University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Lincoln Collection, Barton Codex Manuscripts 1829-1940

© 2019 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Lincoln Collection. Barton Codex Manuscripts




12.5 linear feet (19 boxes, 1 volume)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Bound materials collected and compiled by William E. Barton, a pastor in Oak Park, Illinois, who published and lectured on Abraham Lincoln. The collection includes books, booklets, scrapbooks, pamphlets, published addresses, and periodicals. Of particular interest is the volume titled Lincoln and His Cabinet. These codex manuscripts form part of the William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana.

Information on Use


This collection is open for research.

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When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Lincoln Collection. Barton Codex Manuscripts, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

The Rev. William Eleazar Barton, born on June 28, 1861 (d. December 30, 1930) was one of the early twentieth century's most prominent writers and lecturers on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Born in Sublette, Illinois, in the same year Lincoln assumed the presidency, Barton grew up in an environment heavily influenced by reverence for Lincoln. He began undergraduate studies at Berea College in 1881 and graduated in 1885. However, during his senior year Barton decided to join the ministry and was ordained on June 6, 1885. On July 23, 1885 Barton married Esther Treat Bushnell. Together they would have 5 children. Barton returned to school and earned his divinity degree from the Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1890. He served parishes in Tennessee, Ohio, and Massachusetts before becoming the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Oak Park, Illinois, a position he held until his retirement in 1924. In 1928, Barton accepted an appointment as lecturer at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he also organized and served as pastor of the Collegeside Congregational Church.

Barton's work as a writer produced a number of denominational manuals and a series of books presenting the wisdom and parables of a character he named Safed the Sage. For the last ten years of his life, however, Barton was best known to the public as a prolific author and lecturer on Abraham Lincoln. His publications about Lincoln included The Soul of Abraham Lincoln (1920), The Paternity of Abraham Lincoln (1920), The Life of Abraham Lincoln (1925), The Great and Good Man (1927), The Women Lincoln Loved (1927), and The Lincoln of the Biographers (1930).

In the course of compiling material for his writings and talks, Barton visited Lincoln sites in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois; interviewed surviving Lincoln relatives and acquaintances; and traveled as far as California and England to collect information and conduct genealogical research on the ancestry of the Lincoln family. While acquiring a large collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, manuscripts, and ephemera related to Lincoln and the Civil War era, Barton also purchased privately or at auction historical materials amassed by other Lincoln collectors such as John E. Burton and Osborn H. Oldroyd.

Scope Note

The Barton Codex Manuscripts is made up of bound materials compiled by William E. Barton, a pastor in Oak Park, Illinois, who published and lectured on Abraham Lincoln extensively. Barton also maintained connections with fellow Lincoln experts and carried out multiple research projects that delved into the many facets of Lincoln's life, times, and family history. This collection divided into six series: ministry; books; theater; booklets, pamphlets and periodicals; published addresses, lectures and research papers; and lastly, scrapbooks. Of particular interest is the volume titled Lincoln and His Cabinet. These codex manuscripts form part of the William E. Barton Collection of Lincolniana.

Related Resources

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Subject Headings


Series I: Barton Ministry

This series contains materials related to Barton's career in the Ministry, including books, sermons and sermon notes, clippings and articles.

Box 1   Folder 1

First Presbyterian Church Board of Trustees Minutes, Springfield, Illinois, 1829-1866

Box 1   Folder 2

Press notices of sermons and addresses by William E. Barton, news-clippings and notes tipped in, 1894-1907

Box 1   Folder 3

Notes and correspondence, from ledger of church finances, 1903-1915

Box 1   Folder 4

Actual ledger of church finances 1903-1915

Box 2   Folder 1-2

Addresses and articles on ministry, containing correspondence, reprints, and clippings, 1911-1928

Box 2   Folder 3

Order for Evening Worship, Boston: F. H. Gilson Company, 1892. Notes and news-clippings tipped in, 1911-1928

Box 2   Folder 4

Addresses and articles on education, containing interleaved notes, articles, and reprints, 1913-1926

Box 2   Folder 5

Papers removed from Addresses and articles on education, 1913-1926

Box 2   Folder 6

Church programs and bulletins from Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, 1914-1923

