About the Manuscript Collection




Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Subject Descriptions
Box Listing

Date range: 1817-1918
Location: D.93
Size: 10 boxes

Provenance

The Post Family Papers were the gift of Nellie Farmen Post in memory of her husband, Ruden Wheeler Post, in December 1975. Ruden Wheeler Post (1879 - 1955), was a grandson of Isaac and Amy Kirby Post.

Biographical Note

Isaac Post was born on February 26, 1798, in Westbury, Long Island, New York, the son of Edmund and Catherine Willets Post. Isaac was a descendant of Richard Post who came to Southampton, Long Island from Lynn, Massachusetts, around the middle of the 17th century, and the Willets, a Quaker family which emigrated from Wiltshire, England, landing at Oyster Bay, Long Island in 1676.

Around 1822, Isaac married Hannah Kirby, one of eight children of Jacob and Mary R. Seaman Kirby who lived in Jericho, Long Island. On February 20, 1823, Hannah bore a daughter, Mary H. Post, in Westbury, Long Island. Both the Posts and Kirbys were farming families and Isaac followed this livelihood when he moved Hannah and Mary in May of 1823 to the township of Scipio in southern Cayuga County, New York.

In March 1825, Isaac & Hannah had another child, a son named Edmund. Soon after Edmund's birth, Hannah became seriously ill and died in April 1827. Hannah's last illness was tended by Amy Kirby (born December 20, 1802), her sister, who had helped Isaac and Hannah establish themselves in Scipio in 1823. On September 18, 1828, a little more than a year and a half after Hannah's death, Amy Kirby married Isaac, becoming stepmother to Isaac and Hannah's children, Mary and Edmund.

Isaac and Amy Post's first son, Jacob Kirby Post, was born on November 11, 1829. In September 1830, Hannah's son Edmund died at age 5. A second son was born to Isaac and Amy in 1832 and named Joseph W. Post. A third son, Henry, was born in March 1834 in Ledyard, another town in Cayuga County. In 1836, not satisfied with farming in that region, Isaac moved his family to a house in Rochester, New York, at 36 Sophia Street. Amy's sister Sarah L. Kirby (b. January 16. 1818) moved to Rochester with the Posts. In July 1837, Isaac and Amy's third son, Henry, died at age 3. In 1838, Sarah married Jeffries Hallowell (ca. 1810 - 1844). The couple moved to Aurora, Cayuga County, for one year, returning to Rochester sometime after 1838. That same year, Isaac established the drug firm of Post, Coleman and Willis at 4 Exchange Street, in the Smith Arcade.

Isaac's drug firm expanded readily over the next several decades, providing a comfortable source of income and a place of employment for Jacob, Joseph, and another son, Willet E. Post, born on March 14, 1847. In 1844, at the age of fifteen, Jacob became a clerk in his father's firm and in in the early 1850s was admitted into partnership. He worked steadily in the drug business for the rest of his life, and assumed sole control of his father's business in 1877. Jacob incorporated the firm in 1906, a decade before his own death. Joseph went to work at first for the Motive Power Department of the New York Central Railroad, coming back to Rochester later in life to enter his father's firm. An original member of the American Drug Syndicate, Joseph moved in 1887 to Charlotte, (part of Rochester since the first quarter of the 20th century), and continued in the drug business until his death in 1915. In 1840, however, Isaac's firm was not expanding nearly as fast as the Posts' other activities. In addition to the birth of a daughter, Matilda, who died as a child in 1845, the year 1840 marked the start of a decade which proved decisive in shaping the character of the Posts' lives for the next 30 years.

Both Amy and Isaac had grown up in Quaker families holding liberal views within the Quaker faith. When the Hicksite Separation occurred in 1827, both families followed their concerns with the social reform issues of the day and became Hicksite Quakers. In the early 1840s, Isaac and Amy transformed their concerns into social action and became deeply involved in the abolitionist movement. Amy joined the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society and helped organize fairs and lectures given in Corinthian Hall and elsewhere. The Posts' home frequently received Frederick Douglass and Wendell Phillips, as well as other guests involved in the anti-slavery cause such as William Lloyd Garrison, Parker Pillsbury, George Thompson, Cassius M. Clay, and Sojourner Truth.

