Lyman Trumbull family papers  1799-1924 (bulk 1859-1890)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Lyman Trumbull family papers contain personal correspondence of United States Senator Lyman Trumbull and of the family of his second wife, Mary Ingraham Trumbull. Letters primarily pertain to personal matters and family life during the 19th century, with a focus on Chicago, Illinois, during the Civil War, and Saybrook, Connecticut, home of the Ingraham family. The collection also contains a number of school notebooks, legal and financial documents, two watercolor paintings, photographs, and ephemera.

The Correspondence series is currently divided into the following five subseries:

  • Trumbull Family Letters
    • Lyman Trumbull Miscellaneous letters (1838-1895)
    • Lyman Trumbull to Julia Trumbull (1844-1855)
    • Julia Trumbull to Lyman Trumbull (1860-1866)
    • Lyman Trumbull to Mary Ingraham Trumbull (1869-1884)
    • Letters to Mary Ingraham Trumbull (1859-1914)
    • Miscellaneous Trumbull family letters (1850-1903)
  • Ingraham-Rankin Family Letters
    • Julia Ingraham and George Rankin letters (1868-1899)
    • Miscellaneous Ingraham family letters (1824-1913)
  • Letters to J. F. Uhlhorn (1860-1869)
  • Mather Family Letters (1837-1893)
  • Miscellaneous Letters (1834-1908)

The Trumbull Family Letters subseries contain the letters of Lyman Trumbull, Julia Trumbull, Mary Ingraham Trumbull, and various other family members.

The Lyman Trumbull Miscellaneous letters (1838-1895) contain personal correspondence, both written and received, by Lyman Trumbull. Among the items written by Trumbull are a letter describing a trip to the Minnesota wilderness, and a draft of a telegram congratulating president-elect Benjamin Harrison. Incoming correspondence includes letters from his siblings and cousins, as well as copies of letters from Abraham Lincoln and J. F. Buchanan. General Nelson Miles sent an invitation to Lyman and Robert Lincoln wrote a lengthy letter regarding the financial history of his late mother, Mary Todd Lincoln.

The Lyman Trumbull to Julia Trumbull letters (1844-1855) contains 12 letters written by Lyman to his first wife. The letters primarily discuss his health and occasionally refer to his social life.

The Julia Trumbull to Lyman Trumbull letters (1860-1866) consist of Civil War-era letters from Julia to her husband regarding her life in Chicago, where she remained while Lyman served in the United States Senate. Most of the letters focus on local social life and on the couple's children. Though some of these letters contain brief remarks on political matters, the focus on family is maintained throughout.

The Lyman Trumbull to Mary Ingraham Trumbull letters (1869-1884) are primarily personal, and include letters written both before and after Lyman's marriage to his cousin, Mary Jane Ingraham. Prior to their courtship and marriage, Lyman's letters show a certain degree of affection, and he often mentioned sending photographs and gave Mary updates about his life in Chicago. Lyman's letters following his wedding recount life in Chicago, while Mary was away visiting her family in Saybrook, Connecticut; he often asked when she planned to return to Illinois. Of particular interest is his letter of February 1, 1881, in which Lyman described the decline and death of "brother John" near Jackson, Michigan.

The Letters to Mary Ingraham Trumbull (1859-1914) comprises the largest unit of correspondence in the collection, containing approximately 290 items. It consists primarily of family letters written to Mary Ingraham (later Trumbull) throughout her life; frequent correspondents included her mother Almira, and sisters Annie and Julia. The center of the Ingraham family was Saybrook, Connecticut, where most of the letters originated. After the 1880s, friends and acquaintances wrote more letters than family members, including a letter of condolence sent on the death of Lyman Trumbull. A letter of May 8, 1910, from Emma Sickles of the Domestic Science Association includes a description and typed copy of a bill to fund educational programs for housewives, a bill the organization attempted to push through the United States Congress. The large volume of letters provides a rich family chronicle.

