James L. Lucas Manuscript

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Lucas, James L.
James L. Lucas manuscript
0.1 Cubic feet , 1 folder

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

James L. Lucas, an English immigrant, enlisted in the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry in July 1862. A month later he was seriously wounded at the battle of Thoroughfare Gap. When he recovered he received a transfer to the 12th Veterans Reserve Corps, stationed in Washington, D.C., where he spent the next three years.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection contains the manuscript "The Burial of John Wilkes and Tale of the Lincoln Conspirators as Told by James L. Lucas to Paul S. Lucas." In the manuscript, James Lucas describes the American political scene in the 1850s and the coming of the Civil War. He gives an eyewitness account of Washington, D. C. in the war years, including a detailed description of President Abraham Lincoln. Lucas spent three years with the 12th Veteran Reserve Corps, who served as guards for the Old Capitol Prison, where the Lincoln conspirators were held. Lucas also served as a court messenger during the prisoners' trial, and he describes the conspirators as well as the trial itself. In addition, Lucas tells of guarding the body of John Wilkes Booth on the monitor "Montauk" and of the secret burial of the assassin's body in the Old Capitol prison. This manuscript has been scanned and placed online at http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-24/lucas/.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections February 1965

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  February 2000

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Paul S. Lucas, 1960-04-15. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army. Veteran Reserve Corps.

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century

Personal Name(s)

  • Lucas, Paul S.
  • Lucas, Paul S.

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Collection Inventory


Manuscript - The Burial of John Wilkes and Tale of the Lincoln Conspirators as Told by James L. Lucas to Paul S. Lucas Undated