Box 3   Folder 1

"Sermon Outline", sermon notes and outlines (of Barton's), 1915

Box 3   Folder 2

Clippings removed from "Sermon Outline", 1915

Box 3   Folder 3

Bound clippings from Barton's column "The Making of the New Testament," 1915-1917

Box 3   Folder 4

Notes and news-clippings in volume titled "Annual Handbook, Central Congregational Church," 1915

Box 3   Folder 5

Calendar, contains interleaved notes and news-clippings, 1917

Box 3   Folder 6

Ministry programs and bulletins, 1897-1922

  • Program from the Boston Congregational Club Forefathers Festival (at which Barton spoke), December 21, 1897
  • Barton, William E. "Our Fight for the Heritage of Humanity," sermon published by the Men's Bible Class, Congregational Church, Oak Park, Illinois, 1917
  • Bulletin for service at First Congregational Church, Oak Park, Illinois, where Barton delivered the sermon, "The Abiding Influence of George Washington," 1920
  • Barton, William E. "Theodore Roosevelt," sermon, 1920
  • Bulletin for service at First Congregational Church, Oak Park, Illinois, where Barton delivered the sermon, "Theodore Roosevelt," 1920
  • Information for visitors to the Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, 1923
  • The Open Court: A Monthly Magazine, vol. XXXVIII (No. 9), 1922
  • The Open Court: A Monthly Magazine, vol. XXXVII (No. 10), 1922
Box 3   Folder 7

Barton, William E., Theodore G. Soares, and Sidney Strong. Su Ultima Semana: La Historia de la Pasion y Resurrection de Jesus, Chihuahua: Imprenta Palmore, 1921

Box 3   Folder 8

Bound clippings regarding Barton's lecture series titled "The Religion of the Ancient Poets," 1923

Series II: Books

Volume BartonCdx1

Abraham Lincoln and His Cabinet: A Collection of Autographs, 1851-1889

Box 4   Folder 1

Worcester, J.E. Elements of History, Ancient and Modern, includes note by Barton, 1833

Box 4   Folder 2

Correspondence of Robert Weidensall. prepared by the Illinois Historical Records Survey Project in 1940, correspondence dates from 1861-1865

Box 4   Folder 3

Hale, Edward E. Seven Spanish Cities. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883, with letter from Barton, 1923

Box 4   Folder 4

Barton, William E. Lieutenant William Barton of Morris County, New Jersey, and his Descendants. Oak Park, Ill.: Vaile Press, 1900

Box 4   Folder 5

Mary Lincoln: A letter to Her Cousin Elizabeth Todd Grimsly, letter written on September 29, 1861, privately printed, 1917

Box 5   Folder 1

Barton, William E. Abraham Lincoln and His Books, Marshall Field and company, 1920

View digitized documents.

Box 5   Folder 2

Wilson, Clarence True. John Wilkes Booth: Thirty-Eight Years a Fugitive, includes correspondence, 1922?

View digitized documents.

Box 5   Folder 3

Barton, William E. Abraham Lincoln, American, etched book and letter, 1923

View digitized documents.

Box 5   Folder 4

Lincoln, Waldo. History of the Lincoln Family, Worcester Massachusetts Commonwealth Press, 1923

Box 6   Folder 1

Barton, William E. Esther T. Barton: A Biographical Sketch. Foxboro, Mass.: Pine Knoll, 1926

Box 6   Folder 2

Townsend, William H. Lincoln in His Wife's Home, 1926

Box 6   Folder 3

Grimsley, Elizabeth Todd. Six Months in the White House, 1926-1927

Box 6   Folder 4

Barton, William E. The Women Lincoln Loved, printer's dummy, autographed copy, Bobbs-Merrill, 1927

Box 6   Folder 5

Smith, T.V. Lincoln, Living Legend, The University of Chicago Press, 1940

Box 7   Folder 1

Baber, Adin. Nancy Hanks of "Undistinguished Families—Second Families", typed and mimeographed by C. Gerald Brann, Bloomington IN, c. 1959

Box 7   Folder 2

Index to Adin Baber, Nancy Hanks of "Undistinguished Families, undated

Box 7   Folder 2

Baber, Adin. Nancy Hanks, The Destined Mother of a President, privately printed by author, Kansas, Illinois, 1963

Box 8   Folder 1

Blair, Montgomery. Not General Grant, manuscript presented to Hon. Gideon Welles, undated

Series III: Theater

This series contains manuscripts of plays and other documents related to the theater.