By 1845 the Posts' abolitionist activities brought them squarely into opposition with the rule of non-involvement taught in the Quaker discipline, and after being visited by a committee of the Friends, the Posts decided to leave the Society rather than give up their fight against slavery.

In January of 1843, Mary H. Post, Isaac and Hannah Kirby's daughter, married William R. Hallowell (1816 - 1882) and settled on Jones Street, in Rochester. The second half of the 1840s and the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law at the start of the 1850s saw an increasing number of escaping slaves seeking shelter on their northern journey to freedom in Canada. Both Mary's and Amy's houses were prominent Rochester stations on the Underground Railroad. Isaac and Amy's house sometimes provided shelter for 12 to 15 fugitive slaves in one night. The Posts were also very active supporters of Frederick Douglass, both in his publishing and lecturing activities, as well as in his attempts to open up public schools and similar civic institutions in the Rochester area to participation by black citizens. Around 1847 when Frederick Douglass started his anti-slavery paper the North Star in Rochester, Joseph helped Douglass to publish the newspaper.

Neither Amy Kirby Post's nor Mary H. Post Hallowell's activities were confined to the anti-slavery cause. Mary aided in the organization of the United Charities of Rochester and was a member of the Political Equality Club. In 1848, Mary attended the Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls as a delegate. In her work for the cause of women's rights, Mary followed both her step-mother Amy and her aunt Sarah L. Kirby Hallowell, who were close friends with Susan B. Anthony.

Amy Kirby Post was one of the early influences on Susan B. Anthony, encouraging and supporting her to entrance into the campaign for women's rights. Delegate to both the Seneca Falls and Rochester conventions in 1848, Amy helped organize both conventions and was an editor of the convention Proceedings published in 1870. Sarah's activities on behalf of women's rights were not curtailed by her second marriage, to Edmund P. Willis in 1853. Sarah maintained an interest in civic activism and continued her involvement with the Mechanics Institute throughout her adult life. In 1900, she contributed $2,000 of the remaining $8,000 needed to make the University of Rochester a co-ordinate men's and women's institution.

Despite their resignation from the Society of Friends in 1845, Isaac and Amy Kirby Post maintained the dignified and simple lifestyle and manners characteristic of the less socially involved Quaker orthodoxy. They also shared a deep inner spirituality. The depth of the Posts' involvement in their own religious lives was demonstrated by their conversion to a total belief in Spiritualism, a set of beliefs founded by Margaret Fox and her sisters, Leah and Catherine, in 1848.

Isaac and Amy, along with R. D. Jones, John E. Robinson and George Willets, were among the original group of five people, who first met regularly at the Foxs' house to investigate the source of the "Rochester Rappings". The Posts were soon convinced that they were in direct communication with the deceased of all historical periods and countries. Isaac and Amy became the principal mentors of the Fox sisters during the early part of their public careers, giving them advice, encouragement, and protection during the time the first public investigations were held.

After a period of experimentation, Isaac became noted as a writing medium, publishing in 1852 a book entitled Voices From The Spirit World, Being Communications From Many Spirits, By the Hand of Isaac Post, Medium. By 1852, there were already thousands of writing mediums in the United States. Voices gained notoriety for its contents and the beliefs it supported. The book contained an introduction purporting to be from the spirit of Benjamin Franklin. Approximately forty other "communications" from spirits of noteworthy people such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Elias Hicks, John C. Calhoun, Margaret Fuller, Emanuel Swedenborg, Daniel O'Connell, Voltaire, William Penn, and George Fox made up the body of the text. Despite the criticism of the popular press and vehement opposition from conservative clergy, Isaac and Amy Kirby Post continued unshaken in their beliefs and for decades ranked as the leading defenders of the Spiritualists in Rochester.

