This collection is made up of letters addressed to Charles Humphrey, a New York lawyer and politician (39 items), and to his son William (7 items). Charles Humphrey's incoming correspondence concerns his legal career, his financial and business affairs, and political issues. William Humphrey's incoming letters primarily concern his finances relating to his law practice in Ithaca, New York.
Charles Humphrey received 39 letters between April 14, 1811, and June 3, 1843, most of which date from his terms in the United States House of Representatives and the New York State Assembly. His correspondents, many of whom were lawyers and politically active persons, discussed state and national issues, such as the Missouri Compromise (March 9, 1820), the Locofocos (August 9, 1837), a fire in New York City (January 21, 1836), the New York salt industry (February 25, 1834), and Humphrey's speeches and political actions. They also wrote about office-seekers and nominations for various public positions. Some letters relate to specific legal cases around the state of New York; for example, Alvin Bradley wrote a lengthy letter about Catharine, who had been seduced and impregnated while working as a family's domestic employee (January 14, 1835). Charles Humphrey also received a personal letter co-written by Charles H. Cooke, his nephew, and "S. Cooke," his sibling (January 10, 1842).
William Ross Humphrey received 7 letters between January 11, 1845, and October 11, 1847, of which his father, Charles Humphrey, wrote 5. These letters pertain to Will's financial and business affairs while he worked as a lawyer in Ithaca, New York.