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Beeson family papers, 1765-1956 (majority within 1765-1898)

137 items

The Beeson family papers consist of genealogical notes, travel journals, business documents, and correspondence relating to several generations of the Beeson family, who settled in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in the 18th century, and later migrated to Michigan and Wisconsin.

This collection consists of 137 items, including: 55 items relating to financial matters -- receipts, bank and stock records, subscription lists, etc.; 39 items relating to Beeson family history and genealogy, including handwritten notes, and a 33-page typed transcription; 11 letters written by members of the Beeson and Lukens family (related to the Beeson family by marriage); 2 travel journals; 1 daily diary; 1 oversized journal, containing entries on family history, genealogy, and travel; 6 maps, including one pasted onto the flyleaf of the oversized journal; 9 newspaper clippings; 6 legal documents; 7 miscellaneous items; and one unidentified photograph.

The majority of the financial documents consist of lists of stockholders and subscriptions for the Union Bank of Pennsylvania. One document, a receipt for glassware dated 9 August 1827, is written on the illustrated letterhead of the glass manufacturer Bakewell, Page & Bakewell, of Pittsburgh.

The history and genealogy notes concern the branch of the Beeson family that was instrumental in the founding and settling of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Two descendants of this branch, Edward Beeson and Jacob Beeson (b. 1807), contribute diaries and journals to the collection.

Jacob Beeson's 1829-1830 travel journal (with occasional notes in shorthand) relates, in brief but lively entries, a journey from Uniontown to New Orleans, to help an uncle in the mercantile business. While traveling by steamer down the Mississippi, Jacob Beeson gives colorful descriptions of his fellow passengers and shipboard events. "We had scarce went 500 yds. when we were rous'd by the cry of ‘a man overboard'--drop the Stern Boat, etc. I rais'd my eyes from the book & they were immediately fix'd on the face & arm of a Slave who had pitch'd himself from the Bow of the Boat. He was between the Steamer & her boat when I saw him. By the time he got to where I saw him, he appear'd tired of his sport. He gave a piercing scream & sunk amid the Billows. The Boat was dropped awhile for him but twas to no purpose." (27 March 1829) Jacob describes going to the theater in New Orleans (13 May 1829); the landscape and climate of the area east of New Orleans (8 September 1829); a visit to "Crabtown", at Bayou St. John, where Spaniards subsisted solely by fishing for crabs (23 May 1829); battling a forest fire (14 February 1829); and the inadequacy of his boarding house fare: "For dinner, we have the standby dish of bacon, venison, cornbreads and sour milk served in tea cups, handed round on a waiter that for aught I know to the contrary performed the same service prior to the Revolution. For Supper we have the remains of dinner with the addition of coffee that would be better off than on the table." (16 June 1829) He takes several business trips by boat along the gulf coast. The journal ends with a trip North up the Mississippi in early 1830. A later diary kept by Jacob Beeson in 1873 records the business and personal affairs of a now-settled business and family man living in Detroit Michigan.

Edward Beeson provides much of the family history and genealogy in the collection. His handwritten notes, both loose and in a large bound journal, chronicle Beeson family history and lore, and contain names, dates, and narratives of his direct ancestors, and sketchier details of the wider Beeson clan.

Edward Beeson is also the author of two interesting travelogues. The first is included in the journal he kept in an oversized volume, originally intended for shipping manifests for the shipping agent Monson Lockwood, each page headed with an illustration of ships and a lighthouse. In this journal, Edward recounts a trip he takes from Wisconsin west to Kansas in 1866. He describes the towns he visits on the way, and reflects on the scars left by the Civil War. In Aubry, on the Kansas/Missouri border, his Quaker sense of outrage at the violence perpetrated by both sides is aroused by the abandoned and burnt-out homesteads:

"At this place a cavalry camp was maintained during the greater part of the war. From here the lawless Jayhawkers often started on their thieving raids into Missouri and this was also made a place to be retaliated on by the equally desperate and thievish bushwackers and guerillas of Mo. …Here a voice raised for humanity, honor, mercy, justice or freedom of speech was made the occasion for suspicion, persecution, and defamation, often ending in the murder or robbery of the luckless men who dared to think or speak. These scenes of violence, and the always present danger of life and property, had the effect of almost depopulating the country. The graves of the victims of violence are scattered over the country. The bare chimneys of burned houses loom up on the prairie, monuments of vandalism and violence such as the world has seldom seen. They stand there in the desolate silence pointing upward to heaven -- upward ever -- as if to remind the victims of war who sleep in graves nearby, that mercy and justice alone is to be found above." (9 September 1866, p. 78).

