Creator: Maginnis, Martin, 1841-1919

Provenance Note: Typed transcriptions of original letters received by Martin Maginnis were prepared from originals held by the Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana, by Merrill G. Burlingame in 1964 and donated by him to Special Collections.

Historical Note: Martin Maginnis was born near Pultneyville, New York on October 27, 1841 to Patrick and Winifred Devine Maginnis, He moved to Minnesota with his parents in 1852 where he eventually became a newspaper editor. During the Civil War, Maginnis enlisted as a private in the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, eventually reaching the rank of major in the 11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He moved to Montana Territory with his brothers in 1866 where he tried his hand at mining and returned to newspaper work in Helena. In the election of 1872, Maginnis won the position of territorial representative to the United States House of Representatives where he served until 1885. He also served as the Montana State Commissioner of Mineral Land from 1890 to 1893. Maginnis eventually moved to Los Angeles, California where he died on March 27, 1919

Content Description Note: The Maginnis incoming correspondence file consists of typed transcripts prepared by, or under the supervision of, Merrill G. Burlingame, a history professor at Montana State University. The transcriptions were taken from original letters presently held by the Montana Historical Society in their collection number 50. There was no written criteria for the letters selected for transcription, no apparent accuracy check, and as a result this set should not be considered a complete representation of those found in the Magnnis collection at the Montana Historical Society. Some of these transcriptions were used by Burlingame in the composition of his own historical publications while others were simply kept as notes.

The letters are a selection of incoming correspondence at Maginnis' Washington D. C. office from 1874 to 1878. The letters are from a wide variety of Montana territorial residents and locations, dealing with topics such as Indian affairs, territorial and national politics, government contracts and contractors, Yellowstone National Park, patronage requests, railroads, and land surveys. Correspondents include Samuel T. Hauser, Nathaniel P. Langford, P. W. McAdow, and George W. Frost. The letters have been chronologically arranged in folders labeled 1874 through 1878. One transcription of a newspaper article dated 1884 has been placed at the end of folder 5.


Box 1
1. 1874
2. 1875
3. 1876
4. 1877
5. 1878; 1884

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 10/21/09