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William S. Housel papers, 1916-1968

5 linear feet — 1 oversize volume

Professor of civil engineering and specialist in soil mechanics at the University of Michigan. Correspondence, daily logs of activities, class materials, conference and lecture files, and professional reports and soil investigation studies; and photographs.

The Housel papers include correspondence, newspaper clippings, lectures, conference materials, class materials, and various reports and studies of soil investigations. Of interest is a series of daily logs kept by Housel in the period 1962-1968 and which concern some of his consulting projects.


William Skinner papers, 1768-1779 (majority within 1778)

227 items (0.5 linear feet)

The Skinner papers consist primarily of bills and receipts from London merchants addressed to Colonel William Skinner for assorted household expenses. The William Skinner papers were originally part of the Thomas Gage papers.

The Skinner papers consist of Skinner's financial records from the last decade of his life. Primarily the collection contains his bills and receipts from London merchants, though tax records and lottery tickets are also included in the collection.

Skinner's accounts with London merchants cover many aspects of life for a wealthy Londoner in the 1770s. His diet is documented through accounts with butchers, grocers, tea dealers, "oylmen," barmen, dealers in bran and oats, and cheesemen. Each account lists the individual items Skinner purchased from cuts of meat to types of tea.

Skinner's wardrobe is also described on many of the receipts, as he visited various linen-drapers, mercers, hatmakers, leather workers, button makers, shoemakers and others. Other accounts include various household expenses, such as for snuff, newspapers, coal, candles, soap, and services including watch repair, washing, and lamp lighting.

Skinner also maintained a carriage and horses. Accounts from John Write describe in detail a carriage he made for Skinner, including two receipts for a carriage tax (folders 21 & 24). In addition, other accounts are for straw and hay, as well as the care of horse and livery stables. A receipt from Thomas Bedford "Sadler & Cap Maker" lists "Sponges for y. Coachman" (folder 1) and other accounts describe livery for coachmen and footmen.

In addition to owning a stable, Skinner maintained a house at Number 13 Wimpole Street in London and possibly additional properties. His accounts document building materials purchased, and they frequently identify the work done by various builders. A receipt from John Clark is for a "½ Day Work Tining top of a Manger & Bottom rail of Rack & fixing 2 Rock Staves in one of the Standing in Stable & Cutting 2 Wine Casks to Make tules" (folder 3). Another receipt from Thomas Cranfield, a bricklayer, is for "Altering the kitchen Range and taking down the Oven and Resetting ditto" (folder 4).

Additional building materials came from the merchant represented most frequently in the collection, "Moody & Meader, Wharfingers," who, between 1773-1779, sent Skinner 50 accounts. The most common item purchased of the wharfingers was timber, including decorative wood and laths and, on one receipt, Moody & Meader are identified as "Timber Merchants" (folder 13). Additional receipts from Moody & Meader reflect a variety of goods bought mostly in bulk, including coal and oats, butter by the firkin, and beer by the hogshead.

Three doctor's accounts for Skinner, as well as other members of Skinner's household, are from "Stale and Coleman." One account lists medical fees over the course of ten years, 1768-1778, and includes a range of services such as "A Draught and Mixture of Butter," "Cinnamon Water and Bottle," "Salt of Tarter," "Bleeding and Eye Water," and "A Journey: Bleeding and Blister Foot" (folder 18).

While most accounts are addressed to Skinner and for goods or services he purchased, his mother-in-law Lady Warren and daughter Miss Skinner are mentioned on some receipts. Others are addressed to or for goods purchased by Mr. Farmer and other men, who may have been extended family members or employees in Skinner's household.

In addition to documenting the purchases of one man, the accounts are also representative of receipts from the 1770s. The receipts are on a variety of sizes of paper and vary in style, with some including personal notes. An account from John Roberts is on the same page as a letter to Skinner, which includes news of the Revolutionary War (folder 16). Many of the merchants had printed letterheads on their accounts, some of which include advertisements for products. S. Brunt who sold "Mineral Waters Wines &c." included his account on a sheet printed with a list of his wares and prices (folder 2). Edward John's bill is written on the back of a printed list of metal items sold, including "Copper Kitchen Furniture," silverware, ranges, and "Japanned Tea Urns" (folder 9).

