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Wright family papers, 1825-1938

3 linear feet

Philo E. and Fannie E. Pettibone Wright family of Detroit, Michigan. Personal papers of Fannie Wright with her husband Philo, her brother Sherman Pettibone, her daughters Virginia, Maude, and Evelyn, her son Philo S., and other members of the family, concerning family affairs and the genealogy of the Wright and Pettibone families.

The collection has been arranged by name of family member. Included is personal correspondence of Fannie Wright with her husband Philo E., her brother Sherman Pettibone, daughters Virginia, Maude, and Evelyn, son Philo S., and other members of the family, concerning family affairs and the genealogy of the Wright and Pettibone families. There are also fifty-seven volumes of Fannie E. Wright's diaries, 1863-1925, recording family news, social events, and home activities in Detroit, Michigan. Also of interest are account books of the Sherman Pettibone farm of Tallmadge, Ohio, and account books of Philo S. Wright, 1893-1913. Photographs in the collection consist of individual and group portraits of family members; photographs of family homes; and photographs of boating on the Detroit River.


William H. Withington papers [microform], 1853-1909

2 microfilms

Civil War officer, banker, Republican State Representative and Senator from Jackson, Michigan. Correspondence, special orders, notes, business papers, and miscellaneous items, primarily relating to his Civil War service as Colonel of the Seventeenth Michigan Infantry, and to a possible appointment to the U.S. Senate in 1894; also notes on the management of the Withington & Cooley Manufacturing Company, 1895-1903, diary of a European trip, 1897, and photographs.

The papers of William H. Withington consist of correspondence, special orders, notes, and miscellaneous items relating to his Civil War service as Colonel of the Seventeenth Michigan Infantry; business records of the Withington & Cooley Manufacturing Company, correspondence and other material concerning his political career as Republican state legislator and state senator.

This collection is divided into four series: Civil War Activities, Personal Papers, Withington & Cooley Manufacturing Company Records, all of which are arranged chronologically, and Newspaper Clippings.


Thomas Wistar collection, 1783-1801

2 volumes

This collection contains 2 volumes of financial figures, notes, and accounts kept by Philadelphia Quaker merchant Thomas Wistar and his partners; the account books record commercial and personal income and expenditures.

This collection contains 2 volumes of financial figures, notes, and accounts kept by Philadelphia Quaker merchant Thomas Wistar and his partners; the account books record commercial and personal income and expenditures. One account book is for Adams & Wistar (127 pages, 1783-1800); the other is for Thomas Wistar (139 pages, 1791-1801).

The Adams & Wistar Account Book contains financial accounts, receipts, and detailed invoices for 1783-1800, as well as a loose document dated January 17, 1793. Most entries pertain to cotton and fabrics, though the firm handled goods of many kinds. The loose item is a copy of a legal document in which Adams ceded his interests in the venture and transferred the firm's assets and debts to Wistar. This document also includes a record of outstanding balances as of November 30, 1792.

The Thomas Wistar Account Book dates from October 14, 1791, to March 25, 1801. Early entries contain Wistar's accounts with buyers for a variety of goods, especially fabric. Notes from late 1791 concern trade with ships sailing into Philadelphia, often from Liverpool, and include calculations based on exchange rates between American dollars and pounds sterling. Thomas Wistar frequently dealt with members of his family, including his brother Caspar.

The bulk of these accounts are brief notes of expenses paid or received, though Wistar occasionally provided more detailed remarks. One early note states that goods are to be paid for in hams and that they are "to be deliverd at Philaa. packs in Casks in one week after the navigation opens in the Spring" (December 2, 1791). Another mentions the city's 1793 yellow fever epidemic ([September-November 1793]).

Later transactions concern Wistar's personal finances, including some labeled "House Expence" and "Building Expence." One of these records Wistar's tax payment of January 23, 1793.

The accounts also concern Wistar's estate and land holdings in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and in New Jersey. The first page of the volume contains a memorandum: "Robert McKeighan is to have my Tract of land containing about 303 acres situate in Mifflin County" (January 30, 1793). Another note pertains to a payment for a "Lot in High Street… Legacy left me by my Father for my half part at the same rate purchased my brother Caspar's half part" (March 25, 1801). The account book mentions ships including the Adriana, the Atlantic, the Birmingham Packet, the Clothier, the Dolly, and the Harmony.


Joseph K. and George C. Wing collection, 1863-1930 (majority within 1863-1864, 1872-1924)

1.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, writings, a journal, a scrapbook, and published material related to George Clary Wing of Bloomfield, Ohio, and two account books kept his father, Joseph Knowles Wing, during his military service in the Civil War. George C. Wing's correspondence pertains mostly to his career in the United States government in the late 19th century, and his writings cover topics such as history, literature, and travel.

This collection is made up of correspondence, writings, a journal, a scrapbook, and published material related to George Clary Wing of Bloomfield, Ohio, and two account books kept by his father, Joseph Knowles Wing, during his military service in the Civil War.