Edward Beeson's second travel journal is an account of a trip to Italy, taken by Edward Beeson and his family in 1877-1878. While his daughter, Abbie Beeson Carrington, takes voice lessons, Edward observes Italian life and customs, largely in and around Milan, and is particularly struck by the overall poverty of the region. Edward reports on the Italian diet, domestic arrangements, attitudes toward religion, and local funeral customs. He is present in Rome for the funeral of King Victor Emmanuel II, and attends celebrations commemorating the 1848 Italian Revolution against Austrian rule.

Five of the maps in the collection are hand-drawn survey maps, likely of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, dated from 1830-1850, with one undated. The sixth map, an undated, hand-drawn map of Uniontown, labeling buildings of significance to the Beeson family, is pasted onto the flyleaf of Edward Beeson's oversized journal.


Gallwitz collection, 1805-[1864]

12 items

This collection contains documents, correspondence, and a journal related to German immigrant Carl Gallwitz and to the Mathes family, Alsatian immigrants who were later related to the Gallwitz family by marriage. Included are German-language documents from the early 19th century as well as a journal that Carl Gallwitz kept while traveling to and around the United States in the 1820s.

This collection contains 9 documents, 2 letters, and a journal related to German immigrant Carl Christ Wilhelm Gallwitz and to the Mathes family, Alsatian immigrants who were later related to the Gallwitz family by marriage.

The first 5 items, all in German, are 3 baptism certificates, a printed poem about baptism, and a document. The poem is surrounded by a colored printed floral border, and the document is written on a sheet with a colored illustration of two birds in a floral setting. Other documents are a naturalization certificate for Martin Mathers [sic], issued in Wooster, Ohio (April 2, 1855), and a German and French document from the 1860s certifying the 1833 birth of George Mathes to Martin Mathes and Marguerite Rott of the Alsatian town of Wissembourg.

Correspondence includes a German letter from Martin Mathes, Jr., to his father (July 19, 1850) and a letter signed by several men in Coloma, California, about the death of Martin Mathes, Jr., and funeral costs (December 8, 1850). A manuscript poem in German and an illustration of the Sun are undated.

Carl Christ Wilhelm Gallwitz kept a journal (459 pages) between March 22, 1820, and January 1832. He documented his travels in Europe and in the United States, as well as his life in Ohio. Gallwitz wrote brief entries almost daily between 1820 and 1822, and less frequently through January 1832. Gallwitz occasionally drew illustrations, including a kite's stringing system (July 1, 1820, p. 68), various types of fish (July 4, 1820, pp. 71-73), a "May apple" plant (August 6, 1820, p. 94), and an unidentified mammal (19 August, 1820, p. 99). The journal includes a list of cities that Gallwitz visited while traveling between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and New Orleans, Louisiana (pp. 270-271), as well as several pages of watercolor and ink manuscript maps of his traveling route, usually made on riverboats (pp. 273-299). A translated copy of the journal and Gallwitz's itinerary are housed with the collection.

The journal also includes a colorful illustration of a man painting the portrait of a woman in an interior setting, featuring details such as a patterned rug, a side table with teacups, and paintings hung on the wall (p. 486). Two additional illustrations depict store signs for "L. Weeman & Comp. Store" and "1823. L. Ewing's Office" (p. 491). The inside of the back cover bears a pencil sketch of three figures at the base of a bluff.


George Sackville Germain papers, 1683-1785

6 linear feet

The Lord George Sackville Germain papers contain the political and military correspondence of Germain, British military officer and secretary of state for North America during the American Revolution. In addition to official letters and reports, the collection comprises copies of secret military dispatches, reports and extracts detailing the activities of the commanders and colonial governors of North America, and a copybook of letters between American diplomat Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Pownall, and Boston reverend Samuel Cooper.

