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Forrest Family Manuscript Collection, 1834-1864, MS 3158 | Maryland Historical Society

Forrest Family Manuscript Collection, 1834-1864, MS 3158

Finding Aid to the Forrest Family Manuscript Collection, 1834-1864, MS 3158

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society


Collection summary


Forrest Family Manuscript Collection


Forrest Family

Call number

MS 3158

Inclusive dates


Bulk dates



1 box, 6 folders


Contains correspondence between Forrest family members, which discuss health, travel, and schooling. Multiple letters from Moreau Forrest to his wife, Mary Leeke Dashiell Robinson Forrest, relate his work as a United States Marshal.

Administrative summary


H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.


Gift of Louis H. Diehlman

Accession number


Processing note

Processed by Lara Westwood, July, 2014

Biographical Note

The Forrest family resided across Maryland, including in Baltimore and Finksburg. Moreau Forrest grew up in Montgomery County at Chateau Blanc. He attended University of Maryland Medical School and graduated in 1826. He married Mary Leeke Dashiell Robinson in 1835. Mary was born to Mary Leeke and Captain Henry Dashiell in 1808 and grew up in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore City.

Mary had been previously been married to Matthew Robinson, a ship captain, who died in 1833. They had several children together. Mary’s son with Robinson, Matthew, began studying at New Ark College, in 1834, which later became University of Delaware.

In 1841, Moreau, Mary, and their youngest children moved to Finksburg where Moreau worked as a general physician for patients in Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Moreau eventually gave up his medical practice and was appointed United States Marshal for the State of Maryland in 1844. He often traveled to the Western states for his work and was involved in the George P. Reed versus Samuel Carusi copyright case. He was a marshal until 1850, and he died in 1852 in California. 

Mary and Moreau’s son, Moreau Forrest, 1841-1866, also had a distinguished career. He attended the United States Naval Academy. During the Civil War, Moreau fought for the Union cause. He was reassigned to the Mississippi River Squadron and commanded the U.S.S. General Thomas. The steamship patrolled the Tennessee River to prevent interference with General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march on Atlanta, Georgia, and engaged in several battles with Confederate forces. He died shortly after the end of the war in 1866 but was well-remembered for his service to the United States. 

Scope and Content

The Forrest Family Manuscript Collection primarily contains correspondence between family members, which discuss health, travel, and schooling. Letters from Matthew Robinson to his mother, Mary Forrest, and his stepfather, Moreau Forrest, primarily discuss his studies at New-Ark College. Multiple letters from Moreau to Mary relate his work as a United States Marshal. The reassignment orders for their son, Moreau, to the Mississippi Squadron are also included.   

Container List





Forrest family correspondence




Forrest family correspondence




Forrest family correspondence




Reassignment orders

1864, October 4



Photograph and calling card of Moreau Forrest

No date



Denton County, Texas property map

No date