Ohio History Journal

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By Bertha E. Josephson


During the first two months of the current year the Depart-

ment of Documents has been devoting as much time as possible

to an inventory and organization of numerous heterogenous and

individual items. Because these materials do not belong to any

definite collections they have hitherto been neglected, yet many

of them are of considerable importance and value. They are now

being sorted and a card catalogue with name and subject cross-

references is being prepared so that they will be instantly available

for research. When the inventorying is completed, the items will

be classified and arranged according to their respective categories.

Nearly 300 items have been inventoried thus far and some 1100

cross-reference cards have been prepared for these.

Most interesting discovery in the process of inventorying is

the letter written by the rebel cavalry raider, Brigadier General

John H. Morgan, from his cell in the Ohio Penitentiary at Co-

lumbus, Sept. 21, 1863, in behalf of John H. Null, Union private

in Co. H, 120th Ohio. The letter recommends that should said

Null ever be captured by the Confederates he should be treated

"in the kindest manner" as he was Morgan's guard at the prison

and treated his officers and himself "with great courtesy and

kindness." The record shows that Null was captured less than

8 months later near Snaggy Point on the Red River in Louisiana,

but was paroled 7 weeks after that by the Southerners. Evidently

the letter had proved helpful.

Another Civil War item is an election ballot of the Republican

ticket voted in 1860 at Hannibal, Missouri, by T. D. McGillicudy,

who comments on the margin, "at a time and place when it was

worth one's very life to vote Republican." Then there are five

certificates of freedom for Negroes in Virginia: one from Prince

Edward County in 1821 for Robin Evans, and the other four for