Curtis Family
Papers, 1846-1912; bulk 1846-1855


Quantity: 1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchased from M. Stiles, January 1989
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Assistant Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections, February 1989; revised March 2013

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Scope and Content Note

These papers consist chiefly of letters addressed to William Curtis from family, relatives, and friends detailing experiences that document life and society in rural upstate New York during the mid-nineteenth century. William Curtis was apparently the son of Benjamin P. Curtis, a farmer who lived near North Blenheim, in Schoharie County, New York. He and his father appear to have been involved in the anti-rent movement that was prevalent in the area at the time as evidenced by some of the early letters and papers. In particular, there is a document containing resolutions relative to the 1846 election campaign approved at the meeting of the anti-renters of the Town of Blenheim held at the Blenheim Hill Church, September 12, 1846. This document also includes a copy of a letter addressed to Charles P. Bouton, the editor of the Albany Freeholder, a newspaper that was sympathetic to the anti-rent movement.

The remainder of the letters and documents concern more routine matters of everyday life such as health, weather, chores, and news about family, friends and relatives. Many of these letters were written by Harriet Ferguson of Bainbridge, New York, in 1852 and 1853.

Folder List

Folder Contents
1 Letters and documents relative to anti-rent troubles, 1846
  1. Letter: William Wentz to Benjamin P. Curtis, Binghamton, [N.Y.],  January 20, 1846
  2. Letter: E. [Hammond?] to Benjamin P. Curtis, May 8, 1846
  3. Resolutions of the meeting of anti-renters of the Town of Blenheim held at the Blenheim Hill Church, September 12, 1846, with letter of Joseph Hoag to [Charles] P. Bouton, Jefferson, [N.Y.], September 13, 1846
2 Letters of William Curtis, to and from family, 1847
  1. [William Curtis] to sister, Duanesburg, [N.Y.], June 6, 1847 (incomplete)
  2. Doris Curtis, Blenheim, [N.Y.], May 23, 1847
  3. Benjamin P. Curtis, Blenheim, [N.Y.], August 22, 1847 with accompanying letter from sister, Lydia H. Curtis
3 Letters to William Curtis from others, 1847-1853
  1. Richard Hilton, March 19, 1847
  2. V. Cornell, Carlisle, [N.Y.], April 4, 1847
  3. Stephen Kline, Coxsackie, [N.Y.], October 10, 1850
  4. William Spickerman, Masonville, [N.Y.], September 27, 1852
  5. Edwin H. Chapman, East Worcester, [N.Y.], March 7, 1853
4 Letters to William Curtis from family, relatives, and friends, 1851-1855
  1. Henry S. Kline, Pittsfield, Mass., April 9, 1850
  2. William E. Lyon, Dix, [N.Y.], March 15, 1851
  3. Henry S. Kline, Schoharie, N.Y., June 15, 1851
  4. James A. Curtis, Bramans Corners, [N.Y.], August 22, 1851
  5. Louisa Reynolds, Jefferson, [N.Y.], June 2, 1855
  6. Marcia Curtis, July 9, 1855
5 Letters to William Curtis from Harriet E. Ferguson, 1852-1853
  1. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], April 14, 1852
  2. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], June 23, 1852
  3. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], November 11, 1852
  4. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], January 2, 1853
6 Letters to William Curtis from Harriet E. Ferguson, 1853
  1. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], March 11, 1853
  2. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], May 18, 1853
  3. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], June 12, 1853
  4. Bainbridge, [N.Y.], August 25, [1853]
  1. Certification for discharge of William Curtis from the 104th Regiment, [New York Militia], August 28, 1845
  2. Certificate of recommendation, April 2, 1847
8 Miscellaneous letters and papers, ca. 1910-1912
  1. Letter to friend from unidentified author, 84 Belgrave Road, Forgway, Devonshire, England, August 28, 1910
  2. Letter to Roscoe from Uncle [Reuker?], Long Beach, Calif., December 14, 1911
  3. Invitation to Bertha Davis, n.d.
  4. Receipt for payment of medical bill, Drs. McMullen & Stanton, Schenectady, N.Y., June 22, 1912
  5. Photograph of unidentified woman
  6. Newspaper clipping and two other scraps of paper
Last Updated: May 24, 2021