Skip to main content

Baldwin, Daniel estate distribution, 1840

Folder 4

 File — Folder: 4
Identifier: Folder 4

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The personal papers of the Adams Family, including Joseph Adams (1767-1856); his son, Charles Adams (1805-1883); children of Charles Adams, including Julia Adams How Wessells (1842-1904), Mary Adams Wheelock (1838-1895), and Charles Adams Jr. (1845-1864); other family members; and friends and business associates. The collection consists primarily of correspondence. The collection consists primarily of correspondence received by Joseph Adams from family members and members of the Litchfield community with legal or other matters involving him and correspondence among the immediate members of the family of Charles Adams, in particular, two daughters of Charles Adams, Mary Adams Wheelock and Julia Adams How Wessells. The correspondence is mostly personal in nature, relating to family news and concerned with matters of health, births, deaths, and visits. This was a traveling family, all generations, so there is an occasional glimpse glimpse of the trials of stage and canal travel. There is a pervasive religious awareness in the letters, perhaps most expressed by Charles to his father in the 1820s. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the collection related to the early career of Joseph Adams as a cabinet maker nor of publishing activities of Henry Adams and Charles Adams in Litchfield. Although domestic topics predominate in the letters, correspondents sometimes address local or national topics of interest. Joseph's correspondence includes letters from or news about two men who were at one time or another leading business figures in Boston: Amos Lawrence (1786-1852), who was married to Joseph's niece, and Giles Richards (1754-1829), who was Joseph's brother-in-law. For example, Lawrence's 1845 Feb 1 letter offers a personal philosophical expression of a wealthy and successful merchant. Letters from members of the family who moved to the South, particularly from Amos Adams (who owned a plantation and slaves), have a few references to business conditions. A nephew of Joseph Adams, Henry Adams Bullard, wrote twice (1832-1833) to Joseph from Washington when he was a Congressman. Benjamin Tallmadge (1754-1835), another Congressman, wrote Joseph five letters (1814-1826) from Washington, where he was acting for Joseph in financial matters. Four of the letters written while Tallmadge was serving in the House of Representatives. Some of the papers relate to the Civil War. Charles Adams (1845-1864), the son of Charles and Julia Hinman Adams, enlisted in the 19th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in 1862 following the outbreak of the Civil War. On June 11, 1864, he died of wounds received on June 1 during the Battle of Cold Harbor. During the war, Adams regularly wrote letters to his parents and sisters. He recorded his thoughts about Generals McClellan, Burnside, and Grant, and President Lincoln; life in camp (maintaining and outfitting tents, sleeping arrangements, food, prayer meetings, entertainments and lectures, snowball battles); support for the Emancipation Proclamation; his belief in the cause; postings, guard duty, inspections, and drills; encouraging enlistment; speculation about duration of war and upcoming military activities; his cousin, Charles Hinman Graves, and other relatives he sees; the 40th N.Y. and Bull Run; African-American dock and government stores workers; guarding “contrabands” (freed or former slaves) from Virginia and Maryland; news of other Litchfield residents; politics in Connecticut; and the weather. The collection contains letters written relative to his death by Representative John H. Hubbard and Marie Barton Greene, who served with the Sanitary Commission. Charles Adams Jr. is not the only Adams family member serving in the Civil War to be documented in the collection; correspondence from Anna Adams (1814-1906) relates to the death of her brother Joseph Henry Adams (1843-1861) during battle on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.


  • created: 1840


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 2.00 boxes

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)