Richard Yates papers, 1842-1923
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Brief Description: The Richard Yates Collection contains correspondence, speeches, financial records, and other materials from 1842 through 1923.  The correspondence documents Richard Yates' participation in Illinois government, as well as correspondence regarding his interest in the Tonica and Petersburg Railroad providing numerous letters before, during, and after his governorship.  The majority of the correspondence was received by Richard Yates, but copies of a few letters of response are present.  The collection also includes published pamphlets and offprints of Richard Yates' speeches as well as personal documents and saved printed materials.  Several obituaries and editorials reporting the death of Governor Yates are included as well.
Held at:
Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
605 Agriculture Dr.
MC 6632
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-2516
Fax: 618-453-3451
Email: speccoll [at]
Record Series Number: 1/6/MSS 232
Created by: Yates, Richard, (1815-1873.)
Volume: 5.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Arranged in four series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Tonica and Petersburg railroad materials, (3) Speeches, 1851-1872, (4) Personal documents and printed material.
Biographical Note for Yates, Richard, (1815-1873.) :

Yates was elected as a Representative to the Illinois Congress, a position he held for most of the 1840s.  In the early 1850s, he served two terms in the United States House of Representatives, but after an unsuccessful bid for reelection, he returned his focus to state level issues.

After returning to Illinois he joined the growing movement for a railroad through Menard County that was ultimately realized in the Tonica and Petersburg Railraod. Today, under control of the Chicago and Alton Railroad Company, the Tonica and Petersburg line runs to Kansas City, still carrying passengers and freight.

Richard Yates was inaugurated as governor of Illinois just three months before the attack on Fort Sumter, and quickly aligned himself and his state with the goals of President Lincoln.  After four years of fighting, the Civil War and Yates' governorship came to a close, but he continued to serve his state as a member of the U.S. Senate.  He did not seek reelection 1871, likely due to his declining health.

Following a long period of illness, Richard Yates died from apoplexy in November 1873.

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.
Subject Index
Governors - Illinois - History
Illinois - History
Illinois - Politics and government
Railroads - United States - History
Tonica and Petersburg Railroad - Company - History
Yates, Richard, 1815-1873
Genres/Forms of Material
Corporation records.
Ledgers (account books)
Records (documents)
Speeches, addresses, etc.
Yates, Richard, 1815-1873 - Correspondence
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information on this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.
Acquisition Notes: Purchased
PreferredCitation: [Item], Richard Yates papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.