This collection is primarily made up of Benson J. Lossing's incoming and outgoing correspondence (179 items, 1850-1904) concerning his writings about and interest in numerous subjects in American history. Essays, newspaper clippings, and ephemera are also included (18 items, 1849- ca. 1884).
The Correspondence series (179 items) mostly contains incoming letters to Lossing about his career as a historian. Some writers thanked Lossing for sending them copies of his books or otherwise commented on his works, such as his Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Others offered biographical details on historical figures, notes on family genealogies, and information about historical events. Some older correspondents provided firsthand accounts of events, and other writers shared information about potential primary source material. The American Revolutionary era and War of 1812 were common topics, though at least one letter was written during the Civil War. Historical figures discussed included John André and Oliver Hazard Perry; one man wrote about busts of George Washington at Mount Vernon. Some authors enclosed newspaper clippings in their letters, and two made drawings: one of an unidentified building (June 2, 1851) and one of the grave of James Ross (May 11, 1852). One letter from a publisher postdates Lossing's death.
Benson Lossing wrote occasional letters about his work, and at least one of his letters contains a printed form letter requesting historical information.
The Writings and Biographical Sketches (8 items) are brief essays about historical topics, mostly in Benson J. Lossing's handwriting. Subjects include copied inscriptions from a monument marking the Battle of Red Bank and biographies of Colonel Anthony White, William H. Winder, and Alexander Lillington. One item is a copied "Parole of Honor," with Lossing's added notes on some of its signers. Two signed manuscript drafts of articles include "The British Flag and the American Sailor Boy," which was later published as "Anna Van Antwerp and John Van Arsdale" in the Christian Union, and "Mr. Lincoln A Statesman," which appeared in Osborn H. Oldroyd's The Lincoln Memorial: Album-Immortelles. An essay about William H. Winder is attributed to Mrs. A. W. Townsend of Oyster Bay, New York.
The Printed Items series (10 items) is comprised of programs, newspaper clippings, obituaries, a chapter in a published volume, and engravings. One clipping is a reprint of an article written by Benson J. Lossing.