Box 8   Folder 2

Day, Robert. Anne Rutledge: life, love, immortality, play manuscript and correspondence, 1922

Box 8   Folder 3

Hermann, Lüdke. "Abraham Lincoln," a play translated from German by Robert L. Floyd, 193-?

Box 8   Folder 4

"A Folk Festival: Out of the Wilderness, the New Salem Years of Abraham Lincoln." Compiled by the workers of the Writers' program of the Work Projects Administration in Illinois, play presented at New Salem state park, 1940

Box 8   Folder 5

Neff, Elizabeth. "Abraham Lincoln as a Character in American and English drama," Master of Arts thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1942

Box 8   Folder 6

McNett, Marie. Cradle of Glory: A Drama in Three Acts, play manuscript, 1948

Series IV: Booklets, Pamphlets, and Periodicals

Box 9   Folder 1

Irwin, Benjamin F. Lincoln's Religious Belief, clipped from Illinois State Journal, 1874

Box 9   Folder 2

Herndon, W.H. A Brief Analysis of Lincoln's Character. letter to J.E. Remsburg, 1887

Box 9   Folder 3

"Unwritten History: The Secret Movement to Supersede Abraham Lincoln in '64." The New York Sun, includes unpublished letters of Horace Greeley, Charles Sumner, Secretary Chase, 1889

Box 9   Folder 4

MacDonald, Edward. Old Capp's Hill and Burial Ground with Historical Sketches, Industrial School Press, 1895

Box 9   Folder 5

"The Centennial Celebration of the Old Mud-Meeting House near Harrodsburg, Kentucky." August 25, 1900

Box 9   Folder 6

Conant, Alban Jasper. Painter of Lincoln and Other Great Men, New York Times, 1913 and A Portrait Painter's Reminiscences of Lincoln, McClure's Magazine 32:512-516, 1909-1913

Box 9   Folder 7

Clark, L. Pierce. Psychologic Study of Abraham Lincoln, booklet reprinted from The Psychoanalytic Review, Vol III No. I, 1921

Box 9   Folder 8

Martin, James M. A Defense of Lincoln's Mother: Open Letter to William E. Barton, manuscript of letter originally published in Minneapolis Journal, includes correspondence, 1921

Box 9   Folder 9

Barton, William E. "Lincoln, The Young Rail Splitter," Official Magazine North American young Men's Christian Association, includes correspondence, 1922

Box 10   Folder 1

Barton, William E. Mord Lincoln, the Woman Hater, published in the Open Court, May 1924

Box 10   Folder 2

Townsend, William Henry. "Lincoln the Litigant," American Bar Association Journal, includes typewritten copies of article and revision for separate publication, 1924

Box 10   Folder 3

Malone, Thomas J. Lincoln, "Like Washington, Was a Miller," published in The Northwestern Miller 145:6 551-569, 1926

Box 10   Folder 4

City of Norwich Official Guide booklet. Includes postcards, notes, correspondence, 1927.

Box 10   Folder 5

Carter, Mary D. "Putting First Things First," Southern Churchman, 1929

Box 10   Folder 6

The Abraham Lincoln Association. Lincoln in the Year 1855: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln During that Year, The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1929; The Abraham Lincoln Association. Lincoln in the Year 1856: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln During that Year, The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1929

Box 10   Folder 7

The Abraham Lincoln Association. Lincoln in the Year 1858: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln During that Year, The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1929

Box 10   Folder 8

The Abraham Lincoln Association. Lincoln in the Year 1859: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln During that Year, The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1929

Box 10   Folder 9

The Abraham Lincoln Association. Lincoln in the Year 1860: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln During that Year, The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1929

Box 11   Folder 1

Catalogue of Herndon-Weik Lincoln Collection. Contains correspondence, 1933

Box 11   Folder 2

"Lincoln Booklet Dedicated to Dr. Wm. Barton." Children's compositions in manuscript, 19--?

