The Thomas Bradford family papers contain the incoming correspondence of the Philadelphia lawyer's family. Many of the earliest letters in the collection relate to Thomas Bradford's personal finances, and much of the collection consists of letters written to Thomas and his wife Elizabeth by their children. Vincent L. and Juliet S. Bradford frequently wrote of their daily lives while living in Niles, Michigan, in the 1830s, where he worked as a lawyer. Thomas Budd Bradford also sent news to his father about his life in Michigan and about the Presbyterian Church in Warminster, Pennsylvania, after his return to Philadelphia. He frequently mentioned religion. Elizabeth Bradford, who married William T. Dwight, often wrote from her home in Portland, Maine, sharing family news. Other personal correspondence includes several letters of condolence written in March 1841, following a child's death, and a late letter from Thomas Bradford's grandson, Henry E. Dwight, who gave his opinion on American military action in Mexico (December 1, 1846). The collection also holds two drafts of an unsigned letter to President John Tyler, recommending William Bradford for the head of the Philadelphia Post Office (August 14, 1843).
Also included is a selection of personal correspondence addressed to Elizabeth Ann Bradford, wife of Samuel Bradford, Jr., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, throughout the 1840s. She primarily received letters from female friends. Samuel and Elizabeth Bradford's relationship to the Thomas Bradford family is unclear.