Mary Jane Hale Welles papers
Mary Jane Hale grew up in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, with her mother, Jane M. Hale, and at least two siblings, Reuben and Elias, who suffered from consumption. Mary Jane married Gideon Welles on June 16, 1835, and they had at least three children: Anna Jane, Tom, and Edgar. At the time these letters were written, the Welles family lived on H street, between 9th and 10th, in Washington, D.C., and Gideon was Chief of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing for the Navy. He would go on to serve as Lincoln's and then Johnson's Secretary of the Navy.