Series V: Published Addresses, Lectures, and Research Papers

Box 11   Folder 3

Lincoln, Abraham. Lincoln's first address ("His Temperance Lecture", 1842

Box 11   Folder 4

Lincoln, Abraham. Collection of public addresses, Kansas, 1859

Box 11   Folder 5

Everett, Edward. "Address following battle at Gettysburg", 1863

Box 11   Folder 6

John H. Surratt. "The Assassination of Lincoln with an Account of the Several Plots for his Abduction," lecture delivered December 6, 1870, printed in Washington Star December 8, 1870

Box 11   Folder 7

Barton, William E. "Message to a Young Man," published address delivered at the forty-third anniversary of the Boston YMCA, 1894

Box 12   Folder 1

Lincoln, Abraham. Reproduction of original book compiled by Lincoln consisting of newspaper clippings of Lincoln's speeches, includes explanatory note by J. McCan Davis, 1903

Box 12   Folder 2

Berstorff, Count J. Abraham Lincoln as the Germans Regarded Him, public address, 1913

Box 12   Folder 3

Ballantine, Dr. W. G. Lincoln—America's greatest product, published lecture, 1919

Box 12   Folder 4

Barton, William E. "Lincoln and Illinois" addresses at Chicago Union League Club, Quincy Illinois, and Illinois State Historical Society, includes correspondence between Barton and event organizers, 1921

Box 12   Folder 5

Barton, William E. "The Man Who Married Lincoln's Parents", address at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, includes clippings and correspondence, 1922

Box 12   Folder 6

Blair, Francis G. Newton Bateman, an address given in dedication of the Newton Bateman school, includes manuscript, clippings, correspondence and event pamphlet, 1922

Box 12   Folder 7

Kaufman, M.S. "Abraham Lincoln, The Friend of God and Man", sermon delivered at the National Soldiers' home in California, 1922

Box 12   Folder 8

McCamant, Wallace. Manuscript of lecture Lincoln in the Winter of 1861, includes correspondence, 1922

Box 12   Folder 9

Shaw, James. "A neglected episode in the life of Abraham Lincoln," address delivered before the Illinois State Historical Society at Springfield, 1922

Box 12   Folder 10

Barton, William E. Lincoln and Chicago, public address at Chicago historical Society, February 10, 1922, includes event pamphlet and related writings, 1922-1924

Box 13   Folder 1

Barton, William E. "Abraham Lincoln, Kentucky Mountaineer", address delivered at Berea College, 1923

Box 13   Folder 2

"Lincoln and the Newspapers", a published address by Charles T. White, 1923

Box 13   Folder 3

"Dr. Barton as a Father," toast delivered by his son Robert Barton, March 12, 1924

Box 13   Folder 4

Graves, Walter. Abraham Lincoln and the Common Virtues, includes lecture manuscript and correspondence, 1924

Box 13   Folder 5

Fortune, William. Address on Lincoln before Southwestern Indiana Historical Society, includes correspondence and clippings, 1925.

Box 13   Folder 6

Barton, William E. "The enduring Lincoln," published address delivered in Urbana, Illinois, includes clippings and correspondence, 1928

Box 13   Folder 7

Henderson, Manfred. "The Handwriting of Lincoln: A Study in Identification," Los Angeles, California, 1931

Box 13   Folder 8

Scherger, George Lawrence. "Lincoln—a man for the ages", lecture, 1932

Box 13   Folder 9

Lutz, Phillip. "We stand on sacred soil today" and "The fourth of July in Lincoln's time and today", public addresses, 1935

Box 13   Folder 10

"The Name and Family of Lincoln," research compiled by the Media Research Bureau, Washington D.C., 1936?

Series VI: Scrapbooks

The majority of Barton's scrapbooks consist of published texts into which he pasted folded newspaper clippings, prints, and notes. For additional scrapbooks see Lincoln Collection. Barton Scrapbooks.

