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Hestor L. Stevens Letters

Identifier: MSS-4237

Content Description

The letters that constitute this collection detail former Michigan representative Hestor L. Stevens’s law business in Washington, DC, during the election of 1860 and the beginning of the Civil War. Stevens, a Democrat, was a partisan of Stephen Douglas, and Stevens wrote critically of his own party after the loss. There is a poignant letter describing the death of his wife, Charlotte White Sedgewick Stevens (1811-1860). Stevens’s letters describe life in Washington during the early days of both the Lincoln administration and the Civil War.


  • 1860 - 1861

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Hestor Lockhart Stevens was born October 1, 1803, in Lima, New York, to Francis Stevens (1762-1845) and Mary Stone Stevens (1763-1825). He attended the common schools and went on to study law, after which he was admitted to the bar and began practice in Rochester, New York. In addition to his law practice, Stevens served as a major general in the western New York militia. In 1829, he married Charlotte White Sedgewick (1811-1860). He later moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where he was prosecuting attorney for Oakland County in 1847 and 1848. In 1852, Stevens was elected to the thirty-third Congress as a Democrat, serving from December 5, 1853, to March 3, 1855. After his defeat for reelection, Stevens moved to Washington, DC, and resumed practicing law before the court of claims. He died in Georgetown, Washington, DC, on May 7, 1864.


12 items

Language of Materials



The collection consists of twelve letters written by Hestor L. Stevens (1803-1864), a representative from Michigan, detailing his law business in Washington, DC, during the election of 1860 and the beginning of the Civil War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries acquired the Hestor L. Stevens Letters in 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Rayman, 2018 August.
Guide to the Hestor Lockhart Stevens Letters
Jessica Rayman
October 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266