Isaac and Amy's son, Willet E. Post followed a career in his father's drug firm and became very interested in Spiritualism as a young man. He was an active worker in the earliest days of the Spiritualist Church of Rochester, serving it as a trustee, and also filling various offices in the lyceum. Except for four years of work on his own in the grocery business, Willet remained in the drug business until his retirement around 1912.

As they grew older, both Isaac and Amy Kirby Post remained active in a wide range of social reform activities. They often traveled throughout New York State to attend conventions of the various reform movements they took interest in. Isaac attended the Hartford Bible Convention at Hartford, Connecticut in June, 1853. Amy often combined visits to her family on Long Island with New York City conventions, once making a round trip including New York City, Long Island, and Boston, in order to visit relatives and further the anti-slavery cause at the same time.

In 1882, on her eightieth birthday, Rochester celebrated the contributions of Amy Kirby Post to the local community and the nation, establishing a precedent that was later followed in the case of Susan B. Anthony on her seventieth birthday and in the case of Mary T. Gannett on her seventy-fifth birthday. Old age, however, or even the absence of Isaac who had died in 1872, did not slow down Amy Kirby Post's reform activities. In 1887, she attended the convention of the Friends of Human Progress at West Junius near Waterloo in Seneca County, New York, to support an organization that she and Isaac had both been active in for many years. Less than a year before her death in 1889, Amy attended the International Council of Woman Suffragists in Washington, still working for a cause which epitomized the human spirit of both Isaac and Amy Kirby Post, Hicksite Quakers, free thinkers, Spiritualists, and active reformers of 19th century Rochester.

Scope and Content Note

The Post Family Papers span the years from 1817 to 1918. The bulk of the material spans the period from 1823- the year Isaac and Hannah Kirby Post moved to Scipio, New York- to 1872, the year Isaac Post died.

The papers include 7 boxes of correspondence containing 1,970 letters from 494 individual writers. The eighth box contains non-correspondence materials including: 38 manuscript items, 55 financial and legal documents, and 26 pieces of printed ephemera.

The undated correspondence is arranged alphabetically by writer's last name. The 1,601 dated letters are arranged chronologically and sub-grouped alphabetically by the writer's last name. Each letter is then categorized by at least two different subject terms:

Subject Descriptions

Abolitionism
Agriculture
Anti-Tobacco Movement
Child Birth
Business
Chinese Immigrants
Civil War
Domestic Servants
Education
Family
Friends of Human Progress
Freed Slaves
Indians
Medicine
Personal
Quakers
Reconstruction Era
Slavery
Spiritualism and Spirit Writing
Temperance
Women's Rights

ABOLITIONISM (AB)

The correspondence includes letters from a large number and variety of abolitionists. The bulk of the anti-slavery correspondence is from Frederick Douglass and William Cooper Nell. Other noteworthy correspondents include, (B following a name indicates a black correspondent): Susan Brownell Anthony, Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, William Wells Brown (B), Lydia Maria Francis Child, Lucy Newhall Danforth Colman, Betsey Mix Cowles, Julia Griffiths Crofts, Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis, Frederick Douglass Jr. (B), Abigail Kelley Foster, James Sloan Gibbons, Louisa Hell Gray (the sister of William Cooper Nell / B), Josephine Sophie White Griffing, Richard Price Hallowell, Laura Smith Haviland, Sallie Rolley, James Caleb Jackson, Harriet Brent Jacobs (B), Oliver Johnson, Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Jones, Elizabeth Annie Kingsbury, Thomas McClintock, Samuel Joseph May, James Mott, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Lydia Mott, Abigail Jemima Hutchinson Patton, Aaron M. Powell, Charles Lenox Remond (B), Lizzie M. Remond (B), Sarah Parker Remond (B), David Ruggles (B), Jeremiah Burke Sanderson (B), Lewla C. Smith, William Still (B), George Thompson, Sojourner Truth (B), Jonathan Walker (B), and Henry Clarke Wright.

Several topics for which material may be found in the correspondence are: the American Anti-Slavery Society, the debate over disunion vs. union, mention of anti-slavery newspapers such as the Liberator, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, the North Star and the Freeman, and the free goods movement.

