William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Isaiah Williams and Ellen White Correspondence, 1842-1870
Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, February 2013
Isaiah Williams and Ellen White correspondence
Williams, Ellen Emerson, 1826-1877
0.25 linear feet
The Isaiah Williams and Ellen White correspondence is made up of letters to and between Williams, White, and members of the White family. The letters pertain to the couple's courtship, religion, and social and family news from Massachusetts and Buffalo, New York.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Isaiah Williams and Ellen White Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated material placed at the end.
Ellen Elizabeth White was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 21, 1826, the daughter of Ferdinand Elliot White (1788-1853) and Dorothy Hancock Gardner (1799-1890). She married Isaiah Thornton Williams (February 12, 1819-April 5, 1886), an attorney from Buffalo, New York, on October 18, 1849, and they had six children: Elliot (b. August 19, 1850), Elizabeth Gardner (b. October 27, 1851), Thornton (b. August 6, 1857), Reginald H. (b. October 6, 1859), Kenneth (b. May 1, 1865), and Mary (b. August 17, 1866). Ellen White Williams died on February 14, 1877.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Isaiah Williams and Ellen White correspondence is made up of 88 incoming letters to, and letters between, Williams, White, and members of the White family. The letters pertain to the couple's courtship, religion, and social and family news from Massachusetts and Buffalo, New York.
The bulk of the letters are incoming letters to Ellen White from family members, acquaintances, and Isaiah Williams, her future husband. Family and friends often shared social and family news from Boston and Leominster, Massachusetts. One friend mentioned taking dancing lessons and attending a piano concert given by William Mason, a protégé of Franz Liszt (December 6, ). Some of the correspondence pertains to the family's religious beliefs, such as a letter from Ellen's brother Ferdinand to their father about her baptism (October 25, 1845). Isaiah Williams wrote about his life in Buffalo, New York, during the couple's courtship and after their marriage, particularly during Ellen's visits to her family in Boston. On February 14, 1849, an unknown writer mailed a love poem to Ellen. She also received a lengthy letter (undated) from W. G. French, a spiritual advisor who offered religious advice about marriage. Later items include at least 3 letters to Ellen from Elliot Williams, her son. A letter to "Miss Emily J. Mansin" from Sarah L. Poster at the "C.C. Hospital" (possibly the Cliffbourne and Cliffbourne Barracks Hospital) in Washington, D.C., concerns a dead man's belongings (August 12, 1864).
- Boston (Mass.)
- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Leominster (Mass.)
- Massachusetts--Religious life and customs.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Hospitals.
- Williams, Elliot, b. 1850.
- Williams, Isaiah Thornton, 1819-1886.
- White, Ferdinand Elliot, 1788-1853.
Additional Descriptive Data
The New York Public Library has a group of Isaiah Thornton Williams Papers.
Wilson, Mehitable Calef Coppenhagen. John Gibson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and His Descendants, 1634-1899. 1900.