The Correspondence series (32 items) consists of personal and professional correspondence related to George C. Wing. Most items are incoming letters that Wing received from acquaintances and politicians who discussed Wing's career in the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of State from 1872-1884. Some items are signed by prominent politicians, including George Henry Williams, Charles Devens, Benjamin Brewster, and Frederick T. Frelinghuysen. The series also contains a small number of draft letters from Wing to various individuals, also concerning his career in Washington, D.C. George C. Wing received personal letters from his father, Joseph K. Wing, and one letter and one telegram from his brother, Francis J. Wing; both provided news from North Bloomfield, Ohio, and offered professional advice. The final item is a brief personal letter from "George" to "Julia" (July 23, 1923).

The Journal and Notebooks series contains 2 notebooks and 1 journal. George C. Wing kept two notebooks from 1872-1924 (280 pages) and 1884-1920 (150 pages, not all of which are used). These contain quotations, essays, and notes about many subjects, including lectures at Georgetown Law School, English-language literature, classical history and literature, American history, and scientific subjects. Wing also composed some poetry. The second volume includes some one-line journal entries about Wing's business trips and family news from 1884-1910. He laid newspaper clippings, loose essays, photographs, and notes into the volumes.

George C. Wing's journal includes 51 pages of daily entries describing the scenery during his railroad and steamship journey from Ohio to Valdez, Alaska, and back between June 5, 1901, and July 9, 1901. He mentioned his daily activities and sometimes noted the types of plants prevalent in different areas of the country. The later pages (around 15 pages) contain a drawing of "Jake," a sketch of the Alaska coastline along a glacier, additional trip notes, memoranda, a railroad ticket and steamship purser's ticket, and a photograph of a woman.

The Writings series consists of three items. George C. Wing compiled a group of manuscript writings and draft letters in a volume entitled "Brands- from the Burning!" from the mid-1880s to the mid-1910s. Included are stories, essays, translations, and poems about history, literature, and other topics. Wing's draft letters include an opinion piece about the country's relationship with Germany in 1915. The series also includes a manuscript draft of Wing's book, The Western Reserve Home and The Manuscript Letters of Ephraim Brown and Family, 1805-1845 (1915, later published as Early Years on the Western Reserve) and a group of correspondence and essays about a road in Bloomfield, Ohio, and a related property dispute, entitled "The Lane in Section Sixty, Bloomfield, Trumbull County, Ohio" (1925).

The Joseph K. Wing Account Books (320 total pages, fewer than half of which are used) contain financial records and supply lists related to Wing's service in the 16th Army Corps during the Civil War (1863-1864). Wing, a quartermaster, compiled records about purchases of horses, including the price of each animal; lists of supplies, including the number of items and occasional remarks about items' condition; lists of clothing items available, including remarks about whether each item was damaged or new; a list of forage vouchers cashed by Wing, including the name of the soldier who claimed each voucher; and lists of supplies held by various regiments. Notes regarding prison returns mention a few female prisoners. The volumes also contain notes about army transportation and food supplies.

The collection's Scrapbook (27 pages) primarily contains newspaper clippings about many different subjects, including articles and photographs pertaining to steamship travel to and around Alaska, particularly regarding the ships Dolphin and Bertha. Other clippings concern various members of the Wing family, such as George C. Wing and Francis J. Wing, and the history of Bloomfield, Ohio. Items laid into the back of the volume include printed Personal Instructions to the Diplomatic Agents of the United States in Foreign Countries (1874), George Wing's manuscript report about "Proceedings for the Extradition of Criminals (June 14, 1883), George Wing's drawing of "The Encyclopedant" (February 1895), and a menu for the Alaska Steamship Company vessel Dolphin (July 4, 1901).

Printed Items (4 items) include a copy of George C. Wing's book Early Years on the Western Reserve with Extracts from Letters of Ephraim Brown and Family, 1805-1845 (Cleveland, 1916), inscribed to his sister Elizabeth and to a niece, and a copy of Neighborhood: A Settlement Quarterly containing several articles about pottery (July 1930). George C. Wing also collected court briefs from his time with the United States Court of Claims (1879-1882), and received a United States Senate report about the relationship between Great Britain and the United States with regard to each country's naval presence on the Great Lakes between the War of 1812 (1892).


Levi Douglas Wines papers, 1874-1887, 1914, 1925

0.3 linear feet (35 items and 3 volumes)

Levi Douglas Wines was a high school mathematics teacher well-known for his influence in the educational, musical, and political circles in Ann Arbor, Mich. This collection includes reports, newspaper clippings, an account book, and family materials.

This collection includes reports and newspaper clippings relating to Ann Arbor, Michigan, residents and events, including material on the city's parks; also personal account book, 1874-1884, and miscellaneous family material.


Wilson family papers, 1704-1884

16.25 linear feet

The Wilson papers contain letters and documents relating to the lives and careers of three generations of the family of William Wilson, residents of Clermont, N.Y. in the mid-Hudson River Valley.

The Wilson family papers contains over 4,000 letters relating to the lives and fortunes of three generations of the family of William Wilson, residents of Clermont, N.Y, in the mid-Hudson River Valley. Virtually all of the letters in the collection were received by members of the Wilson family, with only a very few out-going drafts. Together, these present an impressively detailed perspective on many aspects of family life, political culture, agriculture, commerce, and the economy of Columbia and Dutchess County, N.Y., in the fifty years following the end of the American Revolution. As well being educated, energetic members of the social elite, the Wilsons engaged in a variety of pursuits, from the legal and medical professions, to land proprietorship, farming, and politics, and they commented extensively at every turn. A genealogical chart of the Wilson family, detailing the relationships of all those mentioned in the collection can be found in box 42:11.

