Connecticut Historical Society

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American Revolution
The bulk of this collection consists of records of the Council of Safety, whose function it was to handle the day to day affairs of Connecticut's wartime government; records of the Commissary department which was responsible for providing food and equipment for the soldiers; records of the Committee of Pay-Table which paid for supplies and services; the commissary and paymaster records of the Third Regiment, Connecticut Line; orderly books, journals and correspondence describing activities of Connecticut persons during the Revolution. Not all of the manuscripts have been digitized. Additional materials are from related collections that have been suggested for use in teaching about the Revolution using primary resources. A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded digitization of this collection., Connecticut Historical Society
Benjamin Talcott Account Book, 1699-1725
Accounts kept by a blacksmith who lived in Glastonbury, Conn. He was the son of Samuel and Hannah Holyoke Talcott. Benjamin married Sarah Hollister with whom he had five children. Funds to conserve and digitize this account book were donated by members of the Talcott family and friends.
Benjamin Tallmadge letter to Reuben H. Booth
Letter from Benjmain Tallmadge in Litchfield, Connecticut, to Reuben H. Booth in Newtown, Connecticut, in which Tallmadge indicated he would ride to New London at the end of the week or the beginning of the following week to oversee the closing of a factory.
Charlotte and Samuel Cowles Correspondence, 1833-1841, 1846
Correspondence between Charlotte Cowles of Farmington, Connecticut, and her brother, Samuel Cowles, of Windsor, Vermont, Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut. Charlotte was educated at the Farmington Academy and kept the family home after her mother's death in 1837. Her father Horace was active in abolition and temperance, as Charlotte's letters illustrate. She herself helped form a women's anti-slavery group in Farmington, she attended abolition lectures and read the literature popular at the time, her family helped slaves escape north, and Horace helped ban liquor licenses in Farmington. Charlotte's letters mention such names as Gerrit Smith, Henry Brewster Stanton, and Theodore Weld. Samuel published the anti-slavery newspaper Charter Oak in Hartford. His letters chronicle the not always friendly reception of an anti-slavery publication in that city. In 1839 there was an African slave revolt on the Schooner Amistad and the ship ended up in American waters. The slaves were brought to trial. In 1841, after the captives were declared free by the U.S. Supreme Court, they lived in Farmington, where Charlotte had ample opportunity to interact with them; in fact one of the African children lived with the Cowles. Her four letters from this time period provide insight into how the Mende Africans and the people of Farmington reacted to each other and into how a young, educated female came to understand the evils of slavery in a far deeper way than before. In addition to comments on the politics of the time, Charlotte also related news about events in Farmington and within her own household, including marriages and births, sleighing in winter, the progress of the flowers in spring, the books she read, and the comings and goings of friends and relatives., Connecticut Historical Society
Corset Trade Cards
Trade cards advertising Dr. Warner's "Coraline" corsets, manufactured in Bridgeport around 1876 by brothers and physicians Ira DeVer Warner (1840-1913) and Lucien C. Warner (1841-1925). Styles of the manufactured undergarments included the "health", "abdominal", "flexible hip 'D' " and "nursing" corsets.
A day out with the guys
Black and white film of a group of men in woolen jackets and knickers, out in the wild but acting silly, hamming for the camera, flasks of liquor, a camp fire and food. One segment has the men pretending to take off their trousers; another shows someone else using a camera. There is a gap, and then there are images of a farm and a team of horses pulling a sled. The latter part of the movie was taken in winter as there is snow on the ground.
Dudley Woodbridge letter to Mrs. Naughtie
Letter written from Barbados by Dudley Woodbridge, in which he reported on Mrs. Naughtie's son John Randall. Randall was in New Spain as a writer and accountant to a gentleman Woodbridge employed as an agent in the Royal Assiento Company. He reported Randall was careful and diligent and had shown improvement in English and math and was learning Spanish.
