This collection contains a group of business-related letters, addressed to a Pleasant Hunter, mainly from correspondents in Annapolis and Baltimore. Hunter was active in local politics and was the county sheriff of Baltimore County for many years. Also includes letters addressed to Sheriff Hunter's daughter, Laura ("Lida") Hunter in which the women describe their families, personal relationships and jobs.
The collection is open for research.
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.
The Pleasant Hunter Family papers date from 1852 to 1890 and consist primarily of personal correspondence between Pleasant Hunter's daughter, Eliza ("Lida") Hunter, and her cousins and friends, dating from 1860 to 1870. Also included is other family correspondence, including letters to Pleasant Hunter and his wife, Margaret. Topics covered include daily activities, weather, places visited, illnesses, weddings, births, and deaths. A portion of the collection documents Pleasant Hunter's business and political activities, primarily dealing with financial matters. Correspondents include Joshua Frederick ("Fred") Cockey Talbott, U. S. Congressman from Maryland.
Pleasant Hunter was born in Maryland in 1810 and lived his adult life in Baltimore County in the area of Parkton and Wiseburg along York Road. He was a farmer, an innkeeper, a Baltimore County sheriff (1853), a member of the Board of County Commissioners (1851-1852 and 1875-1876), and a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly (1860-1861). During the 1850s he also collected taxes and other monies. In 1875 he ran on the "Potato Bug" ticket, a third party comprised of Republicans and Democrats who wanted a change in the county Democratic leadership.
In 1839 Pleasant Hunter married Margaret Smyser (b.1820) at the Saint James Protestant Parish, Baltimore. Between 1841 and 1866, Pleasant and Margaret produced nine children. Their son, Pleasant, who was born in 1855, became a clergyman who married and subsequently moved to Minnesota. Peter (b.1841) was a farmer; Thomas (b. 1845) a lawyer; and Silas (b.1849) a physician. All three married and settled in Baltimore County. The oldest daughter, Eliza (b.1843), also known as "Lida," was educated at Linden Hall Seminary in Lititz, Pennsylvania. She died of consumption on April 18, 1872. Clara lived and died in the 1850s. Maggie Eloise (b.1866) died at age seven on January 16, 1873, of scarlet fever. Mary (b.1847) and Laura (b.1857) were living with their parents in 1870; in 1880 only Laura was still at home.
Pleasant Hunter died at his home in Wiseburg on May 2, 1894. Three sons (Thomas, Silas, and Pleasant) and one daughter (possibly Laura), and several grandchildren survived him. In 2001, the Baltimore County Council placed the Pleasant Hunter House and Smokehouse at 18213 York Road, Parkton, on its Landmarks List.
The collection is organized into two series:
The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Pleasant Hunter Family papers from Carmen D. Valentino, a rare books and manuscripts dealer, in 1996.
The materials were placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box. One item, a flyer from the Central Congregational Church, was added to the Maryland Manuscripts collection as MDMS 5493.