This collection (50 items) consists of correspondence between members of the Davenport family of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and Rutland and Brandon, Vermont. Between August 29, 1853, and July 7, 1858, Elijah ("E.") Davenport wrote 13 letters to his father, Elijah L. Davenport, and to his sister Augusta, both of whom lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He wrote from Prospect Hill, Wisconsin, and Webster County, Iowa, describing his attempts to find work on the Wisconsin and Iowa frontier and commenting on the weather, construction of log cabins, agriculture, and local politics. He intended to farm, and grew potatoes while constructing a log cabin for himself. He also mentioned the culinary use of a special corn and his fondness for a local variety of bread (November 29, 1857).
The bulk of the collection consists of letters to Charlotte M. Kingsbury (née Field) of Bradford, Massachusetts, and her husband, Reverend John D. Kingsbury, from her parents, William M. and Minerva K. Field, and her grandfather, Barzillai Davenport, all of Rutland and Brandon, Vermont. Her family provided local news and often commented on religious matters; for example, her father praised her for joining the Church of Christ (February 20, 1857). They occasionally mentioned other news stories, such as a destructive windstorm (November 22, 1869), and the sinking of the Atlantic (April 16, 1873). Two of Minerva Field's later letters are addressed to Katie and Mattie Kingsbury, her granddaughters. The collection also has 5 receipts concerning purchases made by Ellis J. Burnham in Cambridgeport and Essex, Massachusetts, between 1876 and 1880.