The Lord George Sackville Germain papers (6 linear feet) contain the political and military correspondence of Germain, British military officer and secretary of state for North America from 1775 to 1782. Though the papers document Germain's entire public career, the bulk of the material relates to his role overseeing the military during the American Revolution. In addition to official letters and reports, the collection is also comprised of copies of secret military dispatches, reports and extracts detailing the activities of the commanders and colonial governors of North America, and a copy book of letters between American diplomat Benjamin Franklin, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Pownall, and Boston reverend Samuel Cooper.

The Correspondence and Documents series (4.5 linear feet) contains drafts and retained copies of letters from Germain and official incoming letters and documents sent to Germain during his years of military and public service. The collection includes little related to Germain's personal life.

The series holds some correspondence relating to Germain's early military career, including ten letters he wrote to his father while serving in the War of Austrian Succession. Though only a few items relate to Germain's service at Minden, present are several letters written and received by Germain in Germany in 1759, and French and Indian War-era letters from politicians and military leaders such as Pitt, Temple, Holland, Mansfield, Bute, Newcastle, Charles Townshend, Grenville, and Ligonier. Of special interest are the letters of Lord Jeffery Amherst and General Wolfe's account of the fall of Louisbourg and the military in Canada. Germain held no high office between the French and Indian war and the American Revolution but he kept in close contact with Sir John Irwin, with whom he discussed politics and current events.

The bulk of the collection covers Germain's tenure as secretary of state to the colonies (1775-1782), and provides a thorough account of his public policy decision-making process. As American secretary, Germain maintained voluminous correspondence with ministers and officials in England, particularly secretaries of state Lord Suffolk and Lord Stormont, Undersecretary William Eden, and Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn. Germain also received regular updates from Richard Cumberland, whom Germain sent to Madrid to negotiate peace with Spain.

As a key overseer of the British war effort, Germain had direct communication with the commanders-in-chief in America and their immediate subordinates, as well as with the naval commanders. Included are letters from Thomas Gage, William Howe, Richard Howe, John Burgoyne, Henry Clinton, Charles Cornwallis, John Vaughan, Guy Carleton, and Frederick Haldimand. He communicated frequently with the British governors in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Florida, and with Governor Henry Hamilton at Detroit. As France, Spain, and the Netherlands entered the war, much of his attention turned to naval action and trade (sugar and slaves) in the West Indies. He also dealt with the Carlisle peace commissioners, various merchants, and loyalists, such as Jonathan Boucher, physicist-adventurer Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. The series concludes with 58 undated letters, largely written during the Revolution.