E. Spalding letter to John Warner Barber
Letter from E. Spalding to John Warner Barber outlining the history of the settlement of the town of Brooklyn, Connecticut. Barber requested the history in preparation for his book of historical facts of each town accompanied by his sketch of the town.
Elizabeth Steele letter to her children
Written over the course of several months, Elizabeth Steele, who with her husband moved to the town of Hinesburgh in western Vermont, described her daily activities, visits with neighbors, the weather, her faith in God, her loneliness, politics, boiling sap, the growth of crops, recalled the death of her son sixteen years ago and the anniversary of the deaths of other friends and family members, commented on the sound of cutting timber, and her practice of religion. She felt the area was growing well and would become an important town. The last entry was August 10.
Erastus Wolcott letter to Roger Newberry
A letter from Connecticut Brigadier General Erastus Wolcott to Colonel Roger Newberry informing him of an impending invasion by the British, followed by orders to Newberry to select a group of men to be at the ready. Below Wolcott's signature are orders issued by Col. Newberry to the 1st Regiment, Connecticut militia, to form new companies. He ordered various captains, lieutenants and ensigns to command the companies and divisions in Hartford, Windsor, Suffield.
Fredi Washington collection
Formal studio portraits and informal amateur snapshots document the life of Fredi Washington, including portraits of Fredi as a girl, a young woman, and an elderly woman. In some portraits she appears with her sister Isabel or her husband H. Anthony Bell. Most photographs include African-American women, men, or children. Several show men and women in bathing suits on a beach. Some document Fredi's travels in Europe and Haiti. One photograph shows a chorus line of dancers. Several photographs appear to show the interior and exterior of the Bells' house in Greenwich. From "WNPR" Post by CHS Fredericka Carolyn “Fredi” Washington was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1903 and died in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1994. Fredi began her career as a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem during the 1920s. She appeared in Black and Tan, a short film featuring Duke Ellington and his orchestra, in 1929 and went on to a career in motion pictures. She is most famous for her portrayal of Peola in Imitation of Life (1934). Peola, a light-skinned young African American woman, chooses to pass as white in order to escape racial discrimination. Fredi Washington and her husband, Dr. Hugh Anthony Bell. Fredi helped found the Negro Actors Guild of America in 1937 and served as Entertainment Editor of the People’s Voice, established in 1942 by Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who married Fredi’s sister. Fredi was also active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She played opposite the great African American actor Paul Robeson on several occasions, most notably in the film version of The Emperor Jones in 1933, but also in a 1926 production of Black Boy at the Stamford Theater. Fredi’s first husband was Lawrence Brown, a trombonist in Duke Ellington’s orchestra. After they divorced in 1951, she married a Stamford dentist, Hugh Anthony Bell, and moved to suburban Greenwich. Bell died in 1970. In 1975, Fredi was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame; in 1979, she received a CIRCA Award for lifetime achievement in the performing arts. She was 90 years old when she died of pneumonia in 1994.
