Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Alexander Lyman Holley Letters, 1841-1867

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: Alexander Lyman Holley letters
Creator: Holley family
Inclusive dates: 1841-1867
Extent: 13 items
Abstract:
This collection is comprised of 12 incoming and outgoing letters of Alexander Lyman Holley, and 1 report card. Holley wrote 7 letters to his father, Alexander Hamilton Holley, about his educational experiences in Farmington, Connecticut, and about his life in New York City in the early 1860s. He received letters from his father (2 items), stepmother (1 item), and grandfather (1 item), who provided advice and news. His wife Mary wrote 1 letter to her father-in-law.
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: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2662y.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

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:

Alexander Lyman Holley Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with one undated item placed at the end.


Biography

Alexander Hamilton Holley was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, on August 12, 1804, the son of John Milton Holley and his wife, Sally Porter. He attended several preparatory schools and later became a successful cutlery manufacturer and businessman. He had three wives: Jane M. Lyman, Marcia Coffing, and Sarah Coit. Holley died on October 2, 1887. His six children included Alexander Lyman Holley (July 20, 1832-January 29, 1882), who became an influential engineer and served as president of several professional engineering societies. Alexander Lyman Holley and his wife Mary had three daughters: Gertrude, Lucy, and Alice.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of 12 incoming and outgoing letters of Alexander Lyman Holley, and 1 report card. Holley wrote 7 letters to his father, Alexander Hamilton Holley, about his educational experiences in Farmington, Connecticut, and about his life in New York City in the early 1860s. He received letters from his father (2 items), stepmother (1 item), and grandfather (1 item), who provided advice and news. His wife Mary wrote 1 letter to her father-in-law.

Alexander Lyman Holley composed 7 letters to Alexander Hamilton Holley between 1841 and 1862. His first 4 letters concern his education and social life at Furnace Village, [Massachusetts], and Farmington, Connecticut. He wrote about his social life, progress in school, and travels (including his June 19, 1847, letter regarding a trip to the "Bristol copper mines"). In 2 later letters, he reflected on anti-Union rioting and railroad destruction in Baltimore, Maryland (April 27, 1861), and on the difficult birth of his daughter Gertrude (October 28, 1862).

Holley's stepmother, Marcia Coffing Holley, shared her anticipation of his upcoming visit (April 28, 1849). His father wrote 2 letters dispensing life advice on alcohol, socializing, and other topics (11 pages, July 7, 1849, and July 23, 1849). Other correspondence items are a note Holley received from his grandfather, Erastus Lyman, concerning financial matters (October 9, 1854), and a letter Mary H. Holley wrote to her father-in-law about family news. The final item is an undated report card for Alexander Lyman Holley, with a brief note Holley wrote on the back.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Copper mines and mining.
    • Education--Connecticut.
    • Education--Massachusetts.
    • Education--United States--History--19th century.
    • Farmington (Conn.)--Social life and customs.
    • Families--Connecticut--Farmington.
    • Furnace Village (Mass.)
    • Labor unions--Maryland.
    • New York (N.Y.)
    • Riots--Maryland--Baltimore.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    Contributors:
    • Holley, Alexander H. (Alexander Hamilton), 1804-1887.
    • Holley, Alexander Lyman, 1832-1882.
    • Holley, Marcia Coffing, 1817-1854.
    • Holley, Mary H.
    • Lyman, Erastus, 1773-1855.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Report cards.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   9, Small Collections  
    Alexander Lyman Holley letters [series]
    Folder   6  
     January 28, 1841-November 15, 1867, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Coffing-Holley papers (1834-1836). Nine letters of Maria and Marcia Coffing, while studying at Grove Hall School, in New Haven, Connecticut. Marcia Coffing became Alexander Lyman Holley's stepmother in 1835.

    Bibliography

    "Holley, Alexander H." Encyclopedia of Connecticut Biography. New York: The American Historical Society, 1917.

    Memorial of Alexander Lyman Holley, C.E. LL.D. New York: American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1884.