Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Bellamy Family Papers, 1798-1910

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2011

Summary Information
Title: Bellamy family papers
Creator: Bellamy family
Inclusive dates: 1798-1910
Bulk dates: 1812-1852
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
The Bellamy family papers consist primarily of the correspondence and financial documents of a Vergennes, Vermont, family whose members moved west during the early 19th century.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2004. M-4500.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Bellamy Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
  • Series III: Financial Records
  • Series IV: Account books
  • Series V: Pocketbook and contents
  • Series VI: Miscellaneous

Series are arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


The Bellamy family lived in Vergennes, Vermont, around the beginning of the 19th century, and were fairly prominent in local circles. Justus Bellamy served as a major during the American Revolution, and he had at least two sons: Edward and Aaron. In 1819, Edward moved to Canada, where he established a mill in 1824. Other members of the family eventually settled in Ohio, where Joseph Bellamy lived in the 1840s, and in Grattan, Michigan. Edward eventually returned to the United States and settled in Easton, Michigan, where he lived until at least 1880. Aaron Bellamy married Rilla Stowell; the couple had at least one child, Mary (m. Wolfe).

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Bellamy family papers consist primarily of the correspondence and financial documents of a Vergennes, Vermont, family whose members moved westward during the early 19th century. The collection includes 54 correspondence items, 12 legal documents, 132 receipts, 7 account books, 1 pocketbook and its contents, five scrap pages, and ephemera.

The Correspondence series contains items written by various correspondents to members of the Bellamy family of Vergennes, Vermont. Early in the 19th century, Rilla Bellamy received several letters from friends and extended family, who provided updates on their daily lives. On December 28, 1813, for example, a member of the Stowell family described a recent bout of illness in some detail. Later correspondence, often addressed to Edward Bellamy and Joseph Bellamy, occasionally concerned diseases, as well as other routine affairs, like farming, particularly in western Michigan. One late item is composed of scribbles, likely made by a child (January 1860).

The Documents series is comprised primarily of legal documents, many of which relate to Aaron Bellamy. In 1816, Andrew Dyer of Vergennes, Vermont, sold "all the land which I…have a right to claim from the Government of the United States by reason of my enlisting as a Soldier in the Army of the United States to serve during the War the 2nd day of March A.D. 1814" to Aaron Bellamy (January 27, 1816), but the documents more often related to Aaron's legal troubles. The series includes two court summonses, as well as a document ordering Bellamy's release from jail following a lawsuit filed by William Mattack (March 1837). This series also includes a deed made between William Pardee and Justus Bellamy, dated June 22, 1804.

Items in the Financial Records series are mostly receipts belonging to Aaron Bellamy, Samuel Bellamy, Edward Bellamy, and Nathan Holmes.

The Account Books series contains seven small receipt books of unknown ownership. The books consist primarily of numerical figures, but occasionally mention the names of merchants or other people with whom the owners made transactions.

The Pocketbook originally contained 28 items, mostly receipts and other financial items. Among its contents was a short note in which Lloyd Norris instructed Bellamy, "Sir I wish you to leave the following Premises now in your occupation…on my farm…Your compliance with this notice within ten days after its service will prevent any legal measures being taken of me to [obtain] possession" (September 7, 1847).

Miscellaneous items in the collection include a small card of a bird's nest and flowers, with a short poem about "Home," and a business card for sugar merchant W. M. Austin on Wall Street in New York City.

Subject Terms

    • Agriculture--Michigan.
    • Diseases.
    • Eviction.
    • Michigan--History--1837-
    • Vergennes (Vt.)
    • Vermont--History.
    • Bellamy, Aaron.
    • Bellamy, Edward.
    • Wolfe, Mary E.
    • Holmes, Nathan.
    Genre Terms:
    • Financial records.
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Pocketbooks (men's accessories)
    • Receips (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-8
     September 4, 1798-June 3, 1889, and  undated
    Documents [series]
    Box   1 Folders   9-11
     July 5, 1804-July 1, 1854, and  undated
    Financial Records [series]
    Box   1 Folders   12-21
     May 3, 1803-August 19, 1910, and  undated
    Account Books [series]
    Box   1 Folder   22
    Pocket book and contents [series]
    Box   1 Folder   23
    Pocket book contents
    Box   1 Folder   24
    Pocket book
    Miscellaneous [series]
    Box   1 Folder   25