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John Pope Letter

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: RH MS P882


A 2 page letter from General John Pope to Secretary of War, Robert Todd Lincoln dated April 2, 1881, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This letter is Pope’s retained copy in which he recommends the appointment of Brevet Captain J.G. Leefe in the Quartermaster Department.


  • Creation: April 2, 1881


Conditions Governing Access

No Access Restrictions

Biography of General John Pope

(March 16, 1822 – September 23, 1892)

John Pope was born in Kentucky. He graduated from West Point and served in the United States Army from 1842 to 1886. He initially worked as a topographical engineer and surveyor and eventually achieved the rank of Brevet Major General. Pope fought in the Mexican-American War, as well as the Civil War and the Apache Wars. He is best known for his defeat during the Civil War at Second Battle of Bull Run. Pope's attitude about treating Native Americans humanely made him unpopular. He was second cousin by marriage to Mary Todd Lincoln. He died in the Ohio's Soldiers Home near Sandusky, OH and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.

Biography of Robert Todd Lincoln

The eldest son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln was born in Springfield, IL. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1860 he attended Harvard University. He enrolled in Harvard Law School upon graduation, but did not attend. Lincoln joined the Union Army as a member of Grant's staff near the conclusion of the Civil War. After the Civil War he attended law school at the University of Chicago and was admitted to the Bar in 1867. Lincoln was serving as Secretary of War under President Garfield when he received General Pope's letter. Lincoln continued to serve as Secretary of War under President Arthur until 1885. He was involved with the Illinois Industrial Training school for Boys (later the Glenwood School for Boys and Girls). From 1889 to 1893 Lincoln served as ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Harrison after which he returned to his private law practice and was later Chairman of the Board of the Pullman Palace Car Company. He died in Manchester, VT and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Biography of J.G. Leefe

J.G. Leefe was an English-born U.S. soldier appointed from New York during the Civil War. He was active with regiments in Virginia and Louisiana during the 1860s. An 1864 letter by Leefe is included in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. A short story entitled “Buttons” by Leefe is also included in the 1884 edition of The United State Service: A Monthly Review of Military and Naval Affairs, Volume XI. He continued his career with the military in the Mid-West after the war ended. His family’s travels with the army are well documented in Daughter of the Regiment: Memoirs of a Childhood in the Frontier Army, 1878-1898 by his daughter, Mary Leefe Laurence.


1 folder

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS P882


Guide to the John Pope Collection
John Pope Letter
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Preferred citation
John Pope Collection , Kansas Collection, RH MS P882, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States