YATES, Richard (1815-1873)

YATES, RICHARD, a Representative and a Senator from Illinois; born in Warsaw, Gallatin County, Ky., January 18, 1815; attended the common schools; moved to Illinois in 1831; graduated from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill, in 1835; studied law at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.; admitted to the bar in 1837 and commenced practice in Jacksonville, Ill.; member, State house of representatives 1842-1845, 1848-1849; elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1851-March 3, 1855); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1854 to the Thirty-fourth Congress; Governor of Illinois 1861-1865; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1863; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1865, to March 3, 1871; was not a candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Thirty-ninth and Forty-first Congresses), Committee on Territories (Fortieth Congress); appointed by President Ulysses Grant as a United States commissioner to inspect a land subsidy railroad; died suddenly in St. Louis, Mo., November 27, 1873; interment in Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville, Ill.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: Ca. 14 feet in Richard Yates, Sr. and family papers, 1789-1936. Correspondence and other papers chiefly from his years as Civil War governor of Illinois and U.S. senator; also congressional papers (ca. 2 inches) and material regarding his law practice. Topics include politics, national leaders, slavery, and other national issues. Photographs, primarily gubernatorial. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 47-page biography (no date) in the Joseph Wallace papers; and correspondence in Lewis Baldwin Parsons papers, 1656-1908.

Chicago Historical Society
Chicago, IL
Papers: Ca. 80 miscellaneous items in various collections.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1860-1868. 25 items. Correspondence as governor of Illinois. Photostatic copies of originals in Illinois State Historical Library.

Indiana State Library
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: Correspondence in Jefferson Columbus Davis papers, 1826-1873; and John Richard Brayton collection, 1861-1907.

Knox College
Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 notary commission (July 18, 1861) in Donna Workman autograph collection, 1792-1936.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: 1861-1864. 5 letters. Official correspondence.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1863. 1 item.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: August 1, 1856. 1 letter. From Abraham Lincoln to John M. Palmer, declining to run for Congress. Also signed by Yates.

University of Illinois
Illinois Historical Survey
Urbana, IL
Papers: Ca. 14 items in various collections.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 6 letters by and 2 to Yates (1839-1870) in various collections. Finding aid.

Wabash College
Lilly Library
Crawfordsville, IN
Papers: In Winfred A. Harbison papers, 1834-1880. 8 document cases. Chiefly letters to Yates as governor of Illinois during Civil War, early scrapbooks, speeches, first three chapters of Harbison's biography of Yates, and additional Yates family material back to 1700s. Finding aid.

  • Hartman, Linda. "The Issue of Freedom in Illinois Under Gov. Richard Yates, 1861-1865.'' Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 57 (Autumn 1964): 293-97.
  • James, Edmund J. "The Services of Richard Yates to Public Education.'' Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 5 (January 1913): 481-85.
  • Northrup, Jack. "Gov. Richard Yates and Pres. Lincoln.'' Lincoln Herald 70 (Winter 1968): 193-206.
  • ___. "Richard Yates: A Personal Glimpse of the Illinois Soldiers' Friend.'' Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 56 (Summer 1963): 121-38.
  • Yates, Richard [1860-1936], and Catherine Pickering Yates. Richard Yates, Civil War Governor. Edited by John H. Krenkel. Danville, IL: Interstate Printers & Publishers, 1966.