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Frederick William Lehmann Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms068

The Frederick William Lehmann Papers consists of letters and documents of notable Americans (1756-1909), particularly 19th century political figures including John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Bayard, Thomas Hart Benton, Zachariah Chandler, Roscoe Conkling, Stephen A. Douglas, John Brown Gordon, Wade Hampton, Oliver Perry Morton, James G. Blaine, Benjamin F. Butler, J.A.J. Creswell, George Mifflin Dallas, Albert Gallatin, Alexander Hamilton, John McLean, William L. Marey, John Marshall, Thomas Pinckney, William H. Seward, Charles Sumner, Gideon Welles, Samuel Allibone, Robert Banner, Winston Churchill (novelist), G.W.P. Custis, Charles A. Dana, S.A. Drake, Edward Everett, James T. Fields, William D. Gallagher, Edward Everett Hale, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Joseph Henry, Benson J. Losing, Whitelaw Reid, John Sartain, Charles Dudley Warner, Frances E. Williard, Fanny Vining Davenport, Thomas Gibson, William Godwin, Benjamin Haydon, William Thackeray, William Buell Sprague, and Chauncey Ives Filley.  Also included within the collection is correspondence among Lehmann’s law colleagues, journalists, congressman, executive appointees, justices of the Supreme Court, personal friends (1879-1929). In addition, are personal miscellany including bookplates, calling cards, clipping, invitations, Burns’ materials, Felicities of Sixty by I.H. Lionberger, pictures of Woodrow Wilson, commencement programs, Grolier Club material, and caricature of Lehmann.


  • Creation: 1756-1929


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


4.00 Boxes

Biographical Information

Frederick William Lehmann (February 28, 1853 – September 12, 1931) was an American lawyer, statesman, United States Solicitor General, and rare book collector. Born in Prussia, Lehmann and his family immigrated to the United States in 1855 to Cincinnati, Ohio. At age 10, he left home and traveled across the Midwest working on farms, selling newspapers, and herding sheep. At 17, Lehmann worked as a farm-hand for Judge Epenetus Sears, who sent him to Tabor College, where he graduated in 1873.

A noted orator, he was active in Iowa politics, including the election of Governor Horace Boies. In 1890, he moved with his family to St. Louis, Missouri and he was elected president of the American Bar Association in 1908. In 1909, he drafted the charter by which the City of St. Louis is still run today. President William Howard Taft named Lehmann as United States Solicitor General in 1910. In the Supreme Court of the United States Lehmann established the right to tax corporation incomes. In 1912, he returned to practice law in St. Louis with his sons.

In 1914, however, he and Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar represented the United States at the ABC Powers Conference in which Argentina, Brazil, and Chile mediated between the United States and Mexico on the Veracruz Incident. Cases in his private practice established the right of the Associated Press to news as intellectual property, and he secured the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company's right to valuation on reproduction cost less depreciation. In 1918, he became counsel for the Railway Wage Commission.

Lehmann was a founder of the St. Louis Art Museum and the State Historical Society of Missouri, president of the St. Louis Public Library, and a director of the St. Louis World's Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exposition) of 1904, in which he was host of the Universal Congress of Jurists and Lawyers. He was a bibliophile and he collected rare first editions of Charles Dickens, Robert Burns and others, and artworks of Aubrey Beardsley, George Cruikshank and Thomas Rowlandson. He and industrialist William K. Bixby started the Burns Society; he was twice president of the University Club of St. Louis. His published works included: John Marshall (1901); The Lawyer in American History (1906); Abraham Lincoln (1908); Conservatism in Legal Procedure (1909); Prohibition (1910); and The Law and the Newspaper (1917).

Source of Acquisition

Accession number 775. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Stark Lehmann

Accession number 1024. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Stark Lehmann

Accession number 1428. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Stark Lehmann

Frederick William Lehmann Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 22: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495