The core of the Wilson papers consists of the letters received by William Wilson, who shouldered a wide variety of responsibilities in Columbia and Dutchess counties and knew their residents intimately. The breadth of his interests brought him into contact with many of the state's leading citizens, but also with the tenant farmers, medical patients, merchants and clerks. William's major pursuit in life was medicine, and his surviving papers contain seven medical daybooks (40:3; 47:9-14), providing a chronological record of his visits, diagnoses and prescriptions, as well as his fees. He also kept two notebooks dealing with the causes and symptoms of various diseases (47:15, 16), and scattered throughout his papers are letters from patients discussing their illnesses. Of particular importance are the letters relative to the deaths of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston and his wife, for whom Wilson was the attending physician (18:6-10; 19:15, 21, 23). Wilson was also a founding member of the Medical Society of Dutchess and Columbia Counties in 1796, and was associated with the founding of the New York Medical Society, as well as with the effort to establish a medical college (15:69; 16:17, 24, 44, 46, 52, 66, 70, 76, 80; 17:3, 13, 17, 23, 29; 45:19).

William Wilson was also employed as an administrator of landed property, usually for members of the Livingston family, and particularly Henry Livingston (1752/53-1823). The wide-spread unrest among "General Livingston's" tenants is discussed in many of the letters, along with more general discussions of land tenure, proprietary power, and tenant satisfaction. Wilson also served as administrator for the property of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, especially during the latter's appointment to France, for two absentee landlords from New York City, Walter Rutherford and J. Stark Robinson (41:1, 2); and he was an executor or administrator for the estates of Robert Cambridge Livingston (1742-1794) (42:1), Peter Robert Livingston (1737-1794) (42:7), and the Chancellor (42:3-6). The materials relating to Livingston rental properties consists largely of receipts for rents received, but also include lease agreements, about twenty account books relative to the Chancellor's lands, and negotiations for the sale of land, especially the Chancellor's property in New Jersey after his death. A section of the estate documents for Robert R. Livingston relate to payment of medical, boarding, and clothing bills for Isabella and her son, Stephen, who were enslaved by Livingston (42:4). Some of the documents refer to her as Isabella Bond.

In 1791, Wilson added the office of Deputy Postmaster to his collection of responsibilities, becoming the first such agent for the town of Clermont. He was reappointed in 1803, and continued at his lucrative post until surrendering it to his son in 1825. As with everything else, Wilson saved all of his papers (42:12-15), and this the collection includes Wilson's original appointment commissions, signed by Post Master General Timothy Pickering (1:46 and 12:72), as well as the postal accounts and other records, which are generally of an administrative and bureaucratic nature. There are a few scattered items from correspondents critical of the speed and unreliability of the mails.

William Wilson also filled various political appointments in the county, and was active in state politics. As a Jeffersonian-Republican, befitting a friend of Chancellor Livingston, he played an important local role as judge of the county court, yet while many of his letters are addressed to "Judge" Wilson, virtually nothing pertaining to his official judicial activities survives in the collection apart from a series of receipts from various sheriffs and a few examinations of a woman for illegitimacy (43:44; 41:19). However Wilson corresponded with other judges and lawyers in the region, a fair amount of which has been preserved, especially from Peter Van Schaack and members of the prominent Van Ness family. Wilson's role as one of the first school supervisors in the area is represented by some scant records (41:22), as is his position as a commissioner for the granting of tavern licenses (41:23).

Wilson was involved in two other county-wide projects that had an important impact on Columbia County, and for which there is excellent material. One of these was the construction of the Highland Turnpike, which ran from Westchester County to near Albany, with gates in Columbia County. Wilson sat on its Board of Directors, and was a frequent and regular correspondent with its president, Joseph Howland (43:1, 2). Howland's are among the few letters that bear on broader national issues, and are in many ways the most interesting series of letters in the collection (see especially 17:87). Secondly, Wilson was instrumental in the establishment of the Agricultural Society of Dutchess and Columbia Counties, or the "Farm Club," as it was usually called. As (variously) president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer, Wilson was intimately involved in the operation of the organization. Of particular interest is the material relative to the annual county fairs held by the club, and the notifications from potential participants, the standards for awards, and the lists of winners (41:3-11). These records, together with the information to be gathered from the receipts from merchants, presents a detailed picture of agricultural life in the rural Hudson Valley.

In sum, those portions of the Wilson Papers that deal directly with William Wilson and his many activities provides a comprehensive picture of rural life in Columbia County and the state of New York in the forty years after the American Revolution.

