The Martha Leach Packard commonplace book contains inscriptions, correspondence, autographs, and ephemera that Packard collected from the 1850s to 1890s. Inscriptions and autographs are written directly into the volume; additional items are pasted or laid in. The volume represents prominent individuals such as politicians and academics, as well as Packard's personal acquaintances.
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
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.
Martha Leach Packard Commonplace Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Martha W. Leach, the daughter of Martha Williams and George W. Leach of Poughkeepsie, New York, was born in February 1833 or 1834. On April 17, 1855, she married Elnathan W. Packard, a lawyer; the couple later moved to Nunda, New York. They had one daughter, May (or Mary) (b. 1856). Martha Leach Packard died in 1896.
The Martha Leach Packard commonplace book (200 pages) contains inscriptions, correspondence, autographs, and ephemera that Packard collected from the 1850s to 1890s. Packard used about half of the pages; additional items are laid into the volume.
Most inscriptions and autographs are written directly into the volume, and many are dated at Poughkeepsie, New York. Most entries are dated from the 1850s-1890s, though some letters pasted into the book are dated as early as 1837. Prominent individuals such as politicians, artists, and writers contributed autographs (see list below), and historian Benson J. Lossing provided a personal inscription (p. 39). Packard's other contributors included academics and personal acquaintances, 5 of whom mentioned participating in the Civil War (pp. 77, 145).
Laid-in letters include items by famous persons and personal correspondence to Martha Leach Packard and E. W. Packard. The volume also includes visiting cards, a menu from a dinner at the Stevens House (p. 157), a lock of hair (p. 178), and a swatch of fabric (p. 198). The album was originally published with printed illustrations, mainly portraits of women; some later pages contain cut-out colored illustrations of flowers.
Partial List of Prominent Contributors
Benson J. Lossing (inscription, p. 39; letter, p. 200)
John Jay Hyde (inscription, p. 41; calling card, front endpaper)
Loomis, Elias. The Descendants (by the Female Branches) of Joseph Loomis, Who Came from Braintree, England, in the Year 1638, and Settled in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1639. Volume II. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor, 1880.