Below is a list of notable items from this series:
  • 1757: "Considerations on the present State of the Military Operations in North America"
  • January 20, 1775: Thoughts on the Dispute between Great Britain and Her Colonies, by Brook Watson
  • July 29, 1775: Report on the occupation of Charlestown Heights, written by William Howe
  • August 20, 1775: Military report by General John Burgoyne
  • October 18, 1775: An early "Constitution" created by the Provincial Congress of North Carolina, declaring independence and laying out the groundwork for a cooperative government among the colonies, containing 13 articles
  • December 29, 1775: "Reflections on the Dispute with the Colonies by Apollos Morris," containing a history or empires and discussion of the problem
  • [1775]: Report by John Shuttleworth on the British and American forces throughout North America: artillery, arms, and navy
  • [1775]: "Advantages of lord Cornwallis's Expedition going rather to Chesapeake Bay than to the Carolinas," by Sir John Dalrymple
  • January 12, 1776: Letter from Lord Ellibank who proposed returning Canada to the French as the most effective means of reducing the rest of our colonies
  • January 17, 1776: Proposal for growing vegetables for the British troops in North America - radishes, red spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and potatoes etc.
  • July 4, 1776: Contemporary manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence created for Germain
  • August 10, 13, 1776: Reports on the campaign in New York from William Howe, stationed at Staten Island
  • 1776: Peace commission instructions from Germain
  • February 28, 1777: "Thoughts for conducting the War from the Side of Canada"
  • March 18, 1777: "Political Remarks on the present state of affairs in respect to the Rebellion in America, and the danger of its involving us in a War in Europe"
  • April 2, 1777: William Howe's 3rd plan of military operations in North America
  • 1777: "A State of the Circumstances in Philadelphia"
  • March 8, 1778: A description of Germain's southern strategy sent to Henry Clinton
  • March 24, 1778: "Plan for taking of French and Spanish Islands," by John Drummond
  • May [26], 1778: Extract from Burgoyne's speech to the House of Commons concerning the Battle of Saratoga
  • August 24, 1778: British spy Dr. John Berkenhout's "Journal of an Excursion from New York to Philadelphia in the Year 1778," reporting on Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, and others
  • February-July 1779: "A Short Journal and Remarks of Transactions, that happened at Grenada & other parts of the West Indies"
  • March 31, 1779: Two copies of letters from George Washington to Henry Clinton, enclosed in Clinton to Germain, no. 46, April 2, 1779
  • 1779: "Hints for the Management of an intended Enquiry: an assessment of the War with America," including reports on the state of the military and intelligence looking into Howe's decisions: such as "Why did he not attack Washington at Valley Forge" and "Why did he not pursue Washington's Army after the Defeat at Brandywine,” and General Grey's "evidence and opinions and extracts from Howe's letters used at the inquiry"
  • March 8, 1780: "Sketch of a System by which the rebellious Colonies in America might be reduced to Obedience in two Campaigns, which offers a strategic plan for engaging the rebels"
  • July 25, 1780: Extracts from General Horatio Gates' orderly book, headquarters at Buffalo Ford July 25-August 15, with details on divisions from Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia
  • August 10, 1780: Petition from Ethan Allen and others from Vermont, concerning their unhappiness with the Continental Congress and their desire to form an independent British province, by John Griffiths
  • August 21, 1780: Reports from General Charles Cornwallis on the victory at Charleston and the Battle of Hanging Rock
  • October 1780: Copy of a letter by Alexander Hamilton discussing and describing the capture and trial of John André, and Arnold and Washington's involvement in the incident
  • October 1781: Reports on the battle and surrender of Yorktown and the siege of Chesapeake Bay
  • January 13 and 15, 24, 1782: Letters from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Thompson, A New Hampshire Loyalist in the British cavalry, stationed in South Carolina, describing fighting at the end of the war

The Secret Military Dispatches volume (429 pages) is comprised of 246 secret dispatches and orders sent by Germain to political and military leaders between 1775 and 1782. In these, Germain discussed military strategy for the British army and navy in America and the West Indies with Henry Clinton, John Dalling, John Grant, Frederick Haldimand, John Vaughan, and the Lords of the Admiralty, among other officers and governors. One letter is housed separately in Volume 23, a retained copy of George Germain's letter to William Howe, January 5, 1776.

The Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Pownall, and Samuel Cooper letter book (296 pages) contains copies of 68 letters from Benjamin Franklin, Governor of Massachusetts Thomas Pownall, and Reverend Samuel Cooper of Boston. These communicate both British and American points of view of the developing unrest in the colonies between 1769 and 1774. Throughout the volume, Franklin and Pownall wrote from London while Cooper wrote from Boston; each voiced their unique perspective on political and civil conflicts between England and America.

The Undated Reports series (39 items) consists of undated documents found in Germain's papers relating to trade, customs, government finances, Irish policies, military strategy proposals, assessments on the outcome of military engagements, conditions on the ground in various colonies, the state of West Indian islands, and the role of the French and Spanish in the American Revolution.

The Supplements series (40 items) is comprised of documents submitted to Germain to keep him informed about the conditions and developments of the American conflict. Many contain added commentary aimed to inform and influence his decision-making. The documents include reports and compiled summaries of correspondence and military dispatches related to operations throughout North America.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created three other research aids: The Subject Index and Contributor List provides access to events, people, places, and topics discussed in the Correspondence and Documents series (Volumes 1-16). This index also contains a list of contributors. The Volume Guide includes notes on the contents for 22 volumes in the collection. The Guide to Volumes 17-21 provides lists of the documents in each of these volumes.


Horatio Noyes collection, 1838, 1862-1880

7 items

The Horatio Noyes collection is made up of letters and essays pertaining to Louisiana sugar plantations, life on the Wyoming frontier, travels through the South, the history of astronomy, and other subjects.

