The collection contains ten handwritten documents related to James W. Temple from before and during the Civil War: three letters
between Temple and his wife Bessie while he was stationed in Tennessee; six pages of poetry written in Temple's hand, some
showing revisions of the same work; and an unsigned letter addressed to "Solomon & Co." that describes James and Bess Temple
getting stuck in a flood in Truro Township in early 1857.
James W. Temple was born in Ohio in 1828, and was married to Bessie P. Cook of Vermont in October of 1854. They settled in
Knox County, Illinois, where James Temple made a good living as a farmer. He was well-educated, and was also something of
an amateur poet. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and by 1864 was a captain in Company D of the newly-organized
101st Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry. The USCI was made up of former slaves under the command of white officers
like Temple. He was stationed in Tennessee until the war ended, when he returned to his family in Illinois. Soon after the
war, he became a clerk of the Circuit Court of Knox County. Sometime between 1870 and 1896, Bessie died, and in December 1897
Temple married again, to a widow named Lucy B. Cook Steele (no relation to his first wife). By this time, Temple was retired
and quite wealthy. They lived in Knox County until his death around 1910. He was buried in West Truro Cemetery in Truro Township,
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.