Merchants also advertised themselves on their accounts, such as John Shearwood, whose printed header described him as "Hatter to their Majesties, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Princess Amelia" (folder 17). Other merchants included illustrations representing the names of their shops, such as the "Plume of Feathers" (folder 3) the "Golden Ball" (folder 15) or "The Good Woman," for which the letterhead portrayed a woman without a head (folder 4).

Miscellaneous expenses include receipts for land, window and carriage taxes; pew rentals, taxes to the Parish of Mary-le-Bone, a Tithe of Westbury, rent for water (folder 24), and four lottery tickets. (folder 25).


William S. Leonard papers, 1859-1861

40 items

The William S. Leonard papers contain 39 letters written between 1859 and 1861 to William S. Leonard, a successful New Hampshire physician. Primarily written by his father and fiancée, they concern medical practice, courtship, financial struggles, and political matters.

The William S. Leonard papers consist of 39 letters and one receipt covering 1859-1861. Twelve of the letters were written to William by his father, Rev. Levi W. Leonard. They primarily focus on family matters and on the Reverend's declining health and poor financial state. Rev. Leonard seemed to be editing books and a newsletter at this time, and had become a strong supporter of the Republican Party. In a letter of March 4, 1861, he wrote to William that the Republicans had raised the campaign flag to celebrate Lincoln's inauguration, but expressed apprehension about the gathering conflict: “the state of the country is so critical & dangerous, some think it would be more appropriate to toll the bells.”

In her letters to William, Mattie reported her daily activities and expressed her affection for him; she frequently recalled memories of times together and expressed sadness at their separation. In a letter of March 10, 1861, she responded to news of his medical practice (“I hope you have cured that Irish girl’s leg”) and in her March 31 letter, she described wedding plans and a guest list in some detail.

Four letters in the collection were written by a fellow physician and friend of Leonard’s, known only as "Bim.” His letters, in which he addressed Leonard as “Beak,” include discussions of his medical work, such as an outbreak of diphtheria, which he described in a letter of December 10, 1860. The remainder of the letters in the collection come from colleagues, friends, and a cousin and pertain particularly to social engagements, religion, and medicine.


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.


Williamson family journal, 1828-1874

1 volume

In this volume, Philadelphia pharmacist Peter Williamson transcribed his descriptions of 4 bird-hunting trips he took around the 1830s, his daughter Sarah's account of a trip taken from Philadelphia to northeastern New York in 1828, and genealogical information obtained from three Williamson family Bibles.

In this volume, Philadelphia pharmacist Peter Williamson transcribed his descriptions of 4 hunting trips he took between 1829 and 1832 (16 pages), his daughter Sarah's account of a trip taken from Philadelphia to northeastern New York in 1828 (5 pages), and genealogical information obtained from three Williamson family Bibles (9 pages)

The volume's first section recounts hunting trips Peter Williamson took around Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The first, entitled "An Excursion to the Chesapeake" (pages 1-10), covers his experiences hunting birds near the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal. Williamson recalled the trip in a humorous tone, and described his bad hunting luck. He and his companion, "C.," encountered a nearby family, with whom they shared a meal, and later hired local residents to serve as guides. Instead of assisting the hunters, however, the guides failed to retrieve fallen game, forcing Williamson and his companion to purchase birds previously shot by the locals. This account was published in The Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1830), pages 118-120.

The account, entitled "Journal of Sport for 1832 by one who has heretofore never been very fortunate in securing an unusual quantity of Game" (pages 11-15) describes Williamson's bird hunting trip near Thompson's Point, New Jersey, on March 22, 1832. In addition to his hunting activities, Williamson recalled a mishap with his dearborn carriage, in which the vehicle was nearly swamped by floodwaters on a country road. The trip was ultimately successful, as Williamson and his colleague shot 16 birds. The remaining stories (pages 16-17) also recount bird-hunting excursions. The first took place in the Delaware River near League Island and Maiden Island on April 14, 1832, and the second near Chesapeake City, Maryland, on an unknown date. The hunters sought ducks, geese, swans, and wading birds.

