This collection is made up of correspondence and legal documents pertaining to Martha Bradstreet of northern New York State. Much of the material pertains to Bradstreet's efforts to recover titles to her inherited land along the Mohawk River. The collection also contains materials related to Samuel Bradstreet and a group of Civil War letters from Silas E. Crandall to Phoebe Bradstreet.
The Martha Bradstreet Papers are divided into subseries of Martha Bradstreet Correspondence (125 items) and Martha Bradstreet Documents (25 items). The correspondence, including letters by and to Martha Bradstreet, largely pertains to her legal and financial affairs. Many items concern disputes over the land she inherited in upstate New York. Bradstreet's personal correspondence includes letters that she received from her children while traveling and letters to her children and others about their personal activities, such as her daughter Sarah's return to an abusive husband (November 26, 1840). Bradstreet's children wrote to one another about their personal lives, their mother's legal difficulties, and finances. The series' legal documents concern Bradstreet's New York property disputes, the will of Elizabeth Livius, and a civil suit between Elizabeth C. Bennett and Washington Garlock. A map of Mary Bradstreet's land along the Mohawk River is housed in the Map Division.
The Samuel Bradstreet Correspondence (138 items), dated 1800-1866, reflects the contentious relationship between Martha Bradstreet, her brother Samuel, and her husband, Matthew Codd, particularly with regard to real property and inheritance. The series includes several items written by Samuel's sons and grandsons.
The S. E. Crandall and Phoebe Bradstreet Correspondence (12 items) largely consists of letters that S. E. Crandall sent to Phoebe Bradstreet, whom he addressed as "Mother," while serving in the 17th Army Corps during the Civil War. He discussed his experiences in and around Atlanta, Georgia. He also sent letters before and after his military service about his life in Minnesota and about possible conflicts with the Sioux Indians (June 6, 1863).
The Photograph is a large portrait of a woman, mounted in a card frame.