Box 14   Folder 1

Lincoln Versus Douglas scrapbook. Includes clippings and handwritten notes, 1850-1860

Box 14   Folder 2

Set of clippings titled "Epitaph on the XXXVII Congress: Anti-Lincoln Tract," 1862

Box 14   Folder 3

Cartoons from Fun, London, 1862-1869

Box 14   Folder 4

Untitled scrapbook filled with hand-written notes, an excerpt from John Wilkes Booth's diary, prints, and photocopied manuscripts, 1865-1925

Box 14   Folder 5

Set of clippings titled "Recollections of Lincoln," 1866-1904

Box 14   Folder 6

Catalogue of relics owned by William E. Barton and Esther T. Barton, his wife, in William Barton's hand, which also contains a reprint of Barton's "Quest of an Ancestor" from The New England Magazine, 1898

Box 14   Folder 7

Abraham Lincoln's Religion. William H. Herndon, includes correspondence, public lecture, and clippings of article, 1911

Box 14   Folder 8

Set of clippings titled "The Parentage of Abraham Lincoln by D.J. Knotts" and subtitled "Articles affirming that he was the son of John C. Calhoun," 1911

Box 15   Folder 1-2

William E. Barton, "Church Music," loose and bound articles on religious music, 1913-1929

Box 15   Folder 3

Addresses and articles on the fine arts, mostly reviews (by Barton and others) of painters and paintings, from The Advance, 1914-1915

Box 15   Folder 4

Papers removed from Addresses and articles on the fine arts, 1913-1915

Box 15   Folder 5

The Physiognomy of Lincoln, and An Old Likeness of Lincoln, by Truman H. Bartlett, includes clippings and correspondence with William E. Barton, 1917-1921

Box 15   Folder 6

"Providential Presidents" by John M. Vandermeulen, includes correspondence between Vandermeulen and Barton, 1918-1923

Box 15   Folder 7

Abraham Lincoln: A Study of his Personality, by Thomas Power O'Connor, includes mounted clippings from the London Daily Telegraph, August 2-3, 1920

Box 16   Folder 1

Abraham Lincoln as I Knew Him by John H. Littlefield n.p. c. 1891, includes clippings and correspondence, correspondence 1920

Box 16   Folder 2

Lincoln's First Nomination. Scrapbook includes clippings of writings by Chauncey M. Depew and funeral service materials for Jessie Harvey Robinson (d. 1918), 1920

Box 16   Folder 3

Mather, Otis M. "Old Hodgenville," clippings from the La Rue County Herald, 1920

Box 16   Folder 4

Reviews of William E. Barton's the Paternity of Abraham Lincoln. Clippings pasted over "He Shall Seek Peace", 1920-1921

Box 16   Folder 5

Lincoln: Anne Routledge. Clippings, photographs and correspondence, 1920-1922?

Box 16   Folder 6

Barton, William E. "Aunt Sallie Saunders, an interview with the youngest sister of Ann Rutledge," published interview, clippings, and memorial pamphlet, 1921-1922

Box 16   Folder 7

The Parents of Abraham Lincoln, includes clippings, correspondence, and typewritten manuscript, 1922

Box 17   Folder 1

Barton, William E. The American Pulpit on the Death of Lincoln, includes manuscript later published in The Open Court, 1923

Box 17   Folder 2

Collection of Lincoln letters and articles written by Nathaniel Howard from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1924

Box 17   Folder 3

"Force or Consent as Basis of American Government" by Dr. Mary Scrugham, includes correspondence and published debate between William H. Townsend and Dr. Scrugham, 1924

Box 17   Folder 4

Fitz Henry, Charles. "The Human and Divine in Lincoln, with Letters," Peoria Journal transcript, correspondence, and photograph, 1926

Box 17   Folder 5

Rindlaub, Martin Philip. Abraham Lincoln with reminiscences of the Freeport Debate and the Chicago Convention, includes original manuscript, correspondence, and photos, Kiwanis Magazine, 1926

Box 17   Folder 6

Where Lincoln Attended Church by Rev. Joseph R. Sizoo, published in The National Republic, also includes The Lincoln Pew by L.W. Allen and notes by Barton, 1926

Box 18   Folder 1

Untitled scrapbook of newspaper clippings about Lincoln assassination, 1865

Box 18   Folder 2

Newspaper clippings removed from untitled scrapbook, 1930-1941

Box 19

Barton, William E. Jesse Head, scrapbook includes typewritten and manuscript articles, correspondence, undated