Elisabeth Barnett Fisher papers  1858-1916 (bulk 1858-1864)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Elisabeth Barnett Fisher Papers consist of 63 letters to Elisabeth Fisher, 25 financial records, two photographs, 13 ephemeral items, and eight miscellaneous items.

The primary correspondents of the letters in the Correspondence Series are: Gabriel G. Barnett (brother), Hester Ann Barr (sister), Mary A. Hochstetler (sister), Caroline Barnett (sister), Cal M. Barnett (sister), Sarah Barnett (sister-in-law), David D. Barnett (brother), Susannah Fair (sister), E.H. Barnett (sister-in-law), Sarah Ann Senff (cousin), and Jacob Barnett (father). The majority of the 63 letters in the collection were written during the Civil War by family members (48) and friends (15). With the exception of 19 letters from her brother, Gabriel G. Barnett, and 7 letters from her sister, Hester Ann Barr, no other correspondent wrote more than 5 letters; consequently, the subject matter in the collection is very diverse. However, the most common themes throughout the correspondence are family news and finances, fashion, religion, courtship, marriages, deaths, and attitudes and opinions about the Civil War. The solders letters are typically brief and primarily consist of descriptions of camp life. Several of the letters from home include patriotic exhortations; one describes a patriotic rally and another reveals the anti-Lincoln sentiments of an 1860 Democrat. The letters also demonstrated the economic hardships the family suffered as a result of the war.

The Financial Papers Series includes tax bills, receipts, and records of Elisabeth's bills paid for by her son, Erwin G. Barnett, successor to his father’s harness business.

The Photographs, Documents, and Ephemera series contains: 3 'flirtation' cards; a funeral card for the death of a 13 year-old girl; a calling card; 2 cartes-de-visite of a young girl and young man; a Reichsbanknote; several newspaper clippings; Valentine Fisher's confirmation certificate; and George W. Rulow's post of the Grand Army of the Republic transfer card.

The Miscellaneous Series holds two notes on the Barnett/Fisher genealogy.

Visual material includes:

  • Rough pen illustration of two swans, January 15, 1860.
  • Pen illustration of a feather, May 28, 1860.
  • Rough pen illustration (of a chicken or a saddle), December 31, 1860.
  • Pen sketch of a plant, June 6, 1861.
  • Pen illustration of a bearded man with hat, January 13, 1864.
  • Pen illustration of feathers, undated.
  • Two miscellaneous cards have printed illustrations of flowers on them.
  • Printed image of an ark, plus additional religious imagery on confirmation document of Valentine Fisher.

The collection also includes several patriotic letterheads and envelopes.

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