The letters from Wilson's children offer insights into other aspects of life in early nineteenth-century New York. Alexander Wilson wrote many letters to his father while a student, and it is from his papers that one gets a good idea of the nature of legal education at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Alexander's early death means there is little material relating to his career as a practicing attorney, but what is lacking from Alexander is more than made up for by the papers of his younger brother, Robert. Robert kept extensive records of his practice, including a register of cases covering the entire period of his independent practice in New York, 1823-1830 (46:17), and his day books and account books, which list his professional duties preformed on behalf of clients, and his expenses, fees, and collections (40:1; 46:15,16). The Wilson Papers also includes file papers for many of the cases in which Robert participated (43:5-30), providing a broad, and occasionally deep insight into one man's legal practice in the early 19th century.

The letters of Wilson's other sons are less numerous than those of Alexander and Robert. William H. spent most of his life in Clermont, and so wrote less often, and Stephen B. was a secretive man, who simply did not write many letters. William H. wrote several letters during his tour of duty on the Lake Champlain frontier during the War of 1812 (18:43, 52; 19:18, 26, 36, 47, 56, 60, 68; 20:16, 18), but these are preoccupied with descriptions of camp life and military "politics" rather than strategy or the social impact of the war. William succeeded his father as Deputy Postmaster in 1825, and kept the same copious records as his father (42:12-15). He was not, however, as active in politics as his father, and except for a few letters relating to his run for a seat in the state senate in 1839, and some candidate lists and election return broadsides (41:25-27), there is little of political interest in William's papers. Stephen's letters are the more interesting for their rarity. When he does write, it is well worth the reading.

In addition to the letters written and collected by William, William H., and Robert L. Wilson, the Wilson Papers contain a vast quantity of documents. The largest category of this material contains an enormous number of accounts and receipts from merchants with whom the Wilsons did business. In terms of the number of items, fully half of the Wilson Papers is comprised of these accounts. Approximately 800 individual laborers, craftsmen, merchants, and business firms are represented as having done business with one or another member of the Wilson family, and the collection includes accounts for nearly every kind of household goods, from furniture to food to building materials, agricultural supplies, from seeds to fruit trees to sheep, and personal goods, from cheap "segars" to an "invalid chair" for Robert L., to wine.

The accounts (box 44 and 45:1-16) are arranged alphabetically by creditor. A complete list of merchants and firms represented in the collection is included under "Merchants" in the subject index. The accounts are a particularly valuable resource for social historians. For example the accounts of Samuel Haner (44:12) document aspects of blacksmithing; those of the Clermont grocers Bonesteel and Broadhead (44:4) reveal aspects of diet and nutrition; those of Thomas Beekman (44:2) document medicine and medical supplies; and those of Peter Outwater (45:6) provide information on transportation and commerce on the Hudson River. Receipts for payment that do not include goods or services are filed by surname (45:20-23). The collection also includes a number of the Wilsons' account books, especially William's and Robert's, which offer a view of the other side of the ledger (40:5; 46:18; 47:1, 2).

A second subdivision of the collection, and one closely related to the merchant accounts, deals with land administration. In addition to the correspondence of Henry Livingston with William Wilson mentioned above, the collection contains several subject files related to this important issue in Hudson River Valley history. Most important are the folders containing information on absentee landlords (41:1, 2); deeds (41:4); land grants (43:4); leases (43:31, 32); mortgages (45:17); various rental accounts (46:1-7); surveys and surveying (46:8); as well as William Wilson's rental account books (46:17-20).

Finally the collection contains a small body of material of an essentially genealogical or local history value, and a wide, if not very deep, collection of letters of the Livingston family. William Wilson was an executor for some of the Livingston family estates, most notably for Robert Cambridge Livingston (42:1, 2) and Robert R. Livingston (42:3-6), as well as for other estates (41:29; 42:7-10). The information included in the "genealogy" folder (42:11) is particularly helpful in interpreting the material relating to estate settlement and administration.

The local history of the town of Clermont and Columbia County appears throughout the collection, ranging from arrest warrants to local taxes, and including a very important group of papers relating to the establishment of Clermont Academy (41:16-23). As for the Livingstons, while the famous Chancellor does not overpower the collection, the Livingston family does play an important part. Over sixty members of the family are mentioned in some significant way in the Wilson Papers. Some -- like "General" Henry with his tenant problems, the administration of the estates of Walter T. Livingston (1772-1827) and the Chancellor (42:3-7), or the letters of Edward Philip Livingston (1779-1843) concerning his trip to France -- are meaningful parts of the collection (9:78, 86, 98; 10:8, 64). Other Livingstons are merely the signers of documents or letters, such as Janet Livingston Montgomery's (1743-1828) announcement that she plans to enter the Farm Club fair, a request from Mary Thong Livingston Wilson for financial assistance after the birth of Wilson's grandson, or the Chancellor's grandson, Clermont Livingston, who signed a quit claim deed for the benefit of Clermont Academy.

In sum, the Wilson papers are primarily a collection of family papers. While some members of the family participated in significant activities, and while the letters relating to those activities are important, there is a strongly personal aspect about them, and whatever broader historical significance that can be gotten from them must be gotten in the mass.


Williamson family collection, 1862-1918

0.5 linear feet

The Williamson family collection is made up of 9 bound volumes pertaining to Clara Gurley Williamson, her daughters Ruth and Mary, and other members of the Williamson family of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The items include diaries, financial records, a newspaper clipping scrapbook, and a photograph album.

