Finding Aid to the Kemp Family Manuscript Collection, 1732-2004, MS 3181

Finding Aid to the Kemp Family Manuscript Collection, 1732-2004, MS 3181

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary

Title

Kemp Family Manuscript Collection

Creator

Kemp family

Call number

MS 3181

Inclusive dates

1732-2004

Bulk dates

1805-1973

Extent

2 boxes

Abstract

Contains the correspondence and financial, legal, and genealogical records of the Kemp family, especially that of Thomas and John W. Kemp.

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

Gift of Lee Kemp Aldrich, Jane Kemp Christianson, Elaine Kemp Napier, and Anne Kemp Roxbrough, March 24, 2008

Accession number

2007-059-LIB

Processing note

Finding aid created by Lara Westwood, January 2016

Biographical Note

The Kemp family was settled in Talbot County, Maryland in the 1660’s by Robert Kemp. He married Elizabeth Webb in 1678. They had seven children. After the death of her father, Edmond Webb, Elizabeth, Robert, and their children moved to the Webb family farm in Bay Hundred, Bolton, where Kemp family members continued to live until 1915. The Kemps were Quakers who practiced at the Bayside Meeting House, which was built on land donated by Robert in 1667.

Thomas Kemp (1779-1824) was born in St. Michaels, Maryland. In 1803, he and his brother Joseph moved to Baltimore to enter the shipbuilding business. Their shipyard was located in Fells Point, and Thomas became renowned for building clipper ships. He built the Rossie, Chasseur, and Comet for the United States Navy, which had great success against the British during the War of 1812. Thomas returned to Talbot County with his family in 1813. He purchased property known as Wades Point from Colonel Hugh Auld.

Upon Thomas’ death, his oldest son by his second wife, John Washington Kemp (1812-1881), took over the Wades Point property. John expanded converted the farm from producing tobacco to grain, which he managed with the help of slaves. In 1876, he passed the farm to his son Joseph, who in turned the property into a summer resort. The Kemp family remained at Wades Point until 1984. 

Related Collections:

Thomas Kemp Papers, MS 2335

Logs, ships Chasseur & Rolla, 1812-1815, MS 689

Ships named Comet, Wasp, Bona, Kemp, and Lawrence, 19th century: log books/papers, 1812-15, MS 748

Schooner Mammoth Logs, 1814 and the Schooner Independencia del Sud, November, 1817 – January, 1822 1814-1822, MS 3082

Scope and Content

The collection contains the correspondence and financial, legal, and genealogical records of the Kemp family, especially that of Thomas and John W. Kemp. Correspondence and legal documents comprise the majority of the collection. Much of the correspondence discusses family matters, such as health and travel plans, but also provides insight to life in Talbot County during the late 1800’s. The letters from the 1860’s touch upon the Civil War, in particular a letter from W. T. Kemp written aboard the U.S.S. Patroon, which discusses efforts to blockade Florida and his experiences as a Union seaman. Legal documents related to land purchases in Baltimore and Talbot County also make up a significant portion of the collection. This includes indentures for the family’s Wades Point property purchased by Thomas Kemp in 1813. The collection also includes the financial records for the property after it was converted to a guest house. Another highlight of the collection is purchase orders to Thomas Kemp held in the “ship records” folder in Box 1. These documents include an 1813 order from the United States Navy.

The collection is organized by subject, and the documents are in chronological order. The papers were initially arranged by the Kemp family, and this order has been respected. Each folder contains a detailed inventory of document.

Container List

Contents

Dates

Box

Folder

Account books, ledgers, receipts

1805-1902

1

1

Bible records, family trees, oral histories

1732-1976

1

2

Correspondence, personal

1814-1915

1

3

Legal records -- indenture

1805

1

4

Legal records -- land

1792-1813

1

5

Legal records -- land

1813-1817

1

6

Legal records -- land

1837-1855

1

7

Legal records -- land

1855-1898

1

8

Military records

1846

1

9

Newspaper clippings

1905-2004

1

10

Legal records – probate, estate, wills

1824-1826

1

11

Legal records – probate, estate, wills

1827-1881

1

12

Ship records

1813-1818

1

13

Miscellaneous

1877-1880

1

14

Photograph album

Ca. 1904

2

15

Wades Point Farm register of paying guests

1863-1899

2

 

Wades Point Farm register of paying guests

1944-1983

2

 

Wades Point Farm expense ledger

1967-1973

2

 

Daybook with newspaper clippings

Ca. 1923

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games