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Reuben Gilder papers

 Collection 0187-MDHC
Little is known concerning the details of the life of Reuben Gilder, other than various accounts of his military service during the War of 1812 in the Fort Niagara, Canada, theater of war, along with selected subsequent experiences in the capacity of a retired military man and unsuccessful merchant in Baltimore during the 1810s and 1820s. Reuben Gilder married an Eliza Mary Hughes in Baltimore on February 17, 1819. According to Gilder's own accounts, he and his wife had at least one son, possibly named Columbus Franklin Gilder. Court records show that Reuben Gilder and his wife were granted a divorce on February 12, 1836. Gilder attempted a life in national politics, as evident from his application for the position of Doorkeeper (today Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper) of the U. S. Senate, which he failed to obtain. Gilder also suffered from various post-war ailments and health problems. The papers of Reuben Gilder consist of twenty-six letters written by Gilder to his former military comrade, Isaac Dutton Barnard, between 1815 and 1822. Subjects covered in the correspondence include: former military comrades, acquaintances, and experiences related to the War of 1812 in Canadian territory; military conflict with the Creek tribes of Native Americans; a variety of contemporaneous political matters and figures, including those in the local, national, and international arenas; and family, business, and health matters. Another, separate letter included in the papers was written by Reuben Gilder's wife, Eliza M. Gilder, in 1823. This letter is an urgent appeal to Isaac D. Barnard for his written recommendation for a military disability pension on behalf of her husband, Reuben Gilder. In a final, type-faced document of 1828, Reuben Gilder himself, Isaac D. Barnard, and the unknown individuals N. Towson and George Gibson all write on behalf of Reuben Gilder's ultimately unsuccessful quest to become Doorkeeper of the U. S. Senate.

Dates

  • 1815-1827
  • Majority of material found within 1815-1823

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Extent

0.08 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of Reuben Gilder consist of twenty-six letters written by Gilder to his former military comrade, Isaac Dutton Barnard, between 1815 and 1822. Subjects covered in the correspondence include: former military comrades, acquaintances, and experiences related to the War of 1812 in Canadian territory; military conflict with the Creek tribes of Native Americans; a variety of contemporaneous political matters and figures, including those in the local, national, and international arenas; and family, business, and health matters.

Another, separate letter included in the papers was written by Reuben Gilder's wife, Eliza M. Gilder, in 1823. This letter is an urgent appeal to Isaac D. Barnard for his written recommendation for a military disability pension on behalf of her husband, Reuben Gilder. In a final, type-faced document of 1827, Reuben Gilder himself, Isaac D. Barnard, and the unknown individuals N. Towson and George Gibson all write on behalf of Reuben Gilder's ultimately unsuccessful quest to become Doorkeeper of the U. S. Senate.

Biography

Little is known concerning the details of the life of Reuben Gilder, other than various accounts of his military service during the War of 1812, along with selected subsequent experiences, as gleaned from this collection, in the capacity of a retired military man and merchant in Baltimore during the 1810s and 1820s. Gilder's birthplace and birth and death dates are unknown. An examination of genealogical and Maryland court records reveals that Reuben Gilder married an Eliza Mary Hughes in Baltimore on February 17, 1819. According to Gilder's own accounts, he and his wife had at least one son, possibly named Columbus Franklin Gilder. Court records also show that Reuben Gilder and his wife were granted a divorce by the General Assembly of Maryland on February 12, 1836, but the cause of the divorce, or even which party initiated the divorce proceedings, is unknown.

Gilder served with the 14th Regiment of the U. S. Army, composed of Maryland members, during the War of 1812 in the Fort Niagara, Canada, theater of war. After a brief post-war stint in the U. S. Army, Gilder resigned in order to become a merchant of an unknown business in Baltimore, where he apparently met with little financial success. He also attempted a life in national politics, as evident from his application for the position of Doorkeeper (today Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper) of the U. S. Senate, which he failed to obtain. Gilder also suffered from various post-war ailments, which he attributed to his military service, and a letter from his wife describes his various bouts with apparent seizures and difficulties with what was generically described as "rheumatism.

Arrangement

The collection is organized as one series.
Series 1
Correspondence

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased this collection from Charles Apfelbaum in August 1996.

Related Material

There are four letters written by Isaac Dutton Barnard to various individuals, 1818-1831, at the Dickinson College Library in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There are approximately one hundred letters of Isaac Dutton Barnard to various individuals in two collections of the Townsend Washington papers, 1820-1858, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are eight letters of Isaac Dutton Barnard to various individuals in several collections, 1816, 1826-1829, at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Processing Information

The letters were placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box.
Title
Guide to the Reuben Gilder Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by J. Henry Allen, Jr.
Date
2003-08-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742
301-405-9212