French and Indian War Collection, 1743 - 1763
Although this collection consists primarily of materials created during the French and Indian War, there are in nearly every series some materials from the preceding King George's War. There are enlistments and impressments, muster rolls and account rolls of those serving in the war. Of interest are several contracts signed by men who served on the Louisbourg expedition in Cape Breton as well as in later campaigns, authorizing the transfer of their wages to another individual (often Jonathan Trumbull) to pay for provisions and to serve the recipients' speculative interests. There are also several receipts for wages paid by Trumbull. Numerous accounts and receipts provide information about how much money was spent on specific food items and alcohol, guns, blankets, and the shoeing horses. There are details of military orders; correspondence concerning intelligence (including concern over reports that the French were making snow shoes) and orders as well as letters to family. Finally, there are journals kept by men involved in the French and Indian War, an orderly book from Ticonderoga, and a note book with color sketches and examples of various styles of penmanship., French and Indian War Papers, 1743-1763, Connecticut Historical Society
Geer's Hartford City Directory and Hartford Illustrated; for the year commencing July, 1881
City directory for Hartford, Connecticut, for the year beginning July 1881 and ending July 1882, Volume 54., Preferred Citation: Donated in memory of Donna Holt Siemiatkoski by the Donna Holt Siemiatkoski Acquisition Fund of the CPGC
George Washington Letters, 1776-1799
A collection of letters and accounts, most of which have been signed by George Washington. Many of the letters were written to Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, Commissary General for the Continental Army. Washington also wrote several times to Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, Connecticut Historical Society
Governor Thomas Fitch Papers
Fitch was governor during the waning years of the French and Indian War, and many of his petitions and letters to the King and to the Lords of Trade relate to the expenses Connecticut incurred and his efforts to receive reimbursement. He also requested more arms to help protect New England's borders from the French and preserve the "rights and dominion" of Britain's North American colonies. Reports to the Lords of Trade and various secretaries to the King included the success of raising troops for an expedition against France in Canada, the colony's tax burdens, and the use of bounties and land grants to pay the soldiers. One document from the Earl of Egremont warned Fitch against disturbing the Shawnee and Delaware Indians by settling in the Susquehanna area. There were also references to Connecticut's Mohegan Case. Several accounts are among the papers, and a letter critical of Samson Occom is a unique and unusual find. Fitch was also noted for being the governor when Britain imposed the Stamp Tax. A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded digitization of this collection., Governor Thomas Fitch Ppaers, 1755-1765, Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford News Daily scrapbook, 1939-1940
Newspaper and magazine articles about the brain child of Bice Clemow to start a new newspaper in the city of Hartford. The Newsdailies Inc. was incorporated December 1, 1939. Clemow believed he could edit a newspaper more effectively by rewriting and condensing both local and wire news, and print it more cheaply using lithography. The paper was to be a tabloid, and was located at 111 Park Street in the city. The name of the publication was called The Hartford News Daily., Historic/Current Address: 111 Park Street, Hartford, Connecticut
Isaac Plant Jocelyn
Portrait of Isaac Plant Jocelyn (1833-1839), by his father Nathaniel Jocelyn (1796-1881). Isaac Plant Jocelyn was born New Haven, April 8, 1833, the son of artist Nathaniel and Sarah Atwater (Plant) Jocelyn, and brother of Margaret Jocelyn. Isaac died in New Haven on February 12, 1839, at age 6. Isaac was painted posthumously by his father, from sketches made by George H. Durrie and plaster casts made by Hezekiah Augur (see diary of Francis and Elizabeth Jocelyn, at MS Jocelyn). Nathaniel Jocelyn rarely worked in such small scale, but when he did it was always on wood. Jocelyn was born in New Haven to a family of clockmakers and engravers; after working a few years as an engraver, Nathaniel turned to portrait painting. Later in his life he would return to engraving, working with the American Bank Note Company in New York. Isaac was the grandson of Mrs. Simeon (Luceannah Smith) Jocelyn (1957.13.0). See 1963.35.0 for miniature of subject's sister, Margaret Plant Jocelyn (Mrs. Samuel Hayes)., Preferred Citation: Isaac Plant Jocelyn, painted by Nathaniel Jocelyn, 1839, oil on canvas, gift of Foster Wild Rice, 1960.51.1
John Talcott Account Book, 1635-1742
This record book is attributed to John Talcott (the second) of Hartford, Connecticut, and used by his son-in-law, Joseph Wadsworth (known for his involvement hiding the Connecticut Charter). Contains family history, including Wadsworth vital records, and copies of legal documents. Among the legal documents are the Laws of Massachusetts Territory (1687) and several proclamations by King Charles. The October 1-4, 1683, issue of The London Gazette had been sewn into the volume along with "His Majesties Declaration" dated July 1683. These were removed and stored separately after conservation. The accounts include brick making, along with other standard sales and purchases. Funds to conserve and digitize this account book were generously donated by members of the Talcott family and friends.
