Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Robert and Washington Caldwell Papers, 1823-1901

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Robert and Washington Caldwell papers
Creator: Caldwell, Robert and Caldwell, Washington
Inclusive dates: 1823-1901
Bulk dates: 1840-1901
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
This collection contains legal and financial documents related to Robert Caldwell and his son Washington, both of Penn Township, Pennsylvania. Material includes indentures and court documents related to Robert Caldwell's land holdings, as well as receipts and court records reflecting Washington's career as a carpenter and, later, his service as a justice of the peace for Allegheny County.
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:

1993. M-2917.1.

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:

Robert and Washington Caldwell Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end. Several items are housed with oversized materials.


Robert Caldwell was born in Pennsylvania in the early 1800s, and moved to Penn Township, Pennsylvania, in 1848. He constructed a mill at nearby Milltown, which he operated until his accidental death on March 13, 1871. He and his wife, Catherine Klingsmith, had four children: Sarah Jane, Samuel, Margaret, and Washington.

Washington Caldwell was born in Manor Station, Pennsylvania, on March 11, 1842, and lived in Penn Township for most of his life. He became a carpenter and farmer, later serving as a justice of the peace for Allegheny County. He and his wife, Emma Jane Longdon, had six children: Annie, William, Harry, Howard, Clifford, Mary, and Margaret.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains legal and financial documents related to Robert Caldwell and his son Washington, of Penn Township, Pennsylvania. The first item is an indenture between Samuel and Margaret Caldwell of Salem, Pennsylvania, and Robert Caldwell, related to the estate of the recently deceased Joseph Harvey (January 24, 1823). The bulk of the material dates from 1840 to 1901, and documents the property interests of Robert Caldwell, as well as the financial and legal affairs of his son. Early items (1840-1872) consist of indentures, court records, and other documents, primarily pertaining to land in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Also included are several early bonds (late 1840s), as well as testimonies from several court cases, including Caldwell's disputes with William and Sophia Whitfield, John P. Schuster et al., George Miller, and Robert M. Callen. A survey map that Caldwell commissioned from E. H. Heastings, shows land along Plum Creek, near Millersville (December 28, 1854).

Later material pertains to the financial and legal affairs of Washington Caldwell, beginning with his assumption of administrative powers over his father's estate (March 25, 1873). Several receipts dated throughout the late 1800s relate to the purchase of carpentry supplies, and a series of court documents from 1899-1900 concern legal cases he presided over while a justice of the peace for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, particularly wage disputes against Daniel Moore. Other material includes insurance policies from various companies, covering Washington Caldwell's property in Verona, Pennsylvania (1886-1892).

Two broadsides document Robert Caldwell's efforts to arrest a burglar (December 21, 1843), and Washington Caldwell's sale of his deceased father's "Frame Grist and Saw Mill" (January 23, 1875).

Subject Terms

    • Carpenters--Pennsylvania.
    • Decedents' estates--Pennsylvania.
    • Justices of the peace--Pennsylvania.
    • Penn (Allegheny County, Pa. : Township)
    • Pennsylvania. Court of Common Pleas (Allegheny County)
    • Real property--Pennsylvania.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Millersville (Pa.)--Maps.
    Genre Terms:
    • Bonds (legal records)
    • Indentures.
    • Legal documents.
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Robert and Washington Caldwell papers [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-12
      January 24, 1823-February 7, 1901, and  undated
    Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    The following broadsides are housed separately:

    Related Materials

    The surveyor's map has been separately catalogued: Heastings, E. H, and A. M Buckmaster. Draught of a Survey Made for Mr Robert Colwell On Plum Creek, In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Containing As Stated There In: May 1853 And July 1853. 1854.


    History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Including Its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time... Volume 2. Chicago: A. Warner, 1889.