The Horatio Noyes collection is made up of 5 letters (28 pages) and 2 essays (70 pages). Noyes wrote a detailed letter to his son Charles in December 1871 about his travels in rural Louisiana, including his impressions of riverboat steamers and sugar plantations. A later draft (unsigned) describes the author's travels in Virginia and North Carolina, with a detailed description of Richmond and observations about Southern culture. Two unsigned letters from late 1879 and early 1880 describe a soldier's life on the Wyoming frontier, with Horatio Noyes's requests for the letters to be proofed and returned to him. Two lengthy essays concern the history of astronomy and contemporary astronomical knowledge, particularly about the Solar System. See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for more information.


Journal of a Voyage from Kennebunk to New Orleans and commonplace book, 1852-1853, 1857-1887

1 volume

This volume contains an anonymous journal of a voyage from Kennebunk, Maine, to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio, between December 9, 1852, and January 24, 1853, as well as poetry, short stories, and essays composed by a second unknown writer between May 1857 and February 1887. One poem and one story concern the Civil War, and the author composed biographical essays about prominent individuals, families, and other topics.

This volume contains an anonymous journal of a voyage from Kennebunk, Maine, to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio, between December 9, 1852, and January 24, 1853 (21 pages), as well as poetry, short stories, and essays composed by a second unknown writer between May 1857 and February 1887 (117 pages). One poem and one story concern the Civil War, and the author frequently composed biographical essays about prominent individuals, families, and other topics.

The first 21 pages, titled "Journal of a voyage from Kennebunk to New Orleans," are made up of daily diary entries composed during a voyage from Maine to Louisiana and from Louisiana to Ohio. The author embarked from Kennebunk, Maine, onboard the Golden Eagle (commanded by Captain Nathaniel Thompson) on December 9, 1852, and made daily observations about life at sea. As the Golden Eagle approached Florida in late December, he described the scenery in the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and coastal Louisiana. On one occasion, the ship encountered a boat transporting slaves to New Orleans. The author arrived in New Orleans on December 28, where he wrote about some of his experiences in the city, such as a visit to the cattle market. On January 12, he boarded the steamer Yorktown for a journey up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Cincinnati. He noted the cities passed along the way, such as Vicksburg and Memphis, and described southern plantations, making note of their use of slave labor. On January 15, he reported that the Yorktown had taken a newly purchased African American family onboard, who entertained the passengers with dancing and music. By the final entry, dated January 24, 1853, the author had just passed Evansville, Indiana.

The volume also contains a commonplace book, in which the writer composed 117 pages of poetry, short stories, and essay. Several poems are translations of German poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Ludwig Uhland, and others appear to be original compositions. Among the latter is "Our Native Land," a patriotic verse written in March 1863, and additional poetry dated June 1869. The author wrote one short story in March 1862. An essay, "the Presentiment," consists of recollections of a war-era soldiers' relief society worker and a story respecting a woman's premonition of her own death. Biographical sketches and essays comprise most of the remaining material and are often annotated with small edits. Persons of interest include Horace Walpole, William Cowper, Nassau family members, Michael Faraday, Sir Philip Sidney, Norman Macleod, Dr. John Brown, and Henry of Navarre. Other essays concern the "Besor brook" in Judaea, the rivers of Babylon, and the telegraph.

A financial account between Charles Thompson and Nathaniel L. Thompson, settled in Kennebunk, Maine, on January 1, 1856, is laid into the volume.


Julia Parker diary, 1864-1876 (majority within 1869-1870)

1 volume

Julia Parker kept this diary during a trip from her home in Reading, Massachusetts, to Florida and back between November 1869 and May 1870. The volume also contains Parker's financial records and recipes.

This diary (60 pages) recounts Julia Parker's daily experiences during a trip from her home in Reading, Massachusetts, to Florida and back between November 1869 and May 1870. The volume also contains around 16 pages of financial records pertaining to Parker's income and personal expenses in the mid-1860s, as well as 4 pages of recipes.

The bulk of the volume consists of Parker's "Journal of a winter in the South," regarding a trip she took between November 22, 1869, and May 20, 1870 (pp. 24-83). Parker commenced regular entries around November 29, 1869, after first describing her steamboat voyage from Boston to Savannah, Georgia. From Savannah, Parker traveled to Green Cove Springs, Florida, where she spent most of the season, though she also stayed in or visited Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Tallahassee, Florida. Her daily activities included playing croquet and cards, socializing with other travelers, and mending clothing. She occasionally visited African-American churches (p. 26) and helped care for an ailing African-American man; on one occasion, she mentioned a performance by a medium (p. 41).

