The papers of the Marquis de Castellane include brief, but significant documentation of French naval and military activity during the American Revolution. The manuscripts are comprised of miscellaneous items extracted from the papers of the Castellane family in France by a bookdealer.
Authorship of the Castellane documents has not been positively determined, however it is likely that they can be safely attributed to Henri César, marquis de Castellane Majastre. Castellane Majastre commanded the Marseillais in de Grasse's squadron in 1781 and 1782, and the collection includes commissions and legal documents relating to Castellane Majastre and his family. He may have kept some of these journals, or may have copied them from his fellow officers.
The collection includes two cahiers dealing with the siege of Yorktown (61 pp.); a description of the Battle of Saints' Passage (Battle of Îles des Saintes), April 9-12, 1782, (5 pp.); a notebook on route the French army took in traveling from Rhode Island to Yorktown and during their return to France (7 pp.); and a journal of the siege of Yorktown with brief descriptions of De Grasse's naval campaigns (41 pp.). While these are not extensive, they include some fine descriptions of the engagements, leavened on occasion with observations on the people and scenery.
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).
2 linear feet
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
0.75 linear feet
The Abel Hyde account book contains 41 pages of double-entry bookkeeping records for Hyde's carpentry work for, and transactions with, individuals in Lebanon and Franklin, Connecticut, between 1800 and 1822. The volume also includes a 22-page narrative entitled "Chronicles of Agawam," about theological disagreements in Massachusetts among the followers of John Calvin, Roger Williams, and Emanuel Swedenborg.
Abel Hyde's account book documents his financial affairs throughout the early 19th century, with most records dated between 1800 and 1821. As a wheelwright, he often repaired or made wagon wheels, though he built other wooden items, such as plows and a "cheese press" (p. 41). Hyde also performed manual labor tasks, such as haying and other farm work, and he often traded his services for food items, including potatoes, meal, apples, fish, meats, and alcohol. Two pages of additional financial accounts are laid into the volume. Abel Hyde's accounts appear on facing pages numbered 18-58; the first pages are absent. Three later pages at the back of the volume document Charles Pettis's work on Abel Hyde's barn.
The final 22 pages are comprised of an undated narrative entitled "Chronicles of Agawam," composed in a chapter/verse format. It concerns theological disagreements among Christian sects in Massachusetts during America's colonial period. John Calvin, Roger Williams, and Emanuel Swedenborg feature prominently.
The Abigail Allen family papers contain 8 letters written to Allen by various family members, who discussed the economic impact of the Panic of 1837, 19th-century education, and social news from New Haven, Connecticut. Abigail knew several teachers, who shared information about their schools, including recent lectures; they also remarked about the education of Abigail's younger sister. Her father, James Brewster, mentioned his business affairs several times, including the "dreadful conflagration which we have experienced," which destroyed much of his shop's stock (March 1, 1836). In another letter, he described the economic mood of New Haven just prior to the Panic of 1837, and told Abigail, "It is awful times here, there have been a great many failures" (May 5, 1837). Abigail's mother echoed the sentiments, but concentrated her letters more on family news and on domestic updates about mutual friends, including a discussion about a difficult local birth (May 11, 1837). The letters depict social and economic life in New Haven in the late 1830s.
The final letter in the collection, by Joseph B., relates a lengthy tale about being attached by "a party of Robbers & assassins." The writer walked though a wood near his uncle Lester's farm is near a forest, when he was attacked. " … a party of Robbers & assassins surrounded me … Instead of presenting their pistols to my throat & demanding my purse as I often heard they did--they attacked me with daggers--plainly shewing their object my blood & not my purse." He tried to resist but the group of three robbers had reinforcements, which caused him to flee. He fell in the swamp and sustained injuries from the robbers' knives before nearby farm hands heard his cries for help. In a postscript, Joseph B. reveals his jest when he states that the suspect of the crime "is discovered to be one of that murderous gang, so celebrated in both novels & [?] as the New Rochelle musquitoe" (September 4, 1838).
The Abigail Clark Farley collection is made up of approximately 150 pages of essays, poetry, letters, and fiction that Farley wrote around the 1860s and 1870s. Some individual items contain more than one work, and she occasionally practiced decorated penmanship. The lengthiest item is a story entitled "Slander," a 52-page work (pages 5-8 are not present), and other essays or letters are as long as 4 pages. Though most items are attributed to Abigail Clark (later Abigail Farley), some are excerpts from other sources, such as "The Narative of Lewis Clark" [sic].
Around the time of the Civil War, Farley wrote essays expressing her opposition to slavery and her feelings about the war's high death toll. In many letters, poems, and essays, she commented on Seventh-day Adventism, various religious and moral topics, and friendship. Other essays and copied poems concern nature and the geography of Wisconsin. A group of elegiac poems are accompanied by genealogical notes. The collection includes a brief biographical note about Queen Victoria.
Abigail Farley's letters include an item written under a male pseudonym chastising a female acquaintance for unbecoming behavior (October 7, 1865) and a letter to Ellen G. White about her new husband's abusive behavior (March 28, 1871). One manuscript concerns a prophecy that came to Quaker minister Joseph Hoag. Small ink drawings of birds appear on one page of poems. One item documents partial terms for Abigail Clark's employment as a penmanship instructor. The collection includes recipes for lemon pies, rheumatic drops, several kinds of cake, and nerve ointment.
The Abner H. Cheever papers are comprised of 19 letters to and from Abner H. Cheever, an early migrant to Indiana, his sister, Thankful, and brother-in-law, Captain John Webster, of Vermont. The collection includes letters written during Cheever's trip to Indiana via Kentucky in 1816-17, and contains accounts of the hardships the family faced when settling in Vernon, Geneva, and Jennings Counties in the southeast corner of the state. Cheever describes various misfortunes, such as family sickness, the death of his wife Polly, and personal vendettas waged against them by relatives. He often writes of God's role in his life; in an undated letter, Cheever writes of the death of his wife Polly: "I feel that God is Chastising me for my disobedience and hope and pray that I might not turn a deaf ear to His call.”