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Collection

Beach-Fessenden family letters, 1838-1850

20 items

This collection is made up of letters that members of the Beach family wrote to Reverend Joseph P. Fessenden and his wife Phebe about life in Sharon Township, Ohio, in the mid-19th century. Fessenden's correspondents described their journeys from Maine to Ohio via steamboat, railroad, and stage; discussed many aspects of life in Ohio, such as religious customs and agriculture; and commented on news of family members and friends in Ohio and New England.

This collection is made up of 20 letters that members of the Beach family wrote to Reverend Joseph P. Fessenden and his wife, Phebe, from 1838-1850; several include contributions from multiple authors. The Fessendens' correspondents included Sargent W. Beach, Martha Beach, Israel Bailey Beach, Sarah Barker Beach, and Thomas Parnell Beach. The letters pertain to the writers' lives in Sharon Township, Ohio.

The Fessendens' incoming correspondence pertains to many aspects of life in Ohio in the mid-19th century. Several letters mention agricultural practices, education, and religion, including Thomas Parnell Beach's request that Joseph P. Fessenden come to Ohio to promote the antislavery cause (December 1, 1845). Others include the writers' comments on local religious denominations and their personal beliefs. Several correspondents provided detailed descriptions of their journeys from New England to Ohio, including travel by railroad, steamboat, and stage, often through the state of New York. Many letters contain and respond to news of family members and acquaintances in New England and Ohio; Israel Bailey Beach reflected on family members' deaths in his later letters.

Collection

Bessie Kucher letters, 1903-1904

0.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of around 37 letters that Bertha Kucher wrote to her sister Ida while living in Seattle and Enumclaw, Washington, from June 1903 to October 1904. She commented on fashion, hearing loss, and her work as a housekeeper.

This collection contains around 37 letters that Bertha Kucher wrote to her sister Ida while living in Seattle and Enumclaw, Washington, from June 1903 to October 1904. She commented on fashion, hearing loss, and her work as a housekeeper. In her first letter, written on successive days after June 20, 1903, Kucher recounted her journey to Seattle and her safe arrival in the city, where she joined her brother Charles and his family. She frequently commented on his wife Elva and their son Ronald, and described Washington fashion and local travels. In 1904, she sought work as a housekeeper, and she was employed by a man in Enumclaw, Washington, by the fall. Many of Bertha's letters to Ida are over ten pages in length. Enclosures include flowers, a ticket from the S. Willey Navigation Company, and cloth samples. A woman named Nellie Van wrote one letter from New York, dated January 29, 1904.

Collection

B. F. Tarr letters, 1841-1848 (majority within 1845-1848)

12 items

This collection is made up of 12 letters that New England native B. F. Tarr wrote to family members while living in Chillicothe, Missouri, in the 1840s. He described several aspects of life in Missouri, including differences between the South and other regions of the country, the health of his family, and his legal career.

This collection is made up of letters that B. F. Tarr wrote to Moses Lane, his brother-in-law (6 items, October 29, 1841-February 25, 1848); Edward F. Tarr, his brother (3 items, January 25, 1846-July 11, 1848); and 3 other recipients (February 14, 1847-December 7, 1847) about his life in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Tarr's letters contain some of his observations about local farming practices and the differences between life in New England and in the South. His letter of December 10, 1845, contains a passage on the "spirit of improvement" among Northerners and slow industrial progress in the South. He often shared personal news, such as his intention to establish a legal practice and updates about his family's fragile health. His wife Harriet occasionally contributed to his letters until her death in 1847, and he reflected on his loneliness after his children moved temporarily to Wisconsin (April 16, 1847). Though he focused primarily on personal matters, he mentioned giving a speech after the American victory at Vera Cruz (April 16, 1847).

Collection

Blount-Bulen letters, 1844, 1855

3 items

This collection consists of three letters sent from members of the Blount and Bulen families from Minnesota in 1844 and 1855 back to relatives in Mexico, New York. They describe the family's migration from New York to Phelps, Minnesota, their efforts to establish farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and descriptions of the country. The letters include phonetic spellings, and two of the letters were written jointly by several members of the family.

