The John Morin Scott family papers (3.25 linear feet) are made up of correspondence, legal and financial documents, and other items related to multiple generations of the Scott family, including New York City lawyer John Morin Scott; his son, Lewis Allaire Scott; and his grandson, John Morin Scott, mayor of Philadelphia from 1841-1844.
The collection's personal correspondence (approximately 750 items, 1767-1889) is comprised primarily of letters between John Morin Scott and Mary Emlen Scott (whom Scott often addressed as "Bonny") from 1816 to the 1850s. During business trips to cities such as Harrisburg and Easton, Pennsylvania, John Morin Scott discussed his legal career, his work in the state legislature, political issues, and personal news; Mary Emlen Scott wrote about her life in Philadelphia. John Morin Scott also received letters from his children and from individuals respecting his term as Philadelphia mayor. Other correspondence includes an early series of letters to Mayor Richard Varick of New York City.
Lewis A. Scott's correspondence (132 items, 1868-1893) relates to the Scott family genealogy. Lewis A. Scott corresponded with family members about their ancestors and wrote to authors and publishing houses about printed accounts of the family lineage. Some letters pertain to Scott's attempts to locate documents about his early ancestors.
The collection's legal correspondence, documents, and financial records (approximately 800 items, 1764-1893) regard property, finances, and the legal affairs and estates of the Scotts and related families. John Morin Scott's legal correspondence (333 items, 1812-1844) contains business letters to Scott about court procedures, decisions, and financial matters. At least one item mentions a reward offered for the return of a captured slave (May 20, 1822). Documents include legal and financial contracts and agreements, financial accounts, bank checks, indentures, letters, and estate administration papers. Many items concern property in New York and one small group pertains to Revolutionary War surgeon Charles McKnight.
One small account book tracks the owner's expenses, and includes notes about the author's travels and activities, around 1850. A notebook contains a list of the Scott family silver in Mary Emlen's possession in 1874.
The papers include 19 surveyors' maps for land in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and other locations. Many of the surveys relate to members of the Scott family and allied families; some pertain to Philadelphia real estate. Three undated survey notebooks pertain to land in "Orange County" and "Deer Park," and include notes about deeds and surveys conducted in these areas.
Genealogical materials (47 items, [1887-1891]) largely concern members of the Scott family and they include essays, extracts from published histories, notebooks, loose notes, a family tree, and applications for the Pennsylvania Sons of the American Revolution. At least 2 items relate to the Emlen family. Sketches of two coats of arms are accompanied by descriptions.
Printed items include 2 advertisements for genealogical and historical works, Mary Scott's reprinted will, a poem by W. T. Meredith titled "Ancrum's Cross," and 12 newspaper clippings. The clippings are obituaries and biographical articles about the younger John Morin Scott, including an account of an assassination attempt during his term as mayor of Philadelphia (1843).