Lincoln Letters

Call Family and Brevard Family Papers, 1788-1920s (M92-1)

Ellen Call Long leads a horse ridden by a lady in front of "The Grove": Tallahassee, Florida

Reflecting on progress of the war, race relations, and family matters.

This collection contains correspondence, writings, and other papers of Richard Keith Call and his family, 1788-1916, and Theodore Washington Brevard and Mary Call Brevard and their family, 1820-ca. 1920s.

Included are personal and business correspondence, financial records, land records, commissions, speeches, manuscript poems, articles, books, and other writings, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks documenting the personal and public lives of members of the Call and Brevard families.

Together, the Call and Brevard Family Papers offer highly significant and unique documentation of Florida's territorial, early statehood, and Civil War history; the development of early Tallahassee; issues and attitudes concerning slavery and race; and the effects of the Civil War on the lives of planters of the Old South.

Richard Keith Call (1792-1862)

Much of the material in the Call and Brevard papers consists of the correspondence of Richard Keith Call (1792-1862), one of the most prominent leaders in territorial Florida. An officer under Andrew Jackson who helped administer Florida's early territorial government, Call acquired large tracts of land and established a plantation in Leon County. He also served as a member of Florida's Territorial Legislative Council and as Florida's third and fifth territorial governor as well as a general of militia.

References to Lincoln

The following selections from the Call and Brevard papers contain several references to Lincoln.

The first document is a draft of a letter from Richard Keith Call to Edwin A. Hart, editor of the Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, a Whig newspaper that endorsed the conservative Constitutional Union Party in the presidential election of 1860.

Call supported the Constitutional Unionists, who opposed disunion and wanted to ignore the slavery issue (they neither supported nor condemned slavery's extension into the territories), as a delegate to the party's state convention in Quincy in June 1860 and as a speaker for the party during the presidential campaign.

Call's letter to Hart served as the model for several anti-secession editorials and pamphlets that Call published in December 1860 and January 1861. Two of these pamphlets, An Address to the People of Florida from General R. K. Call (Tallahassee, 1860) and Union-Slavery-Secession: Letter from Governor R. K. Call of Florida to John S. Littell of Germantown, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1861), received national attention.

Call opposed Lincoln's election and urged his fellow southerners to resist the new administration but not to support secession, which he believed would be a disaster for the South. Richard Keith Call died at his home in Tallahassee on September 14, 1862, after witnessing the break-up of his beloved Union and the onrush of civil war.

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