Peter Williamson's daughter Sarah wrote an account of a family trip from Philadelphia to northeastern New York in the summer of 1828, when she was 9 years old; his transcription is in this volume. The 5-page narrative, entitled "A Trip to Saratoga and Lake George," begins with the author boarding the steamboat Pennsylvania, which hit a sloop only an hour into its journey. After arriving at Bordentown, the family traveled to a town called Washington, where they embarked on a steamboat for New York City. Sarah briefly gave some impressions of the scenery and listed some of her sightseeing destinations in New York City. The Williamsons soon left for Albany aboard the steamboat Independence, and from there to Troy and Saratoga. Along the way, she recorded impressions of the Catskill Mountains and West Point. After arriving in Saratoga, the Williamson family visited several local springs, and Sarah mentioned seeing workmen boring for salt and an encampment of Oneida Indian families. On her way to Lake George, she described Glens Falls and other natural features in the area. She also visited the remains of Fort George and Fort William Henry, and briefly reflected on nearby gravesites and on a massacre that took place during the French and Indian War. The remainder of the account is a brief description of the family's return route to Philadelphia.

The final section of this volume consists of 9 pages of genealogical information that Peter Williamson copied from 3 family Bibles. Most entries consist of birth, death, and marriage dates. He explicitly mentioned his father and grandfather. Peter Williamson wrote this section of the journal on October 26, 1874.


William Sprague Studley papers, 1846-1910

0.6 linear feet (in 2 boxes)

The collection is arranged into three small series: Correspondence, Studley Family, and Other Papers. Included in the collection is a scattering of correspondence, diaries, 1860 and 1873, of trip in Florida and Europe, a scrapbook, and newspaper clippings concerning the activities of the Studley family, 1855-1910.


William T. Brownson papers, 1949-1975

0.5 linear feet

Labor relations specialist for the Lamar Pipe Company and the Michigan Concrete Pipe Association. Materials relating to his dealings with the Teamster's union; also papers concerning his work with an Ann Arbor, Michigan, citizens group formed to oppose proposed building on Stadium Blvd.

The William T. Brownson Papers comprise two series: Labor and Union (1949-75) and the New Southeast Property Owners Committee (1957-59). The second series offers a valuable look at how a local citizens' group fought organized government and corporate developers.


William Tecumseh Sherman collection, 1813-1888 (majority within 1861-1882)

52 items

A miscellaneous collection of letters and a volume of telegrams, by or relating to William Tecumseh Sherman, collected by Clinton H. Haskell.

The William Tecumseh Sherman collection consists of 51 letters written by or relating to Sherman, 1813 to 1888 (bulk 1861-1882), and a volume of outgoing telegrams that he wrote, 1882-1884. The collector Clinton H. Haskell gathered these materials.

The Correspondence and Documents series is a miscellaneous collection of letters and documents, primarily written by Sherman to various correspondents. The earliest letters in the collection include one from Sherman's father Charles about a desired appointment as collector of internal revenue (August 24, 1813), and several by Sherman concerning several aspects of his early career in the west. Sherman wrote 13 letters in the collection during his Civil War service, and they span 1861 to 1865, with 1864 covered in the greatest depth (5 letters). In a letter of January 20, 1863, he wrote about plans for the capture of Vicksburg and called it "a great if not the greatest task yet undertaken in this war." In other letters, he recommended the strengthening of Fort Donelson (March 27, 1864), discussed troop positions at the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign (May 5, 1864), invited Colonel Absalom Markland and his wife to a social gathering in Savannah (January 3, 1865), and planned to move on Raleigh, North Carolina, after the capture of Richmond, Virginia (April 3, 1865). Also included is a set of special field orders, no. 20, dated February 18, 1864, which call for troop movements after Vicksburg and specify that "Buildings must not be burned on the return march…unless they are used as a cover to the enemy, from which to fire at our men." Special field orders no. 22 are also present (February 28, 1864).

