Letters, 1859 - 1889.
SMHC Manuscript Collection 163

Wilkinson, Morton S. (1819 - 1894). Letters, 1859 - 1889. SMHC Manuscript Collection 163. One folder, 32 pages, (Photocopies of originals owned by the Blue Earth County Historical Society).


Collection is currently unavailable for use.

This collection consists of photocopies of assorted business and personal letters of Morton S. Wilkinson (1819 - 1894), who was the first attorney in Mankato. The contents of this collection cover a variety of topics, including: the secession of the Southern states, the pending Civil War, local politics, the Indian problem in Blue Earth County, pending legislation, and the funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Correspondents to Wilkinson or his law office include: Jared Benson, J. W. North, Henry Sibley, and Daniel Buck. Letters included in this collection were written to: Franklin H. Waite, and Abraham Lincoln. Also included in the collection are law book price lists from publishers, a subpoena to J. E. Porter of Mankato to the senate trial of impeached Judge E. St. Julien Cox of St. Peter, and a form letter to Mrs. Wilkinson from Mrs. Sibley. (The original copies of these letters can be found at the Blue Earth County Historical Society.)

Biographical Note:

Morton S. Wilkinson (1819 - 1894), who first came to Mankato in 1849, and settled here in 1858, was the first practicing attorney in Minnesota. He served in the United States Senate (1859 - 1865), the United States House of Representatives (1869 - 1871), and was also a Minnesota State Senator (1847 - 1877). Wilkinson was defeated by John Lind in the 1888 race for a seat in Congress. He died in Wells, 4 February 1894.

Biographical information found in Minnesota Historical Society Collections, Vol.14, Mankato Weekly Review, 6 February 1894.

Scope and Content:

The assorted business and personal records of Morton S. Wilkinson are the contents of this collection. The letters that contain dates span the time frame from 1858 to 1889, while several of the letters are undated. Ten of the letters were sent to Cramer Burt, Wilkinson's law partner in Mankato, including one from Wilkinson concerning secession of Southern states. Five letters are to Wilkinson, including a notice of election to the Senate from Henry Sibley, and a directive concerning supplies at Fort Ridgeley. On letter from Wilkinson to his son describes President Lincoln's funeral. This letter, along with a letter to Burt regarding the future of the Union, has been typed out for easier readability.

Also included in this collection is an unsigned essay concerning the Indian problem in Blue Earth County.

The collection contains two sets of photocopies. The legibility of one set has been improved by handwritten and typed insertions. Some letters are partially or totally illegible.


There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Citation:

Wilkinson, Morton S. (1819 - 1894). Letters, 1858 - 1889. SMHC Manuscript Collection 163, Southern Minnesota Historical Center, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato.


The Blue Earth County Historical Society donated this collection in May 1975.

Processed By:

This collection was processed in January 1976. Finding aid revised by Robert Russell September 2000.

Related Collections:

The following similar records were located by searching OCLC and RLIN national databases in September 2000: Henry M. Rice and family papers, 1824-1966, David Olmsted papers, 1843-1860, and the Robert Todd Lincoln papers, 1859-1865. These collections are all available at the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. The Morton S. Wilkinson papers are photocopies of original manuscripts held by the Blue Earth County Historical Society. The originals cannot be found by using OCLC or RLIN.

LCSH Subject Headings:

- Wilkinson, Morton S. 1819 - 1894
- Secession--Southern States
- Dakota Indians--Wars, 1862-1865
- Benson, Jared
- North, J. W.
- Sibley, Henry
- Buck, Daniel
- Waite, Franklin H.
- Lincoln, Abraham