G. Edward Elwell, Jr., Autograph Collection


The G. Edward Elwell, Jr., Autograph Collection contains 102 documents collected by G. Edward Elwell, Jr., 33°, a member of Caldwell Consistory (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania), a professional printer and Scottish Rite Mason. In 1898, the 12-year-old Elwell wrote a letter to Admiral George Dewey (1837–1917), a hero of the Spanish-American War. Dewey’s reply became the first signed document in Elwell's collection.

The items in the collection span nearly 500 years of history (1489-1960), and each contains the signature of a well-known figure from American and European history.

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Collection Items

Letter from Henry VIII to Marie, Empress of Austria, 1543 November 24
Henry VIII recalls Edward Bonner, Bishop of London, and Sir Francis Bryan as envoys to the Emperor. The King proposes that Dr. Nicholas Wotton, Dean of Canterbury, who had been envoy to the queen, should be sent in their place to the Emperor. The…

Letter from the Marquis de Lafayette to Captain Beaulieu, 1831 September 7
Lafayette promises to advocate for American Revolutionary War veteran Joseph-Louis Descudier de Beaulieu in the lower house of Parliament, la Chambre des députés, and wishes to consult with his friend Peter Stephen Du Ponceau of Philadelphia over the…

Military appointment of Samuel Gilman, Jr., 1863 December 24
In this letter to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, President Lincoln supports New York Supreme Court Justice Nathan Clifford's request to appoint Samuel Gilman, Jr., to the 3rd Artillery Regiment of the U.S. Army.
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