This collection documents the activities of David Baldwin, a prominent Connecticut merchant, free mason, and Revolutionary War militia general, and his heirs, from 1790 to 1870. Included are legal documents relating to land sales, associated correspondence, and a short diary accounting a trip from Milwaukie to Chicago in 1836. Many of the later documents are letters and deeds related to his son, David Van Brooks Baldwin.
212 items (0.5 linear feet)
Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip
Scope and Content:
The David Baldwin papers contains correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and a diary, with the bulk of the material dating from just after the Revolutionary War through the 1820s.
The Correspondence series (26 items) contains four lengthy letters from Flora Jewett, David Baldwin's newly married daughter, from Galway New York (1807-1811). Topics range from furniture and housekeeping to details the loss of a child (April 14, 1808); consolation to Baldwin, who is seriously ill (February 1811); and business matters (Jan 3, 1812).
The bulk of the correspondence after Baldwin's death are business letters to Baldwin's son, David Van Brooks Baldwin, that deal with the sale of land and collections of debts.
The Document series consists largely of items documenting transfers of land and contracts for merchandizing, buying, selling, and vending. Included are a land deed transfer from Philo Norton to David Baldwin, 1794, and deeds of land purchased in Kentucky (1795) and Virginia in (1796); and a deed of gift for land in Connecticut to his son (1809). This series also contains official signed documents appointing Baldwin to Surveyor of Revenue and Assessors for Newton and Brookfield. Most post-1812 documents are deeds from Connecticut and New York concerning David Van Brooks Baldwin.
The Financial Records series contains items documenting payments of debts to David Baldwin and his descendants. Many of these items are brief (half a page or less) and some have descriptions of the loan.
The Financial Reports series holds records of the transactions of David Van Brooks Baldwin. Also included are receipts for purchased items such as hot air heaters, wood, coal, water, and local taxes.
The Diary series contains a 24-page notebook, that recounts a trip from Milwaukie to Chicago and the points in-between. Written by a descendent of David Baldwin in 1836 (possible David V. Baldwin), the journal mentions the Indians at Prarie-du-Chien:
"out of some 5000 Indians there are left only some 3 or 400, 200 remains lie unburied, the smallpox occasioned the mortality among them- the Indians steam the patient & plunge him into cold water..."
The Miscellaneous series holds a 1855 pay book and a 1856 exchange account book belonging to David Van Brooks Baldwin, a ticket to a Banquet for the Utica Continentals, various notes, and a folder of empty envelopes separated from the Correspondence series.
Biographical / Historical:
David Baldwin (1758-1811) was a prominent merchant who was active in Masonic circles and served as the militia general for Connecticut's 8th brigade during the Revolutionary War. He lived his life in Newton, Connecticut, and was known locally as "General." His parents were Caleb Baldwin and Naomi (Naomy) Hard. He married Hannah Brooks (1758-1826) on February 12, 1778, and they had four children: Laura (b. 1780), Flora (b. 1783), Boyle Van Brooks (b. 1784), and David Van Brooks (b. 1784).
1990. M-2557 .
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
This collection is organized in seven series:
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Additional Descriptive Data:
Johnson, Jane Eliza. Newton's History and Historian Ezra Levan Johnson. Newtown, Conn., 1917.
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