Notable items include an underground railroad pass signed by Frederick Douglass (n.d. #44), a letter to Isaac Post from an unidentified slave he helped escape to Canada (dated May 29, 1850), and a prospectus of the North Star with speech notes on the back which may relate to the Rochester Women's Rights Convention of 1848 (Aug. 2, 1848).

The subject term Abolitionism is used to index all material relating to the anti-slavery movement, including any letter mentioning an identifiable fact, idea, or sentiment about the anti-slavery cause, its proponents or opponents and its development and progress before and during the Civil War. For letters post-dating the Civil War the term is used to designate letters mentioning something about the movement from an historical perspective.

AGRICULTURE

The correspondence includes many letters from members of the Post and Kirby families who were farmers. Some of these letters include details about crop and livestock prices, farming practices, and weather variations as they affected farming. The great bulk of these letters are from Isaac Post's brother and sister-in-law, Joseph and Mary Robbins Post, who lived in Westbury, Long Island.

The subject term Agriculture is used to index all material in the correspondence connected with crop or livestock agriculture.

ANTI-TOBACCO MOVEMENT

The correspondence contains one letter, dated Jan. 5, 1868, from George Trask (1798 - 1875), a clergyman until 1850 and then a temperance agent in Fitchburg, Mass. Trask was a prolific author of tracts and lectured throughout the U.S. against the use of tobacco. There are several other mentions of the anti-tobacco movement in the correspondence.

The subject tens Anti-Tobacco is used to index all material in the correspondence related to the movement against the use of tobacco.

CHILD-BIRTH

The correspondence contains numerous mentions of births among the various branches of the Post and Kirby families. Beyond this, there are five letters, dated Sept. 8, 1849, Dec. 20, 1855, Nov. 8, 1861 (?), Oct. 28, 1868, and Sept. 22, 1869, which discuss occurrences of childbirth in more detail. These five letters are indexed under the term Births, and contain details such an the number of hours of labor and the type of medical assistance, if any, that were used.

BUSINESS

The early part of the family letters contains almost no mention of dealings with businesses or banks, except for the purchase or sale of agriculturally related goods. After the beginning of the 1850's however, there is a slowly increasing incidence of detail about the Post family's contacts with business and their financial history. The letters which contain some information of this nature are indexed under the subject term Business.

CHINESE IMMIGRANTS

The correspondence contains a few letters which mention the topic of Chinese emigration. These letters are indexed under the term Chinese Immigrants.

CIVIL WAR

The correspondence contains a significant but not large number of letters referring to the causes, onset, progress, and immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Most of these letters contain either sentiments about the war or factual details about its progress. These letters are indexed under the term Civil war.

DOMESTIC SERVANTS

The correspondence includes about 105 letters which mention the use, procurement, condition, activities of, and/or feelings about domestic servants. Some of these letters mention the names of domestic servants in a way that they are indistinguishable from other people mentioned in the same letters without an intimate knowledge of the correspondence.

The term Domestic Servants is used to index all letters which contain any information about servants used in the household for domestic duties. Farmhands and other types of agricultural labor are not indexed under the term Domestic Servants.

EDUCATION

The correspondence contains a few letters from two noted educators, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn (1811-1877), lawyer, official and general counsel of the New York Central Railroad, post 1853, and Chancellor of the University of the State of New York, 1862 - 1867, and Emily James Smith Putnam, author, teacher, and first dean of Barnard College in 1894.

The bulk of the material on education is found in letters from Isaac Post's sons, Jacob Kirby Post, Joseph W. Post, and Wlllet E. Post, sent to their parents while they were going to school away from home. The correspondence also contains some material on Quaker views of education. All material relating to education is indexed under the latter term.

FAMILY

The term Family is used to designate letters which contain details about the families of the letter writers and, in addition, any material relating to the history of the family such as attitudes towards family life and/or children, domestic practices, and child raising practices.

The correspondence contains a significant but not large amount of material relating to Quaker attitudes and practices in family life and child raising,

FRIENDS OF HUMAN PROGRESS

The correspondence contains a significant number of letters from three members of the Friends of Human Progress - Phebe B. Dean, Mary S. Doty, and Charles D. B. Mills. All such correspondence and any other material relating to this organization is indexed under the organization's name.

