The Aaron H. Ingraham papers contain 12 letters from a Union soldier to his parents and sisters from 1861 to 1862, while he served in the 48th New York Infantry. In them, he provided a description of his daily activities and responsibilities, and included basic information on troop movements. As Ingraham traveled from Camp Sherman in Washington D.C. to Annapolis, Maryland, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Camp Perry at Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, and finally to Fort Pulaski, Georgia, he described each of these settings. For instance, he reported that Annapolis was "a mere nothing, the houses being of inferior size and quality. The streets narrow and running in every direction but straight and there is naut of life and activity which makes it seem like anything but a northern city." In a letter to his sister, he mentioned a conversation with a free African American woman in Annapolis about her children whom had been taken north (October 17, 1861). Later letters concern the fortifications of Hilton Head and the effectiveness of mail delivery to the forts. Though he often described the monotonous life of a soldier, and complained about poor food and his lack of money, he used his keen sense of observation to highlight interesting events in the forts. The January 20, 1862, letter provides a wonderful account of eating at the fort and his excitement about receiving ginger snaps and bread in the mail. In this letter he also mentioned a friend who drowned after walking over the side of a boat in his sleep. Letters from November 29, 1861, and February 12, 1862, both recount instances of friendly fire. Ingraham wrote the letter of March 30, 1862, from Fort Pulaski, just after the Union captured the fort. He reported a rumor that Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops, but he believed the rumors unfounded. While he held strong anti-Confederate views, he was not an abolitionist. In the final letter in the collection, he noted that slavery should simply be allowed to die out or at least contained in current slave territories.
The letter from January 9, 1862, has a red and blue patriotic engraved image of a woman carrying an American flag.
Montesquiou's 'journal' is not a standard travel account: it goes beyond pure description to include discussions of the philosophy and the history, the people and government of the nation. The journal appears to have been written following the Abbé's return to France with internal evidence suggesting 1798 as the most likely date. Perhaps because of the time that had elapsed between his voyage and its writing, the journal includes as many opinions on his experiences in North America as it does actual description of what he has seen. Montesquiou is naturally analytical in his writing style, and he has a penchant for 'augmenting' his personal observations with views and opinions that appear to have been culled from written sources. Thus his discussion of the Philadelphia Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 contains information that may have been derived from the opinions of contemporary scientists, and his discussions of the relative merits of monarchy and democracy are sufficiently generic that the American context seems almost incidental.
Montesquiou is generally an unsympathetic observer of the young United States; while he appreciates the scenery and the productivity of the nation he is strongly critical of the hypocrisy of 'Republican' slaveholders, of the nation's leaders -- particularly Washington and Jefferson. While he admires the Philadelphia prison system, he is repelled by what he considers the crass, ultra-capitalist sensibilities of Americans. Among the more interesting aspects of the 'journal' are his extended discussions of the prison system and a theory of crime and punishment, slavery, the American character, and democracy and monarchy.
2 linear feet
The Abbot family papers consist of letters written to Charles Abbot from his family in Warren, Rhode Island. The majority of the letters are from his wife Marcia, but letters from his parents and friends are also part of the collection.
The letters primarily describe the lives of Marcia and others living in Warren, including news and events, parties and entertainments, and social gatherings with friends and the local elite. What is best documented in this collection is the development and education of the Abbots' daughter Grace. Marcia writes about her involvement as a parent (such as what to read to Grace), and Grace's activities, and sends her daughter's drawings or short notes with many of the letters. Abbot's service and the news about the United States Army are occasionally mentioned.
Included with the correspondence in this collection are numerous drawings by Grace, a few newspaper clippings of local interest, and 6 cyanotypes. The theme of most of the photographs is a Fourth of July parade, two of which include Grace (with letters of Apr. 11, 1903 and July 10, 1898). Also included are two faded images of Grace with a violin (with letter of May 29, 1903).
This collection is made up of letters by Amos Lawrence (1786-1852), his son Amos Adams Lawrence (1814-1886), and his brother Abbott Lawrence (1792-1855). One engraved portrait of Abbott Lawrence and a letter by S. K. Lothrop acknowledging the death of Abbott Lawrence completes the collection. The Lawrences addressed subjects such as Henry Clay, the National Republican Party, education and schools, cotton mills, and national finance. Later items pertain to Amos Adams Lawrence's business affairs, including the construction of railroads in Massachusetts. A printed obituary for the elder Amos Lawrence is pasted into one letter (January 6, 1836). For more information on each item, see the Detailed Box and Folder Listing.
0.75 linear feet
The Abbott family papers consist primarily of the correspondence of aspiring vocalist Bessie Abbott, written to her parents and other family members in the early 20th century.
The Correspondence series makes up the bulk of the collection, and covers the years 1881-1922. The earliest letters in the collection originated from a variety of Abbott family members and acquaintances. Of particular interest is an item describing Bessie and Stanley's time in a tent city in Coronado, Mexico (June 19, 1907). After 1912, Bessie was the primary correspondent, and in her letters she discussed aspects her life during her late 20s. In the personal, richly detailed letters from 1912-1914, Bessie described her time in Brooklyn, New York, where she studied with a vocal coach. In 1913, she took a vacation to Washington, D. C. for the Wilson inauguration, and, while there, injured her hand and, as a result, initiated an unsuccessful insurance dispute. After her return to California in 1914, Bessie wrote more frequently about her health and, after a subsequent move to Hawaii, her continued professional success. Following her stint in Hawaii, Bessie's correspondence focused more heavily on business interests, and, in a late series of letters written in the early 1920s, she wrote about her travels throughout southeast Asia, including visits to the Philippines and to Saigon.
Other correspondents represented in the collection include Will Abbott, Bessie's brother; Stanley Howland, Bessie's husband; and Tracy and Linnie Abbott, Bessie's parents.
- A photograph of an unidentified man, taken by Eduard Glaubach in Greifswald, Germany, on March 10, 1880
- A Christmas card, signed by Billy Warren
- A program from a music recital in Honolulu, Hawaii