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Collection Overview

Creator:
Cohen, Richard B.
Title:
Richard B. Cohen Collection of Francis S. Cockran, Reuben Yocum, and Bills Family Materials
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dc6969zb36d
Dates:
1845-1907
Size:
0.2 linear feet and 1 box
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-002007
Language:
English

Abstract

Consists of three groups of 19th century materials that were formerly part of the Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection. These include thirteen letters to Francis S. Cockran (1814-1886), a Maryland businessman, Navy officer, abolitionist, and Underground Railroad supporter; eight letters, bounty payments, and financial documents related to Reuben Yocum, 3rd Assistant Engineer on the U.S.S. Fort Hindman; and miscellaneous business records and letters related to the family business of John Houston Bills (1800-1871) and Leonidas Bills (1828-1881) in Bolivar, Tennessee.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of three groups of 19th century materials that were formerly part of the Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection. These include thirteen letters to Francis S. Cockran (1814-1886), a Maryland businessman, Navy officer, abolitionist, and Underground Railroad supporter; eight letters, bounty payments, and financial documents related to Reuben Yocum, 3rd Assistant Engineer on the U.S.S. Fort Hindman; and miscellaneous business records and letters related to the family business of John Houston Bills (1800-1871) and Leonidas Bills (1828-1881) in Bolivar, Tennessee.

Correspondents of Francis S. Cockran represented in the collection include Lewis Clephane (1824-1897), W. W. Gitt, Gustavus Vasa Fox (1821-1883), Gideon Welles (1802-1878), Francis H. Jenks (1838-1894), D. McLeod, H. Stockbridge, and Hinton Rowan Helper (1829-1909). Topics include the 1860 Republican National Convention and Republican Party politics, logistical matters related to Cockran's role as a Naval officer at the Port of Baltimore and the purchase of sea vessels, business matters, and the Baltimore Patriot newspaper. There is also an 1861 document signed by Cockran, D. G. Masters, and John Higenbothom certifying that they heard Kemp Whyshample, "a clerk in the Commissary Department in the City in the early part of August last avow himself an ultra Secessionist opposed to the present Administration and asserted it repeatedly."

Reuben Yocum materials include letters from [?] Foster, Newton S. Jenkins, and Lowry & Son. There are also bounty documents, pension claims, forms from the Treasury Department, and other financial documents related to his service in the Navy. One of these is a document awarding Yocum $62.50 in back pay for "one month's sea pay" and for "personal effects aboard the U.S.S. Baron DeKalb," which was sunk in the Yazoo River.

Materials documenting the Bills family comprise over seventy miscellaneous business records and correspondence, mostly related to John H. Bills & Son, a family business in Bolivar, Tennessee, that John Houston Bills and his son Leonidas Bills operated. Many of these records relate to land deals that the Bills facilitated. There are also checks, receipts, invoices, financial records, tax documents, and correspondence from Mary C. Dalton, G. E. Crutchfield and J. S. Anderson, John H. Knowles, Elizabeth Law, W. E. Woodruff, James Taylor, C. D. McLean, and numerous others. There are also two letters related to the U.S. Navy that have an unclear association with the rest of this material.

Collection Creator Biography:

Cohen

Richard B. Cohen was a collector of historical materials related to the American Civil War, with a specialization in naval history.

Collection History

Acquisition:

Purchased from Hindman Auctions in 2022 (AM 2023-007).

Appraisal

No materials were removed from the collection during 2022 processing.

Sponsorship:

Processing of this collection was sponsored by the Delafield fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in July 2022. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in July 2022, incorporating some description provided by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Richard B. Cohen Collection of Francis S. Cockran, Reuben Yocum, and Bills Family Materials; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dc6969zb36d
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box B-002007