Even though Amy and Isaac Post are indicated in secondary sources to have been active members of the Friends of Human Progress, the correspondence does not give such detail about the nature of their support or activities in this organization.

FREED SLAVES

The correspondence includes letters from three notable people connected with the freedmen issue--General Oliver Otis Howard, head of the Freedmen's Bureau, Emily Rowland, and Sojourner Truth.

There is a significant but not large amount of material containing details about the efforts to help the freed slaves and the conditions they suffered under during and after the Civil War. In particular, there is a significant amount of correspondence to Sojourner Truth during 1867 in which people from northwestern New York State request her help in obtaining freed slaves, both male and female, to work as farm hands and domestic servants, respectively, at their homesteads.

All material relating in any way to the freedmen is indexed under the term Freed Slaves.

INDIANS

The correspondence contains a small number of letters from Asher Wright, an agent on Cattaraugus Reservation in Chautanqua and Erie Counties, N.Y., a few letters from John Joe, (written by Asher Wright), an indigent Indian whom the Posts helped for nearly 40 years, and a letter from the Indian women of Tonawanda Reservation to President John Tyler, dated March 14, 1842. There is also some mention of Quaker attitudes and actions relating to the Indians. All material of this nature is indexed under the term Indians.

MEDICINE

The correspondence includes approximately 238 letters which contain some identifiable information relating to the history and practice of 19th century medicine. The bulk of these letters mention or discuss various forms of treatment, both folk medicine and "professional", opinions about certain doctors and/or the efficacy of certain schools of 19th century medicine, and details about recipes for folk medicines or the methods used in applying a certain form of treatment.

There are letters from three notable physicians: James Caleb Jackson (1811 - 1895), a hydropathic physician and abolitionist, Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier (1813 - 1888) a homeopathic physician and feminist, and Sarah Parker Remond (1826 - post 1887?), a black physician in Italy post 1865 and an abolitionist.

The bulk of the letters mentioning medicine are among the Post family correspondence. All material mentioning any aspect of medicine is indexed under this term

PERSONAL

The term Personal is used to index any letter that contains significant material relating to personal information about the letter writer, as distinguished from or in addition to, information about the letter writer's immediate family or other relatives. Letters which discuss the writer's activities within a family context are indexed under the term Family.

QUAKERS

The correspondence includes many letters from the Post and Kirby families which shed light on Quaker attitudes and activities in such areas as agriculture, amusements, education (including libraries, teachers, and schools), family life (including child raising), Indians, and medicine. There is a significant but not large amount of material on Elias Hicks, his activities on Long Island at Quaker meetings, and the Hicksite Separation of 1827. In addition there is material showing the contrast of Hicksite versus Orthodox Quaker attitudes towards, and activities in, the arena of preaching, religious meetings, marriages, tolerance of the variations among Quaker sects and of other Christian sects, and contemporary social movements including abolitionism, spiritualism, temperance, and women's rights.

There are letters in the collection from the following members of the noteworthy Mott family: Abigail Mott (abolitionist), Arthur Mott, Elizabeth Kirby Mott, James Mott (1788 - 1868, abolitionist), Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793 - 1880, feminist and abolitionist), and Lydia Mott (abolitionist). In addition there is material in the correspondence discussing the activities of Rachel Hicks, who had a ministry on Long Island, and Priscilla Hunt, who had a traveling ministry, originally from Illinois.

All topics for which there are specific subject index terms, such as abolition or education, have been indexed under both the specific term and the term Quakers in cases where the subject occurs in a Quaker context. All other topics which occur in a Quaker context are indexed under the term Quakers.

RECONSTRUCTION ERA

The correspondence includes a small number of letters mentioning some aspect of the history of the Reconstruction Era. All such letters are indexed under the term Reconstruction.

