7 linear feet
This collection is comprised of 1,182 letters; 98 diaries; 210 documents; 468 receipts, checks, and account books; seven school papers and writings; three photographs; 34 printed and ephemeral items; and other materials of the family of stonecutter and marbleworker John M. Ramsey, his wife Cyanea, and their children. The family lived in Greenfield, New Hampshire; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Around 60 Civil War letters and one diary of the Ramseys' son Henry, who served in the 16th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, and around 10 letters of a cousin Ridgeway P. Cragin, of the 32nd Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, are included. Particularly notable are 96 daily diaries of the Ramsey daughters Emily S. and Cyanea H., kept largely while they lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1870s-1920s.
The Correspondence series includes 1,182 items and opens with the 1827-1830s letters of Caroline and Hannah Ramsey of Greenfield, New Hampshire, and a sister, Sarah Marshall, of Augusta, Maine. A group of letters pertain to the courtship and marriage of John M. Ramsey and Cyanea Stevens--including a letter from Cyanea's parents Lemuel and Reliance about Cyanea's request for their approval of the wedding (August 5, 1836). Letters of the 1850s include correspondence of Collins Hinckley Stevens, regarding the death of Cyanea's mother Reliance in 1858, and incoming letters to Emily Ramsey from her schoolmates. A selection of letters to Emily from E. H. Langdon, a schoolteacher in Milwaukee, are present.
In the 1860s, sisters Emily, Frances "Fannie", and Cyanea carried on correspondence with each other and with friends and family, including:
- "Hannah" from the Baraboo Female Seminary (Sauk County, Wisconsin) in 1863
- Fannie to Emily while visiting Stoughton in 1863; Fannie's correspondence while attending the Ripley Female College, 1865-1866; her letters while staying with family in Greenfield, New Hampshire; and correspondence while in Chicago for medical reasons
- Ora Stevens in Nashville and Louis H. Stevens of Manchester, Vermont
- Friend "Louise" in Hartford, Connecticut (who moved to Bay City, Michigan, and married Edwin Wood)
- John M. Ramsey's nephew David Butler Ramsey (1829-1899), from Chicago and Milwaukee, many written while working in the law offices of Palmer, Hooker & Pitkin, later Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Female friends and family to Emily and Fannie, written from Evanston, Illinois; Milwaukee and Ozaukee, Wisconsin; and Poultney, Vermont
The Ramsey family correspondence includes around 60 Civil War letters of Corporal Henry C. Ramsey of the 16th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry. He wrote from Camp Randall, the steamship Planet, Camp Sabin, Camp near Grand Junction, Camp near Memphis, Camp near Lake Providence, Louisiana, Camp Randall, and Vicksburg. In the mid-1870s, Henry was admitted to the Michigan Asylum for the Insane at Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the family received letters from Dr. E. H. VanDensen about his progress, especially around 1876. Around 10 letters of a cousin Paul Ridgeway Cragin, of the 32nd Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, are included.
Cyanea's and Emily's other correspondents from the 1870s to the 1930s include but are not limited to:
- Friends, cousins, and other relatives, including the Stevenses in Vermont; Persis Moore of Niles, Michigan; "Augusta" of Allegan and Otsego, Michigan; Almira Marshall in Owasso, Michigan; Frederick Marshall of Saginaw, Michigan; "Lizzie" in Woburn, Boston, and Framingham; Elvira Elizabeth Ramsey in Greenfield, New Hampshire; "David" in Greenfield; Murray J. Hoppock of Fremont, Michigan; and many others
- William H. Ramsey, Jr., a cousin, employed at the Ozaukee County Malting Company at Port Washington, Wisconsin, in the late 1880s; and as Secretary and Treasurer of the Wisconsin Chair Company in the 1890s
- Grand Rapids attorneys More & Wilson and bankers Edward M. Deane and Company, following the death of their father in 1897
- Gertrude P. Newton (Mrs. E. B. Newton) from Newton's Ranch, Colusa, Kansas, early 1900s
- Cousins James and Sarah (Saidee) Baker, from Ancón, Canal Zone, Panama, 1921-1935
The Diaries series includes 98 daily diaries, 96 of which were kept by sisters Cyanea H. and Emily S. Ramsey between 1873 and 1935, while the two lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The remaining two diaries include Henry C. Ramsey's Civil War diary for the year 1864 and a partial 1921 diary kept by [Howard Stevens?] in a pre-printed 1894 pocket journal. Henry Ramsey's 1864 pocket diary includes entries covering the 16th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry's movements from Vicksburg to Tennessee, to Georgia, with accounts of Kennesaw Mountain and the battle of Atlanta. The diary also covers his experiences as part of Sherman's march to the sea.
The Documents series is made up of 210 legal and financial documents pertinent largely to land and property in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan, between 1786 and 1919 (bulk 1825-1911). Additional items include tax documents, stock-related items, and other materials.
The Financial and Business Papers includes 300 receipts, around 160 bank checks, and eight account books. The receipts date between 1831 and 1928, pertaining largely to John M. Ramsey's marble and stonecutting business. Additional receipts relate to personal property and tax payments. The 160 checks are drawn largely from Grand Rapids, Michigan, banks between December 1869 and October 1880. The account books include:
- [John M. Ramsey?] Account Book, 1830-1836. Comprised largely of accounts related to farm labor (haying, plowing, tending stock, etc.) in Greenfield, New Hampshire.
- John M. Ramsey Ledgers and Account Books, 1854-1886 (7 vols.). Consisting of the accounts of John M. Ramsey's marble and stonecutting businesses. One undated, illustrated manuscript book of monuments designed by N. Merritt for J. M. Ramsey, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is included with the account books.
The collection's School Papers and Writings (7 items) include John M. Ramsey's teacher's book, November 1830-February 1831; a fragment of mathematical rules by J. M. Ramsey; a chronological table by Emily Ramsey, 1851; a reward of merit for Mary Ramsey; two penmanship exercises; and a manuscript issue of The Literary Chip Basket (vol. 111, no. 11), Port Washington, 1861, with list of contributors including Fanny Oatman and Emily Ramsey.
The Photographs series includes one carte-de-visite of Henry C. Ramsey of the 16th Wisconsin Infantry; and one carte-de-visite and one cabinet card of unidentified individuals.
The Ephemera and Printed Items series is made up of invitations, Nashua Manufacturing Company employee regulations (August 31, 1837), advertisements for marble and other products, and torn pages from the History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, ed. Hurd, 1885.
The collection also contains items pertinent to Genealogy (6 items) and an Address Book, Fragments, and Envelopes.