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ALDRICH, Cyrus

1808–1871

Biography

ALDRICH, Cyrus, a Representative from Minnesota; born in Smithfield, R.I., June 18, 1808; attended the common schools; followed the occupations of sailor, boatman, farmer, contractor on public works, and mail contractor; moved to Illinois and settled in Alton in 1837; member of the State house of representatives 1845-1847; register of deeds of Jo Daviess County 1847-1849; receiver of the United States land office at Dixon, Ill., 1849-1853; moved to Minneapolis, Minn., in 1855 and engaged in the lumber business; member of the State constitutional convention in 1857; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1859-March 3, 1863); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Thirty-seventh Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1862; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1863 to the United States Senate; member of the State house of representatives in 1865; elected chairman of the board of supervisors of the town of Minneapolis in 1865; appointed by President Lincoln in 1863 one of the commissioners to examine claims for indemnity of those who had suffered from the Sioux War of 1862; postmaster of Minneapolis, Minn., from September 11, 1867, until April 15, 1871, when a successor was appointed; died in Minneapolis, Minn., October 5, 1871; interment in Lakewood Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Minnesota Historical Society

St. Paul, MN
Papers: In the Joel Bean Bassett Papers, 1859-1876 (bulk 1865-1868), 0.4 cubic foot (1 box and 1 oversize folder). Includes a letter from Cyrus Aldrich, February 3, 1862, mentioning the Civil War and Joel Bassett's problems with the General Land Office. An inventory is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Daniel A. Robertson and family papers, 1814-1933, 1 cubic foot. Includes correspondence between Cyrus Aldrich and Daniel A. Robertson. An inventory is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Sioux Claims Commission data, 1863-1864, 4 items on a microfilm reel. Includes a letter written by Cyrus Aldrich in 1864 to Albert Smith White, chairman of the Sioux Claims Commission, urging Albert Smith White to draft a bill for added relief to conflict survivors. A manuscripts collection summary is available in the repository.
Additional items are in 3 other collections.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the E. B. Washburne papers, 1829-1889, 31.4 linear feet. Correspondents include Cyrus Aldrich.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In the George D. Hill Papers, 1843-1866 and 1870-1876, 2 linear feet and 1 volume. Includes correspondence between Cyrus Aldrich and George D. Hill. A finding aid is available in the library.

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
University Archives and Area Research Center, Chalmer Davee Library

River Falls, WI
Papers: In the William H.C. Folsom Papers, ca. 1836-1922, 0.6 cubic foot. William Folsom's active interest in state politics was reflected throughout the correspondence. The possibility of starting an “anti-corruptionist” party in Minnesota was discussed in a letter from Congressman Cyrus Aldrich, March 5, 1859. Aldrich felt he and Folsom were on the side of the people against the plunderers and corruptionists, who were ruining the state by floating a 5,000,000 dollar loan. On that same day James M. Cavanaugh wrote from Washington to tell of his own efforts in behalf of a resolution to permit the sales of public lands in Minnesota and of his hope that he would someday secure the passage of his homestead act. Congressman Aldrich wrote again, March 12, 1859, a very bitter letter about “corruption” in state finance and the sale of state bonds. At the end of the letter, in discussing the coming election, he mentioned that “Young Washburne” desired to become a candidate. D.S. Norton wrote to Folsom also, May 2, 1859, to ask for support in the coming election. On that same day, May 2, 1859, Aldrich wrote again to condemn the use of tax money to pay interest on railroad bonds and to comment on the opening of a bank in Folsom's area by “corruptionists.” The papers are owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division.

Washington State Historical Society

Tacoma, WA
Papers: 1862, 1 item. A letter from Abraham Lincoln written on December 6, 1862, to Cyrus Aldrich. At that time, Aldrich was a Republican representative from Minnesota, who was receiver for the U.S. land office at Dixon, Ill., 1849-1853, during which time the government disallowed several claims and Lincoln was engaged to defend the case of Daniel Clapp. The letter, entirely in Lincoln's hand, is a single sheet, written on both sides, in response to a question from Aldrich concerning the legal status of certain land warrants filed in several Illinois land offices. Lincoln did not recall all of the details and believed that the case may still have been on the docket. Several sentences have been underlined for emphasis.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Williams, J. Fletcher. Memoir of Hon. Cyrus Aldrich. N.p., 1880.

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