This collection is comprised of 63 letters written and received by members of the Hitchcock family of Strong, Maine, in the early 19th century. Edward K. Hitchcock received 40 letters from his parents and siblings, as well as 4 letters from cousins and other relatives, 12 from acquaintances, and 1 from the Maine Secretary of State. The collection also has 1 letter Edward wrote to his parents and 5 letters addressed to other members of the extended family. Edward's siblings and parents primarily provided news from Strong, Maine, in the 1830s and 1840s, and his other correspondents occasionally reported on financial matters.
Edward K. Hitchcock most frequently received letters from his parents, Benjamin and Vaeilette Hitchcock, and from his siblings, including Alfred, Eunice, Vaeilette, and Mary Hitchcock. They wrote to Edward at Kent's Hill, Maine, in 1837 and 1838; at Houlton, Maine, from 1840 to 1843; at Rouses Point, New York, between 1845 and 1847; and at Strong, Maine, after 1847. Most letters contain family and local news from Strong, such as reports of marriages or deaths, as well as updates on the family farm and on a local mill. Several writers mentioned members of the Ellsworth and Stanwood families. Some family members, particularly women, discussed their education. Edward's mother and, less frequently, his siblings expressed concern about his health and commented negatively on the effects of their separation. Edward's sister Eunice reported on her life in Boston, Massachusetts, and his brother Alfred wrote of Boston's clothing industry and of his business affairs there. Alfred and others remarked about courtship and relationships between their acquaintances. Most of Edward's non-familial correspondents discussed financial matters.
In addition to Edward K. Hitchcock's incoming correspondence, the collection holds 1 letter he wrote to his parents, sharing news and offering to assist the family with their financial troubles (December 6, 1843). Other letters include 3 Marcia A. Stinson wrote to her "Aunt Delano" (1853-1854), and 1 letter addressed to George W. Ellsworth from Mary Jane Delano (February 19, 1843). Also of interest are a letter Edward's siblings wrote concerning a recent trip to Boston (June 23, 1844); Alfred Hitchock's thoughts on the election of Zachary Taylor (December 4, 1848); and two partially printed letters from P. C. Johnson, Secretary of State for Maine, appointing Ephraim K. Hiscock "justice of the peace and quorum" for Franklin County and appointing Edward K. Hiscock [Hitchcock] "justice of the peace and quorum" for Somerset County (both dated May 15, 1845).