In the spring of 1870, Parker left Florida to travel by riverboat up the Mississippi River, by way of the Gulf of Mexico. She discussed the scenery in Louisiana, noting the black workers on plantations (p. 68), and stopped in New Orleans, where she visited relatives' graves at the Giroud Street Cemetery. She continued to travel by riverboat up the Mississippi River and Ohio River to Kentucky and Ohio, where she boarded a train for New Jersey or New York. During this final leg of her journey, Parker attended a lecture by Henry Ward Beecher in New York City (p. 81). The journal concludes with Parker's arrival in Reading on May 20, 1870.

Pages 1-12, 113, and 115-118 contain accounts and other financial records. The first group of accounts pertains to Julia Parker's income, which included wages, and personal expenses, which included charitable donations and purchases of sewing supplies. Page 5 contains a list of clothing items for washing, with the name of Mrs. Tremble of Chillicothe, Ohio. Page 113 concerns money received from the former treasurer of "Reading Rill," and pages 115-118 are comprised of notes regarding United States bonds, dated as late as 1876. Pages 13-16 contain recipes for goods such as break, cakes, pies, puddings, and rolls. One entry concerns the preparation of tomatoes.


Kane family papers, 1798 -1887 (majority within 1851-1866)

230 items

The Kane family papers contain letters from a large family and document various family matters.

The Kane family papers span multiple generations; they include letters, deeds, and miscellaneous documents from various members of the Kane Family and documents the family member’s lives and relationships.

Of the 225 items in this collection 185 are letters, of which 121 are dated between 1851 and 1866. Most of the letters are addressed to Bessie Kane from her brothers Thomas Leiper, Robert Patterson, and John Kintzing, and her sisters-in-law Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood Kane and Mable Bayard Kane. The correspondence also has letters to and from other members of the family and some from Mable Bayard Kane’s family. Also part of the collection, are 10 letters from 1800-1801 addressed to Elisha Kane, Sr.

The letters mostly concern family matters such as sickness, deaths, engagements, marriages, the Presbyterian religion, births, and children.

Approximately 35 letters written by Elizabeth D. Wood Kane, wife of Thomas Leiper Kane, present a portrait of a well educated and well-to-do young woman living in Fort Hamilton, New York. These letters fall primarily between 1851 and 1863 and provide details regarding clothing and fashion, her home and nursery and her feelings regarding the sickness and death of her child, Maggie, who died in 1851. She describes walking down Broadway in search of muslin mantillas, weeping over Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and expresses her concern for her husband, who was serving in the Civil War. In 1852, Elizabeth traveled to Europe and provided descriptions of Liverpool and Paris, which included witnessing the extravagant arrival of Louis Napoleon.

The few letters from Mabel Bayard Kane, husband of John K. Kane, Jr., express her feelings of loneliness, John’s leaving for the Civil War, and her appreciation for the sisterly concern shown by Elizabeth. In addition, the collection contains two letters written by Alida Van Rensselaer (1766-1834), Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother. They are written to her cousin, Jane D. L. Kane in 1819 and 1820 regarding a visit with a dying friend, family news, and reading chemistry with another female friend.

Though the correspondence continues through the Civil War few letters mention the war or the Kane family members participating in it. John Kintzing Kane Jr. wrote five letters while in Cairo, Illinois, serving in the hospital there, and one letter from Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood Kane concerns her husband, Thomas Leiper, resigning from the army.

Of note are the nine letters from John Kintzing Jr. describing his medical studies in Paris in 1857. Two letters from Thomas Leiper describe going west with the Mormons in 1846. Also, one letter of July 1855 is a petition to Judge John Kintzing Kane for three slaves being kept in Pennsylvania to be returned under the fugitive slave law.

The collection includes 14 deeds and memorandum to Elisha Kane dating from 1798-1823, most concerning H.G. Livingston and Oliver Phelps. The correspondence to Elisha Kane, Sr. primarily deals with buying, selling and farming land.

