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Alexander Ramsey & The Alexander Ramsey House: Primary Sources: Archives & Records

Minnesota's First Governor


Alexander Ramsey and Family Personal Papers and Governor’s Records, 1829-1965
Correspondence, diaries, real estate records, scrapbooks, school records and other materials documenting the career and family of Ramsey, a member of the U.S. House (1844-1847) and Senate (1863-1875); Minnesota territorial (1849-1853) and state (1860-1863) governor; mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota (1855-1857); secretary of war (1879-1881); and chairman of the Utah Registration and Election Board (1882-1886). 
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Ramsey Pamphlets Collection, 1828-1901
Most of the items date from the 1860s and 1870s. Many reflect the concerns of Congress during Ramsey’s senatorial years, and they include reports, speeches, and extensions of remarks. Particularly numerous are publications relating to the Civil War, slavery, suffrage, the Sanitary Commission, Reconstruction, the Freedman’s Bureau, the Ku Klux Klan, the Union League, and the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. This brief description cannot convey the remarkable variety of subject material covered by dozens of these pamphlets. 
MNHS call number: Reserve E151 .R35

Materials Relating to the Ramsey Family and the Ramsey House
Biographical and genealogical information on Alexander Ramsey, the Ramsey family, and related families; and abstracts from the diaries of Ramsey, his daughter Marion Ramsey Furness, and his granddaughters Anna and Laura Furness, compiled by Dougherty as curator of the Ramsey House in St. Paul (Minn.).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P642). 

Correspondence with Alexander Ramsey, 1834-1840, 1843, 1849
Typewritten copies of letters, and one original letter, that Harrisburg (Penn.) resident Kelker exchanged with his cousin Alexander Ramsey when Ramsey was a student at Lafayette College, Easton, Penn. (1834), a schoolteacher at Kutztown, Penn. (1835-1836), a law student at Carlisle, Penn. (1839), a business agent in Texas (1840), a Whig member of Congress from Pennsylvania (1843), and newly appointed governor of Minnesota Territory (1849).
MNHS call number: P2949

Richard Cox Shreve Diary
Shreve’s account (43 pages) of a trip with his family from Mount Holly (New Jersey), to St. Paul (Minn.) and back by rail and steamboat, describing travel accommodations, hotels, his reactions to several upper Midwest cities, the environs and social life of St. Paul, and the Alexander Ramsey family, his hosts there.
MNHS call number: Microfilm M15.

Government Records

Records of Governor Alexander Ramsey, 1860-1863
Includes accounting records; records concerning both civil and military appointments; letters received; records relating to pardons and other criminal matters; and petitions. There is substantial documentation of military affairs, especially concerning Minnesota regiments in the Civil War, and the Dakota Wars of 1862-1863.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Records of Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey, 1849-1853
Subject files and correspondence of territorial governor Ramsey, also including territorial officers’ appointments and commissions, petitions, proclamations, and reports from territorial officers.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Constitution, 1857, 1860
Handwritten copies of the Democratic and Republican versions of the state constitution. The two parties held separate conventions, which each produced a version of the constitution signed on August 29, 1857. The Republican version also contains a proclamation by Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey ratifying the first three amendments to the constitution (December 28, 1860).
MNHS call number: Digital Copy

Ramsey's Case
Includes: Message From the President of the United States: Communicating the Report of an Investigation of the Charges of Fraud and Misconduct in Office, Alleged Against Alexander Ramsey, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Minnesota.
Report of the Commissioners Appointed by the President of the United States to Investigate the Official Conduct of Alexander H. Ramsey: Late Governor of Minnesota Territory, with the Testimony Taken in the Case by Them, Transmitted to the Senate with the Message of the President of the United States, January 10, 1854
MNHS call number: E78.M7 R3 no.4

Books & Other Publications

"Prelude to Tragedy: The Diary of Alexander Ramsey’s Travels in the Mississippi Headwaters, Summer 1850", edited by Douglas A. Birk. 
In Minnesota Archeologist, Volume 73 (2014).
MNHS call number:  F601.5 .M625 v.73

Memorial Addresses in Honor of Governor Alexander Ramsey: At Meetings of the Minnesota Historical Society, in the State Capitol, St. Paul, Minn., September 3 and 14, 1903.
Alexander Ramsey, a memorial eulogy, delivered September 3, 1903, / by J.H. Baker -- Memorial addresses, presented September 14, 1903.
MNHS call number: Reading Room F602 .M61 v.10:2

Our Field of Historical Research, by Alexander Ramsey. 
Address of Gov. Alex. Ramsey, president of the Society, before its annual meeting, Jan. 13, 1851.
Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. Vol. 1. St. Paul, Minn. : The Society, 1902.
MNHS call number: Digital Copy

Childhood Recollections of Old St. Paul, by Marion Furness Ramsey.
In Minnesota History, v. 29, p. 114-129.
MNHS call number: Digital Copy

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Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
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