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Family Correspondence and Documents, 1827-1923

 Series 1

This series contains correspondence, a legal inventory and distribution list for the personal estate of John P. Hamilton, and bills and receipts for schooling expenses. The earliest letters were written by Nancy Hamilton to her husband, John, presumable while she was undergoing treatment for an illness and was separated from her home and family. The bulk of this series consists of letters daughter Lizzie and sons John E., Samuel Henry, and G. P. (George) sent to their parents from their respective schools. Also included are student report statements and bills for tuition and fees from officials at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Mount de Sales Academy in Baltimore County. Other correspondents include a niece, Susan A. Hill, of Washington, D. C., and Elizabeth B. Hawkins, probably a relative of John Hamilton's third wife, Mary Emily Hawkins Hamilton. An additional set of ten letters was written between May and November 1909 by Rebekah M. Wilmer to F. Hill Hamilton, then a student at Mount St. Mary's College.

Major topics discussed in the letters include Catholic education in the mid-nineteenth century; health concerns; the Hamilton children's homesickness and desire for more news, packages, and visits from home; shortage of funds; and references to events in the large world, including the Civil War, Georgetown College at the time of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and farming and immigration in southern Illinois. The Wilmer letters describe her life as a teacher in Charles County, Maryland, sporting events in the community, and her eagerness to be home with her family. She describes her life and local events, including a prank she and a friend played, and frequently mentions her eagerness to see Hamilton on his next visit home.

The last two items in this series are legal documents regarding the appraisal, inventory, and distribution of the personal estate of John P. Hamilton (1848-1923), the son of John Hamilton.

Arrangement is chronological.


  • 1827-1923

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.


56 Items

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742