Ingersoll's works on tape!
Visit the Ingersoll Birthplace Museum:
Robert G. Ingersoll - was a 19th century Freethinker, orator and lawyer extraordinare. His name was a household word in North America from the 1870's until after his death in 1899. If you were a literate American in those times, you knew of Robert Ingersoll, and his frequent lectures defending and advocating freethought.
If you are interested in the life and times of "Colonel Bob", then you will find a wealth of information here about his career. If you ever wondered if there is a history of freethought in your area, this resource may very well tell you the answer.
This project has as its goal to document his life and lecture tours, and preserve the public reactions of Robert Ingersoll's American and Canadian lectures. Here you'll be able to see where and when Ingersoll spoke, what he said, and what happened afterwards. Although this project is well under way, it it is by no means complete. The total number of lectures that Col. Bob delivered may have numbered as high as 2 thousand, and we currently have almost 1300 listed. If you would like to help find additional lectures - and help document the history of freethought in America, click here.
Entries are being added every week, so if you don't see anything for your area, check back every so often!
Look at the Chronology Statistics page, which lets you look for specific years, states, lectures and events.
Alternatively, you can browse the Complete Chronology
Here's the sort of information that is especially wanted:
Here's how to find more information (it is as simple as a trip to the library)
Lectures that aren't listed in the chronology. The title of the lecture delivered on certain date, if it is not currently known. Ads for lectures, from old newspapers. Reviews of lectures, from old newspapers. Copies of lithographs or theater programs for Ingersoll lectures.
Republican on Feb 26,1878
Morning Dispatch on Nov 4,1878
|Apr 13, 2004 - Revised all Interview events to display the name
of the newspaper on the chronology page. Split several combined interview events into separate events.
|Mar 28, 2004 - Added On this Day feature to main Ingersoll page.
|Feb 7, 2004 - Found new lectures
in Manchester and Exter New Hampshire further filling in tour
85G during visit to Manchester public library.
|Jan 18, 2004 - Found a
facinating series of letters from Ingersoll to various theater owners
in 1879 for lectures in Jan 1880 - further completing lecture tour
80A with lectures in Xenia, Ohio and Lockport, NY and Albion
NY. These all came from reel 6 of the Ingersoll papers.
|Dec 12, 2003 - Yet another trip
to Boston - and filled in every remaining unknown lecture for
|Nov 21, 2003 - Visited the New
York State Library and gathered ads and reviews for more lectures.
|Nov 8, 2003 - Visited the
Manchester, NH public library and got ads and reviews for then known
|Oct 23, 2003 - Visited the
Boston Public Library and nailed down most unknown lectures then listed.
|Oct 5, 2003 - Added lecture tour feature to chronology queries. All events that are part of a tour have tour hotlinks. Tour display includes mileage estimates of total distance travelled (straight line approximation).|
|Jun 23, 2003 - Added numerous new lectures and citations from New England, following a weekend trip to the Connecticut State Library in Hartford and the Boston Public library.|
|Jun 19, 2003 - Added extensive new entries and citations from Ingersoll papers reels 2-5, courtesy of the Center for Inquiry libraries.|
|May 1, 2003 - Oh no! The Chronology is shrinking!! Actually removed all tour events,spurious duplicate lectures as well as Deleted Events. All this to make way for the big change coming soon.|
|Apr 28, 2003 - After a trip to Cornell
University, added documentation to Washington, Chicago and San
Updated appearance of all chronology tables.
|Apr 13, 2003 - Added new documentation of Nashville, Tenn. lectures, kindly submitted by Johnny D. Walker, for 1895, and 1898|
|Mar 23, 2003 - Added a bunch of new lectures and other events gathered over the last couple of months - including Pittsfield, MA, St. Louis, MO, Carlinville, IL and Harrisburg, PA,|
|Jan 19, 2003 - Busy day! Added new online
added new experimental clickable map of
tour, and added info on lectures in Jan of 1885, all gleaned from
New York State Library.
|Jan 10, 2003 - Added New Hampshire lecture info
from a trip to the Public Library in Concord, NH.
