The Oldroyd mss., the letters and papers of Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd (1841-1930), a museum director and a well-known collector of Lincolniana, includes a pencil sketch rendered by Union Army Major General Lew Wallace (1827-1905) of Lincoln assassination co-conspirator Lewis Powell (1844-1865), a.k.a. “Lewis Paine” (often misspelled as “Payne”). The 24-year-old Florida-born Powell attacked and grievously wounded United States Secretary of State William H. Seward in the bedroom of the Cabinet member’s Washington, D.C. home on April 14, 1865. General Wallace, best known as the author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), was a member of the nine person military tribunal that found Powell (tried as “Payne”) and three others guilty in the conspiracy that killed Lincoln and injured Seward and others. The general’s “drawn from life” sketch of Powell (here “Payne”) is undated, but the assassin and his co-conspirators were tried, found guilty, and later hanged on July 7, 1865 at the Arsenal Penitentiary in Washington, D.C.
The Lilly Library is a major repository for manuscripts, books, and other items related to Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the nation’s 16th president. The respective links below provide descriptions of these Lincoln-related manuscript collections and a short title list of miscellaneous uncataloged materials including a bronzed Lincoln life mask:
A fuller description of many of these holdings may be found in the Lilly’s in-house Manuscripts Index Catalog while monographs may be located in IUCAT and the Public Card Catalog in the library’s Reading Room.
In addition to the Lincoln-related collections, the Lilly also holds the papers of General Lew Wallace including the original manuscript for Ben-Hur and other novels (see collection descriptions at www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=wallace and www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/index.php?p=wallace2).
David K. Frasier, Reference Librarian, Lilly Library