This collection consists of three letters sent from members of the Blount and Bulen families from Minnesota in 1844 and 1855 back to relatives in Mexico, New York. They describe the family's migration from New York to Phelps, Minnesota, their efforts to establish farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and descriptions of the country. The letters include phonetic spellings, and two of the letters were written jointly by several members of the family. For additional information, see the individual descriptions in the Contents List.

Collection

Buffum-Bartlett papers, 1836-1853

0.5 linear feet

The Buffum-Bartlett papers contain correspondence addressed primarily to cousins David Buffum and Elisha Bartlett. Buffum's incoming letters frequently concern news of his brothers Horace, John, and James, who moved west during the mid-19th century, and Bartlett's incoming letters pertain to his career as a medical practitioner and lecturer.

The Buffum-Bartlett papers contain correspondence addressed primarily to cousins David Buffum and Elisha Bartlett. Buffum's incoming letters frequently concern news of his brothers Horace, John, and James, who moved west during the mid-19th century, and Bartlett's incoming letters pertain to his career as a medical practitioner and lecturer.

Several early items have political content; for example, in a letter to his father, Thomas, one of the Buffum brothers described a visit to Washington, D.C., that included a meeting with President Martin Van Buren in the White House and two trips to the United States Capitol, where he and his companions heard Daniel Webster, John Calhoun, and Franklin Pierce (September 11, 1837). Much of the Buffum correspondence consists of letters by Maria Buffum, who shared news of her sons' lives in Illinois and California. In one of her letters, to David and his wife Maria, she passed along a story that James had told her about a Virginia slave owner on the hunt for slaves who had stolen $1500 from him (November 28, 1839). During the late 1840s, Maria wrote to her husband David, who was working in New York, about acquaintances and family members, particularly their infant child.

Doctor Elisha Bartlett's incoming correspondence consists of both professional and personal letters, many of which pertain to his work as a medical educator throughout the 1840s. Items include several schools' recommendations and solicitations and letters about medical practices and family news. Many of the personal letters between the Buffums and Bartletts mention news of each family, suggesting that the families remained close.

Collection

Charles E. Flandrau letters, 1853-1888 (majority within 1853-1857)

9 items

This collection contains 7 letters that Charles Eugene Flandrau wrote to Frances M. Henderson, a friend in Whitesboro, New York, after moving to Minnesota in 1853, as well as 2 newspaper clippings regarding Flandrau's work as an agent for the Sioux tribe and as a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. In his letters, Flandrau reported on his judicial career and described his life on the frontier, such as social customs and interactions with Native Americans.

This collection (9 items) contains 7 letters that Charles Eugene Flandrau wrote to Frances M. Henderson, a friend in Whitesboro, New York, after moving to Minnesota in 1853, as well as 2 newspaper clippings regarding Flandrau's work as an agent for the Sioux tribe and as a Minnesota Supreme Court justice.

Flandrau wrote 6 letters between November 18, 1853, and November 16, 1857, providing numerous details about his life in the Minnesota Territory. He wrote from Saint Paul on November 18, 1853 (16 pages), and February 4, 1854 (8 pages), discussing his journey west, the scenery, and his impressions of Minnesota residents. He also described lead and coal mines in northwestern Illinois. Flandrau encountered Native Americans during his travels and after his arrival in Minnesota, and he commented on the region's social customs, such as the influence of French settlers and the "aristocracy" of European and Native American mixed-race families (February 4, 1854).

Flandrau wrote 3 letters from Traverse des Sioux, Minnesota (near Saint Peter), between April 1854 and April 1855, focusing on his life and travels in the wilderness and on population growth throughout the state and within the town. He also described Native American customs and discussed the local court system. In one of these letters, he enclosed "the first flower of Spring" (April 18, 1855). Flandrau wrote again from Stillwater, Minnesota, about his judicial career (November 16, 1857, 4 pages). In his final letter, he reflected on his life and on his relationship with Frances (July 5, 1888, 7 pages). Two newspaper clippings relate to Flandrau's experiences as an agent to the Sioux Indians ([April 22, 1857]) and to his appointment as an associate judge for the Minnesota Supreme Court ([1867]).