John Trumbull (artist) Papers
This John Trumbull was a noted artist. The collection consists predominantly of correspondence of Lebanon, Connecticut, born Trumbull with family members and other individuals. The letters are largely of a personal nature, particularly those to his family, but many are concerned with his work as an artist. The collection also includes financial records, containing a receipt book for prints of The Declaration of Independence and his accounts with Hartford Bank. A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded digitization of this collection., John Trumbull Papers, 1769-1843, Connecticut Historical Society
John Trumbull (poet) Papers
This John Trumbull was a poet. The collection consists of a handwritten book about navigation that includes a mock journal of a trip from London to Madeira kept by John Mills in 1795, poems by Trumbull, letters signed by Trumbull, and accounts. One of the letters was written to Daniel Wadsworth. A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded digitization of this collection., John Trumbull Papers, 1784-1827, Connecticut Historical Society
John Whittelsey account book, 1688-1706
Accounts kept by a shoemaker of Saybrook, Connecticut, written on pages bound into Tulley's Almanack of 1690 published in Boston by Samuel Green.
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. Papers, 1753-1832
A collection of papers of Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. of Lebanon, Connecticut, a businessman, politician, first Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury, secretary to George Washington, Paymaster for the New York department during the Revolution, and Governor of Connecticut. He served in the Connecticut General Assembly, the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and finally Governor. Documents in the collection include personal and business correspondence with many notable individuals of the time, militia records including courts martial and military returns, his personal estate papers, and records of the votes of Connecticut towns on the controversial Embargo of 1809. Digitization of this collection was funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Note that some documents were filmed while bound in oversize volumes and hence some text will be obscured., Connecticut Historical Society
Joseph Trumbull Papers
The collection consists largely of correspondence and supporting material written in Trumbull's personal and official roles. The correspondence is predominantly from the period of the American Revolution. There are also a few folders of receipts, bills, and accounts, including one folder of receipts from Joshua Smith. Some notable correspondents include Eleazer Fitch, Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., Eliphalet Dyer, Charles Miller, Christopher Leffingwell, Alexander Hamilton, Elisha Avery, Oliver Phelps, and John Hancock. A grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded digitization of this collection.
Letters of Joseph O. Cross, 1864-1865
Letters from Joseph O. Cross, with the 29th Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers (Colored), to his wife Abby Jane Simons Cross of Griswold, Connecticut. He wrote about other men in his unit that came from Griswold and how they fared, he commented that his own health was generally good, and complained that he had not yet been paid. He expressed concern for his family as they were also short of cash and sent greetings to his extended family and friends in Griswold. There are only a few letters in which he mentions battles.
Meriden Design Archive
A selection of catalogs of goods manufactured in Meriden, Connecticut, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by such companies as Meriden Britannia Company, Handel Company, International Silver Company, and Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company., Connecticut Historical Society
Miss Jacobs with sunflowers
Color film taken from the southeast corner of 70 Terry Road, Hartford, toward the garden, featuring three large sunflower plants and details of the flowers with Editha Jacobs. Ward S. Jacobs is then filmed wearing a jacket and hat and pushing a motor mower with three heads. The final twelve seconds of the film show a sail boat tacking on a lake.
Mustaches at CHS
Various examples of collections that feature individuals with mustaches at CHS. From realistic to stylized depictions over time, you may likely find a familiar face.
Nathaniel Terry letter to George Cabot
A letter to Massachusetts politician George Cabot to extend an invitation to members of the New England Convention to join the citizens of Hartford at Bennet's Hotel for a public dinner. Terry was serving on the Committee of Arrangements for the event.
Newgate Prison
Visual representations and manuscript material related to the Newgate Prison, a former copper mine located in present day East Granby, Connecticut. Mining began as early as 1705, and between 1776-1782 the structure and tunnels were used to house prisoners of war during the American Revolution. Today it is a historic house managed by the State of Connecticut., Connecticut Historical Society

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