The Williamson family collection is made up of 9 bound volumes pertaining to Clara Gurley Williamson, her daughters Ruth and Mary, and other members of the Williamson family.

The D. Abeel Williamson Diary, composed in a pre-printed pocket diary, contains David Abeel Williamson's daily entries about his life in New Brunswick, New Jersey, from January 1, 1862-May 25, 1862, and about his experiences with the 7th New York Militia Regiment from May 26, 1862-August 27, 1862. His early entries mainly record the weather and his social activities; he mentioned his admission to the bar in his entries of May 21, 1862, and May 22, 1862. A newspaper clipping about the surrender of Fort Donelson is pasted into the entries for February 16, 1862, and February 17, 1862. During his time in the army, Williamson noted the hot weather near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, and mentioned other aspects of military service, such as guard duty, marching, and reviews. A commuter's ticket for the "New Jersey Rail Road" is laid into the volume's pocket.

The Hattie S. Williamson Memorandum Book contains financial records of collections that the Second Reformed Dutch Church Sunday School of New Brunswick, New Jersey, received from November 26, 1865-June 16, 1867. The amount of each donation is recorded next to the donor's name. Other records pertain to the Sunday school's accounts with the Novelty Rubber Company and the church's efforts to raise money for an organ.

The Clara Gurley Account Book, kept from July 9, [1875]-April 16, 1880, contains accounts for Gurley's purchases of items such as books, ribbon, fabrics, and buttons. A piece of fabric is pinned onto the book's final page.

The first Clara Gurley Williamson Diary, written in a pre-printed Excelsior volume, covers the year 1905. Williamson began writing in Dresden, Germany, where she had lived with her children since late 1903, and recounted her daily activities and news of acquaintances. In April, she and her children took an extended tour of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Holland, where Williamson remarked on visits to museums and other points of interest. The entries from August concern the family's return to the United States on the Holland-American Line steamer Ryndam and their first months back in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Indianapolis, Indiana. Williamson kept a record of letters written and received and acquaintances' addresses in the volume's memoranda section. She laid newspaper clippings, a letter, calling cards, small photographs, stamps, and other items in the volume. The final page of the diary contains a newspaper clipping about the Williamsons' return to the United States and intention to relocate to Indianapolis.

The Mary Williamson Diary recounts the author's travels through Europe from April 10, 1905-August 11, 1905. Williamson described her daily activities and sightseeing in cities such as Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, and Paris, as she visited museums and places of historical importance with her mother and sister. The diary includes a list of books Williamson read from 1907-1908 and a list of addresses of European hotels.

The Ruth A. Williamson Diary pertains to the author's experiences and travels in England from June 7, 1909-September 3, 1909. She spent most of her time in London; some later entries mention travels around southern England and to Edinburgh, Scotland. Williamson most frequently wrote about sightseeing and visiting famous landmarks, but also commented on other activities, such as shopping. Ruth A. Williamson's calling card is laid into the volume.

The second Clara Gurley Williamson Diary, also in a pre-printed Excelsior volume, contains daily entries about Williamson's life in Indianapolis, Indiana, from January 1, 1918-April 2, 1918. Williamson commented on her social activities, her health, and news of her friends and family members, especially her children. She occasionally mentioned news of the war, such as the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 22, 1918). Financial records and instructions for knitting a "Kitchener sock" are written in the back of the volume. Items laid in include a calling card for Charles G. Williamson containing his military address, a cloth United States flag mounted on a small wooden dowel, and clippings about the deaths of Henry Janeway Hardenburgh and Douw D. Williamson. A postcard with a painting of Waikite Geyser in New Zealand, addressed to A. Parsons in London, England, is also laid into the diary.

The Scrapbook (1860s-1880s) is comprised of newspaper clippings about numerous topics, including biographies of William Gurley and biographical notices about other members of the Gurley family, such as Clara Gurley Williamson and Esther Gurley Cook. Some clippings feature prominent individuals such as Ulysses S. Grant, Charles Dickens, and Louisa May Alcott. Items report national news, news from Troy, New York, and stories about Emma Willard and the Troy Female Seminary. Additional topics include poetry, international travel, and stamp collecting.

A Photograph Album contains 42 carte-de-visite photographs, 2 lithographs, and 1 tintype print. Most of the photographs are studio portraits of men, women, and children, including many members of the Gurley family and related families. Most of the pictures are dated 1866-1880, though the album includes a 1902 photograph of Charles G. Williamson in a military uniform.


Williams family papers, 1823-1896 (majority within 1833-1896)

1.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, documents, financial records, and other items related to the family of Augustus D. Williams and Julia Ann Chamberlain and to their daughter Fannie. The Williams family lived in Ohio.

This collection is made up of correspondence, documents, financial records, and other items related to the family of Augustus D. Williams and Julia Ann Chamberlain, including their daughter Fannie. The Williams family lived in Ohio.