|Dec 4, 2002 - Visited Clifton, NJ public library, and nailed down Paterson, NJ lecture.|
|Nov 29, 2002 - Finished extracting information from reel 31 of Ingersoll papers. Lecture total now 1176. Unknown lectures now stand at 244|
|Nov 22, 2002 - Once again, the Center for Inquiry Library
has allowed me to examine another reel from the Ingersoll papers, this time reel 31. More information to come soon.
|Oct 19, 2002 - Added documentation for 2 lectures in Ogdensburg and Lockport NY, after a quick trip to the NY State Library.|
|Sep 15, 2002 - Made some minor cleanups of old entries, fixing bad links, and polishing some entries. Added some new ads from a recent trip to the NY State Library.|
|Sep 2, 2002 - Thanks to the Center for Inquiry Library's allowing me to examine reel 30 of Ingersoll's papers, 1895 is now the most well documented year in the chronology. The data extraction from that microfilm is complete. The lecture total is now 1166. Unknown lectures - once over 300 - have shrunken to 257.|
|Aug 27, 2002 - Reel 30 now 1/3 done. Lecture total has broken thru the 1100 mark, and stands at 1114.|
|Aug 24, 2002 - Finished reel 29, and included about 10% of reel 30. Lecture total now stands at 1081.|
|Aug 10, 2002 LOTS of new material - after a visit to the outstanding Center for Inquiry Library, added new lectures in 1897&98 - and added more supporting detail for existing ones. Also included 2/3rds of reel 29. All told, about 47 new lectures, and more detail on dozens more.|
|Jul 17, 2002: Finished reel 28, and started reel 29. Added another Erie, PA lecture submitted by Tom Flynn.|
|Jun 17, 2002: Started on scrapbook entries on reel 28 of Ingersoll's papers. Mostly from 1883-1884 so far. Slightly over 1/3rd of the reel has been examined, and the lecture total stands at 978.|
|We've now got over 900 lectures,
1500 events and 2500 citations in the chronology, and more on the way!
May 31, 2002: Added material on Erie, PA submitted by Tom Flynn.
Added over 50 new lectures from Ingersoll scrapbooks contained in microfilm reel 26, mostly from 1877 and 1878.
|May 11, 2002: Added Oswego NY coverage, and some more quotes for the Quote of the day feature.|
|Apr 28, 2002: Added half a dozen new newspaper ads from Ingersoll's scrapbooks - all outside NY state. Corrected some errors and made "Some Words of a Man on the Word of God" listed as "Mistakes of Moses".|
|Apr 21, 2002: Added all remaining materials from Reel 27 of Ingeroll's scrapbooks. Other reels will be started soon. Grand totals for Reel 27: 131 new entries, (of these 108 were lectures, 11 were political speeches).|
|Apr 14, 2002: Added New Ingersoll Resources to the list. Ingersoll Concordance and Cornell University Library. Also brought in the latest harvest of events from scrapbooks.|
|Apr 2, 2002: Began systematically adding materials from Ingersoll's scrapbooks. One reel of microfilm is being examined, and new entries are accumulating. Some of the latest entries|
|Mar 17, 2002:
Added new online citations for Buffalo, NY, by bringing in all materials from the Buffalo folder.
|Feb 23, 2002: Digitized a couple of Ingersoll manuscripts for Utica NY & Kalamazoo, MI. In the process, added 4 new lectures in Feb, 1880.|
|Feb 6, 2002: While waiting for a pizza, I visited the Bolivar Library and nailed down yet another Ingersoll lecture in Lily Dale, NY|
|Jan 27, 2002: Added new online citations about the cancelled Norwich NY lecture of 1885. To learn something about the character of Robert Ingersoll when things went wrong, click here|
|Jan 26, 2002: Added new online citations for Syracuse, NY, by bringing in all materials from Syracuse folder.|
|Jan 22, 2002: Added 2 new lectures and new online citations for existing lectures in Bradford PA|
|Jan 17, 2002: Added new online citations for events in New Hampshire|
|Bring in all materials from Ingersoll Scrapbooks|
|Search of Truth Seeker, 1898 & 1899|
|Using new NY listings from above to fill in additional newspaper commentaries|
(a project of:)
The NY State Library at Albany
(specifically, the excellent newspaper collection)
The New York Public Library
Jervis Library, Rome, NY
and of course, my wife and kids,
who put up with me somehow!
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