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Wolcott family collection


Identifier: 1906-04-0

Scope and Contents

Correspondence chiefly between Frederick Wolcott (1767-1837), his wife Elizabeth (Betsey) Huntington  Wolcott (1774-1812), his brother Oliver Wolcott (1760-1833) who served as Secretary of the Treasury and Governor of Connecticut, and Jabez W. Huntington (1788-1847) who served as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut.  Topics include domestic news, local, state, regional and national politics, business affairs, church activities, trade with China and the merchant vessel Trident, raising merino sheep, and manufacture of woolen cloth.   Other correspondents include John Cotton Smith, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Uriah Tracy.  Several correspondents were graduates of the Litchfield Law School.   The collection also includes several account books as well as the schoolgirl diaries of Frederick and Elizabeth Wolcott's daughter, Laura Maria Wolcott Rankin and the Friendship Album given to Hannah Huntington Wolcott Freeman on the occassion of her marriage in 1834.


  • created: 1740-1844
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1790-1837
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1906


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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 of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


1.60 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged alphabetically by creator.  It is divided into two series, correspondence and miscellany.

Physical Access Requirements

Some materials are fragile and staff may require the use of facsimiles.

Custodial History

The two accessions were combined with several other donations of related papers.  At the time of the original donation in 1906 the papers of another collector, John Arent Vanderpoel, were also donated.  The inventory lists for the collections were very similar, and the typist did not note the name of the collections on subsequent pages.  A number of materials from that unrelated collection were interfiled with the Wolcott papers, but have since been removed.

Source of Acquisition

Wolcott, Alice (1843-1927)

Method of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was donated in 1906 by Alice Wolcott, a granddaughter of Frederick Wolcott.

Accruals and Additions

A large addition of papers was purchased by Mrs. Elizabeth Wolcott Hamilton and Miss Julia Wolcott from Mr. and Mrs. Neilson Abeel in 1954. He was a great-great grandson of Frederick Wolcott. A number of small and single-item additions of materials have been added since then. The Friendship Album was donated by Virginia Kaiser in 2012. She is a descendant of Hannah Huntington Wolcott Freeman's son, Huntington Wolcott Freeman (1835-1906). Hannah Wolcott letter to her brother J. Huntington Wolcott (2010-94-0) was a Museum purchase.

Existence and Location of Originals

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Related Materials

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Other Descriptive Information

Additional information about the Wolcott family is available on the Litchfield Historical Society's Web site.

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Processing Information

The collection was previously processed without the use of authority files for names.  It had been intermingled with another collection (John A. Vanderpoel Collection), which has since been removed.  The description for many of the items in the collection was created collaboratively by historian Doron S. Ben-Atar and archivist Linda Hocking as part of a previous project.

Wolcott family collection
Linda Hocking
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)