The Correspondence series (137 items) consists primarily of incoming personal letters addressed to Julia Ann Williams (née Chamberlain) and to her daughter Frances ("Fannie"). Julia corresponded with her siblings and other family members, who lived in New Hampshire and Ohio in the mid-19th century. Her sister Louisa, who married Samuel Durgin and moved to Gustavus, Ohio, in the mid-1830s, wrote often, sharing news of her social life and requesting news of relatives who remained in New Hampshire. After Julia moved to Maumee, Ohio, around 1835, she received letters from her mother Betsy (who married Joseph Baker after the death of Julia's father) and from various siblings. The Baker family lived in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Julia's stepsister Amanda shared social updates from Loudon, Ohio, and news of family health and of her experiences working in a school. On September 28, 1839, Joseph Baker told Julia of her stepsister Elizabeth's recent illness and death, and E. B. White, a friend of Julia's from Maumee, Ohio, included a drawing of a woman in a cloak in her letter dated October 1840.

After Julia's marriage to Augustus D. Williams in late 1840 or early 1841, the couple received letters from his siblings and extended family, including several from Mortimer H. Williams, who lived in Irwinton, Georgia. Sophia Williams, then Mrs. Henry Clark of Maumee, Ohio, corresponded frequently with Julia and Augustus. Other early material includes a letter regarding the estate of Reverend Nathan Williams of Tolland, Connecticut (May 19, 1830), and additional letters written by Williams siblings in New Hampshire and Ohio throughout the 1830s and 1840s.

During and following the Civil War period, most correspondence is addressed to Frances ("Fannie") Williams, the daughter of Julia and Augustus. Letters written by female cousins during the war include one from Memphis, Tennessee (September 3, 1864) and one from Ellen, who mentioned the recent death of a friend, then fighting in Alabama (October 27, 1864). Many of the postwar letters regard careers in education and social news in Wauseon, Ohio, home of Fannie's cousins Ellen and Libbie. Fannie Williams also received correspondence from friends, including a series of 10 letters and 2 postcards from Clara B. Whitton of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, written between October 22, 1887, and December 22, 1891. Fannie's cousin J. A. B. Parker sent a swatch of fabric on January 12, 1892, and a series of letters commencing on November 19, 1890, contains a lock of hair. In 1895 and 1896, Fannie received several items related to John Alexander Dowie of Chicago, Illinois, a practitioner of "divine healing." One of her cousins sent newspaper clippings related to Dowie's trial (February 5, 1895); the same cousin included a ticket for the Healing Room at Chicago's Zion Tabernacle (April 10, 1895). Margaret Snell Parsons enclosed newspaper clippings and a poem about the healing practice (June 30, 1896). Other later items include letters from Louisa Durgin to Julia Williams, written at her home in Wauseon, Ohio, and a few letters Burt Williams wrote to his sister Fannie in 1896.

The Documents and Financial Records series (109 items) contains accounts, receipts, and legal documents related to members of the Williams family, including many who resided in Tolland, Connecticut, and New York State during the early 19th century. Some of the legal documents pertain to real estate. A license signed by Mayor Cornelius W. Lawrence of New York City authorized David B. Williams to keep a tavern (May 31, 1834). One undated item documents Julia Ann Chamberlain's conversion to Christianity. An account book (91 pages) may have belonged to L. B. Williams of Murray's Commercial School in Maumee, Ohio. The decorated title page includes a drawing of a bird, and a second ink drawing of a bird is laid into the volume.

The Compositions series (102 items) consists primarily of essays by Julia Ann Chamberlain, Fannie Williams, and Mary F. Williams; poems and floral drawings are also present. Most of the essays concern moral topics, history, and religion, including multiple essays on topics such as "hope" and "morning." The series contains compositions about Native Americans, Christopher Columbus, and John Smith.

The Photographs series (16 items) includes cartes-de-visite, other card photographs, and tintypes. Most images are studio portraits of men, women, and children. Two larger tintypes (6" x 8") show the exterior of a home and a garden; one shows a group of people standing behind croquet wickets. One group photograph of school-age boys and girls, taken in May 1890, includes the names of each of the children present.

The bulk of the Newspaper Clippings (39 items) are poems, household hints, and recipes. Other items pertain to weights and measures and to Benjamin Harrison's return to Indianapolis after his presidency.

The Ephemera (45 items) includes invitations, notes, visiting cards, holiday greeting cards, and other items; most are visiting cards for residents of Ohio, some with illustrations. A series of 4 colored prints shows children's leisure activities. The series contains a large colored die-cut advertisement for Jacob Folger of Toledo, Ohio, showing a girl holding flowers.


Thomas J. Chew family papers, 1797-1875 (majority within 1802-1857)

777 items (1.75 linear feet)

The Thomas J. Chew papers mainly consist of ingoing and outgoing correspondence of Thomas J. Chew and his wife, Abby Hortense Hallam, in the early 1800s. A significant amount of the collection was written during the War of 1812, and many of the letters relate to Chew's duties as purser of several ships of the United States Navy and in the Navy Yards of Boston and New York. Other personal letters, official documents, and account books are also included in the collection.

The bulk of the collection is the Correspondence series (716 items), which contains the personal and Navy-related correspondence of Thomas J. Chew and other members of his family and together spans the years 1797 to 1875. The Thomas J. Chew family papers also include documents (9 items), financial records and receipts (40 items), account books (3 items), and miscellaneous items (7 items).