SLAVERY

The correspondence includes a small number of letters which discuss aspects of slavery such as living and working conditions, treatment by owners, and family life. There are also approximately 33 letters from Harriet Brent Jacobs, dated in the 1850's and 1860's, some of which mention aspects of slavery. The bulk of the Jacobs letters deal with her family and the progress of her book Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861. The correspondence between Jacobs and Lydia Maria Francis child indicates that Jacobs' book was a true narrative of her own experiences. All material relating directly to slavery is indexed under this term.

SPIRITUALISM and SPIRIT WRITING

The correspondence includes a small number of letters from the Fox sisters, Catherine Fox, Margaret Fox Kane, and Ann Leah Fox Fish Brown Underhill. Other noteworthy correspondents include: Eliab Wilkinson Capron, Ira Erastus Davenport, Andrew Jackson Davis, Mary Fenn Davis, Lizzie Fish (a daughter of Ann Leah Fox Fish Brown Underhill), Abigail Jemima Hutchinson Patton, Samuel Post, Nathaniel Potter Jr., Rebecca Moses Sanford, Lewla C. Smith, and Henry Clarke Wright.

The correspondence includes a large number of letters which mention or discuss Spiritualism, the movement's progress and/or obstacles, its proponents and opponents, its reception in the popular press, the details of séances, spiritual communications of various forms, and the ability of the spirits to accurately describe private family histories and predict future individual and social events. Mention is also made of spiritualist newspapers such as the Spirit Telegraph and the Banner of Light. There is an example, dated 1851(?), of a prospectus of The Illuminati sent by A.V. Valentine to Isaac Post.

There does not seem to be any manuscript evidence of the original spirit communications which Isaac Post put together to publish in his book Voices From the Spirit World...., (1852), but a significant number of examples of spirit writing are present. Two spirit writing examples are "signed", one by a Charles Frost, the other by Charles Hammond (1779 - 1840), member of the Ohio bar, editor of the Cincinnati Gazette, 1825-1840, and an Ohio legislator. Many of the spirit writing examples are scribbled on the backs of other letters, these are separately indexed to ensure easy access to their contents.

The correspondence also includes letters from a Benjamin Fish and a Sarah D. Bills Fish. Evidence from the content of these letters indicates that Benjamin and Sarah D. Bills Fish were married, living in the Rochester area c.1848, and were involved in the original events surrounding the rise of Spiritualism. The possibility seems strong that Benjamin Fish was in some way related to the man named Fish that Ann Leah Fox was married to in the 1840's and who either died or deserted her and their three children pamphlet authored by Samuel Post, notable anti-spiritualist, entitled An Exposition of Modern Spiritualism, Showing Its Tendency to a Total Annihilation of Christianity..., (86p.; published 1861), is in the Seward Pamphlet collection (179AA) located in the Department of Rare Books.

All examples of spirit writing are indexed under this term. The term Spiritualism is used to index all other material relating to the spiritualist movement.

TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT

The correspondence includes a small amount of material on the temperance movement. The bulk of the material consists of just brief expressions of support or opposition to temperance. Some small amount of material on temperance occurs within the context of Quaker beliefs and activities. Despite secondary sources stating that Amy Kirby Post was a strong supporter of temperance, no firm evidence exists in the correspondence, except the character of her other activities and beliefs, to shed light on any possible activities or support she may have engaged in related to the temperance movement.

The term Temperance is used to index all material relating to the movement and its practice.

WOMEN'S RIGHTS

The correspondence includes a significant number of letters which mention the women's rights cause. Notable correspondents include: Susan Brownell Anthony, Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, Henry Brown Blackwell, Sarah Anthony Burtis, Abigail Bush, Lydia Maria Francis Child, Emma R. Coe, Lucy Newhall Colman, Betsey Mix Cowles, Caroline Wells Healey Dall, Mary Fenn Davis, Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis, Rhoda De Garmo, Joseph A. Dugdale, Ruth Dugdale, Abigail Kelley Foster, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Josephine Sophie White Griffing, Laura Smith Haviland, Emily Howland, Harriet Brent Jacobs, Oliver Johnson, Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Jones, Elizabeth Annie Kingsbury, Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier, Thomas McClintock, Samuel Joseph May, Charles D.B. Mills, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Sarah C. Owen, Abigail Jemima Hutchinson Patton, Aaron M. Powell, Rebecca Moses Sanford, Azaliah Schooley, Lewia C. Smith, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Henry Clarke Wright, and Martha Coffin Pelham Wright.