The Miscellaneous Trumbull family letters (1850-1903) contain correspondence of various Trumbull family members, particularly the children of Lyman Trumbull and Julia Jayne. Several letters are from the couple's sons Perry and Walter, who described various occurrences and interests. Of note are a letter from Julia to her father describing a dinner she had with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and a lengthy letter regarding economics from W. H. White, who had recently read Coin's Financial School.

The Ingraham-Rankin Family Letters subseries contains the letters of Julia Ingraham, George Rankin, and various other Ingraham family members.

The Julia Ingraham and George Rankin letters (1868-1899) are the correspondence of Lyman Trumbull's cousin and sister-in-law Julia Ingraham and her husband, George Rankin. The majority of letters date from the 1880s or later, and include a letter describing a family visit to the Trumbulls in Chicago in the summer of 1889. Though most of the letters are between Julia and George, the couple's children as well as George's mother and a cousin also corresponded.

The Miscellaneous Ingraham family letters (1824-1913) contains correspondence of the Ingraham family of Saybrook, Connecticut. Two of the Ingraham daughters, Mary (m. Lyman Trumbull) and Julia (m. George Rankin), are represented extensively elsewhere in the collection, and many of these letters relate to their father, John D. Ingraham, and brother, John D. Ingraham, Jr. John D. Ingraham wrote one letter, dated 1856, to Lyman Trumbull, and various nieces and nephews also sent letters. Much of the correspondence relates to family news and social life during the Civil War. Of particular interest is an envelope dated June 27, 1865, which contains "Folwers [sic] bought the day of Annie's funeral."

The Letters to J. F. Uhlhorn subseries (1860-1869) contains letters between James Uhlhorn; Lyman Trumbull's nephew, John Frederick Uhlhorn; and a woman, Maria, addressed as "sister." John's letters date from the early Civil War period and discuss business matters and his frequent related visits to Washington. Maria, writing from New York after 1862, discussed the declining health of their mother and other family-related news.

The Mather Family Letters subseries (1837-1893) consists primarily of letters written and received by Almira Mather Ingraham, wife of John D. Ingraham and mother-in-law of Lyman Trumbull. Her brother, Samuel Rogers Selden Mather, was one correspondent; he provided family and social news from New York. Almira wrote a letter to her brother and sister-in-law that contains a short description of proceedings surrounding a nearby execution (January 10, 1843). One item is a printed advertisement for an upcoming publication of the genealogy of the Mather family.

The Miscellaneous letters subseries (1834-1908) contains letters that are difficult to attribute, and include several unsigned items. The letters of identified authors are from John Bond to his uncle, from Charlie to a grandmother (one mentioning a death within the Ingraham family), and from M. J. Rankin to an "Aunt Mary." The collection also includes a short poem entitled "A Memory."

The Letter Book series consists of four small notebooks containing manuscript copies of official letters written by Lyman Trumbull, and copied by his second wife, Mary Ingraham Trumbull (1837-1903). Each book is only partially filled, and the volumes have additional writing that does not appear to originate with Trumbull. Several brief thoughts and sayings appear in one volume, as well as a small number of personal financial accounts. Childlike pencil drawings of houses with a few correspondence copies and a short poem are in another. The correspondence in these volumes is not duplicated elsewhere in the collection.

The Diaries, Notebooks, and Autograph Books series (1853-1914) consists of six items:

  • The Annie Ingraham school report book (1860-1864) of various reports from the author's time at school, with a number of personal inscriptions and reminiscences in the back.
  • The John D. and Annie Ingraham journal (1853; 1859) is 2 pages of journal writing from John D. Ingraham and one page of journal writing by his daughter Annie.
  • The Mrs. John D. Ingraham diary (1900) has entries for the first half of 1900, which focus primarily on family visits and daily life in Saybrook, Connecticut. The diary also includes a page of accounts, several loose pages of additional entries, and letters addressed to the author.
  • The Julia Ingraham autograph book (1866-1892) contains autographs from various acquaintances around Saybrook Sound, Connecticut.
  • The Julia Ingraham Rankin notes on Shakespeare (1892) consists of various personal notes and thoughts compiled from various works of Shakespeare, including some of his most famous plays, such as "Romeo and Juliet."
  • The [Julia Rankin] notebook (1911-1914) contents primarily consist of academic essays on a variety of topics, readings, and lectures. Laid in the book were a large number of manuscript poems, many attributed to other authors, and four newspaper clippings. One clipping contains a poem dedicated to "La Grippe," written by John Howard, M. D.

