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Grant family papers


Identifier: 1914-15-0

Scope and Contents

Papers relating to the Grant family of Litchfield, including Hannah Grant (1785-1871) and her children Charles William (1810-1881), David McNeil (1812-1885), Harriet Lucretia (1814-1892), and John Mason (1817-1878).  The collection is mostly comprised of family correspondance, but also includes various school lessons and papers, family account records, and real estate records. Hannah (McNeil) Grant was the widow of Charles Grant (1782-1821), who died in 1821.  Hannah and their four children survived him.  Hannah McNeil attended the Litchfield Female Academy 1796. Charles William Grant (1810-1881) was born in Litchfield and attended the Female Academy in 1828. He later moved to New York and practiced medicine in New York City and Peekskill, and from 1840 through 1858 practiced dentistry in Newburgh, NY.  Later in his career he took an interest in horticulture and grew grapes on Iona Island, NY.  In 1843 he married Jane Forsyth Beveridge (1825-1856), and together they had three children: Anna Margaret (1847-1923), John Beveridge (1850-1912), and Grace Jane (1855-1860).  In 1859, he was remarried to Isabella (also called Israella) Hasbrouck Proudfit.  Charles retired in 1869, and during the last part of his life lived in the household of his brother, David in Litchfield. David McNeil Grant (1812-1885) was a farmer in Litchfield for most of his life.  In 1860, he married Caroline Beach Judd (1831-1865), and together they had three children, two surviving infancy: Charles Henry Ambrose (1862-1886) and Fanny (1864-?).  In 1868 he was remarried to Paulina E. Benedict (1824-1873), and again in 1876 to Mrs. Mary Moses Bissell, neither of whom bore children. Harriet Lucretia Grant (1814-1892) lived her entire life in Litchfield, attending the Female Academy from 1829 to 1831, and then working as a teacher. The majority of the correspondence is letters from John Mason Grant (1817-1878) to his mother, sister, and brother David.  John Mason Grant graduated from Yale University in 1839 and was the secretary of his class.  He then attended the Yale Divinity School from 1840 through 1843, when he moved to New York and spent his last year of theological study at Union Theological Seminary.  He was not ordained.  He spent several years in and around New York City holding various jobs including teaching, chain-making, and assisting his brother Charles in dentistry.  He also taught school children in various places in Virginia.  He gives vivid accounts of the numerous boarding houses at which he stayed during this time.  From 1849 to 1853 he worked as a colporteur for the Maryland Tract Society.  After several more years of teaching in the area, he settled in Baltimore in 1856 and worked as an agent for the sale of religious periodicals.  In 1865 he was appointed as Assistant Assessor of Internal Revenue.  He also worked as a book agent during this time.  The last part of his life was spent in Florida, where he died, unmarried, in 1878.


  • created: 1817-1869
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/30/1897


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creators of this collection are in the public domain.  There are no restrictions on use.  Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown.  Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.  Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners.  Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in 3 series: 1. Correspondence 2. Family Accounts 3. Miscellaneous Papers

Physical Access Requirements

Some original items are not available due to fragility.  Use photocopies.

Custodial History

The collection was received in 1898 and gifted in 1914.

Source of Acquisition

Grant Family

Accruals and Additions

Additional material (six merit awards and one multiplication table) was received from Mrs. A. Linn Bostwick, St. Lous Public Library, St. Louis, Mo., in 1945.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Related Publications

Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College Deceased from June, 1870 to June 1880, by Yale College, 1880, New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse, & Taylor. The Grant Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Matthew Grant of Windsor, Conn. - 1601-1898 by Arthur Hastings Grant, 1898, Poughkeepsie, New York: Press of A. V. Haight.

Grant family papers
Emilie Kracen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

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