George W. Patterson collection (1841-1878)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, July 2013
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: George W. Patterson collection
Creator: Patterson, George Washington, 1799-1879
Inclusive dates: 1841-1878
Extent: 7 items
The George W. Patterson collection is comprised of correspondence related to the New York state textile industry and to New York and United States politics in the 1840s and 1870s. The collection includes 6 letters to Patterson and 1 letter that Patterson wrote to manufacturer Simon Newton Dexter.
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

Donated, R. R. Patterson, 1949; 1993. M-736; M-2917.4.

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

George W. Patterson Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


George Washington Patterson was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on November 11, 1799, the son of Thomas Patterson and Elizabeth Wallace. After graduating from the Pinkerton Academy, he moved to New York in 1818, where he manufactured fanning mills. He later settled in Leicester, New York, where he continued to make mills and other agricultural implements. On February 24, 1825, he married Hannah Whiting Dickey (1800-1886); they had two children, George Washington (1826-1904) and Hannah Whiting (1835-1894). In 1841, Patterson took charge of the Chautauqua County land office in Westfield, New York, where he lived until his death on October 15, 1879. Patterson held several political offices throughout his life, serving as a member of the New York State Assembly (1832-1833, 1835-1840), a delegate to the New York Constitutional Convention (1846), New York lieutenant governor (1848-1850), a delegate to the Republican National Convention (1856, 1860), and a United States representative (1877-1879), among other local appointments.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The George W. Patterson collection is comprised of 7 letters related to New York textiles and to New York and United States politics in the 1840s and 1870s. Patterson's letter to cloth manufacturer Simon Newton Dexter of Whitestown, New York, concerns wool that Patterson and others shipped to Dexter; Patterson added a postscript about the destruction of the steamer Erie (August 9-10, 1841). The remaining 6 items are letters that Patterson received on October 13, 1843; on November 20, 1847; and from January 9, 1878-July 11, 1878. Correspondents such as Thurlow Weed and Charles G. Maples discussed political issues including appointments, the actions of Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel J. Tilden, and the Republican Party; Weed also briefly commented on Belgium and France (October 13, 1843). J. A. Upton, one of Patterson's constituents during his time in the United States House of Representatives, offered his opinions on the currency question, the Silver Bill, and greenbacks (April 26, 1878). William Henry Seward, Jr., requested advice about a potential land deal in his letter of July 11, 1878.

Subject Terms

  • Belgium--Description and travel.
  • Currency question--United States.
  • Dexter, S. Newton (Simon Newton), 1785-1862.
  • France--Description and travel.
  • Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, 1822-1893.
  • New York (State)--Politics and government--1775-1865.
  • Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
  • Textile industry--United States.
  • Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886.
  • United States--Politics and government--1877-1881.
  • Brace, B. F.
  • Maples, Charles G.
  • Seward, Wm. Henry (William Henry), 1839-1920.
  • Upton, J. A.
  • Weed, Thurlow, 1797-1882.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   12, Small Collections  
George W. Patterson collection [series]
Folder   7  
 August 9, 1841-July 11, 1878

Additional Descriptive Data


Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Ed. William Richard Cutter. Volume 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1912.

"Patterson, George Washington (1799-1879)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Web. 23 July 2013.