The collection also contains two of Robert Patterson Kane’s calling cards with notes on them from July 1858, a fifteen page pamphlet from 1883 on vaccination entitled “Of the Importance of General Vaccination and the Groundlessness of the Prejudices Against it A paper prepared at the request of the state board of health” by John Kintzing Kane Jr., and poem entitled “Goodbye to Noah’s Ark” by S.W.M. and copied by John Kintzing Kane, dated 1849. A sheet of paper with “Kane v. Bitchett and Livingston v. Kane” written on it and 21 miscellaneous envelopes complete the collection. A few letters from Robert Patterson Kane have pen and ink sketches, and one from John K. Kane has a small sketch of a gravestone.


Latrobe and Roosevelt family collection, 1820-1921

8 items

This collection contains correspondence and other items related to the Latrobe and Roosevelt families, who lived in New York City and Skaneateles, New York, in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

This collection (8 items) contains correspondence and other items related to the Latrobe and Roosevelt families, who lived in New York City and Skaneateles, New York, in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The collection's 5 dated items include 2 letters from Lydia Latrobe Roosevelt to her brother and sister-in-law, John H. B. and Charlotte Latrobe, in which she apologized for her previous inconsistency in writing letters and provided news of her children and of the winter of 1844-1845 (February 22, 1820, and January 25, 1845). Nicholas J. Roosevelt wrote a brief letter to John H. B. Latrobe about the Sellon family's new address following their move to Franker's Grove, Illinois (March 17, 1843). A typed letter attributed to G. A. Cormack, the secretary of the Corinthian Yacht Club of New York, shares the club's condolences after Nicholas Latrobe Roosevelt's death in 1892. The final dated item is an article from Country Life entitled "George Washington: Country Gentleman," which reprints excerpts from Benjamin Henry Latrobe's diary of a visit to Mount Vernon (December 1921, volume 41).

The collection includes 3 undated items. The first is a note regarding a picture of Washington, D.C. The remaining 2 items relate to Nicholas J. Roosevelt's steamboat voyage on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in 1811: a typescript by his great-grandson Henry Latrobe Roosevelt and a manuscript providing a firsthand account of early steamboat travel.


New York Woman's travel journal, 1888-1889

1 volume

The New York Woman's travel journal chronicles two trips undertaken by a woman and her father. In March and April 1888, the pair traveled across the country to New Orleans, and in June 1889 to Scotland and England.

The New York Woman's travel journal chronicles two trips undertaken by a woman and her father. In March and April 1888, the pair traveled across the country to New Orleans (pp. 1-52), and in June 1889 to Scotland and England (pp. 54-93). The cover of the volume bears a silver inlaid illustration entitled "Composition," and opens with the father and daughter embarking on a Pullman car on March 19, 1888, bound for "the West" from Jersey City. During their railroad journey, they traveled through Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, where they remained for a short stopover before heading south. Between St. Louis and Little Rock, their train collided with another vehicle, killing an engineer and delaying their arrival in the Arkansas capital, where they stayed for an additional week. The 12-page narrative of this leg of the trip is colored by anecdotes and descriptions of fellow passengers, and is followed by a lengthy account of the pair's time in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and in New Orleans. In Vicksburg, the tourists made note of Civil War-era caves used during the city's siege, and visited a Civil War cemetery, which the author found profoundly moving. Once in "thoroughly Southern" New Orleans, the writer described in detail the sights and sounds of the city, and frequently mentioned popular tourist destinations; she also noted the "swarms of little darkies" and other African Americans she encountered throughout her time in the city. She and her father left New Orleans on the steamboat Knickerbocker on April 19, and returned to New York via the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast; upon her return, she reflected briefly on the positive impact the trip had on her worldview.

The second portion of the volume is titled "Letters written during our stay in England and Scotland in the summer of 1889," and is about the author's transatlantic voyage from New York to Glasgow on the State of Georgia, and the opening stages of her European adventures. After writing about the pleasant 12-day voyage, the diarist described several sights throughout Scotland, including a detailed depiction of Edinburgh Castle, complete with a brief history of the structure. York was their next destination, and they moved thence by rail to London, where sightseeing resumed in full force. The pair, along with a traveling companion named Leslie, proceeded to take in a thorough tourist's view of London, including several bus trips around the city and the requisite visits to St. Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey. While in Europe, the author often reflected on how easily she was identified as an American, and on local social customs. The volume also recalls a visit to the British Museum to see the Magna Carta (pp. 92-93), but its final entry, dated July 4, 1889, is cut off just as the author catches a glimpse of Queen Victoria at a garden party.


