Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
WENTWORTH, John (1815-1888)

WENTWORTH, JOHN, (grandson of John Wentworth, Jr.), a Representative from Illinois; born in Sandwich, Carroll County, N.H., March 5, 1815; educated in the common schools and academies at Gilmanton, Wolfeboro, and New Hampton, N.H., and South Berwick, Maine; taught school for several years, and contributed political articles to newspapers; was graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., in 1836; moved to Chicago, Ill., in 1836, where he engaged as a clerk in a law office, and also studied law; editor and manager of the Chicago Democrat; appointed aide-de-camp to Governor Carlin in 1838; attended the law department of Harvard University in 1841; was admitted to the bar in 1841 and commenced practice in Chicago, Ill.; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1851); elected to the Thirty-third Congress (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1855); Republican mayor of Chicago 1857-1863; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1861; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth Congress (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1867); resumed the practice of law; died in Chicago, Ill., October 16, 1888; interment in Rosehill Cemetery.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: In the James and Myra Bradwell Papers, 1864-1884, 7 items.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Horace Butler Papers, 1794-1933, 2.73 linear feet.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.


Chicago History Museum
Research Center
Chicago, IL
Papers: 1836-1888, approximately 260 items.
The papers of John Wentworth contain letters, articles, and memoirs by, to, or about Wentworth (ca. 190 items) and deeds and other legal documents (ca. 70 items). The letters include Wentworth's responses (ca. 1876-1886, 130 items) to requests from Adolphus Skinner Hubbard and Albert D. Hager of the Chicago Historical Society for information about early Chicago. Includes a typed account of the first libel suit in Chicago (1842); a biography by E. M. Haines; and a commemorative volume on Wentworth's role in the Illinois Constitutional Convention of 1862. Topics relate to his career as editor and publisher of the Chicago Democrat and as U.S. Congressman and Mayor of Chicago.

Papers: 1860, 3 pages.
A letter from Abraham Lincoln to John Wentworth written on February 9, 1860. The letter is a reply to Wentworth's letter of Feb. 7th, Lincoln suggests how Wentworth and Norman B. Judd may ameliorate their feud, which is damaging the Republican Party.

Papers: 1886, 1 item.
A letter from an unidentified author to John Wentworth written on April 10, 1886. In the letter appears an annotation by John Wentworth which states that Dr. Walker was a leading physician in Chicago when Wentworth arrived on Oct. 25, 1836.

Papers: In the James Franklin Aldrich Papers, 1841-1932, approximately 400 items.
Persons represented include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Isaac N. Arnold Papers, 1860-1885, 0.5 linear foot.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the David Davis Papers, ca. 1815-1964, 9 linear feet.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Hardin Family Papers, ca. 1733-1943, 9 linear feet.
Persons represented include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Horatio Hill Papers, 1828-1884, 132 items.
Persons represented include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Edmund Stoughton Kimberly Papers, 1811-1863, 138 items.
Subjects include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Abraham Lincoln Papers, 1860, 3 pages.
A letter from Abraham Lincoln, Springfield (Ill.), to John Wentworth, [Chicago, Ill.]. In reply to Wentworth's letter of Feb. 7th, Lincoln suggests how Wentworth and Norman B. Judd may ameliorate their feud, which is damaging the Republican Party.

Papers: In the Logan Uriah Reavis Papers, ca. 1844-1888, 70 items.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the Joseph Vial Collection, ca. 1811-1892, 62 items.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.


Dartmouth College
Rauner Special Collections Library
Hanover, NH
Papers: 1836, 1 petition.
The petition, 1836 June 30, is to the Faculty of Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. and the signers, including John Wendworth, requests reinstatement after dismissal due to remarks derogatory of the faculty of Dartmouth College made at a public meeting.

Papers: 1860-1861, 3 items.
Two letters from John Wentworth to Richard Yates, supporting Yates for governor of Illinois; one letter from Joseph Knox toYates, with Wentworth's statement of agreement, discussing the need for regulations concerning the formation of companies of troops under acceptable officers.


The George Washington University
Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Wentworth Family Papers, ca. 1902-1926, 4.5 linear feet.
Persons represented include John Wentworth.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: 1853-1857, 1876-1879, 1884. 9 items.
Letters regarding pension laws and personal affairs. Finding aid in repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In the Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, ca. 1824-1933, 10 linear feet.
Correspondents include John Wentworth.

Papers: In the J. M. I. St. Cyr Letters 1880, 2 items.
Two letters from J. M. I. St. Cyr (1880 Jan. 19 and Jan. 30) to John Wentworth in which St. Cyr describes his experiences as priest at the first Roman Catholic church in Chicago, Ill.


New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: June 2, 1873. 1 letter.
Finding aid in repository.


Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1846, 1 item.
A petition to James K. Polk, Washington, created on May 16, 1846. The petition from the Members of the Illinois congressional delegation requests that Jacob B. Backenstos be appointed captain of a new regiment to be raised in their state. John Wentworth is one of the signers.


Western Reserve University
Adelbert College
Cleveland, OH
Papers: In the John Hay Correspondence, 1854-1914, "Watts" to "Willamov,” approximately 6,000 items.
Other authors include John Wentworth.

  • Fehrenbacher, Don Edward. Chicago Giant: A Biography of Long John Wentworth. 1957. Reprint, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
  • ------. "The Judd-Wentworth Feud." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 45 (Autumn 1952): 197-211.
  • Jones, Stanley L. "John Wentworth and Anti-Slavery in Chicago to 1856." Mid-America 36 (July 1954): 147-60.
  • Wentworth, John. Congressional Reminiscences. Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1882.
  • ------. Early Chicago. Chicago: Fergus Printing Company, 1881.
  • ------. A genealogical and biographical account of the descendants of Elder William Wentworth: One of the first settlers of Dover, in the state of New Hampshire. Boston: Printed by S.G. Drake, 1850.
  • ------. Loan bill. [Washington: Printed at the Congressional Globe Office, 1866].
  • ------. Tariff Bill: Speech of Hon. John Wentworth, of Illinois, in the House of Representatives, July 10, 1866. [Washington, D.C.]: Printed at theCongressional Globe Office, [1866].
  • ------. The Wentworth genealogy, comprising the origin of the name, the family in England, and a particular account of Elder William Wentworth, the emigrant, and of his descendants. [Boston: Press of A. Mudge & Son], 1870.
  • ------. The Wentworth genealogy: English and American. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1878.
  • ------. Wentworths at Bermuda. [Boston: N.p., 1882].