Orlando Barnes Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Barnes, O.M., (Orlando Mack), 1825-1899
Orlando Barnes papers
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Cubic feet , 4 Volumes

Preferred Citation note

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

Orlando Barnes was active in Democratic politics throughout his adult life. He was a state representative in 1863-1864. He served as mayor of Lansing from 1877-1878. He was defeated for governor in 1878 and for the U.S. Senate in 1883. From 1880 on he was chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1891 he was appointed to the State Prison Board.

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Scope and Contents note

The material in the Barnes collection encompasses the period 1846 to 1899. Barnes graduated from the University of Michigan in 1850 and settled in Lansing to practice law. After establishing his reputation, he became attorney for the Jackson, Lansing, and Saginaw Railroad. He also assumed a promotional position with the Railroad, and eventually became its secretary and general manager.

Barnes was philosophically minded and frequently wrote on various social matters. The bulk of this collection consists of these undated narratives, particularly on slavery and utopianism. The remainder of the collection is composed of newspaper clippings pertinent to the subject of his writings, several orations by Barnes, and a few letters addressed to him. These letters are largely personal in nature. They include a letter of introduction dated August 5, 1872 from Zachariah Chandler.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

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

Revision Description

  November 2000

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University Property Rights: Michigan State University

Conditions Governing Use note

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

Custodial History

Gift of Mrs. Barnard Pierce, transferred by the MSU Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Democratic Party (Mich.). State Central Committee.
  • Democratic Party. (U.S.)
  • Michigan State University.
  • University of Michigan.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Lansing (Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Chandler, Zachariah, 1813-1879
  • Pierce, Barnard, Mrs.


  • Ethics
  • Etiquette
  • Local government
  • Poetry, Modern
  • Prison administration -- Michigan
  • Slavery -- United States
  • Social problems
  • Tariff -- United States
  • Utopias -- Religious aspects

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Collection Inventory


Scope and Contents note

Box Folder

Fourth of July Orations by Barnes 1846-1895 

1 1

Michigan University Chapel orations by Barnes 1848-1850 

1 2

Material on Prison Labor 1898 

1 3

Prison Materials Mid 1890s 

1 4

Prison Materials Mid-late 1890's 

1 5-6

Prison Materials undated 

1 7-10

Writings on Protective Tariff 1882 

1 11

Writings on initiative & referendum undated 

1 12

Writings on utopianism undated 

1 13

Writings on city reform & government 

2 1

Writings on American manners 

2 2

Writings on democracy & liberty 

2 3

National Problems 1850s 

2 4

National Problems During Civil War 

2 5

Writings on miscellaneous social matters 

2 6-7

Writings on political ideas 

2 8

Newspaper clippings relating to politics 

2 9

Correspondence & News clippings 

2 10

Miscellaneous poems by Barnes undated 

2 11

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vol. 1: Bound Michigan Prison Board Minutes and related prison materials 1897, 1898 

vol. 2: Bound writings on protective tariff 

vol. 3: Bound report Michigan Board of Prison Inspectors for 1892 

vol. 4: Bound tariff pamphlets and writings 

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People. Barnes, Orlando 

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