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Charles Lanman Correspondence,

Identifier: MSS -251-SC

Scope and Content

The Lanman correspondence consists of twelve hand-written letters from ten United States Representatives to Charles Lanman. In the letters, they provide Lanman with information for their biographies which Lanman used in his book, the Dictionary of the United States Congress and the General Government (1868). In addition to the letters, short, typewritten biographies of the letter-writers are included. Five of the letter-writers are from New Mexico.

The letters in this collection are from the following people: Clever, Charles P. (1830-1874). Clever was the New Mexico Territory Attorney General from 1862-67. He then represented New Mexico as a delegate to the U.S. Congress 1867-69.

Chaves, Jose Francisco (1833-1904). Chaves was a colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War and later a delegate to U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory in 1865-67 and 1869-71. He was also a delegate to New Mexico State Constitutional Convention, 1889 and the New Mexico Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1903-04.

Otero, Miguel Antonio (1829-1882). Otero was a member of New Mexico Territorial House of Representatives from 1852-54. He was New Mexico Territory Attorney General in 1854, a delegate to U.S. Congress in 1856-61, and Secretary of New Mexico Territory, 1861-62.

Weightman, Richard Hanson (1816-1861). Weightman was a delegate to the U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory in 1851. He was also an Indian Agent for the New Mexico Territory. He was killed in the Civil War while commanding troops at the battle of Wilson's Creek, near Republic, Mo., August 10, 1861.

Perea, Francisco (1830-1913). Perea was a delegate to U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory in 1863.

Potson, Charles D. (1825-1902). Potson was a delegate to U.S. Congress from Arizona Territory in 1864-1865.

Wilson, Stephen Fowler (1821-1897). Wilson was a member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature and a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania in 1865-69. He was also a Pennsylvania state court judge.

Bashford, Coles (1816-1878). Bashford was a member of the Wisconsin state senate in 1853 and Governor of Wisconsin from 1856-58. He left Wisconsin and became Arizona Territory Attorney General in 1864. He was a delegate to the U.S. Congress from Arizona Territory, 1867-69 and Secretary of Arizona Territory in 1869.

Watts, John Sebrie (1816-1876). Watts was a member of the Indiana State House of Representatives in 1846. He was appointed as a federal judge in 1851, a delegate to the U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory in 1861, and a justice of New Mexico Territorial Supreme Court in 1868.

Messervy, William S. served as a Congressional Representative and Secretary of the Territory of New Mexico. He was acting Governor of the Territory of New Mexico during Governor Meriwether's absence in 1854.


  • 1860-1868


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.


Charles Lanman, writer, journalist and amateur painter, was born in Monroe, Michigan, June 15, 1819. He spent much of his career working as a journalist in Monroe and Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved to Washington DC in 1848 and worked as a librarian in various branches of government, including the War Department, the Copyrights Division of the Department of State, the executive library of President Fillmore, and the Interior Department. He wrote several books in his career on topics of travel and wilderness. He also wrote biographies, including that of Daniel Webster. He compiled and edited a substantial volume on the biographies of U.S. congressional representatives, correspondence from which makes up this collection.


1 Folder


The Lanman collection consists of letters written to Charles Lanman by United States representatives concerning their entries in Lanman's book of congressional biographies.

Relevant Secondary Sources

Kestenbaum, Lawrence, creator. The Political Graveyard: A Database of Historic Cemetaries. Contains short biographies of dead politicians.
  • Lanman, Charles. Dictionary of the United States Congress and the General Government. Hartford: T. Belknap and H.E. Goodwin, 1868.
Finding aid of the Charles Lanman Correspondence, 1860-1868
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Tad McIlwraith
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 251 SC::Charles Lanman Correspondence)//EN" "nmu1mss251sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131