Benjamin Williams Manuscript Collection, 1784-1813, MS 3160

Finding Aid to the Benjamin Williams Manuscript Collection, 1784-1813, MS 3160

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary

Title

Benjamin Williams Manuscript Collection

Creator

Williams, Benjamin

Call number

MS 3160

Inclusive dates

1784-1813

Bulk dates

1784-1798

Extent

1 box, 12 folders

Abstract

Consists of the correspondence of Benjamin Williams. He frequently wrote to his sister, Susanna Williams, regarding his work, health, and family matters.

Administrative summary

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

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

Provenance

Unknown

Accession number

Unknown

Processing note

Processed by Lara Westwood, August, 2014

Biographical Note

Benjamin Williams was a wealthy Baltimore merchant. He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Captain Joseph Williams and Susanna May on November 3, 1767. He eventually moved to Baltimore, Maryland along with his brothers to pursue careers in the shipping industry. They, like many New Englanders, moved to the city to seek their fortunes in the burgeoning economy. After years of hard work building his fortune, Williams married the widowed Sarah Copeland Morton, 1778-1870, on May 22, 1811. They resided on Charles Street in the city and had one child, Susan May, 1812-1881. Susan May gained fame when she married Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, the son of Elizabeth Patterson and Jerome Bonaparte. Williams died on June 20, 1812.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the correspondence of Benjamin Williams. He frequently wrote to his sister, Susanna Williams, regarding his work, health, and family matters. The letters discuss illness affecting Williams and Baltimore City at large. Williams mentions the impact of a yellow fever outbreak on the city and its particularly devastating toll on Fells Point. He also advises his sister about marriage prospects and his opinions on who she and their siblings and cousins should marry. The collection also includes letters from Williams to his brothers, Samuel and Amos, his sister, Martha, and his parents, Joseph and Susanna. The letters to his parents relate at length details about the death of his brother Lemuel. Letters to and from his brother Samuel are also make up the collection, as well as letters from Henry Payson to Captain Joseph Williams informing him of the deaths of his sons, Lemuel, Benjamin, and Samuel.

Container List

Contents

Dates

Box

Folder

Benjamin Williams to Susanna Williams

1784-1786

1

1

Benjamin Williams to Susanna Williams

1787-1790

1

2

Benjamin Williams to Susanna Williams

1791-1794

1

3

Benjamin Williams to Susanna Williams

1795-1798

1

4

Benjamin Williams to Samuel Williams

1791, April

1

5

Benjamin Williams to Joseph and Susanna Williams

1793-1797

1

6

Benjamin Williams to Amos Williams

1800-1811

1

7

Benjamin Williams to Martha Williams

1811, March 14

1

8

Joseph Williams to Samuel Williams

1791, September 22

1

9

Samuel Williams to Joseph Williams

1797-1813

1

10

Samuel Williams to Martha Williams

1813, August 2

1

11

Henry Payson to Joseph Williams

1797-1813

1

12

 

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