Political Papers

Presidential and state elections and state and local politics attracted the interest of Ohio’s early settlers; an interest shared by today’s Ohioans. The Ohio History Connection has attempted to capture that interest by collecting letters, diaries, and official papers of past and contemporary public officials, politicians, and their political organizations.

Collection Highlights

The Papers of Thirteen Early Ohio Political Leaders (Microfilm Collection 96) consist of the correspondence and documents kept by Ohio’s Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair and Secretary Winthrop Sargent, Governors Edward Tiffin, Thomas Worthington, Samuel Huntington, and Return Jonathan Meigs, Jeremiah Morrow, and Micajah T. Williams and Charles Hammond among others focus on the politics of the Northwest and Ohio territory; the struggle for statehood; the adoption of Ohio’s first constitution; participating in War of 1812; building canals and roads; regulation of banks; and establishing a public school system.


The papers of Ohio’s 19th and 20th Century governors provide insights into the politics of banking and utility regulation; patronage; taxation; amendments to the state constitution; management of state institutions; conduct of local elections; impact of the Great Depression in the 1930s; and for mid to late 20th Century Ohio governors coal mine and environmental regulation. Among the 19th and 20th Century Governor’s Papers see those of Governor Robert Lucas, MSS 294; Thomas Corwin, MSS 297; Asa Bushnell, MSS 318; Judson Harmon, MSS 323; James M. Cox, MSS 324; George White, MSS 338; John W. Bricker, MSS 340; Frank J. Lausche, MSS 341; Michael V. Di Salle, MSS 344; and John J. Gilligan, MSS 388. For biographies see: http://www.ohiohistory.org/onlinedoc/ohgovernment/governors/index.html



The papers of Governor Allen Trimble and the Trimble Family contain material tracing the impact of the American, Nativist, or Know Nothing Party in Ohio. Whig Party politics can be studied by searching the papers of John T. Brasee, MSS 15; Henry B. Curtis, MSS 272; and Joshua Reed Giddings, MSS 53 and MIC 1. Republican Party politics can be studied through the papers of Charles Lindley Kurtz, MSS 34; George A. Myers, MSS 70; Charles Jones, MSS 365; and Ray C. Bliss, MSS 768. The papers of Arthur L. Garford, MSS 6, and Samuel L. Jones, MIC 100, show the impact of the Progressive Movement on Ohio politics. The impact of the women’s suffrage movement in Ohio politics can be studied in the Viola D. Romans Papers, MSS 270; Kenyon Rector Papers, MSS 389; Gillette Hayden Papers, MSS 394; the Janney Family Papers MSS 142; and the Hopley Family Papers, MSS 164.

Papers of 20th Century Ohio Democratic and Republican Ohio Congressman and Senators of note include Charles Dick, MSS 282; Robert Crosser, MSS 281; John M. Vorys, MSS 280; Clarence J. Brown, Sr., MSS 279; Clarence Brown Jr.; John Bricker, MSS 340; and Frank J. Lausche, MSS 341.

Ohio President Warren G. Harding’s Papers, MIC 3, and the papers of associated members of his administration or advisors including Harry M. Daugherty, MSS 271; Charles E. Sawyer, MSS 95; Frank E. Scobey, MSS 93; Hoke Donithen, MSS 89; Ray Baker Harris, MSS 82; and Malcolm Jennings, MSS 85 are held by the Ohio History Connection and document Harding’s successes and setbacks in Ohio politics, his successful campaign for U.S. President in 1920 and three years of his administration.

For a more detailed look at the manuscript holdings at the Ohio History Connection please visit the Online Collection Catalog and search Archives-Library Collections.
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