Bell Papers, 1790-1889, MS. 1965

Bell Papers, 1790-1889, MS 1965, Maryland Historical Society


Collection Summary

Title                                          Bell Papers


Creator                                      Ephraim Bell


Call Number                              MS.1965


Span Dates                               1790-1889


Extent                                       Seven (7) boxes (3 linear feet)


Abstract                                   Papers of Dr. Ephraim Bell, his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Deford, as well as items of other members of the Deford family, chiefly Thomas Deford's father Benjamin, and his tanning business, B. Deford and Co.


Administrative summary


Repository                                H. Furlong Baldwin Library

                                                Maryland Historical Society

                                                201 W. Monument Street

                                                Baltimore, Maryland 21218


                                                [email protected]


Access restrictions                    Access to this collection is restricted to microfilm.


Use restrictions                         Permission to quote from this collection must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.




Container List


Box 1:

-Primarily bills and receipts for goods and services purchased by Ephraim Bell, 1821-1875. Also, promissory notes to Bell, and assorted memoranda.



Box 2:

-Bills and receipts separated from those in Box 1, including:

-Baltimore city, Baltimore County, and State of Maryland property tax bills and receipts, 1834-1875; and Baltimore City Water Rent tax bills and warnings, 1862-1875.

-Receipts for subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals, 1830-75.

-Tuition bills and collection notices from Bell to others to support students in a School for Indigent Children located in the 7th District of Baltimore County, 1840-1848.

-Receipts for insurance policies, 1840-1851.

-U.S. Internal Revenue Licenses to practice medicine and tax receipts, 1863-67.

-Receipts Book, 1839-1875.

-Two Cash Books, 1835-1837 and 1837-1841.


Box 3:

-Ephraim Bell Correspondence mostly concerning financial matters, friendship, and a few concerning local politics. Also, correspondence and official forms concerning Bell's appointment as Postmaster at Maryland Line. Legal papers include deeds, surveys, and two notices to the constable to hold people for debt to Bell. Estate papers of Peter Smyser (d. 1835), Ephraim Bell, executor, including promissory notes to Smyser, 1828, 1831, promissory notes from Smyser to others paid by estate, 1832-33, will of Peter Smyser, 1834, bills and receipts relative to estate, 1835-42, administrative accounts, inventory of estate, and memoranda of Ephraim Bell concerning estate (1846)


Box 4:

-Deford papers, 1790-1872 consisting mainly of receipts and bills for goods and services purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Deford, 1870-72, and deeds and other legal documents concerning farmland and other property in Pennsylvania and involving such persons as William McVitty, John Taylor, George Johnston, and others, 1790-1843. Also, receipts and bills of Benjamin Deford, 1841-1843, a few items of Thomas Deford correspondence, including an 1861 letter from the “Committee for the Ward” advising him to keep his “most violent ‘Union’ or ‘Administration’ sentiments” to himself, or reserve such pronouncements to where they will be more hospitably received, and many letters of sympathy for the family of Benjamin Deford upon his death in 1870.


Box 5:

-Deford papers, 1873-1889 and undated, consisting mostly of bills and receipts for goods and services purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Deford, 1873-1875, as well as items concerning the many charitable works of Mrs. Deford with hospitals, schools, and the Presbyterian Church. A few items of social correspondence, invitations, newspaper clippings, and notes and memoranda.


Box 6:

-B. Deford and Company - Bill Book, 1832-1843


-Two Sales Ledgers, 1840-41 and 1842-44


Box 7:

-B. Deford and Company - Two Cash Books, 1837-38 and 1840-41

·        Receipts Book, 1838-43