Early letters in the collection include an account by Joseph Chew of various branches of the Chew family, including a short history of the different Chew families emigrating from Virginia, accounts of his nieces and nephews (of whom Thomas J. Chew is one), and a mention of the marriage of his sister, who "died last year [and] has left children whose names I do not know;" these included future President Zachary Taylor. A group of letters from 1802 between Thomas J. Chew and Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith discuss Chew's future in the Navy after his return from the West Indies.

Much of the pre-War of 1812 correspondence of Thomas J. Chew consists of autograph copies of Chew's outgoing letters as well as incoming letters regarding his official duties as purser of the John Adams; a main correspondent during this period was Thomas Turner. A letter from Turner at the Navy Department Accountant's Office, dated June 7, 1809, outlined changes to the Naval Regulations, as well as reminding the recipient that "the most minute compliance with all the regulations…will be required." Other letters addressed to Turner regarded payment for sailors onboard the John Adams and the settlement of the ship's accounts.

Thomas J. Chew received another commission as purser from the Navy Department, signed by Paul Hamilton and dated April 29, 1812, and joined the crew of the Constitution almost immediately thereafter (May 20, 1812), serving under Isaac Hull. Most of the letters of late 1812 dealt with issues related to Chew's duties as purser and include copies made by Chew of letters to various clerks and officials within the Navy Department. One of the few more personal items from this period was a letter from Isaac Hull to Chew, dated November 1, 1812. Chew spent the winter between 1812 and 1813 at the Navy Yard in Boston, where he nonetheless kept a consistent professional correspondence as purser in the Yard (February 10, 1813; [April] 1813).

Chew's wife, Abby Hallam, related her esteem for Captains James Lawrence and Isaac Hull in a June 1, 1813, letter to Thomas, anticipating his imminent departure that had, in fact, taken place one day prior. Chew's brief time as a prisoner of the British in Halifax after the capture of the Chesapeake in 1813 is represented by two letters from John Mitchell, one regarding the funeral of Captain James Lawrence and the other regarding his own return to the United States alongside other officers of the Chesapeake (June 7 and 12, 1813). A copy of a letter to William Jones, Secretary of the Navy, informing him of Chew's return to Boston is accompanied by a letter acknowledging its receipt (June 24 and July 5, 1813).

Several letters in the collection concerned the ongoing difficulty regarding the distribution of disputed prize money for the capture of the Volunteer and Liverpool Hero in early 1813. Chew, as purser of the Chesapeake, did not wish to distribute prize money disputed between Captain Samuel Evans and Commodore Stephen Decatur "until it is settled to whom it belongs" (July 16, 1813), noting also that he would obey the ruling of the district court when doing so (July 23, 1813). By September of that year, Chew was prepared to pay an allotted amount of prize money to Decatur, though the matter was addressed again in a draft of April 10, 1819, in which Chew defended his conduct.

The Chews corresponded often with and about high-ranking officers in the Navy. A letter from John H. Elton, dated May 16, 1814, inquired as to the well-being of Abby Hallam and paraphrased Oliver Hazard Perry, stating that the men of the Superior "have seen the foe but they are not ours, neither could we meet them." Likewise, a letter from Charles W. Greene, dated May 16, 1814, discussed various personalities in the Navy including the fact that Commodore Decatur "says Evans is crazy." On June 9, 1814, Isaac Chauncey gave Chew orders to "immediately report to Captain Trenchard [as] the Purser of the Madison--you will also receive the Crew of the Oneida and act as her Purser until further orders." Other letters from prominent figures in the United States Navy include a personal note from Isaac Hull from December 30, 1814.

Post-war correspondence in the collection includes many items addressed to Thomas J. Chew and his wife; these items are mostly of a personal nature, interspersed with correspondence related to Thomas's ongoing duties as purser of the Washington. Letters were written by both Thomas and Abby in this period; hers spoke of home and family while his recounted his experiences on the Washington, including travel to the Mediterranean from June 1816-July 1818. In one letter, Thomas wrote about "the government and the people [being] much occupied at home with the transactions out here. The former have much to do, in my humble opinion, to secure to us the high character we acquired during the short war" and expressed his hope that "[his son] Lawrence will not be inclined to become a Navy officer" (May 9, 1818). Abby discussed the growth of their children, including the sickly Lawrence and a child who died in infancy (May 19, 1816). A letter of January 9, 1821, provided an account of another child's early death: "[God] has call'd home our dear babe, lent only for a season…her life has been a short one, but she has suffered much yet…& now she lies cold & inanimate corpse." Personal correspondence between husband and wife becomes much scarcer in the collection after this date. A letter from Thomas to the Reverend William Bull of Lebanon, Connecticut, related the news of the death of Lawrence and asked Edward to share the news with his wife, Eliza (October 26, 1829).

Thomas's other post-war correspondents included various naval officers involved in his duties as purser, as well as others whose letters were of a more personal nature. The latter include M. C. Attwood, who wrote a letter recounting the USS Cyane's travels through the West Indies and the Caribbean (December 27, 1822) and for whose estate Chew eventually became responsible (September 27, 1823), working closely with Richard Ringgoth of Chestertown, Maryland. Chew's correspondence in 1829 includes many letters from Amos Kendall of the U.S. Treasury department's Auditor's Office discussing Chew's work as purser through 1832. Letters of March 9 and March 29, 1832, discussed the reconciliation of Chew's outstanding accounts as of his retirement at that time.

