The Huntington family papers contain 83 letters, written between 1845 and 1886, mainly by the children of Cyrus Huntington, and 4 undated newspaper clippings. The earliest item is a document assigning Cyrus T. Huntington, the marshal of election in district no. 2 in Watertown, New York, the responsibility of taking the "census or enumeration of the inhabitants" of the town in 1845. The next six letters are from Charles S. Huntington in Lee Center, Illinois, addressed to his parents and sister Eliza. He writes of his health and his work on his family farm, and news of mutual family, friends, and acquaintances. Hiram's letters begin in 1855, when he left home to attend the Fairfield Seminary in Fairfield, New York. Hiram's 10 pre-war letters to family and friends largely concern family news and his life at school.
Several other pre-war letters are from Eliza to her brothers, and from John, who lives in Black River, New York, a small town close to Watertown, to his parents and friends. One notable item is a constitution of the Fairfield Union Guards, organized in May 11, 1861. No Huntington names, however, appear on the list.
The collection holds 7 Civil War era letters from Hiram, writing from Co. G of the 94th New York Regiment, including 2 undated letters. In these he described his war experiences in Washington and Virginia, and shared his opinions on the state of the war. On July 24, 1862, Hiram wrote "I think that placing Gen. Pope in his position was the very best thing that could be done, McDowell's imbecility or intended Backwardness has been a serious drawback upon the war." In his letter from November 14, 1862, he mentioned that General Tower was wounded at Bull Run and lamented that
"Gen McClellan took his leave of us. I think that if there had been any one to start the thing the whole corps would have lain down their arms. As it was the thing was Much talked of[.] little Mack as McClellan is called is the Man we want to fight under. & no one who has not been in on a battle can estimate the advantage of giving Men a leader in whom they can have confidence. In McL that Confidence was unbounded."
Hiram's final letter is dated November 22, 1862.
The remainder of the collection consists of letters written to family members still residing in Watertown, New York, between 1862 and 1886. These include 5 letters from John, who by 1878 is living in Mexico, New York; three letters addressed to John; three letters from Charles, who is living in Liverpool, New York; and one letter from brother Henry.
The collection also contains 4 undated newspaper clippings including a Watertown obituary for Dr. Isaac Munson and poems entitled "Come," "Railroad Matters," and Dash Down the Wine Cup."
The Huntington family papers have two items with illustrations: a letter from September 28, 1855, contains a large letterhead engraving depicting a pastoral view of Fairfield Seminary, and a letter from July 13, 1862, contains a patriotic letterhead in red and blue depicting an eagle raising a flag with the inscription "Not a Star Must Fall."