Allaire-Gibbons papers  1822-1963 (bulk 1822-1856)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Alexander Wilson collection (22 items) contains 11 letters, 1 copy of trial testimonies, 1 manuscript copy of a newspaper article, and 7 newspaper clippings related to Wilson's attempt to abduct his sister Caroline in July 1845 and his attempt to shoot Caroline and their cousin, William Wilson, Jr., in August 1846. The collection also includes a letter in which Alexander Wilson apologized to his uncle for using foul language (July 3, 1845) and a letter from Alexander Wilson's nephew, lawyer Erwin N. Wilson of Brazoria, Texas, in which he commented on Alexander Wilson's imprisonment for the murder of a man named Smith and his attempted appeal to the Texas Supreme Court (date unclear).

Alexander Wilson's cousins, Nicholas C. Wilson and William Wilson, Jr., wrote most of the letters about his criminal activities, including descriptions of his attempt to abduct Caroline from Philadelphia in July 1845 and his altercation with Caroline and William at a New York City hotel in August 1846. During the abduction attempt, Wilson was accompanied by Alfred H. Jones, who wished to kidnap and marry a woman named Mary. The Wilsons' cousins claimed that Alexander intended to bring Caroline to Louisiana and take over her share of a large estate they had inherited from their deceased parents; Alexander claimed that the Philadelphia family wished to defraud his sister.

In their letters, Nicholas and William Wilson, Jr., described their efforts to keep Caroline safe, and explained the family's history and relationships. Caroline Wilson wrote a letter to "Judge Dutton," providing her thoughts about the Louisiana property (September 12, 1846). Letters from Alexander Wilson to his sister and aunt are transcribed and enclosed in his cousins' letters dated July 19, 1845, and October 20, 1846, respectively. In the former, Wilson threatened to take Caroline should she leave her uncle's home; in the latter, Wilson justified his actions to his "Aunt Martha."

The collection contains 9 other items related to Wilson's attempted shooting: a manuscript copy of an article from New York Evening Mirror (August 21, 1846), 7 newspaper clippings about the incident and Wilson's trial (August 14, 1946-August 29, 1846), and a manuscript document containing testimonies by Caroline Wilson, Jane B. Wilson, Nicholas C. Wilson, William Wilson, Jr., and other witnesses.

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