The collection contains many personal letters addressed to Abby Hallam (later Chew), particularly regarding her daughters. Often signing her letters "Hortensia," she corresponded with both friends and family. Frequent correspondents included Lucretia M. Woodbridge of New London, Connecticut, and Mary Perkins in the early 1810s and a cousin Jacob in 1818. In various letters from the early 1830s, Abby recounted to her daughter Mary, who was staying with Edward and Eliza Bull in Lebanon, Connecticut, the progress of her sisters in school. Other family letters in this period were written between Abby and her children, amongst the children, and to the Bull family. A letter from George Lewis to Thomas Chew, dated December 18, 1843, asked "sanction to my addresses to [Mary Hallam Chew]…no gentleman should address a lady, or make any other attempt to gain her affection, unless assured of her parents approval." The pair were engaged soon thereafter (January 15, 1844), and a letter from A. Lewis, likely George Lewis's sister-in-law Adelaide Lewis, offered assistance to Mary in making plans for her wedding (March 7, 1844).

The focus of the correspondence gradually shifts toward Thomas and Abby's daughters, who wrote to their parents, to their aunt Eliza Bull, and to one another. Abigail, who often signed herself Hortense, and Mary shared vibrant personal correspondence beginning in 1840, including a letter from Abby who offered some helpful advice as Mary began to maintain a household of her own: "I want to know how your nurse & cook come along, don't err in my way & give them too much liberty--require them to do their duty I believe is the secret" (May 1, 1846). Mary's friend Josie wrote on July 28, 1846 to give condolences to Mary upon the death of her father. Other Chew family members represented in the collection include George R. Lewis, Thomas J. Chew's future son-in-law, and Chew's daughters and granddaughters. Also included are scattered letters relating to Harry W. Nelson, Jr., who married a great-granddaughter of Thomas J. Chew; these include a stern reprimand from a godfather dated April 13, 1853, and several undated items.

The correspondence series also contains several items addressed and authored by Mary Norton of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, beginning in the mid-1820s; by 1829, she was a resident of Boston. The collection includes an August 10, 1829 letter from Moses Story, who proposed that Mary "consider [her]self a candidate for my companion in life." Her relationship to the Chew family is unclear.

The series also includes 54 undated items, mostly comprised of personal correspondence, with a significant portion being between Abby and Thomas. One letter from Abby to Thomas foresaw the loss of one of their children: "From every appearance the agony will soon be past with our dear little infant." Much of the correspondence also came from Eliza Bull, addressed to various members of the Chew family. A letter addressed to Abby from a niece, Frances, described the arrival of a baby, Cecilia, and included a poem dedicated to the occasion. Also included are several letters addressed to Harriet Lewis, recently widowed and receiving letters primarily from her sister, Jennette Richards.

The Documents series (9 items) includes several items related to Thomas J. Chew's time in the Navy, including his time as a prisoner of the British, his involvement in Decatur v. Chew, and his resignation from the Navy. Two legal documents are included as well as an inventory for the Protection Fire Insurance Company and a partially-signed petition.

Many of the items in the Financial Records and Receipts series (40 total items) were addressed specifically to Thomas J. Chew, and the series includes receipts for various purchases in New York and Boston. These items span the years 1806-1847, with several items that date to the War of 1812. Several receipts regarded payment for James Lawrence Chew's tuition at the Classical School of New Jersey in the 1820s. A note from Samuel Phillips asked Thomas J. Chew to pay his share of the prize money for the capture of the Plattsburgh to Mrs. Jane Phillips. This was accompanied by a receipt roll, housed with other oversized manuscript items, which listed the distribution of the prize money for the capture of that ship. A pay roll for the officers of the Peacock is also housed in the small oversize area. This series also includes three stock certificates, all pertaining to stock held by Mary F. Hallam.

The Account Books series contains three items: one small account book housed in a red leather wallet and two bound volumes. The first contains various personal records for 1814, and the bound volumes contain records kept by Thomas J. Chew in his capacities as purser for the Washington, treasurer for St. Anne's Church in Brooklyn, and in an unknown capacity for the United States Naval Fraternal Association. One of the bound volumes contains Sunday Accounts for the Navy Department dealing with balances due and paid to various personnel.

The Miscellaneous series (7 items) includes two dated personal items as well as poetry, essays, and a partial family tree.


Richard Peters collection, 1749-1825

11 items

This collection contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters (1704-1776) and his nephew, also named Richard Peters (1744-1828), both of Philadelphia. The bulk of the material pertains to their professional and financial affairs.

This collection (11 items) contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters and his nephew, also named Richard Peters, who both lived in Philadelphia in the mid- to late 18th century. The material pertains to Pennsylvania property and Cumberland County boundaries, Arlington sheep, finances, and politics. The collection includes a certified copy of a map of property belonging to Peters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (copy dated March 17, 1810), an account book kept by the younger Richard Peters from 1785-1789, and a letter that the younger Richard Peters wrote to William Rawle about his uncle's biography (September 22, 1825).