Jeanette Alexander papers  1931-1945 (bulk 1942-1945)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of the incoming and outgoing letters of Amelia Lippincott Williams and her husband, Esek Hartshorne Williams. Esek wrote 16 love letters to Amelia during their courtship and early married life. Amelia also received 2 letters from friends and 1 from a niece named Mary. Esek received 1 letter from Amelia, 2 from his brother George, and 1 from a friend.

Amelia Lippincott was living in New York City when she received 7 letters from Esek H. Williams of Red Bank, New Jersey, between April 22, 1833, and November 10, 1834 (including 1 undated). His letters are affectionate and flirtatious, and often refer indirectly to the couple's romantic relationship. Esek Williams shared news from Red Bank, occasionally mentioned his work in a local store, and, on November 4, 1834, joked about Amelia's political awareness and her support of the Whigs.

After their marriage, Esek wrote 9 letters to his wife while he traveled west for business reasons; he sent 6 of these letters from Michigan in the winter of 1840-1841. He described his experiences near Fredonia, New York (December 13, 1840); Cleveland, Ohio (December 19, 1840); and Kankakee, Illinois (February 14, 1841). He mentioned his lodgings and modes of travel, and often remarked about his love for his wife and children, who remained in New York City. He spent much of his journey in southeast Michigan, where he had financial interests, and provided Amelia with news of his arrival and activities in Detroit (January 1, 1841, and January 10, 1841) and Ann Arbor (March 7, 1841). He discussed financial matters, including his difficulties with state-issued currency, "Michigan money," which he referred to as the only currency in regular circulation in Ann Arbor (March 7, 1841). On a later trip to Michigan, he noted the economic conditions in Detroit (January 1, 1843). On July 2, 1848, he composed his final letter, written from Marshall, Michigan; he expressed his intent to sell his farm in Ann Arbor. Two of his letters have pencil sketches of horses.

Amelia Lippincott Williams received dated personal letters from R. Montgomery, who shared her thoughts on fashionable hats (May 26, 1835), and a woman named Catherine Lent, who hoped Amelia could soon visit (October 1, 1835). Undated letters include 3 from friends and acquaintances, including one in which Amelia's niece Mary mentioned an outbreak of measles and a large social gathering in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Esek H. Williams received two brief personal letters from his brother George.

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