January in the Archives

The cataloging has continued here at CHS. Here is a sampling of some of the records making their way to the online catalog.


Ok, maybe not that kind of alien. One of the collections cataloged last month was the Governor John Treadwell papers. The papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence and several speeches of John Treadwell while Lieutenant Governor and then Governor of Connecticut.  The incoming letters discussed such issues as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the election of 1800, the use of gun-boats for national defense, and the early talks of Union secession over the institution of slavery. Correspondents include Lyman Beecher, Henry W. Dessasure, Chauncey Goodrich, Governor Roger Griswold, James Hillhouse, Ebenezer Huntington, Joseph Lyman, Timothy Pitkin, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uriah Tracy, Jr., Benjamin Trumbull and Rev. Newton Skinner.  Treadwell’s speeches include his acceptance as Governor and those given at the opening of the General Assemblies during his term. (Ms 22445)


An unusual piece Barbara uncovered is a handmade booklet, primarily consisting of newspaper clippings about witchcraft in Connecticut and Massachusetts printed in the Hartford Evening Post and The Union and Advertiser of Rochester, NY.  Along with it is a handwritten letter from Jules to Pat (no last names) about witches in Windsor. The booklet is titled Witches of Windsor, and the Witch-hunters of Hartford and was written by David Williams Patterson.  (Ms 10732)

Why the teacher always told you to put your name on the paper!

Ten of the account books we cataloged this month have unknown authors. They include several merchants and storekeepers, a dressmaker, a weaver (more below), a bricklayer, and two butchers.  We have many anonymous account books, which is really too bad. The information can be quite interesting and it would be great to be able to give the authors credit.  For example, the Dressmaker’s account book records the sale of shoes, hooks and eyes, dresses, undersleeves, hats, hair pins, whalebone, welting, yard goods, lace veils, and aprons. Charges were for cutting, fitting, making and basting dresses.  The customers, mostly women, lived in the Norfolk, Connecticut area.  There was, though, also an account with Joseph Battell & Co. (Account Books/2010.002)


Lately Barbara has started venturing into our genealogical manuscript collections. Among these is the collection of Donald L. Jacobus genealogy correspondence, research, and personal diaries.  The collection consists primarily of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, related to Jacobus’ genealogical research. Correspondents include Helen G. Carpenter, John I. Coddington, Meredith B. Colket, Jr., George Dudley Seymour, Helen Turney Sharps, Frank Farnsworth Starr, Clarence A. Torry, and the publisher Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor.  There are also notebooks, abstracts of vital and cemetery records, newspaper clippings, index cards for his sources, research on the descendants of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and a selection of book announcements, sent to him either in his capacity as editor of The American Genealogist or as an independent researcher. Included are manuscripts for two of his books, one on the families of New Haven and the other on the Waterman family. Of note are diaries kept by Ida Wilmot Lines Jacobus and her son, Donald Lines Jacobus, which provide insight into their private lives. Both Donald and Ida lived in New Haven, Connecticut. The volumes from 1905-1907 and 1922-1948 were kept by Ida Jacobus. When she became ill at the end of 1948, the diary was continued by Donald. With the exception of one entry in 1952, Donald kept the diaries from 1903, 1952, and 1963-1969. On February 27, 1952, Donald noted his mother’s death. Ida’s diary entries were more in depth than Donald’s, but both wrote of day to day activities. Also of interest is Donald’s baby book and several posters, in Russian, promoting socialism over capitalism. (Ms 97520)

D.L. Jacobus

Genealogist D.L. Jacobus in his early years (Donald L. Jacobus Genealogy Correspondence, Research, and Personal Diaries, 1903-1969, MS Jacobus. CHS, Hartford, CT)


In addition to the Anonymous weaver’s account book, I also cataloged the Lippitt Manufacturing Co. weaving book and the White & Robinson weaving book. All three seem to be from Rhode Island, though the clients recorded in the anonymous book resided throughout central Connecticut.  The Lippitt volume has an interesting twist. In addition to listing the names of the weavers, as well as information on the amount and type of work they performed and their pay, the volume was used to record sales of lottery tickets for the Fairfield (Connecticut) Episcopal Society. Most of the purchasers were from the Pomfret, Connecticut area. Geographically, Pomfret and Fairfield are about as far apart as any two Connecticut cities can be! (Oversize/Ms 64633, Ms 66336-12, Account Books/Ms 66336-22)

All of these collections are open for research. Come visit!