Collection

Fellows family and Walter Hollister letters, 1845-1892 (majority within 1845-1857)

46 items

This collection contains correspondence related to the Fellows family of Richland, New York (30 items), as well as letters addressed to Walter Hollister of Mexico, New York, and other recipients (16 items). Charles A. Fellows wrote to his family in Richland after moving to the Midwest in the 1840s; Walter Hollister received letters from friends and family in New York and Iowa.

This collection contains correspondence related to the Fellows family of Richland, New York (30 items), as well as letters addressed to Walter Hollister of Mexico, New York, and other recipients (16 items). Charles A. Fellows wrote to his family in Richland after moving to the Midwest in the 1840s; Walter Hollister received letters from friends and family in New York and Iowa.

Charles A. Fellows wrote a series of letters to his parents, Amos and Lovina Fellows, and his brother, Ira G. Fellows, after moving to the Midwest around 1843. Fellows reported on life in Racine, Wisconsin, and Ottawa and Pontiac, Illinois. Fellows urged his parents to join him on the frontier, described local scenery, and occasionally commented on crop prices. He received letters from family members in New York, who reported on news from Richland, including epidemics, family health, and local deaths; Fellows's sister Louisa also provided updates from Pulaski, New York. During the late 1840s, Ira Fellows received letters from Albert West in Troy, New York, in which West reported on his social life and visits to the local museum. A letter to Amos Fellows dated August 27, 1849, pertains to Charles's death.

The second group of correspondence (14 items) contains letters that Walter Hollister of Mexico, New York, received from family and friends in New York, Illinois, and Iowa between 1856 and 1884. The collection also contains 2 letters Darius C. Broughton received from his wife, Bedee Broughton, in 1863, and a Christmas greeting Broughton received from his mother while serving with the 147th New York Infantry Regiment in 1892.

Collection

Holman-Perkins family collection, 1854-1868 (majority within 1860-1866)

72 items

The Holman-Perkins family collection contains letters that family members and friends wrote to Catherine Holman Perkins and Daniel Perkins of Temple, Maine, in the 1850s and 1860s. Correspondents commented on their lives in Maine and California and sometimes referred to the Civil War.

The Holman-Perkins family collection (72 items) contains material pertaining to Catherine Holman Perkins ("Kate") and Daniel Perkins of Temple, Maine.

The Correspondence series (66 items) contains personal letters that the couple received, including early letters about life in Maine in the mid- to late 1850s. During the Civil War, the Perkinses' most frequent correspondents were Isabella Holman, who provided news from Dixfield, Maine; Mary Perkins Woodbury; and William P. Woodbury, who discussed life in Strawberry Valley and San Francisco, California. Correspondents occasionally referred to the draft and to soldiers such as Freeland Holman, who was taken prisoner in 1864 and died in 1865. After the war, Isabella Holman mentioned the administration of Freeland Holman's estate (November 8, 1865).

The Perkinses' other correspondents included friends from Maine; members of the Towle family in Mackford, Wisconsin; and Catherine Holman Perkins's aunt, Rosanna Tibbetts. Betsey Towle commented on political uncertainty following Abraham Lincoln's death (April 28, 1865). Isabella Holman's letter of June 7, 1864, including a small fabric sample, and the envelope for her letter of August 11, 1863 contains inked decorations. Another envelope contains a printed poem about overcoming despair (October 4, 1863).

The Documents and Fragments series (6 items) includes a decorative drawing in green ink, financial records, and an assignment for surveyor Daniel Perkins to amend and repair a road in Temple, Maine (April 15, 1863).