Talcott family papers, 1823-1951 (majority within 1823-1908)

312 items

The papers of the Talcott family of Vernon, Connecticut, and Rockville, Connecticut, are comprised largely of correspondence among various extended family members and friends. Two Talcott women, Martha and Sarah, attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

The collection consists of 312 items:

217 letters, largely to and from the Talcott family;

69 school essays, mostly written by Martha and Sarah Talcott at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary;

2 engravings, of John B. Talcott.

24 miscellaneous items, including the Last Will and Testament of Amelia Talcott, items relating to the family business, and a detailed biographical sketch of John Talcott and his descendants.

Although much of the correspondence concerns the domestic life of the extended Talcott family, twenty-seven of the letters relate to the Talcott women’s education, and the lives and careers of fellow students. Martha Goodrich Robbins (later Talcott) received some level of schooling in the 1820s. In a letter of September 18, 1823, her brother Chauncey gives his view of the subject: "When you are down on your hands and knees, dressed in old tow cloth, weeding onions, it will be of but little service to you to know what are the fashions in New York, or how many parts of speech there are, or whether the earth is round or flat as a toad. It will not make the weeds come up any faster." In spite of this, two of Martha’s daughters attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

One undated letter fragment, from a Mt. Holyoke instructor, Grace Stanton, to Sarah Talcott, describes in detail the reaction of a new student (Sarah Talcott) upon arrival at Mt. Holyoke -- how homesickness and the strangeness of her surroundings were soon transformed into affection and then love for the beautiful landscape, dedicated teachers and schoolmates. A letter (unsigned, dated May 1862) updates the class on current happenings in the lives of several of the women who graduated from Mt. Holyoke, some of whom were actively teaching, others who had married and were raising families, and several who were ill or taking care of ailing family members.

Another letter provides a description of a school mistress as imagined by Mt. Holyoke graduate Mary Perry, and reveals something of the bond that unites these women: "We, who are set apart from the rest of Eve's daughters as the 'Eddicators' of Papa's hopefuls and Mama's darlings. Who are neither married, nor given in marriage, whose black alpaca dresses always bear about a sprinkle of chalk dust -- whose second finger on the right bears the indelible ink stain, whose voices are always pitched on the sharps and minor keys, as being more euphonious to the sensitive ear -- weep for us...every step, motion and breath bespeaks her profession, stern, stiff, staid, prim & precise schoolmistress. This is a picture of our sisterhood, myself included, if the Fates so decree. I whisper amen, and Echo brings back the same word." (June 7, 1870, Lizzie L. to Mattie)

Religion was a strong influence at Mt. Holyoke and often appeared in the letters of its graduates. Mary Mclean wrote to Sarah Talcott, that "there are many who have learned 'the better way' within those hallowed walls, and have gone out from there with hearts devoted to the service of Christ, and vast, vast is the influence they are now exerting in this world of ours." (November 26, 1852) Another Mt. Holyoke classmate, deterred by ill health from pursuing a teaching career, resigned herself to passive endurance: "I doubt not, however, that I have a lesson to learn that could be learned in no other way; may God grant to be my instructor in this matter." (Mary Fitch to Sarah Talcott, December 21, 1858) Two undated letters refer to a prayer association, of which Martha Talcott is a member, formed of mothers and children in search of divine protection in the face of the ever-present threat of serious illness and early death.

The school essays reveal the thoughts of intelligent mid-nineteenth century young women on subjects of historic, religious, moral, and scientific interest, as well as descriptions of contemporary events. Many are mature reflections, written by Martha and Sarah Talcott in their late teens and twenties.

Only scattered references mention the family business, the Civil War, or other political or economic issues of the period. Domestic matters carry the day: family visits, illness and death, poultry reports, and the making of molasses candy (Martha Talcott school essay, March 3, 1866), to mention a few.