St. Louis Mercantile Library Special Collections

The special collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library consist of over 400 individual collections with archival materials numbering in the millions, including over 100 historic newspaper titles, presidential letters, early travel diaries and civil war era letters, fur trade records and the newspaper and printing morgue of the St. Louis Globe Democrat, some of which is available digitally. The M-Series of collections represents the core of the Mercantile's holdings. Finding aids and descriptions can be accessed from the library's website through the Mercantile Special Collections Directory.
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
M-016: Buchanan, James
Letter to A. C. Cazenove, Esq. concerning Nicolas Basler, by James Buchanan., 1.0 Comments: James Buchanan (1791-1868) was the 15th President of the United States (1857-1861). He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor, and the last president born in the 18th century. He was a U.S. Congressman and Senator for Pennsylvania and later served as Minister to Russia under Andrew Jackson. Buchanan was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1844. He became Secretary of State under President James K. Polk (March 1845 - March 1849 - through all of Polk’s Presidency). The two most important international events during his tenure was the settling of the Oregon Territory boundary with Canada and the Mexican War (1846-1848). (This is the period in which this letter was written.) After he turned down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him minister to the Court of St. James's. Buchanan was nominated and elected President in 1856. He was viewed as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. His election victory took place in a three-man race with John C. Fremont and Millard Fillmore. As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies. He battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states ultimately declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War in December of 1860 in the last days of his presidency.
M-010: Augustus A. Blumenthal Letter
The St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad Company
To Augustus A. Blumenthal Dr.
1864 October 1st
To have my --- Time, thru there carelessness demolished and to totaly destroyed and my driver killd. ----- $200.00
To Dr. Karnsby ---- attendens on the man runnet over $10.00
To Dr. Starkloff for the same $10.00
my Attorney John N. Stra-t is hereby authorized to recipt this Bill in my name Aug. A. Blumenthal
M-306: Early Account of Pearl Harbor Bombing
This typescript is one of the first detailed accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The account was written on December 8, 1941 by the Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay to the Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District, and then forwarded on to "All Stations, Ships, and Units Concerned with Aircraft" on December 16th.
M-051: Thomas Jefferson Collection
This collection consists of two pieces of correspondence by Thomas Jefferson, former President of the United States.
M-006: John Bell Letter
John Bell was an American statesman, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee. This letter is written to Rolfe Saunders, Tennessee, concerning legislation.
M-023: Henry Clay Letters
Two letters written by Henry Clay, American Statesman, Speaker of the House of Representatives and a U. S. Senator from Kentucky. The letters concern peace with Great Britain and cholera.
M-172: John O'Fallon Letter
One letter, dated May 2, 1828, to the Honorable James Barbour, regarding the recommendation of Thomas McNight for the appointment of superintendent of the Upper Lead Mines.
M-370: German Sisters Captivity Letter
This retained manuscript copy of an autograph letter by Thomas Neill to the sisters Sophia and Catherine German, was an attempt to secure their release from Cheyenne Indians that had captured the girls., John and Lydia German, as well as their seven children, were moving by wagon via the Smoky Hill Trail to Colorado when they were attacked by a hostile Cheyenne war party. Both parents and three of the seven children were killed and scalped. Four girls were taken captive. The two youngest girls, Addie and Julie, aged 5 and 7 respectively, were rescued in a military raid in November 1874. After the rescue of the two youngest girls, a letter was written, addressed to Sophia, aged 12, and Catherine, aged 17, by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Neill. The letter advised the sisters to read it Grey-Beard or Stone-Calf to secure the sister's release and for the Cheyennes to submit themselves to the mercy of the government. The sisters were rescued in March 1875 and reunited with their sisters at Fort Leavenworth.
M-001: John Quincy Adams Letter
This letter, by former President John Quincy Adams, is in response to a request by the Mechanical Library Association of Baltimore for Adam’s to speak at their facility at some future date. This association was connected to and an outgrowth of the Baltimore volunteer Mechanical Fire Company, formed by the company for member’s self education. Adams is informing them that he will not be able to speak at the Association’s venue on the date requested. For a full description see the collection page.
M-435 Cunningham, Jane
Letter from Jane Cunningham to her cousin in response to a request for genealogical information. Cunningham discusses her father, uncles, and brother, with significant detail on their involvement in the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill in North Carolina (June 20, 1780) and conflict with Native Americans in Tennessee.
M-011: Daniel Boone Letter
Letter to Colonel William Cristen concerning plots of land., Reproduction of original letter dated 1785-08-23.
M-015: William Cullen Bryant
American poet and newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant wrote this letter to S. N. Holliday, Esquire, concerning the poem "Thanatopsis".

Mercantile Library Collections Directory

Mercantile Special Collections Directory

Barriger Library Collections Directory

Barriger Special Collections Directory

Pott Library Collections Directory

Pott Special Collections Directory