The Documents series (1799-1897) is a selection of items related to the career of Lyman Trumbull, including list of candidate endorsements he made, as well as various certificates. Other documents are powers of attorney, a manuscript copy of "The Whole Finance Bill," and a school report for Julia Ingraham.

The Financial papers series (1838-1913) covers a variety of topics, some of which concern the Ingraham family's involvement in shipping. A handful of documents regard the sloop Connecticut , though the majority consists of various receipts and invoices, many addressed to Mary Ingraham Trumbull after the death of her husband Lyman. Other items of interest are an inventory of Lyman's estate (February 1, 1882) and a cure "For Ivy Poisoning," written on the back of a document dated May 24, 1902.

The collection's Photographs (8 items) include a tintype, a cabinet card, and 5 photographic prints, most of which are informal pictures and studio portraits of unidentified women and children. The cabinet card photograph shows a group of men posing outside of a hardware store.

The Photographs series consists of the following items, many of which are unlabeled:

  • Several people in front of Vose & Co. Hardware Store
  • A portrait of two girls
  • Two small, individual photographs of babies
  • Three children waving American flags
  • A woman in a garden
  • A woman accompanied by a dog
  • William W. Patton photograph album

The final item, a carte-de-visite album belonging to William W. Patton, contains 159 captioned photographs and prints, including studio portraits, pictures of Renaissance statues, reproductions of religious paintings, and illustrated views of the Alps and Switzerland; captions are also present for items that are no longer extant. Groups of studio portraits show famous persons such as John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, and Charles Dickens; residents of Edinburgh, Constantinople, and Cairo in native dress; and members of Patton's traveling party during an 1866 visit to Palestine. Also present are 3 images of Venetians with vibrant artificial coloring and a picture of a "Chinese Convert, Ah Ting, San Francisco." Pictured works of art include statues and paintings from collections in Venice, Florence, Rome, and the Vatican, including items by Raphael and Michelangelo; one carte-de-visite shows an early version of Thomas Ball's Emancipation Memorial statue, differing slightly from the version erected in Washington, D.C. The remaining items consist of groups of photographs and artificial illustrations of Alpine mountains and Swiss scenery; some of the Swiss scenes are colored. Additional items include a carte-de-visite collage of several landmarks within the Giant's Causeway (Ireland), a photograph of Cairo, photographs of monuments in Alexandria, and a print labeled "Procession over human bodies in Egypt."

The Watercolors series (2 items) is comprised of two paintings of pastoral scenes.

The Ephemera, Cards, and Invitations series (13 items) contains four invitations and wedding announcements (1874, 1893, 1909, and undated), two greeting cards (1900 and undated), a 1912 postcard, five calling cards (1879 and undated), and a cooking pamphlet entitled "One Master Recipe for Ten Delicacies, with many serving suggestions," by "the Lady with an Apron."

The Miscellaneous series consists of printed materials, writings, and billfolds. The printed materials (1858-1924) are newspaper clippings, a printed copy of a petition, four speeches made by Lyman Trumbull, advertisements for the Mediterranean Express Line and "The Ormond," an astrological booklet called "Were You Born in September?" (1909), reports and a constitution of the Washington Union Brotherhood, a recipe book, and a 1924 recipe card with various recipes for gelatin desserts. Several of the writings are related to Lyman Trumbull, the Ingraham family, and housekeeping. Of note are an account of the brief life of Alma Ingraham Trumbull, daughter of Lyman Trumbull and Mary Ingraham; a set of knitting instructions; several poems, including a child's work entitled "The Cake Shop Romance;" and an astrological chart. Also present is a leather Billfold with metal adornments that contains a small newspaper clipping and a calling card for Mrs. Lyman Trumbull.

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