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The Sellman Family papers span the years 1828 through 1938 with the bulk of the material dating between 1850 and 1865 and 1886 and 1892. The collection contains several generations of Sellman family and business correspondence, bills and receipts, guardianship documents, handwriting exercises, household and farm account books, and diaries. Subjects covered include daily life, farm management, the cholera epidemic in Grand Gulf, Mississippi, treatment of the people the Sellman family enslaved, sale of crops in Baltimore, the education of the Sellman children at home and at St. John's College in Annapolis, and the illnesses and deaths of family members.
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2.50 Linear Feet
John Henry Sellman (I) was born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on June 27, 1806, and died on July 11, 1851. He was the son of Anne Elizabeth Harwood (1768-1824) and Jonathan Sellman (1753-1810), an officer in the Maryland Militia during the Revolutionary War. John Henry (I) was a physician, a tax collector, and farmer who married his first cousin, Lucinda Margaret Harwood (I) (1812-1866) on November 8, 1836. Lucinda was the daughter of Benjamin Harwood (1783-1835) and Henrietta Maria Battee (1787-1819).
John Henry Sellman (I) and Lucinda Harwood (I) had eight children: John Henry "Henry" (II) (1837-1892), Anne Elizabeth "Nannie" (1841-1879), Lucinda Margaret (1843-1891), twins Alice (1845-1920) and Lydia (1845-1924), Ellen (1847-1929), Francis "Frank" (b.1849), and Richard Battee (1851-1912). The family home, Clifton, in Davidsonville, Maryland, consisted of more than 200 acres planted with corn, wheat, and tobacco. Most of the crops were harvested and sent to Baltimore for sale to brokers. All of the children except Frank remained in Maryland. Frank moved to New York City where he was a salesman for Fayerweather & Ladew, a large leather manufacturing business. Following John Henry's (I) death in 1851, his wife, Lucinda (I), took over management of Clifton. Her nephew, Frank H. Stockett (1821-1897), an Annapolis lawyer, helped to manage the business accounts. Upon Lucinda's death in 1866, her son, Henry (II), assumed control of the farm. Henry married Sophia Stockett (I) (1839-September 11, 1888), and they had six children: Lucinda Margaret “Lucy” (II) (1866-1951), Sophia (1868-1871), John Henry “Harry” (III) (1869-?), Sophia (II) (1873-1918), Mary (1875-1875), and Francis Stockett “Stock” (1878-1903). As with the previous generation, all the children remained in Maryland except one, Harry. By September 1886, Harry worked as a salesman with his uncle Frank for Fayerweather & Ladew in New York City and lived in Brooklyn and later Manhattan. In 1891-92 he corresponded with Blanche L. Hayberger (1872-1931), whom he later married. He was the only sibling to marry. After Henry’s (II) death on July 6, 1892, his daughter, Lucinda (II), became responsible for Clifton. Many members of the family are buried in the cemetery at All Hallows' Parish Church (Episcopal) near Davidsonville, Maryland.
First cousins John Henry Sellman (I) and Lucinda Harwood Sellman (I) were members of large and extended families long resident in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Intermarriage between the Harwood and Sellman families was common. Anne Elizabeth Harwood Sellman and Benjamin Harwood were the children of Richard Harwood (1738-1826), whose second wife was Lucinda "Lucy" Harwood Battee (1767-September 5, 1835), a cousin. Prior to her marriage to Richard in 1806, Lucy was married to John Battee (1767-1803) whose aunt, Elizabeth Battee, was married to Jonathan Sellman, John Henry's grandfather. At her death Lucy was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of Richard's and Lucy's daughters was Lucretia Margaret (1807-1863) who married Edward Wellmore in 1834.
Eleanor D. Sellman (b. 1808) was born in 1808 to Susannah Smoot (1770-1850) and Thomas Sellman (1772-1818). Thomas Sellman and John Henry Sellman (1806-1851) were distantly related – their great grandfathers were brothers. Eleanor D. Sellman and Thomas Sellman had six children, Harriet Hall (1836-1878), Margaret Hall (b. 1838), Thomas Sellman Hall (1842-1922), Mary Hall (b. 1845), Sophia Hall (b. 1846) and William Hall (b. 1855).
The J. Inglehart writing to his cousin, Eleanor Hall, in 1830 is probably either John Inglehart (1788-1870) or his brother James Inglehart (1790-1874), the sons of Ann Sellmen (1755-1835) and James Iglehart (1752-1825). Ann Sellmen was the sister of Eleanor's father, Thomas Sellman.
Additionally, Lucinda Harwood Sellman's great-grandparents, Thomas Harwood (1723-1806) and Rachel Sprigg (1733-1808) were the grandparents of Thomas Sellman's first wife, Elizabeth Sellman (b. 1778). Some letters are addressed to Susan Sellman, possibly Susannah (Smoot) Sellman (1770-1850) – Eleanor's mother, who lived at or near Tracy's Landing in Anne Arundel county from at least 1823 to 1850.
Alexander Sellman (1824-1904) owned a general merchandise brokerage with William T. Foster in Baltimore, beginning in 1870. He was also distantly related to John Henry Sellman. John Henry's great grandfather (William Sellman (1689-1743) was Alexander's great great grandfather.
A Sellman, Harwood, and Hall family tree is available under the Inventories/Additional Information tab.
This collection organized into three series.
The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Sellman Family papers from Carmen D. Valentino, a rare books and manuscripts dealer, in 2006 and again in 2012. The Libraries received 18 more letters written by the extended Sellman family as a gift in September 2014 from Margaret Hall Hornbaker. The letter by Alex Sellman was transferred from the Performing Arts Library in 2015.
The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives