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Leonard Smallwood papers

 Collection 0399-MDHC

Joseph Leonard Smallwood was born in 1811 in Charles County, Maryland. He lived and worked on the family farm until the age of 24 when he moved to Alabama. Smallwood married Rebecca Gibson in 1836 and relocated to St. Joseph, Florida. Joseph and Rebecca continued to move for the majority of their lives.


  • August 20, 1856 - May 14, 1929
  • Majority of material found within 1858-1874

Physical Description

Both journals have loose pages, broken bindings, and evidence of past water damage.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder. Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


1.5 Linear Feet (1 flat oversize box) ; 9" x13"

Scope and Contents

The Leonard Smallwood papers cover the period from 1856 to 1929; the bulk of the materials date from 1858 to 1864. The collection consists of two bound journals, personal papers, correspondence, and clippings. The papers and correspondence are related to the familial history of the Smallwood and Gibson families. The papers in the William Marbury Smallwood journal include detailed records of the travels of Joseph Leonard Smallwood from Charles County, Maryland to Florida and eventually to New York. Included in the journal are minutes of the Office of the Lighthouse Board dated February 13, 1861. Additionally included are an obituary for Nehemiah Tilton Sr., William W. Gibson and a copied letter from General Fairbanks dated June 15, 1861.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Leonard Smallwood was born on February 1, 1811 in Charles County, Maryland to a prominent farming family.

Smallwood’s father, Daniel Smallwood, was a planter and agriculturalist in Charles County. Daniel Smallwood married Mary Catherine Rebecca Banker and had three children: Joseph Leonard, William (born October 14, 1804), and Mary (born October 23, 1812). However, Joseph Leonard was the only child to survive until adulthood.

The Smallwood family of Maryland has marital links to other prominent Maryland families including the Tiltons, Gibsons, Harwoods, and the Keys.


This collection is organized into a single series.

Series 1: Journals and Correspondence

Custodial History

The Leonard Smallwood papers were donated to the University of Maryland by Rebecca Folman in October 2017.

Related Materials

Emory, M. E. (1900). Colonial Families and Their Descendants. Press of the Sun.

Physical Description

Both journals have loose pages, broken bindings, and evidence of past water damage.

Processing Information

Both journals were placed into a single oversized acid free box with acid free tissue. The locket was placed into a small acid free box and that box was placed in the same box as the journals. The journals were processed as follows: William Marbury Smallwood: 3 metal pins were removed and placed into plastic re-sealable archival collection bag. Three newspaper clippings were photocopied onto archival paper and sleeved into Mylar “L” protective sheets. The smaller newspaper clippings were returned to their original location inside the journal and the larger clipping was removed and the location was marked with acid-free paper.

Manette Smallwood: 8 letters were photocopied onto archival paper and sleeved into Mylar “L” protective sheets. The locations of the letters have been indicated with acid-free paper. All of the photocopies and Mylar sheets were placed beneath the journals in the same box.

The Leonard Smallwood papers were originally processed in October 2017. All metal pins were removed. All newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper, and the originals were placed in Mylar “L” sleeves.

Guide to the Leonard Smallwood papers
Processed by Mark Coulbourne.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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

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