I went to the archives at Cornell University on January 10th and 11th. While I was there, I searched through the May Anti-Slavery Manuscript Collection, the American Freedman’s Union Commission letter books 1865-1868, the American Freedman’s Union Commission minute book 1866-1869, and the American Freedmen’s Aid Commission Board of Managers minutes 1865-1866.
For how much McKim’s name appears in the letters, Cornell has very few letters actually written by McKim. Even though there are 10 folders devoted to just his writings, there were only about fifteen letters total. However, the resources at Cornell prove McKim’s prominence in the abolition and freedmen’s relief causes despite the lack of materials penned by McKim. In the 1860s, especially 1866 and 1867, all the noted abolitionists, several republicans, and many peripheral figures in the movements were writing to McKim. In fact, the majority of the letters in the collection in the 1860s were addressed to McKim.