The letters include mention of the activities of various feminists such as Catherine Beecher, Lydia Ann Jenkins, and Lucy Stone. Femimist publications including The Revolution, the Una, the Women's Advocate and the Women's Journal are also mentioned or discussed. The correspondence also includes some notices for various women's rights conventions.

One noteworthy item is a set of scribbled notes for a speech which may have been given at the Rochester Women's Rights Convention of Aug. 2, 1848. The speech was given in support of the resolution before the convention that women are entitled to ownership of the earnings from their own labor. The notes, filed in the correspondence by the convention date, are written on the back of a prospectus for Frederick Douglass' paper the North Star which he started publishing in Rochester in 1847. Despite the fact that Douglass was present at the convention and supported the resolution, examination of a copy of the speech notes by the editors of the Douglass papers project has led to their conclusion that the speech notes were probably not written by Douglass.

The bulk of the correspondence mentioning women's rights does not contain a large amount of material on the history of the movement, but rather usually expresses an opinion or relates a few facts about a convention or other feminist activities.

The term Women's Rights is used to index all material on the women's rights movement. In addition, it is used to index any discussion relating to domestic, social, and political conditions of women.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTEWORTHY CORRESPONDENTS

The correspondence includes letters from the following notable writers not mentioned above:

1) Elizabeth Fries Lummis Ellet (1812? - 1877), author and historian, published many books including, The Women of the American Revolution (vol. 1-2, 1848; vol. 3, 1850), and Domestic History of the American Revolution (1850)

2) Rev. Freeborn Garrettson Hibbard (1811 - 1895), Pastor of Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, Rochester, N.Y.

3) Daniel Craig McCallum (1815 - 1878), emigrated to Rochester as a boy; engineer, originated and patented an inflexible arched truss bridge (1851) and specialized in bridge building thereafter; military director of railroads from 1862 to the close of the Civil War.

Box Listing

Box 1: Correspondence, Undated, 36 Folders; Letters #1 - 369, arranged alphabetically by letter writer.

Box 2: Correspondence, December, 1817 - August, 1845, 25 Folders; 272 letters, (nos. 370 - 641).

Box 3: Correspondence, September, 1845 - November, 1851, 25 Folders; 262 letters, (nos. 642 - 903).

Box 4: Correspondence, December, 1851 - June 1857, 24 Folders; 263 letters, (nos. 904 - 1,166).

Box 5: Correspondence, July 1857 - December, 1864, 27 Folders; 298 letters, (nos. 1,167 - 1,464).

Box 6: Correspondence, January, 1865 - June 1869, 30 Folders; 325 letters, (nos. 1,465 - 1,789).

Box 7: Correspondence, July 1869 - December, 1918, 17 Folders; 181 letters, (nos. 1,790 - 1,970).

Box 8: Non-Correspondence Materials, 37 Folders; 119 Items
The 38 items of non-correspondence manuscripts are arranged by general subject area and include material in the following areas:

Criminal Justice
Post Family and Memorials
Medicine
Poetry
Religion
Spiritualism
Slavery and abolitionism
Women's Rights
Unidentified Manuscript Ephemera


55 items of financial and legal material are arranged chronologically, n.d. - 1915, and include:

Inventories of personal property
Death notices
Court records
Indentures
Bonds
Mortgages
Sales receipts
Insurance policies
Bills
Balance sheets
Deeds
Contracts

The 26 items of printed ephemera are arranged by type of material and include:

Anna Murray Douglass's death notice, dated Aug. 4, 1882
Tickets
Passes
Cards
Newspaper clippings



Box 9: Correspondence, 1818 - 1825, undated, 12 Folders; with letters (nos. 1,971-2,098).



Box 10: [Fox Sisters?] Daguerreotype

Provenance: Purchased from Grant Romer, 2015.