Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Peet Family Papers, 1789-1831

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, 2010

Summary Information
Title: Peet family papers
Creator: Peet family
Inclusive dates: 1789-1831
Bulk dates: 1807-1813
Extent: 33 items
The Peet family papers contain correspondence and documents relating to everyday life in New England, politics, and the War of 1812.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1970. M-1509.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Peet Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The Peet family papers are arranged into two series: Correspondence, and Documents and Financial Records.


Samuel Wildman Peet was born July 30, 1750, in Stratford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Peet (1720-1789) and Sarah Wildman. In 1771, he married Lucy Bostwick (1753-1832). They had eight children: Ebenezer (b. 1772), Samuel (1774-1813), Elijah (b. 1777), Luna (1781-1810), Riley (b. 1787), David (b. 1788), Judson (b. 1790), and Don Carlos (b. 1793).

In 1806, Luna married Anson Joseph Sperry (1784-1830), who served two terms as a state's attorney for Vermont, and in 1819 was appointed brigade judge advocate of the 42nd Brigade of Infantry of New York.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Peet family papers contain 27 letters, 3 legal documents, and 3 financial records, dating from 1789-1831, though the correspondence covers only 1807-1813. Don Carlos ("Carle") Peet, Luna Peet Sperry, and Anson J. Sperry wrote the bulk of the correspondence from Manchester, Vermont, to their father, Samuel Peet, and brother, Roily Peet, in New Milford, Connecticut. The letters primarily concern family news, including accounts of Luna's declining health prior to her death in 1810, purchase of land, and the birth of children. In a letter of February 12, 1812, Carle Peet noted Anson Sperry's remarriage and described his new wife. In other letters, he described everyday activities, such as farming and clothes-making.

Two of the letters concern politics and the War of 1812. In the first, August 16, 1812, Carle noted the organization of a volunteer company in Manchester, and criticized it as "nothing more than an out side show of pretended patriotism," and its captain as elderly and overweight. In the second letter, he described elections for Congress and expressed disillusionment with the outcomes (December 20, 1812). Anson Sperry wrote the final letter in the collection (September 20, 1813), in which he pleaded to Samuel W. Peet to assist his sick son, Carle.

The Documents and Financial Records series contains six items. The first two documents, dated December 10, 1789, and June 26, 1791, assured payment by Joseph Peet to Samuel W. and Elnathan Peet for support of their widowed mother, Sarah, and allowed her use of specific areas of Joseph Peet's home. Also included are receipts for the sale of a parcel of land in 1799 and for state taxes paid by Samuel W. Peet in 1809, as well as a record of the distribution of Sarah Averill's estate. The link between the latter item and the Peet family is unclear.

Subject Terms

    • Death.
    • Family life.
    • Manchester (Vt.)
    • New Milford, (Conn.)
    • Peet, Samuel.
    • United States--History--War of 1812.
    • Vermont--History.
    • Vermont--Politics and government--1775-1865.
    • Peet, Don Carlos, b. 1793.
    • Sperry, Anson Joseph, 1784-1830.
    • Sperry, Luna Peet, 1781-1810.
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    • Legal documents.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   44, Small Collections Folders   36-47
     October 4, 1807-September 20, 1813
    Documents and Financial Records [series]
    Box   44, Small Collections Folders   48-49
     May 26, 1789-July 10, 1831