Joseph F. Field papers  1859-1866 (bulk 1862-1866)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Lindsley family papers consist primarily of letters from and relating to Eleazer Lindsley, Jr., and his son-in-law, James Ford, with much of the collection relating to local politics. Of particular interest are five letters written to Ford by Samuel Wells Morris (1786-1847), who later served in the 25th and 26th congress as a Democrat from Pennsylvania. In these letters Ford discusses the political, social and economic benefits of internal improvement schemes (primarily canals), and includes some interesting comments on the election of 1824 and the strong political tensions between the adjacent counties in New York and Pennsylvania. A few letters contain information on the early political life of Lindley, however these are comparatively scant and do not cover the earliest years of the settlement.

Among other aspects of the collection, the following may be of some interest:

  • Five documents relating to Eleazer Lindsley, Jr.'s appointment as post master, including the certificate of appointment (1804). The certificate of appointment and two letters bearing early post marks from Lindsleytown have been transferred to the Postal History Collection.
  • Six letters written to Eleazer Lindsley's daughters while they were resident at Miss Pierce's School. These contain some information on the education of girls during the period and on family relationships.
  • Two items relating to slavery in New York: a letter from Stephen Ross to Eleazer Lindsley, Jr., 1798 May 7, requesting assistance with a troublesome slave he wishes to sell, and a manumission contract dated 1808 August 1 from Lois Lindsley for her slave, Jack.
  • Six items relating to religious life and revivals. Two of Eleazer Jr.'s daughters, Maria and Jerusha, appear to have been very pious. During the upsurge in revival activity in the 1830's, the family helped form a Bible Study class and the women formed a prayer circle.
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