The collection also includes several personal letters written during the Civil War period. In one of these, dated September 23, 1864, Sherman wrote to his foster father, Thomas Ewing, discussing money raised by his hometown of Lancaster, Ohio, to buy him a new horse. In it, he also noted that three of his horses had died during the war, with one shot out from under him, and commented on the training, care, and gaits of war horses. He wrote to his wife Ellen, describing souvenirs that he had sent home to her (April 6, 1865). Included are several letters concerning, but not addressed to, Sherman. In one, General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel complains about Sherman's division of Mitchel's forces and the assignment of different leadership to part of the division (October 21, 1861).

The postwar letters in the collection mainly focus on Sherman's career as the commanding general of the United States Army. They pertain to such matters as personnel and appointments, the hiring of Edmund Palmer to sketch Native Americans on the plains (July 11, 1875), Civil War memorials (May 16, 1878), the construction of railroads (September 1, 1882), and other topics. Also present is an essay dated January 16, 1888, by William C. Shaw, entitled "What I Saw on Sherman's March to the Sea," in which he described participation in the campaign, including foraging, the destruction of railroad tracks in Georgia, and the slaves and slave quarters he encountered.

The Telegram Book contains 28 telegrams sent and received by Sherman in his official capacity as commanding general of the United States Army. The telegrams span June 19, 1882, to April 7, 1884. Many of the items concern routine matters of scheduling or personnel, but a few refer to larger issues. On April 19, 1883, Sherman wrote a telegram to General John Schofield, concerning the joint operations of the U.S. and Mexican troops in pursuit of "hostile Apaches depredating on both sides of the national border." Several telegrams also discuss governmental actions toward the Creek Indians (April 9, 1883; May 26, 1883).


William Tell Claude editorials, 1846-1849

216 pages

The William Tell Claude manuscript contains all of Claude's editorial columns written between December, 1846 and June, 1849, probably for the Maryland Republican.

The William Tell Claude manuscript contains all of Claude's editorial columns written between December, 1846 and June, 1849, probably for the Maryland Republican. As a deeply committed and tireless publicist, Claude launched a series of front door and back door attacks on the Democratic opposition, criticizing the Democratic war in Mexico and smearing the names of Democratic candidates for office.

The origins of the manuscript are unclear, but it appears to have been compiled at a later date, possibly simply to be retained for convenient reference, possibly for separate publication. Only one work of Claude's appears to found its way into print as a separate work, however, his war-time Address to the people of Anne Arundel County (1861).


William T. Gossett papers, 1927-1987 (majority within 1947-1981)

19 linear feet

Lawyer with the Bendix Corporation and the Ford Motor Company, and member of numerous legal and public service organizations. Speeches, articles and public statements; material relating to his activities with the American Bar Association, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and other legal groups; some files concern his interest in such topics as business ethics, campus government and student dissent in the 1960s, electoral college reform, and legal education; there is also material detailing his involvement in public service organizations concerned largely with civil rights and education; also contracts, agreements, and other documentation relating to reorganization of Wesco Corporation (later National Theatres Corporation), 1933-1936; and reorganization of Fox Film Corporation and Twentieth Century Pictures, July-August 1935.

The William T. Gossett collection chronicle his professional career as a lawyer and businessman as well as those many public service activities in which he was active. The collection was received in two accessions, 1981 and 1997. The 1981 accession, the largest of the two, consisted of the following series: Vita; Speeches, Articles, and Statements; Professional Activities; Topical Files; Public Service Files; Hospitals and Organizations; Colleges Universities, and Schools; and Personal Correspondence. The smaller 1997 accession included these series: Biographical and Personal Materials; Speeches, Articles, and Statements; Photographs; and Twentieth Century-Fox. There was some slight overlap in the content of the two accessions, particularly in Gossett's speeches and articles. No attempt was made, however, to intersperse this similar material.