William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Catherine M. Barker Correspondence, 1856-1876
Christa Lemelin, September 2006, and Meg Hixon, November 2011
Catherine M. Barker correspondence
Barker, Catherine M., b. 1844
This collection consists of the incoming correspondence of Catherine M. Barker of Guilford, Connecticut, who received letters from family members and acquaintances during the mid-19th century. Her sister Mary wrote of her search for work in New Haven, Connecticut, and other correspondents commented on their social lives in Connecticut and New York.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
Catherine M. Barker Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.
Catherine M. Barker ("Katie") of Guilford, Connecticut, was born in 1844, the daughter of Samuel and Mary Barker, and lived with her family on their farm throughout much of her adult life. She had several siblings, including Charles, Samuel, and Mary. Mary moved to New Haven, Connecticut, in the late 1850s to seek work in a garment factory.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of 34 incoming letters addressed to Catherine M. Barker of Guilford, Connecticut, who received correspondence from female family members and acquaintances during the mid-19th century. Her sister, Mary A. Barker, wrote the first 8 letters while seeking work in New Haven, Connecticut, between 1856 and 1863. She occasionally discussed her experiences as a laborer in a garment factory and provided news of her social life. She described the boarding house where she lived and a visit to a performance hall, where she saw a show by French acrobat Charles Blondin (March 23, 1861). At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mary mentioned the local scramble for news, and lamented that war seemed to be the sole topic of conversation.
The letters Catherine received after 1869 originated from multiple acquaintances, primarily female, who discussed their social lives in Connecticut and New York. Emma Scranton (later Leete) wrote 6 letters to Catherine, commenting on a visit to P. T. Barnum's circus (January 8, 1873), urging Catherine not to marry her beau, Edgar (undated), and offering updates on her social life. Other correspondents planned upcoming visits with Catherine, and one friend, Ruthie, described her shock upon hearing that a friend's wife had left him.
- Connecticut--Social life and customs.
- New Haven (Conn.)
- New York (State)--Social life and customs.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Social aspects.
- United States--Social life and customs--1865-1918.
- Women--United States.
- Barker, Mary A.
- Doughty, Marie.
- Gallup, Joseph C.
- Leete, Emma Scranton.
- Ritter, Kate.
- Seymour, Henry A.