Gordon-Kyle family papers  1801-1861
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Gordon-Kyle family papers consist of 245 letters, 8 legal documents, and 4 receipts. The letters concern family life, Pennsylvania social life, church news, preaching and religious matters, education at Princeton and Mt Holyoke Female Seminary, and travel and relatives moving out of state.

The Jeremiah Smith Gordon Correspondence subseries contains approximately 140 letters sent to Gordon. He received letters from his father, Alexander; his siblings Martha J., Mattie, David, and Humphrey Fullerton; his cousins Maggie Waddell, Sade Waddell, and Marion Gordon; his aunt, Kiziah Gordon, and various friends and colleagues. These contain basic family updates regarding births, marriages, travel, education, sicknesses (mumps, chicken pox, cholera, scarlet fever, etc.), and deaths. The Maggie Waddell subseries contains 11 items addressed to Waddell, the cousin of Jeremiah Smith Gordon.

Occasionally, the family discusses anti-slavery issues. For example, Gordon's Father, Alexander, wrote "I still hope there is Christianity enough in our Country yet to save the ship of state from turning pirate or robber by reviving the slave trade" (October 24, 1856. Also of interest is an undated letter reporting on a meeting in Hagerstown where a slave was "dressed in a fine suit of uniform representing general Scott. Several of their men was so much disgusted they left their ranks and came out for Scott" (from A. Gordon, undated).

The early letters in the Kyle Correspondence subseries are addressed to Susan Kyle of Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania, from 1801-1820, and included one letter from her sister-in-law Anny Waugh, 4 letters from brother John Coulter, and one from friend John Hutchison. Also from this time are three business letters to John Kyle of Baltimore (1807-1811). The bulk of the subseries consists of letters to and from John B. Kyle and Margaret "Peggy" Beatty Kyle Gordon, including six letters from John Kyle to his mother and sister (1848-1852), five items from Glenn in Fannettsburg to "Peg" Margaret Beatty (1855-1857), and several undated letters to Margaret from an F. Boggs. The eight business papers (1856-1864) document loans, debts, and an estate inventory officiated by John B. Kyle.

The Unattributed Correspondence and Receipts series consists of 4 receipts and 5 letters to unknown recipients.

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