The following brief information about the Bosson family is drawn largely from the genealogical materials and records within the collection:
William Bosson (1753-1823 or 1824) was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He served as a minuteman in the Battles of Lexington and of Long Island, and as an officer in Crane's artillery regiment. Bosson received a captain's commission on October 28, 1790, and worked as a merchant in Roxbury before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the wake of the War of 1812. Bosson died in Cincinnati.
William Bosson (1806-1887) was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Prior to the Civil War, William Bosson worked as a clerk in Kentucky and Cincinnati, then partnered with his brothers Thomas Mayo Bosson (1785-1850) and Charles T. Bosson (1791-1864) in cotton manufacture in Cincinnati and Tennessee. He worked at the Falls of Caney Fork from 1841 to 1862.
Before 1861, William Bosson also held positions as Treasurer and President of the South Western Rail Road Company. During the Civil War, he became a Colonel and, according to his son, Thomas Mayo Bosson (1856-), William worked for the Federal army drawing maps of Tennessee that were used during the battles of Stone River and Chattanooga. William Bosson’s autobiography suggests interactions with Confederate troops, Union troops, and officers around Nashville, Caney Fork, McMinnville, and Murfreesboro between March 1862-January 1863. William Bosson also details his experience of the aftermath of the Battle of Stone River.
William Bosson served as Senator of the 9th District of Tennessee and a member of the House of Representatives. He was elected as head of the Committee on Education, Ways and Means, and Freedmen, and worked to improve Common School Law and funding in Tennessee. In 1866, Governor Brownlow tasked him with identifying a suitable bank in New York for paying the state's interests on debts. The scrapbook includes documents in which Brownlow authorizes Bosson to represent him in state affairs during Brownlow's tenure as Governor of Tennessee. Bosson also served as a delegate at conventions related to the reconstruction of Tennessee in 1865, 1866, 1868, and 1869.
William Bosson was commissioned as a Director of the Nashville and Chattanooga and Nashville and Northwestern Rail Road Company, a position he filled from October 1865 to March 1872. He served on multiple educational boards, including the board of Trustees for East Tennessee University. He also served as the vice president of Central Tennessee College and president of the Executive Committee Teachers' State Association. In 1872 he moved to Greencastle, Indiana and served in the Greencastle's Common Council. In a note added to Robert Newland Bosson’s (1890-1964) transcription of William Bosson’s autobiography, Robert Bosson suggests that William moved to educate his sons at Ashbury University.
William Bosson met his wife Julia Burnett (1831-1898) at a Sunday School in Sparta, Tennessee, in 1852. They married in 1855 in Russell, Ohio, and had two children, Thomas Mayo Bosson (1856- ) and William Bosson (1857-1934). The scrapbook contains multiple letters relating to Bosson and Burnett's courtship in 1852 and correspondence between Bosson, Burnett, and their sons in the early to mid-1870s. William Bosson prepared an autobiography for his sons about his participation in the Civil War and loyalty to the Union. Julia Burnett Bosson died of an epileptic stroke in 1898.
Charles T. Bosson (1791-1864) was a lawyer and Harvard University graduate of the class of 1811. He lived and worked with his brother Tomas Mayo in Boone County, Kentucky, and in Tennessee. Some documents related to his student life are included in the scrapbook, as well as letters of introduction exchanged between W. Heath and Elbridge Gerry, Elbridge Gerry and Henry Clay, and Josiah Quincy and John Rowan pertinent to establishing Charles T. Bosson as a lawyer in the "west." He died on November 25, 1864, at his father's home in Murfreesboro, having fled his own farm, which was then occupied by General Bedford Forrest.
In 1885, William Bosson (1857-1934), son of William Bosson (1806-1887), married Margaret Hill (1866-1936), daughter of Roswell Hill (1843-1925). They had seven children, including Margaret Bosson (1886-1955), who married Henry Loring Newnan (1887-1955). Margaret and Henry had four children, including Henry Loring Newnan, Jr. (1925-2008).