Collection

Howell family papers, 1770-1798

25 items

This collection contains 22 incoming letters addressed to Gideon and Sarah Howell of Morris County, New Jersey, as well as 3 documents. The Howells received 8 letters from Deborah Pierson, a relative from Bridgehampton, New York, who wrote of family news, and 12 letters from friends and family living in North Bend, Ohio, including 8 from their son Daniel and his wife, Eunice Keen Howell (later Rittenhouse). The Ohio letters contain detailed information about life on the frontier and settlers' relationships with Native Americans. The remaining 2 letters are from Daniel Howell and a friend in Burke County, North Carolina.

This collection contains 22 incoming letters addressed to Gideon and Sarah Howell of Morris County, New Jersey, as well as 3 documents. The Howells received 8 letters from Deborah Pierson, a relative from Bridgehampton, New York, who wrote of family news, and 12 letters from friends and family living in North Bend, Ohio, including 8 from their son Daniel and his wife, Eunice Keen Howell (later Rittenhouse). The Ohio letters contain detailed information about life on the frontier and settlers' relationships with Native Americans. The remaining 2 letters are from Daniel Howell and a friend in Burke County, North Carolina. Deborah Peirson of Bridgehampton, New York, wrote 8 letters to Gideon and Sarah Howell, whom she addressed as "Brother and Sister," between 1770 and 1795. She primarily reported on her family's health, such as her father's illness and death and other family illnesses. She also discussed her son Elias and his family. In her undated letter, she enclosed a copied page of notes on the biblical Book of Job.

Gideon and Sarah Howell received 12 letters from early settlers of North Bend, Ohio, who moved to the area in late 1789. These include 8 letters from Daniel and Eunice Howell, their son and daughter-and-law, as well as 3 from Robert Whelan, an acquaintance, and 1 from Captain James Keen, Eunice's father. In their letters, the settlers reported extensively on their journeys to Ohio and on many aspects of pioneer life. They also frequently commented on their conflicts with, and fear of, the local Miami Indians, as well as on illnesses, hunting, and other aspects of daily life. Eunice Howell also wrote of the effect of her husband's death. She composed one letter after she married William Rittenhouse.

The two remaining letters are a personal letter Daniel Howell wrote to a brother with condolences for a recent death and news of the family in Southampton, New York (April 6, 1770), and a letter from Clizby Cobb describing life in Burke County, North Carolina (4 pages, August 10, 1798).

The collection contains the following 3 documents:
  • William Livingston warrant to pay John Cleves Symmes one month's salary as a justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court (May 18, 1785)
  • Richard Howe document concerning the commission of "Captain Kinney" (1792)
  • Constitution of the Female Mite Society of the Vicinity of Morris-Town, a society founded to raise money for the Kentucky Baptist Mission Society's efforts to convert Native Americans. Hannah, Margaret, Sarah, and Eunice Howell all subscribed to the organization.
Collection

James Raymond collection, 1825-1858

7 items

This collection contains 7 letters that James Raymond wrote to his cousin, James Winch of Templeton, Massachusetts, about his life in Ridgefield and Monroeville, Ohio, in the 1820s and 1850s. Raymond provided family news, described local agriculture, and discussed local and national party politics, particularly related to elections of 1856.

This collection contains 7 letters that James Raymond wrote to his cousin, James Winch of Templeton, Massachusetts, about his life in Ridgefield and Monroeville, Ohio, in the early to mid-19th century. In his first 2 letters, Raymond shared information about the area of Ohio where his family had settled. He described prairies that were suited to grow crops such as corn and hemp, predators such as rattlesnakes and wolves, the economic effects of canals in New York and Ohio, and religious customs in Ridgefield (February 9, 1825, and May 14, 1826). His letters also provide news about family members, especially his siblings.

Raymond wrote 5 letters from August 6, 1854-December 5, 1858, informing his cousin about his life, his health, and his family members. Though poor health prevented him from performing heavy labor, he often wrote about farm work and his crops, which included wheat, corn, oats, and potatoes. Raymond also commented on political issues, particularly party politics in Ohio during the 1856 presidential election. He discussed the Locofocos, Whig Party, Know-Nothing Party, Democratic Party